Matchbox Fantasy Five Packs
by Doug Breithaupt

Are you tired of the lame five-packs recently coming from major small-scale diecast companies? Perhaps the five-packs are targeted primarily at children because most serious collectors could do without the wild tampos and crazy custom cars.

There is a solution. Forget what's on the shelves of Toys-R-Us or Target. Take a look at you own shelves and join me in creating our own 'fantasy' five packs. The rules are simple. I've limited my selections to Matchbox for this round and tried to select models that have been in recent production, during the past decade or so. No regular wheel cars are included. The idea is what they could do with what is actually available.

Beginning top left, Here is an easy one, American Muscle. Put the '70 Pontiac GTO with the '71 Camaro, '69 Camaro, 68, Mustang and '70 Mustang and this one is ready to rumble. Add some realistic muscle paint jobs (Johnny Lightning can show you how), and this package would fly off the shelves. Now, how about a jump from 'bad to the bone' to 'a spot of high tea'?

With the addition of the XK8 , Matchbox has five great Jaguar motorcars to offer. From the 1930's, the SS100 is a rare pre-war offering. Combined with the classic XK120 of the 1950's, the XJ6 of the 1980's, XJ220 of the 1990's, these are five sexy cats. For the ultimate in sports cars though, nothing beats Ferrari red.

From the top, the 308GTB is one of the best Ferrari designs of all time. It was recently re-issued in the Star Cars line. The evergreen Testarossa is a natural too. The F50 was Ferrari's supercar of the late 1980's and the 456 'Daytona' brought front-engine, V12 power back to the prancing horse. The new F50 rounds out these racy, red machines. Sure Ferrari five packs have been done before but you know bought it then and we would all buy them again.

Dodge likes to promote their performance image and Matchbox has five great ones from the Mopar boys. On top is a 1968 Charger with a twist, this one's a funny car. I've often thought that Matchbox has never taken advantage of this fine casting. Put the Charger body on a stock frame and, presto, you're street legal. The 1974 Challenger also appears ready for the drag strip, although the original casting was a stock version. The 1987 Daytona was a great IROC car and the model was only issued in limited colors. Add the Viper R/T and GTS for yet another five pack with flair.

Now, here's a five pack that is made up of all new castings. It is interesting that Matchbox has produced five saloon racing cars, especially considering the failure of that series in the US. Even more of a surprise, two are from Down Under. The Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon are not offered by Matchbox in the US, but our Canadian cousins get these two new castings along with the rest of the world. The Alfa Romeo, Mercedes C-Class and Opel Calibra saloons are a perfect compliment to the Aussie two-some. For once, even the existing paint jobs are fine. Just package them up guys.

The last set is a mix of Trans Am/IMSA racers from the 1970's and 1980's. The Pontiac Fiero is a good place to start, it even raced at Le Mans. An interesting addition is the AMX Javelin. Skirted and spoilered, it is race-ready. So are the Mazda RX-7 and the Ford Mustang that follow. All three were alterations from stock castings originally issued, just like the Dodge Challenger. The Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am racer rounds out the field.

Share your fantasy five-packs with me via the guest book. In future issues, we'll do the same thing with Hot Wheels and Majorette. If anyone from the big three is reading, I'm not going for subtile here. Give us some GOOD five packs. OK, pleeeeease.