Beautifully engraved RARE specimen from the Universal Matchbox Group, Ltd.
dated in 1986. This historic document was printed by American Bank Note Company and has an
ornate border around it with a vignette of the company's logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company's President and Secretary and is over 30 years old.
In December 1982 Universal Group bought Matchbox Toys Ltd. and the marketing companies for France, Germany and Australia for 16.5 million pounds. In Hong Kong a holding company was formed for them, called Matchbox International Ltd. Later Universal Matchbox Group. Universal Matchbox Group Ltd. was made famous for making miniature car and truck toys which is now owned by Tyco.
Mr. David CW Yeh, born in Shanghai in 1929 and studied at St. John University in Shanghai.
Yeh came to Hong Kong in 1947 and set up the Universal International Group in 1964 where he still serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. In 1982, Yeh engineered the takeover of UK-based toy manufacturer, Lesney (Matchbox) Group. Those days, it was almost unthinkable for a Hong Kong based manufacturer in a British colony to take over a star enterprise in the UK.
In 1982, Yeh led the way by being the first to establish a sino foreign joint venture factory in the Minhang development zone in Shanghai. With the continuous opening up of China's economy, he shifted a significant portion of his investments to the mainland. In 1986, the Universal Matchbox Group became the first South East Asian company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and was ranked amongst the ten largest toy companies in the world.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com.
Specimen Certificates are actual certificates that have never been issued. They were usually kept by the printers in their permanent archives as their only example of a particular certificate. Sometimes you will see a hand stamp on the certificate that says "Do not remove from file".
Specimens were also used to show prospective clients different types of certificate designs that were available. Specimen certificates are usually much scarcer than issued certificates. In fact, many times they are the only way to get a certificate for a particular company because the issued certificates were redeemed and destroyed. In a few instances, Specimen certificates we made for a company but were never used because a different design was chosen by the company.
These certificates are normally stamped "Specimen" or they have small holes spelling the word specimen. Most of the time they don't have a serial number, or they have a serial number of 00000. This is an exciting sector of the hobby that grown in popularity and realized nice appreciation in value over the past several years.