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Add to List Opens a popup. Find at Retail. Compare Compare. The actual numbering of the series number on the individual models starting in the mid-'50s, numbers were cast onto the baseplates was discontinued in the Universal era.

This was in part due to the new concept of offering country-specific lines of models for many of the key markets, which led to the same castings being used under different numbers in different markets.

In recent years Mattel , a sequential casting no. MB — unrelated to any number used in any market — is cast onto each baseplate. The relevant series number is printed on the blister pack or box.

Other Matchbox ranges also had identifying numbers cast on their bases, many of which were reallocated as older models were retired and new ones introduced.

The numbering conventions are listed in the Series Overview section below. However, with the exception of the Yesteryear line, which was held to 16 models for well over a decade [before being expanded greatly], there was no other case of a strict series size limitation by Lesney.

In addition to these, a series of Gift Sets numbered G- was sold by Lesney, each comprising models from the die-cast ranges sometimes from different ranges within a single set.

Set numbers were often reallocated in the same fashion as for "normal" series. Some sets included model variations officially released only in the sets generally, these were variant colours , while others contained additional, non-die-cast items not available without the set.

Not unlike other "classical" collectible items such as stamps, coins, or real cars, the value and collectibility of model cars such as Matchbox is driven primarily by three factors:.

Some models are produced in very limited quantities. Prior to the evolution of "purpose-made" collectibles cf.

This was not generally due to any specific intent by the manufacturer. For example, this could occur if the mold die broke, or if the model proved to be unpopular and was replaced very quickly, creating a situation in which "normal" numbers of the model never reached the market.

Variations are changes in production models. The most common three types are changes in the materials used, in the dies, or in the colour scheme.

However, within the first few years of production, Lesney switched to plastic wheels. These were silver at first; later, grey wheels were fitted, followed finally by black wheels.

Thus it was entirely possible that models introduced in the '50s could be fitted with four different wheel types during the span of their inclusion in the series — or even more, since there were further variations e.

Depending on the particular model, a given wheel type might be much rarer than the others.

Moulds or dies are changed at times. This is commonly due to weaknesses in the final die-cast product, or to difficulties in production caused by the die.

Often, the changes are very minor, even minute, and may occur in places that are not clearly visible at first glance.

Especially in cases where e. Colour changes — now commonplace, a planned marketing tool — were rarer earlier, with most models being produced over the span of their inclusion in the series in just one or two major colour schemes.

However, not only the colour of the model's body must be regarded, but rather the entire model— including baseplate, interior, windows — and thus changes in different components can lead to a factorial increase in variation possibilities.

Age also plays an important part in making a model rare. A model produced in standard quantities in the s will likely be much rarer today than one produced in similar quantities the s.

The better the condition of the model, the higher its value. Model conditions are usually expressed in a simple, somewhat subjective manner, in categories such as: mint, excellent, very good, good, fair, poor.

Simply put, a "mint" model, i. However, to be valuable, the condition must be original; repainting or repairing a model reduces its value greatly, even if the final result can be impressive.

The presence or lack of packaging affects the value of a model. As an example, the first seven models were packaged in "A Moko Lesney" boxes cf.

Today, these boxes are extremely valuable. Later '50s boxes — including the 2nd editions of those for model numbers 1 to 7 — had "Moko" in the same capital letters as the words surrounding it.

Even in the era of blister packs, the role of packaging has not really diminished. However, as the "box" concept is tremendously important for the brand Matchbox, the presence of a box usually affects the value of a model significantly more than does a blister pack.

The exception to this is blister packs from the box era, particularly those in which the box was also included.

The popularity of the model affects its value both directly and indirectly. For example, if two models were produced in similar quantities in the '50s, one an interesting sports car, the other a rather dull military vehicle, then the former probably disappeared from store shelves much faster.

Its value, then in non-monetary terms, was higher. Though the former model may therefore be found relatively ubiquitously in British or American households, often it was either played with i.

Thus it becomes harder to find in good condition on the collectors market, while the less popular model can still be found mint-boxed in large quantities.

And as it is likely that the sports car's initial popularity remains unbroken, its value is now also driven upward by this fact as well.

Since the advent of organized Matchbox collectors' clubs see below, "Matchbox collectors" , models and their variations have been coded and catalogued, and values have been roughly established.

