Here is a preview of all the 2002 models that are expected to be released. I have collected this information from the Line Preview Meeting that was held at the Mattel's Headquarter in Mt. Laurel, NJ on December 11, 2001. Some of the information is from the net as well as from emails from Matchbox Forum, some information is taken from different newsletters and some from other sources. I would like to thank John Y. of Matchbox Forum USA to give me the opportunity to attend the Line Preview meeting again this year. I did my best to take the notes but I think I have been biased towards miniature line as that is what I collect. Hence I am covering that line the most. Sorry about not having as much information on the other lines. Mattel is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Matchbox big time and have planned a lot of models/events to commemorate this special event. Through out the year many surprises will be popping up so keep yourself on the altert mode. Now enjoy the news, Happy Hunting and don't lose your sleep if you cannot find any particular model. It is only a toy and you will find it eventually.


2002 will feature only two markets: Domestic Collection & International Collection. There will be no special "CORE" models for Australia, Germany, or UK like we have seen in the past. The models will still be available in blister packs as well as window boxes.

Collectors of Matchbox traditional and licensed models may not have much to cheer about in the 2002 core line-up which contains more and more heroes driving/piloting/steering futuristic rescue, but not real vehicles.

On January 14, "Today at NBC" would carry a short segment for the 50th Anniversary special about Matchbox. Since the show's 50th anniversary is on Jan. 14 and Matchbox is celebrating the 50th birthday, it seems a perfect match. Hence collectors are requested to go and wait outside and see if Al Roker can identify you as a Matchbox person. A specially producuded TV News Truck (limited quantity of 500) will be distributed that morning to the people outside the studio.

On January 19, Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks are playing a basket ball game in Philadelphia. A Limited edition Philadelphia 76ers Fire Truck will be distributed to the people attending the game. This is the only way you can get the model for free else get ready to pay a price on Ebay. However, the lottery for one of them was won by Art Cox at the Line Preview meeting.

In April 2002, a "Happy Meal Promotion" will be done at McDonalds where six specially marked cars will be available. These six cars will bear different state names. The first one, of course, will be "Illinois" due to the fact that McDonalds is based there. The other five states are: Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, New York and Washington. These models will not be produced by Matchbox, however, approved by them. Later in fourth quarter Matchbox will manufacture the same models under "Matchbox" brand and sell them. The McDonalds model could be purchased individually at restaurants or the entire set through McDonalds.com

From April till August a Truck will be touring throughout the country and making stops in the parking lots of 100 K-Mart and Toys R Us stores. The last stop would the Battery Park area in August at the time of the big Toy Show. The schedule for the Rigs will be available on Matchbox.com as to where the truck will be in at what time.

During the June/July period 8 exclusive BMW models will be available in Germany at different BMW dealers. 4 out of these 8 will be new castings. BMW will select the colors and the distribution. However, there will be 12 German exclusive 50th Anniversary models available at German toy stores. These models will be based on German cars, e.g., VW, BMW, Audi, Mercedes, etc.

There will be a Toy Fair in June in Hollywood, CA where a specially produced model will be distributed. However, there will be no special model for the New York Toy Fair in Feburary.

There will be a sweepsteak at "Nickelodeon" in late January early Feburay. Watch the channel between 10:00AM & 2:00PM for the rules and requirements.

The Core Line consists of 75 vehicle and 15 themes: pic
-- Hometown Heroes (#1-#4)
-- Safety Stars (#5-#8)
-- Style Champs (#9-#12)
-- To the Rescue (#13-#16)
-- Build it Right (#17-#20)
-- Great Outdoors (#21-#24)
-- Red Hot Heroes (#25-#28)
-- Cool Rides (#29-#32)
-- Ultimate Rescue (#33-#36)
-- Nite Glow (#37-#40)
-- Airport Alarm (#41-#44)
-- Weekend Cruiser (#45-#48)
-- Hammer and Nails (#49-#52)
-- Rescue Rookies (#53-#64, #75)
-- Kid's cars of the Year (#65-#74)

The 24 new castings include BMW X5, BMW X8, Ambulance, Police Car, Fire tanker , Dump Truck, Bucket Fire Truck, Trash Truck, Chevrolet Avalanche, Police Motorcycle with Sidecar , Emergency Power Truck, Ice Breaker Boat, GMC Terradyne, Fork Lift, Water Pumper, Ice Cream Truck, Limousine, All-Terrain Fire Tanker, Chevrolet SSR, VW Micro Bus Concept , and Pontiac Piranha.

