Matchbox 55th Anniversary
In 2007 Mattel, Inc. decided to release three vehicles with a special logo design to help commemorate the 55th Anniversary of the Matchbox brand, the same logo was also used on a Skybusters release of the Boeing 747. The models used were:
- MB713 – 1965 Austin Mini Van
- MB714 – 2006 Lexus GS430
- MB720 – 1972 Ford Bronco
While the Boeing 747 was white with a black, red and gold design all three of the cars where painted in an identical metallic green colour, the 55th Anniversary logo was gold, black and white in design.
When I first saw these models I was taken back but just how nice they look, the shade of green chosen by Mattel really suited all of the vehicles, the other thing that first stood out to me was the fact that the logo has the years listed as 1952 – 2007. On the surface this looks fine and certainly represents a 55 year period, unfortunately it doesn’t represent the correct 55 year period for production of Matchbox. Now there are several theories as to why Mattel have chosen to do this, the one that seems the most feasible to me is the fact that they didn’t want any Matchbox anniversary to clash with the Hot Wheels 40th anniversary that they were due to celebrate the following year. It is a very well documented fact that the first commercial release of Matchbox was in 1953 and it appears that fact seems to have caused a little problem for the Mattel marketing team so to get around this issue they decided to bend the truth or rewrite history if you like to state that Matchbox was in existence since 1952, a full year earlier than the truth.
Apart from the incorrect dates you really cant fault these models, all three of the vehicles are superbly crafted, particularly for the US$1.00 price. The MB713 Austin Mini was released with the newly designed (at the time) tri-spoke wheels; it has smoke coloured windows and a grey plastic base. The next model was the newly released MB714 Lexus GS430, wearing the double 10 spoke wheels, black interior, grey base and the metallic green paint job. The last of the three models was the MB720 Ford Bronco, again in that beautiful metallic green, with a chrome plastic base and black interior. Together these three models make a very nice anniversary set.
Later in 2007 also saw the addition of the Boeing 747 anniversary model; it was not released in the metallic green like the cars, so sadly it doesn’t match the others to make a complete set. Having said that I don’t think the 747 would have looked good with that much green, I think Mattel have done a superb job of this Boeing and with the colours chosen, the black, red and gold it looks like a design you would expect to see on any aircraft.
When all is said and done, if you don’t already have these as part of your collection then I urge you to seek them out and add them into your own collection, there are all fantastic looking models.