Matchbox/Lensey D-Type jaguarMatchbox cars. We collected them. We played with them. We loved them. Heck, a lot of us still do. And over the weekend, the man responsible for making these simple, inexpensive pleasures a reality passed away. Jack Odell was 87 years old.

The inspiration for the Matchbox car came after he created a miniature toy steamroller that fit inside an actual matchbox for his daughter. Odell was co-owner of Lesney Products, which subsequently began manufacturing and selling the miniature toys to the public, and the rest is history. Many of our fondest childhood memories can ultimately be traced back to Mr. Odell's creation. We are eternally grateful, and may he rest in peace.

[Source: Wall Street Journal via Telstar Logistics via Jalopnik]