About four times a year I make the trek to Dayton’s Hara Arena for the quarterly toy show and sale. Last month I came home with a Y-1 Allchin Traction Engine. The Y-1 was released in 1956 as the very first of the ‘MATCHBOX’ Models of Yesteryear series of toys.
My parents helped satisfy the shared automotive fixation of their three sons with the help of ‘MATCHBOX’ Toys. We did most of our clothes and shoe shopping at the Miracle Mile Shopping Center at the corner of Jackman and Alexis Roads in Toledo. If we behaved ourselves Mom would inevitably conclude our shopping trip with a stop in the Hobby Shop where we peered through the display glass and selected a ‘MATCHBOX’ treasure. The toys were designated with a 1-75 number. You would cross your fingers while the lady looked in the cabinet behind the display to see if they had your number in stock.
But the Models of Yesteryear line was different from the normal ‘MATCHBOX’ toys we played with as kids. A somewhat larger scale than the 1-75 ‘MATCHBOX’ toys, the Models of Yesteryear depicted old fashioned cars, trucks and steam vehicles of ‘yesteryear’. Unlike the 1-75 range of toys, the Models of Yesteryear were intended from the beginning to be adult oriented collectibles. But for the Davis brothers the Models of Yesteryear will always be connected with the magic that is Christmas!
My Grandma and Grandpa Davis came to our house each Christmas Eve, went to church with us and spent the night so they could join in the Christmas morning festivities. As you can imagine it was painfully difficult for three boys to patiently wait while Grandma and Grandpa pulled themselves out of bed, got dressed, combed hair, found their dentures and eventually took a seat around the Christmas tree. Randy, Steve and I struck a deal with my mom that we could look through our Christmas stockings while we waited on Grandma and Grandpa. One year, in amongst the candy canes, pencils and toe-nail clippers, each of us found a ‘MATCHBOX’ Models of Yesteryear toy! Santa Claus had somehow discovered that we loved ‘MATCHBOX’. But Santa brought us these special ‘MATCHBOX’ that came in a bigger box and looked very much unlike the vehicles we saw on the street or at the neighborhood construction site. From that point on the Models of Yesteryear held a special place of magical Christmas reverence within our minds and on our collection shelves.
This Y-1 Allchin steam engine was the very first within the Models of Yesteryear range. Randy had one of these as a kid but I never did. Well, I filled a hole in my collection last month in Dayton. Call me silly or misguided but somehow it has warmed a corner of my heart with the Christmas spirit.
Whether it is around the manger, at the dinner table with your family, or with your Christmas stocking in your lap, my wish for you this Christmas is that you too will find once again that magical moment in which you are gifted with joy and awe and love. Season’s Peace!
Dr. Davis is especially good with kids. And his staff? Helpful, compassionate, and caring. They take care of business for you. Thumbs up. 10 on a scale of 5.