The internal working title for the new Matchbox Moving Parts series was “Basic Plus”. That’s appropriate. Since starting the project to bring opening doors, hoods, and tailgates back into Matchbox, the Design Team always pictured two lines. One premium – which is happening as well – and one a step up from the standard Matchbox Basic range.
The premium set is great. Previews are coming, but Matchbox premium is different than Hot Wheels. And it should be different. Wait and see.
But Matchbox Moving Parts is brilliant. Take basic models, enhance them with moving parts, and release them for only $1 more. It is the Matchbox universe, only elevated. Great model selections, realism, and maybe that little touch to keep the complainers happy. The last few years of Matchbox has created a nice subset of complainers, and we wouldn’t want to empty their tank right away by moving all chassis to VUM. I mean what would they be able to complain about after that? That the models are too good?
Anyway. Keeping these models essentially basic is a great move, and it shows in the card art. Same size – save for a larger blister – and same art. The new card style was unveiled midway through 2018, and it has been met with a stellar response. Moving Parts is literally no different. The Design Team sent these pics:
Cool, right? Look for these soon.
15 Replies to “Matchbox continues its new card art theme with 2019 Basic Moving Parts”
I am one of those complainers. If not for complainers, we would likely be stuck with the sub-par models from the past couple decades and no incentive to improve the line. Over the years, the most vocal collectors were the cheerleaders, happy with whatever garbage was released as long as Matchbox was printed on the base. I have followed the hobby and the Matchbox brand for decades. On various websites, several of the most prolific posting members nearly wrote love songs for models akin to the cheapest of Chinese toy cars of the 1980s. Did those people help the hobby move towards quality, or did their complacency keep things stagnant?
I believe the latter was the case.
I’ll admit it – I’m getting on in years. I played with Matchbox cars in the late sixties to the mid seventies. I re-discovered the hobby in the early 90s. I studied industrial design around the same time, and became rather critical of products with a long history (like Matchbox) that slowly but surely became lesser over time, while technology and production methods improved.
I applaud the return to moving parts. I applaud the licensed models. I applaud the attention to package design. Good for them – they have re-discovered something that was a cornerstone of the brand 50 years ago.
And, the higher prices for this new range is great. In fact, I wish ALL the core line models were elevated to this status and the massively outdated $1 price point was abolished forever to the past where it belongs.
But let’s not lose sight of the current issues on these releases. The cheap and not cheerful grey plastic. The sometimes clumsy details. The inconsistent quality. These were rarely issues 50 years ago, so we have the right to raise a stink when they happen in the year 2018.
As long as they can actually make their way into department stores, I’m all for it and very excited! This brings back some nostalgic memories of playing with Matchbox cars with opening parts when I was kid in the mid-2000s. Sure even back then many cars didn’t feature moving parts but a few did. The fact that this idea is enhanced and improved for 2019 makes me feel like a kid again. One casting that triggers me in particular is the Nissan X-Terra. That car plays a substantial role in my childhood. I remember playing with the Superfast versions in dark green and yellow when they were brand new as well as some other older basic models all featuring the opening hatch. The fact they brought this casting back after god knows how many years and brought it back with the traditional opening hatch makes me feel great. It also helps that we had a real life one back in the early 2000s when I was about four years old. I hope to find this one as well as the red one that’s been out for a couple months in the near future. I’m trying to stay positive as the last batch for this year did hit our stores recently. Maybe it’s a small sign of hope of things to come. Maybe they’re waiting until the new year to drastically improve their distribution issues. New year, new hope.
You’re right, the card art is nice. Now… on to my complaining!
I’m not one of those collectors who have been clamoring for the return of moving parts. It is a distinction from the blue brand for sure and it does hearken back to the Matchbox models of yore, but it doesn’t make me personally want these models any more than a basic because of this addition. I’ll buy what I buy because I like the car itself. Who knows, maybe I’ll warm to the idea in time.
Now, since I am not greatly enamored by the moving parts, how about the cars themselves? Most of the bodies look good, but are left wanting in the details. As others continue to mention, the swirled gray metallic soft plastic bases used in lieu of chrome is hideous and ruins an otherwise good looking model. The VW is nice, but looks a bit oversized compared to the others. And what is the deal with the blue windows?
They seemed to have gotten the colors wrong on all of these models. The Type 3 VW would have been more appropriate in the baby blue of the Xterra or perhaps even the metallic poo of the Camaro. This red just looks far to bright for that period. Same goes for the Jeep. That metallic green looks too bright or even neon for the time. A more muted color would have suited it more. The khaki color of the Willys pickup you showed looked more appropriate. The Xterra looks wrong in baby blue, but a quick search revealed an OEM light blue-gray color called Mineral Blue that I assume MBX was going for. It’s still off. Needs to be more gray. And the Camaro… Yuck! Was MBX going for 70’s with that shade of metallic puke? Give us something closer to the beautiful Hyper Blue or Garnet Red that this car actually comes in.
