Monday, January 21, 2013

January 21 Matchbox Ambassador Update: A review of upcoming models...

Well, we knew this would happen occasionally.

The Mattel Matchbox Design Team and I were crossing our fingers that more FEP's would arrive at the Design Center late last week, so that we would have some more sneaks for you today.  Alas, our finger crossing failed.  And trust me, we crossed them as hard as we could.

So no sneaks this week, but we hope to have some more tidbits next week.  For now, how about a review of everything we have seen so far for 2013?  At least it is all now in one place.

But first, I should let you know that we are working on finding out what stores are slated to carry the 60th line.  Some collectors have reported finding them in certain stores worldwide, but so far we have seen nothing in big box stores like Target and Walmart.  The Design Team cautiously donned their survival gear and ventured into the area of the suits (i.e. marketing) to find out what they could.  The answer they got was that some stores are still resetting their Planograms, and that is why we haven't seem them in some places.  But they are confident we will see them very soon, so start looking...

(In case you were wondering, the suits were only able to assimilate two members of the design team.  May they rest in peace.  Resistance is futile.)

Alright, in case you missed an earlier report, a review of what is coming, starting with 60th Anniversary:

(Photos shown with permission from Mattel)

MB694 Routemaster Bus (Chase)

MB694 Routemaster Bus

MB885 Renault Master Ambulance

MB697 Land Rover Defender 110

MB844 BMW Police Motorcycle

MB881 Blaze Blitzer

MB823 Aston Martin DBS Volante

MB839 Urban Tow Truck

And upcoming basic New Models:

MB882 All Terrain Crane

MB861 Sand Shredder

MB863 Vantom

MB865 Torque Titan

MB881 Blaze Blitzer

MB866 Flame Smasher

MB864 International Scout

MB867 Lamborghini Gallargo Police

MB885 Renault Master Ambulance

And other basics:

MB860 Ford Explorer

MB751 Subaru Impreza

MB784 MBX 4x4

MB703 Tractor

MB667 Austin FX London Taxi

MB833 Terrain Trouncer

MB853 Sowing Machine

MB302 '69 Chevy Camaro

MB841 BMW Police Motorcycle

And lastly, a Mission Force Set and Gift Pack Exclusive:

MB821 Ford Police Interceptor (Mission Force)

RW036 Police Tactical Vehicle (Mission Force)

MB785 Porsche 914 (Gift Pack Exclusive)

Alright, put those in your records, go look for them soon, and prepare a fresh set of sneaks next week.

Until then...


  1. If the Blaze Blitzer was going to be repainted in the Forestry set colors of light green, and it was sent to hunt wild canines ... would it be considered a Wolf Blitzer? Would the cab be considered a Situation Room?

    Hey, hey, I was already leaving.

  2. What have they done to to the Austin FX4!! And after that beautiful plain black one we received last year.

    About resets; all stores in my area have reset their isles and there is no spot for 60th cars. In fact the Matchbox section has shrunk at every one.

  3. I would get most of these just out of loyalty to MB but I would like to see them change directions in 2014 Please! I also must report that space for MB has dramatically shrunk at all stores in the Philadelphia and surrounding area. This is a major concern to I'm sure all collectors. Mattel needs to go back to what made MB a great name in die cast. I remember them saying that licensing was getting costly and that was the reasoning for the lack of licensed vehicles being produced. Well I'm not buying this because HWs continues to use many licensed brands. I am willing to bet the MB Camaro will be a big seller as was last years Caddy's. Seems to me MB just may be as so many have been saying, a dying breed! Thanks Mattel!!!!!

    Swifty's Philly Wheels

  4. Mattel just continues to disappoint. You think it's bad, and they seem to scrape even more from the bottom of the barrel. Honestly, with a few exceptions, the above pictured models are a pile of unadulterated shit. The only acceptable models above are the 2 Routemasters, the Aston Martin, Lamborghini Gallardo, Subaru Impreza, BMW Military Police, Camaro and Ford Interceptor and Porsche 914. The others are either generic rubbish, hideously decorated, or have too much plastic.

    The plastic content is getting beyond a joke. The fact that the Land Rover Defender and Ford Explorer have two big holes in the roof filled in with plastic is an absolute joke. And don't get me started on the Renault. The Vantom, Torque Titan, Blaze Blitzer, Flame Smasher, International Scout, MBX 4x4, Tractor and Terrain Trouncer all look like they should be branded Fisher Price. And the Sowing Machine has far too much plastic content. When there is more plastic than diecast, what's the point?

    And what is that Urban Tow Truck and Blaze Blitzer doing in the 60th Anniversary range? Even the BMW motorbike doesn't look very premium. I honestly believe the 60th range is designed to fail. And fail it will. I doubt too many big retailers will take the line. They would be stupid to take them. They will warm the pegs and end up being discounted. Mattel can then say that they tried a collector focused line and it didn't sell!

    I am very conflicted. I hate the new product, but I have been getting at least one of each casting. I don't want these generics or that plastic Renault in my collection. I am now getting very excited about Tomica and have spent up big on eBay on these in the past few weeks. Matchbox is just a shadow of its former self.

    I have just two words for Mattel, and it would be inappropriate for me to type them here.

  5. I broke down and "pre-ordered" the 60th Anniversary series batch B case, advertised on the online dealer's site as containing 13 models--including the original batch and two Lamborghinis and the Routemaster bus. Just got a note from the dealer saying the cases arrived and the Routemaster was dropped from the case. Offered to let those who ordered cases cancel with refund. Not sure why the bus was dropped, but that's what I've heard from a reputable source.

  6. My guess, too much diecast in the Routemaster. They probably need more time to change it to a plastic body.

    I jest, but I would not be surprised in the slightest.