Remember a few years ago?
Matchbox had some sort of wordy slogan about Adventure and Heroes and being Unstoppable or some shit like that. I seriously can’t remember.
“Unstoppable Action for Maximum Adventure”?
“Adventure Heroes for Unstoppable Action”?
“4 out of 5 Dentists Recommend Unstoppable Action Heroes with Maximum Adventure”?
I can’t remember, but undoubtedly it was the result of marketing meeting after meeting of Unstoppable Overthinking for Maximum Awfulness.
There was some sort of thinking at the time that Matchbox needed to be WAY different than Hot Wheels, and needed to swing a tad younger. The result was a slogan that would make no sense to any kid or their potentially purchasing parents, and the models wouldn’t make sense either. A 4×4 School Bus? A 4×4 Garbage Truck? A 4×4 this? A 4×4 that? There was an idea that kids would like these exaggerated models because it would reflect the way they see the world. What?!?
I don’t think kids see a school bus and think it looks like a 4×4. I think they see a school bus and think it looks like a school bus. Now if they saw a 4×4 School Bus at a monster truck show, they would think it looked like a school bus at a monster truck show, and would then in turn want a Monster Jam replica. That’s the blue brand. See how in order to differentiate the brands they accomplished nothing?
Needless to say, the models hung. And hung. And hung. The massive failure was the lack of realism. Adventure is a good thing. Matchbox can have adventures. But those adventure vehicles have to look right. They don’t even have to be licensed. They just have to look real.
Now this intro might be a better served in the preview of the 2017 Matchbox Originals, or non-licensed models. While licensed vehicles are ALWAYS better, it seems that the Originals are pushing back towards realism, which is a very good thing.
But Adventure needs a kick in the pants as well. Remember the Coyote 500? If you don’t just head to the Matchbox pegs. There is probably one or 50 still there. Or the Terrain Trouncer? Maybe the 4×4 Buggy. Look them up and you get my point. Thankfully the push for realism has shifted the Adventure side of the Matchbox line with two fantastic – and real – adventure-themed vehicles coming in 2017.
The 1990 Volkswagen Golf 4×4 Country and 1995 Chevy G30 Van come from the next great era for diecast replicas – the 1990’s – and scream adventure. A little off-roading in the VW and some motorcycle, bike, gear and human hauling in the converted Chevy Ambulance.
Both are vehicles you would see on an adventure. In fact, you can see some dude leaning against the Chevy Van with a brewski, a sunburn, and a canoe at his feet. In Moab. Or replace the canoe with a surfboard on the beach. And that some dude is easy to picture because it is Gerry Cody, the Senior Design Manager at Matchbox, and the owner of that van. Bro.
So yes, Matchbox, let’s do adventure. But I like this adventure a lot better than the last unstoppable hero adventure. Glad that stopped.