Honestly it is hard to say why it is, but Matchbox at its best is always more exciting to me than Hot Wheels at its best. And I don’t mean better. Just more exciting.
I am biased towards Matchbox. I collected both brands as a kid, but I liked the feel and look of Matchbox so much more. I rarely get nostalgic about those models, but I do remember my favorite being the bright blue Porsche 928. I have no idea where that specific model is now, but it sticks in my mind as my favorite. Maybe one day I will buy another and take some pics.
I little later on I remember getting the Hot Wheels version of the Nissan 300ZX, a car I was obsessed from the first time I saw it. I liked the Hot Wheels version in maroon. Until I saw the Matchbox version in yellow. I knew I liked Matchbox better, and over and over my little car collection reflected that.
I say all that because Matchbox has always excited me the most. My favorite Matchbox models are more special to me than my favorite Hot Wheels. And that is not a diss of Hot Wheels. I have quite a few favorites among the blue brand, including the Gran Torino, Kenmeri, BMW 2002, and Porsche 934, and am as giddy as the rest of you for series like the upcoming Car Culture.
But when Matchbox hits a home run, it just lands a little deeper. It is probably rooted in the nostalgia, but there is more too it. I root for Matchbox. They have gone from the brand we grew up with to the little brand that could. Hot Wheels is now the juggernaut, with the enormous budget and the full support of a massive corporation. They don’t need any help. Matchbox is the little brother now, getting redefined by a new group who appreciates the heritage and looks to the future. They threw out the rulebook and are tirelessly working to make the brand more exciting. And they are doing that by pushing realism again.
As it used to be, the sports cars they do look like they belong in car shows and on the street. The pickups look like they belong on construction sites and farms. The police cars look like they belong in the median of the highway facing opposite directions as their drivers have a chat. I could go on. Matchbox reflects what I see.
And when I see a BMW 1M, which isn’t very often, I stop in my tracks. And when I saw the upcoming Matchbox Best of the World 1M, I did the exact same thing.
Top Gear famously highlighted how the real BMW 1M is a hodgepodge of BMW leftovers. Pieces from other cars were added to create a car that they loved. That can be said for the Best of the World series. The ten castings being used already exist, and the wheels are leftovers from the now-defunct Supreme Hero line. But the folks at Matchbox are taking all of that and releasing their first premium line in awhile. For collectors.
Sure, the wheels can look a little too “tready”, but look at the models as a whole and it will bother you less and less. It is all the detail that is the highlight, the complete package, and nothing reflects that more than the BMW.
I have loved this casting since its release, and would probably say it is my favorite Matchbox casting if I had to name one. And this Best of the World version is a complete stunner. You need to look at the photos closely. The deco mirrors the detail on the wheels. The thin orange line separates the matte black from the gloss. The carmel interior is rich.
The design was done by Miguel Lopez (@devilminer), and I remember him telling me, before wandering off to Spain, that this is one of his favorite decos he ever did. Ya think!?! It is stunning. Incredibly clean. Crisp as a mountain morning around here.
I haven’t met a Matchbox 1M I didn’t like, but this one is on another level entirely. I am proud of my pics, but these don’t do it justice. Wait until it hits stores. I dare you to try and not pick it up and take it home. This is Matchbox at its best, and it feels good to say it…