Head-to-Head in White and Black - Welly vs. Matchbox
by James Price, images by Doug Breithaupt

One could be forgiven for thinking these four sports cars came from the same diecast manufacturer. Many long-time collectors of Matchbox have began to wonder if their favorite toy car maker has changed names to Welly? It seems that Welly has picked up where Matchbox has left off. The comparison of the four models below tells the story.

The models on the left are from Welly while the ones on the right are Matchbox. The comparison of the roadsters, especially with all of them in plain white and black interiors, shows how Welly has made a new mark in diecast circles. For years, the Welly name was little known and those who did recognized it as a company who made basic copies of Tomica's fine models. In the last few years, that has all changed. Welly began doing their own castings and the quality and style was immediately compared to Matchbox. Of course, the Welly models sell for about half the Matchbox price. In this same time period, matchbox has moved away from realistic castings of popular cars and now seems to focus on emergency vehicles, planes, boats and the like. The late 1990's when the Porsche Boxter and MGF shown here were produced, were the last time Matchbox really did focus on what made the name famous for the past 50 years, realistic cars.

Note how the Welly models have side mirrors and realistic badging.

Alfa Romeo Spider by Welly

Porsche Boxter by Matchbox (1998)

BMW Z3 by Welly

MGF by Matchbox (1997)