MB994 : 1963 Cadillac Ambulance
|Matchbox Catalog Entry:
|MB780 & MB994
Another day another Cadillac! This is a bit different to normal though, this casting started life as the MB700 Cadillac Hearse back in 2007, for me that was a great casting and gave the line something a little different, sadly too many people complained to Mattel that it was an inappropriate choice for a childs toy and they caved in to the pressure from these people and changed the casting to be an ambulance.
This was in my opinion both good and bad, bad because a hearse is a fact of life and having it as a toy would allow parents to answer questions and allow children to learn about what is a part of real life; on the other hand it meant that we got a really nice retro ambulance casting that otherwise might not have occurred.
After its conversion to an ambulance the model was released as MB780 in 2009, it was a nice casting and again a retro ambulance could still form a big part of a childs play world and appease the older collector as well with its classic retro style. Over the following few years it was used in a variety of ranges from the mainline to some of the more premium ranges like the ”Lesney Editions” of 2010.
In 2015 the dreaded Mattel accountants got hold of the model and as usual destroyed it with their insipid cost cutting changes. After this time the model had a large section of its roof removed and like many other models it became a part of the window piece and was now plastic.
Changes like this seem to happen more and more in an effort to save costs and I would think it must be so frustrating to the design time to continually have their great work undermined and cheapened in such a manner. When the changes were made it was again re-issued with a new MAN and was now known as MB994.
For 2021 we see two new outings and both in premium ranges, the first a red version which can be found as part of the Cadillac Series and the second a white version that can be found as part of the Retro Series. Both of these outings are great choices in colour, style, tampo and design but would be so much better without the plastic roof.