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Case Report: Matchbox 2018 E Case

Ok now we are really running.  D case last week, E case this week.  New Matchbox, and new Matchbox models, which so far in 2018 has been a real treat.  You can find them all now at Wheel Collectors:

Matchbox 2018 Batch E at Wheel Collectors

This case marks the debut of the second new Mercedes casting since Mattel renewed the license, the GLE Coupe, and there is more to like as well.  The gang at Wheel Collectors put together a Case Report as they always do:

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6 thoughts on “Case Report: Matchbox 2018 E Case Leave a comment

  1. Some nice vehicles in this batch. Picked up a new Jurassic World 5-Pack today at Wally. It has in it what has to be the strangest Matchbox “vehicle” ever. After models such as Bumble-Bee Helicopters and Snail Garbage Trucks, this is really saying something. The 5th vehicle in the pack (meaning the one at the bottom) is a “Gyrosphere”. Nothing more than a round plastic ball (clear blue) with blue plastic sides and two metal seats inside. Really bizarre. There’s also a Submarine I’ve never seen before and three vehicles (with wheels!) all with 2017 dates on the bottom. Nice 5-pack.

  2. This is a good case the licensed cars are going quick. Seen this case at Walmart the other day only one I got was the Yamaha. The generics still just sit! It’s like TV shows they want to work they keep putting them out there hoping they’ll work but they just clog the pegs. It’s not just MBX, HWs has more peg warmers than MBX anymore! Wish they would just ship what the consumer is buying. Can not find a 49′ Chevy or the Chevy 5pk anywhere but there are plenty of stuff I’m not interested in, makes no sense! I love the direction MBX has gone but WHY do they continue to put out junk? They have to have a sense of what is selling or they don’t and that is not good business. If it comes down to the only way I can get what I want is to buy it on line I’M DONE! Even the HWs car culture series are castings that are constantly repeated! Except for the Japanese Imports everything else is just ok. If I see one more Star Wars series I’ll scream! TRU has a bunch of them no wonder their going out of business. I hope they last til 50% off wheel donors for sure!

  3. Matchbox should put range back to 75 a year. The one place to buy in the UK is asda a FOODmarket. All we have left is all of last years generics. No they don’t sell. The retailer is stuck with them. Then again £1,97. Hotwheels £1. Usa 97cents?.erm…. Also when asda had a new batch last year a box of 72pcs. 80%crap generics. 1box serves a population of 250,000……. Well done Mattel. Thank you for showing the 2018 line up so far. Looking good. Shame we ain’t acknowledged in the UK.

  4. In my mid-sized upper-Midwest town we just got our first cases containing the 33 Plymouth (not sure exactly with case letter). Of course that vehicle and I suspect several others were shopped out before I saw it. But this is what I’m talking about with the slow roll out of what looks like a great year–around here you would hardly know it until April…

    I’ve been playing very close attention when I visit stores due to being so excited about some of the 2018 models I know will be coming. It’s true, from the way the pegs appear shopped when I get there it is clear there is huge favoritism toward realistic and licensed models. This, to me, suggests collectors are the dominant buyers rather than kids, although I’m sure kids make up a good market share. That said, 2 of the Honda Hatchbacks were left when I was there and I left it too, thinking ‘I’m buying 8, I think I’ll see this one another day.’ It’s very well done, but such a blase car.

    That being said, I have to defend Matchbox a little. Many of the things fans knit pick about has to do with money. These things only cost a dollar! Licensing probably costs money to be paid to the vehicle company and then more in extended process to get the model OKed by the vehicle co, and I’m sure it is harder to sculpt a model that has to look exactly like a specific car rather than just kinda, like a realistic generic might. And time is money. I might be in the minority, but I’m kind of a big kid about this hobby. I like realistic cars, but I like fun stuff too. I like some odd or generic things they do. If Matchbox announced they would only do licensed cars starting now, I would be sad. My sweet spot is the direction of the average adult collector—more licensed. But a mix of some kind is a good idea. And not all generics are created equal. There are some that I despise (for instance, I think the Xcanner in the above case is really dumb and ugly) but some generics are among my all time favorites. For instance, I’m pretty crazy about the Skidster. Other generics are technically generic, but so realistic and well done that the difference is basically nothing. An example would be the Hazard Squad. (Another great example of a BAD generic working vehicle is the despised Garbage Gulper). Given the range of generic tone and quality, it’s not a black and white issue for me. For instance, I chose a Hail Cat over the Honda on my last visit. Maybe it was mood and I would have gone the other way (or got both) on a different visit… But the Hail Cat is a realistic, exotic and adventurous generic arctic exploration vehicle festooned in matte midnight blue paint with nice tampos. Compared to a super realistic licensed recent grey Honda. Real but not much fun. I’m sure I’ll pick it up. Color is big for me, and it is an odd bluish-grey at least.

    To continue the Matchbox defense, I just can’t believe how Hot Wheel dominates them. There is so much cartoony stuff in Hot Wheels. Few working vehicles, almost never realistic when they to appear. So it’s just regular cars and trucks. They deliver as far as racing goes, but even their muscle car obsession is hollow because of the details–these cars aren’t very convincing. Much of the style and aesthetics is sort cheesy, kid-oriented and hip-hoppy looking. It’s pretty rare I find Hot Wheels I want to cloud with my collection with in recent years. Just the other day I picked up two really nice zamec models (cool idea). But it had been a long time since my last Hot Wheel. I know it is a matter of taste, and don’t expect everyone to like what I like. If I were in control the peg space (and bins!) devoted to Hot Wheels would all be Matchbox and the Matchbox space would be more than enough for Hot Wheels in their recent incarnation (they weren’t always this bad and one dimensional). I get that most people don’t see the world through my eyes, but given the indisputable quality and realism that Matchbox has consistently offered for it’s whole history, still at the $1 price point, I marvel every time I go into a big box store at how imbalanced the amount is toward Hot Wheels. Also, in ‘odd’ places–grocery stores, Walgreens, CVS, variety stores etc, Matchbox are an endangered species. I wish they’d push for a peg or two in places like Walgreens. I also wish they had a more developed bin/display program. Like sell more one time displays to grocery stores, Walgreens etc, so they don’t have to commit long term, but customers can have more places to find Matchbox around town. Typically in my Wal Mart there are three Hot Wheels bins along with healthy peg space. Matchbox has around 1/2 of the peg space or a little less and I’ve never seen a Matchbox bin anywhere ever (just displays and I think that’s been a few years at least).

    • Update. I went back to get the Honda Hatchback and there was almost the same combo and amount of cars there, but 4 Hondas (!). I found this very surprising. There were more Hondas on the peg than any other model. However, I’m more impressed than ever with this casting. It’s kind of a banal car, but off beat color and insane casting.

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