Yes it is that time of year again when people descend on Albuquerque in New Mexico to take part in the Gathering of Friends which is run by Jim Gallegos. Since the mid 2000s the Matchbox team at Mattel have helped sponsor the event and take part themselves preparing a preview of what to expect over the coming year. Now I was hoping to be there in person (paid my fee, got my dinner ticket(s)) and was good to go. Except the UK and USA governments are not playing ball with us and I was unable to fly out. But still, it gives me a chance to do this at home rather than wanting to be with my friends in Albuquerque having a fun time. So without any further ado, I shall dive in with a recap of what Abe Lugo had to say about next year.
Abe started with a quick hello and a rundown of the dinner model, the MB1222 Divco Milk Truck in spectraflame red and white, with the first 75 “early bird” models sporting additional roof printing. Hmm! I might need to do a review of them when I get mine. Plus he showed a preview of the dealer model for Sunday’s toy show. The MB1152 ’80 Porsche 911 Turbo in spectraflame green, black and white. Oh yes, I am definitely going to have to do a review when mine all get over to me. He then mentioned how Scott, the marketing guy from 2 years ago is on leave and they currently have 2 people instead. Mike Yeh and Nicole Mellom. Their message (as noted by Abe, they weren’t there) was that for 2022 they are building the world of Matchbox. This means deeper variety in diecast lines, expanding Moving Parts, adding an accessory for Skybusters and featuring new and fresh online content. He then did a quick recap of the 2021 basic range, as well as showing a close up of the final 2 batches and shots of the F in long blisters (E is just arriving, F will be with us around late August early September time) along with the Super Chase Corvette. After the “sizzle” (his little video clip of upcoming models) we had the rundown of new castings for 2022. For starters there are only 2 “Matchbox Originals” models (the generics as we call them).
First up is one they are calling the Pushin’ Puller. Although final name TBD. Basically it is a double fronted car. The picture I show is not what they are doing. Their plan is sort of a ’60s era model, although with their own front end. Here’s a daft fact. I bet you didn’t know Lesney almost sold one. Based on the MB29-B Racing Mini, they tinkered with the idea of the “Push me/Pull You Mini” getting as far as tooling up a prototype complete with a full set of 8 wheels. Obviously it never went into production.
Their other original will be a new Road Roller casting. A single drum style similar to the one pictured, but obviously again their own creation. Abe did mention how there will always be a few originals in the range. They will not be fully licensed, although the ratio of licensed vehicles is as high as it has been in a long, LONG time. I have a feeling this is replacing the MB800/940 casting as that has quite a few parts to it and is quite a fiddly build. It was probably easier to start from scratch than to tinker with it. But now, the part we are all waiting for. The licensed stuff.
We will get a Porsche 918. He made mention of the other team having one, but this will be a different casting. Obviously I never knew the other team made one (I never check) so I am really looking forward to another Porsche in the line-up.
A 2021 Kia Seltos. Wow! A Kia! This is a first. We have never had a Kia in the range before. This is a sub-compact Crossover SUV which originally debuted in India, but then moved to other markets, across the Australasia continent and recently up to North America. However, it has not hit Western Europe yet. I am happy to see another brand brought in.
Next up was a 1965 Ford Cabover. This is a new Convoy cab which Abe mentioned would be compatible with Convoy trailer units and hinted at new Convoy items arriving next year. No other word was made on them after and no slide about them. So that is also a TBD.
We then had a 2021 VW ID4. This is the first of a number of electric vehicles that are being added. Abe did mention of a push for more electric and hybrid vehicles in general, and that we will see more scattered through the range. But they are also trying to get more variety so you will not see the ICE models all fade away any time soon.
After this another wagon. I do enjoy the wagons. This one is a 2012 BMW 3-series Touring. Although why they are doing the previous F30 generation and not the current G20 generation I am currently unsure of. Is the vehicle just a nicer one to replicate? I don’t know. But I like having a 3-series again, and this is the first time we have it as a wagon. We have had a cabrio, a coupe, and a 4-door saloon/sedan. But never a wagon, so I am happy.
Then we get another classic. A 1957 Ford Custom 300. This is not an aftermaket model. The Custom 300 was an official Ford vehicle from 1957 until 1959. Abit of a lesser known Ford to add, but it could be an interesting choice.
After that we got a little cryptic teaser of something they are working on for next year, but final model still being worked out. All he said was that it would be a space vehicle. So that is something to mull over for a while. Is NASA working on something new and Matchbox are going to replicate it? Hmm! Could be interesting.
Abe made mention of the need to include more Euro vehicles for those markets. After all, we recently had a Best of France series sold in France that had to be filled with a lot of non-French vehicles. So being a big seller in Europe, the 2021 Renault Megane is a decent choice. Being in the UK personally I have to agree. For a modern Renault, this was an ideal candidate.
I think they are making up for lost time with the Toyota license. Since returning in 2020 they gave us a number of new castings in 2021, and the 2018 Toyota 4Runner is brand new for 2022 too. It will make for a great pairing with the classic MB805 ’85 casting.
