I was looking for a clear Matchbox logo to update matchbox1-75.co.uk, when I stumbled across this site.
Below is the snapshot of text as to why Matchbox have re-branded. Upon reading the below, this single handly refutes all notion that they are influenced by the likes of the MCCH Forum and the wims and requests of the collector. So as much as the 20-strong army on that board believe that they have a hotline into Mattel, things are becoming more evident – and again my theory:
1. Mark Curtis is desperate to keep kudos with come involvement with Mattel – this started off in 2005-odd and Mattel gave weight to the gathering of people in New Mexico. Now the MCCH Herd expect a show model which Curtis gets from Mattel, etc every year. I believe that Mattel are just being polite. Curtis needs his ego massaged and hence why wants the exclusvity of Mattel backing “his” board.
It will be interesting to see what would happen if Mattel pulled any support from the MCCH and severed ties with Curtis…..perhaps he would revert to eating more pie? (by the size of his lardyness, I think that the answer is yes).
2. Mattel are interested in Sales and not the collector. If they want the older audience to collect diecast, then it should be the Hot Wheels brand. Look at the premium lines of 1/18 and 1/43 scale modes that are coming out and the wonderful castings in 1/64 scale. As mentioned in a previous blog, the pickings of casting lie within the Hot Wheels stable and NOT the MB one…..
3. The direction of the Matchbox brand is very clear – ACTION and ADVENTURE. Like it or not, Matchbox seems to be moving away from the traditional car segment and getting all Lara Croft….
Below are some choice quotes:
Our workflow started with child’s point of view— young boys are in awe of big vehicles. Their power and presence makes them appear larger than life.
Rugged, Heroic and Unstoppable were guiding key words that described the Matchbox vehicle lineup and spoke directly to boys’ imaginations and how they interact with their toys.
With both hands on the wheel, the young Matchbox driver is ready to take on any adventure he can dream up.
I do not see any reference to the adult collector – and again, the so-called Ambassador roll appears to be little more than a goodwill exercise to the small minority of collectors.
It is very clear – those who have a romantic affair with Matchbox are going to face disappointment as the brand progresses. And the refusal to acknowledge this is going to be their downfall. It seems that it is only a matter of time before the range is moved to what I call the larger “Bruder” toys (large Trucks) that you can very easily take to a park and get dirty and muddy.
And with that direction we could see the folding of diecast under the Matchbox name……
SuperKings were the best thing that drove my imagination when I was growing up, yet Mattel have refused to invest in these models again. The HW site is bang up to date, MB is two years out of date. The toys are aimed for the 2-5 year old market and then once exposed to the likes of PlayStation and other character franchises, then the work is done.
Maybe I am reading a little bit too much into it. But the reluctance of Mark Curtis to accept anything bad about Mattel is bordering on silly…..and that collectors do not influence Mattel in any way shape or form.
As an aside, believe it or not, I quite like the 1-120 line up for this year – I care not for the graphics, but as for a bunch of cars and vehicles, it makes a good selection to choose from.
As ever, it would be good to get some free, unrestricted thought and opinion on this particular blog – and welcome comments from those from the MCCH who are muffled with their views.
On the brand
Ever since the introduction of Hot Wheels in 1968, Matchbox has lived in the shadow of its more colourful, exciting and flashy Mattel brand-mate. However the Matchbox vehicle line has always kept its wheels firmly grounded in reality with trucks, ships, military and adventure vehicles at its core.
Popgun collaborated with Matchbox on a major brand overhaul that began by redefining the target audience, brand personality and attributes. Rugged, Heroic and Unstoppable were guiding key words that described the Matchbox vehicle lineup and spoke directly to boys’ imaginations and how they interact with their toys.
Following much exploration it was decided to retain the equity in the existing 70′s Matchbox letterforms, but update the weight and finish to align with the new brand values. Packaging, structural concepts, segmentation and trade dress soon followed.
With fresh gas in the tank and a GPS pointed toward success, the awesome new Matchbox brand can demolish any type of terrain.
On the graphics
Beginning in 1953, Matchbox has maintained the fine tradition of product line illustration for packaging in order to spark a child’s lively imagination. Wanting to change its recent illustration style from a flat, comic book approach to realistic renderings, Matchbox looked to Popgun to refresh its style, incorporating rich detail for their young audience to study and discover.
Our workflow started with child’s point of view— young boys are in awe of big vehicles. Their power and presence makes them appear larger than life. We transformed Matchbox’s 3D production files from grey scale models with little detail, into vivid vehicle illustrations, that, combined with evocative backgrounds, bring together an over the top sense of realism.
With both hands on the wheel, the young Matchbox driver is ready to take on any adventure he can dream up. Vrooooooom!