Model: Matchbox MB577 Taxicab
Release: 2003 New York Toy Show model
Ebay Link: Matchbox Toy Show Taxicab
Why is it in the collection: Memories
I was born in the UK in the 1970s. Growing up as a kid I used to dream of visiting USA. I was enamored by TV shows like Fame which was in New York City and knew that was one of the first places I would like to visit if I was to get there. But as time went on, I never strayed outside of the British Isles. I didn’t even own a passport.
But in late 2002, I was speaking with a friend I had made in USA through my Matchbox collecting & spoke of my desire to explore the country and visit NYC. He said he would like to explore more of it too, and eventually we came up with a road trip. I spoke with work and they allowed me a month off to travel around USA. And travel USA I did. I landed in NYC, but was soon heading down south, visiting with friends and fellow collectors who until then I had only known online. I still remember I got as far as Albuquerque NM and met up with Jim Gallegos who runs the Gathering each July for the first time. I then worked my way back to NYC to attend the Mattel-run New York Matchbox Convention. It was held on August 22-23 2003 at Pier 60 on Chelsea Piers in NYC, and this was the first time I met up with other collector friends like Shabbir Malik and Terry Ozima.
As part of the convention Mattel created this exclusive version of the brand new at the time MB577 casting, and it really fitted in with the New York theme of being a yellow taxi. Something I was seeing in abundance while there. Matchbox at the time were based in Mt Laurel in New Jersey, and so a short trek to NYC was not hard to do. For me, it was the culmination of a massive trek covering a lot of areas in USA. I have tons of memories of the trip and could go on for ages with them.
So this may be a generic model, or a Matchbox Originals casting as the Matchbox team prefer to call them, but this specific release has a really big place in my heart. Whenever I look at this model I am reminded of this fantastic month in my life. My first ever trip to USA (I have been many times since), although I should say my first trip ever outside of the UK. It was one of the biggest times in my life, and this model, more than any other model, is the best reminder of that time.