Matchbox has a really good relationship with Tesla. Sadly Tesla weren’t too keen on the way the gullwing doors were opening on the Moving Parts MB1142 ’17 Model X, so it appears we are getting a non-Moving Parts variant instead with the 2020 Model X. I’m guessing being a newer model year means it will be a new build and not just the other one with doors sealed.
We then had the 1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT. Many years ago we had a Spyder, now we are going with the coupe instead. I am curious to put this side by side with the MB270 to see how they compare, much like I did with the Toyota MR2 castings last week.
Now this is a cool one. Something I have been wanting for a while. Again, with more push towards Euro vehicles and not just models seen in North America we get a 1973 Opel Kadett. Growing up in the 1970s in the UK, my dad owned a Vauxhall Chevette. It was a hatchback and was basically a rebadged Opel Kadett for the UK market. In fact most Opels are still simply rebadged as Vauxhalls for the UK market. But there was a small difference. The coupe version of the Kadett C (that was what they called the third generation as they went by letters not numbers) was not rebadged as a Vauxhall. We had the hatchback, the saloon and estate configurations only. The Coupe is the one that Matchbox are going to be doing, so obviously no need to try and blank out badges. There was no Vauxhall equivalent here. Mind you, the Vauxhalls had a completely restyled front end anyway, some likened them to Pontiacs. I am very happy to see this one added.
Another modern vehicle, the 2021 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. Well we have been using the out of date CTS (both coupe and wagon) for a while now, so I guess it is time they got updated. Obviously their replacement only sees a sedan style, and this time they went with the top of the range Blackwing. That’s a great little model to add.
Then another classic. The Chevy El Camino. This is the first generation El Camino, which was sold in 1959 and 1960. But rather than go with the ’50s style front end, they decided to do the later front end look of the 1960. I have been hearing there is a lack of ’60 El Caminos in miniature so I think they made a great choice. I remember years ago mentioning how another generation of El Camino would be good for the range. Good things come to those who wait.
Something else totally different. Again a Euro model, and again an electric model. The 2020 Citroen Ami. Not to be confused with the classic Ami from 1961-78. Again quite a radical choice, but when you start seeing things as shapes and shadows, this one is definitely one that will stand out. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
Next we moved to the oldest vehicle in the list. A 1936 Ford Coupe. This is going to be a good companion to the MB1164 ’36 Custom Ford Sedan that was introduced in the Moving Parts series a few years back.
Back up to date again with a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. I was really hoping this would make it. I have seen them. I like them. I know many a Mustang purist despises them, but not me. If I had the money and was prepared to go electric, I would likely opt for something like this. Out of all the electric vehicles, this is the one that I got the biggest smile seeing.
Because we did get a second Tesla too. The 2021 Model Y. Still no Model 3 though. Not that I mind, as we do have 2 brand new Tesla models joining the Roadster which is just released as a promotion and debuting in batch F shortly. Plus the Semi and Model S already in the database too. I can see a Tesla 5-pack coming. Something tells me that could sell well.
A 1966 Dodge Charger. Again going back to my youth growing up in the 1970s, we had a Dodge Dragster in the range, but a part of me wanted the basic vehicle that the model was spun off from. Although I do believe the Dragster (and Big Banger/Pi-Eyed Piper)were based off a second gen, and this is a first gen. But either way, I am very happy seeing a stock Charger of the 1960s coming.
And then, bam! Something completely out of left field. A 1949 Kurtis Sport Car. Design by Frank Kurtis, he made 36 of them in 1949 and into early 1950 before selling the right to them to another businessman Earl “Madman” Muntz. He renamed it as the Muntz Jet, lengthened it, added more weight/power and carried it on until 1955. But this was the original. Frank’s baby. I love these radical left-field choices. It looks really nice too. I can’t wait to see this one in miniature.
Yay! Another Audi. I know it is electric, but I always like seeing more Audis in the range. The 2020 E-Tron will be debuting in 2022. I believe they are going full SUV with it, not sportback. Either way I am happy we have another Audi in the range. Still lobbying for a classic to get added too. The 1969 Audi 100 Coupe S.
Finally, a 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning. It is great to see a brand new up to date F-series get put in the range too. We have quite a few working vehicles, but these are all on the older chassic vehicle, and so I am very happy to see a modern one again. Plus it is the Lightning too. The last Lightning we had was the MB663 in 2004. Of course that was the last Lightning they made, the 2004. Plus, this is an electric vehicle again. Boom boom!
After this Abe turned his attention to the rest of the core series for 2022. 5-packs are going to be seeing 9 brand new packs and 4 “carry forward” packs of older vehicles. Liking the names on many of them will see plenty named with a II or a III for repeated name use. We have Electric Driver, MBX Road Crew II (looking at a partial INC theme after the Ranec theme of 2021, but possibly not all of them), MBX Truckin’, MBX Rally II (or Adventure, name TBD), MBX City, Autobahn Express III, MBX Service, Coffee Cruisers III and MBX Adventure II for the new packs. Of course names could still change so don’t take them as gospel. Carry forwards will be MBX Steel, MBX Construction, MBX JDM and MBX Mountains.