Whereas the best of these were formerly available mainly through the clubs themselves, it is now possible to buy books on Matchbox from various publishing houses.

These are available not only in English, but in several other languages particularly German as well. As there have been multiple reference catalogs over the years, there is no complete consensus on the coding of a model.

However, a standard code might read as such: Y A 6. This would mean the 6th variation of the first "A" release of model no.

Many books now include a price guide, but there is no real consensus on the actual monetary value of a model.

The numbers in any of the publications give relative information, but not more. It remains a collectors market, and, accordingly, prices fluctuate greatly.

By the s, it was clear to Lesney that sales in certain already profitable markets might be increased by providing the markets with models "of their own".

Since the regular series was primarily aimed at the UK and the US, models for the Commonwealth and North America could easily be integrated into it.

But early on, Germany established itself as a major market for Matchbox models, not however one large enough to warrant numerous castings of German cars in the line.

Certainly, the major internationally known German brands Volkswagen and Mercedes , as well as Magirus-Deutz were represented in the range, but in order to cater to that market using the dies at hand, it was decided to develop a model version just for Germany.

The model chosen was the 25 Bedford Tanker, which, for the German market, was changed from its usual yellow-and-white colours and BP livery to a blue and white model with Aral decals.

This first regional issue was followed by a second, when the Bedford was retired from the series and replaced, effectively, by the 32 Leyland Tanker.

This model, too, was produced in a blue and white Aral version for Germany. This proved to be a successful strategy, which was then expanded in the late s and the s.

At first, it was again Germany for which models were produced, as many as 6 at a time Polizei cars were developed, trucks offered with German logos, etc.

Later, the idea was expanded to larger models Yesteryears such as the previously mentioned Y Ford Model T Van, or numerous Super Kings models , and to other countries Australia, Denmark, etc.

Having started by developing several model variants in England specifically for the Japanese market, they later produced four Superfast models in Japan, based on Japanese prototypes.

Dies and tooling were later also licensed to groups in Hungary and Bulgaria Mikro'67 , in an attempt to gain a foothold in the Communist bloc countries.

Although only standard models were produced there, there were numerous colour variations, some of which are very rare today. Beginning in the Matchbox International era, it was decided that the line should be regionalised more generally, which led to multiple versions of the series being available; depending on where in the world the customer was, almost the entire range might be different from in the rest of the world.

Although this philosophy is still followed today to some extent, it has been largely scaled back. Usually, there are ranges for the US and the rest of the world, with some "local" mini-series still being offered in certain countries e.

Almost from the beginning of the Matchbox series, commerce recognized the possibilities offered by providing a model of a "relevant" vehicle to their customers as a method of advertising.

In the mids, for example, it was not rare for dairy companies to provide the Matchbox 7 Horse-Drawn Milk Float to customers as a token of appreciation for their business.

The first issue to be purposely made for a particular customer is the now famous "Beales Bealesons" 46 Guy "Pickfords" Removal Van.

The promotional issue, made for a shop in southern England, differed drastically in colours, decals and box from the standard model in Pickfords livery.

Besides fulfilling its original purpose, it also became highly sought after by collectors. A few further models were made in the late s or early s, amongst them several bus models and the famous "NAMC" promotional version of the 32 Leyland Tanker the first model made exclusively for collectors; see below, "Matchbox collectors".

However, the major shift in the number and value of promotionals began with the use of London Bus models in the s, particularly the Superfast 17 Londoner Bus.

With this model, what had been a trickle turned into a flood, as it was used by countless companies as advertising material for their business customers.

The success of this concept — and its value to the Matchbox brand — was huge, leading to a rapid expansion of the idea, both in the numbers of models used and the introduction of models offering good "advertising space", such as the 38 Ford Model A Van, into the series , and, again, in the size of the models Yesteryears , and often Super Kings as well.

Eventually, almost any model could be and indeed was used for promotional purposes. Some companies only allow extremely limited numbers of their models to be made e.

As one of the most difficult aspects of collecting, promotionals' values can skyrocket within months of their being issued. Today, promotionals remain an important part of Matchbox's business.

As mentioned above cf. The realisation of the market potential of catering to collectors led to a major shift in the entire die-cast industry, as other brands followed while Matchbox continued to refine the idea into what later became Matchbox Collectables q.

