Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

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mboxcollector
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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby mboxcollector » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:31 pm

THE RUNNING MAN wrote:Hi Larry,

Can you ask Mattel if they will reintroduce the CONNECTABLES line from the 1990s? Lotsa plastic to keep costs down....

Cheers,J
I will ask for you...... :)

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby matchboxmarcel » Thu Feb 12, 2015 12:32 pm

THE RUNNING MAN wrote:Hi Larry,

Can you ask Mattel if they will reintroduce the CONNECTABLES line from the 1990s? Lotsa plastic to keep costs down....

Cheers,J


These toys have to many different parts for Mattel !

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby 94SS » Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:43 pm

I sense sarcasm from the Running man...at least I do LOL:)

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby mboxcollector » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:44 pm

94SS wrote:I sense sarcasm from the Running man...at least I do LOL:)

I guess I didn't catch that....... :roll:

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby David Tilley » Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:27 pm

Well, I may be a little late to the game here, but I am still going to put in my 2c. As many know I am a hardcore Matchbox collector. I do not collect other brands, and I have no interest in other brands. But that being said, I have a lot (and I mean a ton) of older Matchbox models to still look for to fill in the massive gaps in my collection. Every time I pull out a bunch of models to photograph and start cross-referencing things I see loads I need to fill in. So I will be good for life with collecting Matchbox. Why am I saying this? Well, I found the Q&A section to be a little depressing.

The list of 5-pack names? Yup. All NINE packs. Three quarters of what we normally get. The mention of Misson Force. THREE new sets, with 4 moving forward. So again, it is halved. This is a worrying trend for me. I know people keep going on about "writing on the wall" and so forth, but I do find this thoroughly depressing. I want more stuff; not less. Again, going back to my photographing of stuff, I had my Scrapers re-photographed this last week. I then went through and cross-referenced them to make full notes. I use Christian Falkensteiner's list for the majority of my stuff but recent issues are not covered. So I actually used my own list. I clicked on the 2009 multipack listing and while going through I started to see just how much stuff Matchbox was releasing only 6 years ago. The Best Of, the Euro Edition, many more multipacks, playset exclusives, Superfast, Battle Kings. There was just a ton of stuff with the Matchbox name. Now what do we have? A basic range, 9x 5-packs, 3x Mission Force, 1x Licensed 3-pack, 30x Skybusters and 10x Supreme Heroes. That's it. That is all there is. Unless they throw something new in the mix this is really a tiny range compared to only a few years ago. They have really reduced it. Could this be.... Well, I don't know. I hope not. I still enjoy the new stuff, and I want it to continue. Of course I would love to see prices go up. Yes, that is right I want to pay more and get a better quality product. No exceptions to the 4-piece rule is starting to get really drastic. I picked up a Maisto model in a store the other day just out of curiosity. They don't use interiors and have black windows. So Matchbox can still go down. But I don't want them to be as poor as Maisto. In fact, I don't want them to be as poor as now. I do want the name to thrive again.

I know this is across the board. No matter the company, no matter the product, people always go on about the new stuff not being as good as before. I know people complain over Lego using cheaper plastics than they used to. This is the now #1 toy manufacturer in the world. But at least they know when they can't cost reduce too much. They tell the stores prices are going up. Stores have to deal with it. Oh look people still buy. Why Mattel can't do the same is beyond me. Why do they run scared? It is not just Matchbox, but their Hot Wheels range is just as bad. Their Barbie dolls have been getting a thorough trouncing lately due to poor quality. Instead of telling people prices have to go up (there is this thing called inflation known throughout the world so it is not unexpected), they just keep cutting, snipping, reducing, chipping away and, well, failing. I want more stuff. I am prepared to pay more for more stuff. I am prepared to pay for better stuff. If quality does keep going down eventually I will stop being a completist. I will pick and choose which of the new stuff is still worth getting until there is nothing I want.

Case in point. The Caddy Ambulance? Who decided that it would be better to put a huge unrealistic sunroof in the top, move the light to a stupid angled location and keep the metal body? We already have a metal base for it, as they did a version the Lesney Edition series. If I had the choice between a plastic body or a metal one with a huge hole in the roof I would have gone with plastic. Of course it was absolutely fine the way it was and there was no reason at all for cost reducing. It wasn't even a heavy model to begin with? Weighing it up to the International MXT-MVA (I chose that because it was also shown in a sneak peek), the original casting actually felt lighter to me. So why did it need a reduction in weight? It looks nice, but I find that huge hole in the top to be bad.

The International looks a little too busy on the side for me. But we have seen that design before (I am thinking Desert Thunder V16). So it is not all bad, and I will be quite happy to get it. The Ground Breaker looks nice. But there is not a lot you can do with it, and it does look realistic. The Sahara Survivor looks a lot better than the 2014 orange one. Who would have thought a bright blob of orange on an orange card would look good? There are tons of that one still at my local Morrisons. There is probably about 40 models in the tub, and I would say at least half are this one model. Hopefully that was a colour choice and the blue one will be more appealing to the kids.

