Milbro Lesney Bait press 1954/57

A useful and collectable little gadget came in this week.

The Milbro Lesney Bread Bait press was in production from 1954 to 1957. It is manufactured by the Matchbox Company from die-cast alloy. Standing a mere 5cm to the top of a winged screw, originally coloured red and green, later appearing in red and silver. It is the only non-automotive item Matchbox made at that time, all others were cars, i.e. model cars and related accessories.

I can recall approx. 30 years ago coming across an old card box of 40 of them in red and silver livery. They made a great display in my collection as I kept them all.

The press works by squeezing the air from a piece of bread so it can be used as a sinking compressed hook bait. This one is stamped Milbro Lesney, some are not and retains 80% + original paint. It’s a fully working example. Not a toy, and sought after today by Matchbox and tackle collectors.

I have seen mint boxed examples sell in the £200 bracket in the USA and the Holy Grail is the countertop display stand box for 12 presses, but personally I’ve never seen one.