The first 10,000 produced of each casting will be imprinted with the 50th Birthday Medallion. You might call it a Birthday Hunt. But Mattel could assure us that all of the Birthday Hunt models will be bought by US retailers. Unlike year 2001, there will be only two line-ups of MB75s, one for the USA and another one for ROW (Rest of World) though there will be 4 Birthday models exclusive for ROW range at toy retailers starting in June. The four models are: Ford Model A Van, a VW Beetle in window box, a Fire Engine, and a London Taxi on blistercard.

There will be 50 States' models, one for each state plus a few US territories like Guam, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico distributed through mass retailers and hobby dealers. The Territories States models are likely to be distributed regionally by K-Mart, for Guam it may be on the West Coast stores, for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands in the Southern region stores. Towards the end of 2002 TRU exclusively will offer all of the States Models bundled in one package along with a Plate Board to display all of the license plates. As an incentive, collect five from any region (Northeast,South, Central or West) and get a free unique bonus car of that region from Mattel. Collect 40 and get a special Washington, DC car available only from Mattel and not available in stores! The array is a mixture of current and old models. Some of the models like the Ikarus Bus, Dodge Dakota, '21 Ford Model T, Pony Trailer, Chevy Camaro Z-28 and Cattle Truck have not appeared recently in any line-up. The models will be unique with packaging to include a replica plastic license plate of each state. The quantity of each model will depends upon the population size of the state so some state models will be a little hard to find yet plenty for everyone to complete their collection. Target stores, in the US, are already selling a Mini License Plate Collectors Board to display the license plates.

As usual there will be 5 packs with exclusive models. The list of five packs was not available at the time of Line Preview. However, there will be three K-Mart exclusive 5 packs. There will be new deco for "Rugrats" and "Nickelodeon" while "Kellogg's" will be replaced with "General Mills".

Toys 'R' Us in June-July will feature an exclusive 3-pack of States models, Each 3-pack will contain a country plate, one with USA Plate and two standard States models. Another 3-pack will include a model with a Canada Plate and two standard States Models. The Mexico Plate will be in another 3-pack.

Another 3-pack exclusive to K-mart features Heroes models in national colors red, white and blue in commemoration of the 9/11 rescue effort. It will be released in time for the 4th of July celebration in 2002. Models to be used are International Fire Engine, ambulance and police car. Production quantity will be 50,000

A 2-pack of States Medallion models is scheduled for release exclusively at K-Mart and will contain combinations of States models along with a collector's guide.

There will be four repeats with a change in deco and a new Fire Truck & Car Transporter Launcher sets. The distribution will be to mass retailers.

There will be more Pleasant Hill books with models. This would include a Weather Radar Truck, & Trush Truck. Other models will follow. Don't know the exact number of books at this time. Check your major bookstore for new releases.

Four Matchbox puzzleds wach with an exclusive model will be issued beginning in the 1st quarter of 2002. The puzzles will have on them roadways, streets, rivers, bridges and other land marks useful for kids to use in driving their diecast models. The four puzzles are dewsgined to be compatiuble so they can all be linked together to make a giant puzzle. One Matchbox video game with an exclusive model will be issed in the 1st quarter of 2002.

The first promotion will be to honor the Heroes of the America with four models available at K-Mart exclusively. These models will be mass produced and would be available individually blister packed. The four models are: Ambulance, a Extending Ladder Fire Truck, a Fire Pumper and a Police Car.

For the last two years, Target has been doing the Easter special. This tradition will continue for 2002. There will be Easter Eggs with standard models or may be with some wheel variations at Target during Easter time.

