Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Matchbox back to its roots: The upcoming Best of World Land Rover Defender 110 & Austin Mini Van...
It is about time we see another Matchbox premium series we can get excited about. It seems like it has been in the works for awhile, and maybe, just like in a lot of things lately, Matchbox finally got it right.
There have been a lot of Matchbox premium lines in the past, from the Premiere series several years ago, to New Superfast, to Lesney Editions, to 60th Anniversary, to Supreme Hero. And for whatever reason, the lines didn't do what they should have. Looking back, it is easy to see what happened. There were too many models in the New Superfast line, the Lesney line was too expensive, 60th Anniversary too big and boring, and Supreme Hero too niched. Wow, that was easy.
They also had plenty of positives. New Superfast was diverse, and the designs fantastic, Lesney Edition had metal bases and a nice variety, 60th Anniversary had some really nice decos, and Supreme Hero was the introduction of two-piece wheels and had licensed liveries.
It seems a lot of what worked is not going into the New Best of the World line. It is hard to predict what will happen, but from what I have seen, this line looks fantastic, and I hope we collectors can support it enough to merit more Best of the World models in the future. Heaven knows there are plenty of castings that would look fabulous in this line.
So it is time to preview a few and see what you think. Over the next few days we will showcase 7 of the first 10 Best of World models, and the rest should come later. Let us know what you think.
Here is what I like about the line. First off, it is only 10 models. That is a good-sized start. Enough to show what the line could be, without over saturating things and giving off the impression that the line isn't selling. Second, it is diverse. There are emergency models, sports cars, classic cars, and racing cars. Third, the wheels look nice. Yes, the tread might be a little too much on some, but the rims work, and it is a nice start for these wheels. Maybe we see a little more diversity tread-wise later.
And lastly, these model represent, appropriately, vehicles from all over the world. And with that, it seems like the right thing to do start with models from the UK, Matchbox's true home. There are three British models in the line, a Routemaster Bus, the Land Rover Defender 110, and the Austin Mini Van. Today we will feature the Land Rover and Mini Van.
Both are VERY British, and one, the van, is over-the-top British with its Battenberg Cakes delivery service. I could pretend that I knew what a Battenberg Cake was before this model, but I didn't, and I had to look it up. It turns out, the Battenberg is a popular checkered cake, and that makes the deco make total sense. It actually makes me like the model even more.
But it is the Defender that wins for me. When Matchbox unveiled the model on their Instagram feed, it seemed to me that it looked a bit bland. Having it in hand, however changes that. The correct smaller wheels are on this example, and the ambulance livery works really well. So well, in fact, that I would rank this version at or near the top of my favorite 110 releases, of which there have been a lot. My guess is a lot of you will like this model too.
These two are only a start. More previews are to come, and hopefully you like what you see. I sure do.