This article helps our Volunteer Squad keep the database clean and consistent! It pertains to members who have Creator access and above. If you're interested in getting involved, read more about joining the Squad here. We'd love to have you aboard!

Matchbox cars have unique identifying characteristics that we record when adding them to the database.

To help us maintain consistent and relevant data on each casting we’ve created a list of Matchbox data entry standards to keep everyone on the same page. Please read and follow these guidelines when adding or editing Matchbox items on hobbyDB.


Adding Models to the Database

With the exception of new castings, nearly every Matchbox Database Item be Variants, and many will also be Subvariants (Subvariants are items with only minor differences, such as a different wheel type or a different packaging style). 

Note: Customs are considered Variants, but they should have the customizer's name set as the brand instead of Matchbox. Please read our help page about customized items to learn more.

Before adding a new Matchbox item it's important to always search for the model to make sure it isn't already in the database.

If a new Database Item does need to be created, go to a page for a previous release of the casting and use New -> Add Variant to create a new entry. If the item you're adding is only a different packaging style for the same model, or similar to another model with only minor differences (such as a different wheel type), it should be added as a Subvariant using New -> Add Subvariant.

If there aren't any existing Database Items for the casting, find a similar model and use New -> Clone to add the new model.

Whether adding a Subvariant or a Variant or adding a new casting by cloning, always be sure to review every field to make sure the data is correct for the new item.

For a general introduction to adding items to the database, please read "Adding new Database Items, incl. Variants and Subvariants".

For more info on Subvariants, please see:


Matchbox Database Items should have at least two photos: a photo of the car in its original packaging (or with the packaging, in the case of boxed cars) set as the Main Photo, and a photo of the loose car without any packaging set as the Show on Search Photo. Both photos should ideally have white (or even better, transparent) backgrounds. The goal is to show the item as clearly and cleanly as possible:

Main PhotoShow on Search Photo

Each item should have both a Main Photo and a Show on Search Photo, but there's no limit to how many photos a Database Item can have. Photos showing other angles of the model, closeups of details, and Artistry Photos are all great to add. 

If the Database Item is a Subvariant, it should also have a Subvariant Photo. The Subvariant Photo should be a closely-cropped image focusing on details that make the item unique compared to its other Subvariants. For example, the type of packaging or different wheel type.

Please read "Database Item Photos" to learn the general guidelines and standards for photos.

Database Item Names

The name of the Database Item must always be exactly what is printed on the item's packaging. Please do not add any other information about the model to the Name field.

If the casting is often known by a different name from what your particular release has on its packaging, or if it has a different name on the baseplate from what's on the packaging, enter that in the Alternative Name field.    

Please read "Names & Alternative Names" to learn the general guidelines and standards for item names.

Box Types

Matchbox came in many packaging.  Over the years collectors have agreed on conventions for the 1-75 boxes:

A Box

B Box

C Box

D Box

E Box

F Box

G Box

H Box

I Box

J Box

K Box

L Box

Other Attributes

We have some specific conventions for the contents and formatting of other data fields on the Database Item form. Please follow the guidelines listed below when adding Matchbox cars to hobbyDB.

Accuracy is extremely important, so if you are unsure about what to enter in any field just leave it blank. It's better to have a few empty fields than to have incorrect information on a Database Item.

  1. Brand: This should always be Matchbox (unless it is a custom—see our guidelines for customized items). Don't add any other Subjects to the Brand field.

  2. Series: This is the most powerful field as it places the item on related pages on the site. A Series is a group of products made by the same manufacturer, linked by being the same type of item and frequently by theme, scale, or similar characteristics.
    • Matchbox cars in the basic range (1-75, 1-125, 1-100, etc.) should always have "Basic Miniatures" set as a series, plus the sub-series (like "MBX Road Trip", for example) if one is listed on the packaging.

  3. Related Subjects: This field is for associating the item with any other relevant Subjects. These Subjects are shown on search results and can be used to filter searches. If the model is based on a real-life vehicle, enter the maker (such as Buick, Volkswagen, etc.) here. Some other common types of Related Subjects are the model designer or livery/sponsors.

  4. Model: This is the model name of the real-life car. For example, the 1953 Buick Skylark casting would just have "Skylark" in this field. This field can be left blank for fantasy models (i.e. no need to repeat the Item Name here).

