Preview: Mooneyes and Gulf Racing get the Matchbox treatment

I just don’t think Mooneyes and Gulf can be overplayed.  I have seen that complaint from a few Hot Wheels collectors and I just don’t get it.  If every model Hot Wheels released was Gulf, maybe, but that isn’t the case at all.  Maybe 2 or 3 models a year get the treatment, and it makes for a nice fleet.  Same with Mooneyes.  Any model released in either theme is a treat.

And now we can bring in Matchbox, and I am thrilled.  The Matchbox Team sent over a handful of models for me to preview for Lamley Readers/Viewers, and these two gems were among them:


We talk about the “Matchbox Treatment”, which in general means some vehicle gets a realistic take by the orange brand, mainly in comparison to Hot Wheels.  That is the case here.  We have seen a ton of Gulf and Mooneyes models from team blue, and I have kept every single one of them.  But now they get the Matchbox Treatment.

I love the Gulf Raptor, and the racing deco works perfect as a Baja racer.  But it is the Mooneyes ’56 Ford that is the highlight for me.


The ’56 Ford has been slightly modified, and to me it looks a lot better, especially with the wheel placement adjusted:

And with its new look, what better way to debut, than as what is essentially a classic Mooneyes shop truck.  As Hot Wheels puts the Mooneyes logo on hot rods, there is no better way for Matchbox to compliment it with a shop truck.  Alas, the Matchbox Treatment.


The truck is part of the Coffee Cruisers 5-pack, hitting soon.

The Raptor is in the Mainline, and it is hitting soon as well.  The Raptor is an interesting casting, and can really be whatever you want it to be, from a street truck to a shop truck (Lamley’s Leaks!) to a Baja Racer.  So this one fits:


Look for the Gulf Raptor in Mix K, and then look for its Sapphire Gem counterpart in Mix M:


Cool, right?

Matchbox has had a sneaky good year, right?  The opening parts models are coming, but even without them there has been a lot to like.  These two trucks are definite highlights.


21 Replies to “Preview: Mooneyes and Gulf Racing get the Matchbox treatment”

  1. So are the Sapphire Gem versions still going to be like Treasure Hunts, or has that changed? And man, I LOVE that Mooneyes pickup. Excited to see what the other 4 in the 5-pack end up being.

    1. This has been my biggest gripe with Matchbox releases of the past few years. I realize they have to cut costs at production to keep the mainline cars at their one dollar price, but a lot of these classic cars are really lacking without that VUM chrome finish. It’s especially noticeable on the upcoming Olds Vista Cruiser, and now this one. I would certainly be willing to pay that little bit extra if it meant this dull grey plastic look would go away.

      1. If MBX would just raise the price by 50 measly cents, most of these issues would go away.

    2. Datsun 510 rally, fiat 500d rally, jeep gladiator are among those great models ruined by cheap-ass grey plastic base and bumper. Not to mention the great toyota land cruisers. Damn you bean counters!!!

  2. The Gulf livery has been overplayed in all aspects of car culture for some time, not just the diecast world, IMO.

      1. Then Tarmac is your only best bet for authentic livery. Deepen your pockets, and don’t expect much on interpretation from matchbox and hot wheels. Moving on… That gulf looks good on the raptor, down to orange wheels.

  3. Mooneyes who?!? Yank tanks and more, chase vehicles which you yanks can only chase. If this brand can piss you off they can do it more! Happy 65th!!! Bring something to UK for f#@ks sake.

    1. Agree with Amc, we will not get these in the UK and we will have to pay silly prices on eBay to get them. By the way John, it is COMPLEMENT not compliment.

      1. I’ve got no interest for these in the UK… They mean nowt. Even tho they look ok, Its matchbox 65th.. , produce a gift set for UK… That’s all. The 65th chase vehicles USA only.. As for quality, i understand. Back to 75 a year range… Cut out 50 garbage gulpers. Each vehicle would have more attention added in the 75 range. Also keep shelves moving. And we in the UK might be able to complete a year. 125 we don’t get half. If not less. Last year 15 were as ever USA only………. And we pay 3 times more than you as it is………….. Children’s pocket money too!

  4. Green windows on the ’56 is hideous. I’ll still get one anyways.
    I know itz a cost measure but that Raptor needs front-end detailing baaaaad.

  5. I’m sorry but the Raptor looks way better than the ’56 truck. Not only is the tampo print better (one of the best I’ve seen in a long time from either MB or HW) but overall it looks much crispier and realistic than the rather bland ’56. And yes, in agreement to the silver plastic complaint above, it looks ugly here. It should’ve had either dark grey, black or chrome base.

    And speaking of the Sapphire Gem, its one of the best looking Matchbox of this year for sure. The paint, the graphics, the wheels, everything looks beautiful. If only it had front and rear lights and rubber tyres, it would be one of the best looking 1/64 models this year at any price point. It’s a shame then that no one will be finding one.

  6. John- Since you have some pull with Mattel can you find out why dealers can no longer order by case letter unless they are “really big”. I’m stuck at case E. No sign of F or G from stores or my regular outlet to buy. Wal-Mart- one store continually gets new but now stuck at receiving cases of B! Other 3 I visit FINALLY got 2018 product- again all case B…. Need better distribution or make it available to our hobby friends who can get it by case assortment.

  7. Mattel mbx UK simply do a real online site to order. Cuts out evil Bay! have look at siku site. Someone at mattel may learn something. Asda as a soul matchbox suppliers is a joke. Waffles, bread, milk, eggs…. Oh and mbx! It’s a joke and a disgrace to the brand. Who ever came up with this, we’ll…………!

  8. Paint the bumpers and grille in white. Wheels are white, leave hubcap chrome. Make it like a true work truck rom back in the day. Detail paint the rest and enjoy. IF the yellow paint is not terrible. A lot of mainline yellow cars are pretty horrible anymore. But for a buck, will probably get one either way.

  9. I don’t collect anything Mooneyes, but I do love just about anything in the Gulf Oil livery. I don’t believe I currently have any Raptors in my collection, so I’ll be on the lookout for this one to add. It really turned out great.

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