I think we do need to be a little more direct on the Crop Master question. When will the 2014 basic range MB14 Crop Master be released? Apart from the Alfa 4C, this model still has not debuted on single card yet and we are 2 batches into 2015.

:) :D :P

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby mbx64 » Sat Feb 14, 2015 8:31 pm

We always appreciate your $.2 David, late or not.

Looking back into the Mattel archives is one of the most depressing things you can do, because when you are four or five years removed from the old lines, the current state does not seem too awful. But then, when you look back at all the wonderful castings, new models, designs, collector enthusiasm, and the pure quality of the products and their collector lines, the current models look absolutely dreadful.

And yes, Matchbox keeps getting less SKUs, year after year this keeps happening. And what you mentioned about Maisto and the fact that Matchbox can keep going down is a worryingly accurate foreshadow. I mean, if you think about it, Mattel has never increased the quality of the Matchbox line in a literal sense, and it has only gone down because the price has stayed the same. There have been over 15 years of dropping quality, so it is hard to expect that to stop.

There is a lot of shifting at Mattel. Their sales keep going down, their CEO resigned under a lot of pressure, and Felix Holst is no longer VP of the Wheels Division and I am pretty sure he has left Mattel career-wise. Things are likely to change in the next couple of years, but how we do not know.

I hate how some Ambassador Reports seem like everything is back on track and Matchbox is regaining the realism moniker, and then another one comes to remind you that you are thinking too ambitiously. The reason I was drawn to Matchbox in a frenzied Hot Wheels world was the realism and the quality. Other $1 diecast car toys in most US stores were utterly garbage, mostly no-name Chinese brands, so Matchbox was a hit with me. But there has been a huge rise in the quality and the presence of these cheaper 1:64 brands, and more keep appearing, so I understand Mattel's perspective but it makes me so upset.

It is scary to think I am one of only a handful of new collectors my age. Only a small portion of kids who grew up when I did chose Matchbox over Hot Wheels, and while I love being a part of that group, the reasons I joined in the first place are vanishing.

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby Bill50 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:48 am

mbx64 wrote:We always appreciate your $.2 David, late or not.

Looking back into the Mattel archives is one of the most depressing things you can do, because when you are four or five years removed from the old lines, the current state does not seem too awful. But then, when you look back at all the wonderful castings, new models, designs, collector enthusiasm, and the pure quality of the products and their collector lines, the current models look absolutely dreadful.

And yes, Matchbox keeps getting less SKUs, year after year this keeps happening. And what you mentioned about Maisto and the fact that Matchbox can keep going down is a worryingly accurate foreshadow. I mean, if you think about it, Mattel has never increased the quality of the Matchbox line in a literal sense, and it has only gone down because the price has stayed the same. There have been over 15 years of dropping quality, so it is hard to expect that to stop.

There is a lot of shifting at Mattel. Their sales keep going down, their CEO resigned under a lot of pressure, and Felix Holst is no longer VP of the Wheels Division and I am pretty sure he has left Mattel career-wise. Things are likely to change in the next couple of years, but how we do not know.

I hate how some Ambassador Reports seem like everything is back on track and Matchbox is regaining the realism moniker, and then another one comes to remind you that you are thinking too ambitiously. The reason I was drawn to Matchbox in a frenzied Hot Wheels world was the realism and the quality. Other $1 diecast car toys in most US stores were utterly garbage, mostly no-name Chinese brands, so Matchbox was a hit with me. But there has been a huge rise in the quality and the presence of these cheaper 1:64 brands, and more keep appearing, so I understand Mattel's perspective but it makes me so upset.

It is scary to think I am one of only a handful of new collectors my age. Only a small portion of kids who grew up when I did chose Matchbox over Hot Wheels, and while I love being a part of that group, the reasons I joined in the first place are vanishing.


The demand for toy cars in 1st world countries no longer exists.TV characters and on demand film media has killed it for ever.Your modern up to date toddler is an expert on ipad or Android before they are ready for reception year at school.

I wish everybody would get a grip of themselves and realise this or at the very least read copies of FMCG trade magazines which keeps track of this important market sector.

The bad news for the UK buyer is the way we shop in 2015,as many are aware the mighty Tesco group is going through turmoil and have been losing customers at an alarming rate because they were to slow in recognizing the new way of convenience shopping rather than the big weekly shop.

The future is smaller stores with not so many lines and with space at a premium it will be own label with a higher margin or market leaders such as HW that may get the sacred space.
Happy Days we are getting out of the EU

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby 94SS » Sun Feb 15, 2015 1:31 pm

Nic...Felix is still there, her recently designed the Hot Wheels VW Rabbit (Golf) Pickup himself.

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby mbx64 » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:53 pm

94SS wrote:Nic...Felix is still there, her recently designed the Hot Wheels VW Rabbit (Golf) Pickup himself.
Not according to his instagram post! I think the VW was one of his last projects.
Image

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Re: Ambassador's Report February 11th 2015

Postby 94SS » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:53 pm

Oh well...thx Nic. Wonder if he was let go due to shitty MAttel financials or if he left on his own.


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