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Tiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try Harder

I moved away from the big city this month. And I've discovered a whole new world in the countryside. Some of my neighbors' kids are fascinated by my diecast collection. And I've spread the love by giving them several cars to play with.
Tiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try Harder 11 photos
Photo: Mattel
Tiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try HarderTiny McLaren 720S Costs $25, Matchbox Needs to Try Harder
Mattel isn't the only company trying to fascinate kids and adults into buying their products. But it's one of the most successful players, selling both Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. Recently, I've started paying more attention to brands like Tomica, Ignition Diecast, and Tarmac Works when talking about the 1/64th scale. Choosing the right collectible for your display can sometimes boil down to costs and availability.

You'll likely see Mattel's line-up inside any given toy store. But the same doesn't apply to smaller brands. And that has several implications for the industry. It sometimes feels like Mattel needs to put more effort into releasing a new product. I've seen more and more collectors complaining about the Red Line Club's selection of vehicles, and it's even worse with the Elite 64 series.

Matchbox enthusiasts don't fit the same profile as Hot Wheels fans. But if people are going to buy those products, there needs to be an incentive for that. Most of the time, Hot Wheels RLC vehicles sell like hotcakes, and stocks are gone within minutes of launch.

Over at Matchbox, you can still buy products that came out months ago. That doesn't necessarily imply poor sales, but it does raise some questions. And so does the most recent McLaren 720S Spider. Gulf liveries are highly popular in the Hot Wheels community; I've exhibited evidence of that many times before. But slapping one onto a Matchbox replica of a modern car feels rather sloppy. It's not terrible, but the diecast manufacturer needed more than that to help collectors overlook those horrible wheels.

Who cares about True Grip tires when the rim design looks like it came off from a cheap, no-name brand replica? If you charge $25 for a 1/64th-scale vehicle, at least fit it with some nice wheels and give it moving parts! That's the key to winning a diecast collector's heart: opening doors, an opening trunk, a removable engine cover, anything! Holding the item in the palm of my hand could render different results. But it looks less appealing now than the basic McLaren 720S Spider in Metalflake Belize Blue.

And you can buy that one for less than $3. The highlight of this upcoming sale seems to be the acrylic case with the decorative outer box. But some Matchbox fans may think differently. Regardless, the product goes live on Mattel's shop on February 12, 2024, at 9 AM PT. I'm going to skip it, and judging by some comments I've read on enthusiast groups, many collectors feel the same way.
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About the author: Dragos Chitulescu
Dragos Chitulescu profile photo

The things Dragos enjoys the most in life are, in no particular order: cars, motorcycles, diecast cars, and drifting. He's seen (and driven) many vehicles since he started his writing career back in 2009, but his garage currently houses a 1991 Mazda RX-7 FC3S Turbo II and a 1999 Suzuki SV650-S.
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