HOT SIXTY 4TH: Matchbox does Retro 1
A travel back in time to the Lesney days
Welcome to Hot Sixty 4th where I showcase DLM 1/64 and smaller and sometimes slightly larger. Based on the #12 casting taken from this 1965 vintage catalog, Mattel seems to be targeting adult collectors who grew up with Lesney Matchbox with the introduction of another retro casting. You’ve read it right. Mattel had previously released several different Lesney lookalikes these past 2 - 3 years ago. So for my 100th post (yay!) In Drivetribe and 346th total post I bring you the #01 1965 Land Rover Gen II pickup by Matchbox.
Although a bit different from the artwork of any original Lesney Matchbox package, I really like how the ‘Matchbox Collectors’ font on the left and the casting illustration still gives a feeling of nostalgia specially for kids who grew up in that era. Of course it’s easy to know that this is a more recent production due to the prominent Matchbox logo of Mattel on the top right.
Costing almost a dollar less than a Hot Wheels premium, how does it compare in terms of features and value? Let’s explore the different angles of this casting and find out.
I like how it has tampos on the front and back. Although I prefer metal edge on windshield even without the glaze just like in the original, the designer most likely prefered it this way or could be a cost cutting issue. It also comes with a hitch but may not be compatible with vintage Lesney trailers.
I like how they blacken the wheels to simulate old school steel wheels or it could also be emulating the old Lesney regular wheel. A bonus is the tires are rubber. Even added the words ‘Cool & Vintage’ on the side.
With pickup beds being retooled by Mattel to use less metal, I’m glad they decided to still give this bed a full metal treatment. Although I like the look of a spare on top of the hood on a Land Rover, this is where Matchbox messed up. Sure I don’t mind not having an actual tire as this is probably part of the interior, however it does not make sense if the spare looks smaller and thinner than the tires used in this casting.
At this price point I was hoping for the chassis to be metal but not surprise that Mattel would use plastic chrome based on past castings. I however prefer chrome to gray plastic.
I also found out that this has opening doors so it was an added bonus.
So comparing to the original Lesney I would say that although it is obvious where this new casting was based on, it is not an exact copy. For one the new windshield has the correct posture as the original was 90 degrees while the actual vehicle is not as shown below. Also a spare was added to the hood and opening doors. Lastly the original model is not a 1965 as it already appeared on a 1961 Matchbox catalog and last appearance was in the 1965 catalog. Overall a nice alternative to the original.