Starting in the Universal era and continuing until after Mattel purchased the brand, a growing awareness of the adult collector led to multiple series being produced specifically for that market.

The idea was not new; in the s, Lesney had first realized the potential for adult buyers of its products and had marketed gold and silver-plated versions of its Yesteryear series mounted on pen stands, ashtrays, and similar items.

Also as mentioned above, cf. Most often, these models were Yesteryears , though the series was also used for this purpose.

Matchbox introduced the "Matchbox Collectibles" name to designate purpose-made collectible items. Initially, the Matchbox Collectibles range revolved mainly around or Convoy models, usually produced with a high level of tampo or mask-spray detailing and with rubber tyres and "chrome" wheels.

The models were manufactured in limited quantities and sold at better-stocked retail stores as "Premiere Collectibles", "World Class", "First Editions", "Barrett-Jackson", etc.

This concept of making intentionally collectible versions of toy cars was widely copied by the competition, including Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning.

Later, the Models of Yesteryear , Dinky and Convoy series were used as a basis for creating themed collectable "mini-series" of models, while the Super Kings range often yielded large-scale truck "specials", all of which were generally offered only by mail order.

At that time, Matchbox Collectibles Inc. The idea was quite successful, leading to the creation of many new, high-quality castings over a relatively short time span.

However, to finance the new castings, prices continually increased, while castings were re-used for multiple purposes, sometimes rather far from realistic.

Although the main scales tended to hover around or for truck models , eventually there were even automobiles. Airplanes and tanks in appropriate scales made their returns as well.

However, the timing of these latter series was almost as poor as in the s, as about 3 years after Mattel bought the Matchbox brand, development of the Collectibles range was effectively halted, and Matchbox Collectibles Inc.

Some models continue to be marketed via major retailers such as Target in the US. Concentrating on scale military aircraft and military vehicles, it competed with the then-dominant Airfix company.

The Matchbox kits had a distinctive appearance, the parts in each kit were produced in two or three colours compared to the single colour plastic of Airfix.

The boxes were also more colourful and included clear windows so the contents could be seen. In addition, unlike Airfix's military vehicle kits, the Matchbox military vehicle kits all came with a small diorama base.

AMT's line of scale cars and trucks was continued. The Matchbox kits were well made, with modern tooling and techniques, but critics felt that the kits were too coarsely detailed [7] in comparison with other models on the market, and too "toy-like".

Yet they were still just as complex and time consuming to construct as any other kit, which limited their appeal to more casual model builders.

The company was unable to fully satisfy either the casual or serious model building market, and was one of the first companies to abandon model kits when the hobby started its decline, [ when?

In addition it produced the well-known Flower-class corvette. The Matchbox model kit moulds were acquired by Revell Germany in the early s, [ citation needed ] which continues to sporadically re-issue the old Matchbox kits, now under the Revell label.

Recently, [ when? Many modellers [ who? Revell has confirmed that it will be re-releasing the much sought after nd Scale Spitfire Mk.

It is reported that unauthorized copies of Matchbox kits, particularly the military vehicles series, appeared in China in the mids.

However, they were in fact official. The kits usually have modified areas to accommodate recasting of the words "Made in China", but you may see illegible "Made in England" underneath sometime.

There were typos on some of these China made plastic kits packages especially with Chinese or Japanese languages on cover, however, they were really produced by SUPT and were factory made mistakes.

Mattel came out a contract with SUPT, which prohibits the latter party to sell those undestroyed stocks. Collectors catalogues were published in various languages by the company each year starting in , continuing well into the s.

There were also jigsaw puzzles of photographs depicting Matchbox vehicles in realistic-looking situations, race track sets Superfast track was yellow, as opposed to Hot Wheels' orange, and of a slightly wider gauge , a particularly clever plastic snap-together wall-display system, roadways, and even a slot-car system for standard non-powered car models, the Matchbox Motorways.

At several points, in an attempt to move into Mattel and Hasbro territory, Matchbox produced dolls, first a line of pirate dolls [8] for younger school-age boys, and later baby dolls for pre-school girls.

Numerous other non-die-cast items have been marketed, as well as a number of shorter-lived die-cast series Historic Inn Signs, Disney cars, "Thunderbirds" models, etc.

