June 3rd Matchbox Ambassador Update: New Road Raider & other sneaks…

Greetings collectors…

June is here, my kids are out of school, and the countdown has begun to the 10th Annual Matchbox Collector’s International Gathering of Friends on July 19-21 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Once again, members of the Matchbox Design and Marketing Teams will be there to hobnob with collectors and give us an idea of where the brand is headed for 2014.  The exclusive models are done, and promise to be doozies this year.  Those who are attending, plan on being the envy of many when you return with the exclusives.

There is a lot more in store, and event organizer Jim Gallegos has told me this will be the best event yet.  I personally am looking forward to seeing many old friends there, and hope many new collectors can make it.  It is not too late to sign up and attend, just check out the info here.  For those of you who can’t attend, I promise to pass along a full Ambassador Report on the news and festivities.  (And look for the first images of the exclusives here on the Lamley Blog as well.)

Moving on, who here has seen the new Fast & Furious 6?  Many of you are aware that Matchbox’s blue friends across the hall are doing some very popular Fast & Furious models to help promote the movie.  Well after seeing this, it looks like Matchbox UNOFFICIALLY and inadvertently has done a Fast & Furious model of their own.  The Rock’s character zips around London in an International MXT-MVA, just like the one Matchbox is introducing to the basic range this year, which we previewed earlier:

So no, this is not a Fast & Furious promotion, but not bad timing.  We should see this model very soon…

Now let’s get on with the sneak peeks, courtesy of Mattel.

We have one new model to show this week.  Say hello to the MB895 Road Raider, Matchbox’s newest police vehicle.  This model, Matchbox’s own creation, was done to compliment the recent SWAT Truck.  And you may notice two members of the Road Raider Police Force in the back of the truck.  Yes, that’s Rover and Spot in the back, hitching a ride to their next assignment:

Next up, one of my personal favorite Matchbox castings.  I have always been a fan of the Audi R8, and am very happy to see this model return to the range.  The licensors at Audi are, appropriately, sticklers on what the R8 looks like in miniature, especially in regards to the side blades.  They would like to see the blades highlighted, which can complicate things for the normal deco process on the Matchbox basic version.  So it was a bit of a surprise to see it back, as the team has figured out a way to get the blades printed along with the front detailing.  This version comes in blue, like the 10-pack version from a few years ago, with the much better looking 5-spoke wheels:

Lastly, the ever-popular Desert Thunder V16.  At last count, there are over 30 different versions of the Desert Thunder since its debut in 2007.  If you count wheel and deco variations it goes much higher.  So let’s add another, and to be honest this has to be one of its better looking versions.  A seriously cool deco, no matter what you might think of the model:

That is it for this week.  Seven more weekly updates before I relinquish my duties as Ambassador.  I will try to make all seven count.  Next week’s will not disappoint, as an ultimate driving machine plans on making an appearance.

Until then…

16 Replies to “June 3rd Matchbox Ambassador Update: New Road Raider & other sneaks…”

  1. The Audi looks good in full tampos for once, and the shade of blue is very nice.

    The International MXT will be a good companion to the Oshkosh M-ATV, for those into military vehicles. Especially when/if the Osh is released in desert camo.

    Skip the Boston Police Gestapo truck.
    I like the Desert Thunder, and the colors of this release too – I suppose I could warm up to the orange wheels. I look forward to seeing what BMW is planned.

    Full Flaps! on HobbyTalk and DieCast SpeedZone.

  2. I really love that R8. Finally in years, a proper European supercar is going in my collection. The Desert Thunder is looking very nice as well in that deco but not sure if I'll buy it. And after just watching F6, I'm gonna buy the International just for the movie. I can't say much about the new Road Raider as its not my cup of tea. Again, thanks for the heads up and pic!

    – Black Wind, SwiftysGarage.

  3. Love the R8, shoud make the Le Mans Verson (AUDI R8 ULTRA )whith rear wing, the desert thunder is going to my colection but i would like to the see one 6×6 version of this desert truck
    Best regards
    Oscar – Portugal

  4. Might I add that this year will be the 11th annual Gathering, not the 10th as stated above. That is, unless one year didn't count.

  5. Mattel, it looks like you will get $1.09 from me this year. I'll buy the Audi, and I certainly will enjoy it. In the past, Mattel, you earned two to three-hundred of my dollars per year. You, if you recall, made some really nice models like the Bentley, or the VW Caddy. But, for whatever reason, you thought I liked gobs of plastic. I don't recall saying I did, but hey. You also must have thought I was pining for the days of Hero City, so you bestowed upon me models like the Road Raider in all it's globby-blobby generic glory.
    Mattel, you got me all wrong.
    I like models of real cars and trucks. I like even coats of paint, and if I must be brutally honest, I really don't care much for plastic unless it's in a PVC-ish form, shuttling water throughout my house (as much as I love metal, the lead and brass pipes don't make a lot of sense).
    And, neither does a plastic Matchbox car.
    As for the International MXT-MVA, it looks quite nice on first glimpse. Alarmingly, the windows are painted on. If this is a pre-production model, and translucent windows are on the way, we'ree good, bro. But I will make a leap of faith here and say painted windows are yet another cost-cutting smack in the teeth for the collectors. If the body is plastic, we won't be surprised, Mattel. It wont be the first time you broke our heart, and it probably wont be the last.


  6. Very well stated 66alfa, it gets very tiring of repeating the same thing and no one hears. There is way to many plastics and generics in the past two lines. Mattel needs to wake up pay for licensing and move forward. Put out a Benz put the little sticker on it and get on with it! The quality or lack there of is beginning to really look like the end of MB the prestigious and more like how cheap can we go. My last comment on the whole plastic and generic blunder they keep dishing out to the loyal collector. As long as we keep buying they'll keep shoveling. It's time to make them choose. No matter how much I like a model I think it's time I hold back and stop. I deserve no we deserve more from Mattel.

  7. All the Matchbox sneak peeks feature pre-production versions that are pretty much exactly what will be issued, but they are stamped with serial numbers for in-house purposes. I'm sure JTL could elaborate more. The serial numbers seen here in promo shots will NOT be on the final versions of any car.


  8. Is there any significance to the deco on the Desert Thunder? Does it relate to something in real life? not sure i understand what the barb wire is for?

    I wish they would put out more racing/rally decos for it instead…

    The R8 is always welcome. 🙂

  9. The Audi does look great but I am dying to get my hands on a couple of those Military International MXT MVA's…. or maybe even 20 of them. 🙂

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