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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 19th Matchbox Ambassador Report, by Larry Scaduto...

Ambassador’s Report August 19th, 2014
Larry Scaduto

Welcome back Michael Heralda
(Happy to see that you’re feeling better)

New for 2015
Blockade Buster from the 2015 Battle Mission Force Set

 Chevy K-1500 Pickup 2015 Mainline Model
I have a few items of interest to share with you….

1. The new 2015 Toy Fair Model will be the Blaze Blitzer.

2. I now have the list for the Supreme Hero’s Premium Die cast line for 2015:

MB821 Ford Interceptor
MB933 Dodge Charger Pursuit                    
MB860 Ford Explorer
MB867 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4              
MB872 BMW X5            
MB762 ’78 Dodge Monaco Police
MB771 Ford E-350 Ambulance       
MB780 ’63 Cadillac Ambulance      
MB885 Renault Master Ambulance 
MB689 Ford Crown Victoria           
MB911 Toyota Tacoma (Life Guard)             
MB906 ’63 Mack Model B
MB796 Hazard Squad       
MB877 International Pumper       
MB938 Ford F-350 Superlift Brush Fire Truck 
MB755 Pierce Dash              
MB801 International Workstar Brush Truck              
MB857 Chevy Suburban

This is a fantastic selection of 17 licensed castings and 1 generic! 

***as always, all pictures and information within this report are with the permission and consent of Mattel and the Matchbox Team.

Do you have a question? The best way to reach me is my ambassador e-mail

Preproductions from my collection

These are some PrePro’s from my collection. The top row is the 64 ½ Mustang that was never released from the 50th Anniversary Collection. The next row is the Merryweather Fire Engine in olive green along with the Extending Ladder Fire Engine and Airport Fire Pumper (Toy Fair PrePro). The next row has the silver & yellow Rover 3500 pre-productions. The bottom row has a beautiful yellow Hairy Hustler along with hand painted red Nissan 300ZX, Jaguar XJ220, and Camaro Z-28…all with gold spiral wheels!

What’s New in the Stores

Whiplash from Undersea Squid Sub Gift Set 9-Pack / Mission Force Police & Space Sets


Undersea Squid Sub Gift Set & 9-Pack found at Target while the Mission Force Police & Space Sets were found at Osco Drug and the blister carded models were purchased from Wal-Mart. All in the western Chicago area.

The Matchbox Fire Station 

Above: MF-1 Fire Station US labels / Below: MF-1 Fire Station European Labels (green roof)

Above: G-10 Fire Station Gift Set (red roof & US labels)

This issue I’m featuring Fire Stations from the mid 60’s. The red roof Fire Station was the regular issue. It came three ways…MF-1 with just the building or G-10 Gift set with four models included. And later the G-5 gift set which appears to be the harder variation to obtain. You will notice below I have a picture from the 1964 catalog. It features the never released Ambulance Depot. This building was to feature a green roof. For reasons I don’t know (If someone can shed some light on this) this item was not produced. But the green roof buildings were. So they were used as fire stations. You will notice the box art shows the green roof as well. The MF-1 was priced at $3.00…..we can only dream of those prices!!!

These Fire Stations are from the Steve Gloss collection. Thank you, Steve for letting me photograph them.

Models we would love to see made….
This is a trial page I’m setting up to see if anyone is interested in sending me pictures of models (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc…) that you would love to see as a Matchbox. They can be classics or new, it doesn’t matter to me. Since the design team will read this report, us collector’s just might come up with a model or two that they never thought of. I will post as many pictures that I can in each report. Thank you…..
 The above model is a Polaris 700 Twin 

 Who can forget the 1975 AMC Pacer                                                  
Here we have the 2014 Honda Crosstour  

