Friday, December 5, 2014
First Look: The 2014 Matchbox "Lamley-inspired" Toyota Land Cruiser...
What in tarnations does "Lamley-inspired" mean?
Did a Matchbox designer have a moment of clarity after reading yet another amazing post from Lamley? No.
Is there a shrine to Lamley in the Mattel Design Center, where designers go to be inspired? We hope not.
Do Matchbox designers call us saying "We got nuthin. Please inspire us Lamley Group!"? As far as we know, no.
Instead, "Lamley-inspired" is the best way for us to describe our involvement in the tampo design of the latest release of the Matchbox Toyota Land Cruiser. The one you can find online and in Target right now.
It starts with this Toyota Tacoma:
This is the Matchbox Gathering Dinner Model, given to attendees at the event last July. If you remember, we at Lamley were lucky enough to be involved in the design. Event organizer Jim Gallegos had told us that a blue Tacoma would be the Dinner Model, but was looking for a way to make the 1-of-75 Early Registrant variation a little different from the standard Dinner Model.
Being the classic Japanese car nuts we are, we asked Jim to give us a couple of days to try and give the Tacoma some sort of nostalgic design, and he obliged. Of course the first thing I did was contact our friends over at Japanese Nostalgic Car, and we took a deep dive into all things Toyota Truck together.
One design stuck out. The 1981 Toyota SR5 Pickup had the special "Toyota Racing" yellow/orange stripe on the side, which encased a white hood and roof.
The design seemed to be a perfect homage not only to Toyota's strong pickup legacy, but as an homage to Toyota itself. We submitted the idea to Jim, he liked it and presented it to Mattel, and they ran with it.
As you can imagine, we were pretty proud to see our idea come to fruition on a very beautiful Matchbox model.
As cool as that was, it became even better when we saw the sneak peek photos of the upcoming Matchbox mainline Land Cruiser. The stripes on the side looked awfully familiar:
Yep, those are the Toyota Racing stripes, with the same color combo, with the same design. We could not help but wonder if our idea for the Tacoma spread to the mainline Land Cruiser design.
We had our chance to ask when we were at the Gathering last July, and sure enough, Matchbox Designer Dave Weiss confirmed that the Tacoma design inspired the design for the Land Cruiser.
Alas, a Lamley-inspired design! Seems logical, right?
So maybe our logo isn't on an actual Mattel model, but we are pretty proud to see our idea on the store pegs all over the world. It's okay to take a little credit on that, right?
And even if we had nothing to do with it, we love the design, and we especially love it over the bronze color. Sure, we would have liked to see at least some front grill detail, but we can live without it, especially with the standard white roof included.
The Matchbox Land Cruiser collection is one of their best. There are some weaker links, but for the most part the Land Cruiser as been the cream of the Matchbox line since its debut in 2008. It is surely one of the complete Matchbox collections we are most proud to have.
So the next time you see the bronze Land Cruiser with the Toyota Racing stripe on the pegs, give us a little smile...
Matchbox '68 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 (2014 Mainline):
The entire MB Land Cruiser collection: