Sunday, October 12, 2014

Oct 10th Matchbox Ambassador Report, by Larry Scaduto...

Ambassador’s Report October 10th, 2014
By: Larry Scaduto

Good Day to everyone out there! Sorry for the delay in releasing my latest report. I’m featuring new 2015 models for the 1-120 Mainline as well as the Sky Busters Line. Hope you like what’s new! But first here is the BMW M1 for the 13th Leipzig Toy Show. You can see how nice a Matchbox Model can be when there are no restrictions on what the design team can do.

All pictures and information within this report are with the permission and consent of Mattel and the Matchbox Team!

New Releases for 2015
Here we have the return of the Checker Cab to the Matchbox line for 2015.  The model has been modified to include the taxi sign as part of the window unit.  Nice Model! The casting is now (MB980).

This next model is the retool of the Swamp Raider which will be in the 2015 Military 5 pack. We have now deleted the canvas bed cover and the hex fitting on the cargo bed.  The roof is now part of the window unit similar to the retool of the Land Rover Defender 110 and the interior is now visible as well. This will now have an open pick up bed.  The new MB number for this model is MB997.

Next we have the revised tool of the HUMVEE, but this deco will be used in the 2015 Mission Force Military pack. 

Here we have 2015 refresh of the Dual Tail for Sky Busters.

Lastly we have the new 2015 deco for Sky Busters:  Sky Shredder

Preproductions from my Collection
May I introduce….The White Nights
I’m not sure where the term White Nights came from. But I’ve known that white preproductions models were always called that. (If someone can shed some light on this, it would be appreciated) From what I’ve been told, white was the color of choice on many PrePro’s in the Lesney era for a fairly good reason. The white paint made any defects in the mold easier to see. So I have more in this color than any other. To this day, I still seek out the white models if they stay in a certain price range. I was bidding on one at the Gathering that went way over what I wanted to pay…ultimately it went to another collector and I was okay with that. Maybe another time…. But as you will see the white PrePro’s are stunning and make a wonderful presentation on their own. The pictures don’t do these models any justice, but you get to see the wide variety of molds that got the special White Night treatment. Enjoy and I welcome your comments……

MB65 SAAB Sonett III
MB10 Mustang Piston Popper

MB8 Rover 3500
MB37 Sunburner

MB30 Articulated Truck
MB12 Big Bull

MB26 Volvo Cable Truck
MB35 Volvo Zoo Truck

MB53 Flareside Pick-Up
MB45 Kenworth Aerodyne Cabover

Field Shaper Tractor & Trailer


Sales & Service Station

  In this week’s History section I am featuring the two story BP Sales & Service Station…Originally released in 1963, it was the same structure that was used in the ESSO Station. Only now the building was white with a green forecourt and sporting the famous green shield of BP. As with the Fire Station, there were no reported variations. These MG-1 Service Stations are from the Steve Gloss Collection and his eagle eye found an off white or beige version with a noticeably darker forecourt. (Please refer to the above pictures) This service station was available till around 1966 when it was replaced by a one story BP Service Station….but that will be reviewed another time!! Gas Pumps were sold separately for this set. They fit into an outlined spot near the front edge of the base. This is my personal favorite!!!

In these pictures I have a close up on the header sign. The “BP” logo features two different sizes for the lettering. The lower sign has the BP positioned lower within the shield which has visibly fatter lettering than the upper picture’s shield. I think it’s time to look at my service station to see what I have!!

What’s New in the Stores?

I was getting worried there would not be anything to show in this section for the 2nd straight issue. But…..that changed just before this report was to be released. As you can see above the Ford Police Interceptor has been corrected with the word Marshal having just one L instead of two. (I just found the first one myself) Below are some pictures from fellow collector Mavanrick who found the City Works 5-Pack at a Target in Georgia. The Mail Delivery Van is the first version. Nice Find!!! Also pictured is the display at Target. I might add its better than most I’ve seen. We’ll give this store a generous C+ for the effort!! I believe there will be a lot of product coming out soon before the holidays. So watch this section for the latest finds. 

