Monday, March 18, 2013
March 18 Matchbox Ambassador Update: New Double Decker Bus and other sneaks...
Greetings once again fellow collectors. I hope you all have had a pleasant week. I am happy to deliver another batch of sneak peaks this week, including another new model.
Based on the response, in the last couple of updates we have had the good (Karmann Ghia Type 34), the bad (the Dump Dozer), and the ugly (oh, that darn Dump Dozer again). Considering those two took up all three labels, it is up to you folks where to put this next new model.
I will let you see it, and then I will let you know my opinion.
Say hello to the Two Story Bus, or the next Double Decker to bear the Matchbox name. This is a non-licensed model made in the same styling as the buses bustling around London these days:
There are obviously two things that you will notice right off the bat:
1. It is not red. Nope, not red. Future versions will be, but it will debut in gold and white.
2. The body is plastic. The base is metal, and we will get into that in a minute.
There is also one thing that you maybe cannot tell from the photos:
1. It is the same size as the current Routemaster casting, which allows you to put the two side-by-side.
Now on to what will most likely be the most talked-about aspect of the bus - the fact that it is plastic. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, and there are many collectors out there that I highly respect who have not been happy at all with this development.
But I will ask this: When a new Double Decker was announced for the mainline, did you expect it to be metal? Based on the fact that certain castings are too big to be all metal, is it really a surprise? Would you prefer that the lower half was metal, and the top half plastic? It has been made very clear to collectors that this is a necessary move for both the blue and orange brands within Mattel in order to keep costs where they need to be for the basic ranges. So the plastic debate can rage on among collectors, but plastic on large models is here to stay. We all have our reasons for collecting, and metal models may be a determining factor for some.
So I hope that collectors can give a model like the new Renault Ambulance and this Double Decker a fair shake on their designs. Like the Renault (which we will be showing on Lamley later today), I really like the Double Decker. I think it is a welcome addition to the lineup, and makes perfect sense as a Matchbox. Also note this one appears to have an interior, which is not something the Routemaster can boast.
Collectors, have at it. I hope we can hear from a lot of you, whether here on the blog, or on various forums. Of course you can make comments about the fact that it is plastic, but what else do you think? The Matchbox team is well aware of your opinions on plastic, but they are doing what they have to, and based on that, this model, at least to me, is a rousing success.
Moving on, three more sneaks for you, starting with the Ford F550 Super Duty in fire livery:
And the Rescue Helicopter, in what appears to be an EMT livery:
And finally, the Fire Stalker RWR. This will be part of the Airport Mission Force set, which will also feature the Airport Delivery we featured two weeks ago: