Matchbox Monday previews the final all new 5-pack of 2021

BTW after this report, I have a small mini “additional” report I didn’t get to do last week.

So it is that time of the week again, and after last week when I did a complete rundown of the line preview from the 2021 Matchbox Gathering, this week I am back to my usual routine. Taking loads of photos of models and preparing a huge report. This week, I am extremely priveleged to be able to showcase the final 2021 5-pack which has not quite arrived yet. It should be out imminently but I am very lucky that this license was secured from a certain Keith Hoskins from Boone County Sheriff’s Department in Missouri in USA. Keith is a good friend of mine, and funnily enough, going back many years, when I was the Ambassador for the brand (the 2008-2009 year) I was having one of my chats with Keith, and he mentioned how much he would love for Matchbox to do one of his vehicles. So I then spoke with the team at Mattel at the time and they were very keen. So I got them in touch with each other, and the rest is history. Keith received this as a pre-release item to check that everything was okay and then forwarded it on to me to showcase on the blog. Thank you very much Keith. Mind you, there is something I spotted.

What is a “recue”? Is that when you go to cue something up, make a mistake and recue it? Ha ha! Still, I am not exactly fussed, because I took that photo, and well, 30 seconds later I took this one….

Box is gone. Recue/Rescue, it makes no difference to me. I am all about these 5 really cool little models. They are all based on vehicles that are in the Boone County vehicle pool.

First up is the MB1021 Ram 1500 Police. Funnily enough, the one that Boone County use is actually an unmarked vehicle, but Matchbox released one of those in the 2018 Texas Rangers 5-pack, so didn’t want to mark it up as an unmarked vehicle again. So they created a livery the same as the Ford Interceptor Utility I will get to shortly.

This is white with brown striping a Boone County Sheriff on the side. A very simple design and also very striking. I like the look of it.

I have to admit, after already having an unmarked version of this vehicle I can see why they went with a marked one. One-offs are pretty cool, but if you were to keep doing them as unmarked vehicles it can be a little unoriginal. I like that this has the cool Boone County look to it. I think I will do a quick rundown as I keep mentioning unmarked Rams.

This model debuted in 2016 as MB61 in mint with the National Parks theme on it. I did find a shade to the mint. Quite often some tend to be noticeably paler than others.

In 2017 it nudged up to MB62 in an El Segundo Fire Dept theme. They even managed to sneak in a third tampo print to a basic range release, which these days is not easy to do.

After that was the unmarked release. Plain silver. This was a part of the 2018 Texas Rangers 5-pack (as already mentioned) and with them already doing an unmarked Ram in a themed 5-pack, I do think doing it again would have been more of the same, hence me liking that they turned it into a regularly marked vehicle.

I don’t know if it really comes out too well, but the interior was found to sport a shade. It also forms the base of the rear bed, and can be a medium grey or paler grey.

It took 2019 off before being chosen as one of the 2020 9-pack releases. That year each batch contained the same model in both assortments as the exclusive but in an alternate look. However, this one stayed with the CHP livery, being either black with a white door or all-white. Considering it has been around since 2016, this Boone County release is only its 5th.

Next up we get the MB817 Ford F-550 Super Duty in white and yellow. This is based on a real vehicle.

Picture courtesy of Keith Hoskins

This is one of the fire vehicles in their inventory which Matchbox has replicated in miniature.

I am not too sure on the rear end being yellow, but although the real one is shiny, the nearest we would have got would have been chrome and that would have meant the front area would be chrome too and I think that would have been too much chrome as it forms the interior too. The next obvious choice is the medium grey, but that tends to streak. I don’t know why. On a base it is not too bad, but going over the back of this vehicle it owuld look a little unusual. Going with yellow does seem to tie in better with the rest of the pack to me, so I am happy enough with it. Plus I think it pops too. I don’t mind it at all.

It makes this issue stand out from the others. I did wonder about having 806 on the side. Often they tend to put the MAN numbers on there, but that was 817. But then I notice the real one has 806 on the side, so it makes sense. There was quite a lot to take in with this one. I am really impressed with it.

We then get the MB1179 2016 Ford Interceptor Utility in white. Again based on one of the real vehicles they use.

Picture courtesy of Keith Hoskins

Although you may notice that the real one here is brown. Boone County do own a white one, which is what the model is based on, but Keith has not been able to hunt the owner down to take a photograph. If he does I will swap it in.