As these sit today, I don’t know that I’ll bite. Once we get to recolors of the VW, Camaro, Xterra and Jeep, I may reconsider.
The VW and the Pontiac are painted the same colors as the originals released back in the late 1960s. The VW color is pretty consistent with the real cars (Volkswagen did a lot of bright colors during this era), but Pontiac never made a purple Grand Prix like the Matchbox model. I’m glad you mentioned the gray plastic – I hope more collectors speak up on this issue. I agree with you on the bodies – the castings look really good. As for the details, it’s a bit weird that the Pontiac has all that silver trim EXCEPT around the rear window and the windshield. I wish they either completed the gesture, or left it off all together.
Hi. I’m A Miserable C….omplainer. I just wish best for this brand. As many good folk on here. I’m pleased so far on how realism , opening parts and licensed products are being taken note of…. Now for superkings, twin packs and motorcity style real sets… .based on realism for young to be inspired to. As the past… And then Steer that ship forward and deliver the products to the ROW!.
Also thank you lamley for shearing our views and opinions. I know most of what you show is out of reach and price. Let’s hope………
Distribution. A real issue I hear in most places , especially where I am in SC . It’s horrible. I love the hunt , but …. after 12 Walmart, Dollar Tree, Dollar Generals and still no new stuff on the pegs in 4 months , a huge turn off for a collector who wants to buy at least 12 or more a month . They really need to fix it !
Please Mattel don’t treat these like Collectables and make them hard to find on purpose. I would like to be able to pick these up fairly easily (see them most days instead of it always being a gamble) Matchbox can learn a thing or two from the likes of Siku.
I hope Mattel will treat these less like Limited edition collectables and more like toys and make them relatively easy to find for a good price, Parents aren’t going to pay $10 or more for one of these, guys!
As you write 6a13tt1 siku are a great example to go by. For realism, quality and everything you see on real roads . their motif is “kids want to play with what their parents drive”and always stuck to that theme. Its a shame mbx has gone wayward as it has over the years….mbx had all this and more and then went backwards..forwards and then backwards…siku also have a great website to order and advertise their products…. Some are pricey! However mbx could take note of this. They would be on a winner.
I like what I’m seeing. Is there room for improvement? Probably. But I like what’s there. Assuming I can find these, I plan to get the Jeep and the VW for myself and the Pontiac for my daughter, who will be pretty excited about the purple color. I like the red on the VW. Yes, all three would benefit from VUM bumpers, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me. Yes, I agree that a more muted green would’ve been more appropriate for the Jeep (both in terms of era and vehicle application), but I still think the color they picked looks really cool. My biggest complaint is the lack of a tow hitch on the Jeep.
The paint on the Crown Vic is great–especially the way they managed to match the metal and the plastic. The back seat is a big drawback on that model, but I want to see it in person before I decide on it. I would like to point out that this one does not suffer from grey plastic, but that’s kind of a gimme.
Actually, the XTerra doesn’t suffer from its grey plastic base either. The real vehicle sports a grey plastic bumper (or at least bumper cover), and I think putting VUM on the toy would look out of place.
Actually, with VUM bumpers disappearing from the mainline, I hope we get to see the Toyota 4Runner again next year. My biggest complaint with most of the releases of that casting was the shiny chromed bumpers…because that also meant a shiny chrome interior, which I really don’t like the look of. We haven’t seen the casting in a while, and I think it’s ripe for a return.
As long as distribution problem exists, I’d rather not seeing these as it will worsen the pain. Mattel really sucks more when it comes distributing mbx than Hw. The generics hanging from last year makes it even worse.. Jeezz
Off subject… I was watching a kids channel with my kids. A Mattel barbie ad came on where a young girl does a lecture at a university. Then the screen pans to her playing with her barbie with all other dolls are laid out….it was her using her imagination.. No clever jingles or cheap voice overs..it was clever. Now mbx 65th could have a advert like that…we are what we play with ,kind of thing… Mbx trucks eg…the 60s mbx scammell trucks and many others were my favorite and now I’m in the transport industry… What I’m saying is please advertise this product. Treat this brand as fair competition as HWs…we know HWs is loud wacky races style brand…Mbx is the serious real brand….sorry. The UK showing of brand is so poor….however Mattel are a multi company…who am I ?!….
The new licensed castings with nice decoration in the Jurassic Park lines are actually much easier to find than mainline matchbox because those pegs aren’t clogged with years of generics, so I think chances are pretty good that we’ll be able to get a hold of these wherever they get a peg.