No More Small Packet Letter Post

Australia Post, the US Government, and to a lesser extent eBay, have essentially said “No More Small Packet Letter Post”.

The impact on RecoverToy is to remove our ability to cheaply send our low value toy car parts for a realistic cost outside of Australia.

In a nutshell, the USA Government have created a law that requires all inbound mail to the USA to have specific information about the contents of the packet supplied to the USA Customs and Border Protection Service prior to the packet leaving the originating country, in our case, Australia. Read more at

Australia Post, seizing the opportunity to stop small business in Australia from using letter post to send merchandise and make us use Parcel Post, have only developed a process for recording the required data for Parcels and not for small packet Letter post. Read more at

The end result of this is that all articles of merchandise from Australia to the USA and potentially other countries must be sent as parcels with a minimum cost of AU$25.00 regardless of the weight or value of the items. So a standard RecoverToy packet weighing 30grams (approx 1.5oz) and valued at AU$4.00 will cost AU$25.00 to post. Let alone the additional time processing the information with the woefully useless process Australia Post have implemented for the data capture.

Obviously, that is not a viable process. As a result we have had to:

  • suspend our RecoverToy_USA and RecoverToy_UK ebay stores from trading
  • remove all cheap international post options from our website store and eBay Australia store
  • modify the International Postage rates for our RecoverToy eBay Australia store.

The situation for any of our International customers is:

  • If you want to purchase only 1 or 2 items the postage cost will be excessive per item
  • If you want to purchase many items, then the postage cost per item will not be too bad and the more you purchase the cheaper the per item cost will be
  • All current orders will be reviewed and where practical the items will be delivered as a parcel, where this is not possible a refund will be issued.
  • Approximately 150 small packets posted in the period March 2021 to May 2021 have been returned to us today. Each of these will need to be back-traced to the order point and refunded.

At this time, we have no apparent options, although we are pursuing communication with Australia Post.

We will update this information as soon as anything changes.

Matchbox Thunderbird 2 Model Scale

Comparison of Matchbox and Dinky Toys versions of Thunderbird 2 Pod
Comparison of Matchbox and Dinky Toys versions of Thunderbird 2 Pod

Issued in the 1990’s the Matchbox Thunderbird 2 model scale is larger than the 1960s’ issue Dinky Toys model, and includes an out of scale Thunderbird 4 submarine.

In this side-by-side comparison, the left-hand pod and Thunderbird 4 are from the 1990 Matchbox model while the right-hand side is the Dinky Toys model 101 pod.

The Matchbox Thunderbird 4 is large and fills the entire pod door-way with the exhausts just fitting in the width and the tail fin scraping the top of the pod door frame.

The Dinky Toys model shows similar characteristics even though the pod and Thunderbird 4 are a smaller scale.

Measuring the difference between Matchbox and Dinky Toys  Thunderbird 4 versions.
Measuring the difference between Matchbox and Dinky Toys Thunderbird 4 versions.

Overall the measurements show that the Matchbox Thunderbird 4 is almost 50% larger than the Dinky Toys version. The Matchbox model being around 44mm compared to the Dinky Toys one at around 30mm.

Looking back at the television episodes, the width of the rails that extend from pod 4 to launch Thunderbird 4 into the water, are probably only half the width of the pod door.

Thunderbird 4 launches from pod.
Still shot from 1965 television episode of Thunderbirds.

This still-shot from an episode shows Thunderbird 4 is dwarfed by the pod as it runs down the rails.

With that in mind I swapped the Dinky Toys reproduction Thunderbird 4 with the Matchbox version in the larger pod and the scale looks a whole lot better. Ok, so why are they out of proportion? I’d take a guess that Matchbox looked at the size of their Thunderbird 2 and simply created a fit-to-container version of Thunderbird 4. It might also relate to the audience and making it too small might be a choking hazard for the young children in the target market.

Dinky Toys Thunderbird 4 with Matchbox Thunderbird 2 Pod
Dinky Toys Thunderbird 4 with Matchbox Thunderbird 2 Pod

From a display perspective and as an adult not prone to trying to swallow my Thunderbird models, I think the smaller Dinky Toys version suits the Matchbox model much better, even though it is probably still too big.

If your Thunderbird 2 is missing its Thunderbird 4, RecoverToy supplies the reproduction version as shown in the photo above. Order a Dinky Toys 101 or 106 Thunderbird 4 Submarine for Thunderbird 2