The British are coming! Look for this pretty pair of Matchbox Roadsters closing out 2018.

Don’t confuse these two:

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At first glance they look exactly the same.  At second glance the differences come through, but there aren’t many.  It’s a pair of British Roadsters, the 1958 Jaguar XK140 and 1963 Austin-Healey 3000 MK2, and they will close out the Matchbox 2018 year in Mixes L and M.

These are both new models, but represent two different paths to the pegs, no matter how similar they look.

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The more you learn about the approach diecast manufacturers take, especially brands like Matchbox and Hot Wheels, the more you learn about how important silhouettes are. Variety in shape among the models is important when one approaches the pegs, so it seems odd that these two would essentially appear together.  Individually, I don’t think too many would argue that these make great Matchbox models, but as a pair they seem redundant.

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But it is more a matter of coincidence.  One was planned for 2018, the other a quick replacement for a cancelled model, but overall the goal was a pair of British classics in 2018.  The Jag had been planned for awhile.  The XK140 be an homage to the classic XK120 Roadster casting, which was retired and replaced with the XK120SE hardtop in 2007.  Bringing the Roadster back would recreat a beautiful pair:

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The current Matchbox Team has done several of these throwbacks lately, with more coming.  A modern take on a classic Matchbox.  This Jag is part of that plan, and it’s a beauty.

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The Austin-Healey was a quick replacement for this:

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The MGB was the plan, but licensing hiccups sadly killed it.  The MBX Team wanted to keep things British, and the Austin-Healey was an easy, quick replacement.  It got pushed to the final mix of 2018 in order to have the time to develop it, and it is ready to go.

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And it is also a beauty.  Those sleek 60’s British lines are there, and it is a great release.  A most appropriate Matchbox, in looks and heritage.  It might look a lot like the Jag, but over time no one will care.  It is just nice to have both.

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26 thoughts on “The British are coming! Look for this pretty pair of Matchbox Roadsters closing out 2018.

  1. They certainly are very nice models. It’s just a shame that both of them missed the VUM chrome treatment for the base. The dull grey bumpers leave both cars looking incomplete.

  2. It seems the licensing hiccups reside in the fact that SAIC (Shanghi Automotive Industrial Corp.), MG’s Chinese owner, is trying to smother MG’s British heritage to promote its current lineup, all of which has nothing to do with MG’s past. I must admit, the MG6 sedan looks okay, but the rest of the range (SUVs abd crossovers) look bland and boring.

    I know this is the wrong forum to say this, but I am still ticked off with how SAIC ended up with MG. First MG Rover went out of business after its British owners squandered the money. Then Chinese brands SAIC and Nanjing fought over the remains, with Nanjing winning the bulk of the company. Nanjing was at least corteous to offer licenses on the old MG models to rekindle the nostalgia. But Nanjing ran into financial trouble, and SAIC swept in and gobbled the company up.

    We can’t blame Matchbox or Mattel. SAIC is the problem here. I think they really want everybody to forget about MG’s history and accept the new MG as an ordinary, everyday brand. We, the collectors and enthusiasts, really want to keep that image alive. But what can we do?

    1. Sorry but you have stated a serious load of rubbish there – if you actually knew the facts surrounding the brands demise and subsequent rebirth, you would clearly know that they never squandered the money, and SAIC are happy to utilise the Heritage models for their use, I have forgotten more about what actually happened in 2005 than most will ever know – and as for todays models, and the Heritage i suggest that you actually search for facts before making wild and inaccurate statements.

      Sorry to post this here, but it makes me so angry when people just make up stuff to promote an agenda.

  3. It somes up the state of affairs as gB today. Proud past given or sold away. I didn’t realise MG’s hotpot. Nice one Mr Moore.

  4. Love the Austin Healey! The front end especially! However, I do agree with the lack of chrome bumpers and wrong choice of wheels. The 10SP’s look too modern for these cars but the wheel itself is starting to show its age. They’ve used this wheel ever since 2006 and needs to be replaced.

