A message from the new Matchbox Ambassador, Nigel Cooper…

The new Matchbox Ambassador, Nigel Cooper, has just released his first message, and we wanted to make sure it gets posted here.  Nigel has decided to use the Lamley Group as his main method of distributing his reports, as I did last year.  

Once again, congrats to Nigel, and we look forward to his tenure.  His message is below this breathtaking photo of the current and former Ambassadors with the members of the Matchbox Design Team attending last weekend’s Gathering.  The screaming and adoring fans are just outside of the photo:

Left to right: Ambassador #3 David Tilley, Matchbox Design Manager Dave Weise, Matchbox Designer Michael Heralda, Ambassador #6 Chuck Wiersma, Ambassador #8 John Lambert, Current Ambassador Nigel Cooper, Ambassador #7 Shabbir Malik, Ambassador #2 Jim Gallegos
Dear Fellow Collector,
It was a great surprise to me to be offered the post of Matchbox Ambassador for the forthcoming year and I would like to thank all those people who have made it possible. I  hope that if I can do half as well as previous incumbents of this post, then it will be an achievement. I am relying heavily on previous Ambassadors for technical help but I will be pleased to hear from all collectors with suggestions, comments and complaints! I was heartened when I saw the list of email recipients to see so many familiar addresses and I look forward to corresponding with you. No method of communication will please all collectors but different groups and message boards have different systems and so I intend to use the John Lambert/David Tilley (LAMLEY) link that everyone can use to instantly read all information and look at photos of forthcoming models. I have been given this list as a start and I would ask that if you have contacts that you forward my introduction on to them please. Please send me details of any other collectors who you think should receive this introduction.

To those of you  who I have not yet had the pleasure to correspond with I think I should give you some indication of my “Matchbox” background, not least to show how passionate I am about Matchbox and how keen I am to help move the famous brand forward. 
I have been seriously collecting since the mid-1970s and was one of the earliest members of UK Matchbox magazine that started in 1977. I attended the Macungie Swapmeet and the Matchbox Conventions in the US from 1980. In 1985 the “Model Collector” magazine was launched. As I had written articles for Matchbox USA and UK Matchbox magazines, I was asked to be the resident writer for Matchbox models and I have held that role ever since. I write the Matchbox Price Guide which is a large section of the publication. In 1985 I was invited to visit the Thailand factory on behalf of Matchbox.

In 1988 the famous MICA publication, “Matchbox – The First Forty years” was published. I wrote much of the Early Lesney history and all of the regular wheel chapter. I visited Jack Odell and the Lesney factory several times and was even invited to Les Smith’s home to talk about Matchbox. In the past twenty years I was commissioned to write a detailed article in a Japanese magazine and I have written numerous articles for the MICA magazine, the MICA ebook and the MICA Annual as well as the Model Collector and Diecast Collector magazine. I have also written a price guide for Ramsey’s Model Car Price Guide. I currently market a CD with a comprehensive Superfast wheels listing of every known variation issued between 1969 and the present.

I realise that many decisions which are taken regarding Matchbox miniatures at Mattel are often the result of communication between many individuals and committees and often compromise is the order of the day. Long gone are the days when Jack Odell took all decisions regarding the range, sometimes on a whim, but they were decisive enough to give all of us a love of the brand and so many of the models. I can only pass on information and views both ways and know that my comments will be read by Dave, Michael, Andrew and the rest of the Matchbox team.

My views on a model will, for the most part, be just as forthright as yours and rest assured that I will convey opinion to the team. However, we have to remember that Matchbox Toys are just that – toys for children and the company exists to make a profit and serve its shareholders. Jack Odell continually told me that all collectors are mad. Maybe we are, but there is so much enjoyment to be shared as we enjoy this madness!

Kind regards to all of you

Nigel Cooper

12 Replies to “A message from the new Matchbox Ambassador, Nigel Cooper…”

  1. It is encouraging to me that Mattel has embraced a new Ambassador so deeply rooted in the early Matchbox history. Surely this speaks to their recognition of the importance of this history and those roots. Nigel, it was a genuine pleasure to make your acquaintance at the Albuquerque Gathering and I'll look forward to your reports throughout the year.

  2. It is wonderful to see such a dedicated collector become the new ambassador. Nigel and I go back many years and is without question a good choice for this position. Congratulations to you!!! John set the bar fairly high for reporting the news from Mattel. It's your turn to release the information any way you see fit. Good luck and we'll be in touch!! Collector…Larry Scaduto

  3. Congratulations on being named this year's Matchbox Ambassador! From reading your introduction, I know the job is in very capable hands.

    Corvair Jim

  4. Congrats to Nigel!
    A very astout collector, I look forward to his reports. Let's keep our favorite Brand in our hearts to promote the best it has to offer. Three cheers for Nigel!!!
    -Terry Ozima

  5. Congrats Nigel.

    Being the Matchbox Ambassador is the easy and fun part of this role. It's having to deal with us lunatic collectors that is actually the hard part.

    Good luck. 🙂

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