This is the final and concluding part of this particular blog – as per previous ones, by responses are in bold.
7. CC: Do we expect to see Rolls Royce in the line up any time in the near future?
MR: At this point there are no plans to introduce Rolls Royse to the line. However, that does not mean it will not be seen in the line in the future.
KD: Poppycock. If Mattel were serious about having a Roller in the 1-75 range, it would be in there – I am not surprised at this at all though. A lot of money seems to be channelled into the HW range and acquiring licenses for Ferrari & Lamborghini, with the vast sways of Americana as well (GM and Ford must be asking for a fair whack). A Rolls has nearly always been present within the range – and I am sure that BMW will allow the license – but it Mattel willing to invest? I don’t think so from the response – some time in the “future” could well mean 10, 20 or even 30 years….
8. CC: Why is there such a variation in the models being released between different markets? For example, when a new batch hits US, the same batch has different models in ROW. Some models appear a few batches later in one market than another. Wouldn’t it be easier to release the same models in the same batch in all markets at the same time?
MR: International mix release is very connected to international demands. For example, the US rolls out 14 mixes during the year where the international markets are only able to support 11 based on needs. With that, we will roll out 120 vehicles for all international markets but the mixes can and will be different than the US.
KD: I don’t understand this – what are the needs of international markets?? The point is firm and simple – why can Mattel not distribute 1-75 evenly to all markets without the farce of trading or buying them via eBay ? What is preventing Mattel from doing so? Why do they refuse to do so, despite being highlighted to many a time about this problem.
HW seems to get on the pegs well no matter where you are in the world. I even saw some in Ubud in Bali! But can you see MB in these regions……….???
9. CC: What is the status of Scraper for the ROW market? This model appeared in the US in batch “E” but has not shown up in ROW market yet? Same situation regarding the Gold Firebird and Orange Miura. They appeared in the ROW market months ago but have not hit the US market yet?
MR: See answer to question 8 above
KD: Americans having a whinge – not an interesting question.
These are worrying items, and the clearest signal yet from Mattel that HW will always be a priority for them over Matchbox. I really do not think that Mattel will keep the line going for much longer. 1-75 are being used as an introduction to toys whereby it is hoped that children will graduate from these onto the bigger value items such as the Pixar Cars range, Transformers and the like.
There seems to be statements from Mattel that investment is not forthcoming for the range – and a lot of things are pencilled in for the future. But more than anything the Grim Reaper is swinging his sickle – there is a demand from a very small section of people, namely that of the collecting community that is keeping the line going and even some blatant bulldozing by the MCCH crowd to get what they want to ensure that the fix is still there.
But if you take away these factors, you are left with very very little market demand left. Children are increasingly being influenced by TV, and with the likes of Star Wars, Lego Ninja and games consoles, the need for diecast in their lives has limited or non-existent scope.
There are two decisions for Mattel – invest in the Matchbox brand, return to the heritage, and focus on producing world cars and trucks that everyone can relate to (not just those from US&A – the world does not revolve around your narrow sighted view on the world).
OR kill the brand off once and for all – at the moment it appears to be a slow and painful death, but whether to switch off the life support machine is still being debated amongst the Mattel hierarchy……
It is now very much a situation of do or die. The latter may just well be the better bet.