  5. I like both, Austin – Healey even more so, but i hate the wheels and front glass (should be clear and transparent instead of blue, hope it’s just prototype).

  6. The Austin Healey looks great but likely to be bigger than 1/64. I wish Matchbox would stick to 1/64. It will be interesting to see the Matchbox alongside the Kyosho version.

  7. Wow.. when you put the current model up against the previous models, you can plainly see how dull & mundane the grey plastic looking bumpers are compared to the blingy chrome bumpers of past.
    How tacky & cheap. Gotta love the new cost cutting integrated with the increased usage of plastic in place of metal and/or plain plastic bases instead of chrome plating.

    I’ll accept the flaws & less than expected features everyone is referring to, such as the glass & wheels, but these models would be SO MUCH NICER with the enhanced addition of chrome pieces!
    Oh well, can’t win them all, so it would be awesome if Mbx released these into a premium ‘World’ or ‘Best of’ line. If they did, then you could have all the additionals without sacrificing because a premium line would incorporate all the bells & whistles.

    The AH is awesome especially in red and those spokes aren’t so bad IMO. I’ll be waiting.. maybe sometime after the holidays ( – – insert sarcasm here – – ).

  8. Both look nice. I agree about the grey base. The black roadster will look good next to my black hardtop as well

  9. I agree with all of the previous comments. The lack of chrome is disappointing, and those wheels are a tad much- what happened to the tri spokes inappropriately put on the Miata this year? Not sure why the vintage wheel is put on the modern car and vise versa. I am not one to complain often, but lack of chrome is cheap and the poor wheel choices are inexcusable. I am, however, happy to see two new toolings. Woohoo!

  10. I’ll happily take a stock convertible over yet another car with aftermarket lifting, bumper armor, and luggage rack, but what is it with matchbox and the blue glass this year?

  11. Thanks for showing off these two beauties, I look forward to getting several if and when they ever get to the U.K. Our only retailer ASDA is still stuck at Case G and is now going backwards!!
    I will predictably have a moan at all this dull grey plastic we are now seeing instead of chrome, if you guys in the States think it looks cheap on a one Dollar diecast then spare a thought for the rest of us who pay considerably more! 🙁
    Israel Moore makes a good point about the licensing issues which has halted the production of the MGB casting though I’m a little confused who is actually at fault here. SAIC do indeed own the MG name through it’s acquisition of NAC but they also own the AUSTIN half of the Austin Healey brand and have seemed quite happy to licence that to Mattel. As a die hard fan of British Leyland and it’s associated company names I’m still devastated at what happened to MG Rover post Chinese ownership but that’s a whole debate in itself. What I don’t believe though is that they are trying to extinguish the heritage angle of MG. Yes their products can no longer be described as sporty but they milk the “heritage” and ” British” angle for all its worth especially in China where they lap it up.
    There are still plenty of diecast manufacturers who make licensed classic MG models notably our own Oxford Diecasts and they don’t seem to have any issues with using the SAIC owned MG, Austin and Morris brands. Could it be shock horror that SAIC weren’t happy with what Mattel were offering in terms of quality etc…I’m only guessing of course, but, Mattel don’t have a particularly good reputation with many vehicle makers.

    1. True, Mattel doesn’t have a good reputation or relationship with many manufacturers. The trouble usually startss with Hot wheels, and before long, poor old Matchbox gets caught up in the mess.

      Case in point: Back around 2001 HW did something to anger Australia’s Holden. Holden issued a “cease and desist” notice to Mattel, which stopped production of the Commodore SS sedan and Caprice police car, as well as MBX’s Holden FJ panel van. It took years before Matchbox was able to make peace with Holden; tht’s when the Holden Ute showed up in the line in 2010. I think Holden’s still mad at Hot Wheels.

      As for SAIC/MG, you’ll notice there are no Austin vehicles currently being produced. That could be because the Austin brand could not exist (at least fiscally) in today’s automotive marketplace. I’m familiar with Oxford Diecasts, but I don’t see them here in the US.

