So I ask the question – why not Mattel? Why have you not bothered with a social media presence for the Matchbox brand? Why is there pure reliance on the Gathering to preview models? (I emphasise this again, I fully support The Gathering that Jim G organises every year). And why must answers come through for MB via the Ambassador? The irony of the situation is that the so-called answers to Matchbox collectors questions is posted on message boards and such, the forefather of social networks. Again Mattel are choosing not to move with the times with the brand. Yet the Hot Wheels brand has over 1.1 million likes and thus the brand getting the necessary exposure across the globe, not just within the US market.
Having thought about it a bit more, it is increasingly clear that the MB Amby is becoming an archaic position – not relevant in today’s media and world. Corgi is really taking strides to showcase castings, answer questions and interact with the buying public, whereas Matchbox (Mattel), insist on channelling their “preview” via the Ambassador in drips and drabs. More prominent a thought is that the Matchbox brand could be seen as uncool and despite the 2012 re-brand (what a shambles that was) a little fuddy-duddy.
I see no point asking the Amby any questions as all you get are one sentence answers which are token replies with no real depth to them from Mattel. The MB Amby will no doubt disagree and thus rustle up the pom poms and champion the cause as well as Mattel. “All is well in Mattel Land – they are doing a great job, look at the wonderful castings and graphics (!!)”
Well they are not going to say anything different are they? They have been put in the position by Mattel so they are not going to f**k it up – maybe the lure of that gold Routemaster is just too much to actually challenge and critique – not so much the conduit between Mattel and the collector.
If Mattel did choose to explore the social media route, then I would almost certainly say that the role of the Amby would cease to exist. Some would say good riddance to the role as it is pointless and just a PR puppet for Mattel on the cheap – some would deeply lament the loss of their monthly news fix.
But what is clear is this – Mattel are not interested in the Matchbox brand – at all. The lack of investment is clear to see and driven by the bean counters. There is no interaction between the collector and the company and the only way you will know about the latest updates is via a diecast message board. So unless you are aware of these, there is no way of knowing the latest updates not model line up for 2013. The next generation of collector will most probably be a prolific user of social media and as mentioned before Hot Wheels are giving it large in this arena – it keeps the interest alive in the brand and will keep the collector interested. At this point in time, you just cannot see who the next generation of collectors are for the Matchbox brand.
I understand that there is a bustling team of talent within the Matchbox brand, but Mattel are not letting the brand thrive or their ideas flourish with a lack of investment. Perhaps Mattel should take the plunge and just give Matchbox a honourable death – at present the lack of commitment to the brand is more akin to torture.