Ambassador Report – 25th June 2014

Forums Matchbox ‘Matchbox Ambassador’ Central Ambassador Report – 25th June 2014

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  • #10155
    admin

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    [center:2f0s059s]INTRODUCTION[/center:2f0s059s]

    The Matchbox team has passed on some information regarding some running changes that are happening:

    1. There have been many questions regarding the change of hot stamp colors on certain models such as the Trail Tracker, Ford F550 Superduty etc. We changed the hot stamp color from Yellow to Gold foil hot stamp because we were over capacity on the yellow color. The yellow versions were made first, then they were changed to gold so the yellow versions were done in less quantity.

    2. Due to the German translation issue of the word Field Tripper, we are doing a running change to revise the name. It will now be called: SCHOLAR HAULER™ on packaging and chassis. The graphics on the bus will also be changed to say: Matchbox School District. These changes will go into effect in the next few months.

    3. We also had a spelling issue on the metallic green Ford Police interceptor. The incorrect spelling of ”MARSHALL” will be corrected to say “MARSHAL” on both the car as well as the illustrations on all packages.

    4. We are also changing the name of the Road Tripper to “MBX PROSPECTOR™” next year.

    We thank the collector community for alerting us to some of these names and spelling issues.

    [center:2f0s059s]MATCHBOX ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS[/center:2f0s059s]

    1. Is there anything “special” in the works for MB1000?
    Interesting idea.

    2. I’m looking forward to the Ford F-350 Stake Bed truck! As for the Mission Force multi-packs, they are not in our regular toy stores so I don’t see them often. I hate having to look around at Kohl’s, Ross, and those 2nd tier stores. Does the Matchbox team have any suggestions?
    We have no suggestions. Hopefully it will show up at a retailer near you.

    3. Sadly the GMC is in a pack I cannot get so it won’t make it into the collection, the F350 on the other hand will definitely be coming home with me, well done Mattel, this is what it’s all about.
    Thank you for your comments.

    Great looking car, lots of play value and from a cost point of view so much potential in the future to use the same casting with a Ute tray, box or other apparatus on the back. Have you any plans for different loads?
    It is possible in the future.
    4. I hate how MBX shows up on everything. It’s unimaginative and boring. Thankfully, the size of this graphic on the door is good. Can we have a break from MBX for a while?
    We love using MBX which is often easier than using our full logo. Given licensing and trademark issues that can occur this does serve a purpose for us.

    5. My question for the Matchbox team…a long shot, but Norev and other smaller manufacturers have been successful at launching their offerings by making them available to dealerships. What does Mattel think of this? Maybe something along the lines of the BMW promo from 10-15 years ago? I have a local Chevrolet dealer that likes the idea of borrowing some of my Chevy models for a floor display in the showroom.
    These are considered to be Premiums which we rarely do anymore. On occasion we can work with a customer but it depends on the quantity.

    6. Also….have they thought about the Maisto marketing plan….just continue making the same car in the same color for a few years (like Lesney did) in a row and sell under the store name, such as TRU’s Fastlane, Walgreens SpeedWheels and the Walmart generic brand. It would save money as they would not need to keep requesting approval from the automakers except for the first time etc. They could still market their own brand in stores that do not take to the idea?
    We prefer not to undermine the Matchbox brand by creating private label brands.

    7. On the new Rapids Rescue, why oh why does matchbox have to create a semi-realistic water rescue unit just to ruin it with its debut colors! Now i actually do like the design & creativity of the new truck but that orange & green clash way too much. I think I’ll pass on the first release and wait for following ones. Sorry that you don’t like the color scheme.
    The Rapids Rescue will continue to have many new color schemes in the future. Perhaps you will find something you like at that time.

    8. Is this military coup mess in Thailand going to cause problems with Matchbox production?
    No. It will be business as usual.

    [center:2f0s059s]NEW RELEASES
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    First up we have another new tool for 2014. It is called Drill Digger™ aka Auger. It will be in the construction segment and will a functioning auger drill which can be pushed down ward. It will be slightly larger than our Skidster. It will also have the INC color scheme.

