Not such a Swede deal? Matchbox’s Volvo V60 Wagon is the Superfast Super Duty

A few years ago, we’d have been happy to see any premium Matchbox at all on the pegs, anywhere. For most European collectors, that unfortunately remains a wish unfulfilled, although it was good to see some Superfast showing up recently in Germany.

For the past couple of years, Superfast has been central to an expansion of the Matchbox peg space in my local Walmarts. But here in my local Calgary stores – which tend to reflect what’s going on elsewhere in Canada and at least parts of the US –  we’ve been marooned on Superfast 2020 Mix 1 for months, mostly thanks to this champion pegwarmer.

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This is one of two versions of the attractive MB1020 Volvo V60 Wagon casting to be released in 2020 (it’s also in the Auto Bahn Express five-pack). For my money, the original ‘Polestar’ blue version is hard to beat.

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It’s not a unique problem, of course. Right alongside this Volvo-fest, we have a pegwarming masterclass being delivered in the basic range by the F-550 Super Duty (despite the based-on-a-real-truck San Luis Obispo deco) and Polaris RZR (despite a ton of people around these parts owning ATVs). But it is a pity to see so little love for the Volvo given that: 1) it’s a decent, rally-style model; 2) collectors supposedly always want more wagons and 3) any pegwarmerage does our already patchy distribution no favours. Ah well.

If you were wondering why I haven’t shown the Superfast model out of its packaging, it’s because I’m not a completist, so I didn’t buy one. Guilty as charged! But I do more than my bit to keep the local stock moving, as you can imagine. Hopefully a Volvo-lover will take pity on this cache of wagons…

Find the Matchbox Volvo V60 Wagon on eBay

Graham Heeps

19 thoughts on “Not such a Swede deal? Matchbox’s Volvo V60 Wagon is the Superfast Super Duty

  1. I live in Atlanta and I have only seen one store that had more than 2 of those, however I went to a Walmart in New Smyrna Beach, FL and there might have been 5-10 of them warming a peg.

  2. The situation is the same in southern Ontario. These are everywhere. I myself would love to pick one up, as the V60 is a very nice model, as you’ve mentioned, and the premium deco and Real Riders set this version off nicely.

    The reason I’ve neglected to finally pounce on one is the price point. Seven dollars for a model with a plastic base? I just can’t bring myself to pay that. This line has been way overpriced from the start, and I think that may be why they’ve been slow to leave the pegs. From Hot Wheels you can get a Premium Fast & Furious model for seven dollars, which will feature a metal base, Real Riders wheels, full detailing, and high-quality printed tampos – not to mention the Fast & Furious licensing, if that adds any value for you. While seven dollars is still a bit steep, I consider the Fast & Furious models worth it because I appreciate the quality and level of detail. As for the Superfast line – and Globe Travellers before that – they just aren’t worth the price point. I would buy these for four dollars. Give them a metal base and I’d pay five. As it stands I just don’t see how two more tampo passes and some Real Riders make them six times more expensive than a basic Matchbox model.

    1. Lay the blame at Mattel’s feet since they own both brands. However, they lavish their love on Hot Wheels products and leave crumbs with Matchbox and try the collect the same price for both brands. Sad but true.

      1. Why did they buy the Matchbox brand then? It baffles me. There’s room for both brands, as we’ve seen in the past. Custom race cars from Hot Wheels, stock street cars from Matchbox. I realize Hot Wheels sell better than Hot Wheels, so naturally more funding is allocated to them, but don’t let the Matchbox brand suffer and then make up for the lack of profit by jacking up the price of mediocre products.

      2. @ Chris:

        Mattel bought Matchbox as part of the Tyco Toys buyout in 1997. They only wanted Tyco’s R/C racers and Cabbage Patch Dolls; Matchbox was part of the package. They’ve been trying to kill off Matchbox ever since (Hero City-remember that train wreck? Ignoring popular Matchbox markets, like the UK and Europe. And now, decreasing the box count from 72 to 36 to 24, and issuing new boxes form monthly to every other month.) The truth is, Matchbox has a stronger recognition that Hot Wheels as well as a rabid fan base. The annual Matchbox Gathering of Friends proves that. Plus the Matchbox brand has a loyal staff that will do anything to keep the brand alive.

