I wasn’t planning on doing a Halloween-themed post today. No need for Lamley to remind you what day it is today. Every Facebook post not about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will do that.
But when I made my run to Walmart last night to find the Fast & Furious models, I ended up behind a fantastic metallic bronze ’63 Caddie Hearse clearly hauling a group around. The car was immaculate. Long, low to the ground, with a white roof and silver hubs.
After seeing that beauty I HAD to show the Matchbox Hearse today. There are so many gems from the last Matchbox Golden Age, and the Hearse is certainly one of them. Since it debuted in 2006 it has been that model always flies off the pegs. We just haven’t seen to many of them.
And there is a reason.
It’s a Hearse. A Hearse! Remember Hot Wheels doesn’t call the Dodge Charger Hellcat a “Hellcat”, and with that in mind you can think that doing a Hearse in a kid-aimed line could potentially cause some issues.
I talked to one of the designers at the time, Ryu Asada, and got some of the details. The Hearse is based on an actual Hearse owned by Felix Holst, who ran Matchbox at the time. The team was excited to make the model, but knew they might encounter some hurdles. So they designed two models. A ’63 Cadillac Hearse and a ’63 Cadillac Ambulance. The Hearse was approved and released in the basic range three different years, and in premium lines twice. It also made it into a Scooby Doo themed 5-pack.
The Matchbox Team made it that far until those expected hurdles kept the Hearse from continuing in the mainline. It was released once more, in the Lesney Edition line, mainly because it that was a collector-aimed, and then retired in place of the Ambulance.
But it was fun while it lasted, and I would guess if the current team could get the Hearse back in the line they would. The tool still exists. The model was made to be a fun one, and it shows.
Did you know there is a hidden engine in this one? You can only see it if you take it apart. Even better, did you know there is a casket in the back? That would make sense, until you look closely and see the occupant actually escaping:
If you want to collect 2006-2011 era Matchbox, which you should, this will be one you should go after. The Lesney in blue is my favorite, and there are variations like the wheel change on the Superfast and trim change on the silver version to look for.
It’s a classic. And very much Halloween-worthy…