It’s that time of the week again, and I am back with another batch of Matchbox goodies to deal with After seeing a few batches towards the end of 2020 with Moving Parts seeing a number of carry forwards, it is great to see a whole batch of models that are all new. Of course I still cannot buy these in the UK as we only have Tesco stocking, and they don’t take this range, but thankfully I have Wheel Collectors in USA who are graciously keeping me up to date with them. So let’s dive right in.
Just to be novel I am going backwards. Because, nice of them to do so, Mattel have numbered the models out of 20. It is in the bottom right hand corner this year. First year they have done this with Moving Parts, and I prefer them to be numbered up to give us an order. So coming in at number 5 is the MB1222 Divco Milk Truck.
There is a new way of packaging them too. I know it looks a little weird, as people are used to seeing blisters at the bottom of the cards, but I think it is quite a clever idea. If models are on pegs, people tend to look underneath more often than not when thumbing through them. So when looking under you barely need to thumb. The pictures will be easily visible as you peer under. If they were put in an open box on a counter, the lower section can slide into slots very well keeping them more secure too. I think it is a pretty clever, if unorthodox idea. But I often say, Matchbox are pretty good at thinking outside the box.
When you open the models up there is a little strip with their name on that is separate from the rest of the package. I decided to use it to show off the loose model too, because why not?
The Divco looks really nice in brown with a Matchbox Speed Shop livery on the side. I love the brown, tan and black colour combination too. This looks very era-appropriate. And is that an A58 in the livery? You know what that means, this is a Michael Heralda special. Step forward Michael….
DIVCO TRUCK – MIX 2 GKP17 MB1222 – “Matchbox Speed Shop” Deco
I really like this tool/model especially since it allows for a two-toned body (fenders and body are two separate components).
When Abe asked if I wanted to create a deco for the Divco Truck I was elated. His design directive was simple, “give it a vintage Speed Shop look and use the 33 Ford file as reference.”
It’s always a pleasure working with Abe – his direction is simple and often he includes reference material.
I have always liked the contrast between cream/off white, Black and Root Beer color combinations so I played around trying to decide which components would get those colors and settled on what you now see in production. And since only the side panels would get a deco treatment the color combination needed to pop yet still give it that vintage look.
Lately I have been playing around with vintage typography and even started collecting old vintage tin pill boxes from the 1920’s through 40’s. Some of the artwork on those old tin boxes are outstanding and I additionally got some inspiration from old stock certificate artwork I have started collecting.
Since it was a Speed Shop theme I needed elements that reflect speed hence the racing checks! Then I played around with various, and humorous, slogans like: “Speed Matters”, Your Go-To Speed Shop and Speedy Delivery! Now some collectors may wonder why the statement “Established 1951” is included when clearly the official recognized start date for Matchbox is 1953. The 1951 date along with the “Speed and Power by A58” are references to your truly. I was born in 1951! Oh my, that means that next month I will have been laughing, crying, playing tricks on friends, and being lucky enough to find a great wife, have kids and find a career I love on this beautiful big blue planet for 70 Years!!!
I hope you enjoy this model as much as I enjoy creating deco’s for it.
By the way, it looks like another group at Mattel also liked my deco so much that they used it, prior to the production models release, for a limited run employee Holiday model! Maybe one day I will come across one to add to my personal collection.
FYI, this deco is just one of three that I have recently created! I love them all and can’t wait to get my hands on them this year!
P.S., I did finally get my hands on the Matchbox Speed Shop version and I could not help but to add some additional design elements on it. I am attaching a photo of my enhanced deco model.
Wow! Awesome piece Michael! Thank you ever so much for that. Now how do I follow that?
With only one other issue so far, last year debuting in its traditional white promotional look, I couldn’t just leave this report like that.
So I brought in another classic Delivery Van. The MB405 VW Delivery Van. Because I am still waiting for them to do a Citroën H Van in miniature. As the Divco was made between 1937 and 1986, it has a very wide range of vehicles that slot into the timeline. the VW Type 2 is the first look which ran from 1950 until 1967 so pretty much in the middle. It debuted as a Matchbox model in 2000 where it was sold as MB72 in the US range or MB52 in the ROW range. The first 10,000 MB72s in the US saw a Matchbox 2000 logo in the rear window too.
