|Matchbox Lamborghini Miura P400S on eBay…|
It has been very cool to see the response to the upcoming Matchbox Best of the World Assortment. I wondered if Hot Wheels Real Riders on a Matchbox model would cause a riot, but it hasn’t. It seems most of you are happy to see them, with some of you commenting that it was about time.
I have no idea if will see this cross pollination again, but for this little batch it is a definite winner. And of all the models in the set, none has gotten even a fraction of the attention that the blue Lamborghini Miura has received. It is clearly the star of the set.
There are few who will argue that the Lamborghini Miura is one of the most beautiful cars ever made. Just because it is. It may be the first car that merited the word “sexy” when describing it. Those lines are just way easy on the eyes. And the Matchbox replica thankfully captures that, especially in this rich blue with gold lace real riders. It is a gorgeous model.
Since we showed the Matchbox Miura here, a few of you have asked if this is a new model. It isn’t. It was actually released in 2011. (There was of course a Lesney-era Miura as well.) But since its release it hasn’t been used much. In fact, it’s only presence in the Matchbox basic range was its debut in yellow, with a recolor in orange. Since then it has been in two Gift Packs and one 5-pack.
And the Best of is the 6th release.
The Miura was designed by none other than Ryu Asada. Hot Wheels collectors are very familiar with Ryu these days, especially those that attended the dinner held in his honor at the Convention earlier this month. He has had his hand in quite a few popular Hot Wheels releases of late.
But before going to Hot Wheels, Ryu spent several years at Matchbox, and designed a large number of the models from the last Matchbox Golden Age from 2006 to 2011. The Miura was one of them, and is one of Ryu’s favorites. And since the response to the Miura has been so positive, I asked if wanted to tell us a little about how the casting came to be.
So he did, and I promise you will enjoy reading this. Here is the story of the Miura, straight from Ryu.
The Miura was one of my favorite cars of all time. I recall it was between Countach LP400 or Miura when we were selecting the castings for that year (2011). Maybe we ended up picking the Miura becuase we wanted to pay respect to the old original Matchbox Miura. However the new casting should be better and more accurate using the better reference and keen eyes of ours. We never forget about the original Matchbox Miura though, since I knew that some collectors would like to put them side by side.
Before the development, I studied and looked closely at the ref photos and noticed how low the body sits. I wasn’t sure if that low and slammed feel could be achieved at our scale, but we tried our best and the engineers got my back. This was kinda similar to the Lotus Europa I worked on earlier. I wanted to make sure that car sits the lowest possible way without distracting the aesthetics so much. In 1/64 scale it wasn’t as easy as you’d think.
Next, how to achieve the color break (in the basic car level). The side rocker panel is either gold or silver on the real car, and tucked in a lot. So that part needed be combined with the interior part. (If it’s left combined to the body, it cannot be tucked in since it will be the thick section and not moldable.) The front lower valance is also tucked in so this has to be separated from the body as well, to avoid a thick diecast material/section. And the front bumper is there in-between the valance and the body. In this case, I normally combine the bumpers to the interior. The Miura front bumper is always black on the real one, and shouldn’t be same color as the interior part (interior is silver or gold). Thus the bumper was combined to the clear window part instead. The clear bumper looks dark enough so look almost opaque black. I recall that I asked M. Heralda to only use tinted window on the Miura! (I’ve done the same technique with the MBX Porsche 914, upper bumper trim both front and rear.)
Initially, Miura’s iconic “eyelash” around the headlights was molded to the body and it looked good, but the plant had difficulties applying the tampo graphic. So we smoothed them out, but M. Heralda did a great job mimicking the look of the “eyelash” with the tampo graphic. Also, the hood vents and the rear vent textures were removed for the smooth tampo application. Overal the tampo application came out real nice and clean.
It was great collaboration between myself and M. Heralda to make this basic car look sort of like a premium level car. The MBX classic wheel looked so perfect on the Miura, because I had designed this wheel for the cars like this. In a way it was not easy to put this car in the premium line since the basic version already looked like a premuim level car!
I give a big credit to the engineers as well who worked so hard to make this toy look this good. There was no compromise.
I’m very happy and satisfied with the overal quality, and the final outcome of this toy. It’s great that the MBX team is still keeping this casting in their lineup. The new blue one with the gold wheel real rider tires is such a beauty. I would even pay a lot of money to get one for myself or just keep bothering (Matchbox Designer) Abe until he gets tired!
I have few Matchbox toys in the package hanged in my office wall, and one of them is the 1st release Miura, the yellow one. I always look at this and remember the good time I spent in Matchbox.