Batch B of the newly re-launched Convoy range is now out and Wheel Collectors have sent me over a sample of the new models to showcase this week.
This time we get a trio of new offerings, each coming with an additional vehicle for added play value. The cabs are ones already seen, but the rears are all a bit different, but oh so familiar too. So let’s get on with it shall we. 10-4.
I begin with the MB1026 LoneStar Semi Cab and Rocket Trailer. It is being mated with a classic MB813 Express Delivery Truck and utilizing the same design that the Express Delivery was seen in when it was originally part of the 2012 Mission Force Space Crew set.
So the new truck and rocket are sporting the same logo that appears on the Express Delivery. Very clever way of matching them up.
I have to say, this is a really cool trailer unit.
It is being called the MBX Rocket Transport. It is a completely different build to the other trailer units. Back in the day, when Convoy was first released, most trailer units used the same base, and simply had different plastic attachments to create different units. So although this may be paying homage to a classic Convoy, it is an all-new build.
This is completely evident from the rear, as this is where you notice big changes to what we had before. BTW do people know the rear of the Express Delivery opens too?
The whole of the rear assembly rotates 90 degrees allowing the rocket to have its own launch pad. Very cool.
It definitely enhances the play value of this particular piece.
So that is the new addition, but let’s see what we can compare it to.
First of all, Express Delivery. Originally this casting was issued as a part of the 2012 Mission Force Space Crew set, as I mentioned before. Seeing as that was 8 years ago, I had a feeling that there might be a slight variation to it. I was not expecting this much.
Originally it came with a black base, with newbie sporting an unpainted (or zamac) base.
The new production run is also a noticeably different shade of orange too.
But what they have also done is zoom out a little bit on the side logo too. I think this is really cool. I love stuff like this. I find it fascinating seeing different production runs do totally different end results.
But what of the LoneStar? Well, it was pretty obvious that I was going to pull out a classic 1980s CY-2 Rocket Transporter. This one was being pulled by the MB045 Kenworth Cabover K100 Aerodyne. I mean, Rocket Transporter?
You can clearly see how the new rocket has been inspired by the original. They really have paid homage to the original in a big way.
They are both almost the exactly same size and shape, and the recreation is done almost perfectly.
Except there are a couple of small differences. The new one does not have a separate top end. It is an all in one build.
Plus it has a re-configured bottom edge that will allow it to stay on the drop-down section of the trailer unit.
So a very familiar vibe to them, but I would say a nice improvement with the new construction methods and end result.
For those that didn’t know, the old rocket and holding brace were actually a single piece, and you had to snap the rocket off to create it.
I love this new casting. I think a lot of effort went into creating a classic vibe but with a modern twist.
Hey look, the Express Delivery had a NASA design on it too. It makes a good companion to the original one. I wonder if the NASA license has expired so they can’t use it any longer.
As I would have loved to have seen the set in a NASA theme with the MB1080 NASA S.E.V. Chariot included as the extra model. Perhaps if they can continue on, we could see it in the future.
So next up we have the MB1110 Tesla Semi & Pipe Trailer. This set comes mated with the MB856 Load Lifter. The Load Lifter was originally the 2013 MB46, but saw a second outing as the 2018 MB47.
Being a pipe trailer there was no major need to match the Load Lifter up to the convoy truck. With the Load Lifter having 8 different versions over the years it’s a shame they didn’t use one of the other 7 versions of it, as this was the only one that had already been re-used. But it is what it is. I don’t fuss about it. I didn’t come for the Load Lifter. I came for the Convoy.
The Load Lifter is a good model for added play value though. Get the forks up in the air.
Although I should unhook the trailer unit first shouldn’t I.
So the Load Lifter starts removing the pipes.
Now as the Load Lifter starts unloading you may notice something. The pipes have hexagons in 2 places and a notch at the alternate end.
That is because they do slot into each other. You can extend them out at the end, or create a corner slot.
You can start making a nice little pattern with them. Hey, I’m having fun.
Now the base of this convoy trailer is the same as the one that was used before to transport logs. As such it wasn’t given a name. I don’t know, Long Load Trailer? Does that work? Or will it just get known as the Log Trailer, because that was what it came with initially?
So the Load Lifter. As I mentioned, the 2013 basic range issue was the only version of this casting that had been carried forward before. It gets a second bump now.
Between the 2013 and 2018 issues, the only noticeable difference I noticed was that the body of the 2018 issue was a lighter yellow.
But they both sported a darker yellow base. The new one is the same shade of lighter yellow as the 2018 was, but now it is the base that has gone lighter instead. There was a slight variance before, but the latest is quite noticeable.
As to the trucks? Well, I thought I would start with the Tesla Semi itself. As we know it debuted in the last batch of Convoy in black, pulling a box trailer. The new one is silver. Tampo detailing is slightly different between the 2.
From the front the most noticeable thing is the red and white dashed line across the front of the silver one.
The side detailing is a little different too, with a larger Tesla logo, but a few more items in the details too.
Even the fine detailing was changed. The black one has Fremont CA (the Tesla factory) and US DOT 20 5 19 12 1 (numerical numbers for Tesla) and the silver has Palo Alto CA (Tesla HQ) and US DOT 2020 00 2 (because it was the second one). I also like that on the silver, they have “Conserve” on it in the same font style as the Tesla logo.
But here’s something I thought was really cool. If you were to swap the 2 Tesla Semis over and hook them up to each other’s trailers, they still really suit them. I don’t know if that was intentional, but I thought it was great anyway.
Now we have seen this trailer unit in use before. As said, the unnamed unit was originally in batch A being towed by the MB977 Ford Cargo and included logs on the back.
Who would have guessed that the logs would be the same size as the pipes?
Which means lots of fun mixing and matching sets.
They are great fun. Now I think the trailer unit and the accompanying items were based on existing toolings that had been created for the Super Convoy series. They have translated over to the regular Convoy series pretty well. I hope we see more of these and possible alternate loads too.
I do like a variation on a theme. Different loads reminds me of all the different roof accessories being made for the basic range models (Chevy Brockwood Wagon, Trailer Trawler, Land Rover Gen II Safari).
Finally, was I leaving the best until last? We get a new car transporter. Woohoo! Always a fan of car transporters, and I don’t think I am alone. This one features the MB1150 MBX Cabover & Auto Transport Trailer mated to the MB1167 ’11 Mini Countryman. The Mini is the 2019 basic range debut version revisited.
It was the one thing I was hoping for when the Convoy series was last re-introduced (in the mid ’00s). But at that time they never did a car transporter. For some reason, I always found this to have the most play value as a kid. It was the first thing launched when Convoy first debuted in 1982. It was the first one I had, and the one that saw the most playtime when I was a kid. So I am extremely happy to have this one.
So much fun stocking up the rear with the cars.
Or putting down the ramp to load them up across the top.
I have to admit I was busy playing with these and forgot what I was supposed to be doing.
Model goes up.
Model gets to the front and I raise the ramp back up. Wait, perhaps I need more.
How about some modern classics?
Or perhaps just newer vehicles. I was having fun, I was just pulling out all sorts to ride the transporter. 10-6.
Random stuff. Okay I should stop having fun now.
Minis! All in green. Okay I swear, I am getting back to the write up.
So obviously the Mini was a repeat of the 2019 basic range issue. So at first glance you would think it is going to be the same.
Well this is the thing. The 2019 basic range issue fluctuated quite a bit in the shade of green throughout production. It was loads of fun finding lighter to darker shades on it. I have 3 in my collection, but I think there are people out there with even more.
But when I compare the new one to all of them, it is coming out as a different shade. It is my darkest one to date. It is lots of fun for me. Wait? Fun?
Three green Mini Countryman’s sitting on a truck. I am sure there is a song in there somewhere. Okay I really need to get back to being normal now. Wait, I forgot what normal was many years ago.
So the new trailer unit itself is called MBX Auto Transport. It comes in grey and orange. Totally different colour combination to any original Convoy models. Talking of which, let’s do a roll call.
I am not going to do minor variations to them, as many feature changes to tampo printing, moving countries of manufacture and sometimes other things too. I will just go with the basic look. CY-1 was the very first convoy back in the day and ran from 1982 all the way through to 1997. It was long lasting.
Originally it was pulled by the MB045 Kenworth Cabover K100 Aerodyne when released in 1982. As I said, it was the very first Convoy I had as a kid. This is that release. I have never upgraded it. I believe it has held up pretty well over the years, although some of the chrome has become tarnished and the corners have a few chips on them. But I have fond memories of it, and prefer to keep it. I also think the use of the MBX Cabover is sort of paying homage to the style of truck as it too is a Cabover. Of course the colour combination is totally different to any that came before, which I am fine with. The first version was a red truck pulling a red and cream trailer. It was released in 1982 and ran until 1987 like that. During those 5 years we did see small changes in the tampo striping, The window tint varied from dark amber to clear, and the model moved to Macau from England for production in 1985.
In 1988 it saw its first major change. Again, there are a few variations. The exhaust was originally chrome, but after a year turned grey, and the model moved from Macau to Thailand for production in 1990. But as a general rule, yellow cab with dark blue and yellow rear was the 1988-1991 version of the model
Finally, 1992 saw the last major look for the model. This was how it went until 1997. The only real change here though was at first it was made in Thailand, but before the model was retired, production moved to China. Now it was a blue truck, with a light blue and yellow rear. But because it was such a popular vehicle, they really didn’t need to do much with it. It just sold itself.
Now I have to say, they have done an amazing job in recreating the look. The new casting is all from scratch as the original one doesn’t exist any more. But it looks almost identical. A bit like when they rebuilt the Blue Shark casting back in 2004.
There will be minor differences. Small tweaks and adjustments here and there, and the front that I believe was a winch rope look is now blank. But the lower part is very similar. Of course the rear does sit ever so slightly higher now which is why it looks taller.
Of course the new hooking mechanism to attach to the cab is noticeably wider, as are all new for 2020 Convoy models.
The upper section is almost the same too. The only main difference is that the part where it drops down for the front vehicle has a steeper incline.
The rear edge does have an additional tab to enable it to hook in better.
If I was to put the 2 parts together you can see that little tab extends the connection just a little more.
Now because of the new construction of the hook between cab and trailer, this does mean the new cab does manage to carry the older trailer units okay due to their connection being thinner.
But the old cabs will not work with the new trailers as the connecting point is too wide to fit in the slot. But I do not worry too much about that. I just enjoy having them again. I hope we continue on with the range. It has been fun this year. There is an 8th model for 2020 coming. The Matchbox team gave us a sneak peek recently. When it arrives I will do a little mini moment with it.
Well that brings us to the end of another Matchbox Monday post again with thanks to Wheel Collectors, who helped me out with these models. I hope you enjoyed it.