Thursday, October 23, 2014

Larry Scaduto's October 22nd Matchbox Ambassador Report

Ambassador’s Report October 22nd, 2014
Wow!!!! The end of October is near and with fall in full swing here in Illinois, winter cannot be far behind. So not looking forward to the snow & cold!! But with the end of October that now brings us to Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course Christmas. First up in this report are the official pictures of the Matchbox 2015 Toy Fair Model: Blaze Blitzer. We chose a very different subtle look this year since it’s being offered in a conservative matt black box with silver foil instead of a clear case.  The other end of the box says “Toy fair 2015”. Inside, the Blaze Blitzer deco will be quite the opposite.  We wanted this model to stand out at Toy Fair and it certainly does. There are quite a few new models to show and I have a fun Halloween PrePro  section this time around. Hope you like it. All pictures and information within this report are with the permission and consent of Mattel & the Matchbox Team. Have a great day and thank you for reading. Enjoy!!

New Releases
First up we have a new deco for the 2015 Sky Busters: Snow Explorer.

Here we have two samples of the new Crime Crusher (MB908) tool for this year.  This model is a cousin, if you will to our Turn Tamer.  The white version comes out first.  The red version is the recolor and has a Fire Chief deco. 

New for 2015 is the Mountain Mover dump truck.  This was shown at the Gathering a while back. This type of dump truck is a low profile design inspired by many types of mining vehicles.
(Ambassador’s note: Great play value with the tipping rear dump. Nice job on this vehicle)
The National Park Series continues into 2015 with the Blaze Blaster in mint green
And next up we have the Blizzard Buster shown here in dark blue 

Matchbox Questions
  • The new Ford Tractor Cab is going to be a nice addition to next year’s lineup. Any thoughts on doing an updated Kenworth, Peterbilt, or Mack cab again? We are looking into a new licensed truck cab for 2016. The make has not been determined yet.
  • Any chance of the 2015 Dodge Viper being a Matchbox? No, not at this time.
  • Why couldn’t the Ford F-550 be used in the Supreme Heroes series? We could only make 2 Wheel sizes for the Supreme Heroes line.  The F-550 required a 3rd size (small) just for this model so we could not include it.
  • The National Parks and INC series has been a nice ongoing collection to put together over the years. Have you thought about doing this with the Fire vehicles? In the early 90’s a florescent red was used on several models in the Mainline & Intercom City series. Any color would do as long as all the releases matched. This is something to consider. Thanks for the suggestion.
  • This question is about the ’97 Ford F-150 Pickup. The front grille of the blue version is different from the red release. Was there a problem with the mold that required revisions? And how many times was it changed? Also, do revisions of this type require a change in the MAN#? We don’t believe that there is a significant variation in the front grilles of this model. We can check however.  Minor tooling revisions don’t require new MAN numbers.
  • There was a 5 spoke triangle wheel design found on the 2004 – 2009 SuperFast Series. Is there any chance that wheel might be used again? Sorry, this wheel is no longer available.
  • Are any of the older wheel designs available to be used again or are they gone for good? Some older designs still exist, but we don’t think they are that appealing any more. We try to update our wheels when we can to reflect more modern or iconic designs.
  • Have there been any thoughts on having a different UPC Code for generics and licensed vehicles? This might be a way to track what is selling and not selling in different markets. Interesting Idea.
  • Last winter Wal-Mart had the 60th Anniversary generic blister cards for .60 cents each. Any chance of that happening again for maybe the 62nd Anniversary for .62 cents apiece? (Ambassador’s note: this series sold out FAST in my area!!) If we did another Anniversary series, it is possible that we would do it again.
  • The Challenge Cars of 1997 were a nice series to collect. Any chance of this type of promotion happening again? (all silver or white vehicles) Is there a reason why silver or white would be the best color?? These are the least compelling of our color selections (just curious). (Ambassador’s note: this was my suggestion)
  • How will we know what is the exclusives in the Mystery Cars Series? We will announce this at a later date.
  • Since the 2014 Poster is almost ready for release, when can we expect the 2015 Poster to be available? The 2015 line is still being developed so we do not have an ETA for this yet.
Preproductions from my collection
Since Halloween is just around the corner, I’ve decided to dedicate this reports PrePro section to the never released Casper Gift Set from 1995. If you have not seen the movie you are missing a very entertaining film. Click on the link above for the movie trailer before its release in the theaters.  For whatever reason this set never made it past the preproduction stage. I heard that Matchbox couldn’t get this set into the stores in time for the movie’s release, so it was scrapped. I’m thinking since Tyco was probably in negotiations to be sold, this could have been a factor in its demise. I believe Nigel Cooper mentioned that there was licensing issues involving this set’s release. Whatever the reason….It’s a beautiful set that includes a poster as well. I’ll picture it elsewhere. There were only 10 sets made. So here is the box & models:

There were these four models enclosed in the gift set. First we have the Jaguar XK120 in black with a white interior Casper, next we have the Model A Ford in metallic blue Fatso, next up the 1933 Chevy Sedan Delivery with a purple body & black fenders Stretch, and lastly the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud in metallic green Stinkie