This model in white, which coupled with the Ram already shown make for a lovely pair of police vehicles. I do like that they are both in matching scheme so work great together. This may be a slight tweak to the design, but I still like it. I like that they went with the white one rather than more of the brown. I like the brown but I do think it makes the whole pack very light, bright, and eye catching.

And I can’t help but notice how many of this casting’s releases have been real licensed ones too. A quick rundown methinks….

It debuted in 2019 as MB42, which this debut issue was a Matchbox original design as a fire chief.

After this the model was chosen to fill 2 spots in the 2020 basic range. Both were in black and both were licensed. First up we had the pretty iconic CHP livery, with the white door and Highway Patrol over it as MB48. These CHP designs have appeared on quite a few Matchbox models over the years, and I always like seeing them.

Later on MB78 arrived. Again this was in black, but this time it was sporting an El Segundo design on it. I don’t think they had to go too far to obtain that license as Mattel is based in El Segundo, with the Ram and Interceptor Utility getting an El Segundo themed release.

As 2020 moved in 2021 we saw a Thank You Heroes set which had the Interceptor Utility in black and white again, as a thank you to all those working the community who kept going through 2020. For anybody who has noticed I never showcased that set, keep reading. With the Boone County making it 3 versus 2 in the way of licensed liveries, batch E (which I will showcase soon) also sporting a licensed livery, that is moving into a 4-2 lead.

Next up is the MB1178 International TerraStar Ambulance. This is sporting the Boone County Fire District Emergency Medical Services livery. Or MCI vehicle as it is often referred to, standing for Mass Casualty Incident vehicle. You might notice on the door it states MCI 514.

Picture courtesy of Keith Hoskins

Again this is a real livery, and this time it is spot on. No slight tweaks or anything. It even has MCI 514 on the door. Well actually, just in front this time. Of course the actual model is not of the real one that Boone County use, but Matchbox has already done one with the tooling that is closest to it. You may notice the star of life is not there. There are issues as it is its own mini-license and does require additional verifications before production. So they simply left it off this time.

But it is really nice seeing the new Ambulance casting getting more use. Plus being a real one is always nice too. Again, this is a nice colour scheme, and a white ambulance always works week with a real license.

I have been very impressed so far with this pack. It is bright and colourful, but also a licensed pack. Did you know how little use this TerraStar has had?

It debuted in 2019 as MB41 in red with, oh look, an El Segundo design on it. I see lots of recurring themes here.

It was also chosen by Everett Marshall to be the fundraiser for the 2019 annual Golf Tournament too. As per usual, models get made half in red and half in pink (the latter half for Breast Cancer).

And as well as this one, we have also seen this is in the Thank You Heroes set at the start of the year.

Hazard Squad. Yes this is a Matchbox originals design, but can you tell what the real one is?

Picture courtesy of Keith Hoskins

I think there will be very few people who will look at that and tell you exactly what it is.

Picture courtesy of Keith Hoskins

So the Hazard Squad fills the gap very nicely, as it is extremely realistic without being an actual licensed vehicle. And it works.

Again this is a spot-on replica of a real vehicle, even going down to the E-201 on the back end of the sides. I even like the way they made thw white stripe going down over the cab on the sides too.

This is a really impressive set, and I can imagine that Keith, and those he works with, are extremely happy with the way it all came out.

So we have 2 new Sheriff vehicles both in the same design, which I always love.

Plus the other 3 that form a lovely trio. And once you put them all together, I really see why Matchbox went with a yellow rear end for the Ford Super Duty. It blends in so well with the other models. I think grey might have not worked as well. What do they always say about artistic license?

And well, this is me. I did mention it at the start. I was very happy to be a middleman in linking Keith up with the Mattel team back in the day. This was the model in question that Keith and I were talking about. They had a Ford Expedition in use at the time, and Keith mentioned to me how he would love to see a Matchbox model of it.

This is what we saw. It was a part of the 2011 Police 5-pack. The MB360 Ford Expedition was found in varying shades of brown during production too.

And well I should continue the history shouldn’t I. Because as they were discussing the Expedition, they also set up a second Boone County model at the same time. The MB771 Ford E-350 Ambulance was set up in the Boone County Fire District livery for the 2011 Lesney Edition series.

