Monday, March 11, 2013

March 11 Matchbox Ambassador Update: Brand New VW Karmann Ghia Type 34 and other upcoming models...

Greetings folks.

I am happy to see that most of you survived Dump Dozer week.  It seemed a few of you were on the edge of the cliff ready to jump.  It was no secret among the Matchbox design staff that the new Dump Dozer would not go over too well with collectors, and of course it didn't.  But we will reiterate here that it is very much a kid-oriented model.

Well today comes the complete opposite, a collector-oriented model.  We are pleased to present the brand new Volkswagen Karmann Ghia Type 34 (and as always, these photos are presented with permission from Mattel):

I hope collectors are as happy with this one as I am.   We will be sure to give this model a full profile when we officially show it on the Lamley Blog, and we have Lee Hedges, one of the foremost experts on this car, waiting in the wings to give us all we want to know on the actual Type 34.  We can't wait.

In the meantime, I hope this somewhat satisfies collector's hunger for realistic models.  And stay tuned, as here are more to come that should make a lot of people happy.

Moving on with three more sneaks that should keep many collectors smiling for the week.

We start with a return to the mainline of the Isuzu Amigo.  The tooling has been slightly modified, and we will see who has the keen eyes to make out the differences.  The casting looks clean and refreshed, and the design works nicely:

And we will finish off this week's sneaks with two Jeeps.  2013 will see another version of the Jeep Willys, as well as a return to the lineup of the Jeep 4x4.  This version of the Willys will appear in the mainline as well as the Desert 5-pack.  And like the Amigo, the 4x4 has been modified as well.  Gone is the antenna, and look for changes on the front grill guard.  (And doesn't that logo on the rear of the Willys look an awful lot like the new Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt logo?  As you hit the MB pegs in a couple of months be prepared for a few confused HW collectors debating whether they should horde the Jeep or not...)

Lastly, I am excited to pass along this opportunity to own an amazing print from Matchbox's own design guru, Michael Heralda.  Jim Gallegos, who puts on the official Matchbox Collectors Gathering every July in Albuquerque, New Mexico, asked me to pass this along:

If you don’t know who Michael Heralda is, he has been designing die cast vehicle graphics since 1997 for both the Hot Wheels and Matchbox brands and this year he will celebrate 26 years with Mattel, Inc.


As a way to help support Children’s Charities, Michael Heralda has created four “individual”custom canvas prints of a 1959 Cadillac Convertible (showcasing the most desirable aspect of the body - the fins and tail lights!). Each vehicle print has a different body color.


Michael Heralda created only four (4) of these custom prints and only print #3 will be raffled off at the upcoming 2013 Albuquerque, New Mexico Matchbox Collector Gathering in July!!! KEEP IN MIND that the winning Ticket holder need not be present to accept the canvas print or to donate money for a chance to own this prized print.  Arrangements will be made to ship the custom print to the home of the winning ticket holder wherever he or she resides even if they live in Australia, Hungary, Chile, Holland, Germany, Japan, Hawaii, France, New Zealand, or Area 51 in Nevada!

Each of the four canvas prints will be offered at separate events throughout the year. The first two (#1 & #2) were previously auctioned off and are proudly displayed in the homes of the two lucky winning bidders! You still have an opportunity to acquire Print #3 in July!


To make the bidding easy, you can use our PayPal account (Note Rachel's Courtyard).  Utilizing PayPal you can easily and quickly donate your $5.00, or more, for the charity event taking place in Albuquerque, New Mexico in July of this year. With receipt of your donation you will receive an email with your specific ticket number(s) confirming your participation - bringing you one step closer to obtaining the winning raffle ticket!

Spread the word amongst your collector friends and members and ask them to participate.  AND feel free to purchase more than one ticket - for yourself or for your collector friends – - your odds of winning will definitely increase the more you give.

So come on diecast collectors!!! - where else could you possibly get a chance to win “one-of-four” custom framed canvas print for only $5.00? NOWHERE ELSE BUT HERE!!!!!

Another way to think of it is this way – you will be supporting a great

ALL OF THE MONEY DONATED (with the exception of monies used towards shipping
charges of the canvas print to the winning ticket holder) will be turned over to RACHEL’S COURTYARD at the conclusion of the raffle.  For more information on Rachel's Courtyard, please visit their website:

Michael has donated his time and talent as well as the cost of producing these four beautiful custom canvas prints to this noteworthy cause so why not join him in this charitable endeavor and contribute a little of your diecast budget to make this an even greater event!  REMEMBER: You can reside anywhere to win this item! SOMEONE WILL WIN AND IT COULD BE YOU!

For more information on participating in this charity Raffle please e-mail:

“Thank you Die Cast Collectors for participating in this unique charity raffle! I hope this Custom Print finds its way into your home!”

- Michael Heralda

Thanks Jim.

Matchbox collectors, there is still more to come.  We have another new model to show next week, and there is plenty more to get collectors excited as we move deeper into the 2013 line.

Until then...


  1. Wow! That Type 34 is actually quiet a nice looking car. I wasn't expecting even one bit of that. With simple front and rear tampos and some nice colour choices, it will be a hit. Can't wait to pick it up. Oh, and the Isuzu. Not a fan of it but definitely better than some half-track dumper or an off-road van (no offense). The colour and design is not at all bad. Gonna pick that up as well. Not interested in the Jeeps. So, onwards to the next update!

