Total Pageviews

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Red Fiat 1500: One of the earliest of Matchbox' color variations

I credit Mattel's Hot Wheels, with, among many other things, opening up Matchbox' eyes to the idea of making cars in multiple colors.  Up until Hot Wheels burst on the scene, Matchbox would typically only make a casting in one color. 

Perhaps that's what makes this particular casting, in red, so unique...  It came before Hot Wheels, even if only by a year or two, but it came in TWO colors.  The typical blue-green, and the very atypical red.  So when I saw this red model included as part of a set of cars, I bought the set, just for this one car. 

Thankfully I still didn't pay too much for the set, since this particular example is pretty beaten on and scratched up.  It was also missing its roof-top luggage - though they are easy to swap from car to car (and I did that for this set of photos). 

In addition, this casting has never been one of my favorites.  It's boring!  One Matchbox writer observed that it was such a boring model that it shares the interior tub with a Ford (and I can assure that in real life, a Fiat and a Ford did not have identical interiors)! 

The luggage on the roof adds a tiny amount of visual interest...  but only a tiny amount.  The wheels are measly, the engine output likely anemic, the paint luster and color, either in red or green, is boring...  I doubt that any American kid really lusted after this toy...  Its castings like this that gave an opening for Hot Wheels to flood the 1/64th scale toy market.  And thankfully, Matchbox chose to kill this casting rather than a better one, when they upgraded their line to the superfast specifications. 

Still, its a color variation from the time before color variations, and that makes it special... least to me!


No comments:

Post a Comment