My Report on the 2003 NYC Toy Show

The 10th Annual Mattel Convention/Toy show was held at the Chelsea Piers Sxity in New York on August 22 -23, 2003. This was my 3rd time attending the dinner. I had stopped attending the dinner after the 3rd convention because I could not justify a hefty dinner expense especially when I was not participating in the auctions. Besides, the last weekend in June always conficted with my annual religious convention in Maryland. I had to juggle between the two so I used to attend the show in the morning and run back to the other place. This year was a little different. There was no conflict of dates and it was in my own backyard.

In any case, the function on Friday night started at around 6:00pm. Matchbox gave each attendee some goodies. This included a Dinner Model, a Toy Show Model. Also, included were three Burger King models that will be available in Europe later this year. All attendees had the opportunity to view the live auction items while munching on the snacks.

The dinner started at around 7:00pm. There were 13 tables with 10 people per table limit. I don't think there were 130 people at the dinner. However, I am sure there were at least 80 people in the hall. It was a nice buffet dinner plus the desert was difinitely something to talk about. They gave each table with 3 or 4 plates of deserts with small items. Some of these items were easy to spot like the Chocolate coated Strawberries, Cheese cake, Baklawa (sorry if I did not spell it correctly). Plus other items that we all talked at the table as to what each item was called. I was sitting with Everett's family, Paul Carr, Bill Shisler and Bill Shisler III. There were people from all over the states, UK, Germany, Canada and Australia (I think).

After the dinner Ira Rubin of Matchbox did a mini presentations focusing on the remainder of 2003 and whats coming for 2004. Here are a few things from my memory:
The 2004 theme will continue to be based upon the Fun and Heroes. There will be some packaging changes but not drastic. The miniature line will be a mixture of both real and imaginary models. The miniature line will continue to have 75 models with 44 new tools. Some of the 2004 models will start to show up at the end of 2003. A few of the new licenses include "Corvette C6, Honda Element and NYC Classic Checker Taxi." The blister pack will be modified a little bit from this year. All the play set will require no assembly.

Due to the huge success of the Across America series, there will be a World Travel Theme called "Around the World." This series will include 36 models that will be divided into 4 categories (Post Card Places, International Cities, Mysterious Journeys, and Natural Wonders). Each category will have 9 models. Some of the mdoels I remember are Grand Canyon (SUV), Hollywood (Limousine). All models will come with a ssticker and a camera. Burger King will have a promotion from this series as well. There will be 5 mail order models. One for each category and one for the whole series. Mattel assured us that there would be no repeate of California car and that all models will be of equal production. This range will start to appear by the end of December 2003.

Matchbox Collectibles will have classic cars as well as military models. There will be 72 models all together (don't know how many different series). Some of the names are: Barrett Jackson, Mustang 40th Anniversary, My Classic Cars, etc. A new 3-D Style packaging will be introduced so that the model is visible from different angles. The 1:43 scale models will have 16 models in the series including Mustang Barrett Jackson, VW etc. The Collectible Planes will expand from WWII to early years including WWI and prior. There will be new tooling for Military Tanks as well as planes.

After the presentation, there was a live auction of 50+ items. The most interesting item was a trip for 2 to Mt. Laurel to meet with the Matchbox Team. This includes a pickup/drop off from the airport, lunch, and meeting of the Matchbox design team. The visitors will get an all exclusive model specially made for this trip. There will be only 3 of these models made. The item went for $360.

The Saturday show was well attended. The Matchbox CARnival flyers were all over the Chelsea Piers. I remember reading an ad about the show in a couple of different local weekly papers ahead of time. I also heard about it on 1010 WINS radio on the way to the show. Somone told me that there was mentioning of this show on the local TV as well. I did notice that there were less vendors this year as compare to last year. This means a bigger play area for the children. There was traffic all day long. I arrived around 9:30am and stayed till about 2:30pm before heading out to see the Giants/Jets pre-season game in East Rutherford, NJ. In the past, Mattel has restricted the purchase of show model to 4 models per person but this year there was no limit. I was able to find a good amount of items for my collection but 90% of them were code-2. I prefer to have more Code-1 models but there aren't that many out there. The children attractions included, a magician , a clown , a painting area , a huge play area , a face painting section and a free Matchbox car. This year, the free Matchbox models were put in two big garbage bags where the person would put their hand and pull out one model. This way the person did not know what they were getting. There was also a trivia table where Simon was announcing the trivia questions for either children or adults. There were a couple of huge "Matchbox Collectible" display cases filled with Matchbox models. I am not sure if these display cases came from Mattel's HQ or from Everett's museum. At the enterance there was a set of tables with silent auction items. Overall, the show was pretty good. Whatever the case is, the display cases are the best. I wish I could get one or two for my own personal display. There was traffic throughout the day. It was not one of those dead shows where dealers are talking to each other after 11:30am and waiting for 3:00pm to wrap up. I spoke to a couple of dealers who said that business was good for them.

All in all, it was a terrific show and I wish Mattel would do it again in NY. This is partially a biased suggestion but NYC is a great place to have this kind of show. I know dealers don't like it because it is expensive but the with Mattel being the number 1 toy company in the world should have a show hosted in the number 1 city of the world as well. I will be looking forward to hear what Mattel has to say about next year.

Here are a bunch of pictures that I took at the show for everyone's enjoyment. You have seen some of these pictures above through the links but here they are one more time. I took these pictures keeping in the mind all the collectors who wanted to be at the show but could not make it. For those people who were fortunate enough to attend the show enjoy the pictures and appreciate the view from a different prospective. I took a bunch of pictures but these are the best. Have Fun.

Welcome to Chelsea Piers
The Pier Sixty
The Pier Sixty Event Board
The CARnival Flyer
The Show Flyer

Chelsea Piers Directions to go to different Piers
The Hall Enterance
The 2003 Catalog Table
The Souviner Shop
The Mattel Inventory (?)
The Free Car Redemption Stall
The Coloring Table for Children
The Face Painting area
Children Play Area I
Children Play Area II
Remote Control Car Area I
Remote Control Car Area II
The Clown I
The Clown II
The Magician
Model Display Case I
Model Display Case II
Silent Auction Stall
The Trivia Question Stall
Dealer Stalls I
Dealer Stalls II
The Color Comp Stall

Terry, Shabbir, Bill, & Jim
Terry & Sonney
Terry & David

The Hero City Banner
Directsions to the Prize Area
The Prize Area Banner
The Free Car Redemption Board
The Silent Auction Board
The Silent Auction Banner
The Exit Sign

Official NY Show Taxi without Box
Official NY Show Taxi with Box
Official NY Dinner Model

OTHER MODELS AT THE SHOW (from Trivia Stall)
2003 Justice League 3-piece Gift Set
2003 German Soccer Set
2004 Around the World - New Mexico

The following two models were won by David Tilley of UK at the Friday night auction
2004 PrePro Fire Truck (blue)
2004 PrePro Fire Truck base (blue)
2004 PrePro Fire Truck (red)
2004 PrePro Fire Truck base (red)

There were a lot of other short run promotional models but they were not directly related to the show so I am not showing them here. However, you can check a complete list of those models in my August 2003 What's New section.

G book

Back to : | house | Matchbox Main Menu | Main Picture Gallery | August 2003 What's New Page