Now before I start this report I have been doing some thinking. There appears to be 2 types of people. Those who like my reports on the new items, and those who also like to sit back and chow down on some of my dive backs. Now the thing is, I took these photos all at the time I did my first rundown of batch C. As such they were all done the same way. I had managed to build a buffer in my photos so that I was weeks ahead. But for the last month I have stopped taking photos, and have been doing some thinking. How do I continue. Well I came up with something that I personally feel comfortable with. As such, this is my last report.
That is being done this way. Was that a bad placement of a photo break? Hee hee! As of next week you are going to see a tweak into how I set out my reports each and every Monday. I mean, I have this cool partner in Wheel Collectors, who keep me up to date with many Matchbox issues, and I am always grateful to the guys for keeping me up to date. I recently received 2 batches of Moving Parts and Batch D of basics to keep me going for the near future too. So definitely more to come. But next week, when the first report arrives you will notice that I have set things out in a different way. New stuff, dive backs, still there. But now tweaked into a different way. Something to look forward to (I hope), but for the last time in this pattern, I will run down the last of batch C basic range items.
Which in this case, as I randomly decide which to do first, I am starting with a brand new casting. The MB1228 ’57 Dodge Sweptside Pickup. Here’s a daft fact you wouldn’t actually know. The tampo was designed by Michael Heralda. I know, the lack of 58s on the model kept us in the dark with that one. But yes, this was one of his little designs. Sometimes he can get creative with his Adlar58 designs, and other times he just knocks it out of the park by keeping it simple.
Debuting as MB2 in the basic range, this model looks absolutely stunning in a pale cream with red sides. The Sweptside was a really unusual left-field choice for Matchbox. Something they like to throw at us sometimes. The real vehicle was never a big seller and there are believed to be less than 200 left in the world now.
This was a sort of rush-released vehicle after Chevrolet stunned the world with their Cameo Carrier in 1955. Something unique and different it was quite the game changer. Chrysler and Ford were left reeling from GMs sudden left turn and tried to quickly follow suit. Ford came up with the Ranchero as an alternative, but Dodge came up with something a little more extreme. Take the Dodge D-100 chassis, bed and cab, and then just throw in parts from the 2-door wagon variant of the Custom Royale car. It sort of worked. They had to modify the tailgate to work between the sides and bumpers from a wagon, but they thought it would it would be successful. It was not. Introduced in mid 1957, they gave up on it at the start of 1959. Only a few thousand were ever made, and as I mentioned less than 200 survive. In real life a Dodge Sweptside could sell for over $100,000. The new Matchbox model, so much cheaper.
As a sort of pick-up truck and car hybrid this really does stand out against other models in the range. When shrunk down to small scale (although they are done to size rather than scale) what makes certain vehicles stand out can get lost. But not this one.
And this pale cream debut looks just like the real ones too. I really like it.
Being a new casting, of course I show the base too, for those who like to see them. Being such a unique vehicle, it is quite tough to work out how to back dive to older Matchbox here.
All I could think of was another ’50s era Dodge. The Coronet. The MB1180 ’59 Dodge Coronet Police is the only other Dodge casting that was specifically dated in the 1950s.
I thought it was a nice comparison as this too has a significant tail fin rear to it. It hasn’t been around very long, debuting in black as MB43 in 2019.
With a white model appearing in 2020 as MB94.
As well as a pair of promotional issues for Everett Marshall’s Annual Charity Golf Tournament.
Half of the Fire Chief models being red, the other half pink for Cancer Research.
And this year saw a third year in the basic range, now as MB71 in mint, with the ongoing National Parks theme.
Mind you, I couldn’t help it. I saw a comparison to another 2019 debut Dodge too. The MB1183 ’68 Dodge D200 Pickup. I mean they both debuted in a pale cream colour.
Although the MB63 D200 from 2019 is sporting a green side instead of red. But I thought they were a good match-up.
This Dodge has not had a lot of versions either so far, but still a few. 2020 saw it appear twice in black. Firstly in the basic range as MB65 with a simple silver edged red pin stripe down the side.
And then a little more extreme with the Skyjacker logo adorning this orange liveried black Superfast issue later.
As we have seen so far this year, MB93 for the basic range is now a light blue with a silver edged white pin stripe.
