Matchbox Ambassador Nigel Cooper has just released the latest Matchbox Update:
Ambassador Report 9
What a strange world we live in when a standard issue model, the BMW 1M attracts double figure bids and shoots up to $52 within a few hours of listing and eventually sells for $92 (£56.83) with a massive 34 bids on a well known auction site. This was not a one-off, for the same dealer in Kansas re-listed and 17 bids attracted a final price of $90 (£55.60), for a second example. As I write this report, a third model has a bid of $49.99 (£30.88). Were these bidders to check, they could find a Buy It Now for just $2.45 (£1.50) for a similar BMW 1M in the same bronze-orange colour.
I checked with Dave Weise at Matchbox and he confirmed below that this model is a standard, worldwide model that will be available everywhere. If we look beyond the “Must-have-it” now attitude, we know that the Dump Dozer, for example, would not have attracted such wild bidding for a new model. Does this show that when a realistic, new model car is released, considerable interest is generated, not just from Matchbox collectors, but from thematic collectors as well? Or is this just an American phenomenon?
ME: It seems as if you will have to produce more new cars!!!
MATTEL: This is just hype when a new model first appears. Buyers beware as they say. We are glad that collectors approve of this casting but common sense dictates that with some patience, anyone can get this model at the regular low retail price.
Yesterday I was arranging models from the 2004 Superfast range in a cabinet. All models were authentic miniatures of real cars and all were in the then current Matchbox range or recently withdrawn and this series continued into the next four years. It made me think that these enhanced models must have sold well and been popular with collectors, for whom they must have been intended. It is a sad fact that 2014 will see no models targeted specifically at collectors. Though this may well be Mattel policy for next year, it would nevertheless be very difficult to find 75 authentic miniature cars to be members of such a set today, such has been the change of direction in recent years. As collectors, we can only look forward to what 2015 may bring.
ANSWERS FROM MATTEL
1. The Miura is always a bright spot in the Matchbox line up with correct proportions, wheels and colouring. If Hot Wheels did one it would surely not compare. I would love to see a future Miura done in white or red with gold wheels and side skirts as a very attractive option on the original.
We plan to do as many colours as possible for the Miura.
2. Is it possible to find out what the other 4 models in the exotics 5 pack will be? I hope dearly it will be 4 more licensed? (I would like to suggest genuine European sports cars! I strongly suggest the Matchbox Porsche 914 in a silver or ivory white re-colour be included if at all possible! The 914 owners community currently has a thread 1400+ posts long and over 3 years in the making devoted to just the Matchbox Porsche 914 so that a 5 pack would be a surefire sellout with the right cars.)
Yes there will be 4 more licensed sports cars which will include the: VW W12 concept, Corvette ZR1, Lotus Exige & BMW Z8.
3. Can we see the Miura in matt red and the Dodge Charger in matt black? I would like to see more matt colours used in the range.
It is possible but probably not with the Miura.
4. Some of the play sets have photos on their boxes that show cars not in the main line. In particular I have noticed a tiny image of the Sahara Survivor with a solid bluish-green paint job and plain black plastic parts. The Sahara Survivor is a great casting, and the working shocks are always a top consideration for me. Is there a chance we might see this livery for sale?
5. The first four liveries of the Sahara Survivor fit the casting very well, and looked good. I haven’t been as excited about the two more recent ones (the white/maroon one and the black/orange one), but I’d like to see the model available again. Will that happen?
We will continue to use the Sahara Survivor. The next colors are TBD
6. I finally have the Dodge A-100 in hand. It’s a great model. I’m looking forward to many future releases of it, and I’m curious to see what other liveries it gets.
So are we.
7. Looking at the list of five packs I can’t help but notice that 4 of those sound like emergency vehicle type packs (Crime Squad, Fire Command, Rescue Duty, & Sea Rescue). Does that mean that 1/3rd of the five packs are going to be emergency related?
Yes: although we refer to these as heroic.
8. Can the Matchbox website be formatted similar to the Hot Wheels website, with a list of the models that have been released so far?
The team is still considering ways to make the Matchbox experience on the web better.
9. Besides the UFO Mission Force set, can you tell us the name of the final set and the constitute models?
I believe that in addition to the UFO pack, the construction pack is yet to be released.
Vehicles in the construction pack will include:
Blade Force SB100
RWR Excavator (RW028)
MB536 3 Axle Dump Truck
Mission Chopper SB64
10. The cooler Models like the Seagrave happen to be, the more difficult they are to find. Yellow for the Seagrave Pumper is an excellent choice. White would be a great next color. I am hoping we see it in a dark forest green too. Why are there not more Seagraves and Buicks in each box????
11. Often there is only one authentic model in a box but three of the generic models and the more desirable models disappear from the shops before I get there.
You need to get there sooner.
12. Could the Brush Fire Truck in your warehouse not be sold to collectors with all proceeds going to a charity????????
13. In response to the remarks about not using actual liveries on the emergency vehicles. Mattel already has an “in” with some fire departments they have worked with in the past. I am pretty confident some of the contracts are still good, so are the opportunities still there?
Whenever possible, Matchbox will continue to use real liveries on some emergency vehicles where applicable. Opportunities are still there in some instances and the team will continue to explore new opportunities as well.
14. (This question referred to two photos provided by collectors to the Lamborghini Gallardo in Police liveries on real cars shown in the UK and Italy.) These are real liveries. Can we see them in the Matchbox range, please?
This is a new 2014 tool called the Terrainiac which was first shown at The Gathering in New Mexico. This is the first look fully decorated. It will also have a removable bed cover.
This next one was also shown at The Gathering in July. It is the Blockade Buster Tank which will have a rotating turret.
Your views are welcome on these two new additions to the range. I include below some photos of pre-production regular wheel models with detachable parts for added play value. In addition, there is a military model that was planned for the Rola-Matics range, but never reached the final stage and three colour trial military models for you to make some comparisons with the new models for 2014.
I have had no success in locating the last Real Working Rigs to complete my collection. I wonder whether you have had the same problems? I think that Mark Jones from the Matchbox team should be congratulated on his designs for this series, particularly the early ones and those that were of models not generally seen, but were authentic nonetheless. I understand that Mark is now using his talents on the Creature series but I hope that one day the Real Working Rigs might be resurrected and Mark could design further models for this excellent series.
Nigel Cooper October 21st 2013