Lamley Awards Poll: What was the BEST and MOST DISAPPOINTING Matchbox Licensed New Model in 2019?

Happy Holidays friends. In order to take some time off, I filmed ahead of time a few videos that will post over the next few days, and I hope that if you have a little down time you give them a watch.

But I am going to start with some homework for each of you. It is time to vote once again in the 2019 Lamley Awards. We have already covered several topics for Hot Wheels, but now it is time to go Orange.

I will have four polls for Matchbox, and here are the first two:

What were the BEST and MOST DISAPPOINTING Matchbox Licensed New Models in 2019? I am leaving out Moving Parts New Models for their own feature, so today just focus on Basic Licensed New Models. I ran out of time to take photos, so hopefully this video walking through each release will suffice.

Remember, your vote will only count if you use the polls below. I am guessing this will be competitive, as I have no idea what models will end up on top. Enjoy.

21 Replies to “Lamley Awards Poll: What was the BEST and MOST DISAPPOINTING Matchbox Licensed New Model in 2019?”

  1. The best new model for 2019 was the Subaru SVX. They perfectly captured the futuristic design with those funky side windows. I just wish they detailed the front end. They could’ve. All they did was the rear and no side tampos. The most disappointing was the 2018 Ford Mustang GT Convertible. It was totally ruined by the boxy and squished proportions. It’s like someone squeezed the casting before it was ready and went with it. The hardtop version in the Mustang set is a hell of a lot better!

  2. I can’t get the polls to appear on any of these even when I turn off my ad block. It’ll be interesting to see how these turn out.

    Best for me was as above, the SVX. I test drove one back in 2001 or so. It was white just like the release and it left a lasting impression on me. I don’t really remember being aware of them before that test drive but seeing it in all its quirky glory was really cool. I ended up not buying it which was probably a good thing since I wasn’t in the position to fix a broken transmission which was a common problem with them – that was also the day I test drove a 1998 Nissan 240SX SE in teal. Boy do I wish I had bought THAT car.

    The theme for 2019 Matchbox to me was cheapness. Obviously keeping the cars at $1 means you won’t get the same quality as 30 years ago, however there are ways to mask it and Hot Wheels does an ok job with it much of the time. Matchbox has started using that light gray plastic which really does the castings a disservice. The one that disappointed me the most was the ’75 Caprice because I was really excited about it and once I saw how cheap it looked I recoiled. I never did buy one. But the same gray plastic afflicted the Mercedes, the D-200, and the 2002. Hopefully Matchbox moves away from that batch of plastic with future releases.

  3. I know the SVX and Mercedes will garner the bulk of the votes. But both are lacking in areas for me. I voted for the Slingshot. It was the best done casting of the year. Maybe not the most popular but the best execution.

    Most disappointing was the Porsche 911. We have been begging for a classic 911 for years. And the one we get is just a big swing and a miss. It is the first MB Porsche I haven’t loved EVER. The lines are off. Too much plastic. No b pillars. soft details where there should be hard and vice versa. Terrible mold and casting lines on the first release. (What will it be like after many years.). Other models may have not been done well but I kind of expected that from the release (Ram Flatbed, Terrastar and Animal Truck I am talking to you.) but the Porsche was the biggest disappointment.

  4. The best…for me? The 1980 Mercedes wagon. Not a perfect model, but a great little casting of a often forgotten car. The color is typical of this era in German autos, and proportions and details appear to be correct.
    The same cannot be said about the BMW 2002. I was really looking forward to this one, but it appears to be way too tall, and too big to fit in with the rest of the line up. The 2002 is such a clean and simple design in real life. Recreating the toy should have been pretty easy.

  5. Best new model is almost a tie between the SVX and the S123 (why Matchbox called it a W123 wagon I have no idea, because Mercedes never did). I was really excited to know Matchbox was doing one of my favourite Mercedes and although the casting slightly missed my expectations (sunroof is unnecessary, front tampos are incomplete, no chrome base) it’s still a nice model. The SVX is pretty much the same. Love the fact that Matchbox is back to doing sports cars and 90s cars again. Like I said, it’s difficult to choose between these two.

