A Tale of Two: 2018 Matchbox ’08 Holden Ute SSV vs 2010 Matchbox ’08 Holden Ute SSV

When I posted the quick Matchbox M Case Report a couple of days ago, I figured a few models would garner most of the attention.  I didn’t predict, however, was that the Holden Ute would dominate.

Judging by the comments I saw, a lot of people didn’t know that Matchbox had done the Holden Ute a few years ago.  Many think this is a new casting.  It isn’t of course, but it is kind of a repeat of the first release of the Ute.

Here is the new release, hitting with the M Case:

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And here it is with the original release, from 2010:

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Kind of the same, but not, and a valid repeat that missed out on the original release of such a unique Matchbox model.  And a good looking on at that.

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When the ’08 Holden was released in 2010, it was the result of a long, diligent effort by Matchbox collectors to convince Matchbox to do the Ute.  Collectors started requesting the Ute SSV years before, and over time the Matchbox Team decided to oblige.  And they truly nailed the casting.

The Ute was released in several colors in subsequent years, plus a couple of racing decos, but then it vanished.  Only to return now, surprising those that missed it, as well as those who didn’t even know it existed.

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Of course some will be frustrated with the fact they are practically the same model.  Matchbox has recycled decos on a few models, which might save some licensing money or something, but this one is different enough.  The shade is of course brighter, and the wheels are complete different.  Ultimately I am just glad to see it back.  Maybe this means more in the future, in a few more interesting colors.

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7 thoughts on “A Tale of Two: 2018 Matchbox ’08 Holden Ute SSV vs 2010 Matchbox ’08 Holden Ute SSV

  1. I’m one of those that missed the green version (although I did manage to get the light blue); I’m glad to see it back in solid green. Definitely on my list of vehicles to get.

  2. I did know this casting existed because I bought it when it was brand new. I still have one mint in the package somewhere in my collection. I never found the light blue version which was a bummer. I unfortunately had no trouble finding the stupid wacky tacky white version from 2012. I hope to see it in a more neutral color like silver, grey, brown, or just plain white. On a colorful note, maybe a single release in purple since they did release one in purple in a 5 pack in 2011.

  3. This has always been a favorite casting of mine, and I have all five (soon to be six with this new one). A newer color would have been nice, but the slightly different shade, along with different wheels, is enough to warrant picking it up.

    One thing that wasn’t addressed in the post that seems curious to me….why has part of the bed become metal? This is the opposite of what usually happens, and ironically I think it actually makes the vehicle look worse…why the retool?

    1. It was retooled so that the assembly of the model is simpler. A “drop assembly” is what the brand seems to be pushing for all of the basic models, meaning that the pieces fit together one on top of the other like a sandwich, rather than some fitting into slots and grooves in others – such as a protruding grille or license plate. It seems in this case that the old casting features a plastic bed lining that covers the metal post that attaches the body to the base. For the new casting, it looks like the rear quarter of the bed where the post is has been changed to metal so that the bed lining/interior piece does not have to be fitted over it, resulting in easier and most likely cheaper assembly.

      The same type of retool can be seen on the two older wagon castings released this year. Both the Olds Vista Cruiser and Audi Avant used to feature interior pieces that obscured the metal post area at the rear, but have been changed to have the post travel right through the interior to the roof. It detracts from the look of the model, but most likely allows for cheaper assembly and ensures that the price of the model can remain at one dollar.

      1. *Sigh* I should have figured it was cost-cutting in some form. Disappointing. I wish I could just pay $1.50 or $2 per model and get a better product.

    2. I agree. I think the cost-cutting is getting out of hand, especially with things like this that take away from the appearance of the model. The worst of it for me is the lack of VUM chrome pieces where they are due. That dull grey plastic is awful.

  4. I’m glad this has returned after vanishing for such a long time! And I really like the green paint. What I don’t like, however, are the wheels (they look meh) and the retooling of the rear bed (which looks pretty bad). I know they probably did it for some reason but it still looks very bad. I have the purple one from a sports cars 5 pack from 5-6 years ago, which I’m pretty happy with. Let’s see if I can grab this one.

    P.S. – this green one looks very similar to the one the Stig drove in the Australia episode in Top Gear series 22.

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