We then moved to 9-packs. Again 6 assortments are being planned for the year, but the semi-exclusives look like being a 1-year deal. We appear to be back at just 2 different exclusives per batch. Currently slated, but always subject to change are Nissan Leaf/Jeep Wrangler JL for batch A, Ford Ranchero/Bugatti Divo for batch B, Powell Sport Pickup/Chevy Caprice Police for batch C, Dodge Coronet/Toyota Tacoma w/tent for batch D, Land Rover Gen II Safari/Aston Martin DBR1 for batch E and Renault Master Ambulance/2018 Mustang Convertible for batch F.
Then Abe moved to the next segment. Moving Parts. He hopes to eventually get the range up to 75. I wonder where he is getting that figure from? But for 2022, it will see a huge jump from the current 20 models in 4 batches to 50 models in 8 batches. He showed on the slide a massive 19 new castings just for them. Plus a sneaky 20th was shown in the currently scheduled batch listing. Who wants to know what the models were? He did a thorough breakdown of the basics, but I know many were squinting trying to make out the moving parts models too. So here we go (please remember things may change as the year progresses, and a model might switch to a different casting, the opening part may switch to an alternate moving part etc)….
A 2016 Range Rover Evoque Convertible. This one is slated to have the doors opening. It will be a nice companion to the basic range issue. I have often wondered why they didn’t chop the roof off anyway. I will be curious as to whether the new one will be based on the original or if they tool up a whole new casting for it.
2021 Mazda MX-30. Currently looking at having an opening rear on this one. They are really getting good at adding some Mazda castings recently. Of course we are still waiting on the 3. But read on. You will see that mentioned later on in the report. Oh and guess what? This is an electric vehicle, adding to all the electrics they are putting out in the basic range, they are getting into the Moving Parts series too.
This looks familiar. It appears the LEVC Taxi (another electric vehicle) is making the jump from basics to moving parts. They are saying doors will open. I am thinking the suicide doors for the passengers, or will they do something unusual like have one side fully open? I am thinking this means an interior will be added too. Sadly the basic hasn’t been selling too well, but I think a Moving Parts version should be a little more interesting and generate better sales. We shall see.
A 2016 RAM Ambulance. This one was shown in first metal configuration at the Gathering and is looking really good with metal opening rear doors. It is already generating interest.
Next up is a Fire Ladder Truck with a moving ladder. Now they didn’t specify if the truck is a licensed one or anything. So it looks like we will have to wait a little longer for final confirmation of exactly what vehicle it is.
Perfection. I mean a 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S with opening doors. And whoever thought I would have been giddy over a Porsche 918 for the basic range, just know the moving parts range is where it is at! I simply cannot wait for this one. Is it here yet?
Then we get a 2020 Ford Mustang Convertible with an opening hood. The fact that they stated it is a 2020 leads me to believe this will be a whole new casting. I know many were a little underwhelmed by the rear end of the 2018 Convertible in the basic range. But I do love a Mustang so am eagerly awaiting this to arrive too.
Another model we might need a spot of clarification on. The picture showed a VW Golf Mk3 (clearly visible with the more oblong headlights) but underneath it had listed down a VW Golf Mk2 (they have round headlights, paired for the GTi). So we will need clarification on if the picture showed the wrong generation or if it was a typo and should have said Mk3. TBD. It is slated to have an opening rear hatch. Either way it is good to see another Golf. Personally I am hoping for the Mk3.
Next up we are looking at a 2020 Dodge Charger with an opening hood. I do like the Dodge Charger. I drove one on one of my USA visits (when I was allowed there) and it was fantastic to drive. It really made me want one at the time. So I am always open to seeing more Dodge Chargers from Matchbox.
Now this one is nice. A 1996 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV. As a proper car. Remember when we had our first ever Mitsubishi Evo, and it was a police car. Often people talked about getting a civilian one too. Well their prayers have been answered. But they went classic rather than modern. This is going to be a very popular one methinks. Especially with the opening doors it is scheduled to sport.
Another classic and a throwback to the Lesney days (in fact they used the classic Lesney casting as their picture, I did a real one). A 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL. Just like the Lesney model had, this one is slated to sport opening doors too. I do like these throwback to classic of days gone by in the Matchbox history and can’t wait to compare the 2 when I get one.
We then get the new 2021 (maybe 2022) Nissan 400Z which is currently looking at having an opening hood. Big fan of the Z-series and as soon as I saw the Proto doing the rounds I was hoping that Matchbox were able to make one. It appears they are. Seriously, why is the Moving Parts stuff being glossed over here? There’s gold here.
