Well, this is a bittersweet day. I have officially submitted my final weekly update as the 8th Matchbox Ambassador. I have one more report to submit following this week's Matchbox Gathering, and I will share some thoughts then, but this is my last weekly update. It has been quite a run, but I am more than happy to pass the reigns over to Victim #9...
But there is not space for sentiments right now because we have a lot to get to. Mattel has provided me with my last batch of sneaks to cover, and we have some details on the upcoming Gathering, which starts Friday in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Let's start with the sneaks, plus a little news. As always, these photos are shown with permission from Mattel:
We will start with two singles set to be released in the 2014 range. Have a gander at the 2014 versions of the BMW Police Motorcycle and Urban Tow Truck:
A little tidbit from Mattel on these two: both are slated for a tooling modification later in 2014. I don't know if that means that these two versions will see the changes, but it is something to look out for. Let's see who will be the first to notice them...
Next, four models from the upcoming 2014 Arctic Adventure 5-pack: Vantom, Blizzard Buster, Frost Fighter, and ATV:
Now, a little about the Sky Busters Mission Force sets. Up until now, the Mission Force sets have included two Sky Busters vehicles, a Real Working Rig, and a basic Matchbox vehicle. Moving forward, Mission Force sets will no longer include a Real Working Rig. Instead, they will consist of two Sky Busters and three basic vehicles, all with exclusive decos. Here is a partial preview of one of those sets in 2014, the Space Mission Force set: the Shuttle (it can't called the Space Shuttle without the NASA markings), Express Delivery, and ATV (look for the ED and ATV deco's in an upcoming 2014 playset as well):
Lastly, some news on a significant change to the Sky Busters line. In an effort to improve the overall aesthetic of the models, the Matchbox team has created new landing gear that will be included on most of the models for 2014. Gone is the awkward metal axle on the rear landing gear, as well as the rivet on the front gear. In their place comes new, more realistic landing gear. They will continue to have tiny wheels that turn, but now on much more realistic gear. If you look closely at the Shuttle above you can see the new gear. Or just take a look at the F-35B in its 2014 deco:
I think we can agree that this is a welcome change and a vast improvement to the overall look of the Sky Busters.
So there you go, my last batch of sneaks provided by Mattel. But I do get a little bonus. The Mattel team is bringing to the Gathering several prototypes of 2013 and 2014 models in various stages of development to show to collectors as part of their presentation. They have granted me permission to photograph them in my little Lamley photo studio, so I will be able to show them to everyone as part of my report on the Gathering next week. I will also be posting photos from the Gathering throughout the weekend here on the Lamley Group blog, so check back often. I will have photos of the exclusive models, auction items, and many other goodies.
Speaking of the Gathering exclusives, Jim Gallegos, the organizer of the MC International Gathering of Friends, has been nice enough to provide us another sneak peek of the Code 1 Exclusive models made by Mattel. Last week we showed the Dinner and Dealer Models, and now we have the world exclusive of the Early Bird Model, the rarest of them all. Only 75 have been made, and it will be given to the lucky 75 first registrants of the Gathering. It is a variant on the Dinner Model. Sit down, because this one is a stunner:
Here is another angle:
Ok, maybe Jim got a little nuts with the crop function on his computer again, but still, a real beauty, eh? You first 75 are VERY lucky...
Alright, finally, some detail on another part of the Gathering that many come to witness: the charity auction to benefit Rachel's Courtyard, the playground in the sky at the Children's Center at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Combine a great cause with the nutty collector's appetite for rarities, and you have one entertaining show. Collectors, including yours truly, come ready to spend. Mattel gets into the action by donating preproduction models and prototypes, and those donations usually fetch the most.
Well Jim has provided this year's auction list, and it is below for your perusal. There have been some very generous donations from some very generous collectors. There might be some additions as we get closer to the auction, and Jim will make sure those attending will know what they are. There are some great items, starting with Mattel's donations, pictured below:
It's gonna be fun. Here are all the donated items, listed by number (Mattel's are intermixed in):
1. Tomica Long London Bus "Barnes Pianos"
2. Hot Wheels Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-R "Kenmeri", Signed by "Mary" Star from Japanese Commercial from 1970
3. Blizzard Buster E/P, unspun metallic black body, non polished window, tan treads, chassis has no engraving
4. Model of Yesteryear Y-31-1 Morris Courrier. (Special 10/10 model for attendees who have attended all 10 Conventions) 1 of 36 overall Code 2 models made for the Leipzig Convention.
5. Battle Kings Armored Personnel Carrier F/S Plated body, pink gun, white chassis without engraving china casting
6. K-29 Ford Van "Mr. Softy" Mint Moxed
7. 56 Buick Century Police car E/P white body, VUM base no engraving
8. Hot Wheels "Sunburnerz" full set of 5
9. Matchbox 'Regular Wheel #4 Triumph Motorcycle "Smooth Tread"
10. Austin Mini Van 1965 F/S, raw zamak, black base, non polished window, gray interior
11. Matchbox Austin Mini Cooper, "Mattel Nurnberg 2008" Code 2 model made for the Nurnberg International Toy Fair. Less than 50 made in Dark Green
12. Isuzu Amigo Retool E/P non production blue body, brown interior, VUM base no front grill or chassis engraving
13. Matchbox, My Classic Car and Show Case Assortment (5pieces)
14. Matchbox Shand Mason "Gold Plated": 1 of 3 in existence produced by Matchbox USA
15. Special 1 of 4 Cadillac Print by Mattel Designer Michael Heralda
16. Matchbox Premier Conoy "Mayflower"
17. BMW 1M 2013 assembled E/P, non production yellow body, VUM chassis, tan interior, white wheels
18. Gold Matchbox toy fair London bus in clear case
19. Matchbox Taco Bell 4 Piece Set
20. Blaze Blitzer 2013 E/P unspun, non production metallic green body, VUM chassis, tan interior
21. White Rose "Coors Light Race Car in case" #4452 of 5000`
22. Ford Explorer (police) 2012 E/P unspun non production white body, tan interior, blue window, no engraving on chassis.