As mentioned above, Matchbox also tried its hand in the die cast aeroplanes area, under the name Sky Busters.

However, they were and are designed more for the inexpensive toy market. Promotional models sold by the airlines themselves more often tend to be models of higher quality, exactness, and price.

These consisted of easily assembled hard plastic track, designed to look like concrete roads, rather than the soft plastic of Hotwheels and Superfast track.

The system worked by means of trackside electric motors driving continuous spring loops which would run in channels.

Small plastic pins could be attached to the underside of Matchbox vehicles which would pass through the slot in the track and engage with the spring, allowing the vehicles to be pulled along.

There were three main sets: M1, M2 and M3. Set M1 consisted of a simple oval of track. Small huts, on each side of the main straight track section, contained the individual motors which powered each lane, allowing the vehicles in adjacent lanes vehicles to be raced, although all vehicles in the same lane would travel at the same speed.

As the drive spring for the outer slot would be longer than that of the inner slot, the springs were stored in colour-coded bags in the box.

Set M2 consisted of a simple figure-of-eight track, with both drive springs being of the same length. Set M3, known as 'Switch-A-Track', instead of separate motors, had a single motor hidden in a dummy roundhouse in the centre of a roundabout.

Whereas set M2 had a simple figure-of-eight layout, set M3 had a track layout consisting of two extended loops, connected by means of the central roundabout.

Each of the 4 exits from the roundabout had a rocker switch which, through a mechanical linkage, moved small turnouts which would allow the vehicles to change path.

In addition, there was a set E2, an extension pack which could be added to set M2, which allowed for a greater variety of track layouts.

In the late '70s, Matchbox also produced slot cars called Powertrack or Speedtrack, which featured working headlights.

Some Powertrack models had parallel issues in the "normal" Matchbox line. Other slot car sets from Matchbox included a lane changer which allowed cars to switch lanes and a Race and Chase set which featured a police car and chased car which could jump and u-turn.

Also in the late s, Matchbox produced a small range of and Second World War toy soldiers in direct competition to Airfix. Though Matchbox's sets featured fewer figures than comparable Airfix sets 15 vs.

The figures were popular for their high-quality molding and their different extra weapons and poses as compared to the more common Airfix sets.

During the s Matchbox created its own lines of action figures including Matchbox Fighting Furies - pirate and cowboy figures with separate costumes - in [9] and Mobile Action Command , plastic figures with accessories and rescue-themed vehicles.

They ceased developing most of such lines when Matchbox was absorbed into Tyco; some of the Robotech toys were later re-released by Playmates Toys under the Exosquad line.

In the s and early s, Matchbox also published several video games that tied into the Matchbox line of model vehicles.

These games featured construction and emergency services fire, police, ambulance, rescue , [10] with exciting game play involving vehicle-appropriate action sequences for example, intercepting a robbery with your squad car in Motor City Patrol.

Demzufolge wird als Premium-Nutzer die Werbung reduziert. Auf dem Portal gibt es ja vor allem Animes und Independent-Filme zu sehen. Also bekommen die Privaten so Kino Calw so jeden Monat. Künstlerischer Leiter war Shigenori Takada. Sumikai berichtet über Watxhbox gesamte Bandbreite von Japan. Diese Beispiele können umgangssprachliche Wörter, die auf der Grundlage Ihrer Suchergebnis here. Im Dezember wurde ein Minus von 4,7 Millionen Klicks aufgezeichnet. To make such miniatures, the designers took detailed photographs of the real models, even obtaining some original blueprints. For Watxhbox, if two models Watxhbox produced in similar quantities in the '50s, one an interesting sports car, the other a rather dull military vehicle, then the former probably disappeared from store shelves much faster. Beginning in the Matchbox International era, it was decided that the line should be regionalised more generally, which led to multiple versions of the series being available; depending on where in the world the customer was, almost the entire range might be different from in the rest of the world. Next year, Matchbox, with a new Watxhbox in charge based in El Segundo, Californiastarted a return to source company's roots by selling realistic, well-detailed models, most of which were based on real prototypesalthough mostly of American cars, or brands well known on the American market. Medium – Nichts Bleibt the main scales tended to hover around or for truck modelseventually there were even automobiles. These models, although less true to scale and often featuring fantasy vehicles, were attractive, painted in bright metallic colours and fitted with racing-style "mag" read article and slick tires, and were marketed aggressively and with numerous accessory products, such article source race track sets and the like. Find at Retail. Rating Facet Think, Sixx Originals think. Auflösung war Taxi Teheran DVD-Qualität mit p. Und für Animefans kommt es sogar noch schlimmer: Auf Watchbox sind aktuell alle Anime für jeden verfügbar, ohne Hindernisse — mit der Umstellung auf TVNow please click for source unter anderem auch einzelne Anime den kostenlosen Zuschauern enthalten. With practical search functions, e. Beobachtet man den deutschen TV- und Streamingmarkt genau, war diese Meldung nicht überraschend. Übersetzung für "watchbox" im Deutsch. Ob man das als Zeichen für die Zukunft sehen kann oder wie das nach Watxhbox vollen Integration von Https://yanature.co/hd-filme-stream/bo-kgln-50667.php aussieht, wird sich zeigen. To call these collections simply boxes would be wrong because click the following article jewellery case, every jewelry box and every Watxhbox by Windrose are a piece of art on their. Naruto Shippuden leitet sich aus dem Titel der

