Matchbox Preview: Upcoming Basic Plus opening-features models

Last month, while at the Matchbox Gathering of Friends Convention, I spent a couple of long hours with Abe Lugo from the Matchbox Design Team and filmed a few videos.  We looked at upcoming 2018 and 2019 models, as well as the highly-anticipated Basic Plus and Premium opening-feature models.

Abe was a good sport, and we filmed quite a bit.  The first preview is now up, and more are to come.  Enjoy:

24 Replies to “Matchbox Preview: Upcoming Basic Plus opening-features models”

  1. Old skool matchbox. It would be good if they came in old skool boxes. I hope we get these in the UK, and also pay ££ inline as USA. Also I hope for future these will be blended in basic range. As the past. These features aren’t really no surprise. Its just good bring these features back.

    1. Do you think these will ever come to the UK? I sincerely hope so but with our own supplier, ASDA, going BACKWARDS in which cases they are supplying having stalled at Batch G I’m beginning to wonder.
      These models do indeed look amazing but again if they ever came here can you imagine how much they’d cost taking into account a basic MBX is nearly £2!!! Heck even a basic Hot Wheels is now £1.85 at ASDA.

  2. Beautiful castings my only complaint would be if these don’t have chrome overlays for bumpers and grills. Not too much to ask for considering their keeping plastic parts imo. That would be my only gripe minus the moving part their basic models give us the chrome.

    1. No abc got de e e e no f got g…….We have missed out on so much for the last few years sadly. As in UK. Even asda locally some get all. Some don’t. I won’t be happy if they wasn’t to make it over here. Mattel could of done a better fanfare for its 65th for UK.will they or not, promise so much give so little . the UK mbx story. £1.86 I hope to pay

    2. Please Matchbox, give a model VUM chrome when it’s due! It makes a huge difference in the model’s appearance!

  3. It’s great to have something between a $1 basic and a $6 car. The basics can leave you wanting for detail, but collecting $6 cars gets expensive.

  4. I’m not so sure the Grand Prix benefits from the silver trim on the drip rails and wheel wells. It would make more sense to complete the trim around the windshield and rear window, or get rid of all the silver trim. Since this is a nod to the past Lesney model, losing the silver trim would not be a bad thing.

  5. I hear the term “drop assembly” and can understand what that means but it does mean some details are being lost. In particular the steering wheels, I have an MB67 VW 1600 TL (by the way, that’s a fastback, not notchback…) beside me and the steering wheel is a nice distinct moulding, compared with the moulded on approximation in the new model. That involved folding the component to get the dashboard and steering wheel into place and appears to be a step too far for modern assembly methods. I appreciate the models shown are prototypes but I notice the window transparencies are much thicker, obtrusively so, on the new models. This is progress? And, again, will these make it to the UK and if so at what price?

  6. I would’ve preferred the GP to be red and the VW purple. Hopefully, they’ll have metal bases. Very nice, nonetheless.

  7. Are the Nissan Xterra and Ford Crown Victoria going to have clear plastic doors on the production models or are these just for show? If so, they’re gonna look silly having clear doors on a solid painted car.

  8. These are looking great and I see a great future for this ‘step up’ line. A business model of, many, carefully chosen, licensed-heavy basics, $2-4 dollar mid range cars such as the moving parts and best of (plus maybe more lines similar in quality to best of) and high end things like working rigs at $5 is the way to a strong future for the company and customers. In this respect, adding this $2 line is no less than historic and looks to be off to a great start. Distribution and product movement needs work, but having diversity and great product is very important.

  9. One has to laugh advertising these as basic plus when 30 years ago opening parts were the complete norm on basic models. Not only opening parts but suspension too. It’s only because of this obsession of keeping Matchbox at the one dollar price point that has made the basic line become so poor in quality. Now they are advertising opening parts as some new revolutionary feature ha. These will never reach the UK or Europe. Even basics are rare around these parts. Designers have done a great job but the top bosses at Mattel don’t have a clue.

    1. It is true that basics used to have moving parts. It is also true that these were a minority–most of the basics in the classic years didn’t have moving parts. It’s also not 1965 anymore, and our expectations have changed. In the 50s-60s era, Matchbox had to hold up the high end and the low end of the 1:64 market, which was still a relatively new thing. Now we have lots of premium brands such as M2 Autoworld, Green Light, Johnny Lightening etc in decent availability. In the old days, 1:64 cars were seen as toys pure and simple, but realism was seen as the way to go rather than to pander to children with ‘kiddieness’. In our era, a large market share of 1:64 diecast is taken up by adult collectors who see it as a model and a collectable rather than a toy (though the line can be blurred). Given this, Hotwheels and Matchbox have both settled into a niche of being a cheap model that works equally well as a toy and a collectable (as opposed to premium models that are made just to be collectable and not with children or play in mind). This niche that they must survive in demands cheap product that fits in budget and both Hotwheels and particularly Matchbox do an ingenious job of it. That they don’t have exactly everything every collector wants on each model is sort of the point–that’s not feasible in a $1 or even 2 or 3 dollar model. The quality is remarkably high, especially if you consider the rock bottom price point. Given this, it is obvious why moving parts disappeared, and it is very welcome that Matchbox has found a way to bring them back in budget with great cleverness. Matchbox has cut corners to created a large lineup and one that is super cheap, which again, is there market niche (disrupting this would be quite hazardous). One they cut a long time ago was moving parts, which were a minority thing to begin with. But there have been positive trade offs too. For instance, in the classic era, some vehicle had moving parts, but they also had very basic paint jobs with stickers for any details. Tampos didn’t exist, so paint detailing was non existent. For a very low price we now get cars with much better deco than anyone in 1965 could have dreamed. You need a magnifying glass to read some of the details today! If you look at it in context of history, market and basic pragmatism, Matchbox looks pretty impressive. That doesn’t mean they are above any criticism… One example is the grey plastic bases. I understand Matchbox has to come in on budget for cars and they can’t spend on every aspect on every model. Given this I am not critical of the use of grey plastic bases and think they look pretty decent. However, I do think they’ve cut back too much on chrome plastic bases. For instance, I think at least one of the two British roadsters (Austin and Jaguar) coming out should have had chrome. Mostly, Matchbox is putting out a great lineup, though, and the premium, working rigs and moving parts cars are great additions.

  10. It’s nice this 1 doller point. Its been the ROW subsidising this. Then again, for what we have had in the UK.!!!…….Horton hears a molotoW?!……

  11. Real working parts is not something I’ve been itching for, but it looks like they’ve done a nice job and at the $2 pricepoint for Basic Plus, should be a nice supplemental line. I’ll take the VW and maybe the Xterra or Willys. I’m not a fan of Jeep, but this Willys (Overland?) looks cool. I have always liked the Xterra, but this MBX looks upright, boxy and out of proportion. I’ll have to wait and see how it looks finished.

  12. Why do the buyers in the US think that anything more than a dollar is expensive ? They have been a dollar for the past 20 years to my knowledge, so $1 20 years on should be £3-4 at least. As my friend AMC says, everyone outside of the US are subsidising the US market and people pay silly money to eBay or to a well known Lamley “partner” so why not just pay $3 for a well made all metal casting that we can all pay the same price for ?

    1. How doo Mr g. Just to let you know 2018 case F is now in poundland. Hope alls well! As written above its fact and I agree. Hope UK will fall inline with us price, also have a BRIGHTER future back in the UK. Home!…

      1. Poor signal…..Some of our u s friends do want it to be raised for quality and so on. It shouldn’t be raised here in blighty. As you say we would all fall in line paying the $2\3 mark . that would work out better and Fair all round. Then again who am I, Mattel are a billionaire corp…..they know what they are doing……….. 😉

  13. I do so hope these come to the UK, although I am limited to where I am able to visit to buy them. Asda would be ideal. I’ll take the VW for one. Perhaps Lamley could do a comparison with a 1960s version?

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