You are definitely going to like this one.
I have been doing this blog thing for long enough now that I have become pretty good at predicting what collectors will and will not like about a casting. Or I should say what the vocal collectors will and will not like. We all have opinions, and many times they differ, but I usually have a good idea of what will appear in the comments section.
And that especially goes with new castings. We look at new castings with an especially critical eye. Probably because from the moment a casting is announced to when it is actually seen, we create a million ideas of how we think it should look. And while some will match exactly what we envisioned, most don't. But ultimately we get used to what was created, and settle into loving it, hating it, or in most cases, somewhere in between.
Matchbox has allowed us a preview of the upcoming 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata, and after photographing it, inspecting it, and vroom-vrooming it all over the desk, I cannot predict what you guys are going to hate. I just can't. I am sure there might be something for some of you, but I have to say, whatever it is, it will be a reach. This is one of the most flawless, most detailed $1 diecast models I have seen.
When Matchbox first unveiled the MX-5 on their Instagram feed, the object to harp on was obvious. The trispoke wheels were wrong. The trispokes are perfect on a classic roadster, but just didn't look right on the brand new Miata:
I am sure it could be argued that the trispokes give the Miata a classic look, hearkening back to the original Miata, and maybe that will work on a future version, but not the debut. Especially on a car as good looking as the new Miata. It needs lower profile tires, modern rims, and a darker, graphite type rim. I thought so, you thought so, and so did the Matchbox team. So the change has been made, and what a difference the 5-spokes make:
And that is it for me. Only the wheels, and Matchbox actually fixed it. In case you are wondering, based on the timing of the wheel change, according to the team some of the trispoke Miatas did make it into production, so plan on it being a very early run. They don't know how many will have the trispokes, but they don't think many. So keep your eye out if you want the variation. Most should sit on the 5-spokes.
So with the wheels fixed, anything glaring to complain about? To me, nothing. The way the windshield has been done is new, and it is thicker than what we are used to, but it doesn't bother me in the least. In fact, now with the model in hand, I prefer it. The windshield is sturdy. It doesn't move at all. In the past, windshields on convertible models tended to get squished in blisters, making them slightly crooked. That won't happen with the MX-5. Plus, with the sturdy windshield, there is no need to incorporate the side mirrors into the windshield to make it more sturdy. The side mirrors can be part of the body, which is where they should be.
Let's keep going. The details. I think off the bat you have probably already noticed the incredible tampo work. The headlights and taillights are wonderfully detailed, and the Mazda badge and MX-5 logos are crisp. The side mirrors are also cast well, as we have seen more and more with new Matchbox models. But my favorite details on this model are on the interior. The seats are crisp, the steering wheel isn't a big blob, there is a dash display, and there is enough detail to show this RHD MX-5 is a manual. Look below. Gas, pedal and clutch. How cool is that?
Of course highly detailed $1 models is not a new thing to Matchbox. That history is precisely why we scrutinize Matchbox more than we do other brands. Expectations are always high when Matchbox announces a new licensed model. We want realistic models from the orange brand. The Miata will only solidify those expectations even more. This model's gonna be a hit...