Right. After taking a week off from things as I was suffering with quite severe jet lag, I am feeling a lot more (I am not going to say normal, just more like myself), and am now getting stuck into my haul from the USA. I have a lot of items to go through, but I thought I would begin with these (along with continuing showcasing items from Wheel Collectors in future weeks) by running through the first major batch of promotional items that have arrived. There will be a second round in October, when Dirk Schleuer hold the Leipzig convention alongside Modell-Hobby-Spiel in Germany. Until then, let us work through this bunch of items.
I am going to begin by looking at the promotional items that were created for the Matchbox Gathering in Albuquerque, NM. For those who registered for the event, Jim Gallegos creates a special dinner model for everyone in attendance. If you are lucky and attempt to register immediately at midnight as 2023 arrived, you might have been one of the lucky ones to be an early bird. The first 75 registrations (of which I was lucky to be one), received an exclusive colour to the chosen model. The MB1267 '64 Chevy C10 Longbed.
This model was designed by Michael Heralda, who works wonders at the best of times, but has seriously outdone himself this time. This is freaking awesome! What we have here is a very weathered grey model. This is just amazing to behold, and in all honesty, I can already see this being a contender for my Top 10 lists at the end of the year.
The logo on the side is a reference to his wife, Vicki. Michael created a little logo, along with Vicki, for her company. She has a company called Junque Explorer. She enjoys attending various places to try and find those little nuggets hidden away in places you would not expect. The logo also includes a B-24 WWII Bomber, which was flown by her father, Colonel Ned Lackens. She also loves a classic pickup truck, so classic pickup truck. There is also a further nod to her parents. Do you see a little “J” on the front corner?
The other side has a little “N”. These are her parent's initials. Ned, as we know, and her mother was Jane. A lovely little touch. I also like the little “not for hire” on the side as well. The plane and additional names towards the rear. It just works so well. Do you like the new real riders? A classic disc look for classic vehicles. This is mind-blowing!
Image courtesy of Jim. A better look at the Junque Explorer logo for Vicki's business.
As is usual for a model like this, the engine bay is highly detailed when you lift the hood (or bonnet, depending on where you live).
The rear end also completes the weathered look for the truck. As I said, Michael really nailed this one. I spoke with him at the Gathering about it, and he was a little unsure whether his vision would come out as he wanted, but when they produced it, he was very happy with the end result. Yeah, I think everyone is. I heard nothing but wonderful reviews at the convention. So what is better than this?
Having a second one. Yes! After the early bird ran out, everybody else who registered received the more common issue. Those who got the early bird were also offered the chance to purchase one of these as well.
This is just like the grey model, except that it is now green.
I am not sure as yet which I do prefer of these 2. It is a very tough decision. This green also works very well in showing off this weathered look. I really hope that they are able to come up with more weathered models in the future. It may have to be in premium ranges, but I am fine with that. Seeing models like this show just how much they can do with such little items.
This green look is just about perfect.
Honestly, I keep looking at them and trying to decide which is the nicer one, but it is so tough. They are both so cool! It is stuff like this that makes me want to stay collecting the Matchbox brand.
As I do a little dive back here, I have to be honest. This model debuted as a 2022 Mattel Creations casting, and was sold at a real premium. So far, this is my least favourite example of the model. It is nice. The golden brown looks good, and it has a nice clean look to it. But this was not something that really stood out to me. In retrospect, I am sort of disappointed with this one now. Because since then, they have done some amazing work with the casting.
Because it was then added to the Collectors series later, and came in this awesome pale blue with rust look. A perfect companion to the weathered look of these.
It then appeared in the Moving Parts series, coming in white over blue. I even prefer this to the Mattel Creations one. I just love these dual coloured sided models. I am a big stripe fan, and these are almost like huge stripes going down the sides.
The 2022 Collector model was number 2 in my end of year Top 10 lists in the line-up of new looks on existing castings, and we may have this casting in the list again for 2023.
We then had a dealer model for the Sunday show. This had a hologram on the box. It gives you an idea of what is inside, and I have to be honest, as soon as I heard which model it was, I was not in the least bit surprised.
It is the MB1313 Ford GT40. I should have guessed this model was coming. Jim loves the GT, and the original Lesney casting is one of his all-time favourite Matchbox castings, so it was logical that the new casting would be used.
This comes in a beautiful red and white colour scheme. Sometimes, a simple design works just as well as something so detailed.
A simple MBX logo, a 21 roundel on the door to signify that this is the 21st convention, and the 70th Anniversary logo. Plus, a lot of white touches.
There is a little added detailing towards the rear of the model. Sort of a fine print, or footnote.
Now, there is something I want to add. There is a rarer run model. A special zamac and white look for the helpers. Sadly, I was unable to snag one. Note to self, must help more! I hope to be able to get an example at some point though.
Because this is a great casting, and so far there have just been the 2 releases. This debuted in the 2022 Collectors series in blue.
Then saw a great homage to the original Lesney release, by coming in white with a blue “6” stripe on it.
I hope to one day add a zamac to these 3. Plus many more releases, as I am sure this will be used plenty more times in the future.
While at the Gathering, many people make a bee-line for Everett Marshall's room. As is tradition, Everett has a promotional item made each year for his annual charity golf tournament. This year was no exception, and to the surprise of perhaps nobody, his chosen casting this time was the MB1310 '16 Ram Ambulance. As soon as it arrived in 2022, I had a feeling Everett would be looking at this for a future charity release.
Since 2008, Everett has been getting official code 1 Matchbox models. For the first 2 years, he was using old MB229 Mack Auxiliary Truck castings and having them modified. At first, all models were created, with proceeds going to the Burns Foundation. This is the one chosen for the Burns Foundation this time. It comes in a lovely red look. Unit 18 signifies that this is the 18th year of the tournament. Florida and New Jersey are the places where the tournament takes place.
This model receives all round tampo printing, with a lot of detail to the front end.
With the rear doors having Paramedic and window edging/handles details.
And, with this being a Moving Parts model, the rear doors open too.
Since 2015, Everett has added a second promotional each year. After starting with the Burns Foundation, he added in Breast Cancer Research to the charities. Therefore, a second model always appears now in pink.
And I have to say, this model looks absolutely stunning in metallic pink. This really enhances those details. The red logo stands out more on the door.
These were extremely well received at the Gathering, and it came as no surprise when Everett announced that he had sold out of both during the convention. This was the first year that he had sold out of everything. A huge success, and a big thank you to everyone who donated. Each model has a donation of at least $50 for charity.
So I was more than happy to donate $100 to obtain these 2.
You get to donate to charity, with 2 wonderful causes benefitting from the sales, and we end up with 2 stunning models.
Although, unlike the Chevy C10, which I was (and still am) unable to choose which I prefer, this was an easy decision for me. I just love this pink one. That's definitely my favourite. So, these were what we were expecting from the Gathering. But, there is more. As there are a few more promotional items to show off.
Because there is a certain Toy Fair model that tends to appear each year. This year it was the MB1295 '22 Ford F-150 Lightning. Usually these appear in time for the September toy fair for the upcoming year. I am not sure if this was available there. But it has not been exactly popping up often. It is not exactly easy to find.
Metallic copper with blue windows appears to be the norm for Toy Fair models. I absolutely love that they stick with tradition here. They did a few copper models in 2012 and 2013, but after the Ghe-O Rescue was made for the 2016 fair, since then (apart from the Alfa Romeo Giulia), all have been copper.
So, this model is pretty much as I would expect it to be. And that is not a bad thing. As I said, I am a sucker for consistency, and the fact that each year we are getting a Toy Fair model in the same copper design, with full tampo detailing and blue windows, it is something of a tradition now, and I would love for this to continue into the foreseeable future.
I love this particular model. Simple striping all around the model, and the normal details you would expect on an F-150. This is a lovely model.
The 70th Anniversary logo appears on the rear side doors, which is what I would expect from this model. After all, this was here to promote their 70th Anniversary.
It is nice seeing this casting in a non-grey type colour. The 2022 debut was in silver, and then they used it as one of the platinum releases for 2023, so it has not changed an awful lot. This marks a distinct change.
Did you notice that the 70th Anniversary logo was almost identically placed between this and the 2023 basic range issue? Different striping systems, but both are nice and stripey. If they are not doing a stock look, like they did with the 2022 issue, then this is definitely a cool way to go.
I am sure we will see a lot more from this casting over coming years. This Toy Fair one is my current favourite.
Which brings us to the last model. The MB694 Double Decker. First released back in the 2006 range, it ran for 5 years in the basic range, but since 2010 has only been utilized in various premium and/or promotional lines.
It comes in a protecto-pack. A Matchbox branded one at that. As If I care.
Hey look, the same shot, but without the protecto-pack. Yes, this thing is about to be opened.
But before I do, just a quick shot at the rear, to show that there is a barcode there. This bus is being used as a promotional tool to celebrate the 70th Anniversary for the brand. It has been opened up to allow it to be used in whatever market wants it, and in whatever way they want it. In the USA, Mattel have created a promotion where you can buy $20 of products, and send away for the bus. Various shippers have been created with details, and some stores have tear-off sheets with details about the promotion. Outside the USA, each market can do what they want. In Germany, they just made it a special sale model. Yes, you can buy them in stores. At a premium.
Upon opening, I discovered that the model was being held in the blister by a little piece of plastic shaped around the far side of the model, so it doesn't rattle about inside the blister too much.
And once out, you notice that this is following the same basic principles as the other 70th Anniversary items. This one, being a premium, has tampo printing all over it. The front sees a Matchbox licence plate, and references to the birth year of 1953.
With the common orange wheel style, and orange and white detailing down the sides. It also sports a British flag on the side, as a nod to where it is from.
On the roof, you see a large Matchbox logo. However, I am not sure I like it in this orange and black. I know it matches the rest of the model. But there is a small part of me that feels that it would have actually looked better in the more traditional Matchbox logo colours. Or at least have white in the middle, around the wording. It just looks a little odd to me in all-orange. The smaller Matchbox logo on the side is white, and because the main centre section is white, it doesn't look out of place. It is my one minor gripe with the model. Mind you, would this have looked better with the same disc wheels that have been used on the Chevy C10? Those were amazing, and perhaps a better fit for this too.
I still really like it. But not everything can be perfect. The rear end is simply done with the 1953, 70th logo and lights/stripes.
It is a really cool model. I love this whole 70th Anniversary vibe. It really works for me. Had that roof print been slightly different….
Perhaps like this? Ha ha! I had to. The opportunity was too good to miss. I pulled out my Ambassador bus from when I was the Matchbox brand Ambassador, back in 2007/2008. Boy, it has been 15 years since I finished that gig. Yeah, definitely, as these were all from Gathering to Gathering, so my tenure finished at the end of July 2008, and as we roll into August 2023, it has passed the 15 year mark. Wow! Time does move fast.
I mean, it was only 15 years for me. This company as a whole. 70! And still going! Hopefully for a long time yet. I am still enjoying all the stuff that comes out. I honestly wish there were more promotional items. I miss the days of discovering random promotions and hunting down the promotionals.
But the ones we still have. They are so cool. This year has seen some spectacular ones already. I am very much looking forward to what we will see from Leipzig later.
But for now, my latest report is done. I hope you enjoyed my little trip down the latest promotional items. Next week I will return to more of what I have received from Wheel Collectors.
Until then, I hope that everybody has a safe and happy week. See you next Monday.