Which meant additional tampo printing too. Because this was the earlier MB771 casting which featured a separate cab to rear, they used an ink jet printing method to design it, which meant that it covered all parts once the model was constructed. Tampo printing will be done on single parts only before assembly and with both cab and rear being printed on, they thought it was quicker to do them both in one hit. Plus a rear.

And as I mentioned with the International TerraStar, this E-350 had already been done, which is why they used a modern casting instead.

But life didn’t stop after those 2 castings. No, it grew into something much greater. Because in 2014 they released the MB933 Dodge Charger Pursuit in black with a yellow stripe and the familiar looking Boone County Sheriff look to it. It was sold as MB84, and was actually the first release for the MB933 casting, as the Charger had been introduced the year before with a separate light bar, but was altered after the debut release.

But due to a slight mix up, they forgot to change the details on the base at first, so early production runs still had MB846 on the base. They realized during production, altered it and later runs saw MB933 on the base instead.

Of course if you are anything like me and hunting for shades everywhere, you might have found the yellow stripe does change between a lighter and darker shade too.

Next up after seeing the first use of a casting, we now saw the last use of a casting. The MB877 International Pumper had been going since 1999 and saw a change in 2012 to incorporate the lighter bar into the window section. This particular MAN number only saw 3 uses, and Boone County happened to be the last one. It was in the 2015 Supreme Heroes series. This was the first year that proper premium products returned to the Matchbox brand after Lesney Edition was dropped in 2011. Boone County was in the last year of premium (the Ambulance) and the first year of the rebirth. Boone County is quite the significant license isn’t it.

And again, I think this works very well with one of the new ones. The Hazard Squad.

MB80 in the 2017 was our next Boone County model. The MB985 ’57 GMC Pickup. The first time that MB985 was added to the basic range. The model had been retooled in 2015, but only saw multipack usage until this model. Again, significant.

And also good for shades. Just as with the 2011 Expedition in brown, this one could not stay consistent during its run.

Boone County stayed around a second year, except in 2018 it was not a golden model. But just like with 2017, it was on a casting that had been retooled but only used in multipacks. The MB857 Chevy Suburban. MB38 for 2018 was its first time in the basic range.

I did find a shade, but I don’t think my camera and set-up really showed it off well. So I won’t bother showing it. Oh wait, I already have.

2019 and the year that Moving Parts arrived in the Matchbox range. So you know they set up something with Boone County for it. Sure enough the new MB1140 ’06 Ford Crown Victoria casting with opening rear doors saw one of its releases for Boone County now in a metallic brown. There was just one small thing. The model sports a dual window piece. It either sports a taxi sign sticking out of the roof or a 3-block police light.

They accidentally ran the model using the taxi window piece.

Luckily the model was chosen to be carried forward to the 2020 Moving Parts range. This time they made sure to use the correct window piece, meaning we had the proper 3-block police light.

Mind you I couldn’t help but notice how different the shade of brown was too. I don’t think there is a crossover, as these were 2 entirely different runs in different years.

But 2020 also saw another Boone County issue too. This was in the MBX Highway 5-pack and saw another metallic brown. The MB969 ’93 Ford Mustang LX SSP.

Now I rarely do code 2 models, but once in a while something appeals to me because of who has made it. In this case, Keith had a special run made of the MB1087 ’33 Plymouth PC Sedan. Being friends, I was interested in acquiring one of the 30 that were made through Color Comp. They took the original 2018 debut version of the Plymouth which sported a Police side design.

They wiped the Police off, and added a Boone County door design instead. Plus a few additional enhancements.

Roger Isaac Wilson had just celebrated his 43rd birthday on June 12th 1933, and 2 days later was called to assist Sgt Benjamin Booth who was on the hunt for some bank robbers. Sgt Booth flagged down a car and approached the passenger side (it was the norm in those days) and spoke with the passenger. Seeing guns on the back seat, he reached in opened the back door. He was shot in the leg before he could do anything. Sheriff Wilson heard the shot but before he could do too much he was shot in the head and killed instantly. Sgt Booth sadly died on the way to hospital later too. A 17 month manhunt for the 2 people took place after this, and once caught, one was sentenced to life in prison, the other executed. To this day, the events of that day are etched in the minds of the people from Boone County, and the worst part is, the 2 people stopped were not even the bank robbers they were looking for. In 2018, after 85 years, a new memorial highway was unveiled for both officers, and Keith created this special run of 30 models as a reminder too.

So there you have it, one history of the Boone County Matchbox line. This 5-pack is a great addition to the series. I am sure we still have lots more to come.

But you know what I am like. I did some older models inspired by vehicles from this set too. So first up….

The MB55-B Mercury Commuter Police Car. Inspired by the Ford Interceptor Utility as I do SUVs as being somewhat closely linked to wagons (albeit taller) and this one was also in white just the like the new SUV is.

The model debuted in 1971 as a replacement for the Park Lane Police. They simply changed from a sedan to a wagon. It even sported the same white design with the same Police labels attached front and sides. The Commuter casting was the same as the civilian one, but they did change the interior as this didn’t have 2 dogs sticking out the back. Instead we had various police items, most noticeably cones in the rear instead. Quite amazingly, considering this was during the Lesney era where nobody paid much attention to anything, I have never heard of a mix-up or crossover between this and the civilian Commuter regarding bodies or interiors.

Or with the base. This came with an all-new base stating it was the police car, but could have quite easily used the base for the MB59 Fire Chief/MB73 Commuter as they were using the same base as each other.

Of course one thing they were good at was not using all the labels all the time. Quite often you can find the model without anything on the doors.

After the first year, they had exhausted what was left of the original label and came up with a new Police label which saw the model through to the end of production in 1974.

Which again has a habit of not being applied to the doors. After 1974 the model was dropped from the range and never used again.

Next up I move into the Universal era with a Dodge Dakota inspired by the Ram 1500 Police. Obviously Ram is the spun-off arm of the Dodge brand so the Dakota is related, and it has always been such a cool little casting.

The MB186 Dodge Dakota was brand new to the US market in 1987 as MB17. It featured a slightly raised suspension, as well as chrome roll bars with spotlights in the rear bed too. And yes I do know that one of spotlights on mine got slightly squashed. It happens with these and I have recently changed the way I store this model before they all ended up either bent or broken. The model was then added to the ROW range as MB50 in 1988 too. The thing is, it was only sold like this in the basic range. The ROW range dropped it after 1990, but it continued in the US range until 1993. Always in this red design, with a small caveat if you read on.

In 1989 production moved from Macau to China. At this point, the Chinese factory didn’t bother chroming the roll bar/lights, although did continue chroming the base. As far as I am aware there is no crossover. Macau production means chrome roll bar/lights, China production means black. It continued like this until 1993, so you know shades of red do exist.

It’s first use outside of the basic range was in 1991 when the USA market released a series of Action Packs. This one was green in the Construction pack that came with a range of accessories with the model that were compatible with the playsets of the era.

In 1992 it was a part of the Graffic Traffic series in white.

We also saw the basic range red issue sport a blue look as a part of the Sam’s Set. This was a unique 30-pack that was exclusive to Sam’s Stores, which is part of Walmart. Half the models in the pack had their basic colour altered to the basic range issue while keeping the same tampo design.

In 1993 an Intercom City series was release, where this saw a fluorescent orange look with a Fire Chief design and the IC logo on the model.

Intercom City models all came with a unique base that had a sort of bar code section in the middle. When used with a compatible playset, when rolled over the reader this barcode would set off something (usually a voice command). Now the thing is, due to a mix up, some of the IC bodies were attached to the regular chrome base of the basic range model. Not wanting to waste them, they sold them as MB17 in USA that year alongside the regular red issue. I currently have not managed to pick one of those up yet, but it is on my wants list. That was the small caveat I mentioned when I was talking about the red basic range issue.

After 1993 it appeared the model was a little overlooked. No more basics, no other uses. Randomly in the mid 1990s, a Commando model surface in China. This was one of a few random models that appeared there long after the series had stopped being sold. Whether these were planned additions that were stopped after production had started I do not know. But they might have been sitting in a warehouse gathering dust, and they decided to just dump them on the local market rather than waste them. The majority of this model has 5-crown wheels and a black base, but the 8-spoke wheels with chrome base has been reported. I have not found one of those, or even seen one.

In 1997 the model made an appearance for real. It was a part of the Rugged Riders 5-pack that year, but the factory in China was still busy making oddball stuff, and some were made with black parts instead of chrome. These were also dumped on to the local market rather than being sold in the 5-packs, and later also were found in some “Hero City” 2-packs that were found in parts of Europe and the UK.

1998 saw another use in a 5-pack. This time a bright yellow model in the Highway Crew 5-pack.

And in 1999, yet another 5-pack release. This time it was the Scrapyard set, which to me is one of the coolest designs on the model. It really had a weathered look to it, as did all the models in the pack. But again after that things went quiet.

It returned in 2002 in quite a big way for what would be one huge send-off. It was a part of the Across America series in red for Texas. It was also a bonus model for the “Central” part of USA too in bronze, with another Texas themed design.

It was also a part of the Roadside Rescue 5-pack that year too, which was themed with a logo of a monkey holding a wrench. I thought that was quite a funny little logo.

It then finished off in a licensed 5-pack for SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Sandy on the side of a red model. However, in the early years of licensed 5-packs, 3 of the models in each pack would also see an alternate colour released a few months later and this was one for that pack. A few months later it appeared in pink as a single. However technically this was classed as a 2003 release as the SpongeBob 5-pack was released at the end of the 2002 model year. But with a whole series of 5 models coming in the space of a year, you would have thought the model was on a new lifeline. But no, after that final explosion of releases the model was never seen again.

So next up as I move through the decades I stumble upon the 1990s and an Ambulance. To be specific the MB299 Ambulance. Inspired by having an Ambulance in the 5-pack. Although never mentioned on the model, this is basically a Ford.

This model debuted in 1997 as MB51 in the US range or MB17 in the ROW range. It was white with a blue design on the side including the star of life, before they discovered it was actually an intellectual property. 1997 was also the year that USA saw a gold challenge with all models in the series receiving an all-gold look too. So this one was found there mixed in with the regular issues. Being 1997 was also the year that models were issued in Inaugural packages with an unpainted a full premiere issue, but again I am leaving the premiums out of this one as I am still to get many of them. Mind you I am also missing a yellow model form the 1997 York Fair too as I am still picking up all the York Fair models from over the years.

In 1998 Mattel was still in the midst of sorting out all that they had now accumulated from the Tyco takoever and as such they did a few things. They changed the way the basic range was numbered, adopting a pattern as used by the brand they already owned, which meant the Ambulance moved to the MB25 slot for 1998 whereas until 1997 models would run for years as the same number. Although they took over the brand in late 1996, 1997 was already set up and ready to go (they do work in advance), and with a changeover in progress work on the 1998 range was a little slow. New castings were the priority, but a lot of designs were simply carried forward in alternate colours, and the Ambulance was one of them. Same tampo design, but now it was yellow and red. It was something that Tyco often did anyway, create alternate colours for models using the same design, so why not just carry it on.

However the model was given a new design for the Around Town 5-pack that year. A dark burgundy and white look with a County EMS design.

In 1999 the model was no longer in the ROW range, but was still a part of the US range. It was a part of the first segment of the 1999 series, and was a part of a contest winner. A competition run in early 1998 had a segment of models named after where the winner would live. The winning child came from, you guessed it, Ridge New York. Numbers 1 through 5 in the US range all had Ridge NY liveries, and this was MB5.

The Survival 5-pack that year also saw a white issue, and this was a worldwide release.

For 2000 it continued on as a US exclusive, this time as MB87 in silver with an EMT design on the side. Being in the US series in 2000 meant a Matchbox 2000 logo appearing somewhere. For this model it was in the side window in the rear unit on the first 10,000 examples before being dropped for the rest of production.

But it was not just a US exclusive. In 2000 Mattel were going nuts with the basic range, creating 5 different series. The US would see a set of 100 models, where the ROW range would see 75. But the ROW market had some exclusive not in the US range, the US had 25 additional exclusives not in the ROW range, but the ROW range also split further. With the UK, German and Australian markets being their strongest markets at the time, each one of these saw a set of 10 from the 75 being exclusive to their market. The UK saw the Ambulance as MB38. This was in a Metropolitan Police theme.

But then there was the curious tale of the ROW ROW range. That wasn’t a typo. The ROW market being split into 4 that year saw 10 models (MB11-15 and MB36-40) exclusive to the UK, German, Australian or “other” ROW markets. MB11-15 all came with a choice of 4 vehicles depending on the market, but when it came to the assortment that included the MB36-40 batch, the other ROW market never ordered. Therefore those 5 models never ended up coming out. However, luckily 2 of them did surface as a part of a 3-pack. Tied together with the MB11 ROW ROW BMW 328i Police was an Airport Fire Truck and this silver Ambulance. These were 2 of the castings scheduled to be in that assortment. But the other 3, like the Ford Transit in Taxi livery etc never saw a release at all. So we did see 2 of the 5 of that batch of other ROWs. Just not on their own.

2000 also saw uses in other ranges again. The Serve & Protect 5-pack had a red model and the 5-Alarm Launcher set saw a white model with errrm, 5-Alarm written on it.

2001 proved to be the beginning of the end for this casting though. A new Ambulance casting had been created for 2001 and as such this was being dropped. However the Australian market did see an MB52 exclusive though. This was mainly white with a black front end.

And we did see one more 5-pack release as the Rescue Riders pack saw this orange release.

And the 5-Alarm Launcher set simply saw the red and blue tampo switch places. It is easy to remember which model was which. 2001 was the year they starter introducing flower wheels. And slapping the new oval Matchbox logo they had created to replace the lozenge (only lasted 4 years, lozenge rightly returned in 2005) on pretty much anything that had tampo.

We did also see this Radio Rescue 911 model. This was part of a licensing deal that Mattel set up with a company called The Pleasant Book Company. Starting in 2000 they created a set of children’s board books in USA that each came with a vehicle attached to the end of the book. At first these were unique designs, but later on some carry forwards were used on the books. 2001 saw the Radio Rescue 911 book released, which when opened saw each page featuring this model on it. By 2007 the license with The Pleasant Book Company had finished.

After 2001 the model was pretty much finished. However, I know I said I wasn’t going to do any of the premium ones, but this was a lovely little model. I couldn’t resist showing off the swansong. It was part of a premium set made in 2002 called True Heroes, containing 4 models all from various walks of life. A police car, a fire unit, a tank and this ambulance. You see this ties in with something I am tagging on to the end of this report.

As I move through the decades I come across the last model to run through, inspired by the Hazard Squad. This is the MB402 Dennis Sabre.

Okay yeah I know I have barely moved on from the Ambulance as that was a 1997 and this was a 1999 debut, but that was set up under Tyco and this was set up under Mattel so it is still moving forward. Plus it lasted a lot longer. Dennis was formed in 1895 as Dennis Brothers, and the 2 brothers began by making bicycles. The moved to automobiles in 1901 and after making a van for Harrods of London in 1903, they started moving more to commercial vehicles. Their first fire engine was the N-Type in 1908 and saw the market for commercial vehicles was much more lucrative. So they dropped other products and solely worked in the commercial vehicles sector. Through acquisitions, mergers, and splits, the fire side of the company ended up in the hands of Mayflower who had overstretched to gain it and went into administration in 2004. However they kept making fire engines until 2007 with the Sabre being one of the final ones alongside a smaller Dennis Dagger. The company finally dissolved in 2018. Other areas of the original Dennis brand (buses and garbage trucks) are still being made as they are owned by other companies. The Sabre was the first Matchbox Dennis fire product since the Dennis Big Six was made between 1955 and 1958 (in 2 scales as the final year was retooled slightly larger), and first all new Dennis product since the Tippax Refuse Truck of 1963-68 (which was a Dennis, but not advertised as such). It arrived exclusively in the ROW market as MB68 in 1999.

In 2000 this model did see a release in the “other” ROW markets, as MB15. This meant the UK, German and Australian markets did not get it, as well as the US market which had a distinctly different range.

The UK did later get its own version though as MB39 in the UK market was this London Fire Brigade issue.

It also saw its first worldwide issue in the 5 Alarm 5-pack that year, and to date everything had been in red.

Oh look, not a red one. In 2001 it finally saw a worldwide basic range release as MB30 in this white design.

And again another red issue was included in the Fire Drenchers 5-pack that year.

As well as this very unfortunately timed promotional issue for USA. The idea was it being for SAFE Kids with events planned for September 11 2001 with the 911 being the prominent component. As we know the events of September 11 2001 tragically took an awful turn and the promotional issue was quietly rolled out in the background.

In 2002 the model was sold worldwide as MB44, and being a logo year meant the first 10,000 of these sported a 50 logo behind the rear wheels.

A white issue with the dalmation side design appeared in the Flame Fighters 5-pack that year.

And the USA release of Across America had a black issue advertising Oregon. To be more specific it is advertising the stratovolcano Mount Hood in Oregon. It last erupted in 1907, although this was very minor. The last major eruption was 1781/82.

