I have been waiting for this MB model for ages. Back in 1976, MB60 Holden Pick Up was released as part of the 1-75 range. The beauty of Matchbox in those days was that the range contained a global range of cars, not just the demands to the US&A folk from the MCCH. think about it – not only European cars such as MB9 Ford Escort RS2000, MB56 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL or even MB21 Renault 5 TL, but the likes of MB74 Mercury Cougar Villager, MB65 Saab Sonnet and MB33 Datsun 126X , so catered for the whole world. And what better way to introduce the future workforce and potential budding engineers to the world of cars by the introduction of these models.
To me, the name Holden was completely lost on me. As far as I was concerned, this was a red version of Uncle Jesse’s pick up from the Dukes of Hazzard. And thus used as such. HK and HQ Holden’s were not even heard of unless you were a young scholar of the motoring world, and again even in the metamorphosed guise of MB58 Ruff Trek, this was just another pick up – with a big rear axle.
My first real inclining of the Aussie car scene was seeing a picture of a VB Commodore and thinking it was just a Vauxhall Carlton and the XD Falcon as a Ford Granada. Gradually I realized both these cars were neither and thus my understanding grew, eventually the penny dropped on what the actual model of MB60 Holden Pick Up really was.
Fast forward 25+ years and the launch of the VE Commodore, Holden’s most important model in their range. Not only vying for Australia’s best selling car spot but also the basis of the V8 Supercar.
What naturally follows is a VE derived Ute, and I remember the ad for the Ute accompanied by AC/DC’s Thunderstruck. Awesome. And having driven a BA XR6 Ute from Richmond to Carlton in Melbourne I know first up how much fun it is to drive a Ute….
The Matchbox team @ el Segundo have been very heavily influenced by the “demands” for models by the collecting community of the MCCH. For a while, Holden had cracked the sads with Mattel for a bit – not sure the real reason as to why – but calls for Holden models were not really entertained. When the VE Ute was announced, this was met with universal joy and delight by the majority of collectors. There were some sceptics mainly coming from America who did not believe that the model was warranted. No doubt they wanted a HW clone-esque model to be in the line up instead to fuel their need for Americana, and I understand some even cited the model being a peg warmer. Frankly I find such comments and thoughts completely stupid, and very narrow minded….such ignorance is one of the reasons I have stopped posting on that board….and those commentators that have stated as such really need to stop looking at the rest of the world from a bubble.
But how wrong those folk are…(well, it did take that nation 10 years to get Osama….). This is one of the hottest models that has ever been produced and those on eBay are asking a premium for them – short or long card….Every time the pegs are stocked of this models the pegs are stripped bare, like a piranha to a dead animal, such is the demand for this model.
On a whistle stop stay in England for a wedding, a quick visit to Sainsburys led to some gold, and a single VE Ute amongst the midst of other 1-75’s from the 2010 range. Halle-bloody-lujah!! Couldn’t believe it – result!! Irony is Jono has got two more on some ship over to me, but to be honest you could never have enough. Well, you can…I mean I don’t really want 50 of the buggers if you know what I mean.
I am very, very impressed with this one. I have bagged Mattel in the past and will continue to do so when there blatant problems such as European distribution and ripping people off with the over priced Lesney range, but with MB2 for 2010 & 2011, well, I mean…..this is the equivalent of grabbing a mark inside 50, and kicking a goal from 40 metres out….yew bloody bewdy!!
The detail on the front of the Ute is simply brilliant. The tampo-ing of the headlight and crisp detail of the Holden lion is 1st class.
I am sure that this will be totally lost on little people, but for collectors this is gold, pure gold. By sheer fluke the 5 spoke wheels introduced on the 1-75 range over the last couple of years echo those of the actually used on the Series I & II vehicles at present. The rear looks lovely as well, like a supermodel’s pert bottom and one can just about see the SSV badging as well. And what about the green paint job?! Talk about trying to be accurate, for those in Australia this is very authentic. Also love the rear tray – really gives that authentic feel of a real tradie vehicle.
There is nothing much to criticize about this model at all. I would have liked to see a tow bar within the chassis moulding, but no big deal….I am sure it will come at some stage. Also the rear tail lights could have been painted all the way around, but no matter – some touch up paint will resolve.
I am going to get a thin brush, masking tape and some silver paint to add a little more detail to the model so that it can be enhanced and add even more value, but in stock form, this is just superb and marvellous addition to the 1-75 range. I really do hope that this gives the platform for Mattel and Matchbox to work with Holden and produce a 1-75 VE Commodore or even go as far as a Holden Viva….and due badge engineering why not go a step further – Holden Cruze can easily be done as the Chevrolet base for the rest of the world….Holden Malibu = re-badged Chevy….and the Jackaroo could easily be done as the Isuzu Trooper….
There is a wealth of jiggery pokery that can be done, and sincerely hope that Mattel take an initiative and get the green light to make these models. It has got to be a win – win situation…. Getting little people involved now can only shape their views and loyalty as consumers of the future.