Web Wednesdays – April Week Three

Welcome to AdFeeder’s web Wednesdays, your weekly dose of the latest news and stories that have caught our eye. From technology news to the latest vehicle releases and everything in between, we aim to bring you a quick run down of what you need to know each week.

This week, we delve a little deeper into the enigmatic Apple electric car and learn more about just how much scale model cars are influenced by the real ones!


Matchbox gets a fresh new look and goes green


As a kid, or even as an adult, there’s always something so satisfying about ripping the plastic casing away from a strip of cardboard. I’m talking about 1:64th scale cars from the likes of HotWheels and Matchbox of course. Despite being around for over 60 years and just as popular now as they were back in the 60’s, toy manufacturers need to quickly adapt to changing trends and company needs.

With the spotlight pointed directly at sustainability, more and more companies have started taking alternative approaches to becoming more environmentally friendly. Matchbox has recently announced their plans to reduce their plastic use and aim to move to almost exclusively recycled materials and bio-based plastics by 2030.

This won’t just be the packaging either, with much of the models themselves using recycled plastics and other materials. Although this change won’t happen overnight, the company is making meaningful steps to reduce their consumption of single use plastics, with the recent “Power Grabs” line that was displayed in an all cardboard box that we think still looks the part.

We did wonder if Hot Wheels would be the first to make this move, but the concept behind Matchbox adapting first actually makes total sense, and Mattel’s Roberto Stanichi summarises the thought process behind it perfectly: 

“Matchbox has always been about realism. It’s a reflection of the world and the vehicles kids see driving on the road every day. As we were thinking about our brands, and thinking about where to begin, we thought, ‘Well if this world is evolving, so should Matchbox.’”



Volkswagen are on a charge with their largest EV yet


The numbers really are piling up for Volkswagen. So far we’ve had the ID.3, the ID.4, rumpus of a sporty crossover SUV called…. The ID.5, and now this, the largest of the silent family: the ID 6. 

Volkswagen have also teased a new performance line for their EV range, with the new ID.4 GTX coming next week. In Europe, the respective performance models of the ID. Family will wear the logo GTX in the future. Similar to GTI and GTE, it stands for its own product brand – it charges the world of electric mobility from Volkswagen with new, intelligent sportiness.

But let’s take a little look at the ID.6, the large SUV that’s been built exclusively for the Chinese market, also where it’s being built. What makes this even more interesting is how it demonstrates not only how flexible the Volkswagen group’s MEB platform is in terms of size, but also how it can adapt to certain markets geographically. By conducting extensive market research, Volkswagen is able to tailor a practical, well-made and affordable EV to almost any desire, simply by removing the shell and keeping the chassis and battery components. Top Gear described it as being much like those changeable phone cases you used to buy for your Nokia 3310, and we can see the resemblance!



Facebook’s Clubhouse competitor is coming this summer


Monday was a big day for the biggest of all social media platforms. The company announced multiple products on Monday that emphasise voice content over text, images, or video. These products will be released over the next few months and, in some cases, will start with a limited set of people.

Most notably, Facebook is launching a competitor to the immensely popular app Clubhouse with a feature called Live Audio Rooms, which will be available this summer. It’ll first roll out to groups and public figures as a test, but it will eventually make its way to Messenger, too, so people can hang out with friends. 

As we’ve mentioned in Web Wednesdays in the past, it was inevitable that Facebook were going to come along and shut down Clubhouse’s digital party, but we were surprised to see just how far Facebook is planning on taking the idea of audio over imagery and video content. 

To get people to join, Facebook says it’s introducing an Audio Creator Fund to “support emerging audio creators.” All of these conversations can also be turned into “Soundbites,” a forthcoming feature that allows people to create and share shortform audio clips along with a feed to promote them. Think TikTok, but with audio clips.

Soundbites will live within the broader News Feed. Users will be able to record them in a separate tool within Facebook, which the company describes as a “sound studio in your pocket – interesting!



Apple electric car agreement “very near”


Another topic that I’ve spoken about in varying detail for a number of weeks now, but the Apple electric car may have just taken one giant leap towards the future. 


According to reports in South Korea, Apple is set to sign a memorandum of understanding for the production of electric vehicles with a joint-venture company recently created by electronics and battery specialist LG Electronics and automotive contract manufacturer Magna.


Despite the ins and outs still being discussed, the reports are that a contract is very nearly being signed by LG and Magna to create an e-Powertrain with Apple under which they could handle the initial volume production of Apple electric vehicles. 

This could all be a bit of idle gossip, but the stories on this topic do seem to be building momentum as the months roll by. It’s like that Apple is mostly intending to use its first-generation electric vehicles as an opportunity to evaluate their marketability, despite it set to be one of the most talked about and desirable products the world has ever seen. 

Who knows what the future will bring on this one, but it certainly looks like it’s on the way!

Read more Web Wednesday articles here!



Elliot NewtonWeb Wednesdays – April Week Three