And you can also find it in the Off Road Rally 5-pack in metallic orange with a Team Matchbox side design. The only one to date I have found a significant shade to. Mind you, metallic orange is one of the best colours to find shades on.
Next up is the MB1213 ’71 MGB GT Coupe. Although being a British vehicle, should I point out that it should have been coupé? In Britain we still use the word exactly as it came from France including the accent over the “e”. Whereas in USA the accent disappeared years ago.
To further my point, this is a British Racing Green look to the model too. Exceedingly British. It is MB42 in the basic range.
Oh but wait, the steering wheel is on the left side. It isn’t a UK spec MGB, so perhaps I will let them off. It does look really nice though. And thanks to Wheel Collectors I never missed it, because batch C was never sold in the UK.
It is only the second release of this model, after the 2020 debut in red. MB61 did make a second appearance in the 2021 Best of UK series too.
This one is slightly different due to the chromed base, and you may notice that the front headlights were detailed here, whereas the debut version had the front grille section detailed instead. As tampo printing is done on parts, not on a completely built vehicle, you would only get one or the other done in one pass.
It is not the only MG to have been in green, although the classic MB64-A MG 1100 was a much lighter green, as it was how it first looked when debuting in 1966, and just about made it to the Superfast era, as the first transitional production run used up some leftover green bodies.
Before it turned blue for the remainder of its time in the range. Which was not long. It got converted in 1970, and was replaced in 1971. So even blues are quite rare. Still, I managed to find a nice shade on them.
There was another MG in green. But I am going to shock you by not showing it. Instead, how about a pre-production sample of the MB333 MGF 1.8i? Almost the same shade of green here. I guess the MB502 ’60 MGA will have to wait for another time.
Because I decided to have a little fun and choose some non-MG British Racing Green classic British cars to run down here. Like this 2020 MB55 issue of the MB1083 ’63 Austin Healey 3000 Mk2.
Or perhaps some other Austins. Like this 2009 MB2 version 2 issue of the MB765 ’64 Austin Mini 1275S Cooper.
Or a personal favourite of mine. A 2009 promotional issue of the MB713 ’65 Austin Minivan. I do like this one, and it has nothing to do with the fact that I designed it. And the door detailing is basically about me. Pure coincidence.
Maybe Jaguars are more your cup of tea (as we say in the UK, I mean this bit is very British). The MB138 Jaguar XK120 debuted in BRG in 1984 as MB22 exclusively in the ROW range. The MB138 casting looked like this for its first 2 years.
When the casting was rebuilt into the MB758 ’54 Jaguar XK120SE in 2009 we did eventually see a BRG issue in 2011 as its 5th of 6 issues.
This has now been followed up by the MB1094 ’56 Jaguar XK140 Roadster which saw its BRG issue in only its second outing back in 2019 as MB9.
And of course who could forget the MB688 ’61 Jaguar E-type. It debuted in 2006 in the basic range, and almost immediately saw a promotional issue in the way of a double-US convention dinner model. Both for the Albuquerque Convention and a second convention that was being held in Connecticut by Charlie Mack. Hence the logo in the rear window having West-East on it. It was the first year that Mattel actively started sponsoring the US conventions, and it still carries on to this day in Albuquerque. Only a little over a month until the next one.
Of course, the best livery on the Jag E-type for me was the other BRG issue. A 2009 Best of British model. Another classic Michael Heralda design as it has his name on the door, just underneath errmm. Oh yes, that’s right, my name.
What? 2009 seeing 2 different BRG models both having some sort of reference to me on the side? Is it any wonder why I like British Racing Green cars?
Although before I move on, I will just add in the MB1214 ’56 Aston Martin DBR1 too. This was this model’s debut look from the 2020 Top Gun Maverick licensed 5-packs. And as I pointed out last year when I did a run down of the packs, it is a real vehicle. 900 BH is an actual car that the Top Gun people hired for use in the film (which is still not out). As I said, I do like BRG.
Next up is the MB1045 Speed Trapper. There was a time when trailer units were no longer a part of the basic range, after being a significant part for a long time in the earlier days. But recently they have become quite the staple again and this model sees a third outing as a basic range issue here.
It is MB62 for 2021 and I have to say, this is an awesome livery for it. The recurring INC theme. You do know it now needs a Ranec themed outing in the future.
