Okay, before I start here, I confess, I am a little behind. There are still quite a few 2020 items that I have not covered yet and I am already working on 2021 stuff. So bear with me as I do try to fit in as much of the 2020 stuff I missed as I can over the next month or 2. It begins with Moving Parts batch C. These were kindly sent over to me by Wheel Collectors as there is currently no store in the UK willing to take the series. Which is a huge shame, because I think these are great. Batch C contained 5 models, but only 3 were new additions. The first of which is….
A Porsche! Yes, I know, it is how I started my last report. What can I say, I am a huge Porsche fan. So I was not going to miss doing a showcase on this one.
The MB1224 ’55 Porsche 550 Spyder. I thought I would start with the base shot for the new addition this time instead of posting it later. Mix it up a little bit.
The model appears in a lighter metallic silvery blue with simple detailing on the front.
And on the rear. Also, I like the attention to detail that was afforded to the interior section. As is quite often lately, we are seeing foot pedals cast into the base section giving us even more detailing.
The best part is that the rear opens up to show off the engine inside too. A great touch for sure.
Plus, if you open up to view the engine, you will discover that it too was tampo printed. This is officially a core model, and as such it would usually only receive 2 lots of tampo printing. It may not seem much, but front, rear and engine printing adds up to 3 lots of tampo hits. Great stuff.
There is just one small thing about this though. Light metallic silvery blue is prone to sporting shade variations quite easily. I think the main part of the model and the rear opening canopy are being painted up at different times in the factory before assembly so matching them up is not easy. This one is fairly close.
But some will sport a more prominent difference between the 2 halves. Fun for the variation collector, like me.
So as this is a debut offering, there is no back catalogue for me to dive into, so there was only 1 option for me for a first visit. The MB356 Porsche Boxster. This is because the Porsche 986 (internal reference for the first Boxster) was created as a replacement for the 968 in the mid 1990s and the first concept vehicle shown for it, which had been designed by Grant Larson and Pinky Lai, used the 550 Spyder as an inspiration. The Boxster (because it had a boxer engine in a speedster car – BOXer/speedSTER – Boxster) arrived in 1996 in real life, and Matchbox created a model of it in 1999. The first issue was a premium 2-model set which was known as First Edition. These were the very first models rolled off the production line, and at the time, they Matchbox models were often done like this. These were a limited run of models, and half would be left raw, while the other half would sport a high level of detailing. Both would sport 2-part rubber wheels.
You can really see the detailing that went into the premium issue which included a full tampo print to the interior too. The idea for these was that the “raw” model would show off the full extent of detailing that went into the casting, and being the first ones run off the production line, these details would be as fresh as they could possibly be.
After that the model arrived in the basic range as MB55 in metallic silver, with simple front and rear detailing, and a brown interior. Very important that part.
Because in 2000 it was MB5 in metallic silver. But this time the model sported a black interior, and being a 2000 issue that was sold in the US market (although it was worldwide), the first 10,000 US long card editions sported a Matchbox 2000 logo. That year the logo was only on the US issues, so no ROW short card/window box issues saw a logo.
There was a small difference to the tampo printing too, as although the rear was pretty much the same, the Porsche badge on the front was no longer added for 2000.
In 2001 only Germany saw it continue in the basic range for 1 more year. However, this time it was dark red with flower wheels. Being 2001, this was the first year that the Matchbox lozenge logo had changed to an oval design that Mattel created, and that logo was also being added to many models too. It was to last a short while, before finally being removed a few years later. It was Mattel’s idea to bring Matchbox more in line with their other die-cast brand, but was seen as too much of a negative for Matchbox from the collector community.
The Major Motion 5-pack that year also saw a Porsche Boxster, this time in green with gold side detailing.
In 2002 the model was back worldwide and again was MB5 much like in 2000. Except this time the logo version was sold in the first 10,000 produced in total, so they could appear in many places. I found mine in ROW window box at the time. Just as with 2000 too, the logo was applied to the window.
Expect a few of these in the next few pictures. This is a hand painted sample of the 2002 model. This is really only noticeable in real life, as the tampo printing versus hand painting of details doesn’t really show up well in picture. The only thing that does is the fact that the prepro has flower wheels, and the model arrived with lace wheels.
The Boxster was also added to the first Stars of Germany series in 2002 as well. This model was red and did feature flower wheels.
2003 saw no basic range issues of the model at all. But oddly it appeared in 2 different 5-packs that year. Silver was in the Cars 5-pack, and white was in the Sizzlin’ Style 5-pack.
And yes that was another metallic silver. This one had a red interior, and different wheels/tampo to the first 2.
I said more prepros. This was the 2003 Stars of Germany error prepro. In 2002, the first series of Stars of Germany saw a Porsche Boxster and a Porsche 911 Turbo. For 2003 they were planning the second set, and both the Boxster (shown here) and 911 Turbo were again in the planning stages in dark metallic blue, but in the end they went with a 911 Carrera Cabriolet instead to mix it up. So this Boxster was actually a rejected sample. Not rejected by me.
In 2004 things got even quieter. No core range issues at all. But the model was added to the new 35th Anniversary Superfast series in the number 56 slot. It came in yellow with the bling wheels that accomodated the first year (and part of the 2nd) of Superfast.
In 2005 Matchbox had now moved in-house at El Segundo after closing the Mt Laurel office in New Jersey, and with it a new team were changing the direction of the brand. 2004 had seen the debut of Ultra Heroes, which was the culmination of a move to Hero City a few years before, and sales plummeted. So a move was made to bring back the realism that Matchbox was known for, but other tweaks were made too. One of them was to drop the US/ROW split that had been going since 1981. But in 2005 there were a small number of differences, as 8 models were still different between the 2 markets as it was phased out. One of them was MB65. In the US market it was a tan ’70 Pontiac GTO, but the ROW market saw a lime gold Porsche Boxster.
But here’s the thing. It was going to be yellow. This is the poster model for the 2005 ROW poster. Another hand painted prototype. But the model was tweaked last minute.
This is because the Superfast range was seeing a yellow issue for the ROW market too. After a lighter yellow 2004 which was only sold in USA, for 2005 they created 2 ranges. One for USA which had a blue Porsche Boxster, with a yellow for the ROW market.
Which meant we were getting quite a few yellows anyway. Just imagine if the ROW MB65 had also been yellow. Yellow overload!
2006 was pretty much the end for the casting though. No longer in the basic range, it saw a white issue as a part of the Cars 5-pack.
Which in this case was a metallic creamy white compared to the bright white of the previous 5-pack issue.
And one more outing in the Superfast series. But this was not a US/ROW split. In 2006 they created chase cars, with a few of the models sporting 2 colours during the production run. It started in silver then turned red during production.
And that is a lot of silver. It was the most popular choice of colour for the Boxster during its time as a Matchbox model. The 550 Spyder will be turning silver in batch B of the 2021 Matchbox Collector series. Expect an Instagram post about that one with these Boxsters when I have it. You have been warned!
But after retirement, the Boxster casting came back for a random 10-pack issue in 2014. It was one of the exclusives in batch D that year, and shows even better how this light metallic silvery blue paint can vary during production. I thought it quite fitting that this was the last colour for the Boxster, and the first colour for the 550 Spyder.
Next up is the MB1143 ’63 Chevy C10 Pickup. This is in red with an opening hood, as shown through the package and in the artwork.
And can be shown loose as well.
The model, being a Moving Parts release, is part of the “core” brand and therefore receives the standard 2-hit tampo treatment. This involves simple detailing down each side.
Which you may think does look rather familiar. Well it should. If you were a fan of the Twilight film series you may be thinking it was Bella Swan’s vehicle. It was. She drove a red 1963 Chevy C10. But in Matchbox terms, this is also very familiar.
I love a bit of consistency. It is the same detailing as was used for the 2019 debut Moving Parts model.
In fact, it is almost the same as the Superfast issue that arrived earlier in the 2020 model year too.
Obviously that one, being a premium issue, had a little extra detailing, in the way of the engine being detailed and that gorgeous rear bed treatment that actually looks like a wooden floor to me. I still think that was one of the best pieces of detailing of the year.
But I can’t just leave it there can I. In pops the MB672 Chevy Silverado SS for some fun. You see the Silverado series of trucks were the successors to the C/K series of trucks. The 1963 C10 is part of the 1st generation of C/K series, and the Silverado SS is part of the 1st generation of Silverado. Things always make sense once I explain them. The Silverado SS debuted in 2005 as MB54 in the basic range in blue, much like the C10 debuted in blue in 2019.
It was also added to the 2005 Superfast series, where we saw one in dark red for the ROW market, and another in dark green for the USA market.
In 2006 it moved to the MB10 slot for the basic range in tan, or golden tan depending on which shade you might have found.
It was also a part of a Target exclusive Monsters series in light tan with a Park Patrol design. This was pre-National Parks, but I can see where the design evolved from. Caution: wild Animals May Be Present. I think I am pretty safe….
2006 also saw another Superfast issue, this time in black. It reminds me of the 2020 Superfast edition of the new one too.
In 2007 it only had one use. MB68 in the basic range. So I had to expand and find shades of orange to that one too.
2008 saw Matchbox create their own additional basic, as it was given 2 versions through the year. However, with the range splitting into 3 that year, only the US and LAAM ranges saw it. The ROW range did not include this one. MB87 US/MB59 LAAM was first sold in brown, later turning grey as the alternate.
In 2009 it saw its final basic range outing, and again the ROW range was not included. This time it was MB100 in the US range or MB72 in the LAAM range. This was a fun model for variations. The shade of blue does vary a bit, although I didn’t get a great shot of it here.
But also the tampo printing on the side saw variations. The middle stripe was to be found in either orange or dull brown.
After that it only had one more use. In 2010 the Service Center 5-pack saw another blue issue, which again could be found in shades. A bit more noticeable in the picture I took this time.
So yeah, 6 years of use, and 3 different blue issues. Oh look, the 2019 Moving Parts C10 has joined in for this very blue picture.
So what do we have next? the MB1146 ’82 Datsun 280ZX.
This also comes in a lighter silvery blue, much like the Porsche 550 Spyder did. However, this one sports a golden front end hood design.
Plus opening doors, not an opening engine bay.
It also saw a nice rear end treatment, which the 2019 Moving Parts debut version didn’t.
If you remember that one, also sporting quite a bit of gold. Sort of paying homage to the classic 1980s casting.
The Superfast issue from 2020 also saw just a little gold in the pin striping on the model. Plus this saw the same rear treatment as the new one.
But having done that classic ’80s Datsun 280ZX already, I thought I would just nudge it back a little further. With the first Datsun Z-series model, the MB067 Datsun 260Z 2+2. This was during the Lesney era, and was their first crack at a Z-series, arriving in burgundy in 1978 as MB67-C.
Just like the current casting, this too featured opening doors. Now this ran for 3 years like that, so you know there were bound to be some variations.
The most obvious being the shade. It varied quite a lot from a deep burgundy to quite a bright purple.
Although there was a small run which came with a dark yellow interior instead of the regular pale yellow. By the way, bases can vary a little from gloss black to matte black and into a dark blueish grey, but as you really notice them by turning over, I didn’t really attempt them.
After 3 years of purple, or magenta, or burgundy, or whatever shade you found, the model turned silver for 1981. There were still a lot of light yellow interiors to use, so early production runs carried on with them before a new red interior was switched in later.
But 1981 was also the year it was added to the TP-21 twin pack pulling a motorcycle trailer. It replaced a blue Citroen SM in the role as towing vehicle, although some packs did use some blue Renault 5s instead too. Again, just like with the basic range, the first models saw the pale yellow interior in use before the red rolled in later in the year.
In 1982, the twin pack model carried on but the basic saw a further change, as now the silver car sported tampo printing for the first time. Amazingly there was no variation with crossover interiors, as the plain silver finished with red interior, and this began immediately with a white interior. The only thing is, I still need to find a shade variation to the tampo printing. Some came out a bit more orange-red than others. This is definitely red.
The model was dropped from the basic range after 1982 due to the newer 280ZX replacing it for 1983. Twin pack use was paused during 1983 too, as Universal had just taken over and were still assessing what they had. Twin packs resumed production in late 1983 and they decided to create a TP-series with numbers from 101 instead of just starting from 01 like they had before. TP-105 was the old TP-29 set featuring a vehicle towing the Boat & Trailer. It was a Ford Flareside, but they decided that for the change to TP-105 it would be the Datsun. In black, with a now sealed door. However, they still had some old TP-29 packs so they used them up first before using the new TP-105 packs. This is the standard look. Black with black interior and clear windows. The very first batch produced still had leftover white interiors from the 1982 basic that had stopped production and are proving quite elusive. The casting also had the base updated shortly after production to state Matchbox Intl Ltd instead of Lesney Products & Co Ltd, even though it was still being produced in England. Many models didn’t get that update until they move out of the country. Both Lesney & Intl bases exist on the black model, as well as another anomoly. An opaque white glow in the dark window. Again, this is a tough model to find, and I am still looking.
