Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The rarest Matchbox models of the Mattel era Part 2...

We at the Lamley Group pride ourselves on current Matchbox knowledge, and variations and rare models is a definite specialty.  Last week in Part 1 of the Rare Mattel Matchbox series, we profiled two doozies, the Chilean Mini and Life EMS Ambulance.

Now Part 2:

White "ADLAR" Scraper:

This is the first edition of the Scraper, debuting in 2008.  What makes this model rare is the white "ADLAR" on the side.  The normal release of this model had a yellow "ADLAR" (ADLAR58 is code for "Heralda", the last name of Matchbox's chief designer, Michael Heralda).  

Soon after its release, the white ADLAR variation was reported on MCCH.  A couple more were found, and an inquiry was made by the Matchbox Ambassador at the time to the Mattel team on the subject.  It was reported that when Michael saw the final design, he decided the side print needed more color variety so he asked that the ADLAR be changed from yellow to white.

Collectors took that info and assumed that the yellow ADLAR would be an early run, and all Scrapers thereafter would have the white ADLAR.  It was quite the opposite.  Whatever Michael told the factory, it didn't happen, and the white ADLAR Scraper was found in very small numbers.  Because everyone assumed it would not be rare, not much effort was made to find them.  There are many Matchbox collectors who now regret that decision.

This particular White ADLAR Scraper was a lucky find on ebay.  I noticed the Scraper in a lot of about 10 new Matchbox.  The seller was asking about $18 for the lot, and I asked him if he would separate the Scraper from the lot and sell it to me on its own.  He said he wanted to see if the lot sold, and if it did not, he would sell me the Scraper individually.  I waited it out, and I got lucky.  The Scraper ended up costing me about $4 including shipping.  If I knew what I know now, $18 for the lot would have been a no-brainer.  I think a lot of Matchbox collectors would pay a great deal more for one now.

Keep coming back to the Lamley Blog, as Part 3 of the Rare Mattel-era Matchbox series should be here next week.  If you have a rare Mattel-era Matchbox model you want profiled here, just let me know...


  1. Life ems ambualance is very rare. The owner of the company did in fact give his employees them when they came out in 2010. They were designed after the latest model of their ambulace with the checkered design. They have NOT been released in the Meijer Stores.The meijer stores are owned by the Meijer Family of Grand Rapids, Mi. One of which is the ownwer/founder of Life EMS. There are a couple floating around at rather collectors prices. We do in fact have this in our own personal collection. They are very detailed in comparison to the actual vehicle. Keep your eyes open as they are a real find!

    1. I just came across a life ems ambulance in the original packaging on e-bay when I was looking. I don't have the money for it right now unfortunately, so I thought I would let other collectors know.

  2. I have two of them in original packaging, one of which is autographed by the owner of the company and they will be for sale if the price is right.

  3. Hi folks,
    I have an older Hallmark stores Collectable Matchboxes display case I would like to sell. The case rolls, stands about 6' tall, has glass shelves, has lights, is lockable and has lockable storage at the base. It displays cars nicely. I sold my collection and no longer need the case. I would like about $250.00 for the case. It is a "pickup" only kind of item. I live in the ROCKFORD, MI area. AND, for another $250, I can sell you one of the Matchbox Life EMS Ambulances new in the blister pack, as I have a couple.