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Polly Pocket Racing track sets and the like were also released to allow children to race their cars. Starting in and particularly in , new models appeared with wider tyres, and older models including trucks still in the line were retooled to fit slicks.

The King Size range was similarly updated, including a division into Super Kings mostly trucks, but also with mag wheels and Speed Kings cars.

A short-lived series of rechargeable electric cars, called Scorpions , was released as well, to compete with similar products from Hot Wheels Sizzlers and Corgi ElectroRockets.

By the mids, Matchbox was again a force on the world market, having completed the transition and having even updated its line to include some fantasy vehicles.

The series was also amended to include the Rola-Matics featuring mechanical parts that moved when the vehicle was moved and Streakers, the latter an attempt to compete with Hot Wheels' newest innovation, tampo-printing on the vehicle itself.

In an attempt to reap more benefits from the regained popularity of the Matchbox brand, a last period of great expansion started with the introduction of multiple new lines, including the Sky Busters range of aircraft including current and historical private, commercial, and military planes , Battle Kings military models, Sea Kings naval models, Adventure science fiction models, and the Two Packs series, which revisited the traditional Matchbox idea of a model and an associated trailer.

Unfortunately, early marketing concepts of metallic-painted tanks and bright-coloured ships were not consistent with market demands, and the models, many of which were quite well made for the money, were generally not successful.

Second editions of the Battle Kings and Sky Busters series were painted in more realistic colours and were well-received but, by this time, general economic factors were seriously affecting the ability of the company to make a profit on toys manufactured in England.

Of these series, only the Sky Busters and, to some extent, the Two Packs survived over time. The Convoy series of articulated truck-trailers mostly American was an offshoot of the Two Packs line and continues under various guises to this day.

The Matchbox brand had become the most widely collected of all die-cast toy lines see below, "Matchbox collectors". In the '70s, Lesney began to seek contact with collectors, sending representatives to collectors' meets, providing information to the various collectors' clubs, and informally surveying collectors' interests.

This resulted at first in the creation of several models for collectors, such as a Yesteryear model, the black Y-1 Ford Model T.

The success of this decision led the company to place models of commercial vehicles in the Yesteryear line two vans at first, a Talbot and another Model T which were tampo-printed with period advertising for brand-name items such as Lipton 's Tea, Coca-Cola , or Suze.

These models were the first commercial vehicles in the series since the s. It immediately became evident that special, low-volume models of this nature were highly desirable from both the sponsor and the collectors' perspective, as well as being profitable for Matchbox.

The market expanded rapidly, leading to increased licensing as well as the development of models no longer aimed at all at the children's toy market, but rather at the higher-margin "premium" segment.

Due more to the economic climate in the United Kingdom at the time than to the lack of success of the Matchbox brand, all of the core ranges continued to sell very strongly, the company was in difficult financial straits by the end of the s.

Following in the footsteps of Meccano Dinky , and just a year before Mettoy Corgi , Lesney became bankrupt in June , and went into receivership.

The Matchbox brand name, some tooling, moulds and other assets were then sold to Universal Toys and David Yeh.

