There will be a lot of Matchbox to get to, now that we have details on what 2015 will look like. Nigel Cooper is working on his final Ambassador Report, and we will post it as soon as he releases it. After that, we will share some more pics that we were able to take of upcoming Matchbox models.
But even with all that, there is still a nice little batch of 2014 Matchbox that is hitting the pegs right at this moment. We have already featured the ’63 Mack B Fire Truck (and we have another to feature very soon), but there are several others in this nice-looking batch. And we should start with the return of the BMW X5 to the mainline.
It has been awhile. The X5 was everywhere in the Matchbox lines of the mid-2000’s, but slowly vanished. That makes sense considering the actual 1:1 X5 was updated, plus room was needed for new models in the Matchbox mainline.
But it is back, after showing up in the 60th Anniversary line, we now have it in the mainline. And there is more good news. It has been modified, and a pesky little problem with the casting has been fixed.
If you didn’t know, there are actually three different versions of the X5 casting. The first two are obvious: standard street version and police (with a light bar):
But there is one more, a street version with opening doors:
That is the hardest to find of the bunch. It was only used once, as part of a BMW promotion in Europe. It remains one of my favorite Matchbox models, and maybe we should profile it as one of the rare Mattel-era Matchbox models one of these days.
Clearly the opening-doors version is long gone, but we don’t know about the street version. The police version makes sense to use these days considering the direction Matchbox has taken. And frankly, a mid-2000’s X5 seems a little odd in the mainline if it didn’t have some other purpose, like being a police car.
Alright, back to this model. Here is why we know it has been modified. Take a look at the base:
It is hard to see, but at the top, you will see “2001, 2013 Mattel”. 2001 was the year the casting was first created, and 2013 the year it was modified. So what are the changes? The main change, and we are seeing this with many emergency Matchbox models, is that the light bar is now part of the window piece. Any other other aesthetic changes we don’t see, except for this:
Take a look at the driver-side front wheel on this previous version:
See how it sticks out? That is pushed in as far as it can go. What caused this to happen we have no idea, but as the mold aged, this problem got worse. It really hurt the look of an otherwise nice-looking casting.
Now take a look at the latest version:
It fits! Hooray! Yes, it is a minor detail, but those are the kind that can annoy you, and you wish they didn’t. But who cares? Problem solved.
So welcome back, newly refurbished X5. We are happy to have you here. And we welcome your next visit, sitting on real riders as part of the upcoming Supreme Heroes line in 2015. A nice revival.
(Find the Matchbox BMW X5 on ebay…)
Matchbox BMW X5 Police (2014 Mainline):