30 April 2012:
Send me an email and I'll email you a PDF of the 2012 official Miniature List provided by Mattel. There are 12 segments of 10 models each for a total of 120 models. In addition, there are five re-colors making it a total of 125 variations to look for. Also, we know that some unplanned variations pop-up here an there. Hence expect over 125 reasons to add more models to your collection this year. As previously mentioned, the line is the same for all markets (US, Europe, LAM, etc). However, the release of models could vary depending upon the market.
This list consists of some new, some old, some generic and some licensed models. You will also see the return of some of your old favorites. For example, Viper GTS-R, Ford GT, & London Taxi just to name a few. Then you will see some of the new castings that will be a hit not only among the Matchbox collectors but also among the non-Matchbox collectors. This includes Classic Seagrave Fire Engine (Wait till I share the picture of this model with you). The Police Motorcycle will be very popular among the emergency collectors. Overall, I find this to be a great lineup.
30 June 2011: Latest Matchbox Ambassador's Report
JUNE 2011 MATCHBOX AMBASSADOR'S REPORT
(Photos of many of the models mentioned in this report can be found in E-Magazine #17)
Mattel has released a large number of photos for the June, 2011 report. Models from the Matchbox 1-100 basic line, the Lesney Editions, and the Working Rigs series are included. As announced last month, eye catching colors and bolder graphics are making a comeback and we see several examples of that in this report. We also have three new MB 1-100 castings to debut and a new Working Rig model. As usual, these photos are straight from Mattel and show FEP (Final Engineering Pilot) sample models. The code models tampoed on the models are for tracking purposes and will not be printed on the final production samples. What we see in the pics is pretty much what we are going to see on the pegs.
2011 MB 1 - 100 (core line)
Let's start off with some new castings. First we have the MB 819 Coyote 500. This is a Mattel design of a rugged off road vehicle and is slotted in the Outdoor Sportsman segment of the MB 1-100 for all markets. It is #81 in US/Canada/Australia markets, #29 in the LAAM market and #65 in the ROW market.
The Coyote will be first issued in red with Snake graphics then will be recolored in light blue with the Dragon graphics for later in 2011. A matte yellow version will be issued in an exclusive vehicles 10-Pack. Yes, later in 2011 we can expect a 10-Pack of MB 1-100 models with exclusive liveries to that pack.
The second model making its debut is the MB 825 Road Tripper and is also a non-licensed Mattel design. The model is an extreme off road camper. The first livery is in black and white with a Brave Cat livery followed by a tan and black Sojourner livery for the recolor. A third version of this casting is scheduled
for the exclusives 10-Pack later in the year. The exclusive livery will be in grey and green with Wrench Crew graphics.
The Road Tripper is #91 in the US/Canada/Australia markets, #52 in the LAAM market, and #58 in the ROW market. The model is issued as part of the Desert Endurance segment of the MB 1-100 line for all markets.
The third and last debut model is the MB 830 SWAT Truck. It is #59 in all markets as part of the Emergency Response segment of the MB 1-100 line. It will be introduced in black with gold and white MBK Police graphics. The model gets a recolor of light blue Police later in 2011. The SWAT truck is a non licensed Mattel design.
2011 Matchbox 1-100 Basic Line Decos and Recolors
Next up are some recolors and new decos coming later in 2011. Let's start off with a bang by showing the recolor of the MB 823 Aston Martin DBS Volante in 2011 recolor of red with black interior. In the May 2011 report we showed its debut color of light green. This is one sharp looking convertible. The Aston will be issued in all markets as #5 in the lineup under the Sports Cars segment.
The Aston model looks sharp in red with black interior and now we see the same effect on the MB 822 BMW Mini Cooper S Cabriolet. This is the 2011 recolor for the Mini after its debut in a yellow livery shown last month. The Mini is slotted for all markets as #28 under the Metro Rides segment.
The MB 689 2006 Ford Crown Victoria Taxi will have its second livery in a gold "Gold Rush". It will be issued as #68 in all markets in the City Action segment. In the May report we saw the first 2011 issue in bright blue.
The MB 797 Baja Bullet will be issued in yellow with MBX graphics, a blue base, and blue chrome wheels. The Bullet will be issued as #84 in the US/Canada/Australia markets, #35 in LAAM market, and as #53 in ROW market. The first issue color in bright orange was shown in May, 2011.
