Matchbox celebrates the “pre-crossover” crossovers with the new 1990 VW Golf Country

“Why do this, when you can do THIS?”

That seems to be a mantra that most collectors love to see Matchbox embrace.  And a few times a year they do.  It is a formula that works really well for Matchbox.  Some examples:

  • “Why do a Karmann Ghia, when you can do a Karmann Ghia T34 Convertible?”
  • “Why do a BMW sedan, when you can do a BMW 1M?”
  • “Why do any Mercedes-Benz, when you can do a G63 6×6?
  • “Why do a Mustang, when you can do a Foxbody Police”
  • “Why do a VW Golf, when you can do a VW Golf Country?”


That last one is smack-dab in the middle of that mantra.  The VW Golf is a popular car worldwide, and always a worthy choice for 1:64.  All the major 1:64 brands have done at least one, if not several.  And if I had heard that Matchbox was doing a 90’s era Golf, I would have been thrilled.

But why do the Golf, when you can do the Golf Country?  Take a model that we are all familiar with, and go with the lesser known Europe-only off-road variant.  It makes for a far more interesting model, and spurs a lot of wikipedia visits from collectors.


Mattel provided this FEP sample for me to preview for readers, and you can finally see the finished product.  It is all there, from the front bumpers and guard to the swing-out spare tire.  And while the green doesn’t totally match the green on the real thing, the “Country” side deco is there too.  And all will still be there with the recolor coming a couple of months after the release of this one (mid-summer methinks).


Crossovers are so common on our roads now, I don’t think we even use the term as much to identify them.  These soft off-roaders are everywhere.  They weren’t in 1990.  That made this Golf Country a quirky VW.  And that makes for a great little Matchbox.


15 Replies to “Matchbox celebrates the “pre-crossover” crossovers with the new 1990 VW Golf Country”

  1. Looks like a quality piece that would look good sitting next to the Fiat 500 they released earlier this year. Two compact hatch cars designed for leaving the highway for a little away from asphault fun as long as it doesnt mean hitting the Baja 1000. SOFFt roaders…
    But I wonder why MB didnt set this up with the more aggressive looking tires they used earlier this year on the BMW M1.

  2. Oh man! This is so good! I’ll admit, I was disappointed when you previewed the preproduction version. I have done a 180. I want this. It will go well with the Fiat. Speaking of softroaders, Mattel, keep this momentum going. Give us the first softroader. Please, please, please do the 1996 Toyota rav4 3 door! Don’t make me beg.

    1. Wow are you a fan of the Rav4 also? That little thing is my dream car. If Mattel makes it I will buy tons of them to mod. If the make one I hop the make a hard top AND as soft top version. Or make a version where you can take off the hard top to make it look like the soft top.

      1. Absolutely. Mine too. It was Toyota taking a risk with style and innovation. It was Toyota being fun! That’s rare unfortunately. The hard top 3 door is one of my favorite cars of all time.

  3. gosh, that new “photo-style” is so annoying…some pics are too dark (especially on the orange Nissan GT-R) and than those weird perspectives sometimes…sorry but it hurts my eyes

      1. Hey the white background didn’t go anywhere. Look at yesterday’s Entertainment post. And I am quite fond of the new style. I am sure you have noticed I shook up quite a bit over the last month. It feels good. Change is good.

    1. The new photography is really nice. The model is in the spotlight, which is dramatic and simple at the same time. My only criticism towards the presentation is the dust on the model – get yourself a small horsehair brush, Lamley, and clean off those models prior to shooting them!

  4. I am so excited for this. I do wonder why they didn’t use the ringed-gear wheel though…seems to fit this vehicle better. Regardless, this is very exciting.

  5. Wow! When the prepro was shown​, I didn’t like it much but damn, this looks good! Quality casting and tampos are on point. It feels very much a Matchbox model. And like others said, makes a great companion for the Fiat 500X that came earlier in the year: both same colour, same wheels, both soft-roaders and both not-so-well-known versions​ of very popular cars. I love when Matchbox does this. Can’t wait to get my gands on this one!

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