I have featured a lot of models from the Lamley-dubbed “Matchbox Golden Age” of 2005-2011. I say it was all about licensed models and realism.
But in showing those models, I have focused on licensed. But realism with the “Matchbox Originals”, or generics, is equally as nice. If Matchbox did a generic garbage truck, they did a realistic garbage truck. Same with construction vehicles, trucks, and service vehicles.
And that realism is highlighted in the Euro Edition series. There is a VERY good chance you haven’t heard of the Euro Edition. There are a lot of reasons for that. For one, it was a short-lived series. Two assortments, twelve models each. Second, many of these models, but not all, were generic, meaning they weren’t going to get the attention that other models received.
Lastly, and most significantly, these models were only released in Europe. So yes, our European readers who collected back then are very familiar with these, but collectors elsewhere are not. If you lived anywhere else in the world, you needed a friend in Europe to pick up a set for you.
It was common for Matchbox to do European or ROW (Rest of World) models back then, and it is sad that they don’t do that anymore. The Euro Edition models sported Euro-specific or inspired liveries, which was so cool to see. We still see some emergency and police liveries from Europe on Matchbox models today, but little else.
Hopefully, as Matchbox pushes forward to more licensed and realistic models, and as demand and distribution improve, there will be an opportunity to do this again. It would show some love to European collectors, and would most certainly be a cool group of models.
As far as this 2008 set goes, I have wanted it for awhile. I used to have some of the models, but stupidly got rid of them in an ill-advised purge. Since then they have become very difficult to track down. But thanks to the Autoos International Store in the Netherlands, run by former Matchbox Ambassador John Nijhuis, I was able to grab a set. Plus a few other things.
The box arrived a few days ago, and I opened it on YouTube. Photos coming soon…