Next we see the MB 729 Porsche 911 GT3 in lime green with MBX livery and the MB 780 1963 Cadillac Ambulance in metallic red and gold ambulance livery. Each of these two models receive only one livery in the 2011 1-100 basic line. The Cadillac is #55 in all markets except in the ROW market where it will be #41. The Porsche will be issued as #12 in all markets.
The MB 806 2010 Cadillac CTS Wagon in the VIP segment gets a bright upgrade to orange for its 2011 recolor. It is #37 across all markets. The original color of silver was shown in the May, 2011 report. Notice how the copper colored wheel hubs complement the body color.
The MB 802 Caterham R500 Superlight gets its first issue in red for 2011. The MB 818 Dune Dog gets a recolor in white and yellow MBX livery while the MB 803 2010 Fiskars Karma Hybrid shows off its only 2011 deco in dark blue-grey.
The Superlight will be issued in all markets as #3 under the Sports Cars segment. The Dune Dog will be issued in all markets under the Desert Endurance segment. It will be #92 in the US/Canada/Australia markets, #53 in the LAAM market and #70 in the ROW market. The Fiskars Karma will be issued in all markets as #1 under the Sports Cars segment.
The MB 709 Chevy Van gets one deco in the 2011 basic line and it is a rather interesting one. The Pro Atom Snow Boards livery is unique to each side of the vehicle. The model is finished off with a copper ring on the wheel hubs. The Chevy is slotted as #70 under the City Action segment and will only appear in the US/Canada/Australian markets.
The MB 821 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor gets a recolor in white and light blue MBX Sheriff graphics. The wheel hubs get a touch of the copper coloring on the edges of the rim. The Ford is slotted as #49 in all markets under the Emergency Response segment.
The MB 687 International CXT will have one livery for the year. The deco will be black with yellow and lavender Lyon Bros. livery. The CXT is slotted as #47 in all markets except the LAAM market. It is part of the Construction segment.
The MB 697 Land Rover Defender 110 will see a recolor in white later in 2011. The graphics will include orange and black Defender and Adventure. The model will sport green windows and is part of the Jungle Explorers segment in all markets. It is #100 in the US/Canada/Australia markets, #70 in the LAAM market and #72 in the ROW market.
The MB 776 MBX Street Cleaner will be issued in one lone deco for 2011. It is red with Kleenschweap graphics - a cute play on words. The truck will be issued in the City Action segment of the US/Canada/Australia markets only and is slotted as #64.
The next pair of models shows graphics that are a bit bolder. The MB 769 Mitsubishi L200/Triton sports a metallic brown body color with Coyote Bill's graphics. The MB 733 1955 Ford F-100 Panel Delivery is in metallic lime with what appears to be some type of cartoon graphics on the sides. This is sure to grab kid's attention. These are the lone graphics for each model in the 2011 lineup and both models will be issued in all markets. The Mitsubishi is in the Outdoors Sportsman segment (#77 USA/Canada/Australia, #23 LAAM, and #9 ROW). The Ford is in the City Action segment (#69 in all markets expect in ROW where it is #46).
These next two model look pretty sweet. The new MB 817 Ford F-550 Super Duty is in red with a silver-grey rear. The Ford is issued as #50 in all markets under the Emergency Response segment. This is the second color for the Ford as the first color planned is a bright yellow green. The MB 777 1971 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser is shown in a metallic light blue with For Sale graphics on the windshield. The dogs in the back are included in the sale! This is the only livery for the Vista Cruiser in the basic line and is issued under the Heritage Classics segment as #18 in all markets. Aren't they great looking models?
The MB 754 Morgan AeroMax makes its lone 2011 basic line showing in navy blue with Union Jack graphics on the roof. The model is scheduled for release in all markets under the Sports Cars segment and will be consistently numbered as #11 across all markets. Meanwhile the MB 745 Scraper gets its 2011 recolor in a red, white, and blue US flag theme. The graphics also include "American Construction" on the sides. The Scraper will be issued across all markets under the Construction segment as #40.
And our final sneak peek at a 2011 basic line model is the MB 734 Volkswagen T2 Bus. The bus is painted in a light blue with white roof and interior. The graphics include Blue Horse Trainers on the sides. The wheels are finished off with blue chrome hubs. This is the only livery for the T2 in the basic line and it will be issued in all markets under the Outdoor Sportsman segment. The T2 will be numbered as #79 in the US/Canada/Australia markets, #36 in the LAAM market and #13 in the ROW market.
That's 22 new liveries for the 2011 MB 1-100 basic line we have had the opportunity to view this month. As promised in the May, 2011 report, the colors grab at you more and the graphics are also more profound. Yet, some models retain a more realistic livery. The overall appearance of models in the basic line appear to cross several interest groups from the children who like the bright colors and cartoon graphics to the motor enthusiasts who demand realism. It looks like a good mix.
Ten Pack Exclusives
As previously mentioned, we will see a ten pack of exclusive liveries for MB 1-100 models later in 2011. We have already seen two of them earlier in this report here are the other eight. First, the popular MB 814 Aqua King model gets this bright metallic orange livery with "Scorched" graphics. Notice the ruby red plastic bottles load. Several collectors have commented to me about how they would like to see the load on this model change color. The Matchbox Team has been well ahead of the curve on this one as this is our third color of bottles in as many models.
Next we see the MB 817 Ford F-550 Super Duty in yellow-orange Rescue livery and the MB 812 1968 Ford Mustang GT CS in metallic blue. This will be the third livery for the Super Duty and the second for the Mustang GT.
Police enthusiasts will not be left out from the exclusives 10 Pack. Here we see the MB 821 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor in light blue "Pursuit" livery. This vehicle looks sharp with those wheels. Also we get a refresh of the MB 808 Mitsubishi Evo Police in white "Police" livery. These liveries are in addition to the two liveries for each model slated for the 2011 MB 1-100 basic lineup.
To finish off our peek at the new exclusives 10-Pack we see the MB 816 Porsche Panamera in a metallic rose or red, the MB 811 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400S in a lime green, and the MB 815 Cadillac CTS Coupe in what appears to be dark grey or black with copper hubs on the wheels. These are the third liveries for the Panamera and the Miura as each get a recolor in the 2011 MB 1-100 basic line. This is the second overall livery for the Cadillac. This exclusives 10 Pack looks to be chock full of bonus models for the model collectors who appreciate a bit of the less colorful graphics on their models.
2011 Lesney Edition
As was announced several months ago the 2011 Lesney Edition line was reduced from 20 to 17 models. The models continue to have the die cast metal base and here we get a peek at the last five models scheduled for the line. In the first photo we see the MB 539 BMW X5 in black or dark blue fitted with a blue roof light bar and decorated with blue and yellow Police graphics. The MB 322 1970 Ford Boss Mustang 302 is in an orange-yellow livery sporting racing style graphics. The Mustang had its chassis modified to allow for a new deeper and more angular front spoiler.
In the next pic we get a view of the MB 616 1970 Plymouth Cuda in yellow with what appears to be a satin black finish on the roof. The MB 501 1956 Cadillac El Dorado is styled in a red finish. The interior is white with red seat trim.
Our last Lesney Edition model of 2011 will be the MB 801 2007 International Work Star Brush Fire Truck. The model is decorated in a metallic blue and yellow Chrysalis Volunteer Fire & Rescue livery. While the plastic chrome grille, interior, side equipment panels, and rear fender well remain, the base and rear mud flaps are metal for this edition. It is a very sharp looking model and a welcome addition to the lineup. Also, all five models here not only have the tampa decoration on the sides but have it on the front and rear as well.
As a follow up note, the Lesney Edition of the MB 713 1965 Austin Mini Van has a couple of casting errors on the metal base. 1955 is cast as the model year and the MB number stamped is MB 718. Both of these are errors. I suspect we will see all Lesney Editions of the Austin Mini Van carry these errors, but time will have to prove me right or wrong on this. Mattel has assured me we will NOT see these errors on the plastic based models in the MB 1-100 Basic Line.
We get to see four new liveries and one new casting for the Working Rigs. First, the GMC T8500 Airport Service truck is refreshed in a lime green and white City's Best Snacks & Beverages livery. The working features on this model include the elevating box and the extending loading platform over the cab.
The New Holland Bidirectional tractor makes its second debut for 2011 in a factory standard color scheme of yellow. The working features on this model include the pivoting body and the multiple articulated joints on the arms.
The E-ONE Mobile Command Vehicle will have a recolor later in 2011. The graphics on the model will be gold and black Sheriff with gold wheel hubs. The working features on this model include the antennas in the rear, the adjustable satellite dish, and the slide-out side compartments.
The fourth recolor we have to report is of the Oshkosh HEMTT A4. This desert tan livery includes a familiar skull like and globe logo from the Battle Kings series. The logo was used to identify the Rogue Squadron. The loading arm feature on this model can load and unload the plastic container. The rear door on the plastic container also opens.
The last series of pics we have is a debut of a new Working Rig model. The GMC C8500 Topkick is a tree trimming truck. The basket arm raises, extends and swivels. The truck body stabilizers extend just behind the cab. The rear dumper tilts. The truck is decorated in white with a white dump, basket and arm, and an orange over the cab platform.
If I tallied it right, that's nine (9) new Working Rig castings for 2011 plus Six (6) recolors. That represents a fairly sizable investment in tooling for this line. Let's hope it continues.
As my term of Matchbox Ambassador for 2010-2011 is coming near its end, I wish to openly thank Mattel and the members of the Matchbox community for the opportunity to act as a channel between Matchbox collectors worldwide and the talented creators of our favorite die cast brand. I considered the opportunity an honor as I waited each month for the new information to be released. I am sure many of my fellow Matchbox collectors join me in expressing our appreciation for these regular releases of information and the sneak peeks. It has certainly been a fun ride. In just under one month my term will officially end. I hope to see many of you in Albuquerque in July as a new ambassador is installed.
Also, don't forget the 2011 MCCH International Gathering of Friends (Matchbox convention and toy show) will take place at the Albuquerque Marriott in New Mexico (USA) July 22, 2011 through July 24, 2011. Dave Weise and Ryu Asada of the Matchbox design team are scheduled to attend the event. If you ever wanted the opportunity to meet and talk with a member of the Matchbox design team, this is the time and place to do it. Collectors at the event can expect to find Matchboxes new and old as well as many rare pieces. Rare Regular Wheels, Superfast, and preproductions can often be found. It is a chance to meet fellow collectors from around the world. I hope to see many of you there.
Matchbox Ambassador 2010-2011
30 March 2011:Ambassador's Report
(Photos of many of the models mentioned in this report can be found in E-Magazine #16)
March is in its closing hours but we still have time to get a few peeks at the models the Matchbox Team has been working on for the past year. Let's start with the public unveiling of a brand new casting - the MB 818 Dune Dog. The model will be released as #92 in the US/Canada/Australia/New Zealand markets, #53 in the LAAM markets, and #70 in the ROW markets. The Dune Dog is a non licensed Mattel design and will be released in the Desert Endurance subseries of the 1-100 line. It certainly looks like this model is ready to go off into the outback or Sahara.
Moving onto Lesney Editions, we have some good news and some bad news. Let's start with the good news, two sneak peeks of 2011 models soon to hit the pegs. The MB 610 '71 Chevelle SS Convertible in metallic orange and the MB 799 '69 Volvo P1800S in racing green. Both are double die cast with the die cast metal base. Notice the tire trim on the Chevelle's front tire. I wonder if we will see this on the released model.
And the bad news
due to fluctuating demand for the series, Mattel has regrettably had to cut back on the 2011 Lesney models from 20 to 17. The three models that will NOT be produced are the MB 557 '65 Shelby Cobra 427SC, the MB 629 '69 Camaro Z-28, and the MB 097 Chevrolet Corvette T-Roof.
These three models were scheduled to be the last made and now will not be produced. The Matchbox Team is not happy about this as I am sure are we collectors. However, the 17 other models are being produced and will be released. In this lackluster economy, that fact that we are still getting the Lesney Double Die Cast line says a lot about the collector community's staying power.
To brighten us up a bit from this bit of sad news we have two new positive announcements from Mattel. First, some of the models being released in the playsets will be changed. Also the graphics on some of the vehicles in the playsets will also be different. So several playset models will have new deco not found in the MB 1-100 line. We have to wait until April to hear what changes are in store.
Hitch n Hauls are being released again for 2011 and again some models will be changed and some models will have new decos. This change was made to allow some of the models used in Hitch N Haul to be released in 5-Packs and the MB 1-100 line.
Moving on, I heard repeatedly from collectors about themed 5-packs. Several collectors suggested a themed 5-pack be released with cars from one manufacturer. The Matchbox Team thought this was a great idea and were already working on it last year already. Here is a first look at the 2011 VW 5-pack.
Models in the set include: MB 390 '67 Volkswagen Transporter, MB 738 '74 Volkswagen Type 181, MB 438 VW Concept 1 Beetle Convertible, MB 363 '62 VW Beetle, and the MB 760 '69 Type 14 Karmann Ghia Convertible.
Will we see another themed manufacturer set in 2012? Time will tell. But if you like this idea let your comments be heard.
The Real Working Rigs line has seen a lot of investment on the part of Mattel and this month we get two sneak peeks of soon to be released models. The first model was shown in a very early preliminary non metal stage at Albuquerque last July. The Oshkosh HEMTT A4 can now be shown in its nearly complete stage.
The model has a cool working feature - the loader arm unloads and loads the rear container. The container is detachable and has an opening door. The model is "massive" by Mattel standards and it looks to be pretty big in these pics. The model is finished off in an inkjet applied deco. The rough texture of this process seems to add something to the realism of this model. The green camou livery is the first of two decos for this model in 2011. The second livery on this model will be a desert tan.
Our next Real Working Rig pic is of the New Holland TV6070. The real vehicle can be driven forwards and backwards with a driver's seat that pivots. This model is designed with the seat in the "loader" configuration. This supports the play feature of the loader which has arms that lift and pivot. The tractor itself also pivots in the middle. How cool is that for working features!
And the last Real Working Rig model we get to see this round is a revised deco on the Pierce Velocity. The new red and white livery sports a real livery for Wilton Connecticut Truck #5.
Next on our list is a look at the Sky Busters Line. Mattel mentioned in the 2010 Line Preview that new tooling was being developed for the Sky Busters line. Here are the latest two models in the line with both models being licensed castings. First up is the Typhoon Eurofighter. Not a bad looking jet. The real aircraft is currently in service with the Royal Air Force, German Luftwaffe, Italian Air Force, Spanish Air Force, Austrian Air Force and the Royal Saudi Air Force. I do not recognize the markings on this livery but not matter what livery it is in, it looks great.
The second Sky Buster pic is a new tooling of a model previously released many years ago - the Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk. This model more accurately represents the unusual angles of the stealth fighter/attack jet that has been in service with the USAF for well over a decade.
If, like me, you enjoy seeing these military jets then you will be happy to hear the Matchbox Team will be introducing more of these aggressive style jets in the 2011 Sky Busters line.
That's it for this report. I hope everyone saw something they liked. See you in April.
21 February 2011:Ambassador's Report
As promised, here is a brief addendum to the February, 2011 Matchbox Ambassador's Report. This time we have four sneak peeks. Let's start out with a new Lesney Edition model. The Austin Mini Van will be released in a Police livery and will feature a die cast body and die cast base. I trust most collectors will feel this is an appropriate selection for the Lesney series. As usual, many of the models shown in these sneak peeks have codes printed on them indicating they are FEP samples. These inket printed numbers (seen on the roof the Austin Mini Van) will not be issued on the production pieces.
The next model made its debut in 2010 and quickly turned into a collector's favorite - the MB 801 International WorkStar BrushFire Truck. For 2011 it will be released in at least two liveries. The livery in this pic is a familiar one to collectors as it has been issued on several models in previous years including but not limited to the 97 Tahoe in 2007, Hummer H2 in 2008, and the Off Road Rider in 2007. I hope fellow collectors agree the non licensed pale green parks service livery looks good on this model and can appreciate the continuation of this themed livery. The other 2011 livery for this model is the fire 5-pack version in white as mentioned in Part I of the Ambassadors February 2011 report.
Moving on...the MB 817 Ford F-550 Super Duty truck is fitted out with a Mattel designed mini pumper apparatus on the rear section while the cab is a Ford design. The front and rear quarter views show the model in its first livery of yellow green. The 2011 recolor for this model will be red. I trust rescue vehicle collectors appreciate the subject matter of this model. It looks like another truck that won't stay on the pegs very long.
