In a move that will have repurcussions in the coming years in the diecast industry, the company and brand that almost killed off Lesney and Matchbox toys back in 1969 now own them in 1997! Mattel Toys, the world's largest toy company, bought out Tyco Toys on November 18, 1996, for $755 million. The purchase Of Tyco, which also makes radio control toys and Sesame Street Toys, would make Mattel a mega company almost dwarfing its number competitor, Hasbro. Mattel Toys had made an unseccessful bid for Hasbro itself in late 1995.
The 1997 line from Tyco Toys did not appear to be disrupted. A 1-75 line was completelely revamped for only the second time ever with sixty three re-color, twelve new models, fourteen exciting new five packs, gold coin collection models, Action System play sets, and an exciting The Lost World - Jurasic Park license from the May 1997 Spielberg movie. On March 31, 1997, Mattel officially took over Tyco Toys and the "Matchbox" brand.
In 1998 new models continued to come out and for the first time in Matchbox history the models were categoizes them in groups. The idea of Challenge Cars was dropped and the left over inventory was distributed through first KB Toys and the through Toys R Us. Mattel introduced a new line called "Real Talkin" with models from the standard miniature lines and some other models that were never part of Matchbox Toys. The one major thing that Mattel did to Matchbox toys was to stop White Rose Collectibles to produce NASCAR Models under Matchbox name.
1999 brings new changes to Matchbox line. The first and the fore most is the increase in the MB1-75 line. This line is now consists of 100 models starting January 1, 1999. There are some new and exciting models schedule to be released for this year. Let's see what happens?
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