Coming off the Matchbox Gathering weekend, there is so much to write about the brand, and where it is going. To be honest, the direction of the brand might be as wide open as it has been in awhile. There are new folks at the helm, a new division that watches over the brand, and a new sense of transparency to what is happening. It is actually kind of exciting.
A lot of times we talk about the brand returning to what it has been, and I for one have said it a lot. But after spending some time with the folks in charge, it is less about returning and more about going somewhere new. There can be a refreshing look at Matchbox's heritage, but also a fresh direction created that would excite customers and collectors.
I will get into a bit more later, as I think I will be writing about Matchbox a lot in the coming months. Plus, Larry Scaduto's final Ambassador Report is due soon, and we will let him share his thoughts.
But enough about what I think. Let's look at some new models!
We start in this post with what is coming in 2016. Most are 3D prints, but a few have advanced in production. A slew of 3D prints means many of these models could see small or large modifications before they actually hit the pegs. But rest assured the models are coming.
First off, the Matchbox Team shared this small poster, listing all the new models for 2016 (click on it for a larger view):
Keep in mind, almost all of these decisions were made prior to the new team coming on. There is a lot that follows that off-road generics theme that may or may not annoy you, but there are a few to get excited about as well.
Notable model #1 around here is...wait for it...the 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-X. Big surprise, eh? This is exciting news for the JDM set, in that Matchbox is going the stock street version route. Maybe a higher stance, standard-type wheels (MB discs or trispokes maybe?), and no bolt-on flares. It will be a perfect compliment to Hot Wheels' GT-R version. Sadly, that model is in early development and was not ready to be brought to the Gathering.
Many are also excited for the new Volvo Wagon (also not ready for a preview), 2016 Mazda Miata, VW Transporter Crew Cab, 2015 Corvette Police, and yes, the '68 Ford "Mudstang". Don't just lump that last one in the "dumb off-road model" category. With the plethora of Mustangs that have already been done by so many brands, this is a wonderful new model. Because Mud Flaps.
The Matchbox Team was able to provide previews of all but four 2016 models, and they were nice enough to let me come in with a makeshift photo studio and shoot them all. I am just going to post what I shot, and you can cross reference them with the poster above. Enjoy the photos, and let us know what you think...
(And if you see blue stickum under some of the models, that is just what was used for the display at the Gathering.)