Another in David Tilley’s Up-Close series, this time looking at the new Mountain Adventure 5-pack, out in most overseas locations, and due in about a month in the US:
As it is a Matchbox Monday, it is time for a look at another of the recent Matchbox 5-packs. This should be out in USA pretty soon, but has already made its way over to the UK. This is called Mountain Adventure, and contains 5 vehicles with an adventure theme to them.
The first model is the Cliff Hanger. I don’t know why, but I really love this little model. It is one of my favorite generic castings in the current Matchbox database. I always look forward to each and every version (and variation) I can find. For those who look for this type of thing, there is a wheel variation on this model. So far it has only been found in Canada, and only in 10-packs. The orange wheels are chrome. Something for me to try and hunt down myself, but for now there is the normal version in the 5-pack. This version is actually pretty nice. The model is a nice dark metallic blue with an orange interior and gray base. Orange interiors are normally a little too bright, but this time they do not seem really out of place. The lighting on the camera does seem to brighten up the orange, as it is actually quite a dull shade. The model sports a nice simple hood print of “VEH ID 1” in a black box with gold pin striping.
I love the little touches, like the “Tow Rope” and arrow at the front. It shows the guys who design these models do seem to think what they are doing sometimes. There is also a black/white roll bar print. I know many are not keen on this model in general, but I love it, and I love this version too.
The 2nd vehicle is the Jungle Adventure. It tells you behind the last side window. This model is orange with Mountain Cobra Tours on the side.
It is not easy to read in the photo but under the tours writing the sub-text is “It Will Only Sting a Little!” With a snakeskin style tampo print, it looks like some effort has been made with tampo printing. Many Jungle Crawlers have been rather tampo-driven and can be rather hit or miss. This I think is one of the nicer ones. The yellow windows actually appear to look worse in the photo. In general you don’t seem to notice them.
Third up, according to the numbers (this time behind the door space) is the MBX 4×4. There is not that much to say about this one. I have not been the biggest fan of this model in general, although it is much nicer than the Off Road Rider that debuted a few years before this one. It is the first time we have seen it in white, and the simple side design actually works pretty well. Out of all the variations I have of this model, I think this is actually one of the nicest ones. Simple and effective. Shame it didn’t have a mud splatter print on it. I mean, it is white and used in mountains. It is going to get muddy.
Vehicle ID 4 is the only licensed vehicle in the set. The 1968 Toyota Land Cruiser in metallic burgundy. I love this color, but with a lack of front detailing as we have seen on many examples it does lose a little something. The side design is nice though.
It is actually impossible to read the sub-text underneath the Bear Tours print though. I tried taking a photo and zooming right in on the print, but it is just all too small to be readable. I like the idea of the side boxes (one with animal feed, and the other for first aid). The bear, being partly silver print and partly white print actually gives the impression of depth to the picture, and I have to admit to being very impressed to how it looks. It is extremely realistic. Again we have yellow windows which look worse in photo than they do in real life. I am not a huge fan of yellow windows in general, but in both cases for models in this pack, they do not look that bad in person. In normal viewing without loads of light flooding in through the rear of the model they look a lot less vivid. Okay I would love to see this model in this same color scheme with front details and a white roof, but that would not have worked in this set. Maybe that could be an idea for a basic range model in the future.
Finally, as noted by the number on the bottom right hand corner, this is the 5th vehicle in the 5-pack (it is so nice of them to number them up for us). Now if only I could remember what it is called. Ah yes, they help us out with that too. It is the Road Tripper. Apparently this model is equipped with safety glass, according to the write up in the large arrow.
There is quite a lot of tampo printing on the side of this model. Yet they missed the door handles! Doh! But I actually quite like the printing on this model. Compared to some of the previous Road Trippers we have had in the last year, I think this is one of the nicest ones.
Except this time the windows are really noticeable in quite a dark orange. They really do stick out on this model. Where windows are just windows on the other 2, on this they are also a part of the roof, and the spare wheel. I think therefore this time they should have been perhaps a smoke color, so as not to be too garish. Maybe some like things garish, but I suppose that is always a matter of taste.
Overall, I actually quite like this pack. As a group the models do not seem to gel together very well, but when you start pulling them apart and viewing them individually, they are actually quite decent models. My first impression of the pack when I saw it in stores was not great, but once home and opened up I do believe this pack has grown on me.
You know what they say. Don’t judge a book by its cover. It is not an immediately nice pack, but it does grow on you.