(UPDATE: The set just arrived at Wheel Collectors)
Call this a stepping stone.
Next year appears to be the time that Matchbox steps into a more appropriate premium realm. There will still be the $1 basics, but with new lines featuring opening parts, and with the introduction of two new Real Rider-type wheels, Matchbox seems to settling into a slightly new area for 1/64, especially compared to its blue Mattel mate.
But that is 2018. We need to finish 2017 first. And that means Release B from the Best of World series. In the next few days, hobby dealers should be getting this batch, and Matchbox sent over a set for collectors to preview.
Release B continues where the first two batches left off. Popular licensed castings with two-piece wheels. What is interesting about this batch in particular is that all the castings come from several years ago. A couple we haven’t even seen this decade.
So whether it was on purpose or not, this set of five models gives a nod to the last Golden Age, and with plenty of new stuff coming next year, maybe makes way for a new Golden Age. Time will tell, but I like where Matchbox is headed.
And for this set that is a good thing and a bad. For many this will be their first chance to grab the splendid Alfa Romero Giulia Sprint, but for others, it is just another white Alfa, after three previous white Alfas. Same with the Porsche 914. We have seen this livery before, but then it was on a metal base. Now it is on plastic.
Outside of the Alfa, it might be the Bentley that is most welcome. Returning in a new color, it is very nice to see back.
These all look good on two-piece wheels, especially those on Hot Wheels Real Riders. But those days are over too, I think. Ultimately, this is probably the least exciting batch out of the three, but it does its job in setting up next year.
Can you figure out the tv reference on the Blazer?