                                                                   Happy Halloween

This report’s History Section features the Lesney Accessory Pack No. 5 Home Stores. This was released in 1961. The base of this store came in two shades…off white and cream. Both versions are pictured here. The picture below shows the tops of the two stores. You will notice a slight variation in the green color on the roofs and the doors in both pictures. Can you see the major variation between the two stores in the upper pic? I wonder which one is tougher to find? These Home Stores are from the Steve Gloss Collection. Thank you once again for providing these items for this article. There was supposed to be a CafĂ© made to go along with this building, but poor sales cancelled that idea and ultimately ended the Home Stores which was deleted in 1962 or 1963. 
What’s New in the Stores?
Once again with the help of my local Meijer’s Store, I am starting to find Batch L. Nice to find the product in a store. Hunting down new models never gets old for me. I can go to a dealer and get everything all at one time, but walking into a store and finding something I need….. Now that’s what I like!!!!! Kinda wish the other major retailers would realize that kids and adults get such a rush when they find a car or batch that is needed. And a properly filled and organized presentation of the product sells the PRODUCT just because it’s pleasing to the eye. The buying of one case occasionally and leaving the pegs empty sends a message to the moms and kids that somebody doesn’t care at the store enough to give them a full array of products Matchbox has to offer. And when there’s nothing on the pegs, Matchbox gets passed on by for other brands of diecast. And we lose a future collector! So, I am hoping the other major retailers wake up and fill those pegs and stop playing games and catch up to a retailer that knows how to present a company’s assortment of toys for kids, Meijer’s. I should do a YouTube Video about this…… No, I’ll leave that to the experts! Speaking of experts! Here’s Mark Kasimoff’s latest video of the unboxing of Batch M. Thank you once again Mark for supplying the link. Enjoy……                             

Here are the 2 wheel variations on the Torque Titan

Models we would love to see made

In this weeks Models we wold love to see made, I’m featuring something new and interesteing… Sky Busters ideas!!! But first, I’ll start at the top and work my way down as usual. First I have a 1962 Divco Delivery Van, 1961 Ferrari and now the Sky Busters ideas………….... Ford Tri-Motor & Deepflight Submersible, we continue with the Volkswagen XL Sport, 1992 Fiat Tipo, Toyota FJ, And the iconic Airstream Trailer!! (A personal favorite!!!!)


Here’s the Casper Poster that was rolled up in the upper part of the gift box.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Greenlight and the Econobox Chevy Cruze

Greenlight made a name for themselves by designing and producing quality Muscle Cars. At some point they decided they needed a less expensive line and started to license castings from HighSpeed that included plastic bases. This new lines was called MotorWorld. When HighSpeed went bust, GL purchased a few of the castings and continues to use them to this day such as the Firebird convertible and the VW Beetles and vans. With Highspeed out of the picture and the cheaper line selling pretty well, they started to produce their own castings for the line and just adding plastic bases to keep the cost around $2.99 a car...initially. The problem today with the MotorWorld line is that only TRU sells them at retail for the most part, but they sell them at $4.99 each...crazy. Online dealers are your better bet where they end up selling on average for $3.99. In any case, I like that they are producing run of the mill 'daily runners' such as the Chevy Cruze, Dodge Dart and Ford Fusion. I just wish the Target and Walmarts of the world would carry this line on a normal basis.

And here is the Black Bandit version with the metal base....

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Siku Car Ferry - 100% Play Value

Okay...I love old Siku cars and trucks. Their newer stuff is made really well but the models are a little too big in scale for my collecting parameters. I like some of the newer stuff in the 1/55 scale but only get a model every once in a while, but this I just have to share.

This is pure play value to the largest dinosaurs trying to wreck cars, not shark attacks, just realistic fun of a car or truck getting on a ferry for the next journey. From the Siku website:

Car Ferry - Item No. 1750

Previously SIKU cars would have halted at a river, but now the new floating car ferry made from plastic is at hand! Loaded with up to 6 cars or 2 trucks, it crosses the waterway to the next docking area. Pull down the ramps, unload the cars and reload for the return journey. With two movable ramps to make loading and unloading vehicles easy. Unobtrusive ball-bearing fittings at the stern make manoeuvring the ferry easy over the carpet ocean! Two SIKU models are supplied with the car ferry as accessories. 


And get attention Mattel - it floats!

I am getting idea where to display it or use it, but I am getting it:)


Jeff (94SS)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall Carlisle, PA Roundup of 'USED' Diecast Bliss

The Motherload...for around $75-80!

Every year I make my annual trip to Carlisle, PA for the Fall Carlisle Auto Show. I have been going for the last 15 years or so. The show starts on a Wednesday and runs through Sunday but if you want to find little 3inch gems, than I suggest one attend on Thursday or Friday. I used to go on Saturdays and always bring home many goodies, but last year, I decided to attend on Thursday and take the day off from work. The amount of Diecast available on Thursday compared to Saturday is quite significant in terms of 'quality'. So this year I went on a Thursday again. It takes me around 1 3/4 hours to get there from Leesburg, VA but it is a beautiful drive where the roads are lined with farms and open fields.

I do not go to buy new diecast, I go to purchase 'used' and thoroughly loved items to restore by repainting etc. However, sometimes I came across cool stuff that looks to good to pass on for the price. Nothing here cost more than $.72. Most of the Matchbox were 7 for $5. I picked up many for 5 for $1, 2 for $1 and 3 for a $1.You just can not beat it. I went through the majorettes and about half of them had variations that I did not have. I still need to go through the Matchbox and check them as well for variations...I am pretty sure the Red Jeep CJ with the black interior is one I do not have:

 I picked up:

Hot Wheels

Now..let's get down to the pics. If you have any questions, please let me know.


HWs, Yatming, Corgi, Jada and Motormax


Ertl and Realtoy

Welly, Zee, HWs, etc

Playart, Tomica, Kidco





I hope you enjoyed the story...

Jeff (94SS)