(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.