Wednesday, March 20, 2013

First Look: Matchbox 60th Anniversary Routemaster Double Decker Bus standard and chase versions...

We are going to dedicate this entire day to the Matchbox Routemaster.  As well we should.  It is a model that totally deserves a little love.  Two versions have been released recently, and the Matchbox team released the first sneak peaks of the modern Double Decker just a couple of days ago.

So this morning we are going to showcase those two new versions, along with a shot of each Routemaster released previously since the casting's debut in 2006.

Both versions this year, the 60th Anniversary standard AND the chase, highlight what the future will be for the Routemaster casting.  According to Mattel, the model is too big, has too much metal, as well as too many pieces, to be basic model.  It is just too expensive to produce.  So it will take the premium route.  Think of it as Matchbox's version of the Hot Wheels Drag Bus.

So here it is taking the premium route to great effect.  The standard version, sporting a large Union Jack on either side, not-too-subtly pays tribute to Matchbox's origins.  It is also the first version to sport the very appropriate disk wheels.  But the star of the show is definitely the chase.  The clean deco combined with the spectraflame red paint make this bus the best version yet.  Plus the nod to Hackney, Lesney's home in the UK, gives it that final perfect touch.

The Double Decker is an iconic UK vehicle, but also an iconic Matchbox casting.  There have been several versions over Matchbox's history, so kudos to the Matchbox team for making it the symbol of the 60th lineup.

(2013 Routemasters for sale...)

Matchbox Routemaster Bus (2013 60th Anniversary standard & chase variants):

The Routemaster Family:

2006 Basic

2007 Best of British

2007 Matchbox Gathering of Friends Dealer exclusive

2007 Basic

2008 Best of British

2008 Basic

2008 Dream Halloween

2009 Best of British

2009 Basic

2010 Basic

2013 Toy Fair

2013 60th Anniversary Chase

2013 60th Anniversary

There is another Code 1 Bus mixed throughout as some of you know.  There have been seven gold Routemasters produced for the outgoing Matchbox Ambassador.  The 8th will be given away this July (I hope).


  1. I'm now really regretting not picking these up when they were in stores. At the time, I figured my multiples of the 50s and 60s castings were enough, but man these look super nice. That chase is one of my most wanted cars of 2013. Just a beautiful release. I'd gladly trade any Kool Kombi or whatever I found for that piece.

  2. I like that the regular and chase are driving through different backgrounds on the box art.

    I know that some will complain about MB's decision to shift the Routemaster to a premium-only release, but it's better than having it disappear entirely, and to me, the decision to include a chase for its premium line debut makes up for having to go that route (pun not intended). I just hope that Mattel allows MB to keep doing premium lines in the future.


  3. shame if it has to go premium, us folks in the UK don't get that kind of stuff here, although it was a nice surprise to get the 60th anniversary stuff.

  4. I found a chase one at a Walmart today going through a renovation and not really stocked well until today. What great luck.

  5. I found a chase bus today in the UK. Asda, for £1 believe it or not lol