It was Matchbox Mayhem at the Mattel Store a week ago…

I have wanted to show these pics for the last week, but a busy schedule got in the way.  But here we go…

Some of you are lucky enough to be near a Mattel Toy Store, and of those of you that are, I think most are in Southern California.  And of those of you who keep track of these things, you know that the Mattel Store had a huge sale a weekend ago.

Instagram was littered with photos of collectors lucking out on all kinds of goodies, finding them for super cheap.  There was a lot to be had, but it seemed that the stuff being gobbled up the most was Golden Era Matchbox.  Collectors like @calininja81 and @hw_jay went bargain bonkers, scooping up all kinds of orange brand goodies.

Mid-morning that Saturday, my phone started buzzing as an influx of photos starting flowing in.  My good friend HW_Jay was in the parking lot of the Mattel Store, where the sale was taking place, and was sending over photos of a diecast paradise:

See?  Imagine walking into that?  I would not know where to start.  Within 5 minutes I would be hovering in the corner in the fetal position mumbling that is was too much.  But Jay managed things wonderfully.  After maneuvering the stand-alone displays, he dove right into this mess:

Carded Matchbox on top, sealed cases below.

And these castings were no slouches.  As you have seen in some of my Golden Era Unboxing videos, most models from this era were licensed.  Jay even had enough time to do a rapid Case Report:

Of course I was going nuts too, telling Jay to pick up models like the blue Raptor, white Insight, and red Mazda 2.  And I wasn’t alone.  Other friends of Jay were asking for models too.  Our text thread blew up.  Supercool and super-patient Jay kept obliging.

The 5-packs were next.  Yeah, there were a few of us who asked for one or two or twelve:

Pretty soon Jay just turned off his phone and had at it himself.

$.40 each.  I would buy that many too.  Jay made a lot of collector friends happy that day.

He still wasn’t done:

Inside the store, the hard-to-find Dodge Charger Police Mission Force pack, much cheaper than the $11.99 I see them going for.

I think I learned two things from that Saturday.  First, if the Mattel Store is having a sale, go.  Second, don’t tell your friends.  They will deplete the battery on cell phone in minutes.

A lot of those models are coming my way, and it was very cool of Jay to do that.  As cool as that is, just seeing what Jay got to rummage through made it for a great day indeed.  He let me share these pics, and I think they may interest a few of you.  See you all at the next Mattel Store Sale…

(Thanks Jay.)

14 Replies to “It was Matchbox Mayhem at the Mattel Store a week ago…”

  1. I live by the one in Fort Worth and while I wasn't able to go to the sale this year, I have been to numerous ones over the years. The deals can be insane. One year they had most of the 1/18 Elite models marked down from $90-120 down to $20 each. I bought all the ones I didn't have yet for me, a bunch for friends, and bought a few dozen to resell and didn't even make a dent in how many they had. I also still have several boxes full of various Retro Entertainment and Pop Culture cars that I bought for wheel donors at $1 each.

  2. this is absolute garbage news. I had no way of knowing. Would have been nice to take get some of the mathbox I missed from yesteryear. oh well…sucky thing is I follow some of those guys and asked just to get shined on.

  3. “Golden Era” is a term that should be reserved for the Lesney line from the middle to late 1960s. This is not a comment of nostalgia – it's when the product was at its best in quality and innovation.

  4. The Mattel store does often mark things down randomly where you wouldn't know unless someone told you, but the big sales like this are heavily advertised. They send emails and text messages, advertise it on their website, and if the other locations are like mine also advertise it in the paper and Mail flyers to those within a certain radius. The point of the article isn't to advertise the sale but highlight the fun most collectors would have when faced with that huge an inventory.

