Monday, June 22, 2015

The Last Golden Age of Matchbox: The 2007 Best of British promotional booklet...

Yeah, I am showcasing a booklet today.  Not a book, but a booklet.

Showcasing a book would be a first by itself, but I went one better with a booklet.  But I promise, you will be happy you saw it.  Let me explain.

As I have said numerous times here, we moved a couple of months ago.  And as I have said numerous times as well, moving sucks.  If you collect something, especially something small like diecast, you love it until you have to move it.  I don't have the largest collection around by any means, but I do like it organized.

Since we moved into the new house in April, most of my weekends have been dedicated to projects around the house.  That has essentially meant that my office would be the last project on the list.  So the majority of my collection remained in storage.

That finally changed this weekend.  The house projects are essentially done, so I was able to start tackling my office.  Two days in and the boxes are gone, the models condensed, and most importantly, the Lamley displays from Carney Plastics went up.

Hooray!  Obviously this means I am one step closer to my office being done, but it also means I get to break out my beloved TLV:

It has been too long, my friends.  Tomica Limited Vintage has become my favorite item to collect, and I love having them in the displays.  Plus, the TLV coverage on Lamley has lagged since I had to put them away, and that will finally change as well.

So while I didn't finish the project - taking the models out of the boxes is more time consuming than you think - I am off to a good start:

I also bought a small cabinet to house the loose cars I have out for photo shoots, as well as recent purchases:

And yeah, that vintage clock/radio/tape recorder is fantastic.  You have every right to be jealous.  It is a Lamley office staple.

What does this have to do with a booklet?  Not much, other than the fact that while I was going through everything, I was throwing out a bin full of old work papers when I saw, just peeking out of the pile I had just dumped into the recycle bin, this splendid old Matchbox booklet.

Old is relative.  Normally when you talk about old Matchbox, you go back to the 50's and 60's.  This booklet came out in 2007.  But so much has changed, it seems a lot older than 8 years.

In 2007, as Mattel was putting the New Superfast line to bed, they decided to launch a special premium line aimed at their UK roots.  It was a 12-car line, called the Best of British, and was sold here in the US and in the ROW (Rest of World) markets as well, including, of course, the UK.

Mattel's UK Division wanted to promote this line as much as possible, so they created this booklet highlighting each model.  And instead of showcasing the models in a small studio, they juxtaposed an image of each model - sometimes successfully, sometimes not - into photos of UK landmarks.

I honestly don't remember if the booklet was made available to the general public, or if it was used solely as a promotional tool.  I don't even remember how I got mine.

All I know is I am glad I have it, and I have made that clear by placing it proudly next to my awesome clock radio.  That is all the evidence you need.

And I definitely wanted to share it.  So here it is.



  1. Nice, but why the heck do they have the International Armored Car?? Am I missing something?

    1. Yeah, I don't understand that either. It's a truck that's made either here in the US, or Mexico I think.

  2. Just awesome! That booklet sure is a rarity. I do like that clock radio, which is in nice condition.

  3. I admire and share your OCD approach to storing, organizing and displaying your collection. I have a detailed alpha-numerical database of every scale model car and toy I own, and an equally detailed visual one on my computer. I rotate the collections and the cars I don't have room to display are stored in identical boxes by scale and genre, with printed labels I designed. I know it's obsessive, but strangely soothing ; )

  4. Great catalog!

    Too bad Mattel is too cheap to do this now, when catalogs were the norm for ages. If they made catalogs, they wouldn't have to pay an Ambassador to tell us what's coming out later!

  5. I feel you, I have been unpacking as well. Although it is a headache moving unpacking has been a joy. I have found stuff I completely forgot about some absolute treasures.. I find my customs and restos are really growing. The booklet are awsome I have one somewhere an HW from the 70s and I treasure it. I also have picked up a couple of books over the years. One HW one MB. The HW is pretty nice with a red semi hard cover with a gold HW logo. I'll send a pic when I come acrossed it.

  6. I want that Lotus Elise Dune Buggy! *ahem* Love the TLVs & MBXs, clock radio too, John. As always, wonderful wall display.

  7. I have a few of these book"lets", we had to write into Matchbox and ask nicely - fortunately for me, Every member of my family wrote in and asked for one - He he he - Not that they knew anything about it, until the envelopes popped through their doors, and with the Mattel logo on the brown envelope, they knew it was for me, so i have a load of totally mint, unopened booklets - and yes it is such a shame that they dont do anything like that now - I would even be happy to PAY for one if they did, like many other people out there.