by Dave Weber
Selected Matchbox/ Mattel personnel at the Mt Laurel NJ Headquarters presented the theme of "Hero City" for 2003 on January 15th. The 1-75 miniature models are only one phase of this venture. The main emphasis was placed on introducing new interconnecting, battery powered play sets. When joined together these sets comprise a 3 dimensional platform to allow the cars to travel from one adventure to another.
The 1-75 miniatures have 20 new castings in the line. Some have already been released. A few of these new castings remain as realistic licensed models, while the remainder are generic. Matchbox has also taken many of these existing models and entered them into the Collectibles line with enhanced detailing. Each set usually includes 4 selected cars. Two of these sets which are noteworthy are the Barrett-Jackson Auction and the My Classic Car TV Program. Models represent actual cars from these two activities. A special offering is a 3 car diorama "Through The Years" Coke set. Inside each plastic box previously used in the Elvis sets, are a model car/ truck. The 30's display contains a '38 Dodge Airflow truck in front of " Anthony's Pharmacy" . The 50's car is a '57 VW Bus which is set in front of the same storefront which has been modernized. The final display contains a 90's Ford Van parked in front of the same remodeled storefront that now is representative of the most recent decade.
Elvis is again recognized in a set of 4 convoys. Each trailer is pulled by a 50's Mack B tractor. Each trailer pays tribute to an Elvis musical hit of that era.
These were most of the highlights of 1/64 scale "Toy Cars" in a nutshell. Other scales and Skybuster airplanes were also introduced.
The announcement was made that Matchbox will again hold their Convention
in NYC at Chelsea Piers instead of the previous site at Hershey PA. The
date is Aug 23 2003. Much negative discussion was offered from guests in
attendance regarding this statement , but the final decision has been made
by senior management and is not open to modification.
Above - selected new castings for 2003, below - 1938 Dodge Airflow - Photos by Dave Weber