Model: Matchbox MB759 Dodge Challenger
Release: 2012 10-pack
eBay link: You need to search Matchbox Dodge Challenger SRT8, but this specific one doesn’t pop up often
Why is in the collection: It’s rather unusual exclusivity
Sometimes it pays to go nuts for the larger packs. I know a lot of people who collect Matchbox are not into every single variation of every model going. Not like me. I want them all! When it comes to some of the larger packs, they will hold off for a short while to see whether they are able get it as a single, or in a smaller set. 10-packs have, for a long time now, consisted mainly of models just pulled either from singles or 5-packs. However, you do get an exclusive model top right. It was something Mattel brought in after they took over the company from Tyco. Tyco had been know to do 10-packs, and even before then, Universal often used to make use of a larger set, which at times could be 10, or 15, 20, 25 or whatever they felt was useful for the marketplace. But in the early 21st century Mattel started a policy of releasing 10-packs with an exclusive top right. At first they would come paired up, and then with another set mixed in together, like a launcher set, or sometimes a themed set of some sort. Later on they would change it to the “all-exclusive” 10-pack, which ran for a few years. We had a “real” set, an “action” set, an “adventure” set, and a “1st Editions” set. They dropped those after 2010, although did do a 2011 1st Editions.
But from 2012 onwards, still continuing to this day (albeit reduced from 10 to 9), we have the set featuring an exclusive top right, with 9 others (now 8 others) just duplicates of singles or 5-pack models. Sometimes a model will appear in a 10-pack before its normal release. That was what we thought was the case here. The MB27 slot for 2012 was going to be the Dodge Challenger. In July 2012, the latest batch of 2x 10-packs had arrived. One had an exclusive MB628 Land Rover SVX in white, and the other the MB379 International Pumper in black.
But there, in the midst of the other stuff in the Pumper pack, was the green Challenger. Cool, this must be MB27 which is due out soon. Some, like me, picked up the set to get the International Pumper that was unique. I checked the other 8 models in the set for variations (found a few and so have multiples of those), and waited on the Dodge to arrive as a single in the hope of finding a nice shade or something. Batch K had just arrived. So I waited for batch L. Nope, not in there. Batch M & N appeared almost at the same time. Still no Challenger. It went on. A few stragglers from 2012 actually popped up in early 2013 batches. But after the Sand Shredder finally showed up, that was it. We had 117 models released out of 120. There were 3 missing. This one, as well as the MB39 Dodge Magnum and MB29, which was a brand new 2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit casting. It turned out there was a small issue with the licenses and as a temporary measure all Dodge castings were stopped.
But because this one had already popped up early in the 10-pack, we did sort of have it. However, with 10-packs being produced in much smaller quantities than singles, they are nowhere near as easy to find. And because it was getting close to a year after this that it happened when the realization sunk in, those who were patiently waiting on the single release of the Challenger missed out. The 10-packs were long gone.
Funnily enough though, with the Charger Pursuit just moving to the 2013 range, the Magnum was cancelled entirely, but they decided to make the Challenger in single form anyway. It finally arrived in batch M of 2013, which was one of the last batches of the year in October 2013, but instead of the green one, it was purple. It was in a 2012 package with the MB27 number on it. This was a 2012 issue a year late. That then moved the green model into even more unknown territory. It had been marked down as the 2012 MB27 in various listings. But after purple arrived officially taking that slot, this really became a bit of an oddball. How to mark it. Is it a 10-pack non-exclusive exclusive? I just call it the oddball.
I love having models like this. Whenever I see it, I remember the whole twisted and weird story behind it. Most models, you pick them up, you add them to the collection. There’s not a fun story behind them. But others stand out with a unique and twisted tale. Sometimes they are my own personal tale. Other times it’s just a story for the masses.