It is nice to be back with another report, and lets call this Part 1 of 2. I feel like a bit of a veteran now, having gotten my feet wet on the last report. The distribution system I am using worked well last time, so we will do it again. The report has been distributed via the Ambassador distribution list, and posted here on the Lamley Group Blog. And as always, links to the report have been posted on several Matchbox-related websites and forums.
So here we go. Another report on what I consider some fantastic models coming out. Of course, as Ambassador, when you release a report these days you feel like you are feeding it to the wolves. Being Ambassador gives you a bit more of a birds eye view of things, and also helps you gain a better understanding of Mattel and the Matchbox team's point of view, so watching what happens response-wise gets a bit frustrating. Everyone has their opinions, but I don't know if the fact that this team truly goes to bat for the collector when they can is acknowledged enough.
When I say this team goes to bat for the collector, you need not look any further for evidence than the existence of the 60th Anniversary line. The story is a long one, but I think it is fair to say that assumptions we all had that a set to commemorate the 60th Anniversary was a done deal were false. But this team is very aware of the Matchbox heritage, and did all it could to make sure something was done. And they prevailed.
What they have created is a lineup that gives a nod to the past, as well as a push towards the future. Using the current lineup of existing tools, the team came up with 24 models (plus a chase) that not only pay homage to models in the past, but also highlight the brand's current focus. Selections like the E-type Jag, VW Beetle, and Aston Martin DBS Volante are tributes to earlier Lesney castings. Likewise, Matchbox's construction and emergency vehicle heritage is also acknowledged by the inclusion of similar tools from the current range.
As you look at the list, note the inclusion of a handful of brand new 2013 tools, as well as models that will appeal to international markets.
(One other note: This is the official list below. Partial lists were sent out by Mattel to hobby dealers with instructions to not release the information, but there were some that did otherwise.)
Without further ado (those who know me know I am full of "ado"), the 60th Anniversary lineup:
68 Mustang GT/CS (MB 812)
Austin Mini Cooper S (MB765)
Volkswagen T2 Bus (MB734)
Jeep Wrangler Superlift (MB832)
Vintage Tractor (MB834)
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Police (MB808)
Porsche 911 GT3 (MB792)
1962 Volkswagen Beetle (MB363)
Quarry King (MB737)
Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia (MB867)
Ford F-350 Superlift Brush Truck (MB837)
Renault Master Ambulance (MB885)
Aston Martin DBS Volante (MB823)
Route Master London Bus (MB694) (used again as chase model)
Urban Tow Truck (MB830)
Land Rover Defender 110 (MB838)
All Terrain Crane (MB882)
Ground Grinder (MB886) (formerly road grader)
Blaze Blitzer (MB881) (formerly European fire engine)
BMW R1200 RT-P Police Motorcycle (MB841)
76 International Scout 4x4 (MB864)
Austin FX4 London Taxi (MB667)
61 Jaguar E-type (MB688)
2012 Ford Explorer (MB860)
And how about some sneak peeks?
The approach to each model is to give it a higher level of deco than a basic car, and that level will vary with each. Beside the unique packaging (which will be shown later), the 60th Anniversary will be highlighted by placing the logo on various locations on each model. You might see it on the front, side, top, or rear.
These models are shown here with Permission from Mattel.
Austin Mini Cooper S
There will be additional deco on the rear, which will include the 60th logo.
68 Mustang GT/CS
There will be tampo on the rear lights.
60th logo will be on the other side, and will be painted matt orange.
Jeep Wrangler Superlift
This will also have rear markings.
Ford F350 Superlift
A nod to the oft-used non-licensed National Parks livery. I have yet to find out if the color is the same.
Volkswagen T2 Bus
The Bus will also feature rear tail lights and markings.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Police
My favorite of this current batch of sneaks, with an obvious nod to...well, you know what country Lesney called home. And yes, rear graphics on this one as well.
These seven are great indicators of what is to come with the other 18 models, and the series as a whole. I am truly looking forward to pursuing this set as it arrives in the coming months.
And this is not the only place in the 2013 lineup that the 60th Anniversary of Matchbox will be acknowledged. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Ambassador Report to find out more...