One of the hightlights of the Matchbox Collectors International Gathering of Friends is the charity auction held after the dinner. Many people donate items to the auction, and Mattel always brings some unique items from the Design Center. The preproduction models they bring always garner a ton of interest, and watching the bidding wars erupt is always a treat. I was fortunate to win my second Matchbox prepro this year, and I will feature it soon.
Before these models went up for auction, I was granted special access to photograph them. In the coming days I will do several posts displaying these unique models.
If you are wondering what these preproduction models are, here is the explanation from Dave Weise, the Matchbox Die Cast Design Manager:
“Regarding the Auction pre pro samples, the team reviews each new casting at various stages of the tooling development before the final model arrives at retail.
Some may or may not be assembled so that we can review the parts. These are checked for fit defects and correctness of detail. They usually never have the final texture, paint or engraving because these details have not been finalized at this early stage.”
Once these models have been inspected, they are usually thrown in a drawer for future reference. Oh, to have access to that drawer…
Anyway, if they are no longer needed to keep the drawer occupied, they make exceptionally unique collector’s items.
Part 1: Matchbox VW Saveiro (riveted) and 1971 Pontiac Firebird Formula (unriveted):
Many times the color of the diecast body, windows, and base is random. It is what was available. And sometimes that random color makes for a cool looking model. The Saveiro is a great example. When the model was announced, Brazilian collectors were so excited to see the final product. There was some disappointment, however, when the first version appeared not as a stock street version, but one with wild side tampos and no front or rear detailing. Well, this prepro gives a certain sense of what could have been – A plain yellow Saveiro: