In the coming weeks we will be doing a series here on Lamley featuring many of the Matchbox models that debuted between the years of 2005-2011. It was a magical time for Matchbox, where the designers were cranking out fantastic casting after fantastic casting, including many replicas of cars not as well-known in the US. The series we will be doing will also feature background on each model from Felix Holst, who ran the Matchbox brand at that time, and whose last position was heading up the entire Wheels Division at Mattel.
Felix talks highly of those times, calling that group of designers at Matchbox “diecast pirates” who turned the orange brand around while showing the blue brand how to produce models with a global appeal. He said “the legacy of that team is far more than just the MBx models they produced.”
He is totally right. While Hot Wheels was focused on muscle and strangely-tooned models at the time, Matchbox was producing cars from all kinds of eras and all corners of the world. Italy, Japan, Germany, Great Britain, Australia, Brazil, France, and on and on.
As the direction of each brand changed, we have seen that global approach shift to Hot Wheels. The output of globally-focused models has been nothing short of impressive, with classic Euro and JDM models well represented. But that legacy remains with Matchbox. We would not see these models from Hot Wheels today if that Matchbox team had not had the amount of success they did churning out such unique and well-executed models. It is no surprise that when Hot Wheels releases a model like the ’63 Aston Martin DB5, “That should have been a Matchbox!” is the predominant observation.
That golden era of Matchbox clearly had a heavy influence on Mattel, whether it is the orange or blue brands. And nothing is indicative of that heritage than the brand new Hot Wheels ’70 Ford Escort RS1600.
This the first image of the Escort loose, and say it with us: “This should have been a Matchbox!” We will go more in-depth on this one when we have it in hand, but this looks to be a gem. Sure, the main reason we have this model in the mainline is because it was used in the Fast & Furious franchise, but seeing it on a Hot Wheels card is really not a surprise these days with so many similar models already produced. And its execution appears to be as good as any Hot Wheels model we have seen in awhile.
Sure, some will complain of the chrome interior, but we will take that any day if it means chrome detailing on the exterior. Considering the 4-piece only limitations, this model is pretty remarkable.
We can’t wait to see it in person, and even more, we are looking forward to the rumored premium version in the Retro Entertainment line. Let’s hope that happens…
20 Replies to “Yep, the Hot Wheels ’70 Ford Escort RS1600 is pretty rad…”
I have the original corgi juniors Ford Escort and Ford escort Mexico but one thing is sure… This hot wheels is pretty damn good and i will by a lot of them!
You can see the corgi juniors here and compare:
This should have been a Matchbox! No, seriously. This Escort had Matchbox written all over it. And if it was really made by Matchbox, I think the brand would rise in popularity like a wildfire and for two very obvious reasons – 1) Its a 'cult' car and has a strong and loyal fan base and 2) It was driven by Paul Walker in Fast & Furious 6. So Fast and Furious fans as well as Paul Walker fans would be ALL OVER this model. So even if the buyer is not a collector like us, he would still buy this model simply because it is an FF hero and particularly because it was driven by Paul Walker. That alone makes it a hot seller (and Matchbox needs some hot cars right now)
But since that has not happened, we may as well just accept that HW's done that and done it rather well. The casting looks spot on, the color is good, wheel choice is good and I can live with the chrome interior. On other note, are those front spot lights part of the window piece? Looks like it. And I'm not fond of that. Looks a bit cheap. But I suppose thats what you expect for a $1 model.
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now thats one brilliant Matchbox, what ? nooooo, serious, its not a MBX, you're joking, really, oh well, Now thats one brilliant umm, Hot Wheels, I really hope that we get this in the UK, as, afterall, it was a UK based car, and started the now decades run of Ford selling more cars in the UK than ANY other brand for 50+ years.
This would look totally awesome in Yellow, and White and blue, like a swap around of the above colours.
it is getting harder and harder to get decent new HW;s and MBX, and that's just rubbish, if they would just sort out the distribution, they would shift millions of models but they just seem to be not bothered.
I would buy each case as they came available just to get the ones i want and then eBay the rest, but I can't even do that, unless anyone can help…..
Just msg me via here……
Matchbox would have done it better…
This has to be the deconstruction of MB. Honestly this is a car that is what MB represented for so many years. HW took MBs legacy and ran with it so where dose that leave MB? I said this a long time ago, Mattel is destroying MB this is just another sign of it. Sure their putting out the Heros premium line but that is really set up for failure. Yes it will sell but the units that are going to be needed for a successful outcome will be short. Now think for a minute, all the castings that HW has hijacked from the Orange line. MB would be very competitive had Mattel let MB do so. Mattel only bought MB to run it into the ground. Sure they are making great construction and emergency vehicles but MB also made some great cars. Where are the great cars. Mattel prove your not destroying a great name in diecast and put MB back on the front line. MB has taken a back seat to HW for to long now! Both brands can coexist and be profitable so do the right thing. HW has never been a brand that has stole other brands designs. Now a days that is all you see from Corgi to Majorette to MB. HWs has used castings from them all. HWs was always a brand known for its unbelievable design teams that came up with great castings. HWs designs are becoming so trashy they sit on pegs. Mattel its time to take a look back and see what both these brands were and recreate the magic!
Just get them on the pegs here in Germany. Hot wheels getting harder to find every year. Matchbox is a rarity. I would love to collect more but it's just impossible!
Looking good, will probably be a hit among customizers like the Civic has been.
I'd love to believe everything you said about global car culture influence John, I'd really like to. But bringing it up while talking about this car is just wrong, maybe naive, even. HW made this car because it appeared in the F&F movie, because HW has had tremendous sales from it's F&F series. Same with the Aston Martin, because James Bond, because Retro Entretainment series, Because TV Wheels instead of Hot Wheels.
Rubbish,pure nonsense as Matchbox would have ruined it with a shitty unrealistic colour scheme,close Matchbox down with immediate effect as not fit for purpose.This casting will become a customisers dream car.
Hopefully I'm wrong – but does it have a plastic body? The shine on photo says, on my monitor, that it may do.
Hoping I'm wrong. Great looking model – plastic or metal body.
Nice feature and cool that you got Felix for some background information! And this one is definitly going in my collection, my dad used to race one in his rally days!
You're the one talking nonsense. Matchbox knows how to make a licensed car and there are many cars that Matchbox has done better than Hot Wheels. And don't dare you talk about closing Matchbox down. They still do some amazing models which people are willing to buy. You're just sounding like a wanker Hot Wheels fanboy.
Any word on when this is coming out?
This would've been better as a Matchbox, if both companies made the same model, Matchbox would win me over every time, their castings are always crisper, cleaner and realistic. Sadly, looks like the front fog lights suffered the Hot Wheels fate and are part of the windshield piece.
My guess is metal, HW usually keeps their real car replicas metal bodied where the fantasy models tend to be plastic, as a customizer you pick up on that kind of stuff.
Thanks for backing me up. You basically said every single thing I always say. Are you sure you didn't just copy+paste one of my other comments?
Lol, no. Have always loved matchbox over hot wheels, even their fantasy vehicles look more realistic than HW. There's always going those people that will only buy HW, nothing else, all I can say to them is you guys are missing out on some great castings.
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