We have enjoyed profiling rare models of the Mattel era here at Lamley, whether they meant to be rare or not. Models like the Line Preview Hazard Squad were produced in extremely small numbers (essentially 25-30) and were meant to be very exclusive. Others remain a mystery. The Chilean Mini was supposed be distributed in 3-packs extensively, but only ended up being found in very small number in Chile and some small areas of Europe.
We potentially have another mystery rarity on our hands from the 2012 Matchbox lineup. And if it does stay rare, there will be a lot of unhappy collectors. And I am not talking about completists (who will obviously be unhappy there is a model they can't find. I am talking about those collectors that love the National Parks Series that Matchbox is building piece by piece.
The National Parks Series I speak of is not an official series. It is a non-licensed livery made up by Mattel to look close to the actual National Parks vehicles here in the United States. Every year since 2006, Matchbox has put at least one (more likely two) models in this simple livery. There will always be slight changes in the design from one model to the next, but the look and color is the same. And it is not to be confused with the Forest Service vehicles that look very similar.
In 2012, two Matchbox models were dressed up in this livery: The Ford F-550 (a logical choice), and the modified high-rising Chevy Silverado. The F-550 appeared in the basic range, and the Silverado was to appear in the final gift pack of 2012.
There is one problem though. The 2013 gift packs are already on the shelves at most stores, and the Silverado pack appeared to have been skipped. It still might show up somewhere, but in the meantime the National Parks version has only been found in Canada. So to be on the safe side, I contacted a fellow collector in Canada, and after an extensive search he was able to find one to send.
It arrived last week, and I finally found some time to photograph it. Collectors around the world, keep your eye open for this pack. If you see it, let me know. I have a lot of friends without it and maybe we as part of the Lamley community can help out...
(If you want expand your collection of this livery, find your National Parks models here)
Matchbox Chevy Silverado (2012 Gift Pack exclusive):
And all the National Parks models from the past, in order of their release:
Hummer H3 Concept
Land Rover Discovery
International Workstar Fire Engine
Which one is your favorite? Hands down for me, it is the International Brush Truck.
And for kicks, together with its "non-raised" compatriot: