Matchbox Monday finishes an Off Road trilogy

It may be a New Year, but there is still a lot of 2020 stuff I have to write up about. I will be mixing in various 2021 items too (batch A of 2021 is being sent over by Wheel Collectors as we speak), but over the next couple of months I will still showcase a number of 2020 items as I play catch up again. I got a little behind with things. Now this set of 6 models is officially a Walmart USA exclusive, but as we saw with the first batch, they have appeared in various other places. Most notably in Australia, where they were being sold in Toyworld stores long before USA saw them. This is another case of fellow collector Luke McKenna helping me out (I mentioned @matchboxluke in my Mini Moment last Thursday), by obtaining a set from his local store and shipping them over to me in the UK. Again, thank you very much Luke for the assist with these. It is most appreciated.

Now full disclosure, in a means to keep costs down, I asked for the models to be shipped over from Australia loose. I mean at the end of the day I was never going to keep the packaging, and I didn’t want to spend more money in shipping just to take a random picture of said packages before ripping them apart and throwing them away. So none of these will show their packages. But as I showed the packaging in batch A, these are just more of the same style. But I will still keep to the numbering system for anybody who likes to keep track. Which means I will begin with number 7 of 12 (1-6 were batch A, 7-12 batch B). As was the case in batch A, 3 of the models in the assortment are brand new designs, and 3 of the models are what is referred to as carry forwards. This is a common practice in these smaller series, and you will notice it a lot in 2021. Number 7 is the MB1009 Custom ’68 Ford Mustang “Mudstanger”.

This is one of the 3 carry forward designs for the batch. It is white with a red and black “12” design on the sides. Originally it was the 2017 MB124 issue worldwide and makes a return here. So why get it again? Because you know there are differences between the 2. Last time out, the MB1185 ’85 Porsche 911 Rally was a carry forward for one year, and so the differences were very minimal.

But this, it is a 3 year later repeat, so the chances for variations increase. So bringing in the original for a comparison shows me there are some differences.

For starters, they may both be white, but the original issue on the left has a slightly creamier look to it. The newer one is a brighter white.

But the rest appears to be about the same, unless you start to look closely.

The most noticeable difference is that the grey background to the final 2 logos on the black stripe have been removed. Road Monsters and Heralda (ooh I wonder who designed this) now have the body’s own white background to them.

The other different is with the black itself. The new issue has a bit more of a dull matte finish compared to the shinier 2017 issue.

Now the 2017 issue was not the debut. It actually arrived the year before in green as MB94 with a muddy look and various logos including the Skyjacker one that has been seen a number of times.

As well as the 2017 basic range already shown, 2017 marked the launch of the Color Changers series, and the MB1009 became MB1068 for that series with the body now plastic and base now metal. When cold the model looks orange and has a muddy look to it.

But when warm, it became yellow with no muddy look. The design was based on the 2016 basic range issue, but with a little more tampo printing too.

Of course you could have fun with the Color Changer models, and create your own half in half look. This one in particular reminds me a bit of the old Tyco “Get in the Fast Lane” look.

In 2018 the model was dropped from the basic range, and instead it appeared in a 5-pack. Dirty Mudders saw a zamac look with a pirate inspired side design.

And if you were crazy like me, you were loving the difference in the yellow part of the tampo print, being either a light or dark shade.

2019 came along and another 5-pack appearance ensued. This time in blue in the MBX Wild pack.

And that yellow stripe phenomenon got even more wild in 2019. Get it? More wild? MBX Wild pack? I don’t know why I bother. Pale yellow becomes almost orange.

2019 also saw another Color Changers outing for the model too. Again, in the cold position the model was orange with a muddy look to it.

But this time the warm position turned it a pale tan instead of yellow and the mud stayed. This time the design was much like the 2017 basic (and now 2020 Off Road Rally), except a little altered to remove the middle stripe and change the 12 roundel to a 6 roundel.

Finally, the model was also seen earlier this year in another Walmart exclusive series. Mustang batch A. This was a dark grey with a skull and crossbones front and splatters of mud.

Which brings us to the next model in the set, and the first of the new designs. Number 8 of 12 is the MB1038 ’90 VW Golf Country in black with an appropriately 90 numbered (it is its year) red, white and yellow side design.

So why are there 2? If you remember with the Off Road Rally 5-pack review the other week, this casting sports 2 different interiors, and Luke made sure to get me both.

Thanks again Luke. Both chainsaw and fuel can rear parcel shelf variants are available and both made their way over to me.

But as I have literally just done a run down of this model’s previous issues 2 weeks ago, this time I thought I would bring in another Golf for a breakdown. The MB152 VW Golf GTi. Well, these are both Mark 2 Golfs after all. It debuted worldwide in 1985 as either MB33 in the US market or MB56 in the ROW market. The first year was a simple red with a small black strip and tiny Golf GTi down the side.

But as was often the case during the Universal era, after starting with a road going civilian look, plans were afoot to give it a rally inspired makeover afterwards. for some reason they decided not to go with it on this model. I don’t know why. Perhaps VW weren’t keen on it. Perhaps whoever K Hill is caused an issue. Perhaps they just felt that they were “rallyfying” (is that a word, I think I just made it up) the range too much by putting in too many rally looks to the vehicles.

Which is a shame, as I thought this looked really good. The Golf Country peers inside the opening bonnet/hood at the engine in the GTi.

So it was reined in completely, and a larger GTi logo with black and white stripes was the way of the 1986-88 issue. During 1986 they really mixed up wheels a lot, and both dot-dash and golden 8-dot wheels were found randomly, although by 1987 the regular chrome 8-dots were the norm and way more common than the other 2 put together.

In 1987 the Golf was added to the G-5 Federal Express gift set along with various other miniatures and Skybuster models. This was a simple white release with the FedEx sign (as it was in the 1980s, still going by its full name) on the side.

There was also an actually rally inspired release as a promotional item too. Quantum in the UK had this promo which was white with predominantly purple tampo. Early pre-production samples had the purple in blue instead, which was adjusted before production started.

In 1989 the model was dropped from the US range, but continued on in the ROW range for 1 more year. This time though, they turned it charcoal, with the thin white stripe now becoming a very wide silver stripe. However, the US market did still see it, as the same model was also added to the TP-120 twin pack pulling an Inflatable on Trailer rear. The twin pack ran until 1990, and during 1990 production moved to Thailand. Thailand issues were quite a bit darker than Macau issues.

The Thailand issue only exists in twin pack form.

While all this was happening, the model was seeing a few more promotional items. Firstly in 1989, a yellow version appeared as part of the Swiss Collection series, with a PTT logo on the side. PTT was the Post, Telefon und Telegraph (in German) or Postes, téléphones et télégraphes (in French) in Switzerland at the time. Translated into English it becomes the Postal, Telegraph and Telephone company. Amazingly, in all 3 languages, the initials are still PTT. PTT had been around since 1928 in Switzerland and survived until 1998 when it was split up into Swiss Post and Swisscom which is how it currently stands.

Oddly, the model was re-inserted back in the ROW range again in 1991 for a 1-off visit, but not in its original MB56 slot. For this 1 random appearance the model was MB63.A new abstract design accompanied the model. Literally, it said it right there in the design. But that proved to be for the model apart from….

One more little promotion at the end of the year. This time it was a German promotional item for the Lippische Landes-zeitung. Landes-zeitung (or LZ for short) is a national newspaper company based in the Lippe region of Germany. The LZ logo is still their logo today. But after this promotional model was made, the casting was retired.

Number 9 of 12 is the MB716 Ridge Raider in purple. And well, depending on how you view things, this could be the first time it has officially been in purple.

It also comes with some cool front white/rear gold wheels. I do like a model with mixed wheels. Quirky!

Well I don’t believe I have done a run through of it yet, so how about one now. There is quite a lot so bear with me. I don’t know why this keeps getting used and not the later MB767 Quick Sander. So life began for the Ridge Raider back in 2007. It debuted as MB62 in the basic range in red. Now the wheels did come in both sizes, either a large 6-spoke area (like both mine here) and thin surround, or a small 6-spoke area with thick surround. Sadly I was unable to track down the alternate wheel variation so I made do with finding the yellow stripe coming in yellow or a greeny yellow.

Version 2 appeared later in the year, and this too had the same wheel variations, and yet again I was unable to find the alternate. But this time I had the smaller 6-spoke with thicker surround variant. One day I will find the crossovers. It’s on my list.

But that was not it for 2007. It was a part of the 1st Editions 10-pack in yellow and was also an exclusive in the 2007 seasonal Christmas Coal Cars too in gold.

In 2008 it turned orange for the basic range. This was sold as either MB92 in the US market, MB65 in the LAAM market or MB41 in the ROW market. Me being me, I soon found an orange shade too.

I also found this one. Whoops! It’s naked!

It was also a part of the Off Road 5-pack that year in silver, and although the silver itself seemed fairly consistent, the red interior did vary from lighter to darker shades.

It was also in the Battle Kings series too. Island Attack saw a tan issue, which is always good for a shade or 2 too.

Plus, if you looked carefully enough at the wheels, you could also find this sporting the large or small 6-spokes too.

I do like shades. The 2008 Adventure 10-pack was also good for them, with lighter and darker greens being found.

For 2009 it was MB88 in the US market, and both LAAM and ROW had it as MB38. It was black with a white zebra side design, and the black finish could come in either matte or satin types. The satin one on the left is noticeably more shiny.

The Desert Adventure 5-pack was another that saw the small vs large wheel choices again on a white model. Weird how I could find ones on black wheels, but not on chrome (where it is more noticeable). I liked the D.A.R.T. design. Desert Adventure Rescue Team. I wonder if this design will make a comeback? I do like seeing classic liveries returning. It was used again on a 2010 Land Rover Defender 110.

It was chosen again for the Adventure 10-pack that year too, and this time it was green. Another colour that is very good for shades, and I found some nice shading on this one.

In 2010 it was only in the US range (MB94) and LAAM range (MB61). It was not a part of the ROW range that year. During production we saw some nice shades of blue.

Plus we found a small run with cog wheels in place of the usual 6-spokes.

This time it was in the Mountain Adventure 5-pack in bright yellow, which again I managed to find some nice shade variations on.

It was also in a Nickelodeon 5-pack that year featuring Dora The Explorer on the side. During production you could find that the side design was applied in 2 ways. Either a fusion graphic (which is smooth, very fine but sadly more costly) or Ink Jet printed (more coarse, rougher end result, but cheaper). Most of the licensed packs receive one of these methods as both allow for a complete range of colours. Tampo printing is limited to 4 colours. You couldn’t get a finish like that in 4 colours.

For 2011 it was now only sold in the US market as MB94. This time it was a dark metallic orange.

Another year and another 5-pack. This time it was Dino Adventure, where it came in various shades of brown during production.

Plus there was again a batch with an alternate wheel. This time large 6-spokes instead of the regular cog.

And again we saw a licensed 5-pack issue. This time it was a go Diego Go set in blue with Diego on the side.

2012 saw the MB48 (now back as a worldwide issue as the range amalgamated) with all gold wheels (no different front ones). Again tan is a good colour for shades, and this was an easy find for me.

In 2012 there were 2 desert themed 5-packs. One was simply called Desert, and saw a silver model. I did find a shade to the silver, although it may not come across too well here.

The other pack was called Desert Adventure and again saw the Ridge Raider now in white. This one I did not find any variations on.

It took 2013 off before popping up in the 2014 Dino Adventure 5-pack. This is the second time I found a naked one.

I don’t often find missing tampo models but 2 on the same casting? Yep, this is the only one.

2016 saw the model appear as a 9-pack exclusive after taking another year off in black.

Before returning to the basic range as MB103 in 2017 in green.

In 2018 this model was also added to the Color Changers range. And this is where I mention about the officially in purple bit. I said in the first picture of the Ridge Raider about it being the first purple. You see, this model was turned in MB1131 for this release, but would you describe it as a purple model that turns blue when it gets warm, or a blue model that turns purple when it gets cold? Depending on your view would dictate whether this latest release is the first purple or not.

As with many of the Color Changer designs, they were borrowed heavily from older issues, and this was based on the 2016 9-pack issue.

In 2018 it was also in the basic range as MB125. Being a matte or satin finish was the name of the game on this one.

But it was also a carry forward design from the 2008 Adventure 10-pack. However, you can see this was a much lighter shade of green.

Finally, for this model, it was MB68 in the 2019 basic range in blue with matching wheels. As I said, I hope that the MB767 Quick Sander gets another look in. That one arrived 2 years later but has not been seen since 2016. I always thought of these 2 as companion models being from the same type of field. Good for mixing and matching.

The fourth model in the set, which if anybody is keeping count means it is number 10 of 12. The second of the carry forwards. This particular one is the MB878 Jeep 4×4 in black.

With this casting having its roots back as a Kenner Fast 111’s model it has been around in some form since 1982. It was known as Gravel Grinder when it was first released by Kenner, of which I don’t own any examples of as I am a Matchbox only collector.

However, with Kenner being linked with Universal when it took over Matchbox, this quickly became adopted and retooled as a Matchbox model and turned into the MB131 Jeep 4×4 in 1984.

I recently did a full showcase of MB878 when I showed the white 2020 basic range issue (shown above), but this time I am going back to the beginnings of Universal retooling the Kenner casting.

It debuted back in 1984 as a US exclusive in black. For a long time the casting was only ever sold in USA as MB37.

black was around for 3 years until 1986 and during that time production moved between Macau and China. But rather than show that I will show this random error (well I was having fun with Ridge Raider errors, so why not carry on). Except this time it was not a missing tampo, it was a missing exhaust.

The thing is, it was only on one side. The other side’s exhaust is still attached, and the base was fully painted silver across the broken area. It is quite a clean break too, but having never seen another like it I would assume this is just a random occurrence in the factory while the model was being assembled before painting.

In 1987, still only being sold in USA, the model turned white while keeping the same design but also in new colours.

This too bounced between China and Macau, as the casting was sent back to Macau for production in 1988 after debuting in 1987 from China. Hence the Macau model having a raised area for the country.

In 1990 Macau cost reduced the base to plastic, but as of now I am still to find that one, but do have the 1991 Thailand made plastic base and in 1993 it ended up back where it started in China.

So in 1987, Chinese production was metal base, in 1993/94 it was plastic base. The final year of the white model (1994) was the first time they decided to add the model to the ROW range as MB25. So those in ROW countries just managed to obtain a white issue (which had been around 7 years already in the US market) before it got updated.

1995 saw the first time that the model saw a whole new look. This was not just a recolour of the original design, but now it was fluorescent orange with a Cool Mud design. the black design was originally on the side and top of the model but late in the year, they did a deliberate tampo adjustment to a number of models and removed the top section.

In 1996 the MB37 US/MB25 ROW model was turned from orange to pink (something we have seen recently in a carry forward), but we also saw the first issue of the model outside of the basic range. After 11 years, there was a second release. This was in an Off Road 5-pack in metallic dark red.

1997 saw the basic range issue turn blue but with the same design. However, the original hood tampo from early 1995 was also reinserted back on to the model.

1997 was also the year of the Gold Challenge in USA, and still being in the range meant that we had a nice plain gold issue to find. Or more than one if you can find nice shades on it.

Plus, it was still in 5-packs. This time Rugged Riders, which can be found with lighter or darker flames on the sides (I only just got one of these, an Instagram post is going up shortly).

But that wasn’t it. Oh no, 1997 was full of all sorts of items, one of which was called the Adventure Pack. In some markets it was sold under the Action System banner. There were 6 sets sold in the first year, and each set consisted of 2 models linked together by a theme with some additional accessories. Basically a cross between the earlier twin pack/Hitch ‘n Haul series which was 2 vehicles either linked by towing or by theme, and the later Mattel made Hitch ‘n Haul series which were vehicle and trailer with additional accessories. Set number 1 was called Hang Glider, and contained the Jeep alongside and MB053 Ford Flareside Pick-up in matching silver, and set number 5 was called Safari and also had a Jeep, now in tan, alongside an MB317 Ford Cargo with Cage in matching design.

Daft fact, the Adventure sets were the first time the casting was ever seen with an antenna that was not white.

In 1998 the model moved to MB58 for one final worldwide release in blue with white splashes on it. The Rugged Riders pack continued but the model which was blue there was now turned yellow with the same flame design.

However, although dropped from the basic range everywhere else in the world, Germany of all places saw an exclusive MB57 in 1999. This was metallic dark red. Wait, doesn’t that sound familiar?

That is because dark metallic red was the 1995 5-pack issue. But as you can see, the 1999 issue was a lighter shade, and the grey base/black roll bar had been flipped so the roll bar was now grey and the base black.

It did see a worldwide 5-pack release though. 1999 was a great year to be a collector, as Mattel having recently taken over the brand came up with a novel plan to create alternate tampos for the US and ROW markets. Basics saw a lot, but by the end of the year, 5-packs were also involved too. The final 5-pack of the year, which basically ran through most of 2000 was called Wilderness Road Trip…. In the US market. ROW markets just called it Wilderness. But the differences didn’t just stop with the name, as the design on the US version of this model (and the Isuzu Rodeo/Vauxhall Frontera) sported additional writing for the US market. ROW countries just had the picture and squiggle. US added Wilderness Tours too (which in this case meant moving the squiggle down). That is the thing, it was not just add extra, they moved things to accommodate the extra too. I was very impressed with how the 1999 range played out.

In 2000 the model saw one more 5-pack appearance for a while in the Camp Jeep pack. One of my favourite looks for this model, with the mud all over the sides, the muddy brown base section, and the amazing detail added to the wheels. They are brown wheels, but instead of adding hot foil printing to the middle area, this time they tampo printed for fuzzy sections on each wheel. All 4 wheels are identical, but you do not notice if they are not lined up. They just look like a very realistic muddy wheel.

After that awesome wheel release, the model went on a bit of a hiatus. Of all places, it randomly came back in the Superfast series in 2006. It was sold in the number 57 slot that year.

The only premium release the casting ever saw, and the only time you saw front and rear tampos.

This kick-started a new era for the casting, as in 2007 it was a part of the second Scooby Doo licensed 5-pack in green with a safari Camp design on the sides.

And in 2008 it made its return to the basic range in blue with front tampo (still no rear, I did say only one with front AND rear for the Superfast). It was sold as MB82, but only in the US range, as that was the year it did a 3-way split between US (100 models), LAAM (a selection of 75 out of the 100) and ROW (a different selection of 75).

In 2009 it was a part of the Desert Adventure 5-pack, which during production did see a little shade variation between lighter and darker mustard.

It also saw a random run with large oval wheels in place of the regular ringed gear wheels.

But there also happened to be one final basic range issue before the model went on a second hiatus and retooled into MB898 for 2013. This is a rather familiar look to the model. As this is the one that was carried forward into the new issue.

In 2009 it was still MB131 so obviously now the casting is the updated one. Differences were mainly with the construction of the interior and roll bar, which is now a 1-piece unit rather than 2 (the spare wheel was cast with the interior section but still got a hot foil print on it). You may notice that the tow hook was moved from interior to base section too. But also that antenna section was removed from the casting. Now shown really is the fact that the front bull bar was thickened up too.

But there is another change too. They managed to make a few little alterations to the tampo (which is now on a lighter red background. The most obvious of which is the 24 now becoming 25. But if you look closer a couple of the name logos are different. Weise has become Dao, and Williams has become Nooma. I love the little things.

So on to model number 5, or should I say 11 of 12. This is an MB1071 Honda Ridgeline. This is the final carry forward. It comes in black with orange and pale yellow side stripes, along with the number 12 and Honda’s logos.

Quick side story (it is relevant). When Lesney first created twin packs, a number of models not in the basic range were given numbers with a 7 or 8 in front to differentiate them with those in the basic range, with this system debuting in 1977. A pre-cursor to the MAN number system that was created for 1982. When the MAN number system was instigated, all the twin pack models that had already been given a 3-digit code continued with that number. However, some that had been assigned and not used by Universal at all after the official MAN number system began were forgotten. The Eccles Caravan had been assigned MB857 status for twin packs in 1977, but was finished after 1982. Universal never kept the number for it and so when MB857 was reached by Mattel they just came up with a new one. New additions to the twin pack series from 1984 onwards however, were also assigned a similar number and any older casting that was brought back was also given a number. For example the Bomag Road Roller came back to the basic range in 1991 after being dropped as MB72 after 1981. Until 1991 it had not been assigned a MAN number, so they just threw a 7 in front of the already cast number and called it MB772. Seafire had also been dropped before MAN numbers began, but was brought back as a twin pack issue in 1987. It was originally MB5, so they just called it MB705. Some lasted through both. the MB59 Mercury Park Lane with lights was assigned MB859 in 1977, and this number carried on as the casting was used by Universal. Sadly, when 2007 hit, Mattel were completely unaware of these older numbers and those already assigned up to MB731 were re-assigned as new castings. So the Seafire, no longer in action, was replaced by the Honda Ridgeline (see I told you it was relevant). MB772 Bomag Road Roller and MB859 Mercury Park Lane with lights are still the official models as in 2008 (after being pointed out by many people) Mattel made sure to skip any remaining numbers still in play. Hence MB772 and MB859 being skipped by Mattel vehicles, but MB857 not being skipped, due to Universal already deleting it. So there you go, more background on manufacturing numbers.

But which release was this originally? Let’s go through them shall we. The Honda started off in 2007, where it was originally assigned the manufacturing number MB705 as I just mentioned. This was not to be confused with a certain Seafire which was originally assigned that number back in the 1980s as just noted in my side story. Fun with numbers! Beware, there is more fun with numbers coming. The model debuted as MB57 in the 2007 basic range. It was a rather beautiful blue with front and rear detailing. Very nice. During production the wheels could be found in either the smaller or large 6-spoke style (the wheels themselves are the same size, but the middle section is bigger on the bottom one).

But later on, this model turned in to a red one as a version 2 in the range. However, it only sported the larger 6-spoke wheels. Now I do have 2, and that is because if you check the side tampo, some can have a yellow section, others a tan section. But I did mention fun with numbers. Daft fact (BTW I don’t own it so can’t show it), but when the model was first launched it was known as a 2006 Honda Ridgeline. But Honda asked Mattel to change it to 2007 Honda Ridgeline, which was done at the end of 2007. Although already dropped from the basic range, the model was still being used in larger multipacks, and a late run saw the newer 2007 base on the red model.

It didn’t on the end of year 1st Editions 10-pack which saw a muddy silver issue. This only came with a 2006 base.

Which brings us on to, hello you look familiar. That’s right the new addition is the carry forward of the 2008 MB80 (US market)/MB38 (LAAM market) issue. It was not sold in the ROW market.

Now it is not a duplicate, because the model was altered in 2017 to MB1071 which does involve a number of minor tweaks (check out the thicker tow hook on newbie at the back), but the major difference that most people notice is the adjustment to the rear bed. Whereas before it was a slot in unit with items going across the entirety of it, when the model was altered, the body has a stub inside to allow it to be riveted to the base, and the internal items were rearranged to still slot into the bed section. Many models have been altered from the slotting in method into a drop and rivet assembly at the factory. It is faster and more efficient, meaning we get more stuff. I like stuff! So I’m good.

In 2008 it saw its first use with said tow hook as it was a part of the Vacation Day Hitch ‘n Haul set towing the MB718 Travel Trailer, which immediately got modified into MB747. But while the trailer section was seeing major action, the vehicle towing it also saw some minor changes. It was a different shade of grey.

It was also added to the 2008 Superfast series too in metallic burgundy, which has a lovely Ridgeline strip in the rear window.

But I am still not done with 2008. Skybuster Action Sets. The Amazon Adventure set saw another black issue (this time matte black instead of gloss black) in an Island Adventure Tours theme.

Finally, for 2008, another 10-pack issue. This was in the Adventure all-exclusive set, and again another grey I managed to find a shade on. Although this one is not quite as noticeable as the other one.

