Matchbox starts 2018 with a new premium wheel and a new premium line

(UPDATE!  The Globe Travelers are now available at Wheel Collectors at this link.)

This was a surprise.  A couple of weeks ago a few Matchbox collectors made their way to the York Toy Show and were very surprised to see the brand new Globe Travelers Premium Series from Matchbox.  No one, including Abe Lugo at Matchbox, knew they had been released.

I still don’t know if they have.  Mattel distribution can get a little wonky, and sometimes some sellers get things a little early.  That made for quite a treat for those that came across them at the Toy Show.  One of those was Jeff van Leliveld (aka @3inchdiecastbliss on IG).  He snagged a set, and posted the pics of the models and packaging on his blog, and was nice enough to let me share them here:


Abe had teased these at the Matchbox Gathering in July, but I had no idea they were going to hit so quickly.  And like I said, neither did Abe.  So he sent over some FEP samples for me to preview and photograph.  Which I did:

There is a lot to talk about when it comes to this set, and I guess I did most of the talking on the video.  The set has some similarities to the three previous Best of World sets.  6 cars each, all with 2-piece “real rider” wheels and full decos.  They also all come in blister packs with boxes.  But the Globe Travelers are the first to sport the new Matchbox 2-piece wheel instead of using Hot Wheels Real Riders.

There are two new wheels, and both work with low profile “road” and high profile “off-road” tires.  There is a lace wheel, and what I guess should be called a mag wheel.


The Ford is sporting the Mag while the Audi the lace.  It it probably hard to make out the details, so maybe this Jeep and Mini can help.  Just click on the photos for a larger view:


My guess is we will see a lot of future use of these wheels.  Both can work on new and old cars, as well as fast and slow.  They are universal enough.

But it isn’t just the wheels.  It is always about the models.  Matchbox was sure to throw in some fan favorites, and the Ford GT40 and Land Rover Defender 110 certainly qualify.  And both go iconic.  The Ford in Gulf Racing livery and the Defender in LR Racing orange.

Add to that the return of two castings – the Mini Cooper Convertible and Audi R8.  The Audi is the surprise here.  For one, it marks the return of the license.  And second, it sports – shall we say – a busy livery.  Audi historically has been sticklers for how their models look, meaning mostly stock, so this is an interesting development.  I actually dig the white rims with the racing livery.  It will most surely stand out among the other Matchbox R8 models in my collection.

Then there is the Jeep and Lambo.  Two models I would not count among my personal favorites, but variety indeed.  A police car that also serves as a sports car, and an off-roader.  The decos are nice on both.

But back to the star.  Methinks the GT40 will be very popular.  A fully licensed vintage Gulf Race Car.  That wins.

Look for these very soon.







9 Replies to “Matchbox starts 2018 with a new premium wheel and a new premium line”

  1. Besides a premium release and 2 new wheels, MBX should incorporate better distribution. That is more important than anything else if they want to sell. For instance, the recently released Case A of the mainline has no 2018 cars at all. The 2 new colors of the Sonora Shredder and Road Raiders are/were supposed to be for the 2017 mainline (#61 & #79 respectively). To top that, we are entering the 2nd week of December and there’s not even a clue when case B is going to be released, nor what does it include… that’s bad business practice. Back to the Premiums, which store is going to carry them, what would be the time frame? Again, very bad business practice. The models are awesome though…

  2. A nice set, but echoing Hector’s sentiments above, I doubt if they’ll be seen in England. (Unless it’s through the pricy secondary market.)

    Having said that if they do show up I’ll be getting a set.

    Good that they’ve used the older Land Rover casting, the one with a metal roof and correctly proportioned windows.


  3. Those lace wheels sure look like the ones HW has been using as of recent… (as shown on the 911 that comes up in the banner sometimes).

  4. I’m surprised, and sad, that you didn’t talk (or even show) the packaging and box art, because that is also very interesting. They tell different scenarios, in different locations, for each car, including the location being pointed on the map. It has that classic golden age-ish feeling to it.

  5. This set looks great, but man that Jeep undercarriage looks like is dragging on the ground, which I don’t understand when such great detail was given elsewhere.

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for that GT40 – an all around perfect model.

  6. These pics may be the closest I get to these models…my frustration level is right up there with Hector’s concerning distribution. Pair that with the assholes who grab each and every one off the pegs on the few occasions that they are in stock, and it doesn’t look good. A real shame because I’d love to have these.

  7. First lets call the wheels what they should be either World Class or Premieres. Real Riders are for HW. As for the styles lets name them tri spokes and BBS or lace. How about WC Lace and WC Trispokes to differentiate them from the hard regular line wheels.? That is if they aren’t a take off of the ones used on the Miura from HW.

Leave a Reply