Overall I like them, its good to see the garish tampo prints have been toned down, but still I am confused about the direction of the brand. The A100 is a great casting and I love it and cant wait to get it, but why does it exist?
Brad, nice write-up. To answer your questions at the end of your post…yes! And has that ever been any different? Haven’t Matchbox always been primarily marketed to kids, with some collectable models included? Isn’t that evident in the 60th line? Isn’t that evident in various forms every year since its inception? You are thinking too much.
Was the A100 created with the collector in mind? Absolutely. Why does that confuse you? Hot Wheels just released a Toyota 2000GT. What do you make of that? They also just released another model that looks like a shark with wheels. Are you confused? I think many of you have gotten so deep in your criticism that you can’t see that Matchbox is doing the same thing it has always done. Tell me what the reaction to this model would have been in 2009. I just don’t think we would see what is happening now.
I got a very interesting email from a devout and long-term Hot Wheels collector today. He said he was reading the comments made on this and previous Ambassador reports, and was surprised at the reactions. He wondered how things went south so badly, and why the criticism was so pointed, mean-spirited, and nasty. He made the point that it sounded like Matchbox collectors had lost all sense of context. That they were forgetting Matchbox’s market and purpose both today and historically, and after a short turn last year towards more garish design queues, Matchbox has been fairly consistent considering the current limitations on the $1 toy market. I completely agree.
We have always had models we like and don’t like, and over time there are years where we like more than others. But the level of criticism thrown the Mattel team’s way in the last two years has been confusing to say the least. I know this is beating a dead horse, but arguments that are made currently seem to be more out of habit than anything else. In all sincerity, I really think many of you have just moved on from what Matchbox is and has been. It is more on you than them. And that is 100% cool. Maybe Tomica Limited Vintage, Kyosho, and Siku make you happier. They are more collector-oriented, both in market and price. Maybe in some strange way Mattel did you a favor when they changed direction and helped you realize you were more into the act of collecting than actually enjoying what you collect.
Embrace who you are. Move on. And I promise I don’t mean that in a mean-spirited way at all. I hope you get my point…