By on April 16, 2021


Matchbox is headed towards 100 percent recycled, recyclable, or bio-based materials by 2030. Is this the end of die-cast cars as we know them?



In an announcement today, Mattel said these are its goals across all products and packaging. The company’s manifesto, the Drive Toward A Better Future, calls for zero-plastic packaging. Forest Stewardship Council-certified (FSC) paper products are on the shelf starting now. Matchbox cars came in little cardboard boxes when Mattel bought the company. Now, they’ve gone full circle in leaving environmentally unfriendly clamshell packaging behind.

The Hawthorne, California-based toymaker is going to change how kids play by introducing more ecologically friendly vehicles. They intend to steer kids towards a more sustainable future through promoting green technologies and behaviors. Hence, their Earth-friendly approach to toy manufacturing. Using Matchbox die-casts as the driving force, you’re going to see more miniature electric and hybrid vehicles. Kids are being taught responsible behaviors. Tools include a Matchbox recycling truck and a Fuel Station, with an EV charger.

Leading off the brand’s reintroduction is a Tesla Roadster die-cast, made of 99-percent recycled materials – recycled zinc, plastic, and stainless steel. Carbon neutrality was achieved. Toys were created in more ecologically friendly ways. The remaining carbon emissions were balanced by supporting grasslands conservation projects. It also has an inner tray made of 70-percent bio-based, potato-derived material.


Lost in all this environmental goodness is Barbie and Chelsea, who blindly enjoy their Splashtastic Pool Surprise with none of the consciousness attached to the car toys.


Thankfully, if you do not wish to partake of this movement towards social responsibility before the age of ten, over at the Hot Wheels website there’s no mention of environmental anything. The Hot Wheels id Rodger Dodger has what appears to be a blown Hemi engine sticking out of the hood, with zoomie exhaust pipes, and redline tires. An embedded chip records track speed and lap count.

You may return to your regularly scheduled programming.

[Images: Mattel]

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18 Comments on “Matchbox Moves Towards 100% Recycled Materials...”

  • avatar

    I gave up on Hot Wheels and their freakish 4-wheeled creations long ago. Matchbox hasn’t inspired me with their product line in a while either.

    But recently I ran across the Auto World brand and I’ve bought a bunch of those. Very detailed Americana. A lot like Johnny Lightning, which I also love.

    • 0 avatar

      Haven’t Hot Wheels always been a bit “freakish”?
      I gave up on toy cars when everything became about “rare scalpers edition” stuff. I expect a bunch of old men to buy up these Teslas just to flip em on ebay.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        Hot Wheels and Matchbox have recently moved to almost exclusive realism. There are more licensed models and fewer in-house designs – but most of the in-house designs now go for a realistic car look. Some exceptions exist, of course, like the taco car and rubber duckie car. But don’t judge by what’s left in the store, the aforementioned old men have been there and gotten all the cool/profitable ones.

  • avatar

    I still have some of the original made in England die cast Matchbox, as old as they are they’re still fairly affordable. I do like the idea of toys made from recyclable materials.

    My question is, WHERE do they make the newer ones?

  • avatar

    You know that metal can be recycled right?

    The writers are getting so damn snarky around here I want to give them all a cookie and put them down for a nap.


  • avatar

    Oh, my…recyclable packaging, and recycled metal and plastic in the models? It’s the end of civilization as we know it. Everybody head for the bunker!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Nothing wrong with this. Actually, their product is just following the auto industry trend.

  • avatar

    How did they manage to package vapors like that in the headline image?

  • avatar

    60,000 hospital visits per year in the UK alone (from hard-to-open packaging):

    [Kids and adults used to be more familiar with the proper/safe use of a knife – few are today. Even if you know what you are doing, some thick plastic clamshells are a relative challenge.]

    We have an older version of this which gets hauled out on Christmas morning:

    The offset in the cutting blades is designed specifically for plastic clamshells (the third picture in the listing kind of shows this but not very well). Be aware that they changed the design and some people don’t like the new one.

  • avatar

    Reducing waste in manufacturing processes and the supply chain should be part of the day-to-day work of any business. Why does this warrant a press release?

  • avatar

    I still have all of my original Matchbox cars from the mid-sixties, a complete collection of all 75, with their original boxes! We are not talking unopened, they were played with a lot, but generally indoors, and they are mostly all in good condition. A have a couple dozen original mid-sixties Hot Wheels too, though not with original packaging.

    I used to think that the collections would be worth something, but many of those that would have wanted these are no longer with us, and hence are flooding the market with their no longer needed collections.

    • 0 avatar

      Hot Wheels are a different story. They’ve stayed relevant and the vintage ones, Redlines especially will remain the holy grail, not just of the brand, but the hobby. There was really no comparison from the start of Hot Wheels on.

  • avatar

    Bottom line, we need clean plentiful and inexpensive electric power to make electric cars a suitable replacement choice to ICE.
    In New England, the 1 KWh cost of .27 makes an electric vehicle a poor choice in most situations.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s more of a reduced range in January issue that makes BEVs less useful in New England. Or April – a Red Sox game in Boston was snowed out Friday.

  • avatar

    Good step but will they also stop making them in Chinese coal powered plants?

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