Who Invented the Toy Car?

The Tire Zoo/CC-BY-2.0

In 1953, Jack Odell created the first matchbox car in London, England. The first car was a steamroller made of brass and painted red and green. In an assembly-line style production line, Odell and his partners worked from a London pub called The Rifleman.

Odell came up with the idea when he made a miniature steamroller for his daughter who normally carried spiders in a matchbox to school. His daughter loved the miniature creation so much that Odell decided to mass produce his idea.

Once he created the steamroller, Odell designed the land rover, a London Bus, a bulldozer and a fire engine. Finally, after 18 creations, Odell finally made his first matchbox car, which was the MG TD roadster.