It is the beginning of another week and you know what that means. Another Matchbox blog report. This week I had to rely on a friend to help out, as this is a Walmart USA exclusive (although I believe a few other countries do also sell it in select stores too). But definitely not in the UK, and this type of set doesn’t usually tend to make its way to dealers. So with thanks to Keith Hoskins (@911diecast on Instagram) I have the opportunity to show this set. I will be back with more of what Wheel Collectors have sent over to me shortly. So with the name of the series being Cadillac, I think it is pretty obvious most of the vehicles that we will be seeing today. I will take these in number order.
There will be 2 batches of 6 models released in the series, alternating with batches of the Trucks series (report on batch A of that coming soon too) and so we start off with number 1 of 12, the MB1096 ’15 Cadillac Escalade.
This may look rather familiar, and that is because it is. As is the custom with these series, around half of the vehicles will tend to be what Mattel call “carry forward” vehicles. Older releases brought back for another round. Some may not be too keen, but I enjoy checking them out for variations.
So this may be a repeat of the debut issue from 2018, where it was sold as MB1, but I had to bring in my original 2018 release to see if they were identical.
I’m saying no. Definitely 100% not identical. the new one is a much darker shade of grey. It is extremely noticeable.
Everything else pretty much matches up. the shade of window tint, the tampo colours, the wheels etc. But that darker grey look really makes this one stand out to me. So I am very happy.
Of course there has only been one other release of the casting to date too, and that was in the 2020 City Adventure II 5-pack in white. So as this is way too short for me on a model, I guess a little diving back is called for.
And well, there is only way way to dive back at the moment. The only other Escalade that Matchbox has ever made. The 2nd generation one. The new model is a 4th generation Escalade. The first gen was a rush job in 1999 and only saw production for 2 years before the new second generation Escalade debuted in January 2001. Although even those first ones were sold as 2002 models. I never quite figure out model years in USA real life. Matchbox created a model of the second gen, and MB567 arrived in the 2003 basic range as MB21. Seeing as we were in the midst of Hero City at the time, the debut never got a realistic front/rear look to it, but rather a side design mainly filled up with cogs. The first 10,000 saw a part of the tampo swapped out for a Hero City logo too. Most saw the logo added as an extra. The Escalade was one of only a few models that had an either/or tampo design.
It did not take long for it to see further action either. As was the scenario at the time, they would create licensed 5-pack sets and then a few months later 3 of the models from those sets would appear as singles in alternate colours. The Escalade was a part of a Nickelodeon 5-pack in white featuring “The Wild Thornberrys” on the side. A few months later a metallic green alternate appeared as a single.
But that wasn’t it. Oh no. At the end of the 2003 year another 5-pack saw the Escalade. This was a Justice League set, and again saw a metallic green Escalade featuring Green Lantern on the side. Again it was chosen to be an alternate single, but in keeping with the “green” of Green Lantern theme, the recolour was a bright light green. However, as I stated these would appear a few months after 5-packs and as such the single was officially classified as a 2004 release.
Which strangely enough was when we saw another green licensed 5-pack issue. SpongeBob SquarePants this time as a part of the SpongeBob movie, featuring King Neptune. However, by now, alternate singles were being phased out and so we never got an alternate.
Later that year, as there was no single issue, the model was added to a promotional Coca-Cola series of 9 models, in white.
Before being added to the 2004 Superfast series in black in the number 11 slot. This was the first time we actually saw a proper front/rear design, and in a funny way, the blinged wheels created for the Superfast series didn’t actually look too out of place on this model. In real life quite a few Escalades were getting blinged out wheels.
2005 saw a new direction for the Matchbox brand (or should we saw a reversal to the traditional direction) and as such it returned to the basic range again in blue. MB32 again saw a more authentic front/rear tampo treatment, and also for people like me who crave them, a nice shade variation on the blue.
We still had licensed 5-packs though, and this was still very much a part of them. SpongeBob squarePants again, this time with Mr. Krabs on the side.
In 2006 we saw another realistic blue model, except this time it was not in the basic range, but was in the Cars 5-pack. Again I found shades of blue during my hunt.
And again those licensed 5-packs kept coming. this time a Shonen Jump 5-pack, featuring Naruto on the side.
Sadly it never appeared in 2007 at all, but did return to the basic range for 2008. However, those in ROW areas did not see it. It was only sold in US and LAAM markets that year as MB44 in cranberry.
2009 mirrored 2006 a bit. It was in the VIP5 5-pack in tan, and again I found a shade during my travels.
And it got another licensed 5-pack release. This time in a Nick Jr pack featuring Dora the Explorer on the side.
After that it had one more visit to the basic range in 2010 as MB32. This burgundy release with gold wheels was really cool, and I definitely found some great shade variations on that one.
The model was semi-retired after that, but did appear one more time in 2013 in one of the last licensed packs. By now they had reduced from a 5-pack to a 3-pack and this was in the Jake & The Never Land Pirates set.
And was also given a different design for each of the sides of the model. It was a nice little casting, and I am always happy to pull mine out for a little photoshoot. Even though it does have one minor flaw. It sits down a bit at the back. You might have noticed throughout all the pictures of it. It sits lower on the rear wheels than it does on the front. It was like it right from the start and it was never fixed.
So we move on to number 2 of the 12 models in the Cadillac series. The MB815 CTS Coupe. The only one that does not feature a year to it. Well the only one of these 6 anyway. I believe the next 6 will have a couple that are not specifically “yeared”. Am I making up words?
This is also a carry forward model. Just as with the Escalade, this is bringing back the debut look for the model. Silver.
Although again, I have a sneaky suspicion that this is not quite as it was. So let us bring in the original for a comparison.
The 2011 MB32 debut version was silver, and during production I found a small shade of silver on it. Enough for me to own 2 of them.
But I think you might be able to guess which one the new release is. It really sticks out compared to the other 2. Much darker. Oh yes, I am very happy with this one.
The model had not seen an awful lot of action over the years and this year appears to be its most since that first one. Because in 2011 after it debuted in the basic range, it was also added to the Fire Editions 10-pack at the end of the year too. This time in black with gold wheels.
Which I think is a pretty good match for the 2010 Cadillac Escalade just shown a few minutes ago with the gold wheels. I think when batch B arrives later this year I will be even more happy.
After the debut year we saw nothing. Until 2014. It debuted and then took 2 years off. However, MB12 for 2014 in red gave us a really unusual variation.
Because although the model was supposed to have a black interior, a small batch was created with a chrome one. It was also a lighter red too. These mainly appeared in ROW short cards in mainland Europe. I got mine from Germany. I never saw it in the UK and I never heard of it appearing on long card.
After that it went away again. Seriously. I can’t believe this casting never saw 2 consecutive years of action. It returned again in 2016 as MB19. It was dark blue, but again I discovered a really dark shade on it.
And that was it, until this year when as I mentioned we have 2 issues of it again. It was first a part of the first batch of 9-packs this year as one of the exclusive models in white before popping up in dark silver in the Cadillac series. Will we see it next year? Will we even see it again? Who knows with this one. It just randomly pops up when you least expect it to.
So after 2 carry forward models, the third in the series is actually a brand new casting. As it the case with these Walmart series lately, each year one of the sets they do gives us a brand new casting. Last year was the MB1226 ’19 Ford Mustang GT in the Mustang series. 2019 was the MB1196 ’48 Willys Jeepster in the Jeep series. 2018 was the MB1130 ’47½ Chevy AD in the Chevy Trucks series. So it has started to become a bit of a yearly tradition. I hope I haven’t just jinxed it. This year it is the MB1264 ’75 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible.
Oh this brings back memories of my childhood. when I was young, growing up in the UK, I used to have a number of Top Trumps packs. These were the early ones, make by Dubreq. At the time they were only sold in the UK and I had a number of different decks, all car related (of course). One of the things I always remembered with it was some of the stand out vehicles. There would be 5 or 6 different categories and we always knew which model was top in one of those categories. For engine size, the Cadillac Eldorado was easily number 1, and as such one of the key cards to try and obtain. That 8.2 litre engine was way above anything else in the deck. So for me, growing up, the Cadillac Eldorado was always something that I had a certain affinity for. And the model in the deck I am sure was this generation. The 9th. So finally seeing a Matchbox model of the 9th generation of this vehicle is definitely returning me to my youth. I might have to dig out the Top Trumps. I am sure I still have them. If I find them I might post a silly picture (or 250) on my Instagram page.
