Tuesday, September 15, 2015
The Matchbox that wasn't, but now is: Supreme Hero Batch B...
Yes, I opened them.
After learning that the mysterious Matchbox Supreme Hero Batch B was appearing at random Toys R Us stores, I started the hunt. I called different stores, they even checked the manifests for the next day's shipment, and probably did a little more lurking than I am comfortable with. But alas, that process came up empty, for a few days at least.
Finally, last Friday, a good friend of mine (you guys might remember my coworker Chad, Ethan's dad) called me to tell me he thought he saw the models I was looking for at one of his nearby TRU's. He sent a picture, and sure enough...
Fast forward to a few minutes later, and I left the store feeling very relieved that I now had the elusive batch of six.
It is still unknown what the deal is with this batch. First we heard it wasn't made and reported that, a few days after that we heard a few were made for licensors, and not a week later they were reported found at TRU and some Kroger affiliated stores. Obviously some were made, but we don't know how many, and if this store run will be limited. My guess is there will be enough to go around at stores or on eBay for everyone that wants them, but that is only a guess. We will see.
It seemed the Supreme Hero was doomed to fail, and it is really too bad. Earlier this year I touted the Supreme Hero line as Matchbox's version of Hot Wheels' Boulevard. I said that the premium emergency models with real liveries would garner a lot of attention for Matchbox, and be a successful line. That obviously didn't happen, but it didn't have much of a chance right out of the gate. What started as an 18-model line shrunk down to 10 before any were released, it was delayed several months, and then supposedly the first 4 were all that would be released. Four models doesn't cut it, and it is hard to know how this second batch would do without first being reported that it didn't exist.
Availability aside, this to me is a very nice batch of models. While most positive and negative attention will be on the wheels, it is the real liveries that make these models great. Kootenai County in Idaho might be my favorite of the bunch, but ultimately if the livery is real, I am a fan.
The models themselves are fantastic too. A few of these models have moved to all plastic in the mainline, but they stay metal here. That is especially welcome on the International Workstar Brush Truck, which, until it went plastic, was easily my favorite Matchbox fire truck casting.
The only disappointing thing for me in this line, besides the fact that the 8 scrapped models were so cool (Evo X, Dodge Monaco, Toyota Tacoma, Dodge Charger among others), is that a couple of models didn't get full tampos. It is most glaring on the Boone County International Pumper. I don't know why at least the grill couldn't have been done, especially on a premium model. The Crown Vic also is blank on the front and rear, but it doesn't look as bad.
All in all, the Supreme Hero line was saved by these models. Well, not exactly saved, as it is dead, but at least 10 models is better than 4, and it makes for a set that collectors will be very happy to have in the future...
All 10 Supreme Heroes: