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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Model of the Day: The Three Red Matchbox Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTAs...


I keep my loose models in alphabetical order by carmaker, so selecting a Model of the Day for today took a very small amount of time.  Alfa Romeo takes the first slot of cars, followed by Aston Martin and Audi.

But I digress.  I looked at the one Alfa casting I collect, the Matchbox Giulia Sprint GTA, and decided it needed a little love on the blog.

Now once I decide on a model to feature, I usually select one specific version of the model, or I show all of them at once.  But the Alfa is different.  Here is what I am guessing might be going through your mind as you look at this post:

"(Statement of bewilderment - I prefer "Holy Cow" or a Brazilian fave "Nossa!"), that Alfa is beautiful.  Matchbox sure nailed that casting.  Why the ____ is this model still not in the lineup?!?"

Good question, reader (and watch your language!).  We can argue that the Alfa does not fit in with the current Matchbox direction, or that it was too unknown in the US, but those reasons don't factor in at all.

There is only one reason, and that reason is this:  The model has completely run its course.  And its course?  A red version and a white version.  That's it.  Here is the story:

When Matchbox decided to do a classic Alfa Romeo, they decided on the Giulia Sprint GTA, and got Alfa's blessing, license-speaking.  From what I know they let the licenser at Alfa know of their intention of doing several versions and colors, and that person was fine with it.  Somewhere in the coming months/year, that licenser was replaced with a new group, who insisted that Matchbox keep the model true to the real thing.  That is fine, Matchbox in 2007 was all about realism.

Except that realism in this case meant that the Alfa could only be done in either red or white, as those were the only two colors used for the real thing.  The folks at Matchbox were able to sneak the 2007 Gathering exclusive through in copper with racing livery, but from then on the model could only be done in red or white.

Matchbox tried to get creative, doing a metallic red for a 2007 10-pack, and a pearl white in 2008, but the new licensers at Alfa Romeo squashed those deviations.  So Matchbox finally gave up and made plans to modify the casting to an Alfa Romeo Junior, which came in many more colors.  They made it as far as assigning a MAN#, but the new casting has not seen the light of day.  I imagine that chances of that happening now are pretty much nil.

But we have several nice red and white versions, and today we will focus on the red.  There are three.  The First Edition in 2007, the aforementioned metallic red 10-pack exclusive, and my favorite, the 2009 Superfast with full deco and disk wheels, not to mention a painted interior to hide the chrome piece attached to the front and rear bumpers.

So yes, this is honestly one of Matchbox's best classic car castings, and also one of its most short-lived. I am happy to at least have all the versions.  We will have to feature the white versions another day...

If you are looking for any, I would try looking on ebay...


Matchbox Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA:


2007 New Models





2007 10-pack exclusive





2009 Superfast






2 comments:

  1. John sir, you probably wouldn't believe me if I told you but here goes anyway.

    I am a mere hour away from completing my Giulia detail and dress up for this week's custom post.
    I was also going to suggest you do a model of the day for it. :O

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  2. What a crying shame. This was a well-executed casting of a beautiful car. While I agree that Alfa had the right to be somewhat uncompromising to the car's look, I felt they should have also been a tad more lenient. Therefore, it wouldn't have gotten the axe so soon.

    On a side note, I constantly play with this car on GT4. Underpowered, yes, but very tossable in corners. Which made it one of my favorites.

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