Mattel fail AGAIN

So there are going to be some reader of this musing that will say I am a moany old git and I need to stop bashing John Lambert, Matchbox and Mattel.

Well, that is fine to say. But when will those people realise that the Lamley / Mattel love-in is bordering on farcical?

Let us look at two examples for 2017 that will be cast:

The first model is a Chevy Brookwood estate and the latter a Hudson Hornet.

I quote the Matchbox Patsy from the Lamley blog:

The ’51 Hudson Hornet Police and ’59 Brookwood Wagon are Matchbox no-brainers.  Two that seem like they should have been made years ago.  They fit wonderfully and naturally.

What planet is John Lambert exactly residing on at the moment??

Yes, they should have been made years ago, but Lambert forgets that Matchbox was a British brand and were making models like 57a Wolseley 1500, 69a Commer Nestle Van and 7b Ford Anglia. Proper cars that were seen on the roads within the UK. And before anyone starts, Americana was added – like 22c Pontiac Grand Prix.

What is so ridiculous about these castings is once again Mattel have focused on the wishlist from Lambert and his merry followers and have decided to produce two castings that are totally lost on anyone outside of the US.

Of course, the rhetoric from Lambert means that these are brilliant choices – he would not say anything else or it would damage the “relationship” he has with Mattel. But once again, both Lambert and Mattel miss the point totally. Matchbox is about collecting and cars and vehicles that are relevant.

There is nothing relevant about these two models – more so they are from the wish list of the US, as after all this is what they saw on the streets whilst growing up. More so, no one outside of the US would be interested to the extent that the Yanks will be, and secondly, how on earth will this appeal to the young collector who cannot relate to any of these two castings. Well, maybe the Hudson Hornet due to the popularity of the Pixar Cars film.

As I mentioned before, this just seems to now be a wishlist from the US and as many a commentator has pointed out before, the rest of the world does not matter in the grand scheme.

And once again the ramblings from the Lamley Blog simply add fuel to the fire.

Mattel needs to come clean with some clear answers. Why is there a focus solely on he US market and irrelevant castings and also why they won’t come clean about the Lamley Blog as their whoop-whoop medium for interaction.

If the brand is not broken enough, John Lambert is ensuring that it does not get fixed……..and why should he – he is getting what he wants from Mattel in terms of access and castings created.

This has just got to stop for the sake of the brand worldwide.


2 thoughts on “Mattel fail AGAIN

  1. For what it’s worth, Lesney used to produce quite a few American cars from the early years, as you noted in your post. Lesney made a 1959 Chevy Impala coupe early on, as well as two 1950s Ford Fairlane estates (’56 and ’59 as I recall), so the ’59 Chevy estate is not so far off the mark in my opinion. As for the Hudson Hornet, I would have much preferred a civilian version rather than another police car. I collected several of the two-door Hudsons from Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning, so a four-door is welcome in my collection. Both cars would look better without all the stuff on the roof! Don’t get me wrong, I’m no apologist for Matchbox’s current lineup. I would love to see MB do more proper European cars both modern and classic, but basically anything licensed and “real” is fine with me if done well. They have too many rubbish fantasy models, too many emergency vehicles, too many off-road trucks, and it’s difficult to get anything good without paying premium prices online.


  2. I understand your frustrations as an older collector but these models do make a lot of sense. After all, Matchbox is now an brand under an American company and is undergoing a revival into the collector scene. Since the USA is likely it’s biggest market, testing the waters with some classics like the Skyline, Chevy and Hudson is a good way to do it. Also, I don’t think you’re being entirely fair on Mattel when you say they’ve forgotten Europe. Look at what they were making a few years ago – the MGA, the Jaguar XK120, Austin Mini Van, the VW Karmann Ghia, and the Jaguar E-type were all beautiful European cars. And they’ve just released the green/black Austin Mini which is a clear homage to Mr. Bean – so, I think Mattel are hinting at some good things there.


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