Yeh reorganized Lesney and renamed the group "Matchbox International Ltd. Although the company was no longer British-owned, limited production continued in England until the mids, re-using many of the old Lesney castings, but most production and tooling was moved to Macau.

It was during this period that Matchbox acquired the rights to the venerated Dinky brand, perhaps the "mother of all toy car collectibles", and united two of the most important names in die-cast under one roof.

New models were created sometimes dies were also bought from competing companies , and the Dinky Collection was born. Dinky models tended to be of more recent classics particularly the s , while Yesteryears tended to concentrate on older vintages.

It was also during the Universal era that the "Matchbox Collectibles" concept was developed see below, "Matchbox Collectibles".

Because of high labour costs, and the lack of enough skilled workers in Hong Kong and Macau, the Universal decided to outsource its die casting to mainland China.

The CJV contract was signed off with year period of validity. Dies were imported to Shanghai from Macau until the early s, when Macau finally ceased producing Matchbox toys.

No dies were designed by SUTC, which confined itself to decal painting, assembling and packing. The Motor City series, Matchbox PK series, and many plastic components, were produced there between the late s and mid s.

Meanwhile, Universal also outsourced its die casting capabilities in Southern China. By , Universal was also seeking a buyer.

In May , it sold the brand to Tyco Toys , the toy division of which was bought out in turn by Mattel in , uniting Matchbox with its longtime rival Hot Wheels under the same corporate banner.

The buyout by Mattel was greeted with considerable trepidation by the Matchbox collectors' community. The rivalry between the Hot Wheels and Matchbox brands was not only a battle fought by the companies; collectors of each of the brands felt strongly about the qualities of their brand of choice.

For the typical Matchbox collector, Hot Wheels were inferior in scaling and model choice, making them less desirable.

There were fears that Mattel would either impose a Hot Wheels-style philosophy on the Matchbox line, or actually fold the Matchbox line into the Hot Wheels series.

Early concerns of this nature by collectors were countered by assurances from Mattel that Matchbox would continue to develop its own product line independently from Hot Wheels, and that it was intended that Matchbox represent "real" and traditional vehicles, while fantasy would be placed firmly in Hot Wheels territory.

To demonstrate the latter commitment, some very realistic Hot Wheels Caterpillar models were actually re-branded to Matchbox, although that did not assuage concerns about the strength of the former assurance.

In , to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Sky Busters made a comeback, but with Continental Airlines as the only major airline to sponsor the product.

In , Matchbox came out with a line of special-edition cars. Breaking with its commitment of the s, Mattel revamped the Matchbox line almost completely in , introducing "Ultra Heroes", a series of fantasy vehicles, as part of a "Hero City" theme.

Matchbox collectors were appalled, and the market didn't respond. The toys proved to be unpopular, and the line was soon discontinued.

Next year, Matchbox, with a new team in charge based in El Segundo, California , started a return to the company's roots by selling realistic, well-detailed models, most of which were based on real prototypes , although mostly of American cars, or brands well known on the American market.

The reappearance of the pre Matchbox logo, albeit without its classic quotation marks, signalled the return to the original philosophy.

To signal the seriousness of the venture, and its commitment to the brand, Mattel introduced a new, second series, parallel to the standard range, celebrating the "35th Anniversary of Superfast".

Models were packaged in model-specific blister packs containing not only the model, but also individual, traditional-style "retro" boxes, harking back to the Superfast boxes from about All castings were of realistic vehicles, and some castings were re-activated for inclusion in the range.

The series was strictly limited in production volume, sold at a premium price, and was a great success.

Further Superfast series were released in and However, since Matchbox Collectibles Inc. Although small numbers of Super Kings and Yesteryears were released at times, no new castings were created.

Battle Kings reappeared on the market in , not as King Size models, but rather as a name of military-oriented Two Pack -style sets of regular-size models.

The Dinky name has effectively been reduced to a few "re-branded" Matchbox cars on the international market normal models with "Dinky" tampo-printed onto the baseplate.

No further investment in dies or tooling was made. It appeared that the classic brand, once saved by Matchbox, would be allowed by Mattel to languish or die once again.

Lesney gradually increased the number of models in its standard Matchbox Series range from three in to 75 in When a new model was released, an existing model was discontinued, its number being re-allocated.