July 4 will see the Heroes 3-pack exclusively at K-Mart

Sand Buckets will include standard models at several mass retailers during the summer

Like last year, there will be Backpacks available in the summer

During Christmas time there will be a Holiday 10-pack available that will have a wrist watch. This will be the only way to get that wrist watch. The watch will say "matchbox" on it.

The miniature skybuster line will have six new tooling. There will be two waves of 12 skybusters each. The new tooling will be spread over these two waves.

There will be six Large Scale Skybusters available at retail stores. These will be same skybusters that were sold via Matchbox Collectibles last year. However, the packaging will be a little different and will be little bit more financially affordable.

MATCHBOX COLLECTIBLES: Collectibles in 1:64, 1:43 and 1:18 scale provide plenty of nostalgia, entertainment, rescue, fun and work, all to be distributed through mass retailers. The packaging is new, clean and crisp which allows space for flexibility to accommodate other languages required in markets outside of the English speaking world.

1:64 Scale Matchbox Collectibles: Leading off in the 1st Wave are six "50th Birthday Medallion" models in blisterpacks. The retail price for the these models is set will be around US$5.00. The 2nd Wave is the "International Sports" Cars composed of the USA cars and three non-US. The third wave will have the "Coolest Cars." This will include the "Barrett-Jackson" collection. The fourth wave will have Coca Cola models both for US & non-US. The fifth and final wave will be "Texaco" models including a helicopter. The 1:64 Scale Feature Line-Up will have two different waves and will be available at mass retailers in window box style. This will include six models each for Fire & Rescue Models (wave 1) and Military (wave 2). These will be available for around US$8.00

1:43 Scale: Leading off with the 1st Wave due out in January are six Fire models and which will be distributed globally. At last there is wider distribution. Price in USA is set at US$12.00. The 2nd Wave is composed of three Fire models in burgundy. The 3rd Wave includes six Coca Cola models with authentic billboard background from six different countries. Barrett-Jackson makes up the 4th Wave.

1:18 Scale: The 1:18 scale models will feature 50th Birthday Medallions. Leading off in January in the 1st Wave are 6 Fire models to be distributed globally. The 2nd Waved due in April is composed of licensed models including Ford, Coca Cola and Goodyear. The 3rd Wave due out in July are more licensed models such as Champion, Jeep and will be distributed globally. Some of these large scale models would be (in no particular wave order) Fire Truck , Jeep Liberty, VW Concept Beetle

ULTIMATE REPLICA!!! A new Ladder Fire Truck in 1:64 scale is the Ultimate Replica. 25,000 of them will done in the Birthday color of burgundy and 5,000 in gold. AND one will be done in solid 24 karat gold to be auctioned proceeds going to charity.

1:64 LICENSED MODELS: Special models from 22 prime time Emmy TV shows are on the agenda for 2002 beginning in July with the Sopranos, a Chevy Suburban in red. Later in 2002, there should be a model from the TV show Masters of the Universe. In total Matchbox has promised 22 of these special models. The price is set at US$4.00.

ELVIS PRESLEY ENCORE!! pic For the 25 Anniversary of Elvis's passing, there will be a series "Elvis at the Drive-In". The models will be four replicas of cars Elvis drove in movies, a Cobra for Spin Out, A Caddy for Jailhouse Rock, a Ford Sun Liner for Viva Los Vegas and a Dodge Dart for Blue Hawaii. The diorama in the background will be composed of a movie screen with an Elvis image in it and a marquee with the movie billing. The price is set at US$13.00.

THEN & NOW: Toys "R" Us will feature four more sets of Then & Now with the Then being a standard model and the now with the 50th Birthday medallion. Later in the year there will be gift sets of two models including a 1952 and a replica of new models. More on this one later.

This is it for now. I guess this will keep a lot of people busy during the year. I am looking forward to this line as I think it has a lot of good models for collectors. Happy Hunting and Good Luck.

Shabbir Malik / Jan. 2002

G Book

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