Thursday, October 23, 2014

October 22nd Matchbox Ambassador Report, by Larry Scaduto...

Ambassador’s Report October 22nd, 2014

Wow!!!! The end of October is near and with fall in full swing here in Illinois, winter cannot be far behind. So not looking forward to the snow & cold!! But with the end of October that now brings us to Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas. First up in this report are the official pictures of the Matchbox 2015 Toy Fair Model: Blaze Blitzer. We chose a very different subtle look this year since it’s being offered in a conservative matt black box with silver foil instead of a clear case.  The other end of the box says “Toy fair 2015”. Inside, the Blaze Blitzer deco will be quite the opposite.  We wanted this model to stand out at Toy Fair and it certainly does. There are quite a few new models to show and I have a fun Halloween PrePro  section this time around. Hope you like it. All pictures and information within this report are with the permission and consent of Mattel & the Matchbox Team. Have a great day and thank you for reading. Enjoy!!

New Releases

First up we have a new deco for the 2015 Sky Busters: Snow Explorer.

Here we have two samples of the new Crime Crusher (MB908) tool for this year.  This model is a cousin, if you will to our Turn Tamer.  The white version comes out first.  The red version is the recolor and has a Fire Chief deco. 

New for 2015 is the Mountain Mover dump truck.  This was shown at the Gathering a while back. This type of dump truck is a low profile design inspired by many types of mining vehicles.
(Ambassador’s note: Great play value with the tipping rear dump. Nice job on this vehicle)

The National Park Series continues into 2015 with the Blaze Blaster in mint green

And next up we have the Blizzard Buster shown here in dark blue 

Matchbox Questions
  • The new Ford Tractor Cab is going to be a nice addition to next year’s lineup. Any thoughts on doing an updated Kenworth, Peterbilt, or Mack cab again? We are looking into a new licensed truck cab for 2016. The make has not been determined yet.
  • Any chance of the 2015 Dodge Viper being a Matchbox? No, not at this time.
  • Why couldn’t the Ford F-550 be used in the Supreme Heroes series? We could only make 2 Wheel sizes for the Supreme Heroes line.  The F-550 required a 3rd size (small) just for this model so we could not include it.
  • The National Parks and INC series has been a nice ongoing collection to put together over the years. Have you thought about doing this with the Fire vehicles? In the early 90’s a florescent red was used on several models in the Mainline & Intercom City series. Any color would do as long as all the releases matched. This is something to consider. Thanks for the suggestion.
  • This question is about the ’97 Ford F-150 Pickup. The front grille of the blue version is different from the red release. Was there a problem with the mold that required revisions? And how many times was it changed? Also, do revisions of this type require a change in the MAN#? We don’t believe that there is a significant variation in the front grilles of this model. We can check however.  Minor tooling revisions don’t require new MAN numbers.
  • There was a 5 spoke triangle wheel design found on the 2004 – 2009 SuperFast Series. Is there any chance that wheel might be used again? Sorry, this wheel is no longer available.
  • Are any of the older wheel designs available to be used again or are they gone for good? Some older designs still exist, but we don’t think they are that appealing any more. We try to update our wheels when we can to reflect more modern or iconic designs.
  • Have there been any thoughts on having a different UPC Code for generics and licensed vehicles? This might be a way to track what is selling and not selling in different markets. Interesting Idea.
  • Last winter Wal-Mart had the 60th Anniversary generic blister cards for .60 cents each. Any chance of that happening again for maybe the 62nd Anniversary for .62 cents apiece? (Ambassador’s note: this series sold out FAST in my area!!) If we did another Anniversary series, it is possible that we would do it again.
  • The Challenge Cars of 1997 were a nice series to collect. Any chance of this type of promotion happening again? (all silver or white vehicles) Is there a reason why silver or white would be the best color?? These are the least compelling of our color selections (just curious). (Ambassador’s note: this was my suggestion)
  • How will we know what is the exclusives in the Mystery Cars Series? We will announce this at a later date.
  • Since the 2014 Poster is almost ready for release, when can we expect the 2015 Poster to be available? The 2015 line is still being developed so we do not have an ETA for this yet.
Preproductions from my collection

Since Halloween is just around the corner, I’ve decided to dedicate this reports PrePro section to the never released Casper Gift Set from 1995. If you have not seen the movie you are missing a very entertaining film. Click on the link above for the movie trailer before its release in the theaters.  For whatever reason this set never made it past the preproduction stage. I heard that Matchbox couldn’t get this set into the stores in time for the movie’s release, so it was scrapped. I’m thinking since Tyco was probably in negotiations to be sold, this could have been a factor in its demise. I believe Nigel Cooper mentioned that there was licensing issues involving this set’s release. Whatever the reason….It’s a beautiful set that includes a poster as well. I’ll picture it elsewhere. There were only 10 sets made. So here is the box & models:

There were these four models enclosed in the gift set. First we have the Jaguar XK120 in black with a white interior Casper, next we have the Model A Ford in metallic blue Fatso, next up the 1933 Chevy Sedan Delivery with a purple body & black fenders Stretch, and lastly the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in metallic green Stinkie

Happy Halloween


This report’s History Section features the Lesney Accessory Pack No. 5 Home Stores. This was released in 1961. The base of this store came in two shades…off white and cream. Both versions are pictured here. The picture below shows the tops of the two stores. You will notice a slight variation in the green color on the roofs and the doors in both pictures. Can you see the major variation between the two stores in the upper pic? I wonder which one is tougher to find? These Home Stores are from the Steve Gloss Collection. Thank you once again for providing these items for this article. There was supposed to be a CafĂ© made to go along with this building, but poor sales cancelled that idea and ultimately ended the Home Stores which was deleted in 1962 or 1963. 

What’s New in the Stores?
Once again with the help of my local Meijer’s Store, I am starting to find Batch L. Nice to find the product in a store. Hunting down new models never gets old for me. I can go to a dealer and get everything all at one time, but walking into a store and finding something I need….. Now that’s what I like!!!!! Kinda wish the other major retailers would realize that kids and adults get such a rush when they find a car or batch that is needed. And a properly filled and organized presentation of the product sells the PRODUCT just because it’s pleasing to the eye. The buying of one case occasionally and leaving the pegs empty sends a message to the moms and kids that somebody doesn’t care at the store enough to give them a full array of products Matchbox has to offer. And when there’s nothing on the pegs, Matchbox gets passed on by for other brands of diecast. And we lose a future collector! So, I am hoping the other major retailers wake up and fill those pegs and stop playing games and catch up to a retailer that knows how to present a company’s assortment of toys for kids, Meijer’s. I should do a YouTube Video about this…… No, I’ll leave that to the experts! Speaking of experts! Here’s Mark Kasimoff’s latest video of the unboxing of Batch M. Thank you once again Mark for supplying the link. Enjoy……                   

Here are the 2 wheel variations on the Torque Titan

Models we would love to see made

In this weeks Models we wold love to see made, I’m featuring something new and interesteing… Sky Busters ideas!!! But first, I’ll start at the top and work my way down as usual. First I have a 1962 Divco Delivery Van, 1961 Ferrari and now the Sky Busters ideas………….... Ford Tri-Motor & Deepflight Submersible, we continue with the Volkswagen XL Sport, 1992 Fiat Tipo, Toyota FJ, And the iconic Airstream Trailer!! (A personal favorite!!!!)


Here’s the Casper Poster that was rolled up in the upper part of the gift box.


  1. The Blitz thing is ok, but again matchbox ruin by showving in a cardboard box rather than the plastic plinth and dome, which really set them apart, so it is clear as water now, that MBX are cutting back, and at the expense of decent specials.

    Other than that, god how awful are the rest of those generics, when are we going to see some really nice proper real cars, and when is the Evoque goign to be released, or will it, like the LR4 (Discovery 4) be cancelled....

  2. The Mountain Mover looks like a fun truck. I'm glad to see that the dump bed works and that more than just the cab is metal. I hope that a future livery of this will match the Mound Mover's initial release in yellow; the two would make a great set.

    I like the colors on the Snow Explorer airplane, too. I am puzzled by the red canopy, though. Red makes no sense to me as a window color, and this one doesn't even have the excuse of a police/fire light bar. Barring that, I really like the way this livery looks.

    A further thought on the Snow Explorer: can anything be done to increase the nose weight or to lengthen the skis toward the back of that airplane? The casting I have always tips over backward whenever I put it down.

    The paint schemes for the Blaze Blaster and the Blizzard Buster both look really good. I can't get behind the Blaze Blaster as a casting, but it's nice to see the National Parks theme continue.

    Notes on the "Models We Would Love To See:"
    I'd like to sound my support for the manufacture of the Airstream trailer. That would be a great addition to the mainline, and would have a market even without a tow vehicle.

    For those interested, the Deep Flight submersible pictured is the Blackhawk, described by the manufacturers as "an underwater stunt plane." A full-sized picture of it and more information can be found here:

  3. Thank you for the link. This would make a nice addition to the Sky Busters line!!!!

  4. I would LOVE to see the FJ Cruiser and the Airstream trailer, together even!!!

  5. Okay, so I finally had the time to properly read full the post. And now I can comment. First of all, what the f***? A generic fire truck as a special Toy Fair exclusive? I don't care how awesome the casting and its deco is, generic and Toy Fair don't go in the same line. Matchbox, what did you drink last night? Hell no... I'm passing this one. And I'm passing every single other model as well as all are boring. This has been said a thousand million times before: STOP MAKING USELESS GENERICS! NOBODY wants them. Not even the kids. Take some notes from Hot Wheels and start producing real licensed cars again. Looks like Matchbox may not be dead but they aren't really alive either.

  6. Thank you Larry for another great report
    The matchbox can draw many ideas with the motor market that would not even bother with weird ideas that their designers produce ...
    Would do for a complete line!
    Yes may have cost rights market sales but certainly outweigh these costs (as seen in the investments that Hotwheels has done).