Model: Matchbox MB546 Chevrolet Avalanche
Release: 2004 Collectibles Showcase
Ebay link: Matchbox Avalanche
Why I am featuring it: Chevy trucks are a hot collecting trend right now but amidst the scramble to collect the (ahem) avalanche of vintage Squarebodies, Stepsides and Silverados being issued by the likes of Hot Wheels, Auto World, M2 and Greenlight, I don’t detect a lot of love for the Avalanche.
Maybe it’s because the Avalanche isn’t yet old enough for people to get misty-eyed about it. Maybe it’s because for some, the lack of a box separate from the body might count against its credibility as a ‘real truck’ (never mind the roomy interior and comfy ride). So while it has its fans, I don’t yet see a collective nostalgia for the Avalanche and as a result, there aren’t a ton of models available to Chevy-loving collectors.
The Matchbox Chevrolet Avalanche (MB546) came out in 2002. There have been more than 20 versions down the years, everything from stock models in the basic range to hideous decos for cartoon-themed multipacks. I found the olive green, 2009 Croc Zoo 5-pack version in a newly reopened thrift store this week.
Most recently we saw it in blue as part of the 2018 Chevy Trucks 100 Years special models. But where all others in the series rapidly disappeared from my local Toys “R” Us, I saw row upon row of the blue Avalanches warming the pegs, even when reduced to half price. That’s a pity, because I really like the way it looks.
The white one shown here is perhaps the nicest of the lot. It came out in 2004 as part of a Collectibles Showcase series that also contained the recently featured Pontiac Vibe. The premium wheels and extra tampos really bring out the best in the casting, which can get away with the plastic base because of the liberal cladding applied to real-life Avalanches. It’s a very attractive model.
There aren’t many Avalanches in 1:64 – there’s also a Maisto, a Jada, a Welly and the questionable Hot Wheels Blings version. If you know of more, please let me know in the comments! Until one of the premium 1:64 brands deems the Avalanche worthy of attention, this Matchbox is a good, very reasonably priced alternative.