Friday, February 14, 2014

#381 MATCHBOX – ’62 CORVETTE, ASTON MARTIN DB7 and PONTIAC FIREBIRD RACER (PREMIERE COLLECTION) (1997)


I got these three models from my father, who bought them in Nashville, TN during a business trip around 1998. At the time, these models were not available in Spain, so when I saw them, I was amazed by the quality and detail level they have: all lamps, interiors, hubcaps, license plates are painted or decorated in some way, they’re great cars.

However, they are a little bit out of my collector’s scope. They were made “too late”, in 1997. There is nothing wrong with modern die-cast models: they look much better than older ones, and they are much more affordable, durable, and better done in many ways, but they do not have any value…

Despite being a limited release of 25,000 units, being released with a nice cardboard box in a bubble blister and being more than 15 years old, you can buy them for much less than a new, ordinary car model (in 1:64 scale)  at your local toy-store. How can it be?





My answer to this is that there are a few requirements for a toy to get value over time.

First is that it had to be popular when it was released, if it was a commercial flop, it is very likely that nobody would be interested in buying them after a few years. Matchbox produced in the 70s great models that are still very sought after, but in the 90s, there were much more competition in this market, and the sales decreased enormously.

Second difference between older and newer products, is that back in the 80s or before the 80s, nobody ever kept the package, or left the toys in their packages. They were immediately opened and played. This explains that old toys are very rare to find Mint in Box, while modern toys are almost always kept in their original packages for display and never played. Old boxed toys come mostly from old toy-stores that closed a while ago and had some leftovers that were never sold… If you look for these cars on ebay, most are sold in their (never opened) blisters.




Third is that some people (including some collectors) have the idea tha toys are nowadays very valuable (which is not always exact), and they think their toys today will be as valuable as those from the 60s in 50 years, and it is just a matter of time for them to get value, as a result some collectors stored hundreds of mint MISB figures and sat down waiting for them to get value. This happened especially with the new “Episode I” figures from Star Wars, which I doubt they’ll be sometime any value, or the new versions of G.I.Joe figure, such as “Valor vs. Venom”, “25th Anniversary” and some even more modern.

Fourth is that since the Internet has become widely available, there are no more secrets for collectors, nor “exclusive” figures only released in some parts of the world. Anybody, anywhere can buy the figures they want from home. And since the internet has open the markets, there are much more manufacturers and toys to buy, but an international success or a trend in children worldwide has become rarer. This brings us back to point number 1.





Of course there are exceptions, mostly toys of enormous quality, which are made in very short releases and which are mostly based in some famous characters or TV-series.

Back to the Matchbox Premiere series, they were classified in several series of cars, mine belong to series 9 and 10, although in the back card, you can read the models which were included in series 7 to 12.



FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: ’62 CORVETTE, ASTON MARTIN DB7 and PONTIAC FIREBIRD RACER (PREMIERE COLLECTION)
  • Scale: 1:64 (approx.)
  • Year: 1997
  • Company: Matchbox (G. Britain)
  • Size: approx. 3’’ or 7 cm

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