Lamley Awards Poll: What the BEST & MOST DISAPPOINTING Matchbox Licensed New Model in 2020?

We have made it to the final two polls of the 2020 Lamley Awards. This time we jump across the hall to the orange brand. What is your choice for BEST and MOST DISAPPOINTING Matchbox New Model?

Matchbox continues to roll with the opening parts models, and is rolling out more and more specialized exclusives lines. Plus, there commitment to licensed models is stronger than it has ever been, so there is a lot to choose from.

Watch the video below, check out the photos, and make your choices. Remember, we are going with “MOST DISAPPOINTING” instead of “WORST”. Focus on the model you were most excited for that didn’t live to your expectations.

I will showcase the winners later in December, along with a few more special features to celebrate the year. Enjoy.

14 Replies to “Lamley Awards Poll: What the BEST & MOST DISAPPOINTING Matchbox Licensed New Model in 2020?”

  1. Best; hard to say. All of them were quite good.

    Worst, I voted Challenger. It’s not bad, but compared to the others, it’s goofy proportionwise, like most ’70s England Matchbox are, because it is modelled on the Lesney tooling. If you’re gonna go to that effort, make a new Moving Parts Challenger.

    1. Yeah I agree some 70’s Matchbox were goofy. Just to think then how it was only pencil, paper and wood carvings by hand. I find that the Dodge Challenger is a great nod to the past. However the current Dodge is not available in England. Just to think Lesney’s downfall was Mattel then…. And even now to facemask their Mbx products. Computers and tech says it all nowadays for design. That isn’t correct even now for some castings. Mattel seems to get lost outside USA .(just Mbx of cause)….. Shame as this brand deserves more.

  2. Of course my votes were in the minority. The best new casting for me was the ’19 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 63S. I love the intricate detailing and proportions on this casting. Plus I’ve always been a fan of fastback-style sport sedans. I hope they continue to use this casting.

    The most disappointing for me is the ’76 Honda CVCC (Let’s just call it for what it is, the Civic) I was really looking forward to an old school first gen Civic as oppose to 90s and 2000s Civics that we always get. However, the casting has been plagued by severe cost-cutting and bad engineering. For one, there’s no chrome! I’ve mentioned many times how aggravating it is to see Matchbox cut corners this much by completely eliminating the use of chrome on mainline vehicles! It pisses me off to no end! Is it because they’re not as profitable as Hot Wheels? Is that why they have to take drastic measures just out of nowhere like this? I won’t even mention how many vehicles that should’ve received the chrome treatment but never got it.

    The other thing that ruins it is the stupid, unnecessary safety post in the back of it. Literally every tall vehicle such as an S.U.V., station wagon, or hatchback from Matchbox has this unsightly post in the back that makes it look totally cheesy. They literally look like Made in China toys. What is the deal? Hot Wheels doesn’t have to do that! Sure there’s a sprinkle of cars from them that have this post but they make an effort to hide that aspect like smoking out the windows. Matchbox just leaves it out in the open! Why can’t they engineer these vehicles the same way that Hot Wheels does considering they’re both owned by Mattel!

    1. I agree. How is it that hot wheels can produce castings such as the 510 datsun or 850 volvo wagons without that ridiculous post?

  3. The best one for me had to be the ’41 Cadillac. I love classic Cadillacs, and this one did not disappoint other than maybe being a bit too small. The good detailing and chrome base really helped it shine (no pun intended).

    For most disappointing, I agree with everything Connor mentioned above, although since we’re just voting on casting itself, I’ll focus on the pillar in the rear. The CVCC – or “Civic” – has that pillar and it was really disappointing to see. I supposed I should’ve expected it though. The Jeep Wagoneer from a couple years ago had it and I was disappointed then too. They also retooled the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser to give it a pillar, and that was infuriating since that’s one of my favourite Matchbox castings. One of the reasons I voted for the Volvo 850 Estate as Hot Wheels’ best new model this year was because they used an insert tab through the rear license plate area on that casting to avoid needing a metal pillar inside the car to attach the body to the base. That’s the way to do it, and I wish Matchbox would do the same.

  4. All in all I like the fact that licensed real vehicles of all ages and styles are being kind of the New Mbx normal now. Just the cutbacks of various as written above. The best of many this year i like is Ewy’s Merc. The wost is the London black cab due to the hollow disappointment . Its a shame. But then for £1.25/…. I shouldn’t moan. To put more details in a model, why not put the line back to 75? That will keep more to a dollar?…. As for anything else from batch D and E … UK didn’t receive them. And many more Mbx products at our “1”and only Tesco.

  5. My favourite of the year was the Cadillac even though I’m a Porsche collector. It was nice to see a new 911 cabrio but why the 996 ? It’s not the nicest car that Porsche ever made but being in the UK like Aaron above we missed loads of batch D and E including the 9 pack exclusive Porsches which I had to buy on eBay from Canada for £26. Mattel, please sort out your distribution in the UK, only ONE store in the UK stocks them………shocking !

  6. For the best, it was a toss-up between the Powell and the Bugatti. I eventually chose the Powell. I always felt small obscure brands should be recognized, and Matchbox came through. Good job! It’s now time to do a Bristol or Bricklin SV-1.

    For worst, it’s the Polaris RZR. This one didn’t strike me as it should have.

  7. For me the most disappointing model was the Caprice police car. It just is not well done. The bumpers should have been part of the body and the light bar is awful.

    Best model is the Porsche 550. Once I had it in hand it was so well done.

  8. Best new model, for me there werr 2 standouts: Mercedes AMG GT 4 door and Lamborghini Centenario. I voted for the Centenario because just how near perfect it looks to the real car. Everything is spot on; the proportions, the wheels, that raised rear spoiler and the clever way the yellow base is utilized to show the 2 tone colour. It makes the Hot wheels Centenario looks inferior. And the other reason I chose it is because it is Matchbox’s return to supercars! Something that has been missing from the range since 10 years.

    Most disappointing: I VOTED FOR THE CENTENARIO BY MISTAKE thinking it was the “Best new model” poll while scrolling up.

    My actual Most disappointing model is the Alfa Romeo Giulia. I was really looking forward to this casting ever since it won Larry Scaduto’s “collectors’ choice” poll many years ago (myself being among the many who had asked for this model to be made) and they announced that they were making it. But after looking at the pre-pro and then the final model, I was a bit disappointed. The rear looks smashed and the model isn’t as long as it needs to be. It just looks off. Matchbox usually does their saloons very well (BMW M5 Police, Mercedes CLS, Dodge Charger) but I don’t know what went wrong with this one, but wrong it definitely went.

  9. Strictly by the rules – the one that I got the most excited to find and found nothing really to complain about was the Hardbody. It was a bit of a tough call as the Alfa was really well done too. But I anticipated the Hardbody the most.

    Disappointing goes to the one I bought the most of, the CVCC. With such a small car it could have had more metal. But, it’s a great car – I just felt the most let down when I actually had it hand – and then walked it to the register, a few times at a few stores.

  10. I have not voted yet. The choices are overwhelming, particularly for best casting. Lots of great models.

    Personally, I put very little weight into whether there is a chrome base or not when judging a casting. Do I wish there was more chrome in the range in general? Of course. On the other hand, at the $1 price point, I guess it isn’t economically realistic to have tons of chrome. Some of the better plastics close, the right grey, even with some metallic flecks mixed in look pretty good. In some cases chrome can be a bit overwhelming (heresy, I know). It depends on the vehicle. The Cadillac would struggle without chrome. Other cars have zero chrome on them in real life, so it of course it isn’t needed. The Honda would look good in chrome, but I don’t think it needs it.

    Another point I think is worth making is this: I recall hearing that Matchbox was required for safety/regulations reasons to use a rivet in the back. So, with some hatchback type vehicles and wagons, there isn’t enough room without a post. I heard that the license plate/back snap was not allowed as it was not secure enough. Perhaps someone knows more about this, as I only heard this once and don’t recall where. But I don’t think it is largely a money saving thing. And I’m not sure they have much choice in the matter. Now, I do think that at times Matchbox puts in extra effort to put in a difficult, way back rivet so as to avoid a post you can see, but that is now always possible or easy enough for the team to engineer in every possible instance. I think collectors are just going to have to accept the rate we are seeing back posts for the time being.

    I really was charmed by the Honda CvCC. I’m really surprised people are being so hard on it. Just as a casting, I think it is wonderful–forget about the chrome and post situations for a second. It’s a handsome casting and the tampos work great with it. I can’t wait to see it in additional colors (the cheese yellow was a great start). I have it as one of my top castings of the year. Proportions really nice, though the wheels are too big, as usual, if you want to get technical.

    The Cadillac really impressed me. The main flaws are it’s small size and it’s excessive narrowness (it’s quite a wide, ‘fat’ feeling car and the model feels svelte). These flaws are minor. Two recent castings that I love are on the unusually small side, this and the 48 Jeepster. It doesn’t bother me if that’s what they have to do to make the casting work in every other way.

    Some of my other favorites include, the VW Golf (just feels so right), 95 Nissan Hardbody (elegant proportions, great tires), the ’19 Beetle (boring, but really well done), the 56 Aston Martin (has to be one of the best of the year), the Divco (a personal favorite), the Centernario, the doorless Jeep, and the bizarre Powell Wagon Truck (another personal favorite). The Divo, Porsche Spyder and new Corvette all are very accurate castings of really fun sports cars.

    Some models like the ’19 Mustang are just too boring to get high expectations for in the first place, even if highly accurate and satisfying. But a small amount were exciting but failed to meet expectations. The LEVC taxi is a fun model, but it needed an interior. Maybe my biggest disappointment based on excitement vs. reality was the ’71 MGB coupe. I just don’t think it was accurate. Could the base look good without being chrome? This was a candidate for a car that needed chrome badly, but the way the front and back were molded and relied on tampos really didn’t make the plastic work. Perhaps this would have worked as a ‘chrome interior/sandwich bumpers’ car, ala the Lotus Europa model. But, even models that have some accuracy issues give off the feel or ‘spirit’ of its inspiration most of the time. I didn’t feel like the Matchbox felt like a MGB at all. It kind of has a weird muscle car feel instead. The wheels feel wrong for it. And I feel like this was a pretty anticipated model which should have gotten a little more budget. The lack of side tampos and headlight tampos do a shaky model in. It feels too chunky and not lean enough. I think the back is decent but the way the mold was done in the grill area just doesn’t work to normal Matchbox standards. I think I was let down by this model the most, though it is far from my least favorite of the new castings.

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