It’s that time of the week again. Matchbox Monday soon rolls around again, and I am thankful to have Rory McDonald from Wyoming (@wyoming_wheels on Instagram) in USA to help me again as obviously being in the UK I am unable to obtain any of the Walmart exclusive items in my own country. There are a few other countries around the world that will also sell these Walmart models though. The UK isn’t one though. So as with the Cadillac series that I featured recently, this is batch A of a 2-batch set of 12 models that will appear this year. Batch B with the final 6 will be arriving later. But for now, i am concentrating on the first batch of 6.
Which starts at the beginning with number 1 of 12. The MB1206 ’95 Nissan Hardbody (D21). As some may know, others may not, the Nissan here is the D21 generation of pick-up truck. When they created their first one, back in 1934, they just used numbers. Type 13, was followed by Type 17 in 1938, 120 in 1955, 220 in 1957, 320 in 1961, 520 in 1968, 620 in 1972 and 720 in 1979. After this they went in a slightly different direction and split the truck in to 2 slightly different configurations. The first “D” series arrived in 1985 codenamed D21, with the D22 replacing it in 1997, D40 in 2004 and D23 in 2014, which is the current truck available. Hardbody was the name given to this generation in USA, although in other markets it went by numerous other names. Later models were called Frontier and Navara in USA, but they still have the “D” codename numbers.
This model comes in dark blue with a simple side flash and Nissan on the sides.
Plus it continues to sport these new wheels that debuted last year.
Of course these wheels did appear on the 2020 debut version of the D21.
Plus they both sport the same simple side design too. However, the blue one does add the word Nissan to the tampo printing too. I do like seeing consistent tampo printing. I love that these basically look the same but in alternate colours. I am ignoring the little Nissan addition. But as this is the entire history of this model, I am going to bounce back and do another Nissan from a sort of similar era to this one.
The MB226 Nissan Prairie. Yes I know, not everyone likes me bouncing back to different types of vehicles, but I just don’t want to do a short blog piece showing the new stuff and finish. I like to pad the reports out with blasts from the pasts too. New stuff/old stuff. So yes I moved from a pick-up truck to an MPV. The Nissan Prairie was sold in 3 generations from 1982 until 2004, and Matchbox created a casting of the 2nd generation (which was known as a Nissan Axxess in North America). The real vehicle debuted in 1988 but the Matchbox model was not launched until 1991. It was MB31 in the US market in 1991 and MB21 in the ROW market. The first year was painted blue with with a large area of silver tampo printing accommodating the lower half of the vehicle. Considering the previous year had seen the MB220 Mercedes-Benz 500SL Convertible arrive where the whole lower half was plastic (which was basically the base section wrapping upwards) to give an instant colour break, I am surprised they didn’t go the same route with the Prairie. It would have made sense and given them a platform for these 2-colour models for years. As you can see, the blue does vary on the model.
In 1992 they changed to a silver model with just the Nissan name and logo on the side. Again this can be found in shades of silver.
Walmart in USA requested a special pack to be sold exclusively at their Sam’s stores. This 30-pack pulled a number of models from the basic range but a number saw alternate colours. The Nissan was one of them, and this pack saw it in maroon with everything else identical to the standard issue.
The casting was also produced in plain white as a part of Graffic Traffic that year too.
The US range dropped the model at the end of 1992, but the ROW range was not giving up on it yet. It stayed as it was in 1993, but in 1994 they came up with this Paramedic design for it which ran for 2 years, before it too dropped it from the range. Te green tampo print is the most common area to find a variation to on this model.
However, after a few years out, Mattel having just taken over the brand after acquiring Tyco, decided to throw it back in the ROW range for 1 more year. It returned as MB45 for 1998 there, and was now dark green with a rather similar side design to 1992/3.
Apart from no longer highlighting the pillars in black. A slight tweak, just like the new D21 is to its previous issue. I like consistency.
It was this year that the model also saw its first 5-pack appearance. Being a part of the Around Town 5-pack, it was yellow with a taxi design on it.
There was something else being planned for it. Some pre-production samples were made in red with an Auto Palace design on it. I honestly don’t know what the plan was for it, but there were quite a few made and eventually they were dumped in China in 1998 for local consumption. Of course a few did manage to find their way around the world.
It finished its run in 1999 as a part of the Sea Explorer 5-pack at which time the casting retired. But this model was a Nissan that was around in the Matchbox at the time of the Hardbody D21’s official year. 1995.
This model is so cute. The MB1188 Subaru Sambar. I normally don’t focus too much on cardboard, but is it just me or does it look like the vehicle is hauling a whole building in the back of it?
Oh it is so cute! I love it! It comes in red with a very familiar looking design.
Sriracha! I am loving these repeated designs. I also notice this has the side design and also saw some additional tampo printing on the rear too.
It is not the first Sriracha model to be released by Matchbox. First we had the MB999 Food Truck arrive as MB87 in the 2019 basic range.
Then later on the same year we saw the MB1041 ’62 Nissan Junior arrive in exactly the same scheme. I was a little worried that these would be it, but now we have a 3rd, I am hopeful that this means it is a recurring theme and more will be coming soon.
Red, green windows, and Sriracha sprawled down the sides. Very simple. But I couldn’t resist. Sidetracking and going completely off-topic yet again. A small red vehicle with green windows?
It reminded me a lot of the TP-26 Articulated Truck. Although very clearly based on a Leyland Truck, this small vehicle was created exclusively for use in twin packs. Hence its rather unusual model number. It was simply listed down under the model it first arrived in, the TP-26 Boat Transporter in blue. This was back in 1981 before Convoy had officially launched, and twin packs were extending out to include cabs with something on the back of them. After debuting a Peterbilt in 1980 for the first long haul twin packs, 1981 came up with a second cab. After TP-26 arrived in blue, TP-2 was replaced too with another Articulated Truck in red with green windows towing a tanker.
As you can see, the Articulated Truck is not much bigger than the Subaru. And the Subaru is a small vehicle.
The blue comes with an amber window and red with green, but crossovers are known to exist. I have not found either yet.
It’s funny though. The Subaru comes in red, white or blue so far, but the Articulated Truck only red or blue.
But both have a white base. Yeah I find the weirdest things to compare to sometimes don’t I. Daft fact, Lesney did look at upgrading the Articulated Truck for the new Convoy series in 1982, adding horns, exhausts etc. But they deemed it not to be good enough and so as Convoy was ushered in for 1982, TP packs that featured the long haul models were ushered out and the casting faded away.
I could have gone with the actual Leyland cab. This was a part of the basic range and came with a trailer attached all short enough to fit in the miniature box.
When you dismantle that one, the cab is even smaller than the Subi is.
This was originally the MB014 Leyland Articulated Truck. Although the Subi wants to turn it into a Subaru Articulated Truck. Yeah I am having fun.
This particular casting was not around too long. Sold exclusively in the ROW range as MB14 from 1982 until 1984 as an offshoot to the MB030 Leyland Articulated Truck which had a dump rear, this was only officially sold in red in the ROW range with an Elf tanker in white. Early examples had the logo as a label before it was altered to be a tampo print late in 1982, which survived until the model was replaced.
However, in Japan, 1984 saw an alternate look in yellow with a Shell tanker on the back. There is a crossover, which was found in a multipack in the UK in 1984, where they accidentally put the Shell tampo on a red trailer unit, so paired it with the red cab and put it in a multipack to get rid of it. At the time the model was still being made in England so this was the local dumping ground.
After 1984 the model was dropped, but popped up briefly in 1989 as a part of the Commando series. This was its only production outside of England, as these were made in Macau. But that was the last time we saw the Leyland cab as the MB030 had stopped production in 1985 too.
As with many of the side series that Matchbox make nowadays, we do get carry forwards used in them. Sometimes these carry forwards can be quite a lot of fun due to the significant variation they bring. The first carry forward is this. Number 3 out of 12 is the MB991 ’75 Chevy Stepside.
It comes in teal with a white side design with pinstriping and a “The Garage, Service Center” logo on the door.
Something that has been done in the past.
It was part of the 2009 Service Center 5-pack. At the time I managed to find 2 distinct shades of teal on the model.
The new one is fairly similar to the lighter version I found 12 years ago. But you may notice certain things are different. For starters the base is no longer chromed. But look at the rear bed.
This is because when it was originally released, the casting was the earlier MB736 casting. It went through a small retooling in 2015 which altered the way the interior was fed out to the rear. It now formed the rear of the cab and stopped short of the rear of the model, so that the rivet was easier to put in place. Originally they tried covering up the rivet with the interior section which did put some strain on it.
But they weren’t the only parts that were altered. The base section saw a tiny tweak in that it now forms the bottom edge of the body section between the cab and rear wheel arch.
