Drive Your Dream Car with Matchbox

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to own your dream car, maybe it's a Lamborghini Gallardo, Hummer H2, or a 1941 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe?

I've always had a dream of owning a Land Rover Defender and travelling through uncharted territory in South Africa, then through Africa, and finally wherever I am able to explore across the globe.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to test the new Land Rover Defender 110 through parts of the Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, and Gauteng.

It was an amazing feeling to get behind the wheel of my dream car, but once the 7 days was over to review the vehicle, everything faded into a distant memory, and all I have left are a few pictures to remind me of the time I spent with the Land Rover Defender 110.

Matchbox Land Rover Defender 110
Matchbox Land Rover Defender 110 with New Land Rover Defender 110
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes

Growing up in the 90's, Matchbox was the leading die-cast toy car manufacturers, and I had quite a collection, from the Opel Kadett to the Jaguar S-Type.

Matchbox is known for producing their 1:64 scale realistic die-cast toy vehicles with original rolling wheels (some have other moving parts), and authentic decals and branding of popular automative brands. Matchbox is officially licensed to make these miniature replicas, and sells approximately 1 car every second. The die-cast vehicle industry is reported to sell over 40 million products every year, and if every Matchbox ever produced were laid bumper to bumper it would circle the world 6 times.

The story of how and why the first Matchbox toy was made, has been told differently over the years. What we do know for a fact is that in 1952 John William Odell who was an English inventor of Matchbox toys and the engineer responsible for their unique design was working at Lesney Products when he designed a small steamroller in a matchbox for his daughter to take to school. One of the stories (which has been verified) was that the kids could bring any toy to school that could fit in a matchbox, and instead of his daughter taking spiders (which apparently she did), he designed a miniature version of the Lesney green and red steamroller, which proved to be a big hit amongst his daughter's school friends. 

Fast forward to 1996 when the creators of Hot Wheels, Mattel, bought Matchbox from Tyco Toys and now also manufactures real world-inspired playsets, larger vehicles for younger children, as well as aircrafts from their Top Gun range.

Matchbox has over the years, made it possible to drive your dream car at a fraction of the price.

In fact when I drove the new Land Rover Defender 110 this year I had my son's (because he has now taken over the Matchbox collection) 1997 Matchbox Defender 110 with us wherever we went. 

While I was having fun driving over the rocks and through the puddles, so was he - I actually think he might have had more fun than me because there were places I couldn't go with my Defender that he could with his.

The Matchbox cars have become a part of our family, and my son and I get to bond while driving them around the country (literally), but it's also great because he is learning about all these new and old production cars which he gets a thrill out of spotting when we sees them pass us by on the road.

Matchbox has always paid close attention to detail in the design of their cars. While many toy car manufacturers generally have the similar rims on all their cars or slight modifications from the actual vehicle to suit the manufacturing process, Matchbox cars are the closest miniature replicas of the vehicles on the road you can find in the market.

This year Mattel unveiled a first-of-its-kind, carbon neutral Matchbox Tesla Roadster die-cast vehicle made from 99% recycled materials which will go into production in 2022. Mattel's goal is to achieve 100% recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic material across both its products and packaging by 2030, and hopes to feature more innovative electric vehicles with environments that model the real world, and toys which are designed to engage children in a greener future of driving.

On our recent visit to Sun City we took our Matchbox Defender for a test drive around the resort, from navigating through the bunkers on the Gary Player golf course to braving the rough waters at the Valley of Waves, those are memories that I'm sure my son will pass down to his son, just as my dad shared his Matchbox memories with me, and I did with my son.

Sun City has also made a change to conserve our environment by introducing an electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-PACE, to move guests around the resort.

Matchbox cars are available from leading toy retailers and most supermarket chains at a recommended retail price of R39.90.

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Ziyaad Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of

He is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate and has been running businesses since the age of 13. Ziyaad is a registered Financial Advisor, but has taken on many roles in various industries over the years. With his entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge he assists individuals and businesses to grow and achieve their goals.  

Find him at: Instagram: @ziyaad_86 / @ilovezacom Twitter: @ziyaad86 / @ilovezacom Facebook:  LinkedIn: Ziyaad Plaatjes / YouTube:  SoundCloud: E-mail: is an award-winning Digital Media, Marketing, and Advertising Company (with Influence) est. 2015, with a global reach of over 1 million

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 #iloveza❤️🇿🇦 #AfterFajrGrind Accolades:

2021 Winner of Brand South Africa's Nation Pride Play Your Part Award

2018 Winner of Tech Savvy Boss Award at the Roshgold Young Business Achiever Award

Nabihah Plaatjes Accolades:

2018 Contributing Author to SAFFRON: A Collection of Personal Narratives

2017 Recipient of Owami Women & Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Award

Ziyaad Plaatjes Accolades:

2021 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans: Arts, Entertainment, Film & Media 

2020 Contributing Author to There's a Story in Everyone

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