File this under "Awesome because it is just awesome."
As we reported earlier, this week Matchbox sent out their raw, unriveted Skylines to the winners of the #matchboxcustomcontest for them to customize. Over the last few days, those customizers have been showing what arrived:
It is really exciting to see what these artists do, and I can't wait to see. But something else was revealed in the process. Look at second and third photos again, specifically at the engine. Former Matchbox designer Miguel Lopez helps:
So yes, the cat is out of the bag. The Matchbox 1971 Nissan Skyline not only has a hidden engine, but there are two versions of said engine. One is a racing turbo engine, and the other stock. And yes, you can only see the engine if you take the model apart.
So next you might ask, how do I know which engine I have in my Skyline? Well, you can take it apart, or you just have to look at the seat. The turbo engine version also has a 5-point harness for the driver, while the stock engine does not.
To simplify, there are two versions of the upcoming Nissan Skyline, and since the engine is hidden, we can call one "with belt" and the other "without belt". No one will be more rare than the other, and they will be randomly distributed in the upcoming assortments. How freaking cool is that?
The team sent a raw version my way, with both interiors, so you can see them together. The pics are included.
And it isn't just the interior vari and hidden engine that grab your attention once the model is taken apart. Look at the base:
Yep, those are floormats and pedals. The only thing this model is missing is a decent A/C and seat heaters.
And why did the Matchbox Team, specifically designer Abe Lugo, do all this? One reason, and it is very important.
Because he wanted to.
Mattel Designer Miguel Lopez, who left Mattel to travel the world, and now current Designer Abe Lugo, are adamant about injecting fun back into the brand. It starts at the Design Center, where these design nerds literally review models on a makeshift campsite that they built in their area, and it filters over to us. We need a little whimsy back in Matchbox, and damn if these dudes - along with Product Manager Gerry Cody - aren't doing it.
I am sure there will be complaints about how two variations of this surely-to-be hard-to-find model will now even be more difficult to find, or questions around the reasoning of doing an engine that no one will see. We might even see priceless arguments that go something like "stop worrying about engines no one can see and start worrying about distribution" or some shit like that. I say enjoy the models. Find other ways to get them if a store can't provide. These guys want these models in your hands, and they know that if they make a product we all want, the stores will stock them. The Skyline is a great example.
We have already seen the bed variation with the VW Transporter, and now we have the Skyline. And we aren't remotely close to being done with things like that. In fact, get used to it. The team has promised that more surprises are on the way.
I personally love this, and can't wait to hunt down both versions. I hope you are excited as well...