Pre Pro Numbers

A place to discuss all thing related to Superfast Matchbox vehicles from the change over in 1969/70 up till Mattel took ownership in 1997
Janiks
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Pre Pro Numbers

Postby Janiks » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:51 am

Hello All,

Now I'm finally a member of the forum, I would like to pick your knowledgeable brains as to a question I've been wondering on for a few years now, or at least from when I picked up my first pre pro model. HOW MANY ARE THERE PER MODEL????
I'm guessing the numbers vary per stage of concept. i.e. there are so many resin models, x amount with incomplete base numbers/lettering, x amount for colour sampling, window colours etc. I'm guessing if the jig and stress tests were done on the pre - pros then there were many more than exist today but does anyone know an approximate number? Did Lesney create a set amount for each phase of production?
I only own 3 (maybe 4?) pre pros but it would be nice to be able to reply to those who shriek at me 'you paid how much!?!?' ---- 'Ah yeah, but did you know there are only X amount of those in the world I own one of them!!!'

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David Tilley
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Re: Pre Pro Numbers

Postby David Tilley » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:25 am

There is no way of knowing exactly what happens in the pre-production stages of a model. It all depends on what they make and how much it takes to get it right. I have known of a dozens of different examples of pre-production samples of models, from resin, to unpainted parts to painted up samples. Some have issues and take longer to do requiring even more. The Toyota Supra and Mazda RX7 were both examples of models that took a few goes to get the metal parts working right. The Citroen CX also had issues with the roof requiring a number of recasts to get it right.

There are no known numbers as they were simply just done and re-done until they got it right. There are then mock-ups made for every new version of the models too. These are often hand painted and can be a little different to actual production models too. I have around 20 or so pre-production samples of the Porsche Turbo, all of them fully assembled hand painted samples from various eras. From the earliest prepros without license plate casting at the front, and going right up to samples of later production versions going right up to Tyco's takeover.

BTW prices are what you are willing to spend. I have spent hundreds of pounds on a prepro.

:) :D :P

Janiks
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Re: Pre Pro Numbers

Postby Janiks » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:48 pm

I appreciate the reply David and am aware that you are someone of knowledge in the collecting world

So with that in mind.......... What would be you're best guess/estimate of a pre production colour trial run?

For example, I've just typed in Matchbox Superfast pre - pro and the three at the top of the list for sale today is a peculiar green Mod Rod, a black Toe Joe & a gold Pantera. What would be a fair guess as to the numbers on these? I GENUINELY couldn't guess if there was only one made or 100 :?:

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David Tilley
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Re: Pre Pro Numbers

Postby David Tilley » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:20 pm

Ah those 3 are from Paul Carr. he used to work for Lesney in the 1970s and on through the Universal era. He is a very trusted seller, as a lot of his stuff is what he took home with him at the end of the day. In those days the designers would just take what they were working on home or fished them out of the trash. He has loads of prototype and pre-production items in his collection.

But again it is like asking how long is a piece of string. Sometimes you could be looking at a one-off hand painted sample that was used for evaluation purposes. Another time you could be looking at a batch of 20 or even as large as 200 as a test run to see if things were working well. Or you could be looking at something even larger that was about to be produced, began production and was then canceled. There really is no definitive answer.

:) :D :P

Janiks
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Re: Pre Pro Numbers

Postby Janiks » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:58 pm

Ok. Fair enough :D I've pushed you hard enough for a definitive answer to a question that doesn't have one so I will have to defer to your undeniable logic

At the risk of pushing you (or anyone else who would care to jump in) a LITTLE further on the subject of the scarcity of pre pros, you wisely mentioned a scenario I hadn't thought of when you said - 'you could be looking at something even larger that was about to be produced, began production and was then cancelled' - So coming at the same subject from a slightly different angle, do you know of a vehicle that was very nearly released but wasn't, hence resulting in an excess of pre production (un-released) models?

I actually have a vested interest in this last question as I own a Matchbox k-26 Exploration Vehicle (not Superfast so wrong thread I know) and your comment got me thinking as to whether this was a run that was numerous and nearly released or if just a few were made before it got rebranded to Battle kings?

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David Tilley
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Re: Pre Pro Numbers

Postby David Tilley » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:18 pm

There is quite a well known example. The MB34 Chevy Pro Stocker from 1980. When it was finally ready to go they were going to make it green tampo with 88 on it, as there was a Gatorade model that ran in NASCAR like that.
Image
It was all ready to go, and production was just beginning on the model and the box art too. Then they found out that they could not do it, and stopped.
Image
There are quite a few of this model around. It is one of the most common pre-production models they have.
Image
A few alterations and it was all good to go.

:) :D :P

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Re: Pre Pro Numbers

Postby Janiks » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:00 pm

What a wealth of information you are and thank you so much for sharing it with me - pictures are ace too!

Thank goodness for the forum so that even late arrivals like me can learn from those kind enough to share.

Look forward to hearing other pre pro number facts on the thread..... :roll: :arrow: :idea:

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Re: Pre Pro Numbers

Postby shockwavetrading » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:23 pm

Even a look through the pocket catalogues shows how close some items got to production. Skybuster & Supertruck Roadblasters & Blue Adventure 2000, K127 with Chrome Trailer. Yellow Rover 3500 & Minolta AMX both very low production run before changes were made.
On a similar vein, regarding Aston Martin DB7 with 007 numberplate; is it a pre-pro? or a limited run production variation.


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