Again, a vehicle that I saw was coming and was hoping that Matchbox would make one is the new electric Hummer. It appears they are going for the 2022 Hummer Pickup variant with the idea of opening the doors on this one. Of course they may go with the SUV, they may do the 2-door. We will have to wait a bit longer for the showcase. But whatever they bring, I am happy to see it.
Next up, a different take on the 2021 Ford Bronco. This time, rather than the larger 4-door offering, it appears they will be looking at the smaller 2-door, possibly with the look of the original concept. Will it feature the donut doors that the concept had (that sadly didn’t make production). Only time will tell, but this is also slated to feature opening doors. I think it would be great if we got opening doors with a hole in the them, but either way, a smaller 2-door to go with the larger 4-door that just arrived is great. I am looking forward to this to arrive.
Next up was a 1961 Jeep FC-150 with a tilting bed. Now that is different, but it’s a Jeep! The Forward Control was actually around for a decade, from 1956 until 1965, with this being one in the middle. I am thoroughly enjoying their history into the Jeep brand with such a wide variety of different Jeep vehicles to bring us. I am rather enjoying all the radical and unique Jeep designs they find to include. I am really looking forward to getting this one.
After bringing us an up to date Range Rover, they are only going to give us the original too. This one was shown in a mock-up at the Gathering and is already starting to attract some buzz. The slideshow said it would have opening doors, but the mock-up was showing an opening bonnet (it’s British so it gets the bonnet name). As I mentioned, these are all guides, and things can change as they move forward. But I think this could be a popular vehicle.
Ooh! A classic Ford GT40 with opening doors. Hubba hubba! Will it be a spin off of their current casting, or will they start from scratch? I can’t wait to get one next year and compare it with the one they have with no opening doors. Another iconic model, and will this see a Gulf liveried release any time soon?
Another Mitsubishi Lancer. This one is a 1975 Lancer Celeste (the sporty coupe variation of the 1st generation Lancer). Currently slated to have an opening hood, the Matchbox team are really going all in on the Lancers. And I am loving it!
Another that will need a spot of clarification. A 2020 Chevy Corvette with an opening rear hatch. They showed a picture of a convertible. Will it be the convertible that we get that has the opening hatch? Exciting stuff. I am looking forward to seeing it whichever way it ends up. The first Corvette was stunning. Having an opening part is icing.
So after the slide showing 19 new castings, they showed a preview of the 8 batches currently scheduled, and nestled in the middle of it was a little picture of an Austin Mini with “NT” for new tooling next to it. Just like the other 19 models. Again we will need to double check. It may be they forgot to add it to the 19. It may be it was pulled last second before the Gathering but forgot to remove from the batch mixes. It may be they forgot to add it to the new tools slide. But we also have no idea on what will be opening? My guess; bonnet (again British).
After this it was Walmart time. They are upping their amount of exclusive stock as instead of 4 batches per year, they are going to see 6. Two each of 3 different segments. First up is Dodge. One set of 6 in the spring, another in the fall. And with it comes 2 brand new castings.
A 1940 Pickup in batch A which will be joined by a Coronet and 2018 Charger in new looks, and the Viper RT/10, D-200 Pickup and Monaco Police in carry forward designs.
Batch B will see a brand new Dodge Durango casting debut, alongside a Challenger and Sweptside in new designs, with a Viper GTSR, 2018 Charger and Charger Interceptor in carry forward designs.
We will also see a Japanese Import series. Batch A will see Toyota 4Runner, Honda CVCC and Subaru Impreza Police in new looks. It also has the Honda Civic Type R and Nissan Skyline in carry forward liveries. Oh wait, I missed one of the carry forwards. Ah yes, the Mazda 3. Hello. Mazda 3. This means it is imminent. Snuck into a mix coming very soon by the look of it. If not, this could be the debut.
Batch B will then see Mazda MX-5 Miata, Nissan Junior and Nissan Z all featuring new designs, as well as more carry forwards in the way of the 2017 Honda Civic, Lexus LS400 and Toyota MR2. I am guessing those last 2 will be carry forwards of their 2020 debuts. Especially good for the nerds like me who have been hunting down all 4 variations of the MR2. If you missed them and live in USA you might find them at a Walmart later in 2022. Or possibly in another country that also sells them (like Australia).
Finally a third series will also be sold in Walmart. This means stock will be moved through every 2 months (aiming for) rather than quarterly. Basically in line with the basic range itself. This one is currently called American OEM. Batch A is scheduled to see a Jeep Wrangler Superlift, Chevy Chevelle Convertible and International Scout 4×4 in new liveries as well as 2018 Mustang Convertible, Chevy Corvette C8 and Ford Bronco 4×4 in carry forward designs.
A second batch later on will bring us a ’69 Chevy Camaro Convertible, Pontiac Firebird Formula, 2019 Ford Mustang and 1956 Ford Pickup in new looks, plus the classic Lesney made Chevy Corvette T-top and Dodge D-200 Pickup in carry forwards. Hmm! Is the Chevy a carry forward of one of its earlier designs? It has been around since 1982. Or will it be one of the most recent? Again, I stress as always, these are a work in progress, and as such models may be switched, moved around etc as time draws closer to releasing them. This is not a 100% gospel release, set in stone listing.
Then it was Target’s turn. Retro will be continuing for a third year at Target in USA. Again just as they did for 2021, it will be a series of 24 models. Again as is the usual case, half will be new designs and half will be carry forwards. Currently slated (you know the drill, it could change so don’t take these vehicle choices as the final ones)….
Batch A – new designs on Chevy El Camino, Toyota MR2 and Ford Capri. Carry forwards for Austin Mini, VW Beetle and Jeep Willys.
Batch B – new designs on ’35 Ford Pickup, Toyota FJ Land Cruiser and ’69 Camaro Convertible. Carry forwards for VW Golf Mk1 GTi, Jeep Wagoneer and ’65 Mustang.
Batch C -new designs for Honda CVCC, Plymouth Cuda and Nissan Xterra. Carry forwards for Dodge D-200 Pickup, International Scout 4×4 and Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Batch D – new designs for Subaru SVX, Chevy Nova and ’95 Cadillac Eldorado. Carry forwards for (classic Lesney made) Chevy Corvette T-top, (classic Lesney made) Dump Truck and VW Golf Mk1 GTi. As I notice, this Golf is being used twice as a carry forward, hence things often changing as they get to the finish line. It is all still a work in progress, and shown to give us an idea of what to expect, not exactly what is coming.
Working Rigs were shown after this. As per normal, there are 4 batches coming with 4 models slated to be in each batch for a total of 16 issues. Batch A is scheduled to have the Front Loading Garbage Truck, GMC Top Kick Truck, GMC Attenuator Truck and Pierce Velocity Aerial Platform. Batch B a Western Star Dump Truck (marked as a new tool, the only one of the 16 to be), International WorkStar Box Truck, New Holland Tractor and GMC Airport Truck. Batch C has a Seagrave Fire Truck, Cement King HD, Road Grader and International WorkStar Dump Truck. Finally batch D brings us the Mega Tractor and trailer (not seen since its debut in 2010), Freightliner Vacuum Truck, Freightliner Satellite Communications Truck and International DuraStar Flatbed. Unless of course things change. Have I mentioned, things can change between now and when things do actually arrive?
Skybusters was talked about next. There is going to be a small change to the way they are sold. They are going to add a small landing strip piece in the packages, like a mini playmat for each model. Something to add a little extra element of fun to the models. 4 batches are scheduled for the year with 3 new tools being developed. One is a retro helicopter (likely Matchbox original, name TBD), another is a personal aircraft (again likely a Matchbox original and again name TBD). The final model is another space vehicle. There is more in the way of space themes among the Matchbox range, with the new basic range space vehicle tool, we will see a second brand new one in the Skybusters range. At the moment it is still a work in progress, and will likely be available towards the tail end of 2022.
Then it came the turn of the Matchbox Collectors series. It will continue for 2022 much in the same vein as 2021. Abe did make mention that they are aware of availability issues with the range, and that marketing are working on the logistics of the series to try and improve it. This means there are currently scheduled to be 20 releases across 4 batches, much like 2021, but hopefully being much easier to find. There are 5 brand new tools scheduled to arrive in the Collectors series.
First off, a 2021 Ram Rebel TRX with an opening hood. A nice chunky pickup truck to add. I like the look of this one.
Then we finally get to see a second generation Toyota MR2. This 1990 issue is looking like it could see 2 opening parts, as they are marking it down as opening trunk/hood. Finally, after the stillborn MB241 never got here, we actually get to have the Mk2 now. I am very happy to finally see it. I have no idea why the original one never got made. There was an MB243 Celica Group 4 also slated to arrive at the same time, Was there a hiccup with Toyota back in the early 1990s? You never get to see all the things that happen behind the scenes with getting these from idea to production.
Then a 1990 Lamborghini Diablo joins us too. No this is not the old MB232 casting being dusted off for further use. This will be a new casting, which this time will focus on the scissor doors as the opening feature. A good companion piece for the modern Centenario, as well as great to pull out the old Diablo to compare to. Oh this will be a fun new addition.
This is another model a little out of left field. The Rosenbauer Electric Fire Truck. Originally a concept vehicle to showcase what can be done as an electric fire truck, the Los Angeles Fire Department approached Rosenbauer and ordered 2. They are busy making them up for the LAFD to use. Will we see one in an LAFD scheme? It is scheduled to have opening doors on the model. That is definitely another left field choice, and I love these random vehicles. Being electric too, it is ticking the box of adding more electric vehicles into the ranges too.
