Friday, August 28, 2015

Collectors pushing change! The #mymatchboxpegs Project is working, and Mattel is noticing...

Fellow collectors, we've gotten Mattel's attention, and it is looking like we can help take Matchbox in the right direction.

A follow up post to all Lamley readers and Matchbox collectors.  Let's keep the #mymatchboxpegs Project going!  In fact, let's push up another notch.

If you aren't familiar, we started the #mymatchboxpegs Project a few days ago, asking all collectors to take a pic of the Matchbox pegs at their local store and post the pic on Instagram with the hashtag #mymatchboxpegs.  The response has been fantastic, with over 100 stores already shown.

The purpose of doing this is to compile all these photos and show Mattel what we see in the stores everyday.

And we have gotten Mattel's attention!  I heard from the Matchbox Team last night, and they let me know that key people have noticed, and it has brought the stocking and product issue with Matchbox to the forefront.  This came from the Matchbox team last night, and I wanted to pass it on:
The key message is that there are many factors that take place from the time the car is made, to the point it hits the shelf. Ordering shipping, reordering, pricing etc. It's honestly a huge undertaking, but these photos send a very clear signal to the issues at hand. 
And this is Phase 1 in fixing. Just getting the new mixes out there so they can be purchased...
Phase 2 is providing new models and mixes that people care about.....which I believe we are doing! With a fresh new approach.
How cool is that!?!  Your photos are showing Mattel the problem, and pushing them to fix it.  The solution has always been simple.  Make realistic models, and stock the stores regularly.  Do that, and the product will sell.  If the generics hang like they are, new stock doesn't come in, and stores assume Matchbox doesn't sell, and pegs shrink.  That is the trajectory, and your photos clearly show that.

So let's keep it going.  Get to your stores!  Take those pics!  Don't doctor them!  If there is new stock, show it.  If it is bunch of generic pegwarmers, show them.  If there is nothing, show it!  Just MAKE SURE you mention the store and location, and add the #mymatchboxpegs hashtag so Mattel can find the pic.  This will help Mattel see what is happening.

The right team is in place at Matchbox.  They are listening, and they are passionate about making Matchbox great again.  What we are doing is providing the ammo to push change at the brand level.

Get those pics posted all through the weekend.  If you haven't joined Instagram, now is as good a time as any.  Let's keep this going!

The unique Hot Wheels "Editor's Choice" Hiway Hauler, and a chance to have one...

If you collect long enough, there is a good chance that some unique model will end up in your collection.  Maybe it was a rare variation you happened across.  Or maybe you won a Mattel preproduction model at a charity auction.  Or maybe it is specially-made small-run model for an event or something similar.

We tend to run with the word "rare" on models like this, but "unique" or "special" might be even more accurate.  The fact is many of these are rare, but it is much more than that.  It is these kind of models that I love featuring.

That is why I was intrigued when I was contacted by collector Doug Jones, who has one of those "unique" models himself.  Even more intriguing, he is getting rid of it.

That unique model?  The 1 of 100 released-so-far Hot Wheels Editor's Choice Hiway Hauler.  I will let Doug explain what it is:
The "Editors Choice" Hiway Hauler" was released to Red Line Club members who wrote an article for the Red Line Club or had their collections featured on their site. I acquired this back in 2011 when my collection was featured on the RLC Collector Spotlight page. The selection process is unknown but it required collectors to submit a questionnaire with questions such as "How did your collection get started?", "What is your favorite casting?", questions of that sort. Of course pictures of my collection were submitted as well. They must have seen my passion for the hobby so my submission was pushed through and I was one of 12 collectors to be featured in 2011. 

The "Editors Choice" Hiway Hauler is limited to only 500 pieces, mine is numbered #6 of the 100 pieces that have been released so far. I'm certain the other 400 pieces will be released eventually but they will continue to be released solely to members who participated in the editorial process on the website.

The Editors choice Hiway Hauler has a true spectraflame paint job with detailed tampos including text on the gas tank. It reads "Presented in recognition of your valuable editorial contribution to the pages of". An Editor at large tampo can be located on the door as well. This Hiway Hauler features all metal body and base which adds some serious weight to the casting. It also comes with Neo-Classic red line wheels to finish it off. It's a great piece to have in anybody's collection.
Now as far as I know, there hasn't been much action on the guest writer front on HWC of late, so who knows if anymore of these have or will be produced.  I don't know if all 100 produced so far are even in collector's hands.  Frankly I don't remember how many of these features were done on HWC, but one way or the other it is even rare to actually see one.  And #6!?!  C'mon, that is cool.

Here is what makes this story even better.  This model is currently on eBay.  Crazy, eh?  You might be cursing Doug's name for deciding to get rid of it.  But this is where the story gets better.  Doug's family just lost their 17-year-old cat, and to get through that loss, they have decided to adopt a puppy from the local shelter.  Doug is selling this model to fund that adoption.  How cool is that?

Funny that a few years ago my wife's 18-year-old cat passed away, and we now are the proud owners of a fantastic miniature dachshund.  Tiny Edith brings a ton of joy to this house, and I am sure Doug and his family will find a dog that will do the same.  So I am all for what Doug is doing.  One nice part of the hobby is that it can fund other aspects of life when that need arises.  That is one of the reasons I am not too fond of the loose use of the term "scalper" in our hobby.

You can find Doug's listing below:

Hot Wheels Editor's Choice Hiway Hauler on eBay...

If this model interests you, jump in.  This may be the only chance most of you have to get one, unless of course Mattel selects you for an article.  Rest assured, your model won't be #6.

We will be watching this auction closely.  Let's help Doug and his family get a dog, and hope one of our readers gains an incredibly cool model....

Thursday, August 27, 2015

September 2nd Matchbox Ambassador Update, by Dirk Schleuer...

Ambassador Update 02 September 2015

Hello Matchbox friends,

Summer time is vintage car least for me...several smaller and bigger meetings, rallys and lots of fun.

Beginning in August, I went to a small place near the river Rhein called Hitdorf and did that with a very special car – see pic below.

Sorry – pic is from a local newspaper so you normally do get a better quality from me! You know that Matchbox sold a model of that vehicle only some years ago?

(Check: Economy Cars&uCatalog=3002)

With the special protection the trips to follow will surely be safe!

Having fun with our Messerschmitt KR200 Convertible – my Mom and me!

But know show you some new stuff coming:

New models from the 1-120 series:

New color for the very sought after Tesla:

And a new layout for the police Dodge Charger:

Even better from this angle?

All these pics will surely also turn up on Johns and David's Lamley Group (  My friend John Nijhuis has devoted an extra page for my updates and report – check:

Rather sad news is that the supreme heroes series has been canceled. Only wave A with four models was produced and the other models shown from coming waves were just samples and not produced. But don’t be too sad – the best of world series is coming and surely fill the gap – check pics of three more models coming:

Lets start with the bike – surely special even in this very special set:

Printing on the seat proves that it is still before production and the pic came in really hot from the design team at the ToyBox at Mattel.  I include big pics so you don’t miss a detail...

And it surely would be wrong to miss a detail on this Land Rover with emergency layout!

One more pic to enjoy!

Also we need a Cadillac – check out this beauty:

But we are not finished yet – highlight surely is Michaels 5.000 design – the bus:

And the other chocolate side...

But also the front view is nice and shouldn’t be missed:

Last time I did ask you about new Matchbox Originals to do and I still keep that question alive. I do get several ideas of licensed vehicles to be produced and surely everybody can name on the point 5- 10 castings never done before and surely worth doing. But I think these ideas will help the design team even more!

Oil field pipe truck:

Timberjack log skidder:

And on my lunchbreak a had one of these on my pedestrian way: Nilfisk City Ranger – surely a great challenge to create:

Because it bends in the middle to turn quicker:

Sometimes you find funny things on the way/road. This time a plane pulling kind of car...

If you know the wheels – yes – it is a duck (Citroen 2CV). At least the most useful and needed parts of it and surely it pulls a plane – prove picture!

I did take the picture on my rallye last weekend – the rallye was called “GoldRace” and took us from J├╝lich near Aachen (Aken) into the Netherlands and back home. Good weather and lots of fun:

Every team do get a Matchbox model Duesenberg with their own race number on it – so ours was number 2...

From time to time I play with the little explore the world model ;) You surely can guess its purpose?!

We had lots of fun at the rallye and I wish you also lots of fun with the best hobby in the world... 


The Tomica Limited Vintage Toyota Crown Custom, and the art of the TLV Wagon...

I think this should be more of a photo essay.

Every month is a good month for new Tomica Limited Vintage, but August was particularly special with the arrival of the 1971 Toyota Crown Custom from Japan Booster.  I don't think I have anticipated any TLV more than this one.

For starters, it is right down my alley.  My love for wagons isn't unique, but I come from a generation reared on them.  Say the word "wagon" and my generation thinks of wood-paneling and classy hubcaps.  We think of fold-up seats in the back-back and fold-down tailgates.  The word "sport" never preceded the word "wagon".

So while the current sport wagons of recent times get me giddy, the boats of yesteryear do even more.  Now obviously my connection is more to the Vista Cruisers and Grand Marquis, and not to the Crown.  But the Crown is wonderfully boaty.

So take that love of the land yachts, add in a little JDM obsession, mixed with a love for beautiful classic cars, and you know why I am so excited about the Crown.

Let's talk about that last part, love for beautiful classic cars.  The kujira Crown is a looker as a sedan, it is a stunner as a wagon.  There are some unique design features on the 4th gen Crown, most notably the tail lights, which have been replicated beautifully by TLV:

And it goes from there.  The three Crowns released in this batch by TLV are just amazing to look at.  They, not surprisingly, nailed the look and feel of the Crown.

But that is just what TLV does.  They will not do a model unless they have the real thing in the studio to study and replicate.  Not the plans, not a sketch, not a model.  The real car.  That is one of the reasons why the cars look so damn good.  It is why I can show my photos to others and they think they are looking at a real car.

And that makes collecting TLV Wagons such a joy.  So here we go.  We will start with the three Crowns, then I have photographed every TLV Wagon I have in the collection.  To quote Indiana Jones, these should be in a museum.


Prince Skyway

Toyopet Masterline

Mazda Familia

Toyopet Crown Wagon

Datsun Bluebird Estate

Nissan Skyline Van

Nissan Skyline 1600/1800 Van

Toyota Crown Custom