  5. Mattel stores I guess just for special people. Kind of wished I didn't get on tonight. This stuff ticks me off a little bit. I've been supporting this brand Mattel in general for years this makes me sick! I ask myself WHY do I come ntinue to line Mattel's pockets and get nothing in return? If you don't see anything wrong here then your one of the fortunate ones who get to attend these. This is really a bit disappointing, between stuff like this and no access to new product it is really starting to make me feel disrespected as a life long supporter of Mattel. I go out like many other collectors and spend hard earned money on Mattel product. There should be a way for guys like me to be able to enjoy benefits like this! I'm not begrudging anyone who had the pleasure of attending and capitalizing on the savings but what about the diehard collectors who don't have these outlets? I mean I know I have laid my wrath upon them but only because I'm passionate for the hobby. I gave up Treasure Hunts a long time ago because the access was just a pain in @$#! This is something different, I've been taking long trips on days off from a job that kicks my backside for what? In most cases I find maybe 1 or 2 casts that I have been looking for and that's blue cards. Orange is getting like Treasure Hunts used to be. I spend days off carting my wife around (who is a great supporter of my hobby) when I could be spending that hard earned money on her for putting up with it! You I scathed them before here and someone posted back that I should take it easy on them. Well I'm traveling 50-100 miles from home most times for nothing and then get on this site to see this. It kind of irks the hell out of me when I think of the time the gas and life I'm wasting here. I believed they were listening I urged friends to email Target FOR WHAT!? This is BS don't even think there is a Mattel store in the tri state area near Philadelphia Pa. I mean come on this is like laughing in some of our faces! If there were a Mattel store up here I would just go there and try and find what I'm looking for! Really I don't believe that you feel this is not a slap in the faces of many collectors! I'm starting to hear all the nay sayers the ones who say they don't care at Mattel. You guys at Lamely probably don't see it that way because you have access to everything. Wow never thought I'd say this but I think I just come to the realization that the hobby may have just come to an end for me! It's like being with a woman all your life and you finally see the light. You wasted a good part of your life for what! Sad day here, may feel differently in the morning but man I am so pi#@ed right now! Lamley group this may be a bit extream so if you feel the need blck me at this point. The way I'm feeling right now I will not be needing to be on here anyway!

  6. Arrrrgh, that National Parks Discovery!

    I've been to the Mattel in Fort Worth, once, on a non-sale day, when I was on the blue side of the hobby, and was unimpressed. But this…

    That one car is going to haunt me now.

    (At least I already have a white Inisght.)

  7. No you guys are right. In the titles I have always called it the “Last Golden Age” but have gotten a bit lazy and just gone with “Golden Age”. Same with Superfast vs New Superfast. New or old, a Golden Age is a Golden Age, right?

  8. They should make these sales and deals available on their website as well. Unless they already are, in which case color me mad at myself for not knowing. Like someone posted above, it just really sucks seeing such great stuff at such crazy prices from the mother company itself and having absolutely zero access to it (other than bugging the hell out of guys that I don't really know all that well.) End of rant.

  9. I was going to comment about halfway through your rant to “Man Up” it is a hobby. A hobby is a way to waste your time. But then you said the hobby may be over. Exactly, all hobbies tend to come to an end for one reason or another.

    There are only a handful of Mattel stores. They tend to be in areas of import. They are clearance stores. On the couple times I have been to the one in Canada, it has always been older product. They are ways to clear their warehouses of product retailers no longer want, etc.

    But what it does show form this is there is a distribution problem when current product shows up like the Mission pack. it it is here it means it is not in store and stores do not want to carry it. It also shows that thw wave style releases doesn't always work. Once the wave has passed, the stores don't want the old product and it will sit. Especially now that the clearance stores like Dollar General, Big Lots, etc are moving more main stream. They also want current stock. But as much as we see here it is but a small portion of the overall shipments of these toys.

    I too lament the absence of the orange cards in the stores. I look almost every time I go out. But I rarely go car shopping like i used to. But the entire diecast market has shrunk. I buy what i like when I see it.
    Enjoy the time with your wife.

  10. Jeff and that is my point. I've been saying this for a while. That is where the rant comes from frustration. And imo I did man up, I not only man up I put my time on the line. Sure a shot at the old stuff was great in some cases but I probably have multiples of a lot if it. I took my time to get people interested and ready for new product hit the shelves, only for guys that backed me on Instagram to raz me that they told nothing would change. I can take the razzing but then you see this after a hard day and it's like wtf! So man up is a bit harsh bit I have thick skin. All I want to do is ejoy a hobby that relives my stress but it is creating more.

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