        Now you may not know this, but Mattel did attempt to buy Matchbox when its parent, Lesney, went bankrupt in 1982. But Mattel’s attempt was to get Matchbox’s European distribution system to gain a greater presence on the Continent. When that failed, Mattel bided its time and bought Corgi with it went bankrupt in 1987. Corgi’s small European presence was adequate for Mattel to quickly expand it’s European business. As Hot Wheels grew across Europe, and especially in Europe, Corgi suffered greatly. Around 1994, Corgi management approached Mattel corporate with a deal to buy Corgi back. Corgi management did get their wish, but the left Mattel with the Corgi Juniors line, which were rebranded as Hot Wheels.

        Mattel was going to let Corgi fade into oblivion. It’s the same thing going on with Matchbox. Matchbox makes money, but it’s not a natural brand like Hot Wheels. Hot Wheels gets the priority. Matchbox gets the crumbs. Had Mattel bought Matchbox back in 1982, chances are matchbox would not be around today. I personally feel that Matchbox collectors and fans alike should be holding Mattel corporate’s feet to the fire over how Matchbox is regarded. Don’t be surprised if Mattel reduces Matchbox to 12 per case by next year.

        For the record, Matchbox was my very first diecast. I’ve been collecting them since 1973, and Matchbox still makes up a large percentage of my collection. I collect other brands as well, but Matchbox always bring more excitement that Hot Wheels.

    2. The price is an interesting question. My own feeling is that Matchbox basics are underpriced in Canada/US (I wish they cost a bit more so they didn’t have to skimp on VUM etc) and maybe the Superfast are a little high. Moving Parts are about right, I think. But I’m sure collectors in Europe, where the cars all cost more, might take a different view. Remember too that MB doesn’t have the luxury of volume that HW has – everything is easier when you’re selling a ton more. Mattel may have got Matchbox into this position in the first place, but there are good people there now trying to get it out. Fixing prices for new lines low at the start isn’t going to help in the long run, I wouldn’t have thought, but as volumes build, perhaps the quality will rise over time to always match the premium price.

      1. I agree that the basic cars cost too little. It’s great that I can pick up the models I want for one dollar, but the models I want are becoming fewer and fewer due to the lack of VUM on classic cars that need the chrome treatment, and the level of detail being too low. I generally prefer models to have front and rear light detailing, and when a basic model gets side graphics, the front and rear are generally blank, which means I’ll likely be leaving the model behind.

        At the end of the day, I’m sure collectors wanting the price of basic models to go up so they can have more detailing is a lost cause. As long as kids or kids’ parents are happy to pick up a toy car for a buck, the price will stay where it is, and perhaps it should. But if it does, the collector-aimed models like Superfast should completely satisfy the desires of collectors. They can have a high price point, but the quality should reflect that. If I’m paying seven dollars for a Superfast model, I want it to have a metal body and base, rubber tires and full detailing. No plastic bases, no plastic wheels, and no side and engine detailing only with blank front and rear (Superfast ’63 Chevy C10). Regardless of Mattel’s desires to support on or ditch the Matchbox brand, or Matchbox’s handicaps due to volume of product, the consumer only sees the finished product at the retail level, and is generally going to pick the best products. Isn’t that the whole idea of capitalism?

        Oh wait, but it’s not a capitalist issue because Mattel has a monopoly over both brands. I would be more sympathetic if Matchbox was a smaller company that was independent or just getting started, but they’re not. They’re a division of Mattel, the biggest toy company in the world, and Mattel can afford to make nicer premium Matchbox models for collectors if they really want to. If they actually do want to “kill off” Matchbox, I guess that’s their prerogative. I hope they don’t, but me buying overpriced Superfast models is not going to be enough to change their minds. If they want me to buy their product, they need to step it up a bit.

        (Sorry to the passionate people at the design level like Abe Lugo. I know those guys love cars and love the brand, and have nothing to do with Matchbox at the corporate level.)

  3. It’s not just an issue with this particular casting. It also affects the second wave of Superfasts that absolutely flood the pegs at every Walmart and Target! The pegs are full of the blue Porsche 911 Turbo, green Chevy Camaro, gold Ford Model T (which baffles me considering it’s a great looking new casting) and the infamous Blue Shark. I’m so sick of seeing essentially the entire set of the second wave every Walmart I go to.

