Lamley Single File: Matchbox Moving Parts Divco Milk Truck

This will be familiar to anyone who caught my 2020 highlights post at the end of last year. And it’s a somewhat unique subject, indeed Matchbox are the only brand to produce a 3-inch version as part of their Moving Parts line up. Single File is therefore the perfect platform to showcase it.

Divco is an acronym that stands for “Detroit Industrial Vehicles Company”. Active between 1926 and 1986, the company built working vehicles for a variety of tasks. A clever design feature of some Divco trucks was column mounted driving controls including the accelerator and brake. This was a godsend to delivery drivers and milkmen who regularly had to get in and out of their vehicles sometimes hundreds of times a day. Not every feature was helpful however. Many early vehicles used to deliver milk and other perishables lacked refrigerators and were packed with ice once loaded, meaning many vehicles rusted from the inside out. Nevertheless they remained popular and surviving vehicles are becoming more and more sought after.

The model replicated in the Matchbox range is a Divco Model U milk truck, complete with opening rear doors and in a super geeky touch, tiny milk crates sitting in the back.

How cool?! I think it’s a brilliant looking thing, resplendent in factory livery, and a very unique member of the Moving Parts range. There are far more common vehicles that Matchbox could have replicated, but I am glad they chose this one.

The lines are great, the wheel choice perfect. The opening door is just a bonus. Matchbox do classic metal very well indeed and I’m excited to see what other leftfield classics appear in their line up. On the other side of the Mattel diecast car park, it’d be cool to see a Hot Wheels version slammed to the deck with some blown crate motor jammed in the back, or just cruising on a set of Moondiscs… I really hope someone on the design team is reading this…. Even so there’s endless potential for more colourways and cool liveries in this casting. Don’t forget to drink your milk!

Instagram: @alex_the_hoarder


(Find the Divco milk truck on Ebay)

6 Replies to “Lamley Single File: Matchbox Moving Parts Divco Milk Truck”

  1. I really like the model. I hope we see it a bunch. I believe there is an interior variation. As for Hot wheels they have done it for some time as the Dairy Delivery and more recent as a Monster truck. Plus they did a Mooneyes version in one of the premium lines.

    1. It’s a good bit of kit isn’t it? What is the interior variation? I’m curious now! And I’ll be honest I had forgotten about the Dairy Delivery! But it seems a later version of a Divco than the Matchbox one. I prefer the lines on the Matchbox version instantly.

    2. It turns out there is no variation on this. I have no idea how it all started originally. There was a long-standing rumour that the crates were not always included inside the vehicle. I was unable to verify initially, as I had to have one sent over for a review (as they don’t sell them in the UK) and I had received a few messages from people telling me there is a crate/no crate variation. I peered in the back of mine, did not see anything, thought I had no crates and asked John if he saw one with crates to send it over. I listed down this variation in my filing for the model and carried on. Then when I finally received my second model with crates, I pulled out my first and saw the crates inside. I got in touch with Abe at Mattel for verification. He checked with the factory and confirmed there is only the 1 interior tooling for this model. It always has crates. I have since adjusted my listings down to a single variation for this model and know that in future I will not need to worry about looking for that particular variation.

      But it is amazing how things can escalate out of control very fast.

  2. Well I just professed my love for this model on David Tilley’s write-up of the moving parts batch it comes in, so my opinion on this one is already known. An actual interior variation would have been intriguing indeed, but it’s fine that there is none, the model’s a treat as is.

    I’m a fan of this type of work vehicle with vast swathes of side body panels because Mattel usually goes on to do neat decos of made-up companies/services that are plausible enough to be real. I’m a fan of that kind of deco, and it makes it a lot of fun collecting vehicles like the 2007 Ford Transit, the VW Caddy Van and others like them. I’m hoping they have those kinds of plans for this Divco as well, though you can’t go wrong with the simple manufacturer livery chosen for this debut. Not sure if this model is feasible in the regular mainline (I can’t think why not, just a simple mod to get rid of the opening rear doors) but either way I can’t wait for more.

  3. I was lucky to find this Divco van in the Entertainer toy shop today at £3… How?… However the packaging at the back had stickers on from another country. All opening parts at £3… Hope this is a start of something good and more various to come here.

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