I love these recurring themes and the blue, yellow and black really makes the INC design stand out.
Just as a reminder of the model, it debuted in 2017 as MB56 in white with a simple design.
In 2018 it became a part of the Texas Rangers 5-pack in grey with a wheel variation during production. Some had 6-spokes, some disk wheels.
And after taking 2019 off it returned to the basic range in 2020 as MB98 in orange.
This is the fastest speed limit for a construction site so far at 55mph. The debut was 45 (although no mph or kmh/kph notation so it would work in all markets). After that we saw a 25, then a 25mph. Daft fact, in the UK it is very rare to see a speed limit in a 5mph ending. Most speed limits in the UK are in 10s. Perhaps a very slow 5mph itself, and I think I remember seeing a 15mph. But as a rule, UK speeds are in 10mph increments. But on my trips to USA I see speed limits ending in a 5 so much more. In fact I think they are more common than speed limits ending in a 0.
But anyway, I am digressing. The best part of this being a recurring theme is that there are already various models waiting to tow it. Like this MB687 International CXT. It was the 2014 MB17 issue, and actually the final issue of that casting before it was altered for 2015.
The MB931 3-axle Dump Truck also has a tow hook, and the 2017 Construction 5-pack issue is again a perfect candidate for pulling the Speed Trapper.
And of course, who can forget the MB1008 Tilt ‘N Tip as I only showcased this a few months back. It was a part of the MBX Construction Zone Hitch & Haul set that arrived earlier this year.
Which by my reckoning we now have 3 vehicles with tow hooks and 3 trailer units (as the MBX Cement Trailer in H&H came in 2 variants. I did a complete rundown of INC in that report so I am not going to repeat myself here.
Instead, I am moving on to the next model. The MB1167 ’11 Mini Cooper Countryman.
I am a bit of a sucker for this metallic orange colour on models, and therefore I am very much liking this one. The 2021 MB51 release.
This is one of my top 2 releases so far of this casting (can’t beat the stripey one from the Top Gun Maverick 5-pack), and I love that as always we are treated to a simple front and rear tampo print for the basic range release. Consistency. That is what I like most of all.
For some reason, as soon as I saw it, my mind immediately went to this.
The 2016 MB15 issue of the MB975 Jaguar F-type. Pretty much identical shade. I love consistency. Did I say that already? Hmm! I mush be consistent…. Ha ha!
So what to bounce back to? How about the first Mini? I do find it strange that what was a British company took 12 years to come up with such an iconic vehicle, and even then they didn’t go with a standard road going one. They went with a Racing Mini. MB29-B first arrived fairly late in 1970 (which is why the MB29-A Fire Pumper is so rare, as it only just got transferred to Superfast before being taken out the range). It ran through 1971 in bronze with an orange edged 29 label on the side.
Although that shade of bronze was really good for shades.
And if you hunted around, you could find it without labels too.
In 1972 they decided to change it to a dark orange. However, labels were planned to change to a green edge, but they still had a load of orange edged ones to use, so they weren’t going to waste them.
But by late 1972 they had run out of orange edged labels and the green edge carried it through until it was dropped from the range after 1975.
Again shades are always good, and with 4 years or production that orange was never going to stay the same.
No sooner had it been dropped from the basic range then it turned up in the newly launched twin pack series, being towed by Toe Joe. TP-6 ran until 1981, and now the model was red. Not a massive difference to orange when viewed on its own, but when you put an orange and a red side by side, the difference is really noticeable.
But red is also good for a shade or 2. I mean, this had 6 years of production, so even more of a chance to find a good shade.
Of course during this time there were even more variations to find. After all, the 5-spoke wheel wasn’t always used. There was a centre cut wheel that was used for a short while, and (I don’t own one) a dot-dash wheel also exists. Plus, when the 29 label temporarily ran out, they either didn’t bother, or perhaps used an alternate, like this 3 label from the Y-8 ’45 MG TD. There is a rare gold issue that was possibly being prepared for a promotion in Europe but cancelled and the models ended up being dumped. Some believe that the bronze undercoat being more of a gold was accidentally shipped out without them spraying the top coat. Either way, there is a small group of gold models that out there. I do not own one of those either.
And this brings me to the last model in the batch. The MB996 Hazard Squad.
