New vs Old: Matchbox Mercedes-Benz G Wagons

Hopefully you have enjoyed the Matchbox previews I have been doing the last few weeks.  The Matchbox Team has been great about sharing their 2018 progress with us, whether on Facebook, Instagram, or even here.  In fact, this just dropped yesterday:

And the Team just doesn’t show new models.  They will even update us on the progress of certain new tools.  And when they sent over the last batch of preview models, they included a few First Shots.  First Shots are the very early casts of a new model.  Essentially it’s first run in the machine after the casting is complete.  These models are painted with whatever paint is lying around, and they sit on whatever wheels are available.

A couple of the First Shots they sent over for preview were updates of older models, and that includes the Mercedes Benz G550.  The new G Wagon is certainly not just an update of the old 280 GE, but it is what will be used moving forward.  We have already seen it in the Jurassic World Series, but there is another one – mostly the same, but slightly different – coming in the Mercedes set later this year.  This is the First Shot:


I don’t need to describe it, as there are pics, and my guess is most of you who want the model now have it with Jurassic on the pegs.  But this one is slightly different (as you readers have pointed out), more of a street version, so no grill guard among other differences (I’ll do a separate post).  So let’s go on with the comparison.  I picked the 280 GE from the sadly-forgotten Euro Edition series, a European-Exclusive set released about 10 years ago.


So, what’s gone?  Obviously the plastic roof and emergency lights.  The tow hook and grill guard as well.  Same with the split windows in the back, but that is to be expected as these are replicas of two different vehicles.

The model is a little more narrow, but the silhouette size seems similar.  What I like most about the new one is that it can now be a street vehicle and not just an emergency vehicle.  What I don’t like is the side windows seem a little too large.

But ultimately this is a most welcome addition, and a model we will hopefully see a lot of in the future, gussied up the way most G Wagons are these days.

Your thoughts?


14 Replies to “New vs Old: Matchbox Mercedes-Benz G Wagons”

  1. The grill is not gone, it is there on the Jurassic World model. No idea why it is absent on this one, although I prefer it without the grill.

    I wanted Matchbox to make a G63 AMG since a long time (had included it in one of my emails) and although this is a G550, I’m happy they made a new G-class. The casting looks great, no complains at all. I’ve ordered the Jurassic one and hopefully it’ll arrive soon. Hope to see many more versions of this in the future!

  2. I’m enjoying the MBX previews much more than the Hot Wheels these days. Very glad to see Benz back in the fold.

  3. It is smaller this time around, which had me worried, but I was pleasantly surprised at how ok the size seemed when I picked up the Jurassic World version the other day. Same goes for the Explorer, which for some reason looked small in pictures but is actually pretty chunky in person. Anyway, this is going to be a great model and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.

  4. Regards the Bus: one word from me- DISAPPOINTING! Lousy color choices, lousy graphics and too much PLASTIC! I would have preferred no interior with darkened windows to get the bottom half metal and the roof plastic like the SF65 Airport Coach or RW68 Mercedes Coach. So far could be biggest disappointment for 2018.

  5. Well sure the bus having so much plastic is disappointing but for the price point I understand why they did it. Wouldn’t mind seeing a premium version of it though I don’t know if that would ever happen.

      1. So UK will end up paying six times more than our usa friends. Where’s the fairness in that. 125 a year. UK never received that. 15 were usa only. Batches were missed. When asda a FOODMarket got a new batch, all they are stuck with is generics and crap so they don’t reorder new stock. So cut 50 crap models and have all the attention on the 75 main line. Like this great greyhound bus and many others. It’s so simple! And the history of the brand seems to be lost and screwed up in a bin. Matchbox currently =£1.97,. Hotwheels =£1.00. So which one is selling more quickly???!!! In matchbox homeland!!! If that greyhound coach was hotwheels, All Metal and 4 point tampo………. Anyway the range of products matchbox is now aimed at you yanks. We don’t get half of what you lot get.

  6. I thought that bus was a mock up! Oh dear ah….. Just to think nearly 40 years ago with half the technical skills of today. Lesneys was superior.

  7. Additional, sorry nearly 50 years ago! As comment above “the premium version”. That greyhound bus should be it now. This is why i would like the range back to 75 a year. To save 50 pegwarmers and crap generics. So more details can be put into great castings of what this bus could have been. Is the bus for a Mattel designers hippy friend?

  8. Agree entirely with Amc as I usually do with me also being in the UK. The G Wagen is ok but loses some of the “chunkiness” of the original 280 GE of which I have about 20 or so in my collection and this will look a bit small against them on display. If we CAN get some of the Matchbox cars then we’ll have to pay a lot more than our US friends as we have to pay at least £2 each ( $2.80 ) in the supermarket for these. Imagine the uproar in the US if you had to pay nearly 3 bucks for a Matchbox car ?

  9. I’m glad you posted this preview John. I was debating picking up the Jurassic World G-Wagon, but now I can happily wait for this “civilian” version. A shame it appears to be smaller than the older one. It is definitely narrower. As far as the windows being too large, I am thinking it may just be an illusion created by the running boards and fender trim now being part of the base, whereas on the old model they were part of the body. This has the optical effect of shortening the height of the body side/doors. Additionally, it seems the older model had a lower ride height/less ground clearance, giving more midsection “mass” in comparison to the windows.

  10. It’s a new Mercedes casting. As usual with a good casting, I’ll be buying the first one I find, no matter whether I like the deco or not, just so I’ve actually got one. Then I’ll be on the lookout for a nice deco I like. This Merc, as any, is a must!

Leave a Reply