They also created a white “blank” model that year to provide companies like ASAP (defunct) and Color Comp (still going) with a base for creating code 2 models with.
However, the model was immediately dropped from the basic range, but did see a 5-pack issue with a piranha theme in the Wings ‘n Water 5-pack for 2001.
And also saw a lovely period-correct issue in the Avon exclusive Coca-Cola themed twin packs that year, which for 2001 were themed by decade. This being the 1960s.
Something that Avon were really good at doing in the early 2000s. As they followed up the 2001 Coca-Cola Father & Son sets with a 2002 Kellogg’s Collection, and this was one of the Rice Krispies pair of models.
Elsewhere in 2002 we saw the model promoting Georgia in the Across America series, making note of one of its mottos as the “peach state”.
There was also a licensed 5-pack issue for SpongeBob SquarePants too in blue.
It was also chosen to be in the first series of the German exclusive Stars of Germany series, in what some may think of as still one of its best designs. A classic white with a simple Matchbox Series side design.
And it was chosen to be a premium issue in the 50th Anniversary series in burgundy as well. It had a pretty busy year that year. There was also a Coca Cola Collectibles issue and a German Toy Fair issue as well, but sadly I don’t own either of those. Yet!
But I do own the 2003 Coca Cola Collectibles model. This was actually in a series of Collectible Dioramas featuring a model from the ’30s, ’60s and ’90s all in front of the same corner store, which itself had evolved over time.
Apart from that, it seemed to confine itself to more licensed models in a more basic form. A licensed 5-pack issue for Clifford The Big Red Dog anyone?
A fairly similar shade of blue was also used in another SpongeBob SquarePants 5-pack too.
This one also saw a single release too in alternate green.
To give you 2 SpongeBob SquarePants issues.
But for those who were paying attention, the model actually uses the same design as the 2002 issue of the set, and therefore you actually get 3 alternate colours for the model.
That was a lot of licensed 5-pack issues, which is why in 2004 it was used in a licensed 5-pack. Wait? What? But don’t worry, it was the last one. This was a Blues Clues 5-pack.
It also saw a promotional issue for a Coca Cola themed set of 9 models too.
And was also chosen to be a part of the first series of the relaunched Superfast series too taking the number 54 slot in the series.
For 2005 it saw a use in a regular 5-pack this time. the Burger Zone set moved production from China to Thailand mid way through, and the model became much darker in shade when it was made in Thailand.
It was also used as an Easter 3-pack release too in blue with a bunny and eggs theme.
Finally, in 2006, it returned to the basic range. MB31 was sold in tan with an Automotive Parts & Service side design, and for those who cared to hunt them down, did sport a shade or 2.
Sadly though, the casting was showing severe issues mainly across the roofline and in 2007 the yellow MB36 with a Custom Signs & printing side design would prove to be its final basic range issue in its original form.
With another yellow also appearing in the Classic 5-pack too. This I discovered more shading to.
But as we know, the casting was not totally dead. Yes, it took quite a lot of work to it, but eventually, in 2019 it returned in a pair of issues. The casting was now a little smaller in side, and the interior was now forming quite a lot of the side body too, but the roof was now totally straight. The Service Crew 5-pack saw a retro themed Matchbox International Express look.
And we also saw a single release in the Sweets series too. For me, there is an advantage to the new construction way, as it gives us an automatic colour break when desired to the model. something, that by the end of the original production, was almost non-existent. I know there are some who like to complain about changes, but I see the logic behind some of them and I think it is a good change.
Taking the number 4 slot in the countdown of this batch is the MB1139 ’16 Chevy Camaro. I am very happy to see this in a new look, as it debuted with a trio of models in 2019, but for 2020 only saw one of those return as a carry forward model. And this is a lovely casting.
I am a bit of a Camaro fan, and the current generation is a stunner. Matchbox really made me proud with their take on the model, especially with the engine. Which for this non-premium release is seeing full detailing too.
considering the front end was done, the back end was done, I would hazard a guess that the engine and front were done in one hit, cleverly aligned by the factory to get both parts done together. You often don’t think of the little things like making sure a model is angled in a certain way to get the correct tampo treatment. But then I have a very strange mind. I am sure people have discovered that already.
I made a point of mentioning the engine, as when the model debuted back in 2019 only the Superfast premium issue saw it detailed. The Moving Parts issues are what is dubbed the “core” area of the brand, and as such have limited things that can be done. Like as a general rule only allowing 2 passes through the tampo machine. The brown debut from 2019 saw no engine details.
But I do see a lovely namecheck for the rear.
Later in 2019 the brown was replaced by blue, and this was identical except for the colour.
The Superfast issue was the only one that at the time saw a detailed engine, plus it saw a black hood too. Plus being green meant that there was a good chance for a shade or 2. Oh yes!
2020 simply saw a carry forward of the later blue 2019 issue.
For the nutters like me who needed to know, I did find that the 2020 issue was just a little bit darker in shade than the original 2019 issue. Enough for me to keep them both anyway. But this is a Camaro, and I said I was a bit of a fan. So there is no way I am finishing this model here.
Because I am bringing in the one that I felt was totally under-used at the time. The MB366 ’98 Camaro Convertible. It debuted in late 1999 as a First Edition, with a raw zamac model being the first run off the production line, immediately followed by the fully detailed black issue, both boxed together in a larger “First Editions” package. I have literally just added this pair to my collection in these last few weeks, and my @davidjtilley Instagram account will shortly be showing my opening up of the models as I photographed them shortly before preparing this report. I am just a bit behind in showing them off there.
But the regular run of the model did not actually arrive until the first batch of 2000. Sadly, for me, it was a US exclusive for its debut year in the basic range. MB2 also saw a Matchbox 2000 logo on the window for the first 10,000 produced too. Mind you, I say first year, this was its only year. Dropped from basic range use immediately and never to return there.
But I did see an example in the UK, as did the rest of the world, as Matchbox released a 5-pack of Olympic Games liveried models that summer and the Camaro was included in salmon.
Another Coca Cola themed Avon exclusive model also appeared in 2000. 2000 was the year of Father & Son models, and the Camaro was paired with a classic Chevy Bel Air in the twin pack that could only be obtained through Avon in USA.
It also saw a Collectibles Coca Cola themed model too. This one being a premium issue with rubber wheels.
Therefore the model received a lot more detailing than the Avon one did.
In 2001, the model was only used once, in a Toys R Us exclusive Then & Now themed Collectibles twin pack, which I am yet to obtain (still filling in gaps with premiums) so I move on to 2002 and this Across America model. It is following a similar path to the VW Delivery Van I showcased above isn’t it. although that was Georgia peaches, this is Florida oranges.
Although this one got a second Across America issue too, as it was a bonus model for the “south” section of the series, again with a Florida theme, but now showcasing Joe’s Alligator Corral.
And guess what? It too went the licensed 5-pack issue route. It was in the Looney Tunes Back in Action 5-pack in early 2003 in bright yellow featuring “The Carrot Show”. However, it was short lived, as it was replaced shortly into production with a brand new TVR Tuscan S casting which had been cast specifically for the pack. It just wasn’t ready in time.
But it did see a full run in the Nickelodeon 5-pack later that year.
It carried on in 2004 in licensed 5-packs, as this time it was in another Nickelodeon pack, sporting Sandy on the side from SpongeBob SquarePants.
It was close to getting a second outing in licensed 5-packs that year too. Plans were underway to release a 5-pack featuring “The Fairly OddParents” (and yes those 2 words are together). However, the set was dropped last minute and the models were never produced. Only reaching as far as prototype mock-up stages.
And guess what? Just like the VW Delivery Van, this was model was also added to the first year of the relaunched Superfast series in 2004. It took the number 20 slot in blue. But then, all of a sudden, it vanished. That was it. There were never any more releases of the model. Such a shame, as I was really hoping for some more regular issues in realistic liveries.
Which brings us to number 3 in our countdown with the MB1140 ’06 Ford Crown Victoria with roof bar. Which in this case is the taxi variant.
This is one of those castings that actually has 2 unique different parts that can be interchanged, as the roof bar is a part of the window section, and as such has 2 different configurations depending on what the model is supposed to be. This is a taxi, and therefore has the taxi variant of roof bar.
This is the first time the Moving Parts issue is officially a taxi, although not the first time the taxi roof element was used (2019s were both police vehicles but accidentally used taxi roof components, this was rectified in 2020 as both 2020s had their correct roof elements in).
