I finish my journey through the latest batch of Matchbox, thanks to Wheel Collectors who sent them over for me to do a review with. With 15 models in this particular batch it was a nice easy split, 5 at a time. So which models were left until the end? Let’s see.
I am doing this final group of 5 in the order they are in the 2020 range. Therefore, first up is the MB1189 MBX Mini Swisher. It is being sold as MB21 in the 2020 basic range.
I think this casting is so cute. I love it. I don’t know why, but sometimes these smaller castings just call to me.
Coming in green and white this year with a City Sweeper design, and a little “58” at the top, meaning it is a Michael Heralda special. I love these little Easter eggs.
I can’t go far into the history of this casting, as it is only its second incarnation. It debuted as MB83 in 2019 in white, blue and grey.
Although that one did sport a fun little variation as the base grey section could be found in lighter or darker grey. I didn’t want to leave it like that, so I will have a look around for something old to compare it to.
I know, how about the MB469 Street Cleaner. One of the older Mattel Matchbox models during the period where there was a lot of moving parts. One of the things that Matchbox started coming out with at the turn of the century was a lot of Matchbox originals (we call them generic), but these models did feature a lot of additional parts.
This one debuted as a US exclusive in 2000. It was MB96 and the first 10,000 sported a Matchbox 2000 logo on the front.
But when you opened the model from the blister you discovered a lot of extra features. The brushes on the sides would pivot out.
Both independently of each other giving it 2 additional parts over the standard 4 (not including wheels). However, that was not it.
The front bucket would also swing around and raise up on an additional arm. That meant this was an 8-part build. 10 if you include the wheels (each set of wheels on 1 axle counts as 1 part). I have to admit, in the history of Matchbox miniatures, there were not a lot of models that had this many parts to them. It might not be as pretty as the Mini Swisher (as I said, I love that one), but this casting has perhaps one of the biggest play values of all time, with all those additional parts.
In 2001 it continued its run as a US exclusive basic range model. It was sold in green as MB20 that year. However, it was also included as an exclusive in one of the Pleasant Book series. The book was called Sweep, and was made under license using the Matchbox branding by Pleasant Books. It was sold in bookstores (I remember I used to visit Barnes & Noble a lot while in USA) with the exclusive model, which had been depicted inside in the child’s story, attached to the side of the book.
Finally, in 2002 it happened. It went worldwide. MB3 was a worldwide release in purple, which this year had a 50 logo on the first 10,000. Again that was added to the front. Although a second green issue was still only a US release. It was in a Nickelodeon themed 5-pack depicting Hey Arnold on the side.
2003 and Hero City. Not the best era for designs on Matchbox models, as they were really focusing on the young end of the toy car buying spectrum, aiming to satisfy 3-6 year olds. As such MB18 (again sold worldwide) had a raging bull on the side and Turbo Jets written under the door. Although “Jets” was not easy to read. Again, we saw a logo set, and again the front was the place to find it.
It took 2004 off. Obviously there was nothing “ultra” about it. With the massive change of direction for 2005 into more realism, this one appeared as MB33 with a nice simple understated side design. But that proved to be the final time it saw a basic range release.
It did manage to potter on for 2 more years elsewhere though. In 2006 it was one of the models chosen to be in one of the licensed Superman Returns 5-packs in grey featuring a Metropolis side design.
And in 2007 it saw its first (and last) venture into regular 5-packs. In fact it was its last venture full stop. It was retired after this City Services release in white. Next time a Mini Swisher comes out I wonder what I will counter it with.
Second on the list, if we are going in the order they are in the 2020 series, is the MB1003 Freightliner Business Class M2 106. It takes the MB34 slot for 2020.
It comes in white for 2020 with an Aurora Fire Dept side design.
I honestly don’t know for sure if this is actually for one of the 26 Auroras in USA. I tried checking and gave up. It could be for one of the others around the world too as there 75 places around the world called Aurora. So if somebody knows for sure, please let me know. I did see a little A58 at the front of the tampo design, so I guess this is a Michael Heralda design again.
This casting has been around for a few years now. It debuted in 2016 as MB60 in a dark bronzed red. It sported a simple MBX County side design.
It was also chosen by Everett Marshall to be a promotional for his annual Golf Tournament that takes place each year in New Jersey and Florida. Since 2015 he had been creating a dual promotion as one is for his charity and a second pink one aids breast cancer research.
In 2017 MB85 was sold in yellow with an MBX Fire Company side design.
2018 saw this model get added to the long running National Parks sub-series as it was sold as MB61.
Finally, in 2019 we saw a rather familiar looking MB48. It was very reminiscent of the debut version.
Putting the 2016 and 2019 together and yes, they are basically the same. But I like looking for little things. And I used that word specifically, as the MBX County tampo print over the side is little.
Another shot of the 2016 and 2019 issues, which may show better that MBX County was shrunk for the later release. So this model is now on its 5th basic range outing and, promotionals aside, has not been used in any other ranges as yet. It has also not seen a traditional red release either. There’s still time.
So what’s next on the list? The MB975 Jaguar F-type Coupe. I am very happy seeing this model return to the basic range again, where it slots into the MB52 position.
It also comes in a very nice shade of blue. Jaguar call this Bluefire blue. It has a very simple tampo design. I love the look of the rear the best. A simple rear light cluster and Jaguar logo/badge.
The front sees a simple headlight detail. Sometimes you don’t need too much to make it worthwhile. As I said this makes a welcome return because….
The casting debuted in 2015 as MB4 in black. Or as Jaguar call it, Santorini black.
In 2016 it saw a second version as MB15 in what Jaguar call Atacama orange. Both have seen this simple tampo design much like the new one, and I love all of them. I was beginning to think the casting had been forgotten though as for a few years we saw nothing.
But then at the end of 2019, it was added to the final 9-pack of the year in British Racing Green (something that Jaguar themselves also went with, not coming up with their own unique name for it), giving me hope for more.
So we are now up to 4 releases in total. All in official Jaguar colours, and all sporting the same tampo look. Hmm! The last model was not a long dive back, and this one even shorter. Right that’s it. Further diving required. I could go with the obvious. E-type. But I recently did a casting update, so let’s go way back. To the start. Jaguar was not the original name of the company. Formed in the UK in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company, their initial business was building sidecars. They ventured into sports cars, and when one of the partners decided to drop out, the other created S.S. Cars in 1932. By 1935 the Swallow Sidecar Company was no more and sports cars were the name of the game. After the SS1 came the SS2, then the SS90. But the SS90 was slated, so they brought in some people to create a better engine and car. The engine was created and they were referred to as the Jaguar engine, and thus the new vehicles all had Jaguar included. The SS90 was replaced by the SS100, which had the name Jaguar added denoting the cool engine. Fixed head coupes were also created. The SS Jaguar 1.5 litre, SS Jaguar 2.5 litre and SS Jaguar 3.5 litre. People started just referring to them as Jaguars, so in 1945, they took a decision and renamed the whole company to Jaguar.
Well, Matchbox made that SS100 back in 1982. It was released as MB47 worldwide in red.
I have 2. In 1983, production moved to Macau from England. The models are pretty similar.
With the only noticeable different being on the base where the country it came from is different. Funnily though, my original is from new in 1982. I have never upgraded it. It was a childhood toy, but has held up pretty well. The only noticeable playwear is seen when you turn it upside down and the wheels look a little rough, and the lower front edge has lost its paint.
The casting was dropped from the US range after 1984, but it did continue for 2 more years in the ROW market. The final year saw a change from red too. It was now dark blue with a grey engine cover.
Once dropped from the ROW range too, this casting did not see much more action. It popped up in 1991 as a UK promotional on-pack offer for PG Tips teabags. It was in British Racing green with a red engine cover.
Before seeing another outing in 1994 in the MC-21 Jaguar giftset. This model was silver with a darker grey engine cover. For those that didn’t know, the engine cover was a separate piece. The windshield and grille/lights were a single piece that the engine cover would click over and rivet in. So it was very easy to create a colour break for it. It’s a shame the most common version (the initial red) never utilized that.
Finally, we saw a small Australian promotional model created in 1996. This was created for Edward Dunlop Paper Company. Not much is known about the promotional model, and it is not east to get a hold of it. I don’t even know how many were made.
It was the only time the model came with a blue base. They had always sported black bases before. A bit of an unusual one to finish on.
Well for that model, obviously. We still have 2 to go. And this one is a doozy. The MB1213 ’71 MGB GT Coupe. This has been a few years in the making. Originally planned for release a few years ago, it was initially devised as a rally vehicle, and would have sported roof accessories and spotlights on the front. An early mock-up was shown at a previous Matchbox Gathering in Albuquerque, but there were a few issues, and in the end they just went with stock.
Was it worth the wait? Oh yeah! This is beautiful!
It gets released as MB61 for its debut year in orangey-red. It reminds me of the orangey-reds that Lesney used to use a lot of in the 1970s.
Simple front and rear tampos are added to the model and it just looks stunning. And if you forget the manufacturing number, they printed it on the rear plate. It’s already one of my favourites. I can’t wait to see how many more colours they can create for this one. I have been wanting an MGB for years.
As it is a new casting, I also include a little base shot for those who like to see what bases look like. And also because it is a new casting, I really need to bounce back for some collection diving.
The theme for this dive? MG cars that were in the basic range from the Superfast era onwards. I specified from Superfast onwards because as I have mentioned before, I don’t collect pre-Superfast models. One of the earliest castings was in 1956 when they released an MG TD. It came with a man in the driver’s seat. It was replaced by an MGA. It came with a man in the driver’s seat. So in 1966 when they came up with the MG 1100, the first non-sports car, it was not a big surprise to find a man in the driver’s seat. What was more surprising was to see the dog looking out of the back window. During the regular wheel era it was green but was transferred over to Superfast wheels for its final year in 1970. It was changed to blue, but the last few green bodies were mated to Superfast wheels, making for a rare transitional model.
The blue only ran for 1 year. But it still saw a distinct difference between lighter and darker shades of blue. And when that was gone, we never saw anything until Mattel took over.
MB333 debuted in 1998. The MGF 1.8i was launched worldwide as MB66 that year. It was immediately dropped from the US range after.
I did pick up an early prototype sample of the model too. In a very dark green.
With a very blank base. The details for the undercarriage are on show, but there is no writing of any type on it.
It may have only been a 1-and-done in the US market, but the ROW market still showed it some love. It was sold as MB41 in 1999 in plain white, with nothing added. However, early pre-production samples showed a blue side design was originally being considered but ultimately dropped for production.
2000 saw a final ROW release. Sold as MB4 it originally came in a light red, but later on the model changed to a much darker red. That was the last we saw in the basic range. There is a 2001 Easter Egg of this model that saw it come with flower wheels. But these are very rare and I currently don’t own one.
What we also saw for 2000 was the first in a run of Coke themed models. This came in a single pack with a basic look to it.
The promotion continued through 2002 and and over time this changed to lace wheels.
The models are basically the same when seen normally except the wheels.
However, if you were to feel them, or flip them over, the later run saw the base change to metal.
This was because in 2001 the casting started seeing random uses elsewhere. This Kellog’s licensed 5-pack issue in green being one.
It was at this point they turned the base to metal. So with a Coke model being made both before and after the base change, it saw the change mid run.
I am missing a model. Not being a premium release collector at the time I didn’t get a 2002 premium release of the Coca Cola themed model with high detailing and 2-part rubber wheels. I am rectifying that though. So I will finish off with its swansong. In 2003, a final Coke model. They really went to town with the Coke theme on this one. This one was very simple with just Coca-Cola on the doors. After that the Coke license for Matchbox expired and so do the MGF.
But not before one little oddity. They changed the base details around on the model during this final release. Only the Matchbox logo and scale were left where they were. Everything else was wiped off and re-written in different places. I am not a base collector (I have them both because the interior is more pinky on one), but I still notice certain things with them. It always made me chuckle as to why they make a big change then finish production.
Which brings us to the last model in the group. The MB1127 ’93 Jeep Wrangler with roll bar.
Now I don’t need to say too much about it. It is iconic. It is a classic Jurassic Park vehicle. It is also the first time that a Jurassic vehicle has been issued in the Matchbox basic range.
But yes, it is a carry forward. It was originally issued in 2018 as a part of the Jurassic World Legacy Collection. In USA, those were only found in Target stores. In the UK they were only found in Smyths stores. I am not sure with other countries whether they sold them, or if they were exclusive to one store. If people reading came from a different country outside of USA or UK and knows any more, I am interested to know. Just leave a message at the bottom.
But if you are a nerd like me, then you will be picking the new one up and going over it to check for variations.
It does contain one. The wheels on the 2020 issue are a dark red. Originally they were a much brighter red.
Of course there was a second issue of the Jeep too. In a later 2018 batch of singles and 5-packs of the Jurassic World series (known as the Land Rescue Convoy batch, or just batch C if you want to be boring) the model sported an alternate 29 with mud look instead of 18 clean.
There has been a carry forward into 2020 in the 5-packs too, and the new for 2020 Total Tracker Team 5-pack does exactly the same too. Lighter red wheels went dark. Nothing like being consistent.
Although what wasn’t consistent was the small cock-up they may made when the Legacy Series first arrived in 2018. Jeep 12 should have a canopy, but a few came on the roll bar body instead. Very hard to find.
But it makes for a nice trio of Jurassic Jeeps. I am still getting a kick out of these. I don’t personally mind the carry forward (it gave me a variation) which is something we have seen many times. I enjoy when they bring stuff back as I enjoy pulling out my older ones and comparing. As I said, I’m a nerd.
I’m also done. That is the last of batch D in the bag. I look forward to reviewing batch E which should be with us pretty soon. July will see a few different Matchbox Monday posts from me as the month goes on. I hope you enjoy them.