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    Other new decorations for the mainline include another INC deco on the Scraper.

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    Other new decorations for mainline are shown.

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    Here is a new Sky Buster called Sky Shredder™

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    This is a recolour Skybuster

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    [center:2f0s059s]A Little More History[/center:2f0s059s]

    This week’s look at older Matchbox models will be something of a hotch-potch. Some models feature by request and some are just some of my favourites.
    White paint was often used on models and it was therefore inevitable that white pre-production or colour trial models should be more common than most other colours. Shown below are a Foden Concrete Truck (21d), riveted but without wheels, a Leyland Petrol Tanker (14f) and an Articulated Truck (30f). The Mini Ha Ha, Team Matchbox and Ford Thunderbird Convertible also look very different in white.

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    In 1982 the Volvo Flat Bed Truck formed the basis for both the Cable Truck (26f) and the Zoo Truck (35e). Originally this truck was planned to have six wheels but on grounds of cost this was revised to four wheels. Of course in 1984 a Volvo Tilt Truck, (26g), was issued with six wheels but maybe the tilt on the back was much cheaper to produce than either the cables and support and the lion in the cage. A number of Volvo 4 wheel trucks have been found in white, suggesting that this was the colour used for the trial run of approximately 200 models.

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    The Cable Truck was planned to have a plastic ramp which could be pulled out from a cradle beneath the cables to form a slide which would enable the cables to be rolled down to the ground. Unfortunately this idea was not pursued. However, these trucks and their loads indicate that at the time the design team were focussed upon play value and also authenticity.

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    The original intention was to have either “Cable Truck” or “Zoo Truck” cast on to the base of each model with the appropriate number cast below the description. Indeed the first pre-production run had “Cable Truck No. 15” cast at the rear of the model as it was proposed as the replacement model for the Fork Lift Truck (15e). This idea of individual numbering was discarded in favour of a larger printing MB15/35 on the base. A run was produced with this larger printing base casting. However, in the event it was decided that the Fork Lift Truck should be retained in the range and the Cable Truck would replace instead the Site Dumper, (26e). This explains the raised rectangular panel which may be found at the rear of all Volvo 4-wheel trucks, for it was necessary to obliterate the area where the two previous base descriptions had been.
    Many ideas were developed by the R & D team but few found their way to production. Perhaps this idea for a Volvo Truck transporting a house had been prompted by the old Site Hut Truck, (60b). It did get as far as production of the building but no further.

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    Of course the Volvo Truck proved to be an excellent platform for a Container Truck and Matchbox made full use of this.

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    Perhaps there was plenty of blue paint available for these pre-production models.

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    Here are some colour trial models which might have been chosen on the De Tomaso Pantera.

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    Finally these bright colours on the Field Car were balanced by the drab green version.

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    #35346
    Jeff Koch

    nice to see the Subaru back in the line. It’s even in the proper color!

    jk

    #35347
    Matt79

    Brill Nigel. Thanks for the report. I actually have a pre-pro of the No 35 Zoo Truck with ‘Zoo Truck No 35’ cast onto and under the rear of the flatbed. It’s my one and only pre-pro. My last as they are way out of my price range. I was lucky with this one. I didn’t know the Cable Truck had a ramp planned. Interesting.

    As for the new stuff. Same as always bleugh!!!

    6. Also….have they thought about the Maisto marketing plan….just continue making the same car in the same color for a few years (like Lesney did) in a row and sell under the store name, such as TRU’s Fastlane, Walgreens SpeedWheels and the Walmart generic brand. It would save money as they would not need to keep requesting approval from the automakers except for the first time etc. They could still market their own brand in stores that do not take to the idea?

    We prefer not to undermine the Matchbox brand by creating private label brands.

    Haha Mattel are you serious? You have been undermining Matchbox ever since you bought the brand from Tyco. Starting with your stupid ‘BATCH’ idea. This has damaged the brand for the past few years due to lack of availability and a back log of crappy generic peg warmers.

