A reply from the MCCH board about the state of 1-75 for 2012 – the initial response is from David Tilley, a Matchbox guru and my nemesis.
Have a read, see what you think –
Re: 2012 Batch B\ V case preview!!!
Originally Posted by David Tilley
No matter which direction Matchbox took there was always going to be people who do not like it.
Sadly, the point is that the direction that was taken leaped forward for a while, but topped out and was starting to decline. Toys rotate on cycles in and out of fashion. There are always the “next big thing” and then there are the mainstays. Toy cars are one of the mainstays, but even in that genre there is the more popular stuff and less popular stuff. Sadly, the realism that Matchbox evolved into in the mid-2000s was no longer selling as well as the more fantasy stuff and Matchbox needed to evolve again. Many are stating that Walmart, Target etc have reduced peg space for Matchbox, but stores are saying that they were no longer willing to give space to them. When Matchbox came up with the new direction the stores liked what they were seeing and are planning on increasing space again. Isn’t the next big refit in January? We will see what stores allot the Matchbox brand then.
In the UK things are a little different in the way that stores sell, and does not factor in quite as much. But recently, around my area, many more stores are starting to stock Matchbox products. Lately, my local Asda has been selling Matchbox a lot faster than they had a year ago. Sadly, there are still some of the older classics hanging around (worst one being one of my faves the Porsche 914 in green), but the new flashier graphics are enthralling the kids much more than they did. Recent stuff has been selling extremely fast. My local store put out a batch with VW Saveiro the weekend before last. 10 days later the bin was refilled again with another 72 assortment case of models. Twice, I stopped rummaging through because there were kids there on Tuesday who wanted to look through. They are selling faster than I have known them to sell for ages. The bright green Ford F-100 Panel Truck with the panther on the side is the fastest selling version of this casting I have seen since it debuted in orange a few years back. It has not been hanging around at all. My local TRU finally put out a more recent assortment of models, which was the batch where this model debuted. There were 3 of this casting on the pegs at the start of the week. I went in again yesterday and all 3 were gone. Yet the Pontiac Firebird, Ford Mustang GT CS, Toyota Prius (in green), Porsche 914, last year’s Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser are still on the pegs. There are also a ton of gray Rock Shockers from 2009 as adventure is also not a huge seller. Construction does not do particularly well either. From what I have seen in the numerous stores I frequent is that the modern cars do sell well (green Porsche 911GT3, Audi R8, Aston, Mini Cooper Cabrio – although strangely not the Fisker), and emergency style vehicles just evoporate immediately. Other utility style vehicles also seem to do well, and sometimes the brighter color vehicles do much better than previous examples (thinking pink Lotus Europa over the blue and yellow)
At this present moment in time, the kids around near me are taking to Matchbox much more than before. Sadly, it is at the expense of us collectors, but this is a toy company whose main market is kids. They are looking to sell to the majority, not the minority.
Me, personally, I do not mind the new direction. Sometimes I like a funky color scheme. I have stated numerous times how I think the new 2012 Cadillac Ambulance is my favorite version of that casting released to date. The new Dodge Charger Police car will likely have a quite realistic black/white color scheme for its debut as these are pretty popular and I bet they will go with the more traditional debut. Plus, the Aston Martin and Mini Cooper will be in very realistic color schemes for 2012, as I doubt that either BMW or Aston Martin will allow for unusual color schemes on them.
But we must also remember that this is not a permanent thing. It is like a pendulum, where it was totally one way, and has now swung to the other side, and will in 2013 swing back towards the middle again. To me, this is not the same as Hero City, as at that time the vehicles had very cartoony graphics. These are bright and in-your-face, but in a different way. They are a different slant on how to brighten things up. I have seen nothing yet that makes me fearful. I am still very much looking forward to seeing what is to come for the rest of 2012.
I started collecting in the 1970s, where we used to have thing like Tyre Fryer, Woosh-n-Push, Stingeroo, Fandango, Clipper etc. These were totally weird fantasy vehicles that are now seen as iconic. Yet, they are still some of the least desirable models in my collection. I am a Matchbox 3″ model collector (Superfast – present), and will continue to collect Matchbox models as long as they continue making them and I am phsyically able to do so.
(My reply to this post):
DT, excellent thoughts as usual, but I have noticed that the availability of MB in the UK seems to be focused in the Midlands and North – you do not get anything down south (cos’ we are infinitely richer than yow….), so the distribution in the UK is NOT even.
Even my local TRU struggles to fill with HW (!!), but more to the point computer games, Lego (hurrah!) and other character toys are VERY popular.
As mentioned before it will be a matter of time. in 20 years time when some of us may not even be around, the future of the “collecting” lies in the hands of the next generation – I cannot see them taking this up, and thus the need to cater for the collector for MB will diminish. It is inevitable.