  5. Body Type: Select the appropriate type, for example, sedan, convertible, SUV, etc.

  6. Production Status: This provides several classifications from which you can select. Use only one of the following statuses for Matchbox:
    • Standard - This is the default for basic Matchbox cars (Basic Miniatures).
    • Custom - Please read our general guidelines for customized items.
    • Error - Factory production mistakes, such as wrong wheel types, wrong card, missing decoration, etc.
    • Exclusive - Exclusive to a certain retailer, such as Target, like the Retro Series.
    • Limited Edition - Items advertised as having a limited production run, usually marked "Limited Edition" on the packaging.
    • Premium - Collector-oriented models such as cars the Mattel Superfast and Matchbox Collectors series.
    • Promotional - Items given away as part of a promotion, for example, cars included in cereal boxes or McDonald's Happy Meals.
    • Prototype - Pre-production models.
    • Regional - Only released in a specific country or region.
    • Set Exclusive - Only available in a multipack or play set.
    • Super Chase - Matchbox "Super Chase" cars.

  7. Released: Unless there is a specific advertised release date, just enter the year the item was released in or intended for. The next year's cars usually start appearing in stores in the fourth quarter of the year, so even though 2016 cars could be found in late 2015, 2016 is still considered to be the release date.

  8. Discontinued: If the car was produced for multiple years enter the last year of production here. Otherwise, this field can be left blank.

  9. # Produced: Enter the number of items that were produced, if known.

  10. Made in: Enter the country/region where the car was made, usually embossed on the baseplate or printed on the packaging. Most Matchbox cars have been manufactured in Thailand since the 2010s, but older models have been produced in China, Hong Kong, Macao/Macau, the United Kingdom (England), Hungary, and other countries.

  11. Scale: Many Matchbox models have the actual scale embossed on the baseplate. Select the actual scale if known, otherwise just set to 1/64.

  12. Material: Choose the vehicle body's primary material. Select --Diecast Metal/Mazak if the car has a primarily metal body, or select Plastic if the body is primarily plastic.

  13. Color: List the paint color(s) and whether the paint is metallic, flat, etc.
    • List only the main colors. For example, if a car is two-tone red and white, list both of those colors, but if a car is blue with red flames, enter only blue in the Color field and note the color of the flames in the Decoration field instead.

  14. Decoration: Describe any decoration details such as a “Fire Dept.” decal, “Orange & Blue stripes on sides and hood”, "Detailed headlights and taillights", etc.

  15. Features: Add any additional features like "Rubber Tyres", "Opening Hood", etc. from the list. You can select multiple features with the checkboxes on the list items.

  16. Packaging Details: Enter a brief description of the packaging. Something as simple as "Short Blister Card" or "Long Blister Card" is sufficient.
    • If the model is available in more than one type of packaging, create separate Database Items connected as Subvariants for each type of packaging.

  17. Reference #: Enter the collector number, series number (if applicable), and MAN (casting) number. For consistency and to help with sorting, the following format must be used: (note the position of spaces, the # symbol, comma, and semicolon): 
    • The reference for a typical Basic Miniatures car should look like this:

      Collector # 001/125, Series # 01/35; MB1096

      Note the space on both sides of the # symbols and the leading zeros to make the number of digits match on both sides of the /. For example, "001/125" instead of "1/125" and "01/35" instead of "1/35" (this helps with sorting).

      The "MB" number is a casting identifier, also known as a MAN number, from the model's baseplate.

  18. Manufacturer ID: Enter the Mattel Toy Number from the packaging. This is a unique identifier that makes it easy to search the database for a specific model.

    Almost every Mattel product will have an alphanumeric Toy Number (SKU) listed on the packaging, and since the mid-1990s they always have five digits (sometimes all numbers, sometimes a mix of letters and numbers).

    These Toy Numbers are also the best way to search for a Mattel product on hobbyDB. For recent releases, the Toy Number can usually be found on the back of the card's J hook:
    Mattel Toy Number on the back of a Matchbox blister card
    The Toy Number can also often be found near the UPC barcode. Be sure not to confuse the Assortment (Asst.) number for the Toy Number.

  19. UPC: Enter the 12-digit barcode number found on the package including the leading and trailing check digits. Don't include any spaces or dashes.

  20. Description: Enter any other details about the car that aren’t covered in the fields above, and/or describe what makes the car different from other releases. Use complete sentences, proper capitalization and punctuation, and a neutral point of view. Example: “This version has a roll cage and smaller bumpers than other variations.”

    • If the model has a date code on the baseplate, that can be entered here.

    • It can also be useful to note the casting's copyright year and which company is listed as the copyright holder (such as Lesney, Matchbox International, or Mattel).

    • Marketing language can be entered or copied/pasted into the Description, but it should be clearly marked as such so it doesn't conflict with our neutral point of view policy.

    • Do not copy and paste directly from other reference websites such as Fandom.

If you have any questions about or suggestions for these data conventions, please contact us through the green button at the top of the page or submit feedback below!