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Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from the Matchbox Ambassador: How about a First Look at the 60th Anniversary Routemaster Bus Chase Model...

I know I said last week that we would skip an Ambassador Update this week because of the holiday.  Well, I changed my mind.  I have decided to don my Santa beard (or in my case, change my mostly black beard to white), and throw out sneak peaks of two of the most anticipated models in the 60th Anniversary lineup.

More specifically, two anticipated versions of the same casting.

As has been presented and discussed widely, Matchbox has aimed at paying homage to its heritage through current castings in the 60th line.  While some choices have not been met with the most excitement among collectors, others have been home runs.  For example, the metallic blue Aston and gold Mini beautifully pay tribute to Lesney's geographic roots, while the Lamborghini and Mitsubishi Police Cars continue the strong tradition of realistic police and emergency vehicles.

But then there are purely iconic Matchbox castings.  And while the Double Decker Bus has enjoyed many incarnations during Matchbox's 60 years, no era is complete without a two-story red British bus.

Well, the boys at Mattel have decided to give us two, and one will take a little effort to find.

Let's start with the standard 60th Anniversary model:

(As always, these images are shown with permission from Mattel.)



The Route Master is a beauty in bright red, with the modern logo and a fully printed Union Jack, covering the body and windows.  It is also the first time the Route Master is sporting the disk wheels.

Now that model should be pretty popular, so make sure you hit the stores early and often to find it.  If you do, you might luck out even more and find this one:



Yes, it doesn't happen often, but here is a rare Matchbox Chase Model, and what a model it is.  It is the perfect example of what a chase model should be.  Transparent red, with beautiful, simplistic deco, and a 4-sided tampo print.  And the team has added some great touches, most notably the reference to the Lesney factory in Hackney.  My feeling is this will be a very sought-after model, and since Mattel is keeping a secret how many have been produced, I will be out early to try and find one.

Also, a few other tidbits for you to chew on:

  1. In an earlier report, I mentioned the Dodge A-100 Pickup was delayed until 2014.  I should clarify.  It is still part of the 2013 lineup, but will probably not hit the pegs until 2014.
  2. There have been questions about the last 7 models for 2012, especially since 2013 models are already on the pegs.  Those final 2012 model will indeed be released, only they will be interspersed among upcoming 2013 batches.
  3. Since we have shown the 60th Anniversary Chase Vehicle, we can also let you know to be on the lookout for a 26th model.  There is a store exclusive in the works, although what model and what store will remain a mystery for now.
I hope this satisfies your Matchbox cravings for the week, and I will see you next week with an emergency-themed update.  

Until then...

9 comments:

  1. Ok this is more like it. I love this casting, I'm feeling the Chase model a little more than the basic but I like both.....



    Swifty's Philly Wheels

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  2. Y E S ! ! ! !

    Sign me up for both! This is more the Matchbox I remember and loved!

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  3. Matchbox Design Team is the GREATEST!!!
    -Terry O.

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    1. Terry - anything Mattel produce for Matchbox in your eyes is great.......even the Hero City from 2004......D'oh!

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  4. Definitely the first one(s) in this series I've been interested in. Love the union jack one; looks like a true anniversery model. And the chase, while...4 sided tampo, spectraflame, I'll "chase" after this one for sure!

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  5. Pessimist that I am, I see ofas in my future if I want a chance to find either of these. It'd be nice to know for sure if Mattel can 'encourage' chains to carry the 60th Anniversary line, as I've seen no indication any chain around here is willing to make more room for Matchbox. (One exception, but Christmas is over now, so the Shopko expansion to carry a whole bunch of Cliff Hanger playsets is probably a one-shot deal.) But, I'm not so far away from you, so if you, Mr. Ambassador, manage to find these, perhaps they will actually make it up here. I guess I just have to be patient.... sigh.

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  6. What is Chase? Is this the Chase Bank? Will the Chase variation be included in the regular 2013 lineup?

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  7. Mr Lambert:

    For future reference, Routermaster is one word, not spelt as two:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Routemaster

    "Just sayin'...."

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  8. How is Mattel able to afford all of that diecast in one model?

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