Here is the problem with doing Matchbox Monday...
I usually have a plan in order, involving the Matchbox Ambassador Update in the mornings and some sort of (we hope) interesting Matchbox-focused article. Rarely does that plan come to fruition. Between trying to stay away from the computer on Sunday and traveling on Monday, the article we are excited about doing somehow gets delayed. Sometimes by hours, sometimes by days.
That is the case today. Thankfully hours is the extent of the delay this time, even though it is Tuesday.
And we have a great one to show off. One of our friends on Instagram asked about the Matchbox Cadillac Ambulance, and we told him we would show some of the models. We would show all, but we don't have all of them. The list is here, and you can see that the somewhat unrealistic decos on the last two means they didn't make it to the Lamley collection. So we will stay focused on the realistic versions.
The Ambulance has an interesting story. If you look closely you see that it very closely resembles the slightly older Matchbox Cadillac Hearse casting:
Beside the obvious fact that both models are based on the '63 Caddie, there is more to the story. The Hearse was released in the worldwide Matchbox basic lineup three different times, starting in 2006, once as a cartoon licensed model, as well as once in the Superfast range. After awhile Mattel started hearing complaints from several overseas markets that the Hearse was not an appropriate toy due to the innuendo of death, and from what we understand, set some ultimatums on whether or not they would carry future Matchbox lines if the Hearse was included. Mattel obliged, and the Hearse was pulled from future worldwide lines.
This probably came as sad news to Felix Holst, Mattel's VP of Wheels, who owns the Hearse that the Matchbox model was based on. The Hearse tool remains, but some modifications were made to create a new model - an Ambulance with a much higher stance and other other emergency features.
Since its creation, the Hearse has been very popular with collectors. Particular models like the Walmart exclusive and Lesney Editions have been hard to come by, and even more difficult is the Code 1 Everett Marshall Charities exclusive made by Mattel for their annual golf tournament.
The model hasn't been seen for awhile, but we are sure it will appear again. When it does happen, be prepared to look, as they don't stay on the pegs for long...
(Be sure to check out the Matchbox store of our Matchbox Monday partner, MVE Collectibles. Find the latest 60th Anniversary models as well as current and older Matchbox models...)
Matchbox 1963 Cadillac Ambulance:
2010 Lesney Edition
2010 Everett Marshall Charities Exclusive
2010 Walmart Exclusive