The Matchbox 2016 Toy Fair GHE-O Rescue, and why you can’t just go get one at the store…

Find the 2016 Matchbox & Hot Wheels Toy Fair Models on eBay

Now this is more like it.

If there is one model that both Mattel brands go all out on, it is the Toy Fair Model.  The model they choose has to say a lot about the brand, and the deco has to grab the attention of Toy Fair attendees.  That many times makes Toy Fair models the pinnacle of any collection each year.  Provided you can get one.

Before I go on I should explain what the Toy Fair is.  There are many questions about it.  First off, it is not a Toy Show.  It is not a public event at all.  It is not held at a fair, and it is held for a very specific crowd.  Each September/October Mattel holds the Toy Fair on their property in El Segundo, California.  It goes on for a couple of weeks and involves tremendous preparation.

The attendees at the Toy Fair are buyers.  The toy aisle buyers for retailers.  That includes Walmart and every major retailer after.  These attendees show up and Mattel previews all the upcoming lines for 2016, hoping to convince these stores to carry them.  And it always helps to have something to give these buyers to take home, and why not make it the best brand-signifying model you can?

photo courtesy of Jay Kho

With intent to impress, this year Hot Wheels gave away a gorgeous Porsche 934 in gold, and Matchbox gave away the best Toy Fair model they have done in a couple of years, the GHE-O Rescue.

And that is why these models are so hard to get.  They are never available to public directly from Mattel.  The only way to get one is to hope one of the attendees decides to sell theirs, most likely on eBay.

We will be showing the Porsche soon, but today is Matchbox’s turn.  While I would love to see a model like the Tesla Model S or BMW M5 Police get the nod, the GHE-O Rescue was a fantastic choice for Toy Fair.  Matchbox is still about “Heroic Rescue”, and no model better signifies that than the GHE-O.  And it is especially refreshing because it is licensed.

Unfortunately the last two years Matchbox rolled out two unlicensed models for Toy Fair.  It was probably appropriate, considering all the drab unlicensed models Matchbox was putting on the pegs, but they surely were not generating excitement.

This time around they are.  For one, the brand looks so much better.  Retailers probably got to see the beautiful Best of the World line, as well as a bunch of better looking mainlines, instead of distorted generics.  The GHE-O, an over-the-top Rescue vehicle from Romania, was a nice departure from that.  It is not a model that I gave much thought to when it was announced, but once it hit the pegs a few months ago I was instantly sold.  A great model choice, and great execution.  It went from ignored to one of my best models of 2015.

And the Toy Fair looks great.

It is orange for Matchbox, but with a little spectraflame added in for flair.  There are details all over the place, and it sits on a box.  Yes, a box.  I am sure many of you would have liked to see this in a plexiglass case like the Hot Wheels Porsche, but the fact that this model is sitting on a box is significant.

Matchbox models used to always come in boxes, and in 2016 they will again.  In addition to the standard blister card, some retailers will also carry the new Power Grabs, which will be in entire mainline in boxes with individual artwork.  How bloody cool is that?  I still remember getting Matchbox in boxes, and this will take us back to those days.  I think that is the main reason this model is coming over a box instead of on a plinth.  I am glad for it.

I am more and more excited about where Matchbox is going.  Hopefully the retailers are as well.  There should be a lot coming that will fly from their shelves.  I hope the GHE-O helped convince them of that…

7 Replies to “The Matchbox 2016 Toy Fair GHE-O Rescue, and why you can’t just go get one at the store…”

  1. I'd probably drop this casting in the deepest end on the Pacific and when I take it back out again it'll come back still whole and good as new. Yeah that's how tough that BAMF of a vehicle it looks.

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