So what of the models? Most of the car models are no different to when they were first released into the range. Stalwarts such as the Citroën DS and Porsche 914 still look good. Modern day cars such as the Bentley Continental and Cadillac CTS are fine. Nice vehicles but again nowt outstanding.
But for the purposes of having real cars in the range – and ones that can be seen on the streets every day, this is still a solid base. The one thing I do have an issue about is the reliance of the domination of American cars within the range. Again this stems from a heavy handed influence via the MCCH goon squad. “we need these US cars here, as that is what I saw in America when I was growing up and to hell with Europe”. Wrong. Very wrong. What made me learn about the world of cars is that back in the day, Matchbox had cars from every corner of the globe – not just concentrating on one area.
I know that the US&A is possibly the biggest market, but come on, let’s remember that this should be a global brand. Americana is served very very well by Hot Wheels and indeed I have a large number of recent 60s and 70s Americana within the collection as part of widening my knowledge of that motoring era. If those fanatics simply refuse to look elsewhere for castings of the models they want and insist on having them present within the 1-75 range then they really need to 1) get a life and 2) get over it and stop trying to manipulate and force their wishes upon to the masses.
Yes, they are consumers of the product, but they are more predominantly collectors and therefore make up a very small percentage of the purchasing public. I can guarantee you that todays child is not that interested in the Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. Substitute that for a Hummer, new Camaro or a Ford Taurus Interceptor, and you may see some serious models shifting. Real life not retro.
I am also not that impressed with the US bias on the back of some of the wording on the back of the long card blisters – this really should be a neutral piece of text rather than US specific. The long cards are also sold in Australia so I would say that this is quite “rude” in terms of a global product. If attention to detail was required a reference to Matchbox City would have been better or a explanation of the particular livery involved – some poor decisions have been made here and something like this should have been thought through a bit more. Stupid, not warranted and not at all clever by those who signed this off at Mattel.
There are some new introductions like the Ford F550 Super Duty and International Brushfire truck. Nice castings, but as MCCH Member Jono C has mentioned time and time again via his excellent posts the term diecast refers to exactly that – diecast – a metal cast model. Unfortunately the artwork on the blister is More impressive than the actual model itself. Take the F550 – the only metal part of the model is the cab.
And that is it. The base and rear assembly is all plastic, and makes the model look rather weedy and flimsy. This is meant to be a tough, ready for action model, but feels exactly the opposite. A great shame – models of yesteryear felt as if they could go through a brick wall. And indeed I remember putting many a vehicle through its paces on the back garden many a year ago. I doubt the F550 would stand up to the same fate.
So whilst the theory of having such models is great within the 1-75 line up, the outcome in reality is quite different.
Overall, I take what I can get these days. I just bought a Tomica Mini Cooper, and it is amazing to see that this was an actual diecast car – full metal, no plastic. Granted I had to pay a little extra, but it was well worth it. The problem is that if Mattel increase the cost of 1-75 by making it all metal, then they may well lose out in terms of market share – parents refusing to pay more than necessary for a toy that will be smashed to bits by an excited child.
I will keep collecting when I find them – distribution still today is a complete joke.