But I thought in lieu of showing them (as I had a bit of a rundown recently with the Target 2020 retro stuff), I would have a little fun with this one by showcasing past yellow taxis. The original MB689 casting with sealed doors first got usage as a yellow taxi back in 2009 where it was MB51 in the US and LAAM markets, but not sold in the ROW market. It was also the first time it had even seen a taxi livery, as until then it had always been a police vehicle.
By the time of the next yellow taxi look, it had been altered into the MB901 casting, which is where the dual window casting originally came from. This was in the 2018 Metro Transit 5-pack. I think when they created the Moving Parts issue, they used original pieces from here as a template to create the new one and it slipped their mind that it had a dual light roof section. Still, it makes things interesting.
3 different casting styles of the ’06 Ford Crown Victoria Taxi. MB689, MB901 and MB1140.
Hmm! Paerhaps a little short. Okay a bit more….
More yellow taxis that is. The Crown Vic was a replacement for this vehicle in real life. Matchbox called it a Ford LTD, but officially it was a LTD Crown Victoria. At first it was just the flagship of the LTD range, but after 1983 the model became its own vehicle as the regular LTD was no more. However, when Matchbox created their LTD casting as MB184 in 1987, they never made mention of the Crown Vic portion of the name. After being a police vehicle only, in 1992 they created a second variant, the MB235 Ford LTD taxi. A couple of tweaks were made to the casting as it has some special police package extras included in the casting, and these were removed. However, the bullbars on the front stayed as the base carried over. They created a new taxi sign for the roof and released it as MB53 in the US range or MB56 in the ROW range in 1992, where it ran for 2 years. And that was it. No more basic range issues (except a 1-off US issue later). Seriously why do so many vehicles get so little basic range action?
It had a very simple black tampo design. It may be over 3 sides, but I am sure this could be replicated for a retro themed look to the Crown Vic at a future date if they desired.
It never saw any further use until it popped up in the 1998 Star Cars series, promoting the Taxi TV series. It was a few years before they got the Checker casting.
In 1999 we finally saw further usage in more regular ranges too as the US series saw it briefly return as MB9.
And we saw an Airport 5-pack release too in a more orangey yellow. And that was it. The model was retired from regular use.
But it did see one more use as a blank run that was sent out to ASAP/Color Comp in 2000 for use as code 2 promotionals. The LTD had officially left the building, as the police variant was also retired that year.
So this bring us to number 2…. Wait! That’s not number 2. We have 20 models in the Moving Parts range for 2021, and the plan is for 4 batches of 5 models, one roughly per quarter. But there is no rule that says they need to be released in number order. Just look at the basic range. It is like a jigsaw puzzle, and you wait until the end to slot in the last piece. So we are now at number 13 of 20, the MB1137 Nissan Xterra.
Or should I say 2000 Nissan Xterra as the model is officially dated since the rebuild a few years ago.
For the 2021 Moving Parts series this model is in black with simple front and rear printing.
It sort of reminds me of this. The MB632 Honda Element. This was the 2005 MB47 issue of the Element. But you know what? I think I am going to return to this very shortly….
Because I am busy jigging along to some classic Xterras. Get it? Jigging along? The first one had music on the side? No? Oh well, I tried. Originally this was MB543 when it was first sold with no roof kayaks. The first release being in a School Spirit 5-pack in 2001.
Before it arrived in the basic range in 2002 as MB47 with a beach theme. I always thought it was funny giving the model a beach theme and not using the one with kayaks on the roof. This was also the year of the 50 logo, which appeared on the first 10,000 made.
This model also saw an Across America release (boy have I chosen a bunch of Across America models in this week’s blog). However, this did not have a fruity theme, as it depicted Tennessee’s country roots.
But look, more licensed 5-packs. This Taz themed model was sold in 2003 as a part of the Looney Tunes licensed 5-pack (not to be confused with the film tie-in Looney Tunes Back in Action 5-pack).
For 2004 it was MB39 in the basic range, and I am not too sure. Hero City model designs are really obscure, but I am seeing 2 oars and either waves or shark fins. I don’t know which, but either way, this sort of feels to me it could have been a kayak roofed release again rather than the plain one.
2005 saw a bunch of releases as this was a licensed 5-pack issue again in white featuring Chris from the Sonic X themed pack. Chris Thorndyke was the human who befriended Sonic in the animated TV series at the time. It was actually a Japanese anime show, but was not popular in Japan although pretty big in other countries, particularly USA.
The Xterra was also an exclusive model in a Buried Treasure playset that year too in red.
And it was added to the 2005 Superfast series in the number 63 slot. The US issue was in dark green, the ROW in yellow.
A third Superfast issue was a part of the Off Road 5-pack that year too, as Superfast dabbled briefly in 5-packs.
It took 2006 off as a civilian vehicle and you could say 2007 too. But the Buried Treasure playset kept on selling, and they slightly updated the model to better bring it in line with their current look.
The interior was toned down, and a few tweaks were made to the tampo design. Plus wheels and base were updated.
After that the Buried Treasure playset faded away and so did MB543. However, it almost popped back up in 2013. Plans were underway to reintroduce the Buried Treasure playset and include the Nissan again, and a new design was created. But the model was dropped late in the day.
As we know, this is where things get complicated. You see MB543 was not the vehicle that saw a rebuild. The original MB490 was. The kayaks were removed from the roof, the additional section added, and the rear sealed up. But in essence, MB490 now looks a lot more like MB543. You lose the kayaks and it sort of becomes a civilian vehicle again. So when it popped back up as MB111 in 2018 it did confuse a few people.
This then transformed into MB1137 for the 2019 Moving Parts range, but opening the rear back up, and altering the roof again.
We saw a blue originally that year followed by a yellow later on too.
With yellow returning in 2020 as a carry forward model. Although if you are crazy like me, you will notice that the 2020 issue is a little bit of a darker yellow.
And the MB490 sealed model also popped up again in the MBX Marine Rescue 5-pack. This one does sport a tiny variation. the green tampo on the side mixed in with the blue detailing around the black actually comes in a flat green or a shiny silvery green. I told you, tiny variation. It is amazing the things I notice.
Hmm! What’s this? Number 9 of 20. Yeah another one out of order. The MB1162 ’04 Honda S2000.
I am very happy to see this model return as until now it had only seen 1 Superfast release. I have been waiting for version 2 for a couple of years. And as a Moving Parts model with a more basic tampo design, it still managed to showcase a fully detailed engine bay. Excellent work.
With simple rear detailing on the white model too.
As I said, we only had the 1 to date. The 2019 Superfast issue in yellow, in premium guise with rubber wheels.
Although for the crazies, myself being a proud member, this did sport a nice variation as early runs had a 65th Anniversary logo on the side just after the rear wheels, but later on a production run removed it. It was the only model from the range that saw that removal.
So you know what? I am revisiting that Honda Element from earlier. Because, well MB632 first arrived in the 2004 basic range. What year is the Honda S2000? A 2004. Coincidence? Oh yeah, definitely. A happy one for me. This Element casting is one that tends to be forgotten. A random choice for the basic range when it arrived in 2004. I mean, we were in the midst of Hero City and this almost felt out of place there. It was sold as MB36 that year, and came in a lovely bronze with nice detailing. Totally against the majority of the rest of the range. Especially Ultra Heroes. No sorry, are people still not over that Bass Bus I had in my report the other week? For the people like me who go nuts over everything, there is a shade variation.
They did have plans for a blue release, and a few prototypes were mocked up in various blue shades. But it never arrived.
But what did arrive, was a Superfast issue. Very late. Scheduled for batch D, they were 3/4 of the way through producing it when Honda got in touch. Their sample was wrong. Production was halted and they had to redo the model in this correct look. By the time it was all done and dusted they just about managed to get it in for the final batch.
It is pretty clear to see what the error was. The interior formed a huge amount of the sides/front/rear, and this was supposed to be dark grey. Because, well, the real one was dark grey. But somehow they had produced it in tan. It took a while, but later on Honda allowed them to offload the error model rather than destroy it. I mean, there were about 11,000 of them. So massive stickers were applied to the model packages, and these were sold off later in 2005.
At which point a 2005 basic range issue had been released. All black with a simple front a rear tampo design as MB47. But that was it. We never saw this casting again. It appeared in 2004 and was dropped after 2005. 2 years, 3 or 4 releases (depending on how you view the Superfast issue). I hope the new 2004 Honda doesn’t see a similar “barely used” fate.
And with that, I think I am done for another week. I can’t wait to show off next week’s blog report. It is going to be electric!
In the meantime, I hope everyone has a safe and happy week. Until next Monday….