    1. I would have written this exact same response. Blue Porsche, green Cam, gold T and Blue Shark. They just sit there. As for the Volvo… I’ve seen it once at one Target and I bought it along with three of it’s case siblings. I’ve never seen these again anywhere and I have never seen the red Challenger at all. Just found the gold Ford Sedan and b&w Crown Vic Police at Target. Store didn’t have their case siblings.

    2. A big part of the problem lies with Walmart and Target’s distribution warehouses. They are not rotating their stock as regularly as they should. I once worked at a Walmart store in 1997 as a night manager receiving freight, and can recall receiving multiple Matchbox boxes with bot the Mattel and Tyco logos on the packages. To be fair, the majority of Dollar Tree stores in my area are more up-to-date on their Matchbox inventory that Wally’s and Target.

    3. Wow! Where do you live that Walmarts are flooded with wave 2? Not that I doubt your claim, it’s just that it’s a totally different story where I live in Oregon. I’ve only seen the 911 once, the ’32 Ford pickup and Blue Shark 2-3 times. I’ve had ample opportunity to grab the Camaro, but it’s by no means pegwarming or at every Walmart. I’ve never seen the purple VW Type 3 Fastback from this wave. To my recollection, I’ve only seen this line at any of the multiple Target stores here maybe 2-3 times since its introduction. Sounds like Walmart could distribute a bit better. Send a few more of those case going to your region over here.

      Apart from this Volvo, Superfast has been moving off the pegs at a fair rate in these parts. In fact, the remaining models in 2020 mix 1 are very rare finds indeed. In my area at least. The 280ZX, Challenger and VW Microbus vanish the instant they’re stocked. Only the M-B G63 AMG 6×6 remains for a day or two.

  4. As many collectors, I fell in love with the hobby since my childhood. I grew up in the impoverished country of Nicaragua. My first diecast car was an incomplete and beat up Police Peterbilt truck. I won it by playing marbles with my neighborhood kids. Some of them had parents who worked in the border where there used to be some kind of flea market every weekend. I got into collecting due to that beat up Matchbox Peterbilt truck. When I came to live here in the U.S. with my American wife, I felt that I have found the paradise of diecast. Every time that we went to the grocery store, I had to check out the toy aisle looking for diecast cars.
    I do like hot wheels, but I found it very dissapointing that the Matchbox line was very small compare to the hot wheels one. The more I got into the hobby (my wife calls it addiction), I’ve noticed that my childhood love might dissapear some day due to the negligence, greed, pride, capitalism or whatever you want to call it. I’ve never been a fantasy car lover. However, most of my collection is full hot wheels now. Part of it has to do with the facts that many people have previously mentioned in this post. My hope is that some day, some billionaire Matchbox aficionado will buy the brand out from Mattel to give the place it deserves. I just hopes it happens before it’s too late.

  5. When I was in Vancouver BC for vacation last year, the pegs everywhere were pretty much dead. But where I found most Hot Wheels were Dollarama.

  6. There has been an absolute glut of both waves here in Australia. The Porsche and Skyline didn’t last too long but shelves in Target and BigW are littered with the Volvo and everything from wave 2 (bar the Skyline and to a lesser extent the C10).

  7. I am finding the same situation here in Oregon. It seems no one has any interest in this Volvo and I’m a bit dumbfounded by it. It is often the only Superfast model on the pegs and when there are others, this model always outnumbers any other. I am happy to say you can count me among the Volvo-lovers that picked this model up. In fact, I snatched mine up the very first time I saw them on the pegs.

    Now if only there were more maroon Mustang GT Convertible lovers out there. Those things are pegwarming at every last Walmart in my area.

  8. I bought this car bc it reminds me of Europe. But in Colorado that is all I see of that series. All the walmarts are stocked to the brim with this one car. I have not seen anything new. Some Kroger stores have a few but not much and nothing new.

  9. I finally broke down and bought this one, and I will confess that it was the last Superfast model in this series that I purchased. It simply did not call to me and I am not a “completist” collector. However it is a very good rendition with cool decos and I love the black out wheels. And I did this to move merch off the pegs (you’re welcome). BTW, this is a very cool website and my thanks for all the work that goes into it.

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