Alright here we go again. A couple more Matchbox polls for the 2019 Lamley Awards.
These two are a bit of a trip to be doing. Two polls on Matchbox Moving Parts. If I told any Matchbox collector five years ago that Matchbox would have two lines of Opening Parts models in 2019, they would have told me to jump in a lake. Matchbox has come incredibly far in just a few years.
Just a few years ago the line was moving to mostly unlicensed models, done in a cartoonish style that some marketing genius thought reflected how kids look at vehicles. It was a disaster. But it is a testament to the Matchbox Team over the last few years that they have completely reversed it, bringing Matchbox back to realism. Almost all the models introduced in 2019 were licensed, and those that weren’t are realistic replicas of real utility vehicles. And on top of that a whole new line of opening parts. It is really extraordinary.
So while we are voting on what we like and don’t like, I think it is important to recognize that we are doing this under an umbrella of a true resurgence of a classic brand.
That said, let’s do this.
Due to the holiday schedule, I was unable to take pics, but every Moving Parts model is in this video below. So watch it, and then vote on the polls below. Enjoy.
19 Replies to “Lamley Awards Poll: What was the Best and Most Disappointing Matchbox Moving Parts New Model in 2019?”
Funny I just handed my so the 2006 Crown Victoria Police Car for being so good in a wedding last night!
The Porsche just edged out the Datsun (I have both). The Porsche has an absolutely lovely paint scheme combined with mbxs idea of real riders.
The Trezor was a straight up disaster – I closed the lid on mine after freeing it and I’m not too sure I’ll be able to open it again.
On the mbx brand as a whole: 2019 has been the year of getting it right. Improved card art (they stand out a lot more than the orange cards) along with a good choice of castings plus fun chase cars like the Merc sedan.
The only thing I’d like to see added is a proper checklist website like the hot wheels car collector page.
The problem–really, absolutely none of them. Exactly what the MBX range needed, badly. Though, I will say giving the early runs of the Ford Crown Victoria a taxi sign was stupid.
Datsun 280zx I personally like…… Retro. The Ford crown Victoria police ……TAXI…. !!!!… Another batch which never made it ,or ever make it to UK officially. As well as 90% of the whole range. Poor show I hope Mattel’s distribution dept….. Got visited by the three ghosts.👻👻👻🎅.poor show.
I can’t even vote in this one because about half of these have been IMPOSSIBLE to find and I won’t vote on something I can’t see in hand. I will say that based on the ones I have found, I’m a bit lukewarm on this line. S2000 with opening metal hood? Fantastic. Volkswagen Minibus with horrible, clunky, blobby, clumsy side doors? Not so much. The Renault Trezor looked absolutely awful. Of the ones I’ve found, I like the Range Rover and 911 Turbo a lot.
In my area, we got the first batch. Someone tried to hide most of those–I ended up only finding the X-Terra at first, then the VW and Pontiac concealed behind two or three mainlines on a high peg. Since then, I’ve never seen the other two batches.
The Buick Riviera looked atrocious in the quality dept. The VW tl, despite that clunky junky steering wheel, was the winner for me.
Noticed that Blue Shark is missing from the video and poll. That makes sense because it’s not a new model. However it was modified and has a 2018 copyright year on the base. That raises a question about inclusion of several moving parts models that are modified versions of existing castings: i8, Corvette, Xterra, Crown Victoria. Maybe the simplest solution would have been to include Blue Shark on the poll?
Blue Shark doesn’t have moving parts but is rather part of the Superfast Anniversary range. The kicker is some of the anniversary also have moving parts.
The “modified” castings are actually all new castings of other current models.
For most disappointing I went with the Fastback – the doors on my opener are so wonky there’s not a chance either will shut. Looking at my packaged ones I see the same issue. Love the line no matter what but I wanted everyone to know why it got a vote lol.
Most disappointing was not a model but rather distribution. These lines are both de facto Walmart exclusives (at least where I live), and while I’ve seen most of the SuperFast Premiums, the Basics Plus haven’t been seen since the first batch. If Walmart has been getting these cases they’ve been cleared out before I get there (which is typically a pretty short time). It would be nice if some other stores would carry these, because I’d like to have another chance to find more of them.
Mattel, do you hear me? I want to give you more of my money…if I could only find the products. I still want to get the:
1962 Jeep Willys Wagon
1965 Chevy C10 Pickup
1959 VW Microbus
1982 Datsun 280ZX
1983 Buick Riviera Convertible
Custom 1936 Ford Sedan
Any conversation on the basic moving parts has to be centered on the distribution, because it overwhelms everything else about the series.
My region of the United States has many Walmarts, which I visited frequently throughout the year in an attempt to obtain the series, the most effort I’ve ever put into getting any matchbox, but I still only have about half of it.
The cars would arrive in one or two tiny 8-count cases that would sell out, except for the models that were three to a case, within an hour or two of hitting the peg if they even made it that far. Then the peg would sit completely empty for three to four months until the next case came, and the same thing would happen. Sometimes, due to shrinkage or errors, the inventory system in a store would show two or three pieces in stock when there weren’t any. Those stores never got another case, because two or three models is 1/4-3/8 of a shipment, and above the restock threshold. Eventually the pegs holding those two or three phantom models, which never sold because they weren’t there, were moved to the clearance section or dropped during a reset. Out of the nine Walmart stores within driving distance of my home, only one still has a peg for the basic moving parts range, and I’ve never, ever seen any models on it. If the line continues, how am I going to get the models if I have to be the very first or second person to walk down the toy aisle at one store at the other side of the metropolitan area when the case containing them comes out of the stockroom one or two times a year?
Has anyone seen the second batch outside of Australia?
Great series. I really like the ones I have. Wish I could buy the others.
And then there were this year’s Jurassic park models, also including great new castings, which so far as I know wasn’t sold anywhere within 100 miles of here.
In CO we had the JP models but only in our Kroger marketplace stores which are stores that were expanded to a small department store with a few isles of toys. We have 3 in CO. One happens to be by my house. They had the singles and the 5 packs. If you want I can help you get them. Whatever is left…
Even where I live, and get amazingly-great distribution of Matchbox cases, considering we’re about 400 miles in any direction to the next (real) ‘big city’, some batches/cases seem to never arrive or, as noted above, arrive ONCE and then never again. It’s frustrating, but I count myself as one of the lucky ones who manages to almost always find everything I want from Matchbox in local stores, eventually.
And for the ones I miss, well, there’s always ebay and Amazon….
Please bring these to the UK!! (plus Working Rigs, obviously) – The pickup was a great surprise and IMO the best of the bunch; I’d say the biggest disappointment was not that the microbus was chosen, but its awful execution. Terrible wheels – compare this with the Lesney edition T2 camper which looks great, and the opening doors are horrible (no wonder the recolour has been faced the other way in the pack) – if that couldn’t be done better (safety regs?) then switch to a different plan – like a lifting roof – hey…hasn’t that been done before?!
Totally agree, Tim; the Chevy was my best-of-show as well! It has this satisfying “clic’clunk” when the hood shuts, plus great panel gap between the hood and fenders~
And, yeah, the Microbus was awful: terrible door design, poorly-matched SF wheels, AND Mbx’s plastic base in white no-less. I passed up many opportunities to get one, was sooo-not worth $5.00 (£3.83)…
MATCHBOX, TEAM ORANGE is knocking it out of the part. I believe the last couple of years I’ve amazing castings and colorway and details. Also check out this article about $400,000.00 Matchbox collection that was sold. https://www.autoblog.com/2020/01/10/matchbox-car-collection-sells-for-400000/
My top pick goes to the Porsche 911 Turbo. Lovely color with an interesting retro deco. So great to see this casting back out there again.
My runners up are;
Honda S2000 (Superfast) – So well done. Love the color choice. Nice engine detailing. Only grip would be the wheel choice and that it seems to ride a bit high.
Range Rover (Superfast) – Perfect! From the brilliant metallic blue paint to the fine detailing to the wheel and tire choice to the seamless tailgate to the perfect proportions. Only criticism I can even think of would be to have it “clean” without the big 60th Ann logo on the fender.
Datsun 280 ZX (Real Working Parts) – From what I can see, this model looks to be near perfect. The detailing of the casting appears to be spot on, though I’ve heard it’s a tad large. Love the color and deco choice. Now I only wish I would have been able to find it.
My most disappointing would have been distribution, but since that wasn’t a choice, it went to the Renault Trezor. It’s not the car I dislike, that honor would got to the ’32 Ford Pickup and its gaudy gold paint. It’s not even the casting per se. I think what it comes down to is execution. Mainly the all-plastic top. The hood is too translucent and the windows are too opaque. If they could have pulled it off with a metal hood and clear red windows that would have been great. Or even going the route they did, if they had used clear red plastic for the whole top piece and painted hood section opaque metallic silver. I actually like the concept car, so it’s a shame, as I would have enjoyed having this model in my collection if done better. As is, it just looks cheap.
Distribution on the Real Working Parts line has been horrific! I’ve literally seen pretty much nothing other than the Trezor from this line. I honestly don’t believe Walmart even remembers that they carry this line. Nothing but empty pegs for a year now (other than a stray Trezor). The Superfast line started off great. Plenty of Mercedes and Range Rovers to be had by all and even the occasional S2000. Great until I realized wave 1 was missing half its models. If I didn’t know any better I would have swore the VW Bus, Corvette and BMW i8 were in wave 2. They just never appeared. The “true” wave 2 was distributed a bit better, with only the VW Fastback being rare. 2020 has started off with plenty of Volvos, a fair amount of M-B 6×6 and even an occasional Dodge, but still no 280 ZX or Microbus.