Monday, July 1, 2013
July 1st Matchbox Ambassador Update: The brand new Blaze Buster, Whiplash, and the Porsche 911 GT3 before it goes under the knife...
Welcome to July. I am currently in St George, Utah, where the high is projected to be 115 degrees. Neato. While growing up in Phoenix, Arizona, I lived through the infamous 122 degree day, and there are some that wonder if that will be topped this week in the sun-drenched state. We will wait and see. At least it is a dry heat here is St. George like it is in Phoenix. Hooray, right?
But heat or no heat, July is always a month we Matchbox folk look forward to. It means we have finally arrived at Gathering month. Three weekends from now many of us will be gathered in Albuquerque, New Mexico (it's a dry heat!) for the signature Matchbox event. Mattel is putting the final touches on their presentation, they are putting together a few new items to show off, and the exclusive models have been boxed and shipped. Hopefully they have picked my replacement as well, because if I have to go another year I definitely want a raise.
Before then, however, there is still some work to do. We will have this and two more updates to do. Today we have two new models and a new deco to show from 2013, plus another 2014 preview. We will get to that in a minute.
But first, an answer to a question that has been sent my way a lot. Many of you have asked about the final two models of the 2012, the Dodge Challenger and Dodge Magnum. I have your answer:
Regarding the Magnum and Challenger, a licensing issue delayed the use of the two models, so there was some last minute shuffling. As many of you know, the Challenger did see the light of day briefly in late 2012 gift packs (the yellow-green version), but it did not make it to mainline.
Here is what will happen. Remember when we previewed a purple Dodge Challenger few weeks ago? Well, maybe some of you caught this, but there is no Dodge Challenger in the 2013 mainline. This particular purple version is considered carryover from 2012, and for this reason, it will not have a collector number. The color was changed since quantities of the yellow-green version were no longer available for 2013. Does that make sense? Essentially when the purple model is released, it will say it is part of the 2012 line, but will not have a collector number because it is a "carry-over" item.
The Magnum was planned in the mix but unfortunately it could not be made. This happens occasionally, and there is a need to be flexible when it occurs. So no Magnum, but two Challengers did emerge. With this news getting out, maybe there will be a run on the leftover gift packs containing the green Challenger.
Alright, now on with the sneaks, as always with permission from Mattel.
Before we get to the new tools, how about a look at the LAST VERSION of the Porsche 911 GT3. Wait, what!?! Yep, the Porsche 911 GT3 casting will never be seen again.
In this current state.
Haha just enjoying myself. After this stunning orange version (one of my faves), the Porsche will undergo a little surgery and reemerge with an all-metal spoiler. We have seen Hot Wheels making this modification on a few models, and it looks like Matchbox will do the same. I know many of you will be happy with this development, as it means the spoiler will share the same color as the body. For 2014, the Porsche will still have the plastic spoiler, and its final version looks fantastic:
Now let's get back into the present. Two new castings to show, and we will start with another firetruck. Say hello to the MB897 Blaze Buster. This is another unlicensed fire vehicle, aimed squarely at kids with its lifted look and large off-road wheels. Yes, it might be a bit controversial with the collector-folk, but this one falls squarely within the "Unstoppable" strategy that Matchbox has directed at kids, and hopefully they will enjoy it:
Next up, another new tool, the MB898 Whiplash, or as it was known prior, the MBX Roadster. This is also an unlicensed model and purely a Matchbox creation. I am sure it will serve several purposes within multiple Matchbox lines moving forward:
Finally, to round out this week's sneaks, a look at the 2013 version of the Quick Sander, looking a little like its Toy Fair version from a few years ago:
So there you are. Two more weekly updates to go, plus a report on the Gathering. Lots of fun to be had here in July.
Until next week...