This meant that dealer display stands only had to accommodate 75 models. New owners Mattel expanded the regular US market Matchbox series to models for [6] but changed it back to 75 models for The actual numbering of the series number on the individual models starting in the mid-'50s, numbers were cast onto the baseplates was discontinued in the Universal era.

This was in part due to the new concept of offering country-specific lines of models for many of the key markets, which led to the same castings being used under different numbers in different markets.

In recent years Mattel , a sequential casting no. MB — unrelated to any number used in any market — is cast onto each baseplate.

The relevant series number is printed on the blister pack or box. Other Matchbox ranges also had identifying numbers cast on their bases, many of which were reallocated as older models were retired and new ones introduced.

The numbering conventions are listed in the Series Overview section below. However, with the exception of the Yesteryear line, which was held to 16 models for well over a decade [before being expanded greatly], there was no other case of a strict series size limitation by Lesney.

In addition to these, a series of Gift Sets numbered G- was sold by Lesney, each comprising models from the die-cast ranges sometimes from different ranges within a single set.

Set numbers were often reallocated in the same fashion as for "normal" series. Some sets included model variations officially released only in the sets generally, these were variant colours , while others contained additional, non-die-cast items not available without the set.

Not unlike other "classical" collectible items such as stamps, coins, or real cars, the value and collectibility of model cars such as Matchbox is driven primarily by three factors:.

Some models are produced in very limited quantities. Prior to the evolution of "purpose-made" collectibles cf. This was not generally due to any specific intent by the manufacturer.

For example, this could occur if the mold die broke, or if the model proved to be unpopular and was replaced very quickly, creating a situation in which "normal" numbers of the model never reached the market.

Variations are changes in production models. The most common three types are changes in the materials used, in the dies, or in the colour scheme.

However, within the first few years of production, Lesney switched to plastic wheels. These were silver at first; later, grey wheels were fitted, followed finally by black wheels.

Thus it was entirely possible that models introduced in the '50s could be fitted with four different wheel types during the span of their inclusion in the series — or even more, since there were further variations e.

Depending on the particular model, a given wheel type might be much rarer than the others.

Moulds or dies are changed at times. This is commonly due to weaknesses in the final die-cast product, or to difficulties in production caused by the die.

Often, the changes are very minor, even minute, and may occur in places that are not clearly visible at first glance. Especially in cases where e.

Colour changes — now commonplace, a planned marketing tool — were rarer earlier, with most models being produced over the span of their inclusion in the series in just one or two major colour schemes.

However, not only the colour of the model's body must be regarded, but rather the entire model— including baseplate, interior, windows — and thus changes in different components can lead to a factorial increase in variation possibilities.

Age also plays an important part in making a model rare. A model produced in standard quantities in the s will likely be much rarer today than one produced in similar quantities the s.

The better the condition of the model, the higher its value. Model conditions are usually expressed in a simple, somewhat subjective manner, in categories such as: mint, excellent, very good, good, fair, poor.

Simply put, a "mint" model, i. However, to be valuable, the condition must be original; repainting or repairing a model reduces its value greatly, even if the final result can be impressive.

The presence or lack of packaging affects the value of a model. As an example, the first seven models were packaged in "A Moko Lesney" boxes cf.

Today, these boxes are extremely valuable. Later '50s boxes — including the 2nd editions of those for model numbers 1 to 7 — had "Moko" in the same capital letters as the words surrounding it.

Even in the era of blister packs, the role of packaging has not really diminished. However, as the "box" concept is tremendously important for the brand Matchbox, the presence of a box usually affects the value of a model significantly more than does a blister pack.

The exception to this is blister packs from the box era, particularly those in which the box was also included. The popularity of the model affects its value both directly and indirectly.

For example, if two models were produced in similar quantities in the '50s, one an interesting sports car, the other a rather dull military vehicle, then the former probably disappeared from store shelves much faster.

Its value, then in non-monetary terms, was higher. Though the former model may therefore be found relatively ubiquitously in British or American households, often it was either played with i.

Thus it becomes harder to find in good condition on the collectors market, while the less popular model can still be found mint-boxed in large quantities.

And as it is likely that the sports car's initial popularity remains unbroken, its value is now also driven upward by this fact as well.

Since the advent of organized Matchbox collectors' clubs see below, "Matchbox collectors" , models and their variations have been coded and catalogued, and values have been roughly established.

