It is Gathering Week.
The biggest Matchbox event of the year, the International Collector's Gathering of Friends begins this Friday in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is Mattel's adopted event for Matchbox, and every year sends a members of the Matchbox Design and Marketing teams to meet with collectors and present the details for the next year's lineup.
They also bring a few things with them. Always of note are the exclusive models, one Dinner model (plus a variant for 75 lucky attendees), and one Dealer Model. They have yet to be revealed, and when they are this Saturday night we will pass the info along to all of you.
They also bring upcoming models in various forms, from 3D prints to preproduction models to soon-to-be Final Production versions. They are all displayed at the Gathering Dinner for attendees to get an idea of what is coming.
Lastly, they bring preproduction models, all donated to the charity auction benefitting Rachel's Courtyard at Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque. That means those that are interested have a chance to bid on and win some very unique versions of their favorite castings. They come in crazy colors (these models are usually painted in colors that are being used in the factory that day), they sometimes have mismatched wheels (including in some cases Hot Wheels wheels), and they are in various stages of assembly. Some come unspun, while others are fully riveted.
The models garner a lot of interest, and it is always fun to watch the battles ensue as collectors try to outbid each other.
Gathering attendees need time to strategize, so we are very happy to share what will be offered by Mattel for auction. First, the photos, then the actual list:
12th International Gathering of Friends
Convention Albuquerque, NM July 11, 2014
- F-250 Super Duty with Raft E/P non production metallic green body, VUM chassis, tan raft.
- Jungle Crawler E/P new retool unspun non production metallic orange body, tan interior, black chassis.
- Highway Maintenance Truck E/P new retool(fixed shovel) unspun non production candy red body, VUM chassis, tan bucket.
- 66’Dodge A100 pick up E/P unspun non production yellow body, VUM chassis, Tan interior.
- Swamp Raider E/P new retool, no longer has canvas cover, non production red body, tan interior , non tinted window.
- Blockade Buster E/P unspun, non production VUM chassis, black body, tan turret.
- Superlift Ford E-350 E/P unspun non production black body, VUM chassis, silver roll cage.
- Amphi Flyer E/P non production dark green body, VUM interior and base.
- Pontiac Solstice Concept E/P retool, unspun, non production VUM base, tan interior, candy blue body.
- Toyota Tacoma Life Guard E/P unspun, non production metallic dark green body, VUM chassis, non tint window, tan interior.
- International MXT-MVA E/P unspun, non production VUM base with incomplete markings, Yellow body tan window.
- VW Karmann Ghia E/P unspun, non production yellow body tan interior, uses Hot Wheels gold 5 spoke wheels.
- Mack B model Fire Engine, E/P red body, non production tan interior unspun.
- Food Truck E/P unspun, non production tan molded body and interior, ruby red painted base.
- Dennis Sabre E/P retool with tan plastic body, green painted base, markings incomplete.
- Chevy Silverado E/P non production white body, unpolished window, tan interior, white chassis.
- Volvo C30 F/S unpainted body/unspun, black chassis, silver interior.
- Farm Trailer E/P with Hot Wheels 5 spoke wheels, non production tan bucket, silver painted frame, VUM chassis with incomplete markings.
- BMW R-1200 GS E/P assembled split chassis half painted, non production clear tint wheels, red faring.
- Ambulance E/P non production blue body, white chassis with no markings.
- RWR E/P Jungle Expedition Truck E/P has non production colors.
- Creature Catchers “Aqua Claw” E/P with non production die cast cab, unpainted body , non production molded colors, no engraving on base.
- RWR “Fire Stalker” E/P non production green body, non production tan base and hose unit,
- RWR “All Terrain Tractor E/P unspun assembly non production silver blue body, tan molded parts and treads, VUM retainer bases.
- Two sets of 60th Anniversary gold Toy Fair busses in cases.
- Four sets of 2012 orange & Black Jeep Wrangler Toy Fair models in cases.
- 1995 Super Rigs Reese’s Box trailer & Silver Kenworth.
- 1995 Super Rigs Hawaiian Punch Box trailer & White Aeromax Cab.
- 1995 Super Rigs Honey Nut Cheerios Box Trailer & Aeromax Cab.
- 1995 Super Rigs Skittles box trailer & Aeromax Cab/
- 3 sets of Matchbox 40th Anniversary Gold & Black VW T2 Buses.
- Models of Yesteryear 1907 UNIC Taxi.
- Models of Yesteryear Stutz Bearcat.
If you are going, maybe one or two interest you, so good luck in the bidding. If you aren't, we would love to know what models you would love to have. Let us know.
Winning one of these in auction can be a thrill. I personally have been involved in several bid battles, winning three and losing a few as well. I am very happy with the three I have won:
Won last year, after a testy battle with my Lamley cohort, David Tilley. This is my favorite prepro in the collection, and holds special meaning from my time as Matchbox Ambassador. I will have to tell that story another time.
VUM base with Mattel's Gathering marking:
Cadillac CTS Coupe
Won at the 2012 Gathering.
Caterham R500 Superlight
Won at the 2010 Gathering.
And those are the three I have. There are many others that have been gobbled up by collectors, some of which we have been able to photograph over the years: