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.