- Matchbox plans to use recycled or recyclable materials in its toys and packaging by 2030.
- Matchbox will also increase its electric vehicle presence in the company’s lineup and include electric vehicle chargers in gas station playsets.
- Matchbox’s Tesla Roadster will launch in 2022.
With the spotlight squarely on sustainability, more and more companies have started taking alternative approaches to becoming more environmentally friendly. Automakers are taking steps to make their machines more environmentally friendly, so it makes sense that their scaled-down counterparts are following their lead, such as Matchbox’s announcement to switch to almost exclusively recycled materials and bio-based plastics. by 2030.
That’s right, every corner of the Matchbox world is going to become more eco-friendly, from the packaging to the toys themselves. This transition to more sustainable materials will not happen overnight, however. It is a timed plan that will take place in stages. The first important step will be to eliminate plastic from the company’s packaging. The folks at Matchbox have already started with its latest edition to the “Power Grabs” line. Matchbox has gone so far as to opt for Forrest Stewardship Council certified paper and wood pulp for the line’s packaging. The company also opts for water-based paints.
Why MatchBox? Why now? Well, Roberto Stanichi of Mattel explains, “Matchbox has always been about realism. It is a reflection of the world and the vehicles that children see driving on the road every day. As we pondered our brands and considered where to start, we thought, “Well, if this world is changing, Matchbox should too.”
Stanichi adds, “It’s not just about materials, and it’s not just about the use of materials, but it’s also about how we bring different themes and play themes to children who are also focus on greener behaviors. We therefore felt that Matchbox was perfectly positioned to be the leading brand on the commitment to use 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastics in all our toys and packaging.
The Matchbox team is also considering revamping its scale car manufacturing holistically, from overhauling its die-casting process to expanding green car representation in its lineup, including things simple as the electric vehicle chargers in its playsets. Not only does this mean the sets will be more environmentally friendly, but they will also better reflect the changing landscape of vehicles.
According to Stanichi, this transition to using more sustainable materials has not been easy. “Preparing our business and operations to meet this sustainability commitment is something we’ve been doing for a year and a half,” he says. “That includes a shift in model operation and a shift in design thinking and mindset.”
Going further, Stanichi says, “One of the challenges we have is perfecting the heating process. Making sure we have the right inlet temperature and then also the pressure we could use when we’re casting because materials bend differently and have different properties. And then the cooling process. Sometimes the material got too hot and deformed. It wouldn’t hold the shape the way we wanted it to. So we have done a number of iterations to ensure that the die casting meets our quality standard and we really make sure that we deliver the quality that our customers expect from the Mattel die. – sunken cars. To ensure that it lasts a lifetime and is as durable as the products we offered before.
This means Matchbox guarantees that these more durable toys will be as durable as their traditionally made counterparts. This should be reassuring news for Matchbox enthusiasts and diecast collectors as a whole, especially those who might be interested in a more durable product but also with an ongoing collection. After all, the best way to reduce waste is to keep toys flowing.
To that end, Matchbox is kicking off its greener future with a special Tesla Roadster. This is the first Matchbox car made from 99% recycled materials. This scaled-down Tesla roadster is made from 62.1% recycled zinc and 36.9% recycled plastic. Add those numbers up and you’ll find 99% recycled construction. The last 1% is stainless steel.
Although this Tesla Roadster is a beautiful toy and a well-known piece of popular culture, Stanichi notes that the toy is more than its materials. He says, “We love this cast of the Matchbox Tesla roadster because it represents two things. It’s not just about materials and the use of materials that are more sustainable, but also themes that encourage environmental awareness and really help kids adopt greener behaviors in their play.
In addition to the eco-friendly nature of this Tesla toy, Matchbox purchases carbon offsets to ensure the latest toy in their stable is carbon neutral. “One thing that we really love about it is that with the carbon offsets, the credits go to preservation projects, and we have two under this Tesla Roadster project. One for grassland preservation in Colorado and another in Montana,” says Stanichi.
If you’re wondering if it stops with Matchbox, it doesn’t. This push is part of Mattel’s attempt to meet its 2030 goal of exclusively using recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials. That means Hot Wheels and Barbie are also heading down a greener path.
All this pivoting to more durable materials will require some patience from diecast collectors – Matchbox won’t be releasing this carbon neutral diecast car until 2022. If this toy is a sample of what’s to come, you should have as much faith in Matchbox’s future as you have in its past.
Do you think do recycled Matchbox cars make sense? Let us know in the comments below.
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