1997 – Now : Mattel Inc

1997 saw Mattel Inc. the company that nearly killed “Lesney Products” in 1969 with the release of its “Hot Wheels” cars, make a successful takeover of Tyco Toys. Thus they now owned Matchbox.
Thankfully for collectors and children alike, around the world, they did not do what many thought they would, and that was to no longer produce cars under the “Matchbox” brand. As Mattel now owned its major rival in the diecast toys industry, many thought it would be the end of Matchbox forever.
Thankfully those that held this view were wrong, Mattel initially did have trouble in keeping the two lines distinct from one another, but thankfully now after some false starts and seemingly bad decisions, they seem to have got the mix right.
After some year’s absence, the “Superfast” brand was re-introduced in 2004 to thunderous applause for the quality of the new models. 2006 saw a brief return of the “Models of Yesteryear” range that was discontinued in 2000 and the basic “1-75″ range that had developed into a bizarre range of un-realistic cars was re-invented into a range that anyone would be proud to own, play with & collect.
Sadly that hasnt lasted and after a few very successful years and rising profits, distribution problems saw a new decline in the product.  With an increasing use of plastic the range has descended into a cheap imitation of what it once was, the ”greatest name in diecast” is no more than a range of generic plstic toys interspersed with some classically good looking models.

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