It is still Matchbox Monday, and we thought it would be appropriate to borrow from Mr. Tilley, who completed another of his "Up Close" features, this time on the just-hitting-stores Matchbox Two Story Bus.
As always, Matchbox Monday is brought to you by MVE Collectibles. Be sure to check out their store for the latest Matchbox, along with many other models from various brands like M2, Greenlight, and Johnny Lightning. Very much worth a perusal...
On with DT's review:
"A 2-Tale Bus"
I am saying that because of the spelling on the naming of the bus. They have called this bus a "Two Story Bus". A story is a tale that you tell. In USA a story can mean something on 2 levels, but as this is supposedly a depiction of a British Double Decker Bus, I would have given this the British spelling too. In Britain something on 2 levels would be a "Two Storey" with an added "e" in the word. Am I being picky? Yup! It is not incorrect per se, but if you depict something British you should go with the British spelling I think. After all, it has the steering wheel on the right, as they do in Britain, so they were obviously going for something British with it. Plus, the ROW packaging is classing it as a London Bus rather than the baseplate name. So everything is pointing to something very British with it, yet they use the US spelling. But anyway, that aside, I actually quite like this.
It fits in well with the older London Busses we have seen from Matchbox in the past. Of course had the wheels been smaller they would have suited better.
The front end shows a good representation of the types of busses we see around the UK nowadays. It is a modern design with the large window area. It also looks pretty realistic, and I would not be able to tell you any bus names, and I am sure many will not either. It also contains an interior, which the Routemaster before it did not. That only had a spiral staircase at the back.
Again from the rear, the detailing is very good. This does look like the type of vehicle you would see on the roads nowadays.
They included a window in the roof. I am not sure why. Normal busses don't have them, and it is not to reduce weight as both parts are plastic anyway, so that is a little unnecessary. Perhaps they were just trying to break up the sparce roof area.
The only part that is metal is the base. It is also unpainted (well zamac coated as they do nowadays). Had this model been done the other way round with the body parts made of metal and the base plastic I am sure many would have commented that it was a decent model. I am sure that more will dislike it purely because of the reversal of materials used for body and base. But as you all know, the metal vs plastic debate does not interest me. I am fine with the model this way round. The thing I am a little sad to see though is that because this is the debut version of the model I would have expected it to debut in traditional red. I do like that the upper and lower halves are still separate and so you can get a color break if needed, as has been basically traditional on London Busses since at least the 1972 Londoner (I don't bother with earlier stuff so do not know if they also did split bodies), but we should have seen a red debut. Plus, I also feel the side design should have been a more traditional sign look and possibly hinted at the Matchbox 60th Anniversary, much like the chase Routemaster did in the Anniversary range. It would have made it look better. So for me, those are the weak points in what I think is not actually a bad model.
But while I am here, what about a comparison size-wise with the Routemaster. It was said that this is also a large vehicle, but just how large?
It is actually just as long as the Routemaster is, and therefore fits in with the largest vehicles in the range.
Height-wise, it is slightly lower than the Routemaster was.
The width is about the same, although with the mirrors on the side it does make it ever so slightly wider in total.
So there you go. Let the plastic bashing begin....