    Some of the answers to your questions are faceless, ignorant, arrogant and downright rude. I find out more about Lesney, a bankrupted company from over 30 years ago, than I do about the current cheap crap you are churning out day after day. Your constant cost cutting on a weekly basis has undermined the brand. You have cheapened a quality household name in favour of the almighty hot wheel. Anything to keep Matchbox from taking a breath above water you have done.

    Constant mistakes made every year including missing models, withdrawn models, spelling mistakes, numbering mistakes, missing batches, incomplete yearly sets and changing the design of the blister before all the models have been released for the previous year. You obviously don’t give a toss about Matchbox ’cause if you do these errors would be very few and far between. All of this is undermining the brand. Who exactly is in charge in your company? They need firing. I’m sure Leslie Smith and especially Jack Odell would kick some serious corporate butt if they were here today.

    The brand is dying and still you answer the questions like you’re in a hurry to get your lunch at McDonalds.

    #35348
    adbutler

    @Matt79 wrote:

    6. Also….have they thought about the Maisto marketing plan….just continue making the same car in the same color for a few years (like Lesney did) in a row and sell under the store name, such as TRU’s Fastlane, Walgreens SpeedWheels and the Walmart generic brand. It would save money as they would not need to keep requesting approval from the automakers except for the first time etc. They could still market their own brand in stores that do not take to the idea?

    We prefer not to undermine the Matchbox brand by creating private label brands.

    I had bit of a laugh at that myself.

    The new stuff doesn’t really appeal to me anymore overall. It’s all so cheap and nasty looking apart from a handful of vehicles included every year to stop the collectors complaining. My money has been going on Majorette lately.

    #35349
    cdg

    Hey Brad – its June dude. JUNE. 😆 😆 😆 😆 😆

    #35350
    keefyd

    One word/Brand – Lego.

    Mattel can now get fucked. I think that there is only one person on the board who laps this up and that is our resident juvenile mbx64. He cannot get enough of this tut.

    Blog coming up soon, but I am now finished with MB and the collecting element as it is simply not stable.

    Well done Mattel – you won back a customer and lost them again. BTW Mattel, I have just spent over £120 on Lego and am looking to spend another further £300+ over the next 4 months. You don’t care you say? No problem – Lego do, and they are getting my money – not you. Now go and play with the numpties on the other boards who like to hold you up in God status.

    #35351
    David Tilley
    Moderator

    When it comes to the new models this week, there are only 5 that interest me, as I only collect miniatures. The first is a brand new casting. The little Drill Digger looks quite cute to me. I like this one. I have always been a bit of a fan of the little Skidster from a few years back, so this one really fits in well with that one. I like it. I also like that it is in the INC design. Out of all the new construction castings this year, I think this is the best so far. I am going to enjoy getting this one.

    The Scraper also gets the INC treatment which I like. They seem to be putting out quite a few of the INC models lately, and I do actually like that.

    The Dune Dog; well I am not exactly its biggest fan, but this is probably the nicest design seen so far. I am quite happy with what they have done with this one. But I will gloss over that because….

    The MBX Coupe. Yuck. Melt it! This is what is wrong with the current direction. Fantasy cars do not work in the Matchbox range, and I would want to see them all gone (Terrain Trouncer, Turn Tamer and the other one – I can’t even remember its name off the top of my head). Shove them back on [insert non-Matchbox brand here] where they belong. I don’t like the design on this one either. The puke green windows just make it look worse. The original orange one last year was at least a fairly realistic design, albeit on a horrible vehicle. This one just makes an already awful vehicle even worse.

    I am loving the Subi though. A lovely shade of blue, with clear windows, a separate blue light bar (how are they still doing that with this one) and nice wheels. The livery is probably its worst point, but it is not cartoony. It is perhaps just a little busy. But I still like it. I will definitely be looking forward to getting that one.

    So one great, one surprisingly good, two nice designs and one that makes me want to vomit.

    :) :D :P

    #35352
    mbx64

    Thanks Brad for posting, and Nigel for the report.

