There are a few questions I get regularly, and one of the most common is “Why not Majorette?”
It is a great question. And I don’t have a good answer. I should show Majorette. It makes perfect sense with what I collect and what I like to feature. The fact is, for the way I collect, it is less about chase pieces (although those are nice) and more about mini replicas of cool, real cars. That is why I make no apologies about rooting for a return to realism for Matchbox and ogle over new Hot Wheels like the BMW 3.0 CSL (more of that tomorrow).
Of course that realism goes much further with Tomica Limited Vintage and Kyosho, which I love collecting, and I have found some gems from Auto World, Greenlight, and just recently M2 (more on that in a bit as well). I am also looking forward to what will be coming from Johnny Lightning and Racing Champs.
But back to Majorette. If you are not familiar with Majorette, they are a diecast brand based in France, and their models can be found in many countries outside of the US. Years ago Majorette had a large presence in the US, but not anymore. And I have no idea if there are plans for a return. I wish there were.
I have gotten a little grief for going gaga over some of the new realistic Matchbox models and not saying a thing about Majorette. That is fair. Because those that collect Majorette are correct. Majorette has been doing some fantastic stuff for a very long time, and it definitely deserves some space here.
I have tried to keep Lamley focused on what I like to collect, and while I have a handful of Majorettes, I don’t have as many as I’d like, as they are hard to acquire if you live in the US. I need to change that and pursue more. There are so many cool Majorettes out there, and many would look so nice in my collection, so I am after a few. My Lamley co-founder David Tilley has been on the lookout for me in the UK, and already has put a few aside to send over:
eBay of course is an option as well. I will do what I can to get more and feature them here.
Majorette models are less the premium type of TLV and Auto World, and more toy car-type like Hot Wheels and Matchbox. And while the Mattel brands choose to stay committed to the $1 price point here in the US, Majorette has stayed old school with moving parts and, one of my favorite features of Matchbox back in the day, shocks. That probably means they would sell here in the US in the $3-$4 range, and while you and I might buy them, it is hard to say if the general public would. Just look at Tomica’s massive failure at Toys R Us a few years ago.
Opening parts have never been a big deal to me. Sometimes they take away from the look of the model overall, but that is the collector and displayer in me talking. There is no doubt they add play value. Shocks? I love the bounce of the shocks. I love the smooth way wheels on shocks roll. Some Majorettes do suffer from a little too much gap in the wheel wells because of it (Let’s just say the Mercedes SLS looks better from above than at a full side profile.), but for the most part they look good.
There is another thing I really like about Majorette, and it is a simple detail that I think our friends at Mattel could adopt. They separate the licensed models from the fantasy. Multipacks, for example, feature either all licensed or all fantasy cars. They even call their unlicensed cars “Fiction”. Doing that also allows Majorette to emphasize multipacks more. Assortments are specific, so you don’t have to look at various packs to find the least abusive assortment like you do with Hot Wheels 9-packs. I would say that the percentage of multipack sales vs singles is much higher for Majorette.
|Size comparison with Matchbox|
A big difference in approach between Majorette and the Mattel brands? Majorette tends to keep it current. Their licensed vehicles are mainly of cars that have been released in the last couple of years. New pickups, new sports cars, new racers, new street cars, new SUV’s, etc. Obviously Matchbox and Hot Wheels do some current cars, but their licensed releases are a mix of old and new. There is of course some crossover, but I think the brands fit nicely together, especially with Majorette’s emphasis on European brands.
So over time I have added a Majorette here and there. I have utilized friends overseas, and occasionally everyone’s favorite diecast seller on Instagram, @the_toy_pimp (check his feed out if you haven’t). My Majorette collection isn’t large, but it merits a some pics here on the blog. And I hope it expands quite a bit. All of my pics below are of models I have acquired the last few years, including some special edition models.
But first, as great as the models I have are, Majorette 2016 is even better. Carmakers from Europe (of course), Japan, and the US are all represented.
Some of the models that are out or will be out:
Yes, I want all of those. To join the collection I already have: