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Monday, November 26, 2012

Matchbox Monday: Rarest Models of the Mattel Era, Part 8: 2005 "ROW" Superfast Ford GT...


This is Part 8 in our series on rare Matchbox models produced by Mattel.  If you haven't read the other 7, I suggest you do...

Sometimes the word "rare" gets thrown around a little too much in the diecast hobby.  Of course the term is relative.  Just think about how many "rare" Super Treasure Hunts are produced.  The more accurate term may be "desired".  There have been plenty of variations that have only been reported found one or two times, but if no one cares, they are long forgotten.  So technically yes, the model is rare, but is it desired?

The "ROW" Superfast Ford GT would definitely fall more in the desired catogory than rare category.  But it makes sense to put in this series because it was definitely much harder to find than most Matchbox models. 

The silver GT was part of what has become a disappointingly common story with some of our favorite Mattel lines.  It was part of a late batch of a particular series that was produced in small numbers compared to the others, mainly because the series as constituted was getting shut down or changed (see Hot Ones, Speed Machines, Lesney Edition, HW Racing, etc). 

The 2005 Superfast range was a very interesting one.  There were two ranges produced - one for the US market, and another for the ROW (Rest-of-World) market.  Both ranges consisted of 75 cars, and the lineups were exactly the same.  Only the colors and some liveries were different.  So if you were in the United States, you could get all 75 models at your local big box, but you had to make friends overseas to get the ROW 75 if you wanted one or all of those models.  I didn't want them all, but there were definitely some I did want, and I made a lot of friends while making trades and buying from fellow collectors overseas.

Where I got lucky was with ROW Superfast Batch F.  There were several models in that batch that collectors were excited about, including a yellow Hummer H3, a Beetle Taxi, a Mustang Concept, and the Ford GT, a casting that had recently been released to much fanfare.  The US versions were released, and were fairly easy to get, but for some reason the ROW models were produced in far less numbers, and appeared in only a few ROW markets.

Looking back, Matchbox probably bit off a little more than they could chew by doing two separate lines for two markets.  As a collector I loved pursuing those models that I wanted, but I can see how it did not make a ton of sense from a marketing standpoint, especially considering the only difference between the ranges were colors.  The next year Matchbox produced a worldwide 75-count Superfast range, and the year after that changed it to a 20-count range.

So whether it was retail demand, or Matchbox production, the ROW Batch F was much harder to find.  And from that batch, the Ford GT appeared to be the one most desired.  It is easy to see why.  The Matchbox Ford GT (not the GT40) is one of Matchbox's best, and it looks so darn good in silver with the black center stripe.  Some people take issue with the wheels, but the model overall is beautiful.  And when you pair it with the US release in black, you have yourself a drop-dead duo.  If someone asked me to pick one model as my favorite Matchbox, I would probably pick the silver GT.

So is it as rare as the other rare Mattel models we have featured?  No.  Can you go anywhere and just get one?  Not really.  They do pop up occasionally, and I even saw one go for $10 on ebay not too long ago.  But there are a lot of collectors I know who have spent years looking for this one to no avail.  I am just glad my good friend JonathanC in Australia was nice enough to hook me up with one seven years ago...

Want to find a Superfast Ford GT?  Keep checking the listings on ebay...

Matchbox Ford GT (2005 "ROW" Superfast):









And it's alter ego, the equally gorgeous "US" Superfast Ford GT in black with silver stripes:






As always, Matchbox Monday comes to you by way of our partner MVE Collectibles. Be sure to check out their store to get the latest Matchbox (including the 60th Anniversary series), M2, Greenlight, and more...


3 comments:

  1. i've got both of these and love them. i think i prefer the black one.

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  2. Gorgeous beauties! I think I too prefer the black version!

    - Black Wind, SwiftysGarage.

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  3. Just got one of these silver ones for less than 4 dollars. Guess i'm lucky...

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