So let's rant about Matchbox. Yeah, Matchbox. I've been meaning to since I got back from Uruguay, on Monday, but I kinda got lazy and then I forgot, so whatever, might as well do it now.
Anyways, Matchbox has been out of the Brazilian market since... A long time. When did the Citroën DS first come out? 2006? Because it's been about that long since I last saw a new Matchbox car around here and the few comments I read about the brand have been anything but positive. I went to Uruguay a week ago though, and I knew I had two things to do; eat as much uruguayan food as possible (best gaucho food in the world, by far and wide) and buy Matchbox cars, and here's what I bought:
It's a 1971 Firebird Formula 400 from 2012 (I think). I got the picture from the Internet, but mine is just like this, and it's not too different from the 73 Firebird Trans Am Hot Wheels released in the same year:
Both models are very similar, but also done in very different styles, so which one is the coolest one? Objectively speaking, it would be the Hot Wheels version. The large wheels, aggresive stance and exagerated bodylines suggest that, but the one that most catches the eye, or at least my eye, is the comparatively drab Matchbox Bird. I don't really know why, it just looks much more authentic. The stance, the wheels, the body lines, they look far better here than in the Hot Wheels version and make the Matchbox version actually seem like a miniature toy car, as opposed to a toy car that's far too stylized to be a miniature of something real. The Matchbox version is, without a doubt, much better as a scale model, and yet, those negative comments about Matchbox I mentioned earlier are far from wrong.
This blue Firebird is one of three cars I bought in Uruguay, and not because I was short on money, but because Matchbox was short on cars. For each one of the three cars I bought (71 Firebird, 69 Camaro, Aston Martin DBS Volante) there were a dozen generic, plasticky construction and off road vehicles in high impact colors.
And looking through the recent reports and sneaks, it seems there are more of these on the way. What the hell is Mattel doing? Why are they focusing so much on this stuff nobody wants when people are actually complaining about them and leaving them behind on the pegs? I mean, I know there are people out there who are into these behicles, me included, but these aren't even decent construction vehicles! They even have an entire series for that! It's called Real Working Rigs!
Rumor has it that they already transferred their best designers and license contracts over to HW (hence the Matchboxification of the Hot Wheels lineup), but this is getting ridiculous. I mean Matchbox makes the best models, so they get less cars and manpower to make them, yeah, that's some sound reasoning. The funny part is that, according to a few diecast sites, Mattel has again reported losses from Matchbox, and they have no idea why.
Here, let me help you Mattel. People want more of this:
Is it really that difficult?