    Most disappointing model, I can look at in two ways. One is how much I anticipated a casting and other is just a disappointing model by itself. In the first case, it’s the Mustang. I was looking forward to a new gen Mustang convertible but that casting is just not up to mark, and you can clearly see in the pictures. And secondly the Porsche 911 rally. I was hoping they’d do a stock 80s 911 but the moment they said it’ll be a rally 911 was the moment I lost all interest. I’ve been begging Matchbox to do a new stock 911 but what we get instead is an ugly, not-really-that-nice 911 on stilts. Meh. And this is coming from a huge Porsche fan.

  6. The Subaru is nicest casting this year. It is well done. The most disappointing casting was the international ambulances. The reason being the plastic body. I know that costs of making latge models like nowadays in metal other premium quality is not possible at lowet price points but one csn dream (or buy older used castings) to get some vehicles of that quality. The other car it found to be disappointing was the mustang convertible. The proportions are off but since i like mustangs i bought one anyways. Overall i like what Matchbox has come out with. 2020 looks like good year for castings. I am looking getting the honda civic and Mercedes Benz when they come out.

    1. Totally agree that the International’s plastic body was a big letdown (I was excited for it because I used to work for one of International’s main seatbelt/harness manufacturers). I ended up buying some for former coworkers all the same, and I got some extras for myself; if they switch to a metal body, I intend to make a few metal/metal customs with scale tires~

  7. 1965 land Rover๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜€…… Only because it sent from US and A. 98% of the UK can’t vote…….. ………… ……… ……..!!!!!!!??????!!!!!!!!…………????????!!!!!!!!โ€ฆ………………..????!?!!???!??……….. What’s MBX?!?!?!๐Ÿ‘ฝ๐Ÿ‘ป……๐Ÿ˜ฎ?…….๐Ÿ‘ฝ……..65th…..50th……Superfast……LOL……… Iconic English/British brand.๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€……๐Ÿ‘ฝ

  8. Looking at this list and the pics really nails home how disappointing this year was for Matchbox. The problem is not with vehicle choice…MBX continues to improve (or recover, depending on how you want to look at it) in terms of WHAT vehicles they’re doing, but the execution has been really bad. The reasons have already been outlined in earlier comments – wrong proportions, lack of appropriate tampo, over-use of gray plastic in place of chrome…I had a genuinely hard time picking a model I could comfortably say was “best” because not a single one excited me very much. Like many others, I think it might be the Subaru SVX for me. The lack of front tampo was disappointing, but there’s very little to fault with the casting itself. It’s in a close contest with the Mercedes wagon, but I can’t vote for that one without having it in hand (I’ve yet to find it). Most disappointing? Take your pick…everything was disappointing in its own way

    It’s been said over and over, but the stubborn $1 price point is the major culprit…but Hot Wheels has shown us that it’s still possible to create a really great model even at that artificially constricted price, so where was that ingenuity when it came time to create the orange brand’s new models?? I’m certainly not seeing it here. I’m slowly but surely losing my patience with MBX.

    1. I don’t disagree that the price point makes them make decisions that hurt the final product. But I also don;t see it changing too much with even a 25 cent increase. The stone has been cast. I also don’t see HW doing much better. Too many crap castings over there as well.

      1. I certainly can’t speak for everyone, but I’d personally be perfectly happy paying double what the mainline is currently priced at if we could have some quality back. I imagine they could make a lot of improvements at that price point. I do stand by what I said about Hot Wheels though…yes, they still put out a rotten casting every once in a while, but they seem to cope with the restrictions better than MBX has been.

