Prepare to see lots of orange. The headline may be a little bit too epic, but if any two models perfectly summed up the age-old rivalry between Britain and France’s most recognizable die-cast brands in the modern day, these are the ones. I am sure there have been plenty of comparisons between these two models, but this is my take on them.
Given that I keep up with plenty of other collector-oriented blogs and websites, you can imagine I was pretty excited when the basic Matchbox Range Rover Evoque finally arrived in stores here. I picked up a couple from Poundland, and my initial thoughts were that I loved the colour, I loved the tampos, and I loved that I managed to get it for £1! My husband took me for a coffee afterwards, and I remember fawning over it in Costa that cold November evening.
That isn’t to say everything was positive. I had some consternation about the very dark windows, for example, which are usually hiding something – something that in most cases for Matchbox, isn’t there. I was pleasantly surprised to find there was an interior, but the plastic roof is a little disappointing.
Of course that always leads to the “Mattel has to keep it at $1 for Wal-Mart” debate, so I can’t bang on about it. However I think they could have lightened the windows a little bit, rather than make it all so dark.
The fact it’s now popular to have a different coloured roof on these cars means I am excited to see any future releases. I really hope to see white, yellow, and green. I know there’s a black one currently out, so we’ll see how many months it takes for that to arrive on UK shores…
The front of the car looks really great. All the tampos are spot-on, and for a £1 car they look super nice. The baseplate design, with that black and grey plastic (the black plastic I am guessing goes to the interior, while the grey is the sole base-plate, without taking it apart) looks accurate to the real car. The fog lights have been applied, the grille detail is nice, the Land-Rover logo is there, and the headlights capture the car’s personality well.
The wing-mirrors have been included, and interestingly, the bonnet vents have used the black plastic of the interior – not sure what the thinking was there, but it does break up the colour nicely.
Round back is the same story. I think the tampos are really nice, but then I’ve always liked Matchbox headlight/tail light tampos. They have lots of personality, and I think Matchbox have done well to capture the floral “eye” kind of design on the rear of the car. They also applied the reflectors, which was good.
I also like the application of all the car’s details – the “Range Rover” type is nice and clear, the Land-Rover logo is easily identifiable, and while the model name is a little hard to see, it’s there, and it looks realistic. It’s a shame there is no license plate, however – that would have really finished off the look. I also love the baseplate design, which looks a lot like the real thing.
Finally, let’s move on to the wheels – I love Matchbox ten-spokes. I loved them on the Corvette ZR1, the Chrysler 300 and the Infiniti G37, and I love them on the Range Rover. It gives it a nice bling look, that reminds us that, even though the Range Rover Evoque is just a scaled down package of its bigger brothers, this is not a car that is going to get its stilettos mucky!
Funnily enough, Majorette have gone for the same theme…
Why are both these cars orange? Did Land Rover specify some kind of debut colour for the Evoque? It’d be nice to know how each of these brands came to the decision to make orange the colour of the car. I’ve seen a blue Majorette Evoque on 3inchdiecastbliss, though that doesn’t seem to have arrived in this market. Either way, it’s a pretty execution in metalflake…
With the metal roof, working suspension, opening tail gate, visible interior, full tampo treatment, and integrated headlights, the Majorette has already beaten the Matchbox for the premium feel. Look at it – it’s magnificent.
In fact, it is hardly a secret that Majorette has been stereotypically French when it comes to tradition. Rather than do as Mattel have done, and sacrifice quality for the sake of cost, Majorette have had the opposite approach – their cars have gone up in price, yet retained their heritage. Pick up a Majorette today, and aside from the plastic base plates, barely anything would differentiate it mechanically from a 1970s model.
Starting from the front, the best feature here is the integrated headlamps, which are part of the interior glass. It looks great on this model (sometimes it can look a little strange, like on their Toyota Yaris). The application of the Range Rover lettering is spot-on, and the grille detail, while just a black sticker in effect, looks good because of the texture underneath. The fog lamps have also been added, which I always appreciate. I still think a license plate would make it look 10x better, but we rarely see that as it is.
We can expect a similar level of detail on the back of the Majorette as we did on the Matchbox. Personally, I think Matchbox got the baseplate design a bit better, as on the real car, the bumper protector/skid plate is not generally the same body colour. Matchbox also seem to have gotten the shape of the rear bumper more accurately than Majorette. I also prefer Matchbox’s rear light tampos, and I don’t think I need to tell you why!
There is just something much more substantial about the Majorette castings. They’ve always been traditionally chunky, and this one is no exception. While I am somewhat critical of their wheel choices, I like them on the Evoque, though I think they could have been a little bigger. The gap between the front wheel arch and the wheel is a little big, and I think it needed to sit a little lower to the ground near the front to help exaggerate the car’s wacky proportions. Nonetheless, everything looks to be in order, the ride height is otherwise accurate, and I can’t find a problem with it aside from that C pillar, which I think is a little too thin – then again, I am trying really hard to be pedantic here.
£2.49 is a hefty price to pay for a 1:64 scale toy (around $3.15 according to Google), but for this kind of quality, it’s a good sacrifice to make – because Majorette could have gone the route of Matchbox, and cheapened their models. But they do things differently in France, it seems…
There’s no question in my mind who won. It’s the Majorette. I don’t think it is perfect, of course – it is a little bit too big, the roof feels too wide, the tail lights are a little bit bland, and the wheels aren’t the best – but to keep the quality they have, and by saying “to hell with the consequences” they’ve gotten my respect. That, and you can actually find this in the stores. Mattel, meanwhile, seems intent to kill off Matchbox as best it can… despite some of the fantastic models they are producing.
Thanks for reading, and as always, I hope you enjoyed the photos.