The Matchbox Firebird has gotten a lot of play lately. It was the Gathering Dinner model, coming in two fantastic variants, it was one of the best Mattel-donated prepros at the auction, and even Scale-Master featured it as one of his muscle car customs. And on top of all that it has just appeared in stores looking rather dapper in black.
This Firebird is clearly an example of Mattel's push to make the side profile more interesting to mom and kid shoppers in the toy section. The headlight tampos went away, replaced by a side design. There have been a few models that have shared the same fate, and I end up liking them less.
Not this one, however. I love the design on top of the black paint. And the bird moves from its normal home on the hood over to the doors, and it looks great...
Matchbox Firebird Formula - 1971:
With its Gathering counterparts:
And with its Chevy/Hot Wheels cousin:
No doubt about it, to me at least, that this one is a winner. Of course, if you would rather have one plain without the side design, Mattel has you covered with the upcoming recolor, which was previewed at the Gathering: