Should I start with how much I love the Matchbox National Parks livery?
If you read regularly, you already know that. And if you have been a Matchbox collector for the last few years, you probably agree with me. Unlicensed but loosely based on the actual US National Parks livery, this deco has been my absolute favorite recurring Matchbox theme the last few years.
The National Parks deco is simple, and mint color constant, and the models look realistic. The livery has had some variances throughout the years. The logo used, for example, has come in several forms, but all the models feature the black and white checker-like stripes, as well as the same mint color.
Which means it is a good time to show the difference between the National Parks models and the Forest Service models. Forest Service is also a fave, but I still prefer the simplicity of the National Parks. (Don't tell my brother, who works for the Forest Service.) While the colors are slightly different, the easiest way to tell the difference between the two themes is that Forest Service always has a little orange striping in the deco, while National Parks has the black and white checker stripes. Here are both collections:
Forest Service (minus the Garbage Truck):
Back to National Parks. Since the the Chevy Blazer first donned the deco in 2007 (I think that was the year), Matchbox has been pretty consistent in releasing at least one National Parks model each year. Sometimes in the basic range, other times in 5-packs or 10-packs, and even once in gift packs released only in Canada. Sometimes the casting choices haven't been stellar, just look at how out of the place the Off-Road Rider is, or but no matter what the casting, if it sports the National Parks livery, it is going in the collection.
Well Matchbox is going to make it very easy for us in 2016, giving us two National Parks models, and both castings are fantastic. In fact, for the first ever, a new casting will debut with the livery. And what a great casting it is.
Matchbox has granted us a preview of the upcoming Dodge Ram Police, and there is a ton to like. The livery goes without saying, but check out how great the casting itself is. I am prone to hyperbole occasionally, but this model is a perfect Matchbox. To me it is far more interesting as a police model, and the Matchbox Team got it right by not exaggerating the stance or making it too off-roady. The model is wonderfully realistic. Sure, I don't think a Dodge Ram will get the collectors riled up like the new Miata, Skyline, or VW Transporter will, but at the end of the year I imagine collectors giving this one high ratings solely based on how well the model was executed.
Which leads to the other National Parks model being released in 2016, the Scraper. That is another thing I have mentioned here. There aren't a ton of unlicensed Matchbox models that I really like, but the Scraper is one that I love. I don't know exactly why I love the Scraper, but I do, and I always add new versions to the collection. So you can imagine how thrilled I am to see it donning my favorite livery this year.
There are quite a few models I would love to see in the NP livery, including several cars like the Monaco and Dodge Charger, In time I am sure, as Matchbox has said they will continue producing the livery every year. Cool.
In the meantime, all the National Parks models, from earliest to latest. Enjoy: