My Lamley cohort David Tilley jumps in with what will be a regular feature on the blog, his “Up-close” series. Look for a lot of Tilley contributions on Matchbox Monday.
Today he reviews the latest Matchbox Police 5-pack, which is out overseas, and should hit the US shortly:
This set is proving to be one of the highlights of the 2012 model year for Matchbox. Many are not keen on some of the liveries for some of the models in any of the ranges, but nobody had any complaints with the model liveries in this pack. Included are 4 police liveried vehicles and 1 civilian car. We will get to that later.
So let us begin with one of 2011s new casting. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Police.
This model is in blue for the 5-pack with a blue light bar and blue windows. It sports a rather simple Police livery on the side which looks really good. I know many are not keen on colored window sections, but this one does actually suit it as it blends in with the rest of the model.
This is a really good addition to the range, and it is always nice to see some modern castings being utilized in 5-packs.
And that is the same with the next model.
The Ford Taurus Police Interceptor was also released in 2011 in the basic range, and sees its first 5-pack appearance here. Being black, the red windows do stand out a lot more than the blue on blue of the Evo. It does not work so well, and is probably about the worst thing that can be said about this pack. What is unusual with this model is the fact that the unit number is 1234. Normally Mattel use the manufacturing number of the vehicle in its livery, which did cause controversy over the Hummer H3 when it used its MAN number of 666 in one of its liveries. But this model is MB821, so no cause for problems. But the livery is a little more striking here, which although not as realistic as the Evo was, is still pretty decent.
With the tampo printing being red and white, and the light bar being red, the windows also being red are not totally out of place. I would still have preferred smoke tinted windows, but that is just me.
Next up we have a model that has not been seen for a couple of years. The Dodge Magnum Police was last used in the 2008 basic range in silver and returns here in black.
I like the fact that this livery is a little different, with the Sheriff theme to this model. Windows are much clearer here which is a real bonus, and the livery is also very realistic. I have a feeling that Dodge are quite particular over having the names of the vehicles on their models, as we often seem to see the Dodge name on the livery somewhere.
I am curious as to why it is keeping the Peace since 1972? Not that I am complaining. I was born in 1972, so maybe this is about me being a Matchbox collector born in 1972, and peacefully getting any and every Matchbox model since that time. Of course I kid, I doubt it has to do with that, and may be of internal significance at Mattel’s El Segundo office. It is nice to see this model return as I have always been a bit of a fan of this casting.
The final police style vehicle is also an old returnee.
The Chevy Suburban has not been used in its police style version since 2005. The civilian version has been used a number of times since then, but the addition of roof lights was something I thought was gone as in 2010 they used this vehicle in a Police livery with no roof lights. So it is nice to see they have dusted off the roof light version of this casting.
Of course for those nerds among us who notice these things, they did make a small mistake with the vehicle number behind the rear wheels. Do you remember me mentioning how they have a habit of using the manufacturing numbers of models as their unit numbers (or in this case vehicle number)? Well MB436 is the MAN number of the civilian version of the Suburban. The Police version is MB477. Of course this mistake is also duplicated on the base of the model. In January 2012 the factory started altering all models in production to adjust the details added to the base. “Made in” was added before Thailand, “Inc” was deleted after Mattel, the shorthand Netherlands address (1186 MJ, 1, NL) was added, and MAN numbers were added to any model that did not originally have them. Well as both the civilian and police versions use the same base, only the first number was added. Maybe this is why they used that number on side too. However, I would have preferred the correct number to have been added to the livery. I do like that this being a larger vehicle with the capacity to hold them, it has been utilized as a K-9 unit. They do think of some things. The Magnum could have passed as a K-9 model, but neither of the other 2 would have.
But that brings us to the last vehicle in the set.
As a Porsche lover, this is the biggest surprise to me, and one that I absolutely love. Now this is a proper civilian vehicle. Some question as to why it was added. Was it an undercover police vehicle or was it the robbers that were using it as a getaway car? I prefer to think of it as the latter.
I like the idea of this model being chased by one of the Police vehicles. It sparks the imagination.
This is a very good set, and I am sure going to be a very popular one. It has been out in the UK for a few months now, but the USA stores are mainly still waiting for it to arrive.