    2. While a lot of us collectors would pay double what Matchbox charges, it is not that simple. The brand would be crushed if it moved it’s price up and other brands such as Hot Wheels didn’t. Any change would almost certainly have to be made in consort with Hot Wheels. They are reluctant to do it because their calculus is currently working (both HW and MB) and large companies like Mattel are risk and change averse, particularly when things are going well for them. It does seem like the pressure of inflation won’t be able to be offset by volume of sales and ‘premium’ lines that help bring in more money forever. But it could be a while before we get a price increase and it won’t probably add a lot to the budget when it happens. I am thankful for what Matchbox is able to do. I disagree that Hot Wheels is doing better castings. MB and HW have similar aesthetics when they do realistic and licensed models, but MB usually has a superior touch. Their commitment to licensed models, as well as realistic non licensed is greater than HW and they also have a much broader spectrum of licensed models, from working vehicles, to sporting, to rally, to emergency, and covering eras from the 30’s to now. They also are more committed to ‘stock’ look, although when they do get creative and silly, they do it in a more fun way than HW’s crappy fantasy stuff (example, the Banana car from MB which technically is based on a real, street legal ‘car’). I’m consistently mystified by the large number of HW obsessed collectors that don’t give MB a second look, even though their only interest is licensed vehicles. All the same, MB is selling well, but it would be nice to have more open minds about what MB actually offers rather than blind brand loyalty.

  9. Sooooo, I’m saying this as a big SVX/Alcyone fan and a total Giugiaro/Italdesign junkie (and I was super excited to hear it was being released this year), but, how come there’s almost no love for the Slingshot?! Seriously, I don’t own one, and probably won’t ever buy one (I’d rather have a clean, beautiful Caterham), BUT I keep a Polaris on my desk because the amount of design detail they crammed onto this already overly complicated road car is fantastic! Very much looking forward to seeing this level of detail on the Mbx RZR this year~

    1. I said it above. I voted for the SLingshot. It was the best casting overall. We need to take our fan boy glasses off. Probably the next best would be the Sambar.

    2. I didn’t mention it in my comment above, but I actually was very pleasantly surprised by the Slingshot. The ONLY thing that kept it from the top spot for me was the treatment of the rear wheel. That is not a knock on Matchbox’s job with the model though, there’s really no other way they could have made it, but if by some kind of witchcraft they had been able to do a full-size wheel like on the real thing, it would’ve been a damn near perfect model. The way they did the rear wheel on the Ducati Panigale MIGHT have worked, but I don’t think the wheel would have rolled nearly as well. Oh well.

  10. I tend to find Jeff Webster’s perspective here interesting. Based solely on realistic, accurate, aesthetically pleasing rendition of a licensed vehicle, the Slingshot has to be near the top of the list. Some models I look forward to because of the vehicle and then I find myself disappointed by the execution. Other times, I don’t really like the vehicle that much but I find myself charmed by excellent execution and it grows my appreciation of the actual vehicle (Slingshot, SVX). That’s one of the fun things about collecting. The Slingshot is kind of a silly vehicle–not one I’d ever care to own. However, the model is very well done and charming due to how off beat it is.

    Execution isn’t just about the mold. A great deco can save a boring model, and use of too much plastic in the wrong places can ruin a good mold. On that topic in general, it is helpful to remember that Matchboxes are toys as well as collectables and extremely affordable. To keep the balance of child toy, to adult collectable all at a very low price some concessions need to be made. The hope is before these get too numerous that they raise the price rather than lower the quality. It seems as though they have a certain requirement of metal content to be called die cast. However, in rare circumstances they put all the metal in the base with none of top. I feel that this should be done as little as possible. Some metal should be somewhere on top. I’ve been disheartened by some models like the Hazard Squad becoming all plastic on top. The animal catcher looks like crap for this and other reasons. Most recently, the International Brush Truck has been turned to all plastic on top. The way the mold brings in a lot of ‘mid layer’ plastic for the ‘metal’ components of the fire truck should mean that with base and the middle being plastic, the metal top should be cheap enough to produce. Now, if they came out with a version like that and then did metal later, when the had more budget, that would be OK (like they do with plastic vs. chrome bases). But when a vehicle goes all plastic on top, it never seems to get the metal back at all. And collectors (as well as children) are disappointed. The TerraStar, Workstar and Hazard Squad all deserve better. Overall, there are still a lot of models with a healthy amount of metal up top.