The fourth s a Working Rig model. Mattel is proud of the many hours of work that went into the design and functionality of this casting. The GMC T8500 Airport Service Truck is a licensed model with working scissors effect. Like the Ford F550 in the previous pic, the cab is a GMC design, the container box is a Mattel design. Collectors who appreciate working features and fine detail will be excited to know not only does the box raise, but the box ramp over the cab extends. Over recent years, Mattel has received requests for the return of the MB 100 series Service Truck (Scissors Truck). Well the old Scissors Truck is no longer available so the Matchbox Team felt a fresh new Working Rigs casting would be better suited to satisfy the need.
Well that's it for another month. I hope everyone got to see something they liked. Let's keep our fingers crossed for more sneak peeks in March. Take care everyone.
14 February 2011:Ambassador's Report
It's February 14th and it is the traditional day when people express their passion - usually for one another. But on this Valentine's Day perhaps it is only appropriate we Matchbox enthusiasts celebrate our passion for our favorite brand by receiving a valentine from Mattel.
The Dennis Sabre Fire Engine is sporting a red and yellow checkerboard stripe livery while the '55 Cadillac Fleetwood is in mint green with a black roof. Both models are double die cast with a metal body and base. That Cadillac reminds me so much of a similar colored Tootsie Toy model I had back in my childhood. Great color choice IMHO.
Next up, we have sneak peeks of four new MB 1-100 models. The VW Thing is in a white and black zebra stripe, the Scraper is in off white, the Karmann Ghia is sporting a very fashionable red, and last but not least we see the Bentley in what appears to be metallic gold?
If you are an emergency vehicle enthusiast...the Mitsubishi EVO 10 Police Car is in its second livery for 2011 - Politia. This livery is non licensed but I have to express my delight in seeing a non-US style livery on this model. Very nice look for the model and I personally appreciate non US liveries being released in the line. The Hazmat Truck is in a licensed Dallas Fort Worth Airport livery and the Dodge Monaco is decoed with California Highway Patrol. The Monaco reminds me of the CHiP's television program from late 70's to early 80's. All three of these models are in the standard MB 1-100 line.
The Shelby GT 500 is in silver with blue racing stripes and the Aqua King (water delivery truck) is shown in its second color for the year of dark green with the blue bottle load. The Lotus Europa is in a metallic pink with a white 6/Racing stripe. The model was issued in this livery to specifically pay homage to the original Lesney model issued in the Superfast era. The GMC pickup is in glossy black with a small hot stamp hubcap. The pickup looks particularly sharp and I have a hard time seeing this model staying on the pegs for too long.
I realize many diehard collectors only collect the MB 1-100 and make a pass on the five packs. Perhaps they should take a look at what's coming out this year...a Police five pack...including the new MBX Delivery Truck sporting the black and white SWAT livery. We were told earlier the casting is being modified to include more plastic. However, I personally cannot tell much has changed. The Ford Expedition is in a licensed Boone County Sheriff livery. The Dodge Charger in blue Police, the Corvette ZR-1 is in black and white Police, and the Dodge Monaco is in red and white livery to finish out the set.
The Ford E350 Ambulance is in a licensed Providence Rhode Island (USA) livery. The set also includes the International Brush Fire Truck in white, the Dennis Sabre Ladder Truck in yellow, the MBX Tanker in red Fire Tanker livery, and the 2006 Ford Crown Vic in red Fire Chief livery. All five models liveries are exclusive to the 5-pack.
For the Working Rigs fans, look out for the promised Buffalo MPCV. This is one tough looking vehicle. The articulated arm should add a lot of play value. Although, the model is not quite finished, we are promised it will look great when it finally hits the pegs.
And one last peek to inspire a little excitement among us collectors - especially Porsche fans. It is the new Porsche Panamera. The color reminds me of a piece of grape candy and I bet the model will look just as sweet when we get it in our hands.
Well, that's it for our February sneak peeks. I hope everyone saw something they can be passionate about on this Valentine's Day.
I wish everyone a healthy and happy February and look forward to sending out more information in the months to come. Take care.