Later in 1984 TP-107 joined TP-105 in the new Twin Pack series, and again a Datsun was chosen, this time towing the Caravan. Both TP-105 and TP-107 ran through 1985. At first TP-107 saw a silver Datsun with tampo printed detailing on it in the form of a 2-tone blue striping top and sides. The shades of blue stripes did vary over the course of 2 years, and the model also changed from a black base (1984) to a silver base (1985). However, apart from being found in shades of blue, some TP sets actually found no tampo printing at all. This was during both 1984 and 1985 so can be found with both black or silver bases. And a few of these silvers did also appear with the opaque window too, just like the black model did. Again, still looking for an opaque window. After 1985 production of the Datsun stopped and the casting was sent to China.
Views of the different TP-107 bases in black or silver. Twin Pack production had stayed in England when Universal first took over, as the majority of items were being sold in Europe and it was cheaper to ship there from England than from Macau. But in 1986 they were really starting to make inroads in the US market again and so TP production moved to Macau. But TP-105 and TP-107 were given new vehicles to tow with (Escort XR3i and BMW 323i Cabriolet) for the new production runs, hence the model being sent to China and not Macau.
Full disclosure, there is a rare test shot of the model looking a lot like the TP-107 model with a blue and green striping detail that was packaged in a blister pack and sold locally. But these are very rare. I attempted to get one quite a few years back (the last time I saw one up for auction) and was severely outbid. It went extremely high. I still hope to get one at some point, but for now I will be happy with the more common issue. This was a part of a Super Value Pack in 1991, and came with a plain silver with red interior look.
The base was updated with a Made In China tab over the old England writing. After this, the model was retired for good. He says, knowing full well there is an addendum.
Bulgaria! While the casting was sitting in China, a duplicate was sent over to Bulgaria in 1991 for local production.
A similar tab to the Made in China was made stating Made in Bulgaria and they went to town on this model creating many MANY variations. As was the agreement, they did not need to return this particular batch of castings and so kept them in Bulgaria. They have seen numerous outings ever since.
For me, some of the nicer ones have been the plain models, simply in alternate colour schemes I had not seen before.
Although some of the added tampos can be quite fun. Like when they joined in with the Coca Cola logos on things, or when they had their own 35th Anniversary Superfast logo set in 2004.
Although I do admit, in the late 2000s they really hit their stride with some of the tampo printing designs, and these stripe/67 models look really good. It was a cool model, and even after 30 odd years at the time of these releases, the casting was doing a pretty good job of holding up.
Now as is sometimes the case, models do get carried forward. For Moving Parts, batch C of 2020 saw 2 carry forwards. the MB1222 Divco Milk Truck was one of them.
Originally a part of batch B I checked the new one against the older release to see if there was anything different.
I could not see anything significant. A slight shade of red on the Divco sign, but not enough to really capture well on photo. Plus, I just wanted to confirm as things got a little out of hand with this, there is no interior variation. All models contain crates on the inside. There was talk of a no-crates version out there too, and I admit I created variations listings and included it in them. I now need to alter the list to discount the variation. It doesn’t exist.
There was another carry forward in the batch too. The MB1163 ’18 Range Rover Vogue SE in black. This was originally in batch A, and returns for batch C.
Again I compared the 2 and found no noticeable differences between them.
But after all the classics in the mix, it was nice to see a modern vehicle too. One of my favourites of the year too. I did a top 10 recently and this was in the list. Still enjoy it.
And this means that I am done for another report. 5 models in the batch.
Although only 3 were new arrivals, meaning I went a little nuts with my dive back for them.
As you might have noticed the 2 carry forwards this time didn’t get any additional dive time.
Next week I am back in 2021 again as it will be time to finish off batch A of the basic range. Until then, I hope people have a safe and healthy week and see you back here for more of my ramblings next time.