Frustrated in the UK

Forums Matchbox Mattel Era (1997 – now) Frustrated in the UK

  • This topic has 277 replies, 24 voices, and was last updated 1 day, 18 hours ago by  Craig Tetlow.
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    I think this is a really good point made here. I would buy all my weekly groceries in the store that sells matchbox. £50 or so a week would be spent in Morrisons when they they were selling Matchbox, but I have not been to this store for 2 years now. The same will go for ASDA now.

    Sadly, there is not enough of us to have any sort of impact on a sore that turns over millions a year. Would there have ever been?

    Due to the lack of distribution for at least a decade Matchbox has become an also ran in the UK. A friend with young children said to me the other day “Hot wheels is what matchbox used to be for kids”. I’m not sure that will ever be reversed.

    David Tilley

    Well for the time being we are currently not getting any Matchbox in the UK.  So I am not taking it lying down.  Basically, if stores don’t know, they are not going to do anything.  So the idea we need to try and get people to email them to bug them.  Somebody may sit up and take notice.

    First up Poundland.

    I used this link and clicked the product query option under “your enquiry”, although if you leave it as default customer services it probably goes to the same place anyway.  But I sent them a request with a plea to ask them to consider selling again as they used to sell regularly and they were a popular item.

    If we can get a number of people emailing and asking the same old question they may look at it and think there’s something to it, and consider it.  One person’s voice may not be much, but a choir all singing the same tune may be heard.

    So if anybody else feels like sending them a request too, go for it.

    Craig Tetlow

    Thanks David, I’m certainly up for it. I will email as many retailers as I can, not just Poundland but the main supermarkets and of course Smyths Toys and The Entertainer. You’d like to think someone at Mattel would be doing the same thing trying to drum up business but something tells me they probably arnt!! Grrrrr


    Emailed Poundland this morning & received a reply to say they had no outstanding orders in place but my comments would be passed over to the team.

    Does the Asda situation mean there is no where in the UK currently stocking mainline Matchbox?!

    MCF Administrator

    Great idea and I have joined in as well.  Sent an email to Tesco to see what response I get from them.

    Craig Tetlow

    LOL. That’s EXACTLY the same stock response I got from Poundland too. Let’s hope it really does get read by ” The Team” ;-p

    Tesco didn’t have a clue what I was talking about and I’m still awaiting responses from other retailers.

    At present there are NO retailers ANYWHERE in the UK who stock up to date Matchbox singles. Truly truly shocking!!


    & I thought it was bad two years ago when I started this thread!

    I also emailed Asda & their response was useless- basically ask in store if you can’t find “the Matchbox you’re looking for”. Maybe they thought I wanted to light a fire.

    William Thompson

    Have you thought about special ordering a case?

    Of course I am from the USA, I do not know if it is possible in the UK., however it would make sense for retailers to do so?

    A few people could split the cost, or one could just sell the unwanted ones from the case.

    Mattel even sold Hot Wheels cases from the Hot Wheels collectors web site.

    Even in the states it can be difficult to find the complete series at retail.

    But at least Matchbox still make 3 axle vehicles, Hot Wheels no longer make them or have converted them to 2 axle.

    Good luck, & happy hunting


    Craig Tetlow

    *cringe* that is a truly awful generic response to your enquiry from ASDA!! That’s the problem with diecast retailing here in the UK. They are now mainly sold by huge chains who stock literally tens of thousands of different lines and an enquiry regarding one line is usually met with professional bemusement!

    I’m still waiting for replies from Morrison’s, Smyths Toys, The Entertainer, Home Bargains and Wilkinsons!!

    As for getting full cases from the U.S. I’ve just received a case of 50th Anniversary and a case of Moving Parts models and the cost of postage, customs and admin charges was £70!!! That DOESNT include the initial cost of the items either!!

    Thus I’ve kept one of each and have put the rest on Ebay to soften the blow!! 🙁


    Yes, too expensive to buy full cases when usually there is only 2 or 3 models I’m interested in (licensed models vs generics) and my rule is to free them from their packs and add them to the box for my 2 and 4 year olds to play with 🙂

    I will check out those Ebay listings though, I used to love the opening door models as a kid

    Craig Tetlow

    Morrison’s have said they will look into it but there’s not much they can do at the moment as technically ASDA still have the exclusive rights at this moment in time. I shall keep on bugging everyone until someone takes me seriously……:-0

    Craig Tetlow

    Smyths Toys have said they will pass on the idea to the relevant departments for consideration…..

    MCF Administrator

    After a few emails back & forth to Tesco we have ended with the usual ”ask in your local store” response. So no luck with them.

    Craig Tetlow

    I’m assuming no news means bad news for our situation at the moment? I’ve exhausted all avenues in terms of badgering retailers with no success.

    Is there actually any European countries left which now continue to stock 2019 releases? It makes you wonder whether Mattel has pulled Matchbox out of Europe completely!

    David Tilley

    Yeah we are currently in a holding pattern in this country.  It is not great.  I have had a whole bunch of stuff shipped over from USA.  I am not stopping.  It costs a little more, but at least I am keeping up to date a lot better.

    Hopefully soon we will get some good news.  I keep hearing Tesco are negotiating.  Hopefully, as they are currently the largest retailer (until the Asda/Sainsburys merger happens), it could be good news if they bring them in, as they will have a wide network of stores to sell them in.

    None of the smaller business that seem to find stuff from other places (Poundland, Home Bargains etc) are interested either.  I tried a ton of emails to various people.  I am still waiting on Smyths, as mine was a bit of a plea, you know the sort that would have the background music if you were actually reading it out.

    In fact Home Bargains sound like they will not be continuing with the Jurassic 2019 series either.  They got the first batch of 6 in (at some stores only), but with 3 more batches to arrive this year, it looks like I will be getting those from USA too.

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