Sunday, August 2, 2015

Is the upcoming Hot Wheels Fiat 500 a Treasure Hunt?

Hot Wheels has given collectors a mystery to solve.

Soon this model will hit the pegs:

There is a lot to be excited about with this one.  Great color, great deco, excellent casting, and a perfect choice to sport an Italian Police livery.  No matter what, a great model.

But then a Lamley follower on Instagram, @gorditoshotwheels, sent us this interesting image:

Yep, that is the Treasure Hunt symbol on the card, just like it is on the other Treasure Hunts of 2015.  It must mean that this beauty is this batch's Regular Treasure Hunt, and easily the best looking Treasure Hunt of 2015.

But there is one other indicator.  That symbol should also be on the car.  And we know people have looked and looked, but to no avail.  It doesn't appear to be anywhere.

So is the Fiat a TH?  Is the symbol hidden anywhere?  Chris, aka gorditoshotwheels, inspected his over and over again, and thinks the symbol might be KIND OF there.  Is it this at the end of the yellow checkered pinstripe?  Here is a closeup:

Interesting eh?  I never thought I would be analyzing a small symbol this closely, but it appears the small portion at the top of the flame is there, followed by two larger flames below.  It isn't perfect, and it obviously is missing the circle around it, but it is similar.

So what do you think?  Is the Fiat an upcoming Regular TH?  Is Mattel having a little fun with Regular TH-hating collectors?  Is it more clear than we think?

If it is a TH, it is the best of the year by a mile.  If it isn't, it is still one of the better models released this year.  Either way, it goes into the collection.

What do you think?  TH or not?  

Friday, July 31, 2015

Year of the '55 Gasser, Part 1: Hot Wheels Heritage Redline & Zamac Exclusives...

Yeah, it's Part 1.

RLC members know what Part 2 will be, and rumor has it that will happen sometime in August.  We will wait until then for that, but Part 1 ain't too bad.

In fact, no showcase featuring the '55 Gasser is bad.  I am sure there exists a handful of collectors out there that don't like the Gasser, but I haven't met any.  But then again, I don't ask.  That Bel Air Gasser is such a charmer, and I like to keep it that way.

I have no connection to the Gasser scene, nor do I have much interest.  But I can appreciate anyone's passion for any particular car culture, and the Gasser racing scene is one of them.  On top of that, the model is so well done.  In my book, it can be in any series and I won't be disappointed.  Make it a Super (done), and RLC Exclusive (on its way), put it in premium lines (see below), make it a Zamac (also see below), or make it a mail-in promotion.  No matter what, collectors will gobble it up.

And that should be the case with these two.  The next batch of Heritage - a Redline segment this time - is already hitting Walmarts, and within the next few days will also hit the Walmart Zamac exclusive.  Meaning, get your gasser on and head to Walmart.  (I should probably rethink that last sentence.)

Methinks there will be little protest about the Heritage Gasser.  Not much to get offended about.  In all honesty, it might be a little bland, especially compared with Zamac and RLC coming.  Its the Zamac that might cause a bit of a reaction.

But before you bemoan the hot pink windows and shiny blue rims, stop and look at it for awhile.  And remember, this is a Gasser.  It isn't a tan Sierra.  There are reasons folks don't race tan Sierras.  First, they are Sierras.  Second, they are tan.  A shiny unpainted Gasser with pink windows?  Bypass all and head to the starting line, friend, it is your time to shine.

And shine it does.  This is a FANTASTIC model.  This is a HAPPY model.  This is one of the best Zamacs released.  Whoever designed this color combo and deco?  Supersize their lunch today.

So take a look at these, enjoy the splendor of the Zamac (even with its crooked front wheel), and then prepare for the next version.  It is going to cause.  a.  frenzy.

Hot Wheels '55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser (2015 Zamac Walmart Exclusive and Heritage Redlines):

The family of Gassers so far:

Thursday, July 30, 2015

July 30th Matchbox Ambassador Report, by Dirk Schleuer...

Hi Matchbox friends,

It is always not so easy to self-introduce to a community, but I guess most guys of the mailing list did meet me already at one or the other convention or has even participated in one of mine?!

So who am I? Born in 1970 I started to collect Matchbox - mostly Models of Yesteryear - in 1982 when my father bought back home some further models from a business trip. We always had about 20 models on a little shelf above the TV and we children werent allowed to play with them - at least not the crash games we liked so much these days. One of the new ones did hold a short questionery from Matchbox Deutschland based in Hösbach asking about how many models you have, where you buy etc. We answered that and do get from that time on a brochure 3-4 times a year with all the new models and a list which shows that there was a lot more to collect than the 30 models we had sofar. Fire started ...

