Matchbox cars have been inspiring young enthusiasts and collectors alike since the early 1950s. In an effort to give back to veterans and first responders across the country, Matchbox’s parent company Mattel has teamed up with RealTruck Inc. and Building Homes for Heroes to auction off a life-size Jeep Gladiator inspired by one of the toy models for charity.
RealTruck Inc. is a large aftermarket manufacturer with a focus on off-road equipment and hardware. This one-off custom truck was initially built for SEMA Show 2023, before making an additional appearance at the L.A. Auto Show. The build was inspired by one of the offerings in the Matchbox Collectors series, which currently retails from Mattel for $25.
The full-size build is based on a 2023 Jeep Gladiator Rubicon, which comes equipped with the brand’s 3.6-liter V-6 engine and an 8-speed automatic gearbox. From there, the team at Doetsch Off-Road in Chandler, Arizona installed a ton of RealTruck parts, including a roof rack, a rooftop tent for camping, an integrated step system, and branded flush mount tail lights. A custom graphics package has also been installed, perfectly matching the 1:64 scale model.
The custom truck is slated to cross that auction block at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale event on Saturday, January 27. All proceeds from the sale are set to be donated to Building Homes for Heroes, which is a non-profit that builds, modifies, and gifts homes to veterans, emergency first responders, and their families. The organization is on track to donate its 400th home this year, all of which have been mortgage-free for the recipients. RealTruck has donated more than $1 million to the organization since the start of their partnership.
“The Matchbox RealTruck Custom JT Gladiator is one of our most standout collaborations and anticipated builds, and we are proud to support our friends at Building Homes for Heroes with its sale benefiting the nation’s hard-working citizens and service members,” said RealTruck Inc. vice president of marketing Lee Riser. “We pride ourselves on giving back to the community by contributing to organizations with shared values.”
Interested buyers will need to register to bid on the build by way of the Barrett-Jackson website, which can be reached here. You can expect to take home a 1:64 variant of the build as well, which will make for some unique display opportunities.
Which Matchbox cars would you like to see get the life-size treatment next?
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