23. Matchbox Regular Wheel #46B 'Beales Bealesons' Removal Van
24. Matchbox Regular Wheel #67 Saladin Armoured Car
25. Real Working Rigs Freightliner Vacuum Truck : E/P, non production tan parts, VUM and blue body details, non production red base
26. Matchbox Cadillac Sedan de Ville "MCCD at MICA" Code 2 Made by the German Matchbox Collectors Club Deutshland MCCD. Distributed to attendees in 2010
27. Land Rover SVX E/P unspun plated body, black interior, gray base non production lettered tires
28. Matchbox 1994 Christmas Treasures Morris Ornaments. 4 piece set.
29. Real Working Rigs : Tactical Police Truck E/P , non production pearl white body, tan base, VUM chassis, green wheels
30. Matchbox y-22 Ford Model A Van "Matchbox and Lesney Toy Museum" #0064 of #2000
31. Seagrave fire Engine E/P non production orange body, VUM chassis, no engraving
32. All Terrain Crane 2013 E/P unspun with non production green body, VUM base, tan interior and red boom.
33. Color Comp Matchbox Cadillac Ambulance "San Luis Obispo Fire Chief") 1 of 3 made in Orange
34. Renault Ambulance 2013 E/P, non production tan body, white chassis
35. Matchbox Promos, 3 pieces (Ford Lightning "Astros"), Chevy Suburban "Mastercard"), (Ford Transit "Dunton Engineering")
36. Flame Smasher 2013 E/P non production tan body, black base, non production wheels, non engraving on base
37. Matchbox Regular Wheel #46B Pickford Van- rear bumper
38. MCI Bus with 2000 Disney parks graphics, white body
39. German PS 1000 Set
40. Urban Tow truck E/P unspun, metallic red, non production VUM base, tan interior
41. White Rose "Coors Light Race Car in case" #2306 of 6750`
42. Gold Matchbox toy fair London bus in clear case
43. Color Comp Matchbox Seagrave Fire Engine "San Luis Obispo Fire" 1 of 55 made
44. Ground Breaker E/P unpainted body, non production VUM base, purple shovel, no engraving on base
45. DAF XF 95 Truck cab F/S non painted body, white base with no engraving , with convoy wheels
46. Hot Wheels Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-R "Kenmeri" Signed by "Mary" Star from Japanese Commercial from 1970
47. Convoys : White Ford Aeromax cab & box trailer with Pepsi graphics
48. Real Working Rigs Colet K/30E Jaguar: E/P , with non production VUM window, no body graphics, Non production blue body and VUM base
49. Hot Wheels set of 4 Movie Cars, Ferris, Back to the Future, Beverly Hills Cop, Rockford Files
50. Deluxe Convoys Rig with Yellow MAC cab and VUM tanker trailer will Shell oil graphics. Has deluxe 2pc wheels
51. Hot Wheels Boulevard set of 5 vehicles. Bronco, Corvette Porsche
52. Matchbox Color Comp set- 10 models from Matchbox USA events
53. Matchbox Pre Pro "Morphed Viper"
54. 4X4 Fire truck E/P, non production pink chassis and interior, metallic green body, non polished window, no chassis engraving
55. Ford Transit Connect E/P, non production flat blue body, non engraved black base, tan interior & unpolished window
56. Matchbox Pre Pro "Stealth"
57. Real Working Rigs : Farm Sprayer E/P with non production yellow body, black sprayer arms
58. Matchbox K-49 Ambulance "Malteser Hilfdienst"
59. Tomica Long London Bus "DFPS Seaways"
60. Matchbox Superfast #57 "Land Rover Fire Truck"
61. Color Comp Matchbox Cadillac Ambulance "San Luis Obispo Fire Chief") 1 of 15 made in Red
62. Motoyama "Penzoil" Nissan GTR Racer, very detailed.
63. Gold Matchbox toy fair London bus in clear case
64. Convoys: Dark Blue Kenworth Cab & Box trailer with Matchbox Action System graphics
65. City Bus E/P non production Red body, tan interior, unpolished window , black chassis with no engraving
66. Land Rover Defender 110 retool E/P , non production Dark blue body, unpolished window , black interior.
67. Gold Matchbox toy fair London bus in clear case
68. MCI Bus with JAWS graphics & blue and white body with deluxe 2pc wheels
69. Audi RS6 Avant F/S, unspun , unpainted body, non production tan interior and black base
70. Real Working Rigs Freightliner Vacuum Truck : E/P, non production tan parts, VUM and blue body details, non production red base
71. Real Working Rigs: MAN TGS Flat Bed Truck E/P with unpainted cab, non production tan rails, red boom & blue base
72. Pre Pro Matchbox Volvo P1800S, Model from 2010 Gathering
73. Husky 1571 Pedestrian Figures (1967-69) Mint on card
74. Lone Star 11 Gran Turismo Coupe "Corvette", 1960's C9+ in Mini Mite Box
75. Lone Star 402 Mini Garage 1960's C9+ Impy Accessory Box
76. Benbros 13 Austin Champ 1950's, C9.5 in Box w/ 1 flap missing
77. Matchbox Pre Pro Mercedes SLR McLaren From 2009 Gathering
Hmmmm, I think we have covered it all. One more report to go, covering the Gathering, the news from Mattel, the preview of new castings for 2014, as well as the announcement of the new Ambassador. Remember, check in several times here during the weekend for updates, and check back here at this time next Monday to get the full report.