After taking 2020 off, the model returns for another go in the basic range. It has been in many a year’s line-up since it debuted in 2010. For a Matchbox originals design, this has proved to pretty popular.
The 2021 MB94 looks really nice in white with a rather Matchbox-colour themed side design. I see it is one of Michael Heralda’s offerings due to the A58 logo at the rear too. This is a very nice example. I would say one of the nicest of them. Shall I dig into their history? Why not.
When the model first arrived in 2010 it was MB796 and featured a metal body with a separate front upper section in plastic for an instant colour break. This was mated to a plastic base section and in the first year it saw 2 releases. A red and white Hazmat Team designed model was first to arrive followed by a Hazmat Response Team white issue later in the year. These were both the 2010 MB51.
But this wasn’t stopping there. The Blaze Buster 5-pack that year also had a Hazard Squad in it. This was fluorescent yellow and white with a HMT (Hazardous Materials Team) side design.
Plus it was a part of the 1st Editions 10-pack at the end of the year, also in fluorescent yellow and white, this time with a Hazardous Materials Response side design.
And then we had one of the rarest issues too. The 2010 Collector Line Preview model. There were only 30 of these made for a special event where 30 collectors descended on El Segundo to meet up with the Matchbox team and see a preview of things to come. It was the third of 3 Line Preview models, and I may be the only person who opened the 3 models and let them loose as everybody wanted to keep them safely packaged.
If you were to check closer, you would notice that the model was actually the debut red and white issue except now that the red metal section is lime gold instead. Plus there was an additional logo added to the side over the existing tampo printing.
2011 saw the model stay in the MB51 slot for another year, although the LAAM countries dropped it from their range. This time it was white with a fluorescent yellow and blue Dallas Fort Worth side design.
It was also a playset model for the Fire Station set. This was at the end of the era of adding exclusive models to playsets. But what was also unusual was that these playset issues were actually made in China, and not at the main factory in Thailand.
The Hazard Squad was then chosen by Everett Marshall to be the promotional tool for his 6th annual Golf Tournament. This was before he added a secondary pink issue to each promotion for Breast Cancer Research.
In 2012 the model saw one more basic range issue before going on a brief hiatus. MB4 that year was yellow and white with an MBX Airport themed side design.
2012 also saw the most fun with a release too. It was also included in the EMT 5-pack in blue and during production you could find either disk wheels (more common) or tri-spokes (less common).
And if you were to look carefully you would also find a run of the disk wheeled models came with a milky red window instead of the translucent red that the rest had.
The casting took 2013 off before arriving in the Fire Mission Force set in 2014 in white.
In 2015 the model saw a Supreme Heroes issue as premium models were making a comeback that year. This was red and white with a San Luis Obispo livery.
But it actually arrived after the casting had been altered into MB996. That actually debuted before the Supreme Heroes model arrived, but obviously the premium issue saw the more expensive tooling. The retool had not converted the rest of the body into plastic along with the upper front section, and the base had now flipped to metal. It first saw an appearance in blue in the Police Squad 5-pack in 2015.
In 2016 the model returned to the basic range, but as a shock, it was the original MB796 casting with the metal body and plastic front area. This was a really cool FDNY livery. To date this is the last we have seen of the MB796 variant.
The newer casting was added to the 2017 Toxic Rescue 5-pack in a pale grey with a Fire Rescue Hazmat Unit livery.
Before seeing its first issue in the basic range in 2018 as MB73. If this fluorescent yellow model looks familiar, it is.
It was a carry forward design of the 2010 5-pack release, except now the model was using the later casting type rather than the earlier one.
2018 also saw another Hazard Squad casting. MB1099. This was a Color Changers model and when it is cold the green dirt splashes on the side of the model fade away as the whole grey model turns dark green.
2019 saw another Hazmat liveried model in the basic range as MB60.
And yes, this too was a carry forward. It was originally the 2011 playset issue, and again was now on the newer casting type.
Before we saw the last issue in 2020 as a part of the MBX Marine Rescue 5-pack in white. This casting keeps plodding on doesn’t it.
And so that brings me to the end of yet another blog. This is, as mentioned, the last I do in this current format. It is only a small change in the way I do them, but I hope it works for people who like just the new stuff and those who enjoy classics too.
So until next time, have a safe and hazard free week.