Matchbox 2017 Best of the World: It’s the little things…

Based on the response so far, I think I can safely say there is excitement for the first batch of 2017 Matchbox Best of the World.  It was very cool for Matchbox to allow me to debut them here and on the Lamley YouTube Channel, and I had a blast doing it.  These should be available starting next month, and some stores have them listed.

I promised pics of all six, and here they are.  And oh my, is this a pretty set.  I have pontificated enough on the video, so I don’t need to say too much here.  But there are a few things I think are worth mentioning.

I have said many times this last year that the current Matchbox Team, in particular Gerry Cody and Abe Lugo, have gone to battle to bring Matchbox back to glory.  There was – and is – a lot of work to do, from more licensed models and realistic decos, to better quality and, of course, better distribution.

Distribution is still a major factor, but ultimately it comes down to whether retailers want Matchbox on their shelves or not, and the best way to make that happen is to have a better product.  That is exactly what Gerry and Abe have worked tirelessly to do.  I have been lucky to see a little of it behind the scenes, and I think my excitement for what I have witnessed permeates here.  To say they have battled is an understatement.

These guys reached out to collectors first, knowing they were the most passionate about the brand, and could give relevant feedback.  They learned what frustrated collectors the most, as well as what they could do out of the gate to improve Matchbox.  The 2017 Best of World line is as great an indicator as there is for what they are doing, and it was done for collectors.

It starts with the line itself.  Best of World has been a passion project for the Matchbox Team.  2016 was well received, and Gerry and Abe made sure it returned in 2017.  That is not always easy, and I think it is safe to say they went to bat for collectors, and battled until 2017 was confirmed.  Mattel is a big company, with a lot of people with a lot of opinions.  Gerry and Abe worked it until the line was a go.  Once it was, they had a little fun.

First off, two assortments of six instead of one assortment of ten.  After that, all street cars, in this case all Euro cars.  And lastly, after several complaints about the “off-road” look of the Matchbox premium wheels last year, they threw caution to the wind and put Hot Wheels Real Riders on four of the models.  What?!?!

Bonkers, eh?

I have been very curious to see what the response would be to HW wheels on a Matchbox, and so far it has been positive.  But I have said to many people, at least among the majority of readers here, they don’t care what is done just as long as the model looks awesome.  And these wheels on these Matchbox cars look awesome.

So here are the first six.  Some thoughts on each (and like I said in the title, it is the little things):

  1. My favorite?  I can always tell based on how many pics I take of one compared to the others.  Not a weak one in the bunch, but the Miura wins.  This was one of Ryu Asada’s favorite designs when he was still with Matchbox, and this version seems to be his vision realized.  Saying it is a beautiful model doesn’t do it justice.  Abe said he was inspired by the Pebble Beach car shows when he chose the color and detail for the Miura, and it shows.   
  2. Check out the wheels on the Range Rover Sport.  Black rims, but a hint of green right around the axle.  Such a cool little touch.
  3. I love how the BMW M5 Police shares the exact same livery as the Lesney Edition BMW X5 Police from a few years ago.  Little easter eggs like this make it so fun to collect.
  4. Mercedes is coming back strong, and it is great to see the CLS 500 tool is still in good shape.  I have never been a huge fan of the Real Riders it sits on, but they look great here.
  5. The Porsche pops, and reminds me a tad of a certain Toy Fair model from a year ago.  I agree that the white spoiler could be better, but I don’t know what the other options would be for the plastic.  That spectraflame color would be hard to duplicate on plastic.
  6. The T2 will probably be the first off the shelves, along with the Miura.  
  7. Lastly, the artwork is pretty bad.  Awful in fact.  I like the colors and overall design, but the depiction of the models is cringeworthy.  The models are where they need to be, so hopefully the artwork will catch up.  I think there are efforts being made to make that happen.
Alright, I am done talking.  Enjoy the pics.

21 Replies to “Matchbox 2017 Best of the World: It’s the little things…”

  1. I'm not that concerned with the artwork as long as the cars are beautiful, which I see they are. The way I look at it, it just makes it easier to rip the packaging to open the cars.

  2. 4 out of 6 homers. 1 double and a bloop single. The Muira, VW, CLS and BMW are out of thep ark homers on design. The RR is solid but I think color won't move it fast. Unfortunately for this Porsche guy, the GT3 is a bit of a miss. That god awful Spectraflame. It is a Porsche, it doesn't need to be tarted up. I would have loved to see the 914 or Cayman in this set just for the variety as the GT3 has been done quite a lot.