I definitely see how the term land yacht was used here. This is a big vehicle, and the Matchbox model, even though reduced to such a small size, still manages to feel like a big vehicle. A great job by the team here with this one.
Its debut look is brown with a dark red interior, smoke windows and a chrome base. It simply has some side detailing and pin striping added to it. It does look very nice.
Well it is a new casting, so I include a random shot of the base for those who like to see what they look like. But with no older ones to dive into I decided to go with my oldest Cadillac.
The Allanté. The Allanté was sold in real life from 1986 (as a 1987 model) until 1993. Matchbox were pretty quick to come out with a model of the MB189 Allanté as it debuted in 1987 as MB72 in the US market or MB65 in the ROW market. It was silver for the debut year, or should I say 2 as it rolled over into 1988 too. I thought this was good as the Allanté was the next convertible made by Cadillac after the Eldorado stopped being sold as one as an option. Plus, this was my first Cadillac as the previous Matchbox one had been an S+S Ambulance which stopped production in 1970.
1988 also saw the model added to the Laser Wheels series as LW26 in black too featuring the CD style wheel design. Although an offshoot of the 1980s Superfast series, only the Laser Wheel series saw these additional 1988 models. Superfast stuck with what was already going in 1987.
1989 saw the model turn pink for the basic range. At this time it had a grey interior and simply had Cadillac tampo printed on the side. It ran for 3 years and moved production from Macau to Thailand for the last one. The Macau is closer to the front and is a paler pink.
A quick shot of the bases to show the change of country.
Now there was a World Class issue in 1990, but I currently do not have it yet. It was charcoal with chrome window and 2-part rubber wheels. So I will continue with the basics for now. 1992 saw a change to the model. It was still pink but now instead of just having Cadillac on the side, it was sporting a green and blue side design very reminiscent of the era. Again there is a model I am not showing. The first run still had the grey interior from before, but this was very quickly changed to white and I have yet to find the grey interior for my collection.
But what I do have from 1992 is a pre-production sample of the 1992 Indy Pace Car issue from a side line that was sold in USA for IndyCar. The production version is on the left in metallic burgundy and grey interior/tampo. On the right the prepro was a darker more solid burgundy, and had a tan interior/tampo (plus the front grill was highlighted too). This model was based on a real vehicle that Cadillac supplied at the 1992 Indy 500.
But going back to the basic range issue, this model ran until 1995 until the model was dropped (last year as a US exclusive as ROW dropped it a year early). Due to the numerous years of production it too moved factories. China became its new home in 1994. This again led to a change in the shade of pink.
Each time it moved factory they simply slapped a new tab on the base over the old country with details of the new one.
Mind you, as I always do, I did find that these 2 China issues from 1994/95 were sporting different shades all by themselves.
After finishing up it had no action during 1996 but in 1997 saw 2 premium issues. I only own one. The 1997 Ultra Class in white. It was also in the Premiere Series as a JC Penney exclusive in cream too, but I am still to get that. After that the model was finished for good. 4 years after the real one stopped production.
Number 4 in the list is a welcome return. The MB994 ’63 Cadillac Ambulance. The first we have seen of it since 2016, and not the last either as another is coming very soon on this blog.
I know there are some who prefer the original MB780 before they retooled with a roof window, but I do not mind it. It is in a very nice pastel red with Matchbox Fire Dept on the side.
A slightly different look to how you would expect an ambulance, but in USA (and a number of countries) they are often tied in with the fire stations. So it does make sense.
And well, I have already mentioned the original and the time since we last saw it, so I guess a rundown is in order. As stated when it first arrived, back in 2009, it was going by the MAN number MB780.
Since that time we have seen the retool. They basically just added a window to the roof area, which did require them to move the light forward to accommodate it. The debut version was sold as MB56 in white with a “Gene Mercy” hospital theme. Gene Mercy, for anybody who does not know, is an anagram. Gene Mercy – Emergency jumbled up. It was sold as MB56 as stated, but not in the ROW market. It was a US/LAAM only issue.
For 2010 it slimmed down even further. You see it was sold as MB55, but now just in the US range. But that was not all. You see this red version did not appear in Walmart USA stores there. I am being specific as Canada for example is part of the US market (I believe Mattel usually refer to it as domestic long card), but Walmart Canada still had the red.
Walmart saw an exclusive set of 4 models in alternate versions instead of the standard issues for USA stores only. This golden model saw an M. Walton Hospital design, a nod to the founder of the Walmart company.
But we didn’t just see basic range issues. The Lesney Edition series was launched that year, taking over the Superfast as premium. Models would sport a metal base as well as metal body. The Caddy was sold in the series in orange with white roof area with MBX City Ambulatory Service down the sides.
It was also chosen to be one of Everett Marshall’s Golf Tournament promotional models that year too. This was a dark metallic red with his logo on the white roof.
2011 saw the first instance of the model arriving worldwide. MB55 for the US or LAAM ranges, and MB41 in the ROW range. It was burgundy and gold with a Custom Bionic Rebuilding livery on the side. And the large, almost tattoo-like, side design just says Ambulance.
You can tell things were being tweaked as in 2012 it came in a Surf Doc themed cream issue as MB11. Again worldwide (the range had amalgamated back to 1) and for those who are crazy like me there was a tampo shade to find.
2013 saw the final outing for the original MB780 casting. This metallic orange issue was sold as MB20 in the basic range.
When it returned as a part of the EMT 5-pack in 2015, it was now the updated casting with windowed roof. MB994 was also noted for being found in a few shades of yellow, from quite a pale yellow to a deeper more greenish yellow.
And until 2021 we had only seen 1 other issue. 2016 saw a brief return in to the basic range again. This teal issue was sold as MB88 that year. After 5 years we get to see a few this year. More to come in a matter of weeks. Stay tuned.
So what’s next? Number 5 on the list is the MB739 ’69 Cadillac Sedan DeVille.
This model appears in a cream with side and rear detailing.
Did you know that the DeVille got its start in the Matchbox range due to Felix Holst? He was a British guy who had moved to USA many years ago and was at the time in charge of the Matchbox brand. He loved classic US cars, and as such a friend and he were busy doing up a ’69 DeVille. I actually visited with him at the time and the DeVille was still on his driveway. It was black. It was a simple matter of popping it down to the office and getting the Matchbox team to head outside and take some seriously detailed notes of it. It is good to see it still seeing uses in the Matchbox ranges.
Because that all happened in 2007 and the model was geared up ready for adding to the 2008 basic range. It debuted as MB2 in tan. Of course if you looked carefully you might have found shades.
It was also chosen to be one of the models to sport a second look and later turned red too.
It was also chosen to be the dinner model at that year’s Matchbox Gathering in Albuquerque NM. Depending on whether you were an early bird (one of the first 75 to register) or one of the later registered people would determine if you had the pink or purple one. This was also the year that for some strange reason the models for the convention appear to be going funny. These models are slowly getting covered in blotches. If I showcase them again in a few years they may have even more blotches on them.
At the end of the year the model was also chosen to be included in the First Editions 10-pack in metallic blue.
in 2009 the model was only sold in the US and LAAM ranges as MB7. The ROW market missed out. Luckily I happened to be in USA at the time and found 2 noticeably different shades of green to bring back home with me.
It saw another premium issue as the model was added to the 2009 Superfast series too in white with a matte black roof.
2010 and it was back to being a worldwide release, and this time it was metallic lavender. Again I was fortunate to find some nice shades on it.
Plus we also saw a bright pink Cadillac in the Classic Cars 5-pack. More shades too as I noticed it varied quite a bit during production.
Then the model was also added to the first Lesney Edition series. It came in a rather familiar pastel yellow shade, much like the new one is. However, it does sport a matte black roof and high detailing.
The sides and rear sport the same tampo between both issues, and the shade is almost the same. We have seen Matchbox create carry forwards of premium issues foregoing some of the additional tampo detailing. Is this one? It is not easy to tell. Especially as the interior is a different colour. I have a feeling it may not be. I am not classifying it as such.
In 2011 it was still MB24, and this time it was burgundy. Of course I hunted around and found more shades.
However, after that the model took 2012 off. With the change in direction at the time, many classics were being phased out of the range. Luckily it was short lived as sales suffered. We like them. But we did see 9-packs in 2013 sporting all classics as exclusives, and the Caddy was one of them. All those packs also saw each model only sport a top print featuring a Matchbox 60th logo in it.