    - Black Wind, SwiftysGarage.

  2. the amigo is my favorite matchbox casting ever, i ove that casting growing up. had a lot of those but eventually lsot them all. great news and im very excited to get my hands on the amigo. i can already spot a refreshed base and a new rear tire

  3. The Type 34 Cabriolet is here and the design is simple, elegant, and true to the marque. Can't wait to see the colors offered to add to my collection. And happy to hear the public is excited to learn more about the T34 as well.

    San Diego

  4. I'm really happy with these models!!!! Love the Karmann and the good old Isuzu Amigo, Jeeps are OK for me too. Can't wait to get these.

  5. Another VW and yet more 4 X 4,give it a rest Matchbox and let Hot Wheels do the singles.

  6. I wouldn't call the Ghia "Collector Oriented". Instead I would call it the type of product Matchbox should have never stop making.

  7. The car surprised me. I'm not as much into those but it looks nice.

    I like that the Amigo is back. Jeep 4x4 pretty much always looks hot. I think I will get all the 4x4 models.

  8. Gotta have that Ghia. I don't do a whole bunch of VW's but that thing is desperately gorgeous.

  9. I'm liking this weeks update,all though there are more 4x these actually have more realism. I'd rather of had these than some of the others. Vandom I like and I did a mod to one, I had a smoked grey spray just a bit darker than the body that I hit the orange with it and it changed the whole dynamic of it. I would have liked to see a street version of it though. The 4x are to overwhelming,last time I checked Mattel had a HW Monster Jam brand. Please next year leave the 4x to them. I can appreciate a couple but seems this year MB got carried away with them. I will always have to have at least one to keep my collection in tact. I can tell you though in years past I have multiples of many castings. Just some advice to the design team, next year let's have some real emergency vehicles. I like the Pierce pumper but it's a bit under sized. I'd love to see a 70s International pumper. There is so much history that MB could go after and present for that matter. Put out castings that are about the history and future of the automobile. That is what these little cars always were to me. When I was growing up 68,69&70s Camaros were racing up and down the main strips so to be a little guy and be able to go to the local 5&10 (remember them) and get what the big guys were driving was great. Get home break it out of it's blister and race it on the sidewalk,in the dirt or on the floor before bed. I had so many I honestly couldn't play with them all but I tried. I couldn't tell you how many times I played myself to sleep and my parents would have to clean up the hundred or more cars I left out. Wow sorry the memories just flowed there but they are some dam good memories for sure.....
    I hope the design team gets the message,I know cars aren't what they used to be but there are cars out there today that could spark a Childs imagination. I can't remember the last Nissan MB produced except the 300zx. They had the oppritonity to really do something great with the Scout. They came up really really short. I hope they don't waste opritonities like this in the future..

    Swifty's Philly Wheels

    1. The newest Nissan casting from MB is the Cube. Can't blame you for forgetting that one, though.


  10. The VW looks great. Nice to see the Amigo make a return as well. Definite purchases.

    The new off-road wheels look great on the Jeep 4x4, but the decos remind me a little too much of the Tyco era. I'll probably get it, though.

    1. Forgot to sign the above comment.


  11. When Matchbox gets it right, it's good to give'em feedback, so....

    Yes, that Karmann Ghia Type 34 is well done! I'm not a fan of the car, but I'd get it anyways, because the miniature looks interesting.
    Realistic miniatures of real cars are indeed interesting.
    I'm also glad to see the Amigo is back. I got myself a Isuzu Rodeo, back when I was a kid... I still have it, in surprisingly good shape!
    If I could, I would sure get that Amigo.

    By the way, this other comment begs for Mattel's attention:

    "I wouldn't call the Ghia "Collector Oriented". Instead I would call it the type of product Matchbox should have never stop making."

  12. I think The Type 34 is great and the others are decent. The 4x4s here are not overkill except for maybe the tempos. I would love for MB to tackle the Plymouth Sattelite or the pre Roadrunner The Belvedere with police deco probably not the Adam-12 version because licensing would most likely be to much but Plymouth hasn't been around for awhile so that may work. Even the newer engine 51 would be great casting for MB. MB did a tremendous job with the Mack Heavy Rescue,the detail was spot on. Someone posted the Type 34 is what MB should be making and I agree. I feel the Mack was one of the best castings they did under Tyco and that casting should have never left the line. It was the attention to detail that MB was Known for.
    If The Design team is checking in my plea would be get back to what made MB great and that was the attention to detail. I think them getting away from that is maybe what detaches some MB loyalists of late. If they begin to put out more great castings the not so great will go less noticed. I think even the use of plastic would not be so much an issue as long as they don't go all plastic. If they just put out more sought after castings. There are so many autos out there that have never been done. HW has jumped into the station wagon arena of late. MB did awesome with the Vista Crusier, they could even do the Sattelite or Belvedere wagons. I think they would fly off the pegs. Just my opinion but I think MB loyalists are just begging for some great and obscure castings. So I beg the design team please,please go back to what makes MB great! Like the saying goes,you build it they will come,and buy it...

    John Nilsson