Over the next couple of years rather than waving flag at soccer games like good Germans do we went to toy meets and picked up another couple of 100 MoYs which was all that was available in Germany and near by like Belgium and Netherlands. Than in 1989 with bid more school English available I visited my first MICA convention ... and fire became volcano ;)

In 1993 I helped MICA to get the first European convention started in next door town called Hilden. Thats where I first met Bob Rusconi from Australia. I visited him in 1996 and worked for Matchbox Australia on the Melbourne motor fair. That is also the starting point of the German club. We joined into the Matchbox Collectors Club line with Bob running Australia, Paul Carr England and Everett Marshall for the USA.

So our club will have his 20th aniversary in 2016 - 20 nice sightseeing and making friends events all over Germany from north (Hamburg) to south (Stuttgart) and east (Potsdam) to west (Aachen). And that is not the only event we organise. Since 2002 (50th aniversary) we present our hobby at the Leipzig fair ground and you all probably know the models. But we also had already 3 european events which are always located in the region between Netherlands, Belgium and Germany so everybody can reach it easily with an airport nearby. The fourth one is already planned - dont miss that one!

My collecting is still glowing hot - in 1989 I added the Dinky Collection from Matchbox to my field. In 1996 I started a small hobby business that you know all might know as the moyshop. It was a hobby and it still is as I'm normally working at the same company now for 25 years being a computer programmer, a product manager, a project manager and now a department manager. But I'm really still on fire for the best hobby of the world - orange or Matchbox - however you want to call it. And as my series were all stopped in 2006 I'd rather now collect friends and friendship than new models but I'm happy whenever I find a model a friend is missing and I can get it to him!

My year as ambassador will surely be more than interesting...times have changed - not only we have new guys at the team that we fresh and showing a great attitude towards the collectors, now the new team is also independent from the blue guys and so we will see lots of new stuff happening. One is that the way of communication has changed a bit. Things will get quicker with Ambassador updates rather that static reports and we will use the Lamley Blog from my friends David and John more for hot like hell information. Also we will use Instagram and YouTube "matchboxworld" to show more live action. You can follow me under dirk.schleuer at instagram and "dirk schleuer" & "MBBomarr" at youtube if you wish!

If you have any questions dont hesitate to ask me.    

I will surely come back with questions to you, trivias and I'm still happy to forward your questions to the team. If you are suggesting a model than I would be more than happy to put that on a list ... keep in mind we will always have a mixture of new licensed cars, recolored existing castings and new generic ideas - perhaps you find also good ideas for the last two parts!

So you all have fun ... enjoy the hobby ...

Your proud 11th ambassador

Dirk Schleuer

New special series: 75 years of Jeep

Showing this slide already is a sign that there is truly a big change going on and that the new team will surely be more open towards the collectors base and really will start with a new spirit into this new era. I personally wish them all the best for their new work and as every start is hard (german saying) we will hestitate to help them as much as we can. There can be really starting something good and interesting here!

So what we see is a special series of eight Jeep models. Don’t get mixed up with special Walmart exclusive models for 2015. These will be a special series for 2016 not exclusive for a special retailer but as an addition to the range. As you see we are at a very early stage of that project but I personally can hardly wait till I have them in hands! How about you?

The other series that was already shown is the 2016 “Best of World” series – you surely did check that one out on the Lamley-Blog?! If not – you should do so!
9 licensed and only one unlicensed vehicle which is our beloved Routemaster Bus – what else do we want?! Hopefully it is also distributed all over the world which really would be great to see! You can already see the first pictures of the real cars at the matchboxworld Instagram profile.

Other than that Im really looking forward to see the counter displays with Matchbox in boxes again … which will surely be more beloved than the power grab bags!

I surely cant hold it back – hopefully you don’t want to get on it and do the job because of my first small report being too bad!

Have fun …


David Tilley's First Look at the latest batch of Matchbox Jurassic World singles & 5-pack, as well as the altered Toyota Land Cruiser tooling...

Lamley partner David Tilley discovered the newest batch of Matchbox Jurassic World models during his travels around the US this week.  That is interesting news, but what is more interesting, and sad, is the change he discovered on the Toyota Land Cruiser.  His write-up is below:

I found these at Walmart today.

The second batch of the singles. They are dated H21, and although listed, the Roar by Four was not with them. However, the Sahara Survivor was, but it is the exact same black one that appears in the Jungle 5-pack, so I left it behind. So there are officially 7 in batch B. Where the Roar by Four is, nobody knows yet.

Included in the batch are the MB825 MBX prospector (previously Road Tripper) in grey, MB921 Terrainiac in blue and black, MB899 Questor in tan and MB797 Baja Bullet in charcoal.

But I did see we have 2 new altered castings in the bunch.

The 1968 Toyota FJ40 Land Cruiser is no longer MB764. It is now MB990. The interior has been extended out now to include the kickplate under the doors, extending over the front wheel arches and incorporating the front grille. That is quite a change, and makes the model notably light to handle. I always remembered it as quite a heavy model.

But the funniest one to me is the Scrambulance. This is not MB845; it is MB989. The difference? The small section between the 2 roof windows that were formed out of the body casting before has now also been included as part of the window casting. Before, the section was a part of the body and the window section created 2 square roof windows. We now have one longer rectangular section of window. I am not sure why, as both the window and body are made of plastic, so it has made no difference to the weight of the model. The only thing I can think of was maybe trying to slot the window section into the roof section was a little fiddly at the factory and they suggested the change to ease production of the vehicle. It is a very minor change.

Anyway, this does give us 2 more new number to pencil in on the MAN# list.

I also found the third and final Jurassic World 5-pack at Walmart:

It is simply known as Construction. 

From what I heard, the makers of Jurassic World pointed out to Matchbox that there are no "desert" scenes in the film, and the "Desert" pack is now re-packaged as Island. 

This pack contains the MB840 Water Hauler in grey and blue, MB884 Dump Dozer in yellow and grey, MB950 (the updated one with the plastic cab section) Tractor Plow in black and tan and MB737 Quarry King in tan.

But with them we get this. But no, it is not the MB399 1999 Chevy Silverado 4x4, but a brand new altered MB981 Chevy Silverado 4x4.

The difference is that the interior is now extended out to include the rear bed of the model.

So now we can pencil in another in the missing MAN# gaps.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Just Unveiled: Matchbox 2016 mainline Freightliner Fire Engine, Best of the World Austin Mini Van...

The Matchbox buzz continues...

If you haven't been on the @matchboxworld feed on IG, you really should.  Any excitement you get from what we share here at Lamley will triple when you follow them there.  You get the sense that things are wide open, all ideas are being considered, and most importantly, the orange brand is in very good hands.

And you get a few sneak peeks, and everyone loves sneak peeks.

In the last couple of days we have seen two upcoming new models.  First up is a 2016 New Model, the Freightliner Fire Engine:

It looks to be another great addition to the ever-growing fleet of Matchbox Fire Trucks.  It is nice to see Freightliner join Pierce, Mack, Seagrave, International and others as part of the fleet.

Next is the second model we have seen from the Best of the World premium series, due in December:

Yep, that is the always popular Austin Mini Van, looking fantastic in purple, and even better on the new Matchbox two-piece wheels.  The design is clean, and while I can't make out the side graphics, they look wonderfully British.  Between this and the fabulous black BMW 1M, the BotW seems to be off to a very nice start.  We can't wait to see more.

And we probably will soon.  Between our new MBX Ambassador Dirk Schleuer's upcoming reports, this IG feed, and other sources, the Matchbox excitement doesn't appear to be waning anytime soon...

Just Unveiled: Hot Wheels Datsun 510 Wagon Recolor...

CORRECTION: We initially reported that this will be a Kmart exclusive in September.  Today we were informed that it will not be part of the September Event.  Details on what models will be included are here.

Well this will cause a scurry.

Photos have emerged of the latest recolor on the Datsun 510 Wagon, and it is a beauty.  

The vintage-inspired Datsun livery goes black, and it looks amazing, especially sitting on grey OH5 wheels.  It is one mean machine, and when you put it next to the upcoming HW Convention 510, you have a menacing pair.

Look for the Wagon this fall...

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First Look: Matchbox '75 Mack CF Pumper Everett Marshall Charities Exclusives...

It has become a yearly Matchbox tradition that falls right at the same time as the Matchbox Gathering.

Upon arrival in Albuquerque, one of the first things many of us do is find Everett Marshall's hotel room.  You walk in, and the first thing to do greet one of the great guys in the collecting world, Everett Marshall.  Everett is a long-time collector, who has one for the most impressive Matchbox collections around.  So prolific, in fact, that it is housed in a museum.

The next thing you do is ask about the exclusive.  Most years, Everett will have them, and will give you one in return for a donation to his charity, which hosts a golf tournament every August to benefit burn victims.  Remember, I said he was one of the great guys in the collecting world.

Each year, Matchbox creates and donates an exclusive model in a special livery to give away to tournament participants.  It has always been an emergency model, and this year was no exception.  The '75 Mack was developed in time for this year's event, and instead of one, Matchbox made two:

You had to figure it would be the Mack, just like it is easy to predict the Freightliner Fire Truck will be the choice in 2016.  You just didn't figure there would be two, and one would be wonderfully painted pink.

Here was the sad thing.  Everett couldn't make it this year.  So while it was fun to still get the models, and get a nice donation over to Everett's charity by of his friend Paul Carr, it wasn't nearly as nice with Everett absent.  But if this means Everett can be at his tournament and fully involved, that is all the better.

Because Everett was absent, there were only a few charity models at the Gathering for sale, and they sold out quickly.  I have no idea if more will be made available, but you can ask Everett himself at  Each model will most likely be $50 each with $5 shipping to the US.

It is totally worth getting one or both.  The models are always spectacular additions to any collection, but more importantly the money goes to a great cause.

Matchbox '75 Mack CF Pumper (2015 Everett Marshall Charities Exclusive):