1948 Tucker Torpedo 

1971 Buick Riviera
A word on Code 3’s

In my last report, I featured models created by Fabrice Declercq. Those little beauties were really nice. Here is another one he did as well…….. Now the code 3 issue is a fairly heated topic among some of us collectors. When models are done for personal use and not resold, it’s like having a hobby within the hobby and I totally endorse the rescuing of models that were damaged over the years. Lately, there has been a wide selection of rare, preproductions, and Brazilian issues being sold on e-bay that are repaints and are listed as such. The problem is that they are done so well that in several years nobody is going to be able to tell the difference between a repaint and the actual rare item. I believe this is going to hurt the hobby as well as someone’s pocketbook!! I have the opinion that if I don’t have the model, there is no substitute for the real thing. I welcome your comments on this subject.

“The White Knights are coming”

First Look: Hot Wheels Lamborghini Veneno in orange, along with its Kyosho counterpart...

Yeah, it looks like the Italians attempted to do a Lamborghini bosozoku-style and failed miserably.  The Veneno is truly awful to look at.

But I can say that, because I will never drive one.  I may not ever see one.  It is very easy to hate on this one.  And I can also say that because looks were not the emphasis.  Performance (allegedly) was. Nonetheless, it is a car that does not strike my fancy.

But it is worth featuring for two reasons:

First, it looks so much better in orange.

Second, Hot Wheels did an amazing job on this one, especially for a $1 release.

Let's start with that second point.  We always say we don't like putting Hot Wheels and Matchbox models next to their far more expensive counterparts like Kyosho and TLV.  It just isn't fair.  One is a $1 model aimed at little kids, and the other a much higher priced collectible for adults.

But by golly if Hot Wheels created a $1 model that actually holds its own.  Yes, the Kyosho is a lot more detailed, but considering the detail needed for a model like this, the Hot Wheels is pretty darn nice:

Not bad eh?

So now that we have established that the Hot Wheels Veneno is a spot-on casting of a hideous car, let's look at its more pleasant version in orange.

Enjoy, and look for this model at your local store soon, or find it on ebay.  The Kyosho is available too...

Hot Wheels Lamborghini Veneno (2014 New Models recolor):

First Look: Hot Wheels HW Ford Transit Connect...

(Repost from July 16th, 2014.  We thought it was prudent to share now that P cases are appearing.)

It eventually came, even if it wasn't at SEMA.

Hot Wheels got collector's wheels turning when they unveiled the special HW Edition of the Ford Transit Connect at SEMA in Las Vegas back in November of 2013.

With it came this mini version:

The unveiling made many think that Hot Wheels had another SEMA exclusive, and Hot Wheels-collecting attendees were searching every corner for plexiglass goodness.  It turns out, however, that this was a hand-made version, made to sit next to its 1:1 counterpart.  So while all the exclusive-hunting collectors went home, Hot Wheels announced the Transit was in fact coming to a blister near you, only in Spring 2014.

Well it is Summer 2014, but we are not complaining.  The Transit is here, and it looks fantastic.  We found a seller with an early P Case, and we decided to jump.

It looks great.  Matchbox collectors have been a little up in arms about Hot Wheels doing the Transit, when that would traditionally be a model right in Orange's wheelhouse.  We get that.  But we give this all a pass considering Ford wanted to add a little oomph to the Transit, a car that is mainly known for hauling medical supplies and paper.  Putting a Hot Wheels logo on the side and customizing it for SEMA is clearly an attempt to do that.  Whether or not that worked, I guess we will see if the only time we see the new Transit is in front of medical buildings with its hazards on.

So whether or not this model gets its street cred is not our problem.  We will just enjoy the mini version.  It is nicely detailed, mimicking the custom as opposed to the standard Transit.  There are some details missing on the mass-produced model, but that is to be expected.  It has the deco it needs to make its point.

We don't know what the future will be for this model, but we assume we will see it with a wide array of decos and graphics in later releases.  We will wait and see.  For now, we are in on this one.  Are you?

Hot Wheels HW Ford Transit Connect (2014 New Models):