    I like the art work and since I am all in DLM it doesn't matter too much to me. But it does have that MB nostalgia feel which is more important to me than keeping up with the HW cards.

    As for the borrowing of the wheels, it is hard to argue with the final look on the models, but I would have thought it would have been easier to just do a new tire to add to the existing wheels. it is the slippery slope theory. Is this the beginning of the end of a stand alone brand? We have seen some of the MB models end up in HW packaging (Skybusters) and even HW models on MB box art. What about what badge engineering and parts bin sourcing did to the US automakers in terms of model distinction and design? (It diluted the brands and hurt sales.)So I will be cautiously optimistic.

    Man that Lambo is gorgeous.

  3. The lines between HW and MBX have become more blurry, and it's not just the wheels. The Porsche 911 and the Mercedes are really shiny (almost spectraflame in appearance!). Maybe this is the photography creating the illusion.
    I love the Miura – nice work on the colors. The Range rover color is great and what one would expect for this brand. The wheels, however, look really strange with that silver center. Not a fan of the tires either.
    The VW bus is my least favorite. It's let down by those horrid wheels and a HotWheels-esque paint job. Too bad – the casting is a good one.

  4. That Miura… wow. Excellent wheel choice! The M5 wheels with the blue, perfect complement to a great model too; Unconventional color choice for the Range Rover, nice to see something different, hope it sells. The wheels on the VW throw off the whole appeal of that model to me. Would have gone with a different, more-complimentary-colored plastic for the Porsche rear wing, maybe even black, or at least something less-distracting from the rest of model. Nice color on the Mercedes, although a pretty-generic-looking car makes for a pretty-generic-looking model I can't get too excited about, despite being a nicely-executed model – would have been more interesting to see an AMG).

    I appreciate there's people in the company fighting for the brand – it's worrisome to see case-size cut from 36 to 24, making it even-more essential MB creates models with appeal that will sell. MB should take a cue from HW and the other diecast makers and do Easter-egg/treasure hunts, which has successfully driven sales for collectors.

    Will be looking forward to seeing this when they hit the stores!

  5. I love the way the Porsche looks, except for the wheels. The ones they used are too small, they don't fill the wheel wells enough, IMO. The ones used on the Mercedes and BMW work. The Lambo, while I don't care too much for those specific wheels, work well and fill the wells nicely. Maybe those are the wheels that should have been used on the Porsche as well, blacked out of course.

    The Range Rover looks fantastic, and the VW, while not my cup of tea necessarily, does look pretty great here.

  6. John, why have they not made a Hot Wheels version of the Miura?! I know they technically did one for the Jay Leno series, but that is a GREAT casting that Hot Wheels is missing out on!

  7. Overall they look good and I hope they come to the UK…slightly disappointed that they didn't use the 'matchbox 50th' vw wheels (as seen on the Beetle and T1 van) on the T2, and that the 'battenberg' M5 police isn't a licenced UK one (the cops here love BMWs)….that Miura looks epic though, and I think the CLS and the Range Rover Sport are growers…work to do on the box deco though guys,but generally great and if you can get them distributed here I'm in!

  8. as much as i love them and need them right now, i really hate the tampo in the M5´s taillights, i know, it´s nitpicking, but the fact that they´re wrong really bothers me. Still, i´d get my hands on it as fast as i could if they got here

  9. Miura- yes, yes, yes! The most beautiful car in the bunch! Not only just because of the color and wheels, but the car choice period makes it special.

    BMW M5 Police- Not a police car fan, but it looks pretty dope. The fact that it's a bimmer makes it a must-have.

    Range Rover- maybe, the color is nice, and the wheels work for it.

    Mercedes- Great inside/outside color combo, but those wheels don't really work for that car, especially in that color. Definitely a wheelswap if I get my hands on it.

    VW- not really my thing, but the color and graphics are classic. Which makes it decent.

    Porsche 911- the Spectraflame is cool, but the white spoiler clashes with the rest of the car. It's decent, but I'm kinda tired of porsches anyway and that orange makes me wanna puke.

  10. They all look great may pass on the Porsche only because i have the hot wheels version going to be hard not to pick these up if i see them they are all awesome

  11. Lambo is gorgeous, and is almost a perfect color match for my Tomica Premium Walter Wolf-scheme Countach. Cannot wait to get those two together on a shelf.

  12. The only bummer in this entire set is the white spoiler on the GT3 which looks very tacky (black or grey would have worked much better). But apart from that this set is beautiful! 10/10 from me. All the models look excellent and appropriate. I love the wheels too!

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