    I’d actually count the 911 Rally as one of my disappointments. It’s not a very accurate or charming mold–it feels cartoony. It has a lot of plastic in bad places. It’s a nice idea but the execution is lacking. Compare it the the Datsun rally… The 1980 Mercedes Wagon is both an appealing choice of vehicle and a good execution. Hope to see much more. I don’t really get the level of love for the 95 SVX. It’s a pretty good rendition (although that all plastic top strategy can annoy me slightly—at least they only try it when they can get away with it). I’m surprised it’s running away with the lead so far. I guess the 90’s are in right now… I bring a lot of bias to this like everyone. I enjoy really old cars and have a special liking for 50’s cars. The Dodge was Coronet was very exciting to hear about. But could they pull it off? The end result was spectacular, and a very difficult car to pull off. For instance, I think it’s as well done 80 Mercedes (and with a less plasticy looking grill) but a more difficult model the pull off. The basic chrome trim is even raised on the model! For me it’s the best looking new model of the year and one of the toughest to pull off. We’ll be seeing a new deco for it soon and hopefully a Fire Chief version is in the works.

  11. The plastic bodies, especially on “emergency vehicles”, are disappointing. Matchbox team designers might do well to take a look at HO-scale model railroading accessory-vehicle manufacturers (Wiking, Herpa, and more importantly, USA’s own RPS (River Point Station)). Matchbox’s choice of plastics seem translucent…RPS’s plastics (and Wiking, etc from the EU) look solid and opaque…more like metal. Can’t Mattel find a better source for the plastic they DO use?

  12. For me, the best new casting is the Subaru SVX. I wasn’t the hugest Subaru fan at the time this car hit the market, but I did like it. Not enough to consider buying one, but in wonderment over how space-aged it looked. I personally love that the 80’s and 90’s are getting some love by both MBX and HW right now. While the SVX may not have been a top seller, it certainly had a distinctive look. I am so glad to have this one in my collection.

    So, beyond the “cool looking car” aspect, I voted SVX because this release is darn near perfect! The lines and proportions are spot on and they captured the svelte window lines in a way I’m not sure they could have pulled off with a metal roof. I love the black over pearl white and the fact that they were able to wrap the tail light deco around the corners. The one and only let down is the lack of a front tampo, but that’s a small gripe.

    My runner up is the Porsche 911 Rally. I’m reading how many Porsche fans were really disappointed by this one, but I couldn’t have been more excited. I has actually more excited for this one than for the SVX. The reason it didn’t take the top spot is the execution. I don’t really have a problem with the decision to use plastic for the fenders and bumpers. To me it blends in well with the blue side graphics. The casting may not be perfect, but I can’t really point to where it’s off, other than the “soft” tail light area. There’s a definite lack of distinction at the back, including the outer edges of the rear spoiler. More than the casting though, it’s the deco that kept this model from being my #1. While I love the Rothmans inspired livery, this model is really let down by the lack of front and rear deco, as well as that large swath of unpainted cargo on the roof.

    #3 – Mecedes-Benz W123. Perfect casting in its lines, proportions and details. A chrome base would have done wonders for this model, even if it were chromed plastic rather than metal.

    Honorable mentions; Land Rover Gen II Safari and BMW 2002. LR needs a metal base not the ugly light gray plastic and windows that aren’t blacked out. BMW is too large compared to other MBX and even taken on its own, its proportions are still a bit off. Seems too chunky.

    I don’t think I can pick a most disappointing.

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