Do Mattel really care about Matchbox?
Having looked at a few new releases lately that are mostly plastic it makes you start to question the commitment of Mattel to the Matchbox brand. As anyone who has followed the brand for a while knows, Mattel acquired the Matchbox brand in 1997 as part of its US$755 million takeover of Tyco Toys.
Back at the time of the takeover a Matchbox car in the USA cost US$1 and here we are nearly 25 years later and the cost of a basic range vehicle is still US$1 unless you purchase one of the newly released glorified basic range vehicles being released under the banner of Mattel Creations.
The third release in this new series is priced at US$25 +postage and like the first two releases is not very inspiring. Normally I am in awe of the designers at Matchbox, they do such a great job and I hope I am wrong in thinking they made the decisions on this model. Firstly the wheels are absolutely hideous and totally out of place on this car. A vehicle that is supposed to represent freedom and getting out and about with tan coloured tyres on highly polished chrome rims does not scream action or adventure, it does however scream uninspiring and boring.
For US$25 surely its not too much to ask for a diecast model to be actual diecast, but no its got a plastic base as well which screams cheap and nasty.
This series had so much potential when promised but has left a sour taste in the mouths of many; and it makes you wonder if Mattel do actually care about the Matchbox brand because its not just these models.
So much plastic in all models, after years if not decades of complaints still no resolution to the distribution problems experienced all over the world and what I think is the biggest problem the reluctance to raise the base price from the US$1 just to please the USA market. The rest of the world pay on average so much more to subsidise them, why not raise the price in the USA and take some of the extra earnings to reintroduce Matchbox as a better quality product with some actual metal in them.
Its such a sad day when an ultra premium line like the Mattel Creations concept seems to fail so badly, hopefully Mattel read the feedback in various forums and take note and from that either cancel the idea or better yet make issue number 4 something to really crow about.