Thursday, September 22, 2016

The new Matchbox Camouflage Assortment is the coolest thing in camo since the 80's...

Remember the camo craze in the 80's?  If you are under 30 you most definitely don't.  If you are over, there is a good chance at some point you were dressed in camouflage, even if you never set foot in the military.

Camo pants, shirts, jackets, and my personal fave, hats.  I dreamt of being cool enough to get the camo cap with shade flaps attached to the back.  I thought I would hit the fashion peak with that hat, and never have to come back down.

Sadly, the camo phase came and went, and only our friends in the military can come up with new camo fashion options.  No flap hat for me.

Well, camo is in again, and Mattel has taken it on.  A year or two ago Hot Wheels did a special camo assortment for Walmart.  The cards were cool and the castings chosen were decent, but the execution left a little to be desired:

HW Camo on hobbyDB
That card art is amazing.  Such a cool design.  And if the models in the blister looked like the art on the card, these models would have been stunning, and would not have sat in bins for as long as they did.  Instead Hot Wheels decided to make the camouflage only part of a side tampo.  I don't know about you, but if I were to do camouflage a car, I would cover up the whole thing, not just the side panels.

Hot Wheels has done it right before.  Case in point, the fabulous Pontiac GTO done up like a WWII Warhawk, and it is covered in camo.  I have always wanted this one from the Military Rods Series, and finally acquired it.

Enter Matchbox.

Later this year Matchbox will release their own Camouflage assortment.  Like Hot Wheels, six cars.  Not like Hot Wheels, the entire model will be covered in camo.

And they look fantastic.  When I learned about a Camouflage set coming to Matchbox, I expressed some skepticism because A) Hot Wheels already did it, and B) they didn't do a particularly good job.

But now looking at this set that Matchbox provided for this preview, I have changed my mind.  There are some castings I could do without, but with the set headlined by the Toyota Land Cruiser and Ford Raptor, and with the entire body of each in different camo styles, it is a completely different approach.  Dare I say realistic?

It appears Matchbox divided the six models into three types.  Forest, Arctic, and Desert.

I think it is safe to say the Raptor and Land Cruiser take the cake.  But it is nice to see the return of the seldom used Jeep Compass and Yamaha Rhino castings, and they fit in great.  The Arctic models are the two I could pass on.  Cool deco, pretty lame models.

But all in all a great set.  I could see that Raptor down and dirty in a misty, quiet forest, transporting hunters to and from the mountain.  I could see the Rhino doing Rhino things through twisty, bumpy roads in Arizona.  I could see the Land Cruiser parked outside the Moab Brewery after a long day conquering the surrounding terrain.

So will I add all of these to my collection?  Nope.  But most are going in.  Maybe next to my flap hat.

Look for these later this year/early next.


  1. As an FJ owner, I'm obligated to grab the Cruiser. However, I am still miffed by the casting change, front fenders should not have been changed to plastic

  2. Camo cool in the 80s? Ridding a Vespa to catch the Specials live - that was cool. Camo - not really.

    1. Aw c'mon Stephen. I watched longingly at the Vespa gangs that would whip by my house. But I was 11. They were too cool. When I was 16 my first concert was Galaxie 500/Cocteau Twins at the Warfield in SF. I felt like I made it. I was so proud. Just needed to give me time to catch up. But it was 1990 by then. But camo mid-80's for an 11-year-old was freakin awesome.

  3. If I can find them I will take 5 of them and leave the dozerthing melting the polarpegs.

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  5. Matter of fact, I was in won of my local WM's and saw an end display of HW's Camo cars... it was like if they were out for the first time.. but what the heck?

    Anyhow, the MBX Camo version is flat out WAY BETTER than HW's!!!!!!

  6. like the camo but no fan of the modells as a mostly Hot Wheels and old US Cars collector so will pass on them.. but that GTO... I also have and it is a superb modell