Matchbox Monday goes back, way back, to the Jurassic era

In the days before roads, and mud was everywhere, we had dinosaurs. Through various eras in earth’s history there have been creatures no longer seen today. But with TV shows and films with time travel elements, we had the ability to go back and see these creatures (at least in our minds). But there were also shows and films that brought them to us.

One such film was Jurassic Park. Released in 1993, based on a book published in 1990, it went on to huge success, spawning 2 follow ups in the way of The Lost World (also based on the book Spielberg had talked Michael Chrichton into writing after the success of the first film) and a later Jurassic Park III.

Then things went quiet. Ideas had floated around since the third film of the original trilogy, but it wasn’t until 2012 when an idea for a new trilogy took shape. Planned initially for a 2014 release, it finally arrived in May 2015 to hug fanfare.

Jurassic World.

So with things being a little quiet until Wheel Collectors can get me some new Matchbox offerings over, I take a look at everything miniature sized in the Jurassic World series by Matchbox (they did a Lost World offering in 1997 too, just in case people were wondering).

Mattel had secured the rights to market some toys in association with the first film in 2015. However, it was a really late call, and there wasn’t a lot of time to put things together. As such they managed to do what they could.

The first batch of 7 castings arrived in April, shortly before the film came out. They consisted of 7 castings that they already had in their tool bank with various Jurassic World logos and motifs on them. At the back on the left was the MB961 Mauler Hauler in green with a grey cage. It had only just debuted that year, but was a complete coincidence. They had planned and tooled up the model before they knew they were getting a Jurassic World license. Alongside it we have the MB748 MBX 4×4 in brown and MB928 Desert Thunder V16 in yellow. Middle row were the MB923 Travel Tracker in gold/green and MB781 Rock Shocker in silver. At the front were the MB926 Sea Spy in white and MB795 Cliff Hanger in green.

Two 5-packs were also released. The first was known as Jungle and consisted of the MB941 Jungle Crawler in white, MB942 Sahara Survivor in black, MB575 Jeep Willys Concept in silver, MB861 Sand Shredder in cream & MB526 Hummer H2 SUV Concept in black.

The other 5-pack was a little bit more fun. It was called Desert. Unfortunately, they didn’t realize at the initial planning stages that Jurassic World didn’t have anything desert-related. It was quickly changed to Island, but the first run of the packaging had already been printed so they put them out anyway. We saw the MB910 Sahara Sweeper in tan, MB731 Baja Bandit in cream, MB819 Coyote 500 in orange and the MB738 1974 VW Typ 181 Thing in red which all stayed quite consistent throughout the production run. But also….

A second MB942 Sahara Survivor, this time in grey. But during production you could see that the upper roll cage and spare wheel section changed from tan to what I refer to as bone. But whatever you call it, it was a noticeable change.

They also released a Mission Force set tied in with the Jurassic World theme too. Mission Force had been around for a few years, and initially consisted of 2 Skybusters, a Real Working Rig and a miniature. But by 2015 the RWRs had been swapped out for 2 more miniatures. Now I am not a Skybuster collector, so those 2 have err, sort of gone. I often gave them away to young kids who liked playing with stuff like that, so I only have the 3 basics in my collection. These are the MB923 Travel Tracker in grey/blue, MB952 Hummer in tan and MB486 Jeep Wrangler w/luggage in silver. For those interested, the Skybusters were Mission Chopper in blue and Sky Safari also in blue.

There was a few Mission Combat sets and playsets released too, but they just consisted of already released models. It was just a packaging thing. But in July 2015 we did see a second batch of basics. These were the MB899 Questor in cream, MB921 Terrainiac in blue/yellow, MB942 Sahara Survivor in black (which was actually the one from the Jungle 5-pack just now on a single card), MB797 Baja Bullet in black, MB990 1968 Toyota FJ Land Cruiser in white, MB989 4×4 Scrambulance in silver and MB825 MBX Prospector also in silver.

A third 5-pack was also released in July too. This was known as Construction and contained the MB950 Tractor Plow in cream/black, MB884 Dump Dozer in yellow/grey, MB840 Water Hauler in silver/blue, MB981 Chevy Silverado 4×4 in white and MB737 Quarry King in cream.

And that was that. A full rundown of all the models released for the Jurassic World film. I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog report as there was nothing else. Oh wait, there was a second film wasn’t there.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Released in 2018, Mattel’s original license in 2015 covered this too. That meant they had 3 years to plan and execute an absolutely phenomenal range of models.

The film didn’t arrive until June 2018, but the Matchbox stuff started rolling out in March. Having some time to get things right meant they were using many actual vehicles from the films dressed up in proper liveries. The debut release was 5 models that were either sold individually or as a 5-pack. But there was a twist, which continued on through all 5-packs. One model in the 5-pack was exclusive. There were a few Matchbox originals added in too like the MB1113 Deep Dive Submarine which was part of the first batch of 5 models in March in yellow. These were mainly based on vehicles that were in the films without getting a licensed vehicle. The MB1112 Gyrosphere in blue I thought was pretty ingenious. The 2 seats in the middle are weighted, so that as you roll it along they always stay in the correct position. Recreating that real vehicle in miniature was not easy I am sure. The MB1106 ’10 Textron Tiger in cream and MB1109 Mercedes Benz G550 in silver.

The fifth model was another original design. Loosely based on the BAE Systems Caiman but not actually that vehicle, this model was the one chosen to be in the alternate 5-pack version. Early singles came out gunmetal blue before swiftly changing to light grey. The 5-pack version though (which was numbered 12 instead of 05 on the side) was metallic charcoal. The name for this first set was Island Transport Team.

But that wasn’t it. They also released a Legacy Collection. These were basically vehicles from the original Jurassic Park franchise. We had the MB1128 ’93 Ford Explorer in green with the 05 numbering as seen in the first film back in 1993. This appeared both as a single and in 5-packs.

We also saw 2x Jeeps. Jeep 12 was a covered Jeep with search lights on the front and was famously seen used by Dennis Nedry as he was trying to escape in the first film until he was killed by a Dilophosaurus. This was replicated in miniature as MB1122 Jeep Wrangler w/canopy. Jeep 18 was used to transport some of the key people in from the helipad to the visitor centre in the first film. This was replicated in miniature as the MB1127 Jeep Wrangler w/roll-bar. Jeep 12 was exclusively found as a single (as the Legacy series had 6 models, not the usual 5), and Jeep 18 found in single or 5-pack form. However, there was a small error, and a few of the Jeep 18s were accidentally printed up as Jeep 12. I believe these were only ever found in 5-packs. Very hard to find.

Next up was the MB695 ’06 Utility truck in cream. The only vehicle in the whole first wave that was actually a pre-existing casting. It is thought that it resembled the GMC HM-series tanker that Eric Kirby had been hiding out in when he end up rescuing Dr Grant in the 3rd Jurassic Park film. During production, you could find noticeable changes in the colours of the wheels, from a darker to much lighter brown. This too was in single or 5-pack releases.

We also saw the MB1124 Fleetwood Southwind Storm RV in dark olive. Again sold both on its own or with 4 others this too saw some changes through production, with the side tampo ranging from a more bluish light camouflage section to a more purple-ish blue.

Finally, we have Montana. That was the name given to this specific MB1125 Mercedes Benz ML320. Montana has the wheel on the roof, and there was Fontana with jerry cans on the sides, and Santana with an open rear end. Both Fontana and Santana were chucked over the cliff by a T-rex, but Montana was the only one to survive. As mentioned already, all 5-packs had something unique. This was the model that had 2 versions. The basic had the actually green camouflaged look as used in the Lost World movie, whereas the 5-pack version was re-coloured grey. Plus the very first Montana off the production line sported dark green wheels. It was very quickly changed to light green.

Batch B arrived about the same time as the film did, in June 2018. This was known as the All Terrain Fleet and 4 of the models were found in single or 5-pack form. The MB1106 ’10 Textron Tiger from the previous batch was now to be found in olive green instead and the MB1122 Jeep Wrangler w/canopy was now sporting a look very reminiscent of the Merc G550 instead of the original Jeep 12 look from the Jurassic Park film. We also saw 2 new castings in the way of the MB1104 Armored Action Transporter in grey and MB1115 Off Road Rescue Rig in grey and brown.

The fifth model in the set was another new casting and the one in 2 versions. As a single issue, the MB1111 Mercedes Benz Unimog U520 was sold in olive with a grey canopy, but as a 5-pack issue was charcoal with a green canopy.