After that it was 2015 as the range was veering back to where it was and increasing sales again, and the model returned to the basic range. It was MB12 that year in metallic green with a black lower side area. This is to date the final basic range issue.
Although not the last until now. In 2016 it was a part of the Best of series with full tampo printing and 2-part rubber wheels.
Which brings us to the last model in the set. The MB1207 ’41 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe.
Contrary to what anybody might be wondering, this is not a new casting, or altered casting.
It is the exact same casting that debuted in 2020.
However, as we all know, when it debuted in 2020 as MB9 in green, the top was down.
However, what the guys at Matchbox have done, is create a double dual mould.
The window piece is either just a window or fully goes over the top of the vehicle and slots in the rear. But because of that, the interior section either fits flush to the body or has an alternate that is further inset to allow the window to slot in first.
Now we have many current dual mould vehicles. Nissan Skyline, VW Golf Country, VW Golf Mk1 GTi, ’95 Custom Chevy Van to name a few. There are 2 more due this year in the basic range. This one, being a double dual mould is going to be treated slightly different. We are not likely to see both being used at the same time, mixed 50/50 in a batch. There may be a special series for something that could see it, but in general circulation we will be seeing one or the other. But in general circumstances having 2 parts that need to slot together a certain way does mean that with having to ensure the open top/full interior is always together and closed top/inset interior is too, they need to ensure that production is at different times. It is just the way it is. So don’t expect to see future issues in both incarnations.
But I am going to finish off by veering away from Cadillac. I mean until now everything has been Caddy related. But being a top up or down scenario for this model does remind me of some we have had in the past.
Like the MB367/MB368 ’99 Ford Mustang. Created as a top up as MB367 and top down for MB368, these were officially sporting 2 MAN numbers. The 2 here in white are the 2000 MB68 ROW exclusive with top up and 1999 MB36 US exclusive with top down.
Of course that one went absolutely nuts. We also had MB460 which was the Top up version sporting a “triang” roof light. The one here is a 2000 D.A.R.E. issue. Plus we had an MB509 Top up with “LoPro” roof light. The one here is the 2002 Mission H20 Launcher issue.
So you could get top up, top down or police versions of the Mustange. L-R: 2002 MB12, 2004 Duracell promotion, 2001 D.A.R.E. 5-pack issues.
Of course the Mustang wasn’t the only one. The MB361/MB362 ’57 Chevy Corvette was another. The MB367 top up variant in red with white flash is the 1999 MB75 US exclusive, the MB368 top down variant in white with red flash is the 2006 Vintage Classics 5-pack issue.
The ’55 Chevy Bel Air was another that saw 3 variants. From L-R: MB507 was the police variant. This one was part of the 2001 D.A.R.E. 5-pack along with the Mustang shown earlier. The MB358 top up here was the 1999 MB73 US exclusive. The MB359 top down was the 1999 MB46 US exclusive.
The ’57s also took a stab too. Not content with 1 Chevy Bel Air 1st generation, Matchbox created 2. These are the MB320 Convertible with top down, purple 2006 10-pack exclusive shown and MB321 top up, lavender being the 2005 US variant of the Superfast issue.
I am still amazed that they created a ’55 and a ’57 of the same vehicle. So many Chevy Bel Airs to choose from, yet all they do are 1st generations. Left here being the ’55 Across America issue and the right being the ’57 from the 1999 basic range (MB47 US or MB42 ROW).
Still it makes a good talking point. I wonder if they should do a classic Chevy series and come up with a different generation Bel Air? The ’55 here in plain red is a 2000 ASAP blank and ’57 is a 2000 Car Wash 5-pack issue.
But i couldn’t go without doing one more little thing. Back in 1993 Matchbox came up with something a bit different. Swop Tops.
A set of models that if you lifted a certain part the interior section could literally be flipped over.
So they could either be a convertible or a hard top. Now that is a different way of creating both versions.
Well that is it for this week. My time is up again. I hope you enjoyed my Cadillac-themed blog report today.
Next week will see more of a variety of brands again as I tackle more of the latest issues. Until then, have a safe week everybody.