Below is a link to Mark Kasimoff’s YouTube video. He is opening up the Batch L case. Please take a moment to watch this informative video. A big thank you goes out to Mark for first, taking the time to do this and second, for giving me permission to post it on my Ambassador’s Report.              

Models we would love to see made…

And this time around we have another nice selection of ides. Starting at the top we have…. 1986 Mitsubishi Mills-Tui Pumper, 1993 Chevy Caprice Police Car, 2008 Nissian GT-R, 2015 Dodge Viper, Asphalt Grinder, Paymaster Semi Tractor, BMW I8, and 2016 Audi RS7

Pictured above is a selection of #1 Mod Rods from my collection. Not sure if I have anymore. If so, they got separated from this group. In the upper corner is the Roman numeral #1 Silver Streak. Below is a customized version of the Mod Rod once again from collector Mark Amies. It would have been nice to see this one in red during its production run. Nice work Mark!

Need to reach me????


  1. The Checker Cab looks nice! I don’t understand the advantage of making the taxi sign part of the window rather than part of the body, but I’ll take a re-tool over a cancelled casting. I’m glad they stuck with clear window plastic. The livery looks good, too, although I find myself wondering what it would look like with chrome bumpers rather than grey. It made a world of difference on the Buick Century police car.

    The livery on the Swamp Raider looks great. I’m glad that casting is finally making it into the mainline.
    I mourn the loss of the opening hatch and gun from the Humvee, but it looks like it has an interior for the first time! The inclusion of a clear window and an interior is a definite improvement. I hope this re-tool also re-incorporated shocks, which were one of the best features of the really old versions of this casting.

    Thanks for the report; it’s nice to see what’s in the works.

  2. The checker cab looks like the company was started by a Dish washing liquid company.

  3. A knew report at last! I really like the Checker Cab and the Swamp Raider. The Cab looks quite good in that deco although the stars are a bit over done. The Swamp Raider on the other hand looks very nice. My only complaint is that it should've been in a green shade similar to the Humvee, rather than the desert gold. I can just see Land Rover Defender design cues everywhere. Thats one of the reasons I wanted this model. And now I can finally have it! Thanks for that, Matchbox! About the rest of the models, I'm not really interested in any of them. Not my cup of tea. This time round, people asked for some really good models to be made. Caprice police car, GT-R, Viper, i8 and RS7. Interesting. But chances of Matchbox actually making these models is rather slim. Anyway, thanks for the report! Waiting for the next one!

  4. Isn't the Asphalt Eater in the works? Thought I read somewhere they were doing it. The Cab is great,Didn't it have opening doors before? I always want to see realistic cars,trucks ect. In the line. I thought I also read that was the plan for 2015? Mattel needs to bring MB back into competition with HW. To me it only makes sense, more competition between the brands means more sales. They make more of these models that just sit both MB & HW. Any collector on any given day can walk into any give store and see what's selling and what is sitting. Where are the reps for Mattel? These people are the reason for all the cost saving ideas but if the products they put out were selling more units then they may not need to worry so much about cutting costs. To me it's simple produce what sells and cut what don't. In my opinion many casts are over produced and sit on pegs. Most collectors see it, is there no product reps or product watchdogs? I get unsold product gets written off but eventually wouldn't that lead to a companies demise? There are more than enough Mattel products that sit on pegs and shelves not just MB and HW.

  5. Don't tell me the '94 Caprice was cancelled...

    Also, I'd prefer to see the '96 Caprice and the '12 Caprice PPV being made...

  6. Great!! I dig the new Checker Cab, and I wonder what company made it in real life? And I never knew the Rover 3500 was a matchbox car!

    1. The Checker Motor Company.

      Wikipedia Article on the Checker Motor Company

      The naming gets a little bit confusing, because the manufacturer was named Checker, there have been a few different cab operating companies that have used the name Checker, and the livery has included a checker-board pattern, and so it's not always clear which one is being referred to when you talk about a "Checker cab." But the casting we're looking at appears to be a Checker Marathon, which was produced with minimal changes from 1961 to 1982.

      Wikipedia Article on the Checker Marathon