Model: Matchbox MB34-B Vantastic
Release: 1980 MB34
Why is it in the collection: My quickest eBay win to holding in my hand
It was the early part of the 21st century. eBay was still a little unusual to me. I had won a few items so was starting to get the knack of things. I was going through listings and found something that caught my attention. A Vantastic with a sun label. I did not own one at the time, and decided to place a bid. I was immediately outbid but I still had quite a few days to go before it finished, so there was no rush. I would gather my thoughts and come back with a later bid before it finished.
But then I noticed something. the seller’s location. It was in the same town as me. So I emailed him. I was curious. If I was to win it, would I be able to pop by and collect it? He emailed me his telephone number to call if I won. Well, I won. As soon as it came up sold I gave him a call. He was more than happy, and said did I want to come straight around? So I did.
I hopped in to my car and within 20 minutes of the auction finishing I was holding my winnings in my hand. To this day, and hundreds of wins later, I have never managed to obtain a model within minutes of an auction ending.
the model is no longer mint. But that is me. I keep them in Matchbox branded carry cases, and with box moves, house moves and various things going on, it has taken a few little knocks. I do notice the label is slowly starting to come away a bit too. Many Lesney era labels do that. I will have to make sure not to lose it if it falls off.
It may be due to the labels being old stock. Those particular labels were supposed to be for the MB47-B Beach Hopper. That model was sold between 1973 and 1978. But they didn’t appear on this model until its final year of production; 1980. So that meant we had sheets of unused labels sitting around for about 2 years. Of course, when checking my proper “34” labels too, I notice not all are secure. I have one on the left here with the label starting to peel up. The other one is still nice and snug. As I said, I don’t worry too much about the state of labels. Just make sure not to lose them if they fall off.
But every time I see this particular Vantastic, I still remember my time when I won an auction, hopped in to my car, zipped across town and picked it up.