A visit to Hamleys after 15-odd years – and Matchbox still is the poor relation

There was a time where in London where two of the main places to get Matchbox were either Harrods or Hamleys on Regent St.

Killing a bit of time before I collected my fresh, new, passport, I popped over to Oxford Street to see what was around and pretty much being a tourist.

And adjacent to Oxford St, we have Regent Street – and so an opportunity to visit one of the biggest and most famous toy shops in the world. I had not been to Hamleys for the past 15 years – just never really bothered and it was very rare that I actually made it into Central London for just the shopping trip.

Fourth floor is where it is at for the diecast collector – tons of Corgi Vanguards – fully up to date with the latest castings, including the Cavalier MkIII’s and the Escort Harrier – stupidly I should have bought them as ModelZone has now closed, but you get a discount being a Corgi Collectors member via their website…….

And so to the 1/64 scale –

Now, have a look at the pictures below – they are a bit pony, but that is the ipod phone for you…….

First I was pleasantly surprised with the merchandising below – massive Matchbox sign with the correct branding. BUT:

Yes. Exactly. Although the models are up to date, there were hardly models on the pegs. What a bloody waste of an opportunity.

Now look at the Hot Wheels display:

Yes, Exactly – cars – thousands of the buggers…….totally full to the brim and from the quick glance I gave them, all up to date.

What is even more frustrating is this:

That’s right – Hamleys can fuck right off. They had that great Scraper model that Brad has blogged about via the Cobratoys blog, but I am not paying £3 for a bloody MB model……I mean this is pricing suicide is it not??

Now, let’s look at the opposition:

As they should be – priced up at the normal retail price and a full display and product on show.

As a MB collector (or should that be a collector of MB), I really don’t know where this brand is going in the SE of England. It is really hit and miss.

From reports on the MCF, MB seems to be being well in the middle and north of England. But why is there just a lack of the product available?

Does Mattel still want HW to rule in Europe too? 2014 will see a greater move of the brand towards kiddy play rather than collectability, so it remains to be seen how much longer the brand will stand up to the relentless onslaught of HW from the Mattel stable.

In London, MB is STILL the very poor relation.

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