I am not too keen on “Who wore it better?” posts. Comparing a model from one brand vs. the same from another is almost never fair. There are the obvious pairs that don’t merit comparison, like a Hot Wheels and Tomica Limited Vintage, for example. And there are some that are similar in many ways, but differences in approach make one appeal to some while the other appeals to a different group.
That is the case with Majorette and Matchbox. Majorette is probably more comparable to Matchbox 20 years ago. As costs and brand direction changed, Majorette stuck to features and their price went up. Matchbox at Mattel has stuck to a price point and innovated within those cost limitations.
So while there are a lot of similarities, there are too many differences to do a fair comparison. And not because one is obviously better than the other. In the case of the Jaguar F-Types we are showing today, some of you will love the play value of the Majorette, while others will like the silhouette and shape of the Matchbox.
But since these two orange Jags have been released within a few months of each other, why not put them together? You are welcome to tell us which one you prefer, but I would rather not do a poll or anything like that. Both are pretty cool.
Ultimately, I am so happy to see all the goodness coming from Majorette. Anytime I do a Majorette feature, I get the question about whether or not they will come to the US. I know there is interest, and having talked to many of the folks in charge, I know there is effort. Knowing that the price point would be much higher than Hot Wheels and Matchbox does scare me in terms of overall sales, but if there is a smaller collector-aimed distribution, it could work. It appears there is a lot of interest among collectors. Their focus on current cars, rally cars, and sports cars fills a nice niche here.
And their Jag is fantastic. The F-Type is a premium release, so that means an opening feature – in this case the doors – and full detail. The black grill and side details is an obvious step up from the Matchbox. And for you play value guys, the opening doors and shocks will surely move it ahead as well.
But here is where I get into my personal preference. Back when I was a kid, I did like the shocks on my Matchbox models, but I didn’t like the opening doors. Opening doors create gaps, and it bothered me that the doors didn’t look flush when the car was on display. Future collector nerd, right?
On some of the models the shocks bothered me too. Many times the gap between the wheels and body was too wide, in order to account for the space needed for the shocks. They made the car roll smooth, but the side profile was a little off.
So for me, I like the lower ride height and more realistic proportions of today’s Hot Wheels and Matchbox models. And that goes for the Matchbox Jag as well. It does fall short in the deco department, and I like the orange color and black wheels used on the Majorette better as well.
But you know me. All is good in Lamley Land, and I am thrilled to have both.