Tuesday, July 1, 2014

First Look: Matchbox Toyota Tacoma...

As we have mentioned several times, the Matchbox Gathering of Friends is only a couple of weeks away.  Among many treats is the dinner presentation by Mattel, which outlines what is coming for the next year.  They have already hinted at a 2015 premium line of almost all licensed models, and we have heard rumors of realism all around.  We shall see.

The folks at Matchbox I am sure would love to see a little more excitement among collectors, and maybe some of the directions of 2015 will generate more.  Collectors surely are clamoring for more things to get excited about.

The problem is of course the models chosen.  Many unlicensed models, with a lot of over-the-top designs.  Executions really hasn't been the problem.  When Matchbox wants to do a realistic model, they generally get it right.  Look at models like the Seagrave Fire Engine, Dodge A100, and BMW 1M.  Each of those models hearken back to a few years ago when Matchbox was easily making the most realistic $1 models around.

So while we lament the model choices and general direction, we at least get a reminder here and there that the orange team still has it.  Case in point?  The brand new Toyota Tacoma.

Just take a look.  The model appears to be a perfect miniature version of the real thing.  The team took the production limitations and made a gem.  Sure, we wish it was just the Tacoma without the Lifeguard equipment, but it doesn't bother us.  Matchbox has to keep the "hero" theme, so it makes sense.  But thank goodness it is on a licensed model, executed realistically.  No oversized wheels or extreme proportions.

And there is detail.  From the Toyota logo on the grill (something Hot Wheels didn't do on their Tundra), to the texture on the rear bumper, the detail is there.  In fact, let's hearken back to the 3D print that was shared with us last year at the Gathering:

This is an early rendering, obviously a lot more delicate in detail than a normal Matchbox could be.  But then take a look at the finished product:

Pretty amazing, eh?

This is a tremendous model, better than we expected.  And let's consider it a great sign that if Matchbox decides to go more realistic, the models will be fantastic.  A total winner, and our favorite new Matchbox for 2014 so far.

Matchbox Toyota Tacoma (2014 New Models):


  1. I have to disagree with this post. The author mentions that the Toyota is a detailed casting, but basic details such as realistic coloured lights and clear glass have been ignored. When compared to rival manufacturers such as Majorette, NOREV and Siku, I fail to see why this model is getting so much praise from this author. The words easily satisfied come to mind.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I care, because he is telling the truth. Both Majorette and Tomica are toy cars that have detail and working features that make them appealing to both kids and parents.

    3. I also agree with the first comment. It is you, HarvestmanMan that should go away. I think I speak for many of the posters / bloggers on this site when I say we are not interested in hearing what you have to say. Simply telling someone to go away is immature and unnecessary. Justifying your own opinion would be a better, more mature thing to do. Out of interest, are you really a fan of this new Toyota Tacoma model? As much as I love Matchbox, I feel they are overrated, probably because of the childhood nostalgia many adults feel towards the brand. There are better companies out there as mentioned by the first poster, and I assume it is through your ignorance that you are unable to see that. Please feel free to have an adult discussion with me about your thoughts on this. Kind Regards, Ethan Blackburn.

  2. I have to agree, they took the effort to pait the door handles but not the headlights, tail loghts or back gate handle.

  3. Cost limitation of 2 tampo hits so take your pick - side deco or front/rear lights but do not wrap around.

    Also, fails to mention complete lack of interior..

  4. Mi777ke777 - 420CustomsJuly 1, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    I'll buy it but I wish they used a snap on board rack instead of compromising the rear cab. The details are awesome tho. Lots of cool little bits.

  5. To me, even with the windows looking it's supposed to be tinted, or no interior, I still like it.

  6. I just received a beautiful Mitsubishi Triton JAF pickup truck from Tomica. Fully painted, all logos and a separate lightbar. I can accept the cheap plastic bed insert, but will not buy name brand diecast without interiors.

  7. I like it. It may have been better with clear windows and an interior but its one of those things. I think the ingrained mentality of dollar (and pound toys) means that details, complexity has to be kept at bay to keep the price at that 'buy me' point.

    True a removeable board would have been better but a snapoutable one would also have been a swallow able one too. Sadly Matchbox have to keep an eye open details such as these and avoid litigation.


  8. This other perfect casting is ruined by lack of clear or actually tinted windows (not solid) and no interior. I will not purchase 1 in any color or livery unless this is corrected. I think most Matchbox collectors would agree that the penny-pinching committee ruined this model somewhere along its production track.

  9. I have been collecting since I was a kid. I'm coming up on 50 and I have seen some real trash over my years. This casting isn't all bad (and
    you'll never get a commercial brand name with movable or removable parts ever again.) Lawyer's and the accidental deaths caused by die cast made it a lost art. Anyway back to the Tacoma. I hate the white and I will detail it myself. If the windows are so dark what difference dose an interior make. I'm actually ecstatic that it's a licensed vehicle. This also may go towards the way side. Car companies are asking for more and more for the use of their products it will make it hard for a dollar car to pay for licensing. True collector will need to go to companies that focus on us collector's. I just
    checked out the 68 Cupo Camaro and it looks like the
    hood is now solid. I am
    surprised it lasted this long.

    The 55Alive was great with
    the movable hood and they
    fazed that out years ago.
    Your not going to get the good old be happy their still

    I know it disgusts me that the
    brand is a shell of what it once was but I learned to take what I can get....


  10. Okay, so I see ten or eleven of you not liking this toy. That makes, what, like 0.0000001% of the buying public? Honestly, this is a dollar toy and just look at all the cool details. My son loves it, the color and the surfboard on the roof is what caught his eye over any Hot Wheels toy across the isle. I understand that this is mainly a collector's forum, but after purchasing this toy I just had to look it up. To my surprise, I find all of these negative comments for a toy---a dollar toy--- that looks very well thought-out and meticulously cared for. Maybe it's just me, but perhaps complaining to a company that I'm sure struggles to get these out as close to the real thing as possible and still be under a dollar says a lot about them. Just my two cents. Have a nice day!

    1. It is wonderful that you in the good old U S of A can still buy a $1 toy for $1, the same price it was in about 1969. Back then $1 got you a good quality $1 toy. Now you get a bad quality $1 toy. Unfortunately the rest of the world currently pays around US$3 for this $1 HW or MB toy. USA population is what 200-300 million. Rest of the World population say 6-7 billion. Obviously the rest of the world is subsiding your $1 toy even though Mattel spends a fortune advertising HW in the USA and a pittance elsewhere. (Mattel don't appear to spend anything, anywhere, advertising MB.) For the extra $2 we are charged for the $1 toy, we would like the extra detail and quality, which would only cost a few cents per toy to manufacture.