Greetings fellow collectors...
We now enter the month of May, which means the countdown to The Matchbox Collectors International Gathering of Friends in July has begun. We mention it here for several reasons. The first is because it is simply a can't-miss event. I have gone the last five times, and this will be my sixth. The second is because the Albuquerque, New Mexico event has been adopted by Mattel as their yearly event. Members of the Matchbox Design and Marketing team attend, mingle with the collectors, and preview the next year's new models and direction. It is always an interesting time. If you are thinking of attending, I highly suggest you try. We hope to see many of you there...
(Oh, and there is that other reason that attendees return home with Code 1 exclusives, many times the best-looking models Matchbox will produce all year. So there's that...)
But before that, we still have a lot to cover for 2013. Mattel has many FEP's coming in, and we will preview them here each week as we normally do. There are many to get to, so let's get started. As always, these photos are provided with permission from Mattel...
We said last week we had something new for Sky Busters. We do.
First, I asked the team about an interesting development reported from Brazil. Sky Busters have been found in Brazil packaged as Hot Wheels. I asked if these were official Hot Wheels models, and in fact they are. This is Mattel's way of getting some Matchbox models into markets that do not accept both brands. Mattel won't elaborate, but some countries don't take both brands, so doing this allows product to get into those markets. The repackaged Matchbox-as-Hot Wheels models could show up in other markets, but I was not provided a list (I have heard that they have been reported in China). And this only applies to Sky Busters at this point. If you see them in your area, let us know.
We also have a brand new extension of the Sky Busters line to announce, called the Color Shifters. This is a series of 10 planes, each coming with a water squirter (not shown below) that will clip onto the axles of each model. When the wings are squirted with or dipped in warm water, they reveal a new deco and different color. Cold water changes them back. So look for this series of 10 planes soon, including a playset with one of these models as well.
Here are a couple of examples of what to look for:
Stealth Launch (cold)
Turbo Tornado (cold)
We also have a few new decks to show from various lines.
I did ask about the UFO Mission Force set we saw partly previewed last week. The VW T2 Bus does not glow in the dark, and the other three models included in the set will be the Flying Saucer and Twin Blast Sky Busters, as well as the Satellite Communication Real Working Rig. Here is the Flying Saucer:
We have another Mission Force model, this time from the Construction pack. Have a gander at the RWR Excavator:
Lastly, two models from the basic range, including a brand new tool. Say hello to the Deep Diver, Matchbox's new ocean adventure submarine:
Not a model I think any of us expected in the Matchbox lineup, but on its own it is very well executed. I think this can be a popular model with kids for sure.
Lastly, a new very attractive zamac deco for the Terrain Trouncer:
That is it for this week. When I get sneaks from Mattel I try to keep a theme for each report, so look for another emergency theme and city life theme next week. Two Ambulances that I am sure many of you will be happy to see, and a new deco for the ever-popular Seagrave Fire Engine. Those, plus a new model for you street food eaters (yours truly included...).