Glossary of Terms

Like all hobbies, diecast collecting has a range of words, terms, phrases and acronyms that those new to the hobby may not know about, below is an alphabetical listing of those terms and an explanation of their meaning.

A- B - C - D - E - F- G - H - I - J - K- L - M - N - O - P- Q - R - S - T - U- V - W - X - Y - Z

A

B

Blister
Common term for the plastic packaging that a model comes in

C

C5 through C10
Condition codes for stating the condition of a model, as follows:
  • C5 - Very Poor - wear evident overall
  • C6 - Good - wear in spots noticeable
  • C7 - Fine - minor wear - scratches noticeable - otherwise clean
  • C8 - Excellent - very slight wear - very clean with gloss
  • C9 - Near Mint - flaws hardly noticeable
  • C10 - Mint - pristine - like new
Case
An entire box of models as packed by the manufacturer
Chase Car
A vehicle produced in limited quantaties and therefore is harder to find. Possibly the best known chase vehicles are the Treasure Hunts that Mattel Inc. include in the Hot Wheels range each year, these car are packed at random in one to every 4 or 5 cartons.
Code 1
Any model produced by the original manufacturer
Code 2
Any model produced by the original manufacturer but contains authorised after market modifications such as additional tampo printing
Code 3
Any model that has after market modifications that have not been approved by the original manufacturer

D

Decal
A label or design that is prepared on a paper or plastic backing before being transferred to the model
Die
The metallic mould used for producing the models
Diecast
The method of mass-producing, under great pressure, molten zinc and white-metal alloys into permanent moulds.
Dinky
A brand of diecast originally made by Meccano. Matchbox acquired the brand in the last 1980s.

E

F

FEP
Final Engineering Pilot, This is the first production run and is often simply included with the first batch released if everything seems okay
First Shot
Prior to mass production of a new model, the manufacturer will produce a couple of models that will include all components. These “First Shot” models are used to gain final permission from license holders (Vehicle manufacturers) and to ensure that any potential defects in the mould are picked up and fixed. Usually changes from this point onwards are very minor in nature.

G

H

I

Inner
This is short for “Inner Carton”, smaller cardboard containers packaged inside a case that contain subsets of contents.

J

K

L

Label
A design or logo on paper backing applied to the model
LAAM
Abbreviation for the Latin American Market
Lesney
The name of the original company to produce Matchbox cars, the name was derived from the two founders names (Leslie Smith & RodneySmith)
Long Card
Descriptive term used for the longer (larger) cards used in the USA market

M

MAN
This is an abbreviation for MANufaturing number, the number used by the manufacturer to identify the model components, it has been used by all owners of the Matchbox brand since the early 1980′s
Mack Code
Developed by Charlie Mack (A renowned USA based collector) as a way of identifying Matchbox models. These codes are based upon the release number of the model followed by an incremental letter.
Mattel Inc.
Owners of the Matchbox brand from 1997 when they took over Tyco Toys
MB
A common abbreviation for “Matchbox”, also used as the leading letters in the MAN coding system.
MIB
A common abbreviation for “Mint In Box” or “Mint In Blister”
MOMC
A common abbreviation for “Mint On Mint Card”
MOY
A common abbreviation for “Models of Yesteryear”

N

O

P

Pre-Production
The process of preparing all the elements involved in the model to test fit as well as look and feel
Prototype
An early sample or model built to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be replicated or learned from, also used to gain approval from license holders

Q

R

R/C
An abbreviation for Remote Control
Regular Wheels
The term used to described any Matchbox prior to the introduction of the “Superfast” wheels in 1969/1970
ROW
Abbreviation for the Rest of the World Market (ie: Everywhere but the USA)
RWR
A common abbreviation for “Real Working Rigs”

S

Scale
Indication of the relative size of a diecast vehicle. Sometimes indicated with a slash, as in “1/18″ scale or a colon, as in “1:18″ For a better idea of individual scales, refer to this blog post
Short Card
Descriptive term for the shorter cards used in the ROW markets
Superfast
Subset of Matchbox used at various times in the history of the brand begining with the introduction of the Superfast wheels in 1969/1970
Superfast Wheels
A new style of faster rolling wheels introduced in 1969/1970 to counteract the introduction of Hot Wheels cars

T

Tampo
More commonly known as pad printing, this is the means by which the manufacturer paints the designs and details like headlights and logo’s onto a model.
Tyco Toys
Owner of the Matchbox brand from 1993 till its take-over by Mattel, Inc in 1997

U

USA
Abbreviation for the USA market
Universal Toys
The company that purchased the Matchbox brand after Lesney Industries went into liquidation in 1982.

V

W

Window Box
A type of packaging that features a see-through window on one or more sides

X

Y

Z

ZAMAC
An acronym used to describe the metal compound that a lot of diecast vehicles are currently made from; stands for Zinc, Aluminium, Magnesium And Copper