      This also reminds me of the Jeep Gladiator in MBX’s current lineup. That model was supposed to be offered by MBX back in 2006, but it was cancelled at the last minute. Hopefully, the MGB will make it into the lineup at some point.

    2. Just a heads up Craig, poundland after months of not stocking u.s long cards , is now stocking 2017s batch d. I no they’ve stocked this many ,many times over . I hope this is a start of a new road to many more of missed cases of 2017/18..!!!! I know they were random cases when they did stock. Let’s hope!

      1. Thanks for the heads up AMC. Did you spot this case in one Poundland store or several? I do hope this means the potential for more newer stuff seen as ASDA has yet again got my hopes up and then dashed them!!
        Don’t think I’ll be buying anymore MBX from Poundland at the moment though if it’s 2017 Case D stuff YET AGAIN!! Where on earth can they be getting such vast stocks of just ONE case!! :-0

      2. Two poundlands in Norfolk. It sounds sad how things are my heart jumped, even at the sight of 17s d case again! If anything more happen I will put message out. Let’s hope! As for asda its a complete joke. Some get ,some don’t. Mattel’s brains and genius for the UK’s only mbx educated supplier. Got g case in Norfolk, it was hard to get the fairlane tho. Hotwheels in poundland had Arabic written stickers on back…that seems to be the case in budget shops ,where do they get them?why on our shores? UK’s stock must be in north Korea or somewhere?!

    3. Craig, the sign’s of 2018 are alive at poundland in Norfolk. Batch f . I know its ramdom when they do put out. Please a b and c !!! Of which we didn’t receive nationally. Its a start ! This time last year they went two cases ahead of our main dealer “ASDA”!!! Good thing is its a cheaper option. Let’s hope!!!

      1. Thanks AMC. Typically I’m out of the country until next week and am missing out on all this MBX action! I’ve just read Case K has just surfaced at ASDA and that Poundland are back in a big way with all sorts of random batches from 2016 onwards. All we need now is for them to stock A,B,C,F,H,and J to enable us UK collectors to complete our collections AND to show ASDA just how appalling they continue to be in regards to it’s exclusivity deal!!

      2. Thanks Craig, no case k stocked at my local asda as of yet. After 2 months of G ! Same 2 cases which have the remnants mixed and scrambled with Hti style cheap crap. This exclusive thing is just a joke. No pride is shown to the brand by asda. Then again it seems Mattel don’t want the brand to be shown! It seems weird with poundland a sudden explosion of long cards of all mixed 16,17,18 various case’s. It fills the holes of which we haven’t received. Nice one! If only they were a main supplier! They show more pride on display and cheaper! Let’s hope for more good things! 65th cuda in USA longcard !?!? Of which we didn’t even get acknowledged for!!!… Oh well when you get home I hope you get what you need. All the best. Anything I see I will put message out.

  12. Wow! Stunning beauties, both of these! It would appear 2018 is finishing up nicely. Which is nice, since I’ve likely only purchase half a dozen MBX basics all year. I absolutely love the fact that Matchbox is doing these. The castings and paint are lovely. My only nit picks are the blue tinted windscreens (is there still time to switch to clear?) and the ugly “metallic” gray plastic bumpers that MBX has been doing of late. If not chrome, then I think I’d prefer they just be cast in with the die cast body and painted body color. Regardless, I’ll be chasing down both of these models.

  13. A lot of talk on here about the grey bases. Matchbox deserves it. I understand if they don’t have the budget to do a ton of cars with chrome bases, but lately it feels like they’ve stopped them entirely. One of these two British roadsters should have chrome, at least. As far as models go, both these are excellent and worthy candidates for chrome. But I think it is wise for Matchbox to find a way to keep a reasonable amount of chrome in their lineup. It will pay back in sales and happy, loyal collectors. A good olive branch to show they were at least trying would be to have one of these with chrome. The fact that both are grey is unsettling. All that said, overall I really like these castings! And, personally, no chrome, though disappointing won’t keep me away from models I like. It’s been a great year so far for Matchbox. The lack of chrome is a bit of a hiccup.

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