Finally, another convoy cab. This is a 1979 White Western Star COE. It will feature a tilting cab, as in real life you tilt the whole thing towards the front to get at the engine underneath. In 1979 Western Star was still a part of the White Motor Company, as it was not split off & sold until 1981. Abe didn’t mention whether this would also be compatible with the Convoy rears, but I am sure it will be the same as the 1965 Ford Cabover in the basic range. So I would expect it to have the same mechanism in the rear to attach trailers. But what Abe did mention was that they were working on new wheels for the Collectors series. I am guessing there will be brand new wheels developed for this model in particular. Abe also mentioned that being the Collectors series means that there will be vehicles from the basic toolbank pulled over too, with enhanced detailing. There is no requirement for opening parts here, as we have seen over the last few years. But he also mentioned as he went on to the next slide to note a few unusual items. 2 or 3 he said. Well, shall I run down to the 4 batches?
Batch A – the new Ram Rebel casting, joined by Honda T360, Pagani Huayra and Datsun 280ZX which feature opening parts and a Jaguar F-type that does not.
Batch B – the 2016 Corvette Stingray returns with opening part, and is joined by regulars in the way of the Dodge Charger Interceptor, Subaru SVX and 1935 Ford Pick-up. But he also had a 1964 Chevy C10 Longbed Truck. Is this just the 1963 Chevy C10 we know with the opening hood? Has it been renamed? Is it a longbed? Hmm!
Batch C – 2 new tools in the way of the new Toyota MR2 and Rosenbauer Electric Fire Truck here. 2 basics join in as the Mazda MX-5 Miata and NASA SEV Chariot finally returns. Looks like it was not a 1 and done model. It does make sense given that they are bringing more space stuff into the fold to get this back. I hope we see some cool spacey themed playsets etc. But there was a 5th too. Dragon Wheels! What the! This appears (if the mock-up shadow picture is true) to be the old Lesney casting. MB42-B from 1972. For those unsure, it ran until 1977 (although popped back up in Japan in 1979), was then re-tooled into MB46-D Hot Chocolate in 1981 running as a US exclusive for 2 years. It then ran as MB085 and again changed its name to Beetle Streaker where it was sold in 1983/1984. The casting then returned in 1997 still under the Beetle Streaker name, but as a retro Premiere edition with the original Dragon Wheels design. Have they found the tooling, dusted it off, tidied it up and going to re-use it for 2022? Or is this a homage casting being tooled up? They never made mention of a new tool, so I am thinking they only went and found the original. Of course this is something we will have to wait and see for more details of. But yes, that was very interesting, and barely got a mention.
Batch D – the other 2 new castings, White Western Star, Lamborghini Diablo, as well as 2 that were new for Moving Parts in 2022 too, the 2021 Ford Bronco with opening doors and Ford GT40 with opening doors. Then they also have a Plymouth Savoy in there too.
This then brought us up to the last piece they were talking about. Mention of Jimmy Liu and Doni Tavel who work in Marketing for Mattel, and how Jimmy does a lot for the blue team too. This of course led us into the look at the Mattel Creations items.
Of course I already showed the first model. Wheyhemes. This is available to buy from Mattel Creations in just a matter of days (July 29, 9am Pacific time). The link to the site is here (click on the word itself would take you direct to the Matchbox area of Mattel Creations in a new tab). As you know I also ran a raffle too on a second example. I drew a winner yesterday which was Michael Graham. If he is able to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can arrange shipping him the bus out as I cannot get the contact information about him from Cancer Research UK. I thought I could once logged in, turns out I can’t. Although I just want to say a huge thanks as we raised over £750 for Cancer (I was hoping to get over £100). Okay I am going off topic. So Michael, please get in touch. Abe then showed us a little sneak at the next 2 offerings. A 1962 Mercedes Benz 220SE Coupe in silver pictured in front of the Mercedes Museum in Germany will be next. After that will be the 1965 Land Rover Gen II. This is the basic range tooling, but has been modified. It has proper windows and an interior for this release. It was also another Michael Heralda design just like Wheyhemes, and this one also sports a new roof piece (it will not be mixing and matching additional roof pieces) as the new one has a pair of surfboard on it. As such the model’s plinth will feature a beach theme along with rocks that the Land Rover is climbing over. Plans are already underway for more models over the next years, as he even mentioned 2023 on this one. So this is a long term plan for the Matchbox series to be a part of Mattel Creations. I hope it does well. I am signed up and ready to get each model as and when it drops. After that the presentation was over, and Abe gave those in attendance a little sneak peek at some models he brought along in various pre-production stages.
So there you go. One report of the 2022 Line Preview from the Matchbox Gathering. Again, if Michael can get in touch to claim him bus I would appreciate it. But for now, I am done. As you can see there was so much, hence me being a little late in uploading it. Enjoy, and next week I will be back to taking loads of pictures. I have a great set to show next week. I can’t wait to show it. Until then, enjoy your week.
26 Replies to “Matchbox Monday previews the 2022 line from the Gathering”
WOW, some great models, I really hope they get rid of that awful Moving parts card though, out of all the cases I have had, for me and to sell, 90% have been damaged, I do not have one complete set in my collection that is mint, the cards are all creased, horrid little things.
Great to see a couple of Brit models, but please can we have something NOT Min or JLR, we do have other great british brands here, Rolls, Bentley, Lotus, Morgan, Ariel, Vauxhall, etc etc etc, would be cool to have something like that, The Megane is a cool choice, shame it was not the Twizy though, Electric as well, or the Zoe, now that would have been great, at least Batch C of the Best of France should have something more French in it, if they can get them out soon, I have ordered masses of cases of all the Batch C Brit, Germany and France sets, we need to get more of the Brit and French sets containing British products…..
I always appreciated the prose of David Tilley: more than short, concise, going straight to the point. What about the fact that it’s a nightmare to find current Matchbox models either in Walmart or Target in the US.
so many EVs and still no VW Corrado!!! but hey they giving me hope with this possible MK3 GTI which is another one of my fav VWs
Thanks David for your thorough review. Looks like 2022 is going to be another sensational year for Matchbox collectors. As long as you live in the US…….
I agree… I can’t be cheerleader style excited. Why do we bother?… Wasting our good hard earned money on a product of which isn’t taken seriously in the UK?. It’s like getting what you think is a unique UK line… Which other parts of the world gets before UK. Or repackaged so USA don’t miss out. What was the point?… As Matchbox is getting better. The more of a pain in getting the products. One shop. One box per 250,000. Missing batches. 90% of products never make it here. Paying OTT just to get a certain item. This brand could do well here if aloud … Keep to Tesco prices though. Just let Mbx use the same distribution route which Hotwheels jumps into.
The Best Of France range is a little confusing to me. I haven ‘t seen Matchbox models in any French stores in at least a decade of more.
This is a great report David, thank you. I look forward to this as much as the preview itself. I was sorry to hear what you said about the moving parts Tesla Model X – the doors sounded like a great feature. However on the video I thought I saw it shown in the last mix (8N) of moving parts. Could you confirm if that was true or was it a different model? Thanks!
Really looking forward to the Rivian, Rosenbauer, GM Top Kick, and especially the Kadett; I own a ’73 Opel Manta A, and I’d love to see them add in the Manta’s as well. But I’m really excited for three classic Mitsubishi’s, especially with all the difficulty that Mitsu has had in the North American market for nearly a decade now. There are alot of Mitsubishi fans and enthusiasts out there who want to see them revive again, and hopefully little reminders like these models will continue to send that message to their execs in Japan~
Thanks for a great report David, I always enjoy reading them as you spot lots of extra details. You mentioned that the Tesla Model X in moving parts was not likely to appear again but I thought I spotted one in wave 8N on the presentation – did I mistake that for something else?
Apologies for the double post!
This year’s new models list is slightly disappointing compared to previous years (too many EVs and no variety) but I can forgive it all for these 5 cars alone: Diablo, 918 Spyder, 992 Carrera, 3 Series Touring, 450 SEL – in that order.
The reason is that 3 of these cars I’ve been praying for Matchbox to make since many years, especially the Diablo and 918. I’ve also been asking to see a stock non-GT3/ non-Turbo/ non-modified 911, and the 992 Carrera ticks that box very well. And lastly, even though I would’ve liked an M3, the 3 Series Touring is good enough for me. And since I wanted more European wagons (too many Americans ones currently) it’s all good. And I’m happy they did the E91 gen, as it is my favourite and a bit overlooked.
As for the rest of the models, the GT40, Evo IV, 3000GT, Nissan 400Z, Audi E-Tron and Cadillac Blackwing are great additions but I will save my opinions for later.
Thanks a lot for the round up and details, David!
Great lineups… I just hope UK gets a sniff of what’s to come.
Hello David. Thanks for the summary for those of us who couldn’t attend the Matchbox event. I found the factoid about the Tesla Model X to be clarifying. I wondered why that Moving Parts toy wasn’t reissued. I never could find the first color locally and they are super scarce (and expensive!) on Ebay. I didn’t know it was pulled at Tesla’s request. I’m glad to see we are getting another version. I was hopeful to see an Opel GT for 2022 and I see Opel is on Abe Lugo’s radar since we are getting a Kadett. Looking forward to that toy!
I went and read the whole thing except for the Skybusters section since I could care less about those. I have to say it’s very exciting to see more and more variety of licensed vehicles and less generics every year. It shows that they’re slowly getting back to their roots that made the brand so revered. 2005-2011 was the golden era and a lineup like 2022 brings me back to that. I hope they continue this and never go back to the dark ages of 2012-2016. There was no need for that sudden direction change to begin with. If they have stuck to their golden age for the last nine years, they would still be a very profitable brand and would have serious competition with Hot Wheels. Also, they wouldn’t have had to cost-cut so much for lost profit. And that’s the caveat with this brand. Sure, they’re back to making wonderful castings but a lot of them are being plagued by severe cost-cutting measures such as a lack of chrome, blue-tint windows, no interiors, and those god-awful safety posts in the back of tall-roofed vehicles such as SUVs, hatchbacks, and station wagons. However, I will still continue to hunt for these as it’s the brand that I preferred to play with when I was a kid and the brand to collect as I got older. I will always have a soft spot for Matchbox, even if it means some cost-cutting here and there.
I know that people are loaning about the amount of electric vehicles featured, but remember these are toys and children want to play with what they see on the road. I remember not liking the Model A Ford and Citroen 15CV when I was a child.
Can’t wait to see these models and I hope that Tesco in the UK stock all the batches not just two or three like this year.
Good article there, a bit long but this time there’s lots of new material and no filler. Plus I’m glad I read it all through because it was my name that came up as the winner of the raffle. Thanks again, David, I’m looking forward to seeing it arrive.
To get to the models, I have to confess I’m a little disappointed. Some nice stuff there but I’m using “nice” as in damning with faint praise. Nothing there that makes me say “roll on 2022 so I can add it to my collection” I think my favourites are the Opel (pretty little coupe that was fairly common here in its day) the Ford Cabover (nice to see a non-licensed commercial even though I’d have preferred a British truck, though the Ford probably has more international appeal…) and the Dodge Charger (takes me back…) Best seller will be the Porsche, though, hope they put enough in the cases. The moving parts models look more interesting but are we ever likely to get them “officially” in the UK?
Still waiting to find Batch E locally, and sorry to raise the point again but is there likely to be a case of Batch B or C now that the EverGiven has got out of Suez? Not totally wishful thinking; if there are six cases each year then simple arithmetic – and I know life’s never that simple- suggests they need to be ordered at around two month intervals. The date codes on the Batch A and D models are almost twice that much apart which, along with the shortage of models in April/May, suggests there’s one batch missing. And the Suez shenanigans seems an obvious reason. Hopefully they can be slipped into the distribution (before / after batch F?) without causing another batch to be missed.
When Mix 4 arrived unexpectedly early and then Mix 5 just two months later I was rather hoping Tesco had finally cracked how to order singles properly but now we are yet again left feeling short changed. I found the remnants of Mix 5 in just one store two weeks ago and since then this same store shows no sign of restocking. There are a few other branches in close proximity which have been nearly empty of Mix 4 but again no sign of a restock. On the flip side I’m still seeing the same 2019 5 packs being replenished over and over again with so many of the great new assortments being missed completely. The other annoyance is the continued restocking of the first Best Of UK Mix when the second series is already being seen in some European countries!
Today I visited a store which had had only 3 Matchbox singles at the weekend. Bearing in mind recent posts I wasn’t surprised to find it had re-stocked with case D/Mix 4 but what disappointed me more was that this was a new batch (date code P13 and 14 instead of 7 & 8 previously. No idea if any variations but I suspect someone would have spotted them already if there was) This is what I feared when mix 4 appeared ahead of schedule. Quite how the mix 5 stuff that you saw, Craig, got into the picture I don’t know but I found some 2020 case B when most stores were re-stocking with A last year and also case C when case B was being re-stocked. The only explanation I can think of is that the stock’s in Tesco’s distribution centres and being sent to stores in chronological order but sometimes someone sends out a case out of sequence. Whatever, the system still isn’t working well. Whether Tesco’s buyers order specific batches or just place orders for a certain quantity of models and let Matchbox do the rest (which is what I thought – anyone with inside knowledge know?) the appearance of new models in the shops is still patchy to say the best. Perhaps the quantity sold by Tesco alone is too small for Mattel’s distribution to handle, another argument for them supplying models to the wholesalers again…
About time on the 1979 White Western Star COE! I have been waiting for a COE/sleeper from Matchbox for a long time. Hopefully they will add other brands of COE/sleeper down the line.
In reply to Dave Reynolds comments about Matchbox availability in France, im pleased to say that this year they have hit France in quite a big way. The last time I was in that country back in 2019 I saw no Matchbox whatsoever. Due to Covid restrictions I’m unlikely to get there this year but I do have an Instagram friend in the UK who recently went out to his holiday home in France for the summer and he has found lots in various retailers. Basic singles, multi sets but also lots of both mixes of Best Of France, Moving Parts and also the new Collectors series.
Interesting to learn Craig, thank you!
Hi to everyone,
another great MBX line of models. Thanks for all the new stuff to the entire team at Matchbox- good job, folks! But, no Mercedes this year. I was hoping for the new 2021 Mercedes S-Class (W223). But hopefully, next time. Also, bring back the Convoys, please. And as for the Sky Busters, why not do a big line of new planes, both modern and vintage, military and civilian, airplanes helicopters, drones, from Europe and America. Just like the basic models: old and new, foreign and domestic, etc.
2012 BMW 3 series wagon is an E91 not F31, you’ve posted the wrong picture John.
I’m not 100% sure but I think that this is not the Megane that they will release in basic series but the Megane E-Tech electric instead, which will be an electric crossover and is shown in these pictures: