|Archive Previous Ambassador|
Hello fellow Matchbox friends. I know I promised a Thanksgiving report, and I apologize
for the delay. It has been awhile since we have shown anything new,
but that will change starting now.
When I was asked to be Ambassador, it was my goal to release a report each month, and try and keep the schedule as predictable as possible. That has proven difficult. There could be a 6-week dry spell, for example, and then we release a deluge of sneaks and info in one report. For that reason we are going to change the format of the Ambassador Reports.
From now on, we will try and release a Matchbox update every week. Our blue-card collecting friends have come to expect Sneak Peaks over on HWC every week, and we are going to try and do that with the Ambassador Reports. As soon as the Matchbox team has new sneaks or info, they will pass it along to me, and I will distribute it in weekly updates. That way you can enjoy a few sneaks each week, and know what to look for in future batches.
this week's update:
Next up is another new model for 2013, the Sand Shredder. This is a sportsman style 4-wheel ATV that differs from the older 4-wheeler.
And yes, those are the brand new Matchbox 4x4 wheels. With the multitude of off-roaders infiltrating the lineup, there was a need to create more aggressive looking off-road wheels, and they have done that. Look for them on several models in 2013, including the brand new International Scout, which we will preview in a future update.
And we are not done with the police vehicles. Take a look at the Ford Police Interceptor and Police Tactical Vehicle all set to hit the shelves in the next 2013 Mission Force Set:
Let's finish up this set of sneaks with a look at another 60th Anniversary vehicle, especially to appease the sports car lovers (like me). The all-British Aston Martin DBS Volante pays tribute to Matchbox's origins in beautiful candy blue:
That is it for this week. Stay tuned next week as we unveil more new tools and 60th Anniversary models (hmmmm, can anyone say "Gallardo"?)...
|So here we go. Another report on what I consider some fantastic models coming out. Of course, as Ambassador, when you release a report these days you feel like you are feeding it to the wolves. Being Ambassador gives you a bit more of a birds eye view of things, and also helps you gain a better understanding of Mattel and the Matchbox team's point of view, so watching what happens response-wise gets a bit frustrating. Everyone has their opinions, but I don't know if the fact that this team truly goes to bat for the collector when they can is acknowledged enough.
When I say this team goes to bat for the collector, you need not look any further for evidence than the existence of the 60th Anniversary line. The story is a long one, but I think it is fair to say that assumptions we all had that a set to commemorate the 60th Anniversary was a done deal were false. But this team is very aware of the Matchbox heritage, and did all it could to make sure something was done. And they prevailed.
What they have created is a lineup that gives a nod to the past, as well as a push towards the future. Using the current lineup of existing tools, the team came up with 24 models (plus a chase) that not only pay homage to models in the past, but also highlight the brand's current focus. Selections like the E-type Jag, VW Beetle, and Aston Martin DBS Volante are tributes to earlier Lesney castings. Likewise, Matchbox's construction and emergency vehicle heritage is also acknowledged by the inclusion of similar tools from the current range.
As you look at the list, note the inclusion of a handful of brand new 2013 tools, as well as models that will appeal to international markets.
(One other note: This is the official list below. Partial lists were sent out by Mattel to hobby dealers with instructions to not release the information, but there were some that did otherwise.)
Without further ado (those who know me know I am full of "ado"), the 60th Anniversary lineup:
The approach to each model is to give it a higher level of deco than a basic car, and that level will vary with each. Beside the unique packaging (which will be shown later), the 60th Anniversary will be highlighted by placing the logo on various locations on each model. You might see it on the front, side, top, or rear.
Austin Mini Cooper S
68 Mustang GT/CS
Jeep Wrangler Superlift
Ford F350 Superlift
Volkswagen T2 Bus
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Police
These seven are great indicators of what is to come with the other 18 models, and the series as a whole. I am truly looking forward to pursuing this set as it arrives in the coming months.
And this is not the only place in the 2013 lineup that the 60th Anniversary of Matchbox will be acknowledged.
I mentioned in Part 1 of the October report that the 60th Anniversary logo would pop up elsewhere. Some of you have seen the 2013 Toy Fair exclusive that sports the logo, and there will be much more.
As we noted in the August report, there will be eight 9/10-pack exclusives this year, and all of them will display the logo. The castings selected for this mini-range were chosen also with the collector in mind, and will be a bit unique. As was the case in 2012, there will be one exclusive per 9/10-pack, and each will be deco-free save for the logo and simple design on the top surface. This makes for a very unique set. As it was put to me, "Deco is minimum, but the cars are cool." I like cool cars.
These model selections also open the door for some of the classic car castings we haven't seen lately to return to the Matchbox range. Classic cars have taken a bit of a back seat with this current direction, so it is nice to see these old friends back.
The 9/10-pack exclusives will be as follows:
So with this "only on the top" stuff, which I am sure many of you are warming up the fingers to type about, why not have a looksy at a few?
Mattel has provided these four, and as always, it is with their permission that I show these here:
69 Camaro Z-28
Austin Mini Cooper S
Cadillac Sedan de Ville
76 Corvette T-roof
Lastly, a look at a small group of upcoming models. We will see more and more details rolled out about the 2013 basic range in upcoming reports, but here are a few sneaks of a couple yet to come for 2012 and a couple being prepared for 2013.
First, the Sowing Machine, which will be out shortly in the 2012 range. It is a farm seed spreader, and this initial model sports a tree reforestation deco:
Next up is the old lift truck's replacement, the brand new Load Lifter:
Here is another tool that has gotten a facelift. The International Pumper has been modified to include body and color breaks. The roof lights have been molded into the window unit, and rear has been opened up, and the hose bed has now been molded into the interior, thus creating some color breaks that were not there previously:
The last two are part of the 2013 lineup:
Toyota Land Cruiser
That is it for now. I am in constant contact with the Matchbox team, so please direct any questions or comments to me. I promise to put updates out as soon as I get more info from the team. Until then...
Details that I think are most relevant for the rest of 2012 and the start of
On with the questions:
(Mattel answers are in RED)
Basic Range general casting.
In 2012 not all the new models from 2011 were used. Will we be seeing some of
them again soon? (Panamera, CTS Coupe, Lamborghini, Infiniti)
Will sports cars be incorporated into the 4 segments of the 2013 lineup? Will each segment contain 30 models?
Are there any plans to convert some of the Police cars (Monaco, Evo, Buick, Subaru) into street cars?
Any change to the blister pack design in 2013?
Will each 2013 segment be color co-ordinated?
With licensing issues being worked out with Subaru and BMW, any progress with Mercedes-Benz?
Will we see fire versions of some of the police models (Buick, Evo, Monaco)?
Any update on the upcoming Dodge Charger Police?
Will we see the return of the "convoy wheel" that was used in the basic range
a few times a couple of years ago?
What happened to the last 2011 version 2 recolor?
What type of ride height will the upcoming IH Scout have? Similar to the 60s off road Bronco or something more stock?
Will there be any models receiving 2 colors for 2013?
Is it possible to receive an update on MAN numbers for new tools and updated tools for 2012.
What happened to the basic range new wheels that were shown at the 2011 Gathering? Are these still to be produced?
The Batmobile. Is this a Matchbox design copied by other departments, or another person's design copied by Matchbox? We ask as there is a large scale
plastic toy from Mattel using the same body style so obviously one department copied another.
Multipack, playset, RWR, SB, and 60th Anniversary
Will there be a First Edition 9-pack this year? No. Instead there will be one
exclusive vehicle per pack that will also have exclusive deco. There are 8 exclusive vehicles that will be used throughout the assortments. These 8
vehicles will not be used in any other segments.
What is the status of the RWR GMC Tree Truck?
Will there multiple model packs continue in 2013, namely Hitch N Haul and
Mission Force? If so, any hints in the themes and models?
Cliff Hanger. Are these being continued on for 2013 with new sets planned? Or
are there plans for something new in the way of play sets for next year.
Will there be another Matchbox SEMA model this year?
With the DAF re-appearing in the basic range, and a new Conventional Cab being introduced for 2013, are there any thoughts to returning any of the
original convoy tooling (the rear sections) to any range at all? Or simply relaunching the Convoy series ?
Are the Sky Buster 4-packs continuing?
The 60th Anniversary series. Will this have any special name (like the
Superfast/Lesney Editions/Best of..., etc.) that we had in recent years, or
simply be called the 60th Anniversary series?
That is it for the August report. I will put out a request for more questions in a couple of weeks, and work on getting those answered for October. In the meantime, we should see more sneaks by the end of the month for the September report.
Until then my friends...
Many thanks to everyone for the kind words regarding my appointment, and once
again, thanks to Mattel for giving me this opportunity. But now it is time to
get to work...
The August Report will come in three parts:
My goal is to have a monthly report, and I know Mattel is doing all they can to do that as well. Considering their schedule, I am very appreciative that they are taking time to take photographs of upcoming models and answer our questions.
Before we start, please note that these photos are being shown with Mattel's permission.
|Real Working Rigs|
There are two remaining tools to be introduced in 2012, and they are pictured
below. Both of these were shown at the Gathering in EP form, and are now
displayed here in full color preproduction. Emergency collectors should enjoy
First up is the Police SWAT Truck, called the Rolling Raider. Note the pivoting battering ram, front barriers which fold forward for travel, and the swing-down hook in the rear. It also features a rotating fire nozzle up top.
|Next up is the new Brush Fire Truck, called the Fire Stalker. There are several moving parts on this one, including an articulating fire nozzle turret that rotates and extends, as well as two rotating nozzles on the front bumper.|
|For this report, just one model to show, and one bit of news. For 2012,
Matchbox is doing The Bat as seen in the Dark Knight Rises movie this summer. It
is not the same as the Hot Wheels model, and should be appearing at retail any
time. Time to start looking...
As far as upcoming models, here is the 2013 deco for the Twin Blast:
Many of the details of the what is coming for the remainder of 2012 and some of what to expect in 2013 was broken down
by the previous Ambassador, Shabbir Malik, in his final report. Below are some photos of upcoming models.
Let's start with a new tool for 2012. It was shown at the Gathering last month, but here is another look at the new
4x4 garbage truck, called the Garbage Grinder.
Alright, now that we've got that out of the way, on to 2013! Mattel has provided photos of several upcoming models in the basic range. No new tools yet, but here are some new decos to look forward to. We will start with a new color on the Batmobile, which was introduced this year. The black over grey gives it a more menacing look than the debut version.
|Next, the BMW Police Motorcycle looking great in a livery similar to police vehicles in Europe and Australia. Can anyone tell me if there is a police force this livery most closely resembles? Another model of note, the Austin Mini Cooper S. This red version is the first of three versions to be released in 2013. In addition to the basic model in red, there will be a black version with the 60th Anniversary logo that will be a 9/10-pack exclusive, and finally a 3rd version in the 60th Anniversary range, with its own deco and illustrated box. Lots of fun for the Mini Cooper fans.|
Finally, some more upcoming 2013 basic range models (starting with the Ambassador's favorite in this batch of sneak peaks):
First off, some news on 5-packs for 2013. 5-packs will be set up differently, as 4 of the 12 packs will not have
exclusive decos. For these 4 packs, models will be selected from the mainline and used based on the theme. Each of the 8 remaining 5-packs
will feature 4 exclusive vehicles and one pulled from the mainline. That means that a little over half of the 60 vehicles slated for the
2013 5-packs will have exclusive decos. I am not yet aware of the reasoning behind this, but that info is coming soon, so stay tuned.
The 12 5-pack themes for 2013 are as follows (those featuring 5 mainline vehicles are highlighted in red): Mountain, Construction, Police, and City 5-packs
And lastly, here are the 5 models in the upcoming Exotics 5-pack. This marks the very welcome return of "street"
cars to the 5-pack lineup, after no street-car-themed packs in 2012. I am looking forward to getting my hands on this
pack when it hits the pegs.
|That is it for the sneak peaks for August. Keep checking back for Part 3, where Mattel answers collector questions...|