Monday, July 2, 2012

Matchbox Monday: "My Favorite Matchbox" by Dave Weise, Mattel Matchbox Die-Cast Design Manager..

It is once again Matchbox Monday.  The blue brand takes the day off every Monday and orange presides.

Today we are starting a new feature.  It is the debut of "My Favorite Matchbox", where the Lamley Group welcomes in a guest who will tell us about his or her favorite Matchbox.  I leave the question wide open.  It could mean a model from childhood, it could mean a current model.  It could be a favorite because of the memories it sparks, or because it just looks good and is well-designed.  It could be a replica of a family car or of a dream car.  It doesn't matter.

We are very privileged to start the feature with one of the main cogs in the Matchbox range, Mattel's Matchbox Die-Cast Manager Dave Weise.  Dave has been with Matchbox for several years after moving over from Hot Wheels, and has a hand in the design and direction of all the diecast ranges we encounter at the store - basics, multipacks, Real Working Rigs, etc.  He is also responsible for the design of many castings from both Mattel die-cast brands.  For example, that Hot Wheels Camaro Road Race that has been so popular?  It was designed by Dave.

When I asked Dave what his favorite Matchbox model was, he came back with two.  One from childhood, and one from today.  And his descriptions highlight two key elements on why we collect - the memories of childhood, and the enjoyment of good design.

From Dave Weise:

"Favorite model from the past:  Mercury Cougar
I remember the light green Mercury Cougar # 62 from the late sixties.  
My dad had rented a summer cottage somewhere in the country for vacation.  There wasn’t much to do so we went into town and there was a Matchbox display.
The Cougar caught my eye because of the color, I was allowed to get it.  I was fascinated by the opening doors and I pretended that I was the driver inside.  I would stare at that car for hours.  It was cool .  I wore it out playing with it."

Photo from Dan's Matchbox Picture Pages

"My Favorite today:
The International Workstar Brush Fire Truck is one of my favorite Matchbox vehicles today and it’s a fire truck.  Having seen one of these trucks close up , I knew that we had to make one in Matchbox.
It looks rugged and purposeful yet it has a unique profile that is very imposing. Creating the details was a challenge but this toy captures the essence of the real thing which is why I like it a lot."

Now that we have that perspective, it gives a clearer idea of who might have been behind this Matchbox Mercury Cougar that was released a few years ago:

One last thing about Dave.  He one of the best liaisons collectors can have.  He will once again be in Albuquerque later this month at the MC International Gathering of Friends, where he presents the upcoming range and brand direction.  He is also known to sit and chat with collectors for hours, who annoyingly pick his brain about pretty much anything Matchbox-related.  I might have been one of those annoying collectors last year, and he indulged me and my cohorts for much longer than he needed to.

As always, thanks Dave!


  1. Dave Weise said: "I was Fascinated by opening the doors and I pretended That I was the driver inside."
    Please could you ask him WHY there are no more Matchbox models that open the door today?
    And more, Please tell him to suggest to Mattel return Matchbox models to market the Brazilian market ... Brazil needs urgent Matchbox models.

  2. Yes, I feel the same. In the past, 1/64 scale diecast models had no plastic parts. They also featured opening doors. This is the main reason I rarely buy sedan car models.