When it comes to diecast collecting, I openly admit I’m a hypocrite. One day, I’ll be anxiously pacing in my garage, feeling as if the walls were closing in around me. The next day, I’ll be adding two Matchbox 9-Packs to my Wally cart just for the exclusive models, tossing care to the wind as I double up on singles that I already have.
My justification? Why shell out $10 (or more) for one car, when you can buy the pack at the same price and essentially get eight cars for free.
The only problem (well, I’m only admitting to one) with that flawed logic is it does nothing to help curb my collection and settle my anxiety when I feel as if I’m a passenger in a 1:64 car careening towards a cliff and there isn’t anyone behind the wheel.
The marketing folks at Matchbox should be getting monthly bonuses for hooking, landing and mounting unsuspecting collectors on a daily basis. I didn’t always take the Exclusive car bait. Looking back at what 2019 had to offer, I’m surprised there aren’t more of them stacked in my garage. The silver BMW 1M? Nope. The CHP Corvette? Skipped, although I wish I hadn’t. The Lamley Leaks GMC Wrecker? I passed, just don’t tell John.
But then, in the beginning of the year, or maybe at the end of 2019, I caught a glimpse of the Jaguar F-Type finished off in the color it should have made its debut release in – British Racing Green. How does one leave that behind? I didn’t, so into my garage it went.
Then, Matchbox suits got even more clever – they started offering two colorways for the same casting. Brilliant! Except the initial offering of the ’59 Chevy Wagon in Camp Arrow Flint wasn’t enough to sway me. I dodged that, err, dart.
But then, MBX tempted me, and I’m sure countless other collectors, with the Porsche 997 GT3 in blue and purple. Back to back home runs, in my opinion, and impossible to resist!
And what do they follow that pair up with? The Ram 1500 slathered in one of the most recognizable and desirable police liveries – the California Highway Patrol, in both traditional black and white and all white “Polar Bears.” The difference between the two was a quick Google and 30 second read: the all-white cars are deployed in more problem areas, as they’re harder to spot (the real cars don’t have any roof-mounted lights and in some instances pushbars). Of course, both 9-Packs had to go in the cart.
So where am I at? To obtain five exclusives, I managed to add 45 total cars to my inventory. And the evil genii behind the orange brand made sure I already had many of them. The 9-Packs are a combination of 5-Packs and Mainlines that have already been released, so chances are slim to add something missing beyond the top left car.
Thankfully, it wasn’t a total gluttony of duplicates. I haven’t come across the Alfa Romeo Giulia yet, so I was chuffed to add two. I also have a bunch of unopened Mainlines that were present in the 9-Packs, so they can be returned. I also wasn’t mad at quadrupling my force of Boone County Sheriff Fox Bodies. And another WRX Police? Sure, why not. Plus, a handful of the fantasy castings will go in my daughter’s bucket of cars, and eventually my son’s once he’s older. The more realistic dupes and trips I can offer for trade, or toss them in baggies to hand out to kids I interact with at work.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the 5-Pack representatives. The purple Holden Ute was part of 2019’s Blue Highways. The brown Stepside Squarebody present in the Construction pack. The Gulf-liveried 4×4 Beetle was in No Road, No Problem, and one I had skipped many times. Now I have two, and despite changing the lighting and squinting really hard, I couldn’t find a shade variation between the two. Sorry, David.
The blue Golf Country was a member of the Service Squad, and to be honest, I can’t remember if I bought it. If so, I now have two and I’m ok with that. The orange Hummer was part of MBX Wild and the gray City Bus in the MBX Service Crew. The Sea Hunter, Baja Bandit, Trail Tracker, and the Subaru Impreza Police are four of the five pieces of MBX To The Rescue, one I had purchased solely for the Scooby. If I had only known…
MBX Highway of 2020 sent along three of the five, with the Fiat 500X, Porsche Cayman and Mustang SPP. The Hudson Hornet Police was part of the Countryside and the balance of the cars were all 2019 and 2020 Mainlines.
Overall, despite swiping the credit card for far more than I wanted to, I’m happy with my acquisitions. The next two 9-Packs feature the Datsun 510 Rally in complementary colors, so we’ll see if they find their way to my garage. All I know is until then, I won’t be opening anymore Mainlines.