June 17 Matchbox Ambassador Update: New Turn Tamer and other sneaks…

Greetings collectors…

I must say I did enjoy previewing the BMW 1M last week.  It was fun for me to show off a new Matchbox model that for the most part received stellar reviews from collectors.  While everyone is surely entitled to their opinion, pleasing the masses was a nice experience.  And that is from me, the Ambassador, who had nothing to do with the selection, design, or execution of this model.  Those that were behind it were surely happy to see the response.  Nonetheless, I am as excited as most of you are about the BMW and can’t wait to see it on the pegs.

In other news we are now one month away from the Matchbox Collectors Gathering of Friends in Albuquerque.  I have reserved my room, planned the route with my daughters, blocked out some time to go see Walter White’s house, and even made the arrangements with Jim Gallegos to photograph the Event Models early so I can release the images as soon as they hit collector’s hands.  I have a hint as to what the models will be, and if I am correct, this event is a do-not-miss for sure.  Regardless of the models, the event has been well-planned, and there is a lot to look forward to.  I hope to see many of you there.

Now on with this week’s sneaks.  No, no BMW or equivalent this week, but there they are in all their glory, shown as always with permission from Mattel.

We have one new model to show this week, the MB894 Turn Tamer.  This is what Mattel was referring to earlier as the MBX Sedan.  It is the team’s own design, and meant to serve as an unlicensed option when a sedan/crossover is needed.  My guess is this won’t be terribly popular with collectors, but it surely serves its purpose within the Matchbox line:

Next up are a few more recolors for 2013.  You will notice the trend of clean, realistic decos continues, and I think the Land Rover Defender 110 will be popular with collectors.  Here they are:

Land Rover Defender 110

Express Delivery

Aqua King

Dodge Ram SRT10

That is it for this week.  I don’t have anything to tease this week, as my time in Dallas last week did not permit me to have my normal discussion with Mattel, but I am sure more sneaks will find their way to me this week.  So I look forward just as much as the rest of you to what we will see next Monday.

Until then…

13 Replies to “June 17 Matchbox Ambassador Update: New Turn Tamer and other sneaks…”

  1. While the Turn Tamer certainly shares a resemblance to the Local Motors Rally Fighter as I was going to mention, it falls short, had it actually been a licensed, accurate model, it would have been a home run!… Instead we're left with a sloppy plastic covered mess with a Nissan Maxima sunroof…?

    The Land Rover Defender 110 & the Delivery Van are great in my opinion. Even if SUVs & Delivery Vans aren't your thing these are proof that realistic decos/liveries can be had while also remaining bright and colorful so the appeal is there across all age ranges.

    Then we get to the Aqua King… Under its initial release this model was a GREAT example of a 'generic' model done right by Matchbox; believable water delivery company liveries, blue or green 'bottles' etc. & suddenly we have something in a hideous color combo, devoid of a realistic or at the very least amusing livery, and with 'MBX' plastered on the side that looks like it's to be found for free at the bottom of a cereal box versus something I'd gladly spend a dollar or two on.

    The Ram is equally sad, while I don't expect front & rear decos on everything, the side design could have at least been made worthwhile… and we see 'MBX' again. Hooray.

    With each release I further understand why avid Matchbox fans say the 2010 collection was the high point for high quality casting, designs, and variety since the birth of Matchbox… and then we fell off a cliff.

    Even with great castings like the BMW 1M & Dodge A100 I think the 2013 collection will be written off. I will retain a shred of optimism & hope for the 2014 collection…

  2. Defender is the only one defending the reputation of Matchbox as everything else goes up in flames created by the raging collectors. So, the Landy is the only one worth spending your money on (which is what I am going to do). Anyways, thanks for the report Johnny!

    – Black Wind, SwiftysGarage.

  3. Only the Land Rover for me! Nice to see the Dodge Ram SRT-10 again, but could have been given a MUCH BETTER paint job! – Matt Kerns, SwiftysGarage.

  4. The Land Rover is fine but it is just another color,try telling those bunch of spanners to give us a short wheelbase one for a change.The delivery van is good as a toy for a toddler even better if it has rear opening door but that is more Siku thinking not the spanners from Mattel.Overall not bad for toys for the toddlers.


  5. Dear Bean Counters of Mattel – just the other day, I was cleaning the inside of our vintage Porsche 356, where I discovered two quarters basking in the back luggage area.
    I thought to myself, lucky me! That same day, I handed off a pair of pants to the washing machine, and some loose change made itself known. By mid-day, I managed to find 85 cents just lying around. The money wass thrown into one of those jars where many of us accumulate a little extra wealth.
    Now, Bean Counters, here's the thing. You could have had my .85 and maybe a little more. All you had to do was make the delivery van body out of this stuff we call “metal.”
    Once you finish scratching your heads and furrowing your brows, you might note I am not complaining about the graphics. On this van they look good, although it's not entirely clear what that symbol is (It looks more like a warning symbol – scary stuff). Nor am I complaining about it's generic status. The proportions and design are believable. It all gets down to the body, and you blew it.
    Like the body of my classic Porsche 356, giver of .50 cents, a real delivery van is made from “metal.” If you made this model out of metal, rather than cost-cutting it's soul away, I would have gladly paid the normal $1.09 PLUS the extra .85 cents I found by happenstance. You'd have so much money to count, your jobs would be secure.
    But, for some reason Mattel, you insist on lowering the quality rather than raising the price a little.
    It looks like my new friends will be the bean counters at Siku, Autoworld, and M@. No doubt, they will be such good friends that we'll probably all go out for drinks. I will be celebrating my new models that they produced, and they will be celebrating the money I pay them for these models.

    But let's move on.
    Was there a corporate edict claiming that all generic models had to be named with two words, both starting with the same first letter? If so, that goes a long way to explaing this weeks generic, the Turn Tamer. I'm not exactly what turns this is going to tame with that high center of gravity. I'm not entirely sure how the occupants can contort their spines into the right shape to get inside. What I am sure of is that this hyper-stylized looking thing will not make it into my collection. I'm tired with all the 4x4s, and a generic 4×4 is that much worse.

    The one tiny ray of light is the Defender 110. The colors and graphics are good, and even though plastic is slowly consuming more and more of this model, it still looks like a Matchbox.
    How you managed to pull that off is a bit of an enigma, but thanks nonetheless.


  6. as an emergency vehicle model collector i tend to bite my tongue when it comes to other collecting areas but i have to say that new turn tamer is absolutely bland. everything else is fine (even the crazy colored water truck, kind of wish they'd do something that'd glow in the dark for kids play value) but that new casting is very bland. who ever it is at the matchbox end that keeps coming up with these crazy 4×4 type models needs to relax and take a chill pill. couldn't they have come up with a sedan that doesn't look like it's about to take on the jungle? i'm starting to feel the pain the regular collectors are feeling.

  7. The Land Rover is the winner of the bunch. I agree with most of the responses. It is better to raise the cost for a model than continuing the downward spiral with adding more plastic. Matchbox used to be synonymous with realism and quality. I am afraid generics and plastic bodies with metal bases do not qualify as realism or good quality. Increase the price of each model if you have to maintain the quality that one would expect from a Matchbox toy.

  8. As per usual the Land Rover takes it for me, this has to be one of the best models within the Matchbox range, it is so life like, as for the rest, well they will remain hanging on pegs or in dump bins, I like others have said, hope with all my being that 2014 has some semblance of decent models.

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