Obviously this is not the first carry forward for this model, and last year’s Target Retro series also saw one. Again moving from original tooling to the updated one. But while I was running through that one a short while ago I backtracked through all the Chevy Stepsides and didn’t want to do it again so came up with something a bit different for this dive.
The other models from that 2009 5-pack. As already stated the Chevy Stepside I had 2 shades on, and another model in the pack I also own 2 of, but for a different reason.
The MB708 Delivery Truck came with both styles of 6-spoke wheel. Either the large spokes with thin outer rim or the smaller spokes with thick outer rim. for a while these were often interchangeable as they look very similar and the overall circumference is identical.
But it wasn’t the only one. The MB188 GMC Wrecker was also included in the Service Center 5-pack and this one was more noticeable when it too changed wheels. Sawblades or tri-spokes.
The MB695 ’06 Utility Tanker was also a fun model for variations. My personal favourite was the shade. It came in a mustard gold or lime gold.
But on further inspection this also followed the Delivery Truck’s lead with both 6-spoke wheel designs on it too. Sadly I only found the larger 6-spoke with thin rim sporting a mustard gold shade. The other wheel I found both shades. But then the larger 6-spoke is a short run compared to the other, so less likely to vary shades of paint.
Oh and there was an MB709 Chevy Van with it. Amazingly I was unable to find any sort of shade on this one. It stayed pretty consistent throughout its time in production.
And now I move on to the other carry forward. The MB1078 ’16 Chevy Colorado Xtreme. although I notice on the package they didn’t spell it correctly. Or incorrectly depending on your view. They only went and put the traditional English spelling of “Extreme” on there, rather than Chevrolet’s alternate “Xtreme” spelling.
Not that I care. Package go bye-bye. So this is the model in question. Number 4 of the set of 12 for this series.
A lovely metallic orange with simple front and rear tampo printing. Very familiar.
As I do a quick dive back to remind people of how this model has appeared over the years. It actually debuted in late 2017 as the 2018 Toy Fair model. This was our first glimpse of the model that was shortly to arrive in the basic range.
Before it arrived in the 2018 basic range as MB92 in metallic orange. Yes the new model is a carry forward of the debut basic range version. For some reason they never carried forward the toy fair model. Ha ha! I jest. The toy fair model was a promotional item. They don’t get revisited unless the promotion itself wants more of it.
Now this is quite tough to get a really good comparison on as when the model debuted in 2018 it varied in shade quite a lot. I actually have 4 of them. All different shades of orange. I show the lightest and darkest here as if I put all 4 in a line they sort of blur into each other in picture. Something the naked eye is much better at distinguishing.
So I really should discount the shade of orange. It’s somewhere in the middle. Now the windows do match, but a close look at the wheels you may notice that the new one on the bottom here has much less of a green tinge to them than the original on top (all 4 originals I have sport a bit of a green tinge to the wheels).
The rear tampo print though is quite noticeably different. For starters the larger central black section is now gloss black, whereas before it was matte black. But take a look at the lights. Originally they were much more a wraparound and the red lights in them were a very dark red. The new one (on the left) doesn’t wrap around the edges in the same way and the red lights are much brighter. So yeah, to me this is quite a noticeable difference.
Since then the model has not seen much use. It was MB67 in the 2019 basic range in charcoal.
And it was MB93 in the 2020 basic range in blue. That’s your lot. Three basic range issues, and now a carry forward for 2021.
Although I do like that the overall loo of these models is pretty consistent. They have the same basic front and rear tampo print across all issues. I hope we see more, and I hope they continue to be this consistent.
This is number 5 in the series of 12. The MB1174 ’35 Ford Pickup.
This comes in a very nice rustic red with a lovely retro looking Ford Genuine Parts livery on the side.
I think this is a really nice design on this model. Definitely my favourite so far. Shall I remind you of what has come so far?
It started in green with a construction themed side design as the debut 2019 MB21 with mud around the door.
This was followed by a blue Kingson Pop! liveried model for the 2020 MB51 with mud around the door.
And earlier this year we saw the 2021 MB85 in matte brown with a Swapmeet Special side design and mud around the door.
Three models to date, all featuring mud around the door. the Ford Genuine Parts model is the first one with a clean door.
