Don’t confuse these two:
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.
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.
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:
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.
The Austin-Healey was a quick replacement for this:
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.
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.