Monday, August 22, 2016

Sans Tent is SO yesterday. Matchbox brings in 2017 with the new Toyota Tacoma...

Alright, how cool is the tent?

The new Matchbox Toyota Tacoma for 2017 has already been previewed here on Lamley in prepro form, but now we get to see it in final form.  And I like.  I really like.

It looks great in its final form, sporting Toyota's fantastic "Quicksand" tan and its green tent and black rims.  Sure, side deco vs front/rear is a legit argument, but I like the simple deco.

My guess is that if there is any debate beside the age-old "side vs front/rear" on this model, it will be "interior vs tent".  Matchbox went ahead and made its second Toyota Tacoma in the last four years, and on both did not include an interior.  The first sports beach life guard equipment in place of an interior, and this new one, a tent.  A tent!

It should be made clear, Matchbox, like Hot Wheels, has to generally adhere to the four-piece rule.  Chassis, interior, body, windows.  Wheels don't count, unless a third axle is included.  If something is going to be added, something else has to go.  The interior will always be the first to go.  You have seen many Hot Wheels models get modified from plastic spoilers to metal.  The four-piece rule is why.

So with that said, the designers at Matchbox had to decide whether to do an interior, or a tent.  A removable tent.  Sure, they could have molded a tiny tent into the bed of the truck, but that would have looked dumb.  If they were going to do a tent, they needed to go all out and do a removable tent.  Or keep the interior and do no tent at all.

Now sure, a lot of you are saying "Why even debate putting a tent on the truck?  Just do the truck!"  "We don't see that many Toyotas on the road with tents.  None, as a matter of fact."  'Tis true, but let me look at it another angle.

Bruh, where's the tent?     (Image credit:
Let's say last month at the Gathering, the Matchbox Team was announcing the 2017 lineup, and one of the models was "Outdoor Pickup with Tent"?  You wouldn't care in the least.  We have seen "Matchbox Originals" that are made-up police cars and off-road trucks and they are, dare we say, forgettable.  So forgettable I can't remember names, nor do I care to look them up.  Oh, there is the Cliff Hanger, made to roughly resemble a modified Suzuki Samurai.  No one cares about it, but what if it were a licensed Suzuki Samurai?  We children of the 80's would think that was totally cool.

So in the lineup there was a slot for an outdoor-themed vehicle, with some sort of outdoorsy apparatus, and instead of doing some generic truck with a tent or whatever else, they did a Tacoma.  A licensed 2016 Toyota Tacoma.  Bonus!  I will take it, no interior and all!

Budgets are budgets, and slots are slots, and we can argue how those budgets and slots are used for days.  Maybe we should.  I can guarantee the Matchbox Team is debating that daily.  But when the slot is made, and a realistic, licensed vehicle emerges, I am a happy camper.  With a tent.

And another point.  It is a Tacoma, for heaven's sake.  While a great truck, maybe not the most interesting.  If Hot Wheels did a 2016 Tacoma, it would be supremely lifted or wildly lowered, or done as a racing truck.  Matchbox?  They add a tent.  It makes it infinitely more interesting.  Nissan Junior?  GMC Stepside?  Dodge A100?  Classic pickups with no need for a tent.  Toyota Tacoma?  Needs a tent.

The cool thing is that if you are not into the tent, remove it.  Sans the tent, the Tacoma looks great, even with heavy tinted windows.

So do I have a complaint?  Hell yeah I do!  It doesn't fit in my storage cases.  Gonna have to permanently place it in the Carney wall display.  Drat.


  1. Definitely want it. Just hope I'll be able to find it.

  2. A brilliant model done in a brilliant way! The lack on interior is a bummer, but the lack of front and rear tampos is an even bigger bummer. Still, can't deny that this model is cool! I like it much better without the tent. Its exactly the kind of truck I will see rolling down the road.

  3. I would happily trade the tent, the surfboard, and all of the generics in the line in their entirety to get an interior in one of these models.

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  5. I hope to find it too. Around my part of town you'd think licensed models were a Treasure Hunt because they are only available in limited quantities. But they are only a mainline casting for crying out loud.. some of the big name stores only order so many and you are left hunting around town.
    What you won't find in limited supply are those fantasy, non-licensed models dangling on the hangers like they have some sort of disease or something.