    I remember seeing someone at the MCCH saying the thing about ‘tripper’ meaning gonorrhea in German, so it is cool the Team actually took that information to heart. I also thought something was up with the world ‘Marshall’ on the Ford, because the livery was so realistic, I tried to see if they copied it from a real vehicle. However, I could not find one vehicle with the word ‘Marshall’ on it, only ‘Marshal’. Glad to see the fix!

    The Subaru Impreza is brilliant. It looks so clean and happy like that. A Subie in blue is always a treat, and like David said, so is the separate light bar. I guess with all of the new castings and modifications Matchbox is spending time and money on, the Subie was not a priority. Those 6-spoke wheels also look like they got a crisping up, although it could be the pic. I never really liked the 6-spokes, because the end of the spokes near the edge of the rim bumped out over the edge in a sloppy way, making them unattractive. Also, this livery is MUCH improved over last years black on white ‘Highway Patrol’ that made no sense.

    The Drill Digger (I hate alliteration now, completely) looks very suitable for the range. It will go well with the Skidster, and I love that the actual drill can be twisted into sand. It looks to have great play value! The design is a little quirky, as the front end has an extremely low underbite that you normally would not see on these trucks, because it would catch rocks and such in the front. They are usually low, but with a slanted front to push down oncoming debris.

    The Scraper looks great in INC livery, and I have been waiting for one of my favorite construction models to get the treatment. I also noticed this casting has also been modified, as the rear portion of the truck has the plastic bottom now on half of the side. I love how INC is getting a lot of play! Even Ranec got some love this year with the newer model Fork Lift (alliterated names never stay in my head).

    The Dune Dog looks very handsome in that crispy orange, although I really would prefer the dual-ringed off-road wheels with the 8-spokes, but these do suffice.

    The MBX Coupe is such a cool looking car. It was my favorite out of the three fantasy creations Mattel brought forth last year. But this livery is absolutely awful from nearly every standpoint. The black body looks so chic and stealthy, but then green windows, a yellow base, with metallic green lipped rims? Yuck!

    I look forward to models like the Subie each week. Keep them coming!

    #35353
    poorvanner

    Well, with those kind of reviews, I had to scroll back up and take a look at that coupe thingie.
    I totally didn’t even look the first time as I quickly scrolled to the history section. Which is the only thing worth looking at.
    And David is right, horrid.
    Brian

    #35354
    Bill50

    Can someone explain which silly f–ker at Matchbox even bothered with this muppet like reply.

    1. Is there anything “special” in the works for MB1000?
    Interesting idea.

    I would not pi-s on this id yacht if he was on fire.

    #35355
    carllector

    Just a ? do you think that the convoy range will be reintroduced ,this ? has probably been asked before
    Thanks

    #35356
    keefyd

    @carllector wrote:

    Just a ? do you think that the convoy range will be reintroduced ,this ? has probably been asked before
    Thanks

    Big fat “No”.

    Mattel’s focus is on LAAM – Convoys do not sell.

    #35357
    66alfa_gtv

    4. I hate how MBX shows up on everything. It’s unimaginative and boring. Thankfully, the size of this graphic on the door is good. Can we have a break from MBX for a while?
    We love using MBX which is often easier than using our full logo. Given licensing and trademark issues that can occur this does serve a purpose for us.

    Lazy and predictable reply.
    When I wrote this on the MBX graphic last week, I did not intend it to be a question to Mattel. Their response, in my opinion, is meaningless. Autoworld doesn’t do this. Siku doesn’t do this. Tomica doesn’t do this. In my observation, only Mattel seems to be so egocentric that they have to slather their logos on their 1/64 toys. And, do they really love using that logo? (please don’t submit that question to them)

    Anyhoo, I’m so bored with Mattel. I’m not going to say a lot about this week’s report. If Mattel doesn’t care about making a cool quality product, it would be redundant for me to (once again) tell them that they have lost their way.
    The Subaru would possibly have made it into my collection if I had any interest in new Matchbox toys.
    But I don’t.
    So, it won’t.

    #35358
    keefyd

    I fear the worst –

    The new “Amby” has a huge job and the past two have certainly raised the bar.

    If teh next Amby does not meet expectations, the “programme” will collapse. Just like MB.

    Anyway, too busy with other stuff to bother.

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