Batch C rolled around in July giving us the Land Rescue Convoy set. Again 5 models, 1 in the 5-pack being exclusive. We saw the MB1128 ’93 Ford Explorer return in green, this time with the 04 numbered side, and mud splatters. MB1127 Jeep Wrangler w-roll bar is not the same though, as Jeep 18 was the initial release, and this is Jeep 29. Seen in Jurassic World in the barn, it was pretty filthy. So they are replicating its look for the more current trilogy than the classic. We also saw the debut of the MB1101 Kawasaki Teryx4 LE in black. The first time we had ever seen a Kawasaki ever done by Matchbox in miniature.

The fourth model found as a single and 5-pack issue was the MB983 Hummer in grey. An older Matchbox design again, it was going to be altered for the Jurassic World series, but the first release went through in its original guise, with the alteration finally appearing in 2019. However, even then we saw a bit of fun, as the initial models came in a dull matte grey with black windows, and then it was quickly changed to a brighter metallic grey with silver windows.

And to make things totally different, the exclusive to the 5-packs was a whole different model. The MB1092 Mercedes Benz GLE Coupe in silver was actually used in the film and was sold as a single issue only. For the 5-packs, they simply recoloured the older MB1109 Mercedes Benz G550 from batch A into a matte black to match the Kawasaki.

After that, August was quite fun. Three random singles appeared, which appear to cap the 2018 set at 18 (not including the 5-pack exclusives). These were the MB1056 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG 6×6 in champagne, MB1116 ’15 Triumph Scrambler in silver (another new company never seen in miniature before) and the MB1107 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 in dark green. That’s a second Kawasaki in as many months.

But that wasn’t it for August.

We saw the first Battle Damage models too.

Unlike the other issues, Battle Damage didn’t have anything exclusive for 5-packs. You could either get the models as a single or as a 5-pack. The first Battle Damage set was simply first batch of regular issues, the Island Transport Team from March, now with added extras. The MB1106 ’10 Textron Tiger now sported claw marks and mud on the side.

As did the MB1109 Mercedes Benz G550.

The MB1112 Gyrosphere had a really cool “broken” window effect along with various mud patches.

And the MB1113 Deep Dive Submarine simply had a smashed window.

But then we came to the MB1114 Armored Action Truck. If you remember, the first singles that had 05 on the side came out gunmetal blue, before turning light grey. It was obviously supposed to be based on that as the 5-pack from before had 12 on it. But this came out green with added mud and claw marks. Just to confuse us all completely.

Batch B turned out to be a little bit tougher to find. There definitely didn’t appear to be as many around. But these weren’t all based on the second batch of regular basics. Most were the All Terrain Fleet models, but one wasn’t.

The MB1106 ’10 Textron Tiger was just as batch A and B was in the regular basics, with this olive green receiving the same mud and claw treatment as the previous cream.

The MB1122 Jeep Wrangler w/canopy also followed the same route as being the batch B model now with mud and claw marks.

The MB1104 Armored Action Transporter from the original batch B was also just muddied and clawed up.

And the MB1104 Armored Action Transporter saw exactly the same from it’s batch B counterpart.

But we had no damaged Unimog. In its place was the MB1101 Kawasaki Teryx4 LE from batch C that was now sporting the mud and claw marks.

And that was it for 2018. One series of 18 models (3 of which saw an alternate in 5-packs), 2 sets of 5 Battle Damage and a set of 6 Legacy Collection (one of those also sporting an alternate in a 5-pack). A total of 38 models (plus some variations). Little did we know there were still plans for 2019.

It was quite simple. There would be a set of 24 models for 2019. Half would be all new and the other half repeats from 2018. Alongside this would be 2 sets of 2 5-packs. 1 5-pack in each set would be models from 2019 with one exclusive, and the other 5-pack would be a repeat of a 2018 one. All models would be in new packaging . The first batch of the year saw MB1106 ’10 Textron Tiger appearing in the same cream as batch A 2018. The MB1112 Gyrosphere was also in the same blue as 2018 batch A. We also saw the MB1128 ’93 Ford Explorer in the same green as the one originally from the Legacy Collection.

But we also saw 3 newbies.

We had Santana. The MB1119 Mercedes Benz ML320 AAV in a matching green to the one from the Legacy Collection.

The MB1116 ’15 Triumph Scrambler, which we originally saw in batch D of 2018 with a green section just in front of the seat was now sporting a dark red with mud section.

