Ambassador's Report March 16th 2015

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Ambassador's Report March 16th 2015

Postby admin » Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:03 am


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David Tilley
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Re: Ambassador's Report March 16th 2015

Postby David Tilley » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:33 pm

First of all, I would like to say I am really sad to see that Dave Weise has moved on from Matchbox. I have known him pretty much since the El Segundo team took over from the Mt Laurel team and brought things in-house. He is a great laugh and a genuinely nice person. I will really miss him, as I guess he will not come to the Gathering any more. How many originals are left from that bunch? Michael Heralda.... Errm.... Is that it? Jeez!

Now next thing, on to the models. First of all, I really like the look of the Ambulance. Except those wheels. Ignoring those for now, that is a really cool livery for it. Especially as they have sourced an authentic French design of a real Ambulance.
Image
And look, here is a real Renault Ambulance in that design. This is the stuff I love. Plus it has a full tampo hit which is great too. I know people will comment on the plastic body thing, but as I have said before, that doesn't bother me. I like the Ambulance anyway. If it wasn't for those wheels I would have seriously gone for this one.

Oh how I long for the days when Avon would come along and set up a deal at the end of the year for a set (or some smaller sets) where they take models like these, and ask for a more basic version of them. You take off the front and rear prints (putting it back to 2 tampo hits) and change the wheels for normal ones. Then they package them up in simple plain boxes (or twin packs in bubble cards) and sell them through Avon. I would love that. Five twin packs of emergency themed models thorugh the Avon catalog for Christmas.

And well, I have an answer on a question I was about to bring up. The Ford Ambulance which will be in the mainline and 5-packs. Well that means we are not getting all exclusive 5-packs any more. We will still get odd random basic range ones thrown in them too. Just 3/4 of the packs we usually get a year. Great (he says rolling his eyes). But changing the Ambulance to an all-plastic body was inevitable. I actually do not mind. That little bit of metal at the front did nothing for me, and I know it did create a color break, but the majority don't need them. This, being all white, is a prime example how having a 1-piece body makes it better. We now get a full tampo hit. With the 2 print rule we would get the main body printed on, but the cab would be ignored and I didn't think it was really worth it. So again, as I don't care about the plastic/metal thing as much as others, I am actually happier with the new version. I think this improves the overall look of the model.

And then they follow it up with a model that hasn't been cost-reduced at all?!?!?! With the reductions in just about everything this one seems to slip under the radar. I do actually like it. I know I just talked about the Ambulance getting the full tampo hit now, but for some reason I don't think it matters so much on this one. I actually like this livery too. First impression was a bit like "whoa", but it is growing on me.

And there was something else shown after it which I glossed over.

Now on to the prepro stuff. I have seen a number of items and pieces from this series from Chuck before. I have never purchased any, although a part of me would like the Volvo Trucks (especially the one with the cottage on the back). I have always liked the Volvo trucks and this one would have been so cool had it been made. But anyway, I am sidetracking, I really enjoyed this read. Many MANY thanks to Chuck for taking the time to give us a complete and comprehensive guide to what was never to be. It is a shame they never did do them, as I would have surely got them all. I am sure it was a natural successor to the Super Color Changers series and Action Pack series, although I wonder if it ended up being canned because the slightly darker tone they were taking with it. Shark attacks, bear attack and prisoner shootouts may have been just a tad extreme for young children. Maybe they did some research and got some negative feedback about them causing them to sideline things for while, and never got around to revisiting them. It is also a shame nothing more came of the idea of a Dodge Dakota Camper.

I do like some of the ideas for future models. I would not say no to many, although with the Caterham not seemingly selling too well at the moment, the Donkervoort may be too close to try and attempt it. I am also not sure what the Cement trailer could be attached to? I like the idea of a luxury cruise boat though. But take a look back at Chuck's article. See the picture of the Isuzu and Boat/Trailer? Why not that one as a boat? With a trailer! Look at how the Lesney one was put together. A 2-piece boat made out of plastic, on a simple trailer made out of metal. Not much metal at all.... Check! Four parts.... Check + ! It only uses 3. No more than 2 axles.... Check +! Again only 1. It is way below what is needed nowadays and would still work well. So I say make a new boat but put it on a trailer like that one was. It is about time we had a trailer unit in the basic range again.

So thanks again for the article.

:) :D :P

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Re: Ambassador's Report March 16th 2015

Postby 94SS » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:20 pm

Glad I am cutting back. I like Dave as well, but really struggled with some of his direction type stuff. Is he leaving Mattel like Felix did, or just going full-time to HWs? Are these personnel cuts due to the stock and 5 consecutive losing quarters?

Now, why offer a French livery for the Renault when they will not be available for ROW? Even better, why offer the Renault in this series since it is not available in the US?

Just an observation.

Jeff

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Matt79
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Re: Ambassador's Report March 16th 2015

Postby Matt79 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:51 pm

Matchbox is really beginning to become one cost cutted faceless mess. I'm glad I don't buy the new stuff now. It's just one big downhill slope for the brand. Sorry to be the moaner but it's too much dumbing down for my liking.

The whels on the special edition models are also terrible and why would anyone pay a premium price for a plastic model?

My anger at Mattel for buying the Matchbox brand and doing this to it makes my head hurt. I would love to tell the board members a piece of my mind.

Yes i know, moan, moan, moan. There's not much to look forward to though is there? Not really.

How long is it since we've had a complete year with all models released? You can't even collect a full year anymore because of Mattels constant mistakes and total lack of planning.

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Re: Ambassador's Report March 16th 2015

Postby Bill50 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:11 pm

Well done Matchbox your timing is spot on.I presume the red wheeled ambulance is timed for the famous comic relief Red Nose Day.

I got as far as the ambulance and never bothered any further,more shite as normal. :mrgreen:
Happy Days we are getting out of the EU

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Re: Ambassador's Report March 16th 2015

Postby mbx64 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:19 pm

Thanks for the report Larry, and Brad for posting. I think that all of the popular Matchbox guys leaving the Team is really a symbolic act. Felix Holst and now the loved (from what I have read) Dave Weise. I would guess they are leaving because of the restraints that are being implemented or because of the issues Mattel is having financially.

Firstly on the Renault, I am going to bring up the headlights. Why can't they be fully tampoed!? I thought this was a premium line. The whole truck looks off because of the poorly printed headlights and the red rims. The livery is licensed and fits the truck, but I am not sure if I will pick this one up. Here is the real version:
Image

The Ford E-350 Ambulance is nicer with the full plastic body. It will never be quite the same but I like that the tampo can now extend to the cab. I do wonder why it now has a light bar coming up through the roof? I have not seen any American Ambulance with a light bar on the cab; it's always on the top of the rear unit. The livery on this one is top notch, and I like the "St. Ursula" designation. I don't understand why it is still MB771 if the original MB771 still exists, however.

The inconsistency with the cost-cutting confuses me. We were told that there was a strict "4 parts limit" and then a 5-parts truck is released. :roll:

And when can we be told of the exclusives in the Power Grabs series or the full range of the 2015 line?

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Re: Ambassador's Report March 16th 2015

Postby jpi37087 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:10 pm

Thanks as alwasy for a great report, me personally, I think all of the ambulances pictured look great aside from the modifications, as for the 5 packs, this does have me wondering more and more how this is going to work with which cars will be 5 pack exclusive? I still have not DLM'ed the first new 5 packs for this year, still patiently waiting for the release of the 1-120 list. Also, still no sign of batch C per Kiddie Kar (one fo the dealers I work with on getting product for both myself and toy shows) :?
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