The Matchbox Land Rover Defender 110 goes through its second modification, and it debuts soon…

So I am VERY curious to see what you folks say about this one.

In the very near future the Matchbox Land Rover special assortment will debut, and one of the most popular models, if not the most popular, will be the Land Rover Defender.

The surge in popularity of the Matchbox Defender isn’t a secret anymore.  Prices of older versions have skyrocketed, including models like the Toy Fair version from 2007 that goes for around $400 or more.

The Defender is one of the most used castings of the last 10 years, and each new version is most welcome.  To keep it in the mainline, it has also gone through two modifications, primarily to stay within the parameters set for mainline use.

Well, the second modification has been made, and the new LR Defender will make its debut in the Land Rover Series.

So what are the changes?  Matchbox lent me a prototype to photograph and illustrate what the changes are.  The model is not riveted, hence the rubber band.

The photos will tell the whole story, but there are quite a few mods.  I think most folks will initially focus on the increased amount of plastic.  Basic models have to fall within a certain weight, and obviously have to stay within budget.  That is why we have seen some models move to plastic bodies and diecast chassis, or have been modified to use less metal.

That is the case with the Defender.  The original had an all-metal body, and over time it became too heavy to remain in the mainline.  So the roof was modified to include a plastic piece that was part of the window.  The team also used that opportunity to switch the snorkel to the proper side.

But even the weight of that model has proven to be too much, so another mod has been made.  More metal has been taken away and more plastic has been added to the roof.  The body is also a little leaner.

I would imagine that the first reaction is one of frustration.  How could Matchbox ruin one of its most popular models!  More plastic, less metal, such a shame!!

But there is the thing.  It actually looks better.  To me, the Defender was always a little too tall.  The roof rack say too high, and the stance was a little too low.  It just didn’t have the look of the hill-conquering icon.

But it has it now.  The rack is lower, the stance is higher, and the casting is meaner.  A lot meaner.  And when it debuts in plain green soon, it will be the meanest version yet.

Take some close looks.  There are more subtle changes all over the model.  I like these changes, but that is me.  What do you think?

15 Replies to “The Matchbox Land Rover Defender 110 goes through its second modification, and it debuts soon…”

  1. I like the newest modification. I've not been the biggest fan of that model's racks. It made it look too tall. In all honesty, matchbox can remove the roof racks all together, or make it completely plastic/detachable. Looking forward to this mod coming out

  2. I like the tall roofs. They look loaded up and ready for some safari action. I absolutely hate the proliferation of plastic in these models. You can achieve great detail in diecast provided the paint isn't completely glopped on. Lesney castings had a good balance of paint, and the detail was not obscured. I wish Mattel would raise the price and put the quality back into these toys. This $1 standard has been around way too long.

  3. I like the size, it seems more appropriate for the model….more plastic is a bummer but I'll take it for a better proportioned model that will hopefully make more appearances.

  4. That roof looks awful. Just give that casting a rest and start building new plastic generics if that's what you want – instead of ruining a good model. Save all your time and come up with two different ranges – one for licensed “diecast metal” models for collectors and kids with a slightly higher price range and the other for unlicensed cheapos for [I don't know who].

  5. What the hell have they done to a near to perfect casting by making it squat aand lumpy – the reason it looked tall, is because IT IS A TALL CAR, it now looks stupid, as the owner of many defenders over the years, i loved the casting, this is just a joke model and another reason to shake your head at the tools at Mattle that have made yet another huge mistake.

  6. Does anyone know if Hot Wheels models are subject to the same weight restrictions as Matchbox? I recently noticed in my son's Hot Wheels collection a model called 'Combat Medic' which is a great big chunk of metal. I can't imagine that Matchbox would be allowed to use the same amount of metal in one of their castings.

  7. I think it would've been better if they had just made the whole luggage piece plastic instead of just one section, just looks kind of awkward now, and also if they wanted to get rid of metal to save weiggt thay also could've taken off the rear rivet (as the beam is very distracting and takes away from the realism) and made the rear bumper part of the diecast body and made the spare tyre a sort of clip like the reg plates on the HotWheels Toyota Trueno

  8. I don't like the fact it is lower . It makes it a much worse model as it is not to scale with the real thing any more. The windows are too low.
    Matchbox should just make them without the roof rack

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