And Jeep 12 (MB1122 Jeep Wrangler w/canopy) was now covered in mud.

Batch B saw Montana return from the 2018 Legacy Collection (MB1125 Mercedes Benz ML320 in green), as well as Jeep 18 (MB1127 Jeep Wrangler w/roll bar). However, we also saw the return of the 5-pack exclusive version of the MB1114 Armored Action Truck in charcoal with 12 on the side. But there was a slight twist.

The wheels were now a much brighter, shinier blue.

Alongside the three returnees, we saw another 3 newbies.

Just as with the previous batch, we saw a brand new casting. The MB1123 ’97 Mercedes Benz Unimog U1300 in dark green.

The MB1124 Fleetwood Southwind Storm RV returned, but this time was an olive green with the same tampo design, but also in different colours to the one originally a part of the 2018 Legacy collection.

Finally, the MB1115 Off Road Rescue Rig returned this time in blue with a brown bed and grey cage, and mud on the side.

Two 5-packs appeared at this point. One was simply the first 5-pack of 2018 in a new package (and that wheel variation on the Armored Action Truck). The other though was a mix of newer stuff with an exclusive. The Terrain Trekkers pack consisted of the MB1123 ’97 Mercedes Benz Unimog U1300 that had just debuted in batch B of 2019, the MB1056 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG 6×6 and MB1107 Kawasaki Brute Force 750 that were in batch D of 2018 as well as the MB1126 ’98 Cagiva Canyon in grey that was due to arrive in batch C of the 2019 singles.

The exclusive was the MB1115 Off Road Rescue Rig which now had a lighter blue front end, with a black bed and blue cage.

Next up was batch C. This threw us a little curveball. I did mention that the plan was for 3 new additions and 3 carryovers per batch. Well this wasn’t quite. We only saw 2 carryovers. The MB1128 ’93 Ford Explorer from 2018 batch C and MB1104 Armored Action Transporter from 2018 batch B popped up again this time, but what of the 3rd carryover?

These were the other 4 models in the batch. Is that Hummer the new casting?

Yes. The only change to the casting and the one that was part of 2018 batch C is that the new one now sports a bull bar across the front, which does also mean that the base section has been modified to account for it. But as they went to the trouble of finally changing the casting, why not go full on change, and give it a new colour too. The now MB1120 Hummer is green with the same tampo as before, but also sports mud on the side too.

We also saw the MB1126 ’98 Cagiva Canyon casting as a single, even though we had already seen it in the Terrain Trekkers 5-pack before.

We also saw another brand new casting in the way of the MB1121 Ingen 4×4 which is in a similar dark green to the Unimog from the previous batch. It was actually a very heavily modified Jeep Wrangler, although so far removed that you couldn’t really see the original Jeep any longer.

Finally we saw the MB1056 Mercedes Benz G63 AMG 6×6 appear now with mud splattered all over the side.

Which brings us to the final batch of the year. Not the easiest batch to find though, this batch was back to the 3x carryover, 3x new routine. The carryovers were the MB1109 ’14 Mercedes Benz G550 which was back to its initial batch A 2018 in silver, the MB1113 Deep Dive Submarine which was also in the A 2018 look in silver/yellow. Plus we also had the MB1116 ’15 Triumph Scrambler, for its second outing in the 2019 series, this time sporting the 2018 batch D look.

Again we saw 2 brand new castings and one older casting in a new colour this time.

This was a pretty cool and unique model. The MB1106 ’93 Ford Explorer in green. It is actually the later look after the model had been pushed off the side by the T-rex and fell off a tree. It was completely wrecked, and this is a first, having a wrecked vehicle sold as a single.

We also saw the final Jeep look too. Jeep 10 was used in the original film and had no canopy or roll bar. In their place were some vet bags across the rear. This model sports a later muddy look to it.

We also saw a third look for the MB1111 Mercede4s Benz Unimog U5020, which after a pair of outings in 2018 batch B (single & 5-pack), now sports a single look in matte black with a similar grey canopy to the 2018 single issue.

But that wasn’t it. We had a second pair of 5-packs too. As with the first batch, there was 1 pack which was a repeat of a 2018 pack. This time the Legacy Collection from 2018 was renamed Island Explorers and re-issued in new packaging. Alongside it was a second pack of newer vehicles, with an exclusive. The MB1121 Ingen 4×4 from batch C of 2019, MB1116 ’15 Triumph Scrambler from batch A of 2019, MB1122 Jeep Wrangler w/canopy also from batch A and MB1120 Hummer also from batch C were all included. But there was something different about the wrecked Explorer.

That’s right. The MB1106 ’93 Ford Explorer now has a brown base and wheels in the 5-pack, compared to black wheels and base as a single.

Plus, if you didn’t already know, and haven’t seen the film. When the real vehicle fell out the tree. It landed on its front. It took a minute for it to fall over. The model has been carefully designed that you too can balance the model up on the front. It shows clearly the difference between 5-pack and single issues. However, I should warn you, these last 5-packs are proving almost impossible to get. The production level was very low. But they are out there. Good luck finding them.

So the set of 24 which was going to have 12 exclusive and 12 carryovers ended up with 13 exclusives thanks to the Hummer being updated. Plus we also received 2x 5-pack exclusives for a total of 15 new Jurassic World models in 2019. But there was a 16th. Outside of the Jurassic World series itself, Walmart in USA received Jeep 10 (MB1105 Jeep Wrangler w/vet bags) in a clean livery as part of their store exclusive Jeep series.

So by my reckoning, that gives us 38 from 2018 and 16 from 2019, a total of 54 Jurassic World models in this recent series.

Add in the 31 from the 2015 series too (or 33 if you want to include the 2 Skybusters) and that gives us 85 models (or 87).

I didn’t mind some of the 2015s. The Scrambulance and Field Tripper (renamed MBX Prospector) actually looked not too far away from the 2018 stuff.

Jeep Wranglers with roll bars. Yeah I know, Jeep 12 is wrong, but cool pic anyway.

So there you go. Corrected. Jeep 10, Jeep 12, Jeep 18 and Jeep 29. For those paying attention, Jeep 10 and Jeep 12 were released both muddy and clean. Jeep 18 only clean, and Jeep 29 only muddy. Still a chance to flip that around for the latter two.

How about a bunch of Jeep Wrangler pics. Jeeps with canopies sporting classic “Park” and modern “World”, both new and used.

Or how about an evolution of Ford Explorers. Clean (05), dirty (04), wrecked (04), wrecked and muddied up (04). You may also note that the wheels on the 2 wrecked ones at the back don’t appear to have the front right wheels on the ground. That’s because they are not. By default they sit in the air. You push it down on the front, the rear left will lift off the ground. All part of the wonky look to the wrecked models.

Santana, Montana. Where is Fontana? I was actually singing that instead of just reading it. I wonder if we will ever see Fontana? Daft fact, it was actually created in 1997 by Matchbox as part of their Lost World license. I know I already put this picture at the start of the post, but I decided to show it again. All because I wanted to sing to myself.

So that is it for now. Of course anticipation will be high for just what they could have in store for us when the final Jurassic World film arrives. It was going to be next year, but may end up being 2022. I believe we might see a few random repeats of models to keep the license going until then, but I look forward to seeing just what they could throw at us as a tie-in. Just throwing it out there, the Jeep Wagoneer which Matchbox recently created was at the end of the last film, as Owen and Claire (along with young Maisie) were seen leaving the manor in it.

Oh I can’t wait. Until then I hope you enjoyed my recap of everything (miniature) Jurassic World model released to date.

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David Tilley

9 thoughts on “Matchbox Monday goes back, way back, to the Jurassic era

  1. I have about 7 if these. Nice to see a complete line of these. There is a lot here! Never thought there where so many pieces. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow that’s alot of cars to keep up with. I mainly concentrate on the Jeep’s and Explorer’s with several Mercedes thrown in. Never saw any from last year. The 2 Walmart and Targer in my area clearance them out over a year ago. Last one I picked up was the one from the WM Jeep series.

  3. I love your comprehensive report on MBX sir…
    Makes me wanna check my limited number of MBXs…
    TBH, I’m kinda looking forward every week for your lengthy but insightful report…
    Man, your collection is awesome as do your knowledge on the orange brand…
    Best regards from the Philippines

  4. There’s a new five-pack for 2020, but there are no new vehicles in it. It’s called Total Tracker Team and consists of the Deep-Dive Submarine, the original gray Off-Road Rescue Rig, Jeep #29, the green battle-damaged Armored Action Truck and the Unimog U 1300. Very disappointing selection.

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