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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Removing the whole JDM hype thing, the '71 Nissan Skyline fits Matchbox perfectly...


Enough on the Skyline, right?

After all the talk, or hype as some like to claim (I'll call it genuine excitement on my part), progress report posts, and a custom contest, this is the actually the first "First Look" type feature I have done on the Matchbox Skyline.

There is no need to share my feelings on this model, as I think that is pretty evident.  And I know I am not alone.  This has been an eagerly anticipated release for a lot of folks.  And don't call it a fad.  Some have claimed this is just Matchbox taking advantage of the JDM train.  I would say it is completely the opposite.

The Skyline is not a signal of a new direction at Matchbox, it is more a sign of a return to what we have always loved about Matchbox.  Real cars, looking like they do on the street today or yesterday, from all over the world.

I have touted the last Golden Age of Matchbox numerous times here.  That period from about 2006 to 2010 when there were predominately licensed models, done in realistic colors or liveries, and done in a mostly stock style.  Even the generics were based on realistic-looking vehicles.  Beyond that, one of the hallmarks of that era was a small, but widely varied selection of classic car castings.  During that time Matchbox went well beyond the standard classics, like Camaros and Mustangs, and offered some very interesting choices.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint, Austin Mini Van, VW T2 and Thing, Citroen DS, Cadillac Sedan Deville, Vista Cruiser, and on and on.  There was not a ton of classic cars, but the variety was always interesting.  When Matchbox took the branding turn to a more over-the-top style in 2011, the creation of those interesting classics slowed down quite a bit, but didn't totally stop.  We saw the Dodge A100, for example, as well as the Lamborghini Miura and Pontiac Firebird.

So when you remove the whole "JDM hype" factor, and look at the Skyline purely for what it is - a classic Japanese sedan, you appreciate it even more.  I have photographed it for today's feature along with two kindred spirits, the Volvo P1800S and the VW Type 34 Karmann Ghia.  Both are classics, both are interesting, and most likely not everyone's first image when they think of a defining vintage car.


The Volvo is a stunner, unique in styling, and, for lack of a better term, a Volvo.  There aren't many diecast Volvos out there, but Matchbox has always been committed.  We have seen the C30, XC90, and the upcoming V60, so this older car mixed in makes a ton of sense.


Same with the T34 Ghia.  Sure, there have been quite a few small scale Karmann Ghias done over the last few years, but not the T34.  A much more rare variant, and not available in the States, if I remember correctly.  Even more rare was the convertible.  The T34 is a perfect example of Matchbox doing a casting slightly left of the mainstream.


Enter the Skyline.  Everyone seems to have done a Hakosuka Skyline the last few years.  The C10 has an iconic silhouette, and has been replicated numerous times over the years.  But almost entirely in it's GT-R makeup.

That is the big difference here.  Instead of another GT-R clone, Matchbox did the standard GT-X.  Higher ride height, stock details, and most importantly, an intact surfline.  You don't see that very often in diecast, outside of the gems coming from stock-obsessed Tomica Limited Vintage.

So like the Volvo or VW, an unsurprising release, but with a surprising twist.  It's stock.  It is a replica of the car the Japanese accountant drove to work in the 1970's.  It is what the Hakosuka looked like on the roads.  That fiendish silhouette was there, but it was hidden in its normalcy.  It might be why some think it is kind of ugly compared to the GT-R by Hot Wheels:

Photo Credit: Nissan Heritage

And it is those types of reasons that make me so excited about this one.  I will collect every modified C10 Hot Wheels releases, and I will do the same with the Matchbox GT-X.  They look perfect together.

So here's hoping Matchbox continues with this little tour around the world.  As far as sedans go, Japan was missing.  Not anymore...

(Find the Matchbox Skyline and Batch L at Wheel Collectors...)

















15 comments:

  1. Lovely! I was actually expecting photos of it next to the Hot Wheels C10's towards the end of the article.

    Actually, there's a little mistake in your article - the Hot Wheels C10 is also not a KPGC10 GT-R, but a KGC10 GT-X (same as the Matchbox car) with a race inspired look.

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    1. You're right! Thanks for the heads up and I got it changed.

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  2. I like these left field, vaguely exotic and yet everyday vehicles. So what next? I'd like to see.... Morris Traveller, Old split rear screen Corvette, '68 Ford Capri, Citroen H van.

    Looking forward to seeing this. Hopefully in a shop not on an auction house page. Chris

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  3. I really like where Matchbox is going with this casting choice! Finally a new Matchbox to really look forward to as oppose to despising and turning your attention over to the blue brand! The demand for this thing is so high right now, it's impossible to find one under $10.00 on eBay. Chances are I won't find it in the store, especially with our crappy Walfart! I might have to buy it online later on once the demand goes down. But, if I do find it in the store, I'll definitely be a happy camper!

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  4. I found an Aqua P1800 and a red Ghia today and put it on sale on Marktplaats for 4 euro's. I do not understand these high E-bay prices?? They are not made from gold are they. Gonne get paint-stripper now.....

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  5. are you guys saying the t34 ghia MBX is rare in the US? and what do you mean by convertible variant? arent they all convertibles? or were you referring to the teal-ish green color variant of it?

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    Replies
    1. He's saying that the real T34 was not available in the US and the convertible version was rare.

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  6. OK, the Skyline is a fine casting. Thank the maker - no chrome interior. Good move, MBX.
    Still, I would much rather see MBX focus in contemporary cars and trucks (real - not generic) and let HotWheels do the classics.

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  7. I am much more excited for this than I am some of the heavily-customized Hot Wheels Japanese classics, though I understand that does fall in line with the brand's heritage, and so on.

    I'm depressed because, much like any recent Mattel casting as of late, I'll never be able to find it on pegs. Especially if it's branded a Matchbox...

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  8. Now if matchbox will do other jdm vehicles. I'd LOVE to see more civics done by matchbox instead of type r. 4 door ones, and since the r32 is now legal, see them do those justice.

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  10. Shocked no photos of this next to the hot wheels version. :(

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  11. I'm still annoyed Matchbox did the T34 convertible prototype instead of the (better looking) production coupe but oh well. The Skyline is an absolute stunner, except for that damn black base. What was the thought process behind that???

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