Like many other brands, Matchbox associated shortly with Disney and launched a short series of cars with Disney characters on them.
These Matchbox models are, to my knowledge, the only ones made in Hong-Kong. They are specially numbered WD-XX (for Walt Disney), and there were only 12 references ever made.
Launched in Europe in 1981, the series started with only 6 references, but with three more in preparation that would be available “at the end of the year”. These were:
- WD-1 Mickey Mouse fire truck
- WD-2 Donald Duck’s Buggy
- WD-3 Goofy’s Beetle
- WD-4 Minnie Mouse’s Lincoln
- WD-5 Mickey Mouse’s Jeep
- WD-6 Donald Duck’s Jeep
- WD-7 Pinnocchio’s Roadshow
- WD-8 Jiminy Cricket’s Oldtimer
- WD-9 Goofy’s Race Car
|Matchbox German Catalogue 1981|
Some models like the Lincoln, the Jeeps or the Race Car seem to be made out of modified casts from the 1-75 series, but other are completely new and were made expressely for this series.
One year later (1982), the series was expanded again (and for the last time) with three more references:
- WD-10 Goofy’s Train
- WD-11 Donald Duck’s Ice Cream Van
- WD-12 Mickey Mouse’s Corvette
|Matchbox German Catalogue 1983, showing all references available|
These seem to be rarer that the previous 9. The short Popeye series also had the same Van (WD-11), only with a different plastic load.
Both cars are marked 1979 in the base, I wonder if they were available one or two years earlier in Britain, but in that case, why didn't Matchbox launch all 9 at once? Are only the first 6 copyrighted in 1979 and the others in 1981? I do not know yet. Maybe I can find more of these, and then I will update and correct this entry if necessary.
Despite being quite resistant, consider that the figures are made of plastic, so they may be broken or missing some part. Note for example Goofy’s ears, which are unfortunately in good condition, but look quite fragile.
|Minnie in blue Lincoln (WD-3)|
|Goofy in yellow VW Beetle (WD-4)|
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: GOOFY'S BEETLE and MINNIE MOUSE'S LINCOLN (Nrs. 3 and 4 or WD-3 and WD-4)
- Scale: Approx. 1:64
- Year: 1981 (marked 1979)
- Company: Matchbox (Great Britain)
- Size: approx. 7 cm