Mind you I do really like the last one, the 2021 basic range issue with the door on the alternate side being a different colour. Such a cool little extra.
but I am not going to leave this one there. With the Ford Genuine Parts side design, I thought I would reminisce with a few others with a similar feel to them.
Like this Sonny’s Ford Shop liveried MB733 ’55 Ford F-100 Panel Delivery Van. It was the 2009 Superfast issue and look it has a Ford Genuine Parts logo on it.
Perhaps the MB693 ’06 Ford Transit. This was the 2007 MB37 issue in silver, and look at that. A Ford Genuine Parts side design.
Sometimes you might need to look a little more closely for genuine parts, especially if they are not Ford. This is the MB1066 ’67 GMC Stepside from the 2018 Color Changers series. It was either brown or cream depending on how warm it was, and had a Mario’s Genuine Auto Parts side design.
Or perhaps the MB741 VW Caddy. This 2008 1st Editions 10-pack issue came in white, and if you look really carefully you might just be able to spot a little VW Genuine Parts logo on the side. Plus a spark plug.
Was it a Champion spark plug? I don’t know. Full circle, back to the Fords. This was the MB038 debut version of the Ford Model A Van from 1982.
A model that came with either clear or amber windows back in 1982 while it was made in England. Yeah my little side trips are getting more bizarre aren’t they.
And now I arrive at the last model in this first batch. The MB807 Holden VE Ute SSV. It is in the number 6 of 12 slot in the series, meaning that in this set, the models have been issued strictly in number order.
It is always nice to see the Ute pop up. And yes, this is the 4th of the 6 models sporting a new look for this batch. Usually they tend to be split 50/50 between carry forwards and new liveries, but this batch appears to have managed to sneak in an extra “new”. Of course it may mean when batch B turns up later that 4 are carry forwards, or they might have managed to create 4 “new” liveries for that too. It is always exciting to see how things play out.
It sports a Falken livery across the side of this purple vehicle and I think it looks really cool. I will shortly be showcasing another Ute, as batch D of 2021 basics also has one. Both 2021 issues I think are really nice. Not to say that they aren’t all nice. Let’s remind ourselves of them.
It debuted in the 2010 range as MB2 in green as only the 4th Holden casting to have been created by Matchbox. I still hope to see more Holdens get created. Obviously with the brand not around any longer, it would have to be a classic, but there are plenty to go from. Like perhaps a 1977 LX Torana A9X. The A9X with hood scoop on black hood, flared wheel arches and the rear spoiler really makes it look cool. but anyway, I am digressing. the Ute.
It had a fun debut. These are 3 of the 5 shades of green I own on this model. It really ran the gambit from dark to light during production. It was almost Lesney-esque with its paint shades.
for 2011 it was still in the MB2 slot, as any model carrying over was assigned the same number that year. The shades varied there too, from a very blue shade to an orangey-red. Oh wait, no, it was 2 versions. It was one of the models that year that saw 2 releases.
It also saw its first purple issue that year too. Part of the Modern Rides 5-pack, this was another that did see quite a noticeable shade during production.
After that, 2012 saw the first time that the model sported a side design. This one was the MB56 in white, which had a Rock ‘N Rescue side design on it. But after this, things went pretty quiet.
Until 2018 when the model returned. It was a part of the basic range again as MB24, and returned to the original green release.
But people did notice that this model also saw a tweak to the casting. Many models have seen the rear bed section being altered as the interiors were forming an entire bed and as such were covering up where the riveted area of the body would be. It was aesthetically a better option, but manufacturing-wise was not as easy to put together, and in some cases was causing the interior section to come under stress. The Holden not so much, but it was still adjusted for ease of construction.
It was pretty much the only change that was made. The rivet was still in the same place. The body section was internally raised and the rear bed shortened to align them up. Rather than having an internal body section riveted down and an interior that then needed slotting in. The idea is that models are made using a “drop” method. Not a slot in method.
After that the Blue Highways 5-pack of 2019 gave us yet another purple. Again, fairly similar to the 2011 5-pack.
Until you actually get the 2 together. Much lighter, different wheels. I think it was just they wanted another purple. And now we have a third.
Well that brings us to the end of yet another Matchbox report. Again many thanks to Rory for sending me these over from USA.
2 fun little carry forwards.
And 4 all new looks. A great selection.
I look forward to seeing what the second batch gives us later in the year. Until then, I hope you enjoyed my rundown of the first batch (as some random throw backs to other things). I like to mix my reports with new and old stuff.