Sunday, September 9, 2012

August Matchbox Ambassador Report, Part 3: Mattel answers collector's questions...

As promised, collector's questions answered by the Mattel team.

Please keep in mind that I did not submit every question.  Some were repeats of other questions, while others were unnecessary, like asking Mattel to confirm a collector's opinion or the like.  There are others that Mattel is unable to answer at this time, for various reasons.  Hopefully some of them can be answered later, and I promise as Ambassador I will keep asking them if they are relevant.  Mattel has also assured me that some that can't be answered now will be answered for the next report due to some personnel changes.

If submitting just the Q&A doesn't work for your site or club, here are the details that I think are most relevant for the rest of 2012 and the start of 2013:

  1. There will be no First Edition 9/10-pack this year.  There are eight exclusive models distributed in eight different 9/10-packs.
  2. The Dodge Charger Police, a new tool originally slated for 2012, has been pushed back and will be a 2013 New Model.
  3. Like 2012, there will be 5 recolors in the 2013 mainline.
  4. The 2013 range will consist of four segments, and not all four will have equal numbers.
  5. New off-road and construction wheels are still in development.
  6. As noted in Part 2A of the report, there will be 12 5-packs in 2013, and four of them will be entirely made up of mainline models.  The other 8 will have four exclusives and one model pulled from the mainline.
  7. Hitch N Haul and Cliffhanger playsets will be discontinued for 2013.  The Mission Force sets will continue, with all new models and themes.

On with the questions:

(Mattel answers are in RED)

Basic Range & general casting questions:

In 2012 not all the new models from 2011 were used.  Will we be seeing some of them again soon?  (Panamera, CTS Coupe, Lamborghini, Infiniti) Yes, for 2013 some models will be returning.

Will sports cars be incorporated into the 4 segments of the 2013 lineup?  Will each segment contain 30 models?  Yes some sports cars will return.  Not all segments will have equal numbers.

Are there any plans to convert some of the Police cars (Monaco, Evo, Buick, Subaru) into street cars?
Not currently.  The greater need is to have more police & fire executions on the models.

Any change to the blister pack design in 2013? There will be new vehicle illustrations and color coded theme bars.

Will each 2013 segment be color co-ordinated? Yes.

With licensing issues being worked out with Subaru and BMW, any progress with Mercedes-Benz?
No Mercedes Benz at this time.

Will we see fire versions of some of the police models (Buick, Evo, Monaco)? It is a possibility.

Any update on the upcoming Dodge Charger Police?  There have been delays for 2012.  It has been moved to 2013.

Will we see the return of the "convoy wheel" that was used in the basic range a few times a couple of years ago? Not likely due to production issues.

What happened to the last 2011 version 2 recolor?  The MB45 Pit King was scheduled for 2 versions but only appeared in one. Due to schedule issues it was not done.

What type of ride height will the upcoming IH Scout have? Similar to the 60s off road Bronco or something more stock? It will be raised high for 4x4 duty , similar to the Bronco.

Will there be any models receiving 2 colors for 2013?  We had 5 for 2012 so in fact had 125 models. None would mean the range is reduced in size.  In addition to 120 models, there will be 5 recolors for 2013.. 

Is it possible to receive an update on MAN numbers for new tools and updated tools for 2012.  We have pieced together odds and ends from models released, but a full list would be much better.  This would be from MB732 onwards. We can work providing the list to our ambassador for his next report.

What happened to the basic range new wheels that were shown at the 2011 Gathering?  Are these still to be produced?  Yes these will still be produced but are late in development.  The new large construction wheel is now at FEP stage.   The large off-road wheel will follow later.

The Batmobile.  Is this a Matchbox design copied by other departments, or another person's design copied by Matchbox?  We ask as there is a large scale plastic toy from Mattel using the same body style so obviously one department copied another.  The Matchbox die-cast Batmobile  is based on an in house design created by our Male Action team . It has been developed in different scales for use in various Mattel brand applications. Our version has been adapted for 1:64 scale.

Multipack, playset, RWR, SB, and 60th Anniversary questions:

Will there be a First Edition 9-pack this year?  No.  Instead there will be one exclusive vehicle per pack that will also have exclusive deco.  There are 8 exclusive vehicles that will be used throughout the assortments.  These 8 vehicles will not be used in any other segments.

Any plans for a RWR mid mount aerial ladder? No.

Any plans for specific carmaker 5-packs like last year's VW pack?  (Land Rover, Porsche)
Not specifically dedicated to one make at this time.

What is the status of the RWR GMC Tree Truck? It is now currently available.

Will there multiple model packs continue in 2013, namely Hitch N Haul and Mission Force?   If so, any hints in the themes and models? Not for Hitch n Haul.  Mission Force will continue with different vehicle and aircraft combinations.  List will be sent separately to our ambassador.

Cliff Hanger.  Are these being continued on for 2013 with new sets planned?  Or are there plans for something new in the way of play sets for next year. These are not being carried forward in the US next year.  We will be launching a new line of playsets called Adventure Links next year that are modular sets that focus on classic themes and enable the building out of an entire Matchbox world.  

Will there be another Matchbox SEMA model this year? Not this year.

With the DAF re-appearing in the basic range, and a new Conventional Cab being introduced for 2013, are there any thoughts to returning any of the original convoy tooling (the rear sections) to any range at all?  Or simply relaunching the Convoy series ? No, on both counts.  The new Conventional cab now called; Torque Titan will work with original convoy tooling but there are no plans to re-launch the Convoys series.

Are the Sky Buster 4-packs continuing? Yes

The 60th Anniversary series.  Will this have any special name (like the Superfast/Lesney Editions/Best of..., etc.) that we had in recent years, or simply be called the 60th Anniversary series? Simply called 60th Anniversary Series.

That is it for the August report.  I will put out a request for more questions in a couple of weeks, and work on getting those answered for October.  In the meantime, we should see more sneaks by the end of the month for the September report.

Until then my friends...



  1. We can see where Matchbox is headed and where the real investment is going. Nothing much to look forward to in 2013. Mattel to sell Matchbox...Can someone second me? Please...

  2. As much as I would like to see the see Mattel sell the Matchbox brand they won’t in fear competition. You can notice in the stores like Wal-Mart, k-mart and Target large selection of Hot Wheels and small selection of Matchbox cars.

    1. Mattel do not impress me at all and there one word answers are pathetic to put it mildly.

  3. Darn. I was wishing that IH Scout was stock.