Whilst there all kinds of noises from the likes of the Lambert blog chanting the revival of Matchbox, it fails to see behind the rose tinted glass of the US&A market.
But that is now symptomatic of the Lambert blog – if it is available in the US, then everything is rosy.
Mattel are failing time and time again on the distribution scale and these shots below show how much Mattel actually give a toss about Matchbox outside the US…..pictures taken in Germany.
Loads of SIKU as you would expect and tons of Hot Wheels.
1-75…….the core of the heart of the Matchbox product line is virtually non-existent. And TBH, I could not even tell what was on the pegs belonged to which year (2015 or 2016).
Why does the Lambert blog insist that things are going in the right direction – or is it just another Mattel PR job to stop the negativity/complaints?
And reading the latest fluff from the “Ambassador” report:
Distribution issues. This is a huge thing for those trying to find Matchbox. Can these be passed on to whoever is in charge to try and do something about? Here are some of the known places that have been marked down as problematic….
USA – Target stores. Most products have vanished from them.
Fixed as of 2016
Dirk says: This is a very good news for the US market!
Malaysia – nothing at all. Could Hot Wheels being made there have an effect?
No effect, Matchbox not sold in Malaysia.
Dirk says: Ask your dealer for it – 1 question might be ignored, 10 might be noticed, 100 will be noticed, 1000 might be the success!
India – a huge market with nothing available.
Matchbox not sold in India.
Australia/New Zealand. This was one of the biggest markets outside USA, yet appears to be fading fast.
We are working on fixing for 2016
UK – Again, one of the biggest markets outside USA, with products drying up in most stores. The UK is the birthplace of Matchbox, and as such should be an important market to sell them.(It was widely known 10-15 years ago that the 3 biggest markets outside USA were Germany, UK and Australia/New Zealand).
We are working on fixing, no clarity if it will happen in 2016.
Netherlands. Only 1 stores still seems to stock Matchbox. Considering the Netherlands address is on the bottom of every model (1186 MJ, 1 NL), this country must be significant in some way. There should be more than just one stockist for the brand.
Smaller toy market carry smaller portfolios of brand and products, likely Matchbox is only offered as an exclusive for certain stores in the region
Yet it seems that there is no problem with Mattel getting HW into Asia and such……
John Lambert will deny this of course – “It doesn’t bother me” – but increasingly his musings are losing focus and clarity with just the viewpoint from the US.
So before folk start jumping to Lambert’s defence, this statement below came direct from Mattel – and proves to me that they are just about keeping it running with minimal effort:
What are unique challenges to the distribution of mainline Matchbox releases that may not be the same as those experienced by Hot Wheels?
Smaller brand vs HW