For sometime now the lower end of the diecast market in the UK has been very disappointing, I am talking about the cheaper small scale models that can be picked up in the supermarket or local store; things like Matchbox, Hot Wheels etc. For a country that pioneered diecast model making it is very sad to have almost no access to small scale diecast models & toys.
One of the biggest brands in the world and previously sold under the tag line of ”the greatest name in diecast” was completely removed from its birthplace; trying to locate any new Matchbox models became an impossibility when ASDA who are one of the larger supermarket chains pulled out of their exclusive deal with Mattel. If you are a Mum or Dad just looking for a small pocket money toy for your kids then your choice was limited to ASDA or Tescos own brands which are usually poor quality cheap cars that will fall apart as soon as you take them out of the box or some fantasy rubbish from Hot Wheels if you were lucky. If like me you prefer realism then your choice was limited to the odd find in small shops or clearance stores.
Well with the news of the last couple of weeks all of that is about to change.
This week after months of rumours in the collecting community Mattel have announced that they have struck a deal with Tesco, and beginning in the August reset they will be stocking Matchbox on what I hope is a regular basis. As I hear of more information and details I will post that as well, for now its just great to know that Matchbox will at last be returning to the shelves of its homeland. There is no word on what product exactly will be stocked, I would guess that as a minimum it will be the basic 1-120 range and maybe some multi packs but like many collectors I hope it extends beyond that to some of the other ranges currently being produced under the Matchbox brand.
Of course they are not going to have the market all to themselves, Majorette announced a few weeks ago that they too will be launching a comeback to the UK markets. After years of their product only being able to be obtained form clearance stores in limited numbers and usually just at Christmas, they have struck a deal with Smyths Toy Stores and from July will be appearing on the shelves regular there and at other as yet un-named shops. If like me you have had a look at the 2019 Majorette catalogue it will be exciting to see just what ranges they will have available as well.
With both brands competing on a similar level for the small scale diecast money it will interesting to see how this plays out after and absence of any options at all for some time. For me I wish both companies the best and cant wait to start regularly spending money on diecast again.
So here in the UK; let the battle of the brands begin…..