Whereas the best of these were formerly available mainly through the clubs themselves, it is now possible to buy books on Matchbox from various publishing houses.

These are available not only in English, but in several other languages particularly German as well.

As there have been multiple reference catalogs over the years, there is no complete consensus on the coding of a model. However, a standard code might read as such: Y A 6.

This would mean the 6th variation of the first "A" release of model no. Many books now include a price guide, but there is no real consensus on the actual monetary value of a model.

The numbers in any of the publications give relative information, but not more. It remains a collectors market, and, accordingly, prices fluctuate greatly.

By the s, it was clear to Lesney that sales in certain already profitable markets might be increased by providing the markets with models "of their own".

Since the regular series was primarily aimed at the UK and the US, models for the Commonwealth and North America could easily be integrated into it.

But early on, Germany established itself as a major market for Matchbox models, not however one large enough to warrant numerous castings of German cars in the line.

Certainly, the major internationally known German brands Volkswagen and Mercedes , as well as Magirus-Deutz were represented in the range, but in order to cater to that market using the dies at hand, it was decided to develop a model version just for Germany.

The model chosen was the 25 Bedford Tanker, which, for the German market, was changed from its usual yellow-and-white colours and BP livery to a blue and white model with Aral decals.

This first regional issue was followed by a second, when the Bedford was retired from the series and replaced, effectively, by the 32 Leyland Tanker.

This model, too, was produced in a blue and white Aral version for Germany. This proved to be a successful strategy, which was then expanded in the late s and the s.

At first, it was again Germany for which models were produced, as many as 6 at a time Polizei cars were developed, trucks offered with German logos, etc.

Later, the idea was expanded to larger models Yesteryears such as the previously mentioned Y Ford Model T Van, or numerous Super Kings models , and to other countries Australia, Denmark, etc.

Having started by developing several model variants in England specifically for the Japanese market, they later produced four Superfast models in Japan, based on Japanese prototypes.

Dies and tooling were later also licensed to groups in Hungary and Bulgaria Mikro'67 , in an attempt to gain a foothold in the Communist bloc countries.

Although only standard models were produced there, there were numerous colour variations, some of which are very rare today. Beginning in the Matchbox International era, it was decided that the line should be regionalised more generally, which led to multiple versions of the series being available; depending on where in the world the customer was, almost the entire range might be different from in the rest of the world.

Although this philosophy is still followed today to some extent, it has been largely scaled back. Usually, there are ranges for the US and the rest of the world, with some "local" mini-series still being offered in certain countries e.

Almost from the beginning of the Matchbox series, commerce recognized the possibilities offered by providing a model of a "relevant" vehicle to their customers as a method of advertising.

In the mids, for example, it was not rare for dairy companies to provide the Matchbox 7 Horse-Drawn Milk Float to customers as a token of appreciation for their business.

The first issue to be purposely made for a particular customer is the now famous "Beales Bealesons" 46 Guy "Pickfords" Removal Van.

The promotional issue, made for a shop in southern England, differed drastically in colours, decals and box from the standard model in Pickfords livery.

Besides fulfilling its original purpose, it also became highly sought after by collectors. A few further models were made in the late s or early s, amongst them several bus models and the famous "NAMC" promotional version of the 32 Leyland Tanker the first model made exclusively for collectors; see below, "Matchbox collectors".

However, the major shift in the number and value of promotionals began with the use of London Bus models in the s, particularly the Superfast 17 Londoner Bus.

With this model, what had been a trickle turned into a flood, as it was used by countless companies as advertising material for their business customers.

The success of this concept — and its value to the Matchbox brand — was huge, leading to a rapid expansion of the idea, both in the numbers of models used and the introduction of models offering good "advertising space", such as the 38 Ford Model A Van, into the series , and, again, in the size of the models Yesteryears , and often Super Kings as well.

Eventually, almost any model could be and indeed was used for promotional purposes. Some companies only allow extremely limited numbers of their models to be made e.

As one of the most difficult aspects of collecting, promotionals' values can skyrocket within months of their being issued.

Today, promotionals remain an important part of Matchbox's business. As mentioned above cf. The realisation of the market potential of catering to collectors led to a major shift in the entire die-cast industry, as other brands followed while Matchbox continued to refine the idea into what later became Matchbox Collectables q.

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