Mattel celebrates 70 years of Matchbox with special collection | Top Gear
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Wednesday 29th March

Mattel celebrates 70 years of Matchbox with special collection

Die-hard fans and children are in for a platinum anniversary treat

Published: 02 Feb 2023

In celebration of the brand’s 70th anniversary, parent company Mattel is paying tribute with a special-edition Matchbox range. Seven different assortments - one for each decade - feature new castings of iconic models such as the Jaguar D-Type, Porsche 911 Turbo and Routemaster bus, complete with Union Jack.

Popular for their realism and affordability, children and die-hard collectors have been buying the highly detailed miniature vehicles in vast quantities over the last 70 years. By the end of the ‘60s, over 100 million vehicles were sold each year. 

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The new commemorative collection - from fire trucks to 4x4s - will have a variety of re-cast limited-edition models from pre-existing collections, such as the Collectors and Moving Parts lines. These new vehicles,  featuring a Hummer, Porsche 910 and Morris Minor Convertible - complete with opening doors and bonnet - will also feature Real Rider tyres and celebratory platinum livery.

Some of the new products will be cast from recycled zinc, in a step towards Matchbox’s eco-friendly vision of its products and packaging being 100 per cent recycled, recyclable or made from bio-based materials by 2030.

Roberto Stanichi, senior VP, global head of vehicles at Mattel, says: “We are so excited to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Matchbox and the trusted legacy this brand has imprinted on kids and collectors all over the world. We look forward to continuing to redefine the die-cast category as we move towards a more sustainable future.”

In 1953, engineer Jack Odell - a British mechanic in WWII - conceived the idea of small toy vehicles for kids after his daughter took a model steamroller into school, which proved very popular. A road roller, Muir Hill dumper and cement mixer would follow, along with a small coach for Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, which sold over a million copies in the same year.

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All the anniversary castings will head into Tesco, Sainsburys, B&M Bargain, Morrisons, The Entertainer and Toymaster stores throughout 2023, with prices starting from £2.30 for a single die-cast vehicle.

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