Yet another entry in our ongoing series on rare Mattel-era Matchbox models.
This one is slightly different than the four we have profiled previously. Those were either rare variations or obscure releases. This one was meant to be rare. Actually meant to be VERY rare.
On three different occasions in the last 10 years, the Matchbox team has opened up the Mattel Design Center to a small number of collectors. Think of it as Willie Wonka's factory without the oompa loompas. It is officially a line preview, and those collectors are allowed to see certain directions the team is headed, and what is slated for the upcoming year. If that is not a treat enough, they send each attendee home with a model exclusively decorated for the event. I was fortunate enough to attend the last one they did in 2010, and came home with the exclusive.
That is the model we are profiling today - the 2010 MB Line Preview Hazard Squad. Mattel claims they produced 49, but there are only about 25 in circulation - those given to attendees and two more auctioned off at the 2010 MCCH Gathering.
The model photographed is obviously mine, and I was one of 4 who ripped it from the blister. Ah, what I do for a good photograph. What differentiates the 2010 exclusive from the previous Preview exclusives (Desert Thunder in 2008 and the Tractor Plow in 2006) is the fact that the Hazard Squad has turned out to be one of the most popular generics Matchbox has done. Matchbox and emergency collectors both adore it, so there was a lot of effort made by many collectors to get their hands on one. In fact, both of the Hazard Squads donated to the Gathering fetched $500 each, purchased by the same collector!
Mine isn't going anywhere. Not only is it a valuable model I am happy to have, but it is a reminder of a truly memorable day. Hopefully future Line Previews are being planned.
Matchbox Hazard Squad (2010 Line Preview exclusive)