As we have mentioned several times, the Matchbox Gathering of Friends is only a couple of weeks away. Among many treats is the dinner presentation by Mattel, which outlines what is coming for the next year. They have already hinted at a 2015 premium line of almost all licensed models, and we have heard rumors of realism all around. We shall see.
The folks at Matchbox I am sure would love to see a little more excitement among collectors, and maybe some of the directions of 2015 will generate more. Collectors surely are clamoring for more things to get excited about.
The problem is of course the models chosen. Many unlicensed models, with a lot of over-the-top designs. Executions really hasn’t been the problem. When Matchbox wants to do a realistic model, they generally get it right. Look at models like the Seagrave Fire Engine, Dodge A100, and BMW 1M. Each of those models hearken back to a few years ago when Matchbox was easily making the most realistic $1 models around.
So while we lament the model choices and general direction, we at least get a reminder here and there that the orange team still has it. Case in point? The brand new Toyota Tacoma.
Just take a look. The model appears to be a perfect miniature version of the real thing. The team took the production limitations and made a gem. Sure, we wish it was just the Tacoma without the Lifeguard equipment, but it doesn’t bother us. Matchbox has to keep the “hero” theme, so it makes sense. But thank goodness it is on a licensed model, executed realistically. No oversized wheels or extreme proportions.
And there is detail. From the Toyota logo on the grill (something Hot Wheels didn’t do on their Tundra), to the texture on the rear bumper, the detail is there. In fact, let’s hearken back to the 3D print that was shared with us last year at the Gathering:
This is an early rendering, obviously a lot more delicate in detail than a normal Matchbox could be. But then take a look at the finished product:
Pretty amazing, eh?
This is a tremendous model, better than we expected. And let’s consider it a great sign that if Matchbox decides to go more realistic, the models will be fantastic. A total winner, and our favorite new Matchbox for 2014 so far.
Matchbox Toyota Tacoma (2014 New Models):