Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The 2017 Matchbox '59 Chevy Brookwood Wagon carries a canoe today, but what about tomorrow?

Two completed 2017 Matchbox models in.  Two completed 2017 Matchbox models with roof accessories.

The response to the accessories has been an interesting one.  Some of you really like them, others have stated it takes some getting used to, and some of you are not on board at all.  For those not on board, the main complaint is that roof accessories come at the expense of interiors on the models, which is obviously a valid complaint.  To some the lack of interior isn't a bother, to others it is.

Of course that could lead to a discussion on the 4-part rule that Mattel employs to keep these models within budget, but we have discussed that before.  The $1 price point that stores here in the US demand keeps Mattel in that range, and so that is the reality of collecting these days.

So laying that baseline down, the question becomes what can Mattel do with those $1 models?  And they do a lot.  I made the argument a few posts ago that realism should always be a focus at Matchbox, with themes like "Adventure" below that.  I get the "Hot Wheels - speed" vs "Matchbox - Adventure" branding that Mattel runs with, but just keep it real.

So enter the '59 Chevy Brookwood Wagon.  Classic wagons are ALWAYS welcome in either Mattel range, and the Brookwood is a fabulous choice.  Looking at the model, the details are crisp, and it is awesome to see the model debut with a VUM - or chrome - chassis.  It does run a little small, and I wish it could be a little bigger, especially sitting next to the other Matchbox wagons, but other than all the detail is there.  And damn, it's a Brookwood!

Except an interior.  Instead the Brookwood sports a roof rack and a canoe.  Maybe because I spend my days wandering Utah and Colorado, I love this feature, just as I like the tent on the Tacoma.  It makes the model more interesting, and makes it stick out on the pegs a little more as well.  A Brookwood with a canoe screams adventure far better than an off-road crane.

I will say though that when I first saw the Brookwood, I was a little skeptical about a model like a classic wagon as badass as this one being permanently attached to a canoe.  Cool today for sure, but two or three versions in I could be sick of it.  To that end I was relieved to see the rack is removable, so the Brookwood can run with a standard look as well, albeit with a couple of indentations in the roof.

That also means in the future the Brookwood could sport an entirely different roof rack.  And that is exactly the plan.  The team has many ideas for future roof accessories on the Chevy, and I am sure they want yours as well.  Bikes?  Skis?  Surfboards?  I have already requested a badly-tied-down mattress.  Knowing this team no idea is off the table.

So yeah, the interior vs accessory argument will probably continue, and that is cool.  We all have our preferences.  But I will say that the way this team is defining adventure - real cars with cool accessories - is a MASSIVE improvement for Matchbox compared to the last few years.  So out with the off-road school buses, and in with rally Datsuns, Subaru police cars, old ambulance vans converted into bike haulers, off-road VW Golfs, a Tuk Tuk, a Mercedes 6x6, and a classic wagon with a canoe.

That direction could bring a ton more models like the Brookwood, and I am all for it.


  1. Ok, in USA a mainline HW/MBX cost around 1$, but, How many cost in the rest of the world? For example, here in Europe cost around 2€ (2'2$).So, What's the problem? There are profit margin. There are no excuses, Mattel can do exceptions with the ''4 parts'' rule...

    Anyways, it's a very nice model!

    1. Yeah, here in the Netherlands the standard price for MB or HW is € 2,00 too.
      Absurd that in the USA the retail companies have such control that Mattel have to keep finding more and more ways of cutting costs to keep the price at the same level that it was in the 1970's.

  2. Surfboards seem like a pretty obvious option, but how about these...
    -a pair of vintage drag slicks, gas cans and sponsor decals on the windows to make it look like a support car for a drag team
    -police or fire lights and a roof rack
    -make it look like a vintage tv camera car with a camera mounted on the top
    -make it look like it's on a family vacation with vintage luggage and a bicycle

    1. Vintage luggage would be cool. At a car show last weekend, a guy dressed up his Rambler station wagon with luggage on the roof. Looked so cool.

  3. Now it's coloured properly I like it even more than the white pre-pro.
    Hopefully lots of funny variations to come. I'll throw in a few idea's as well: A sitting Buddha, a dead Deere, Santa, X-mass tree, big coke bottle or some nice chicks :-)

  4. I don't mind if the car doesn't have an interior; the first generation of MBXs (1953-1960) didn't have interiors as well. My only gripe would be the Brookwood is kind of small. But I can live with that.

  5. This is the cars debut. The holes are in the plastic. Nothing stops Matchbox from putting an interior in it next year.

  6. This is the cars debut. The holes are in the plastic. Nothing stops Matchbox from putting an interior in it next year.

  7. OK, first thing's first, they did a fantastic job with the exterior details on this one. It really does look pretty damn fantastic.

    But the lack of an interior... for me that does indeed hurt it, even with the accessory in its place essentially. My thing is, HW still has castings that have the window and interior be one piece, could that be remotely feasible for these?

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  9. I love it, I love the silver detailing on the sides (hopefully in other paint colours it will have rear light tampo too). I'm also glad the bumpers are chrome, and the vintage wheels look great.

    But I really don't like opaque black windows on model cars, it kills part of the realism for me and looks really cheap.
    Couldn't they at least have made the windows transparent, but darkly tinted, like they did with some buses, trucks and vans in the past? Especially on a car like this with relatively small windows, I don't think the missing interior would stand out as much.

  10. Honestly, without windows and interior it will likely not find a home in my collection. I do not buy Maisto models for the same reason. I am a car collector. I want my models to be realistic. I will spend 3-4x as much to get the Auto World models.

    Also without an interior and a giant plastic hole in the roof it does not lend itself to easy customizing. Something the blue brand goes after and this model would make some great customs. I would much rather they do different bases than roof attachments, standard and low rider for example.

    I would have bought dozens for my customs. Not like this. I am sad.

  11. I like the car a lot. Kind of disappointed with no interior, but not a deal breaker. Come on, its a '59 Brookwood!! it's very cool.

    A mattress would be an awesome accessory! Make sure its curled up near the front of the car (wind factor, you know!). :D

  12. Just thinkin' that the premiums (if they come out with premiums) could have an interior, along with a roof accessory. The higher price would justify both.

  13. Maybe something like this??????


  14. No matter how many times you try and justify it - you fail BIG TIME, we pay upwards of $2-$3 per car in the UK, so your excuses of the $1 model are wildly incorrect - the reason is just plain old profiteering, simple as that.

    Go into any Toys R Us and you see their generic range all with blacked out windows, and they look nasty, cheap and plainly awful, is this what Mattel wants for it's brands, well, yes, because thats clearly where they are going.

    Majorette manages to do stunning models, with opening parts, and working suspension for roughly the same money, they have interiors, they come with a poster of models in every pack, and they offer a range of models that Mattel can only dream of, so STOP HARPING ON ABOUT THE $1 buck four part car as that really does not exist, they make far far more by selling it everywhere else. And regardless of what you may think, we are not stupid in Europe, far from it, at least we dont have a Donald Trump to screw everything up...

  15. They sacrificed the interior for the canoe - on the surface, a shame but not a deal breaker. What kills it for me is that the canoe is attached to the rest of the luggage, so where's the play value? You cannot even use the canoe as a boat? And, it's removable, but one is left with a garish black plastic attachment thingy, exposed. I just don't see the appeal.

  16. Why doesnt matchbox make a line of premiums like Hotwheels has done with the car culture sets, but they should call it car life, or auto adventure, charge $3 for it and have it come with rims, rubber tires, and accessories. For me accessories could even be making a separate interior that had a driver in it, like a lot of the older lensey matchbox models had. I think many of the convertibles suffer from this. I dig the attention to detail. The more required tampos, and details really make it something to get. For example, I don't collect VW stuff at all. BUT the new vw transport truck with the alternate interiors is high on my list to find in the store. Same with the different engine option on the hako. Matchbox is doing great, just improve distribution, especially of licensed models.