And, oh, I am now on to 2009. Another blue basic, this time as MB97 in the US range or MB69 in the LAAM range. Still no ROW release. But although I am in an ROW country I still managed to obtain a lovely shade on this one.

The only other release that year was in a range it was not in the previous year. 5-packs! It was in the Beach Patrol set in white with a Lifeguard livery on the side.

2010 and yay, finally, ROW love. It was sold as MB82 in the US range, MB42 in the LAAM range, and now (possibly because it was getting 2 versions), MB27 in the ROW range. First up was olive green, which had a black tampo print in either gloss or matte finishes.

Then returning in a version 2 look in silver. It is a sort of grey, I am getting shades.

Mind you I also got shades on the 2011 Camping Adventure 5-pack. Lighter or darker shades of tan for me. Did you notice? I was in 2010, and now 2011. It only saw the double basic release in 2010 and only 5-pack releases in 2011. Yes, after 2008 it really quietened down.

I did say releases, as there was also a licensed 5-pack release for Handy Manny too in red.

But in 2012, there was only the 1 issue, as it was in the Outdoor Sights 5-pack which saw another black model.

It then took 2013 off before coming back in 2014 in another 5-pack. Titled Outdoor Sights again, this time the model was in yellow, and I was able to find some nice shading on that one.

But that was it for the MB705 casting. After a 2 year hiatus, the model returned to use in the 2017 Explore The River 5-pack, but was now the updated MB1071 casting.

This was off-white with a Tiki River Cruises side design.

The model returned to the basic range in 2018 as MB113 in a rather familiar design. Wheels could be found in red or a pinky red look.

It is not the easiest to show, so here is a closer look at them.

But if you felt the design was rather familiar, that is because it was. It was the same design as the 2007 1st Editions 10-pack model, except this one wasn’t muddy. Loving the before and after look. I want more muddy vs clean models in the range.

Which brings us on to the final model in the set. The MB1058 Sonora Shredder in green, which takes the number 12 slot of 12.

Now I love this one. The design, on a green model, has a Matchbox Team 7 look to it.

Earlier in 2020 we had an orange Matchbox Team 5 model. Great stuff. I love things like this. But why choose green?

Well this originally started life on the MB723 VW Beetle 4×4 model, when it was in 2 versions in the 2008 basic range. Version 1 was in orange, and later a version 2 arrived in green. This is following the same pattern, turning up in orange and then later on in green.

Of course this now begs a question…. Are we looking forward to a green MB788 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor and MB1183 ’68 dodge D200 4×4 Pickup in the future? I hope so.

But let’s finish off with a quick recap of just what the Sonora Shredder has been up to since debuting shall we? First off, it was an MB93 debut in the 2017 basic range in dark charcoal. Which can be found in a matte or satin finish.

It was then also added in to the 2017 range as MB61 at the end of the year, mixed in with a very unique “best of” assortment of 2017 issues from across the year, and the first few 2018s. Again, this was another source of great shade variations, as it varied a lot during its short production (only ran 1 batch).

In 2018 it was MB107 in the basic range in a darker green to the current issue before taking 2019 off.

Coming back to the basic range for 2020 as MB81. That orange version though, wow this is a great one for shades. Three distinct shades on this one.

And if you want to go completely nuts, check out the white tampo printing on the doors. It can be found very thinly applied giving an almost pinky hue to it, or much thicker application in a bright white. I know I know, I have way too many Sonora Shredders. I just love this casting though. Still amazed that this green issue is the first time we have seen it outside of the basic range. Hopefully it will start to see some other action elsewhere too. Off Road Rally is opening its floodgates if I am lucky.

And that brings us to the end of another report on the second set of 6 Off Road Rally models.

Or should I say 7? It depends on if you are like me, busy hunting down interior variations. So again, many thanks to Luke for sending me these all the way from Australia. Next week I begin my 2021 basic range run as my box of items from Wheel Collectors is due any time. As I write, it is in the country. It just needs delivering. So I hope you enjoy the article. I am off to sit patiently waiting for a box to arrive.

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