2003 saw no basic range release, but again Mattel were using the “swap colours and re-issue the 5-pack) plan for the 2003 release of the Fire Drenchers pack. It mainly consisted of swapping the red and yellow over, although if you look you will see other colour changes.

But it wasn’t the only 5-pack release. A Fire 5-pack was also released due to the Hero City tagline of the era really upping the types of emergency vehicles being used and again this was in yellow.

For 2004 just the 1 5-pack release this time. Fire Chiefs saw this white model.

In 2005 with a new team and new direction at Matchbox, the model made a triumphant return to the basic range in a realistic red design as MB13. And then it disappeared.

Luckily it wasn’t all over though as in 2008 it popped back up again as MB47.

It was also added to the 2008 Best of British series too also in red as red was its most logical colour, they were going with variations on a red theme.

And in 2009 it was added to the German Euro Edition series too in a Feuerwehr design. I see a little 58 on the side of the models. Hmm! I wonder if a certain Michael Heralda had anything to do with this one?

After that the model only saw 1 more issue. It was 4 years later in the 2013 EMT 5-pack. After that the casting was retired. And with the company now dissolved I think it will be very tough to get a new one.

And that brings us to the end of my report for this week. Again many thanks to Keith Hoskins for sending me over the Boone County themed 5-pack known as MBX Recue (hopefully be adjusted) for this week’s report. But as I said, there is more. I was going to do this last bit last week, thinking the Line Preview report wouldn’t be all that long. And then we were inundated with so much new content that I was running so far behind I just never got around to adding it. But I didn’t want to waste my pictures so I am tagging them on to this report.

I just wanted to share some pictures of the Thank You Heroes set that was released at the start of the year. I have shown 2 of them in this report, which should have been after showing these pictures, but as I was delayed in showing these I will just show them again.

There were 7 models in this set including 5 miniatures, 1 Working Rig and this Skybuster. It is pretty rare for me to show Skybusters as I don’t collect them, but this is the SB86 Airblade.

It was made in silver with a nod to the news teams who spend countless hours reporting on all of the events of the last year and a half, never stopping in their quest to give us all the latest news.

We get the MB1091 eStar Electric Van in white. This is done as a thank you to all those key workers who stayed in stores to allow us to go out and buy what we needed, or those who spent all day driving around delivering our essentials to keep us going.

It was a very nice design, and those keeping track might remember this is the last issue of the original casting of this model, as after this promotional release the casting was altered.

This meant that for those keep track of variations, this one sports an interior variation which you have to view by peering through the roof window. The boxes or disks interior. I managed to obtain 1 set, and funnily enough was provided with the alternate interior variation by my friend Keith Hoskins. The same Keith who provided the Boone County 5-pack. So it sort of works me tagging this on to the end of the report.

I tried taking a photo viewing inside the roof. But you need to do a proper close up with a light that shines inside to show off the 2 interiors.

Next up, as already shown, is the MB1179 ’16 Ford Interceptor Utility in a very fetching black with white doors scheme. This one is dedicated to the hard working police forces who needed to keep us all safe during the worst of times. You may have noticed by now that some of these models managed to get a third tampo hit. I have to admit, I do like the roof printing on the model.

This model does not particularly look out of place among the other Ford Interceptor Utility models in the collection. I think it was very tastefully done.

Next up is the MB742 ’08 Garbage Truck. Yeah I know they renamed it recently but I still call it by its original name. This one comes in white and yellow supporting those who still went out and collected all of our waste, keeping the roads clean and tidy.

Again a very nice design. These models all look to have been very tastefully and respectfully created honouring those who just kept on going during the most difficult of times.

The MB1178 International TerraStar Ambulance with the 3 tampo hits looks extremely good honouring those who looked after us during the worst times. Ambulance drivers in particular had a very rough time of things but just kept on going.

Of course this was also used to say thanks to the firefighters as well, as they just couldn’t stop. Fires weren’t going to go away. A very lovely and thoughtful design.

This is the first time I have had the RW047 Scania Tactical Command Centre.

It is a very good casting with lots of play features, and for this release was given a Mobile Hospital themed outing. Very VERY important during the last year, that care was given to those who needed it.

The added play value with the side that extends out and stairs that lead down from it are just the icing on the cake for this model. Great work on this one.

And finally, with so many people stuck at home, getting things was never a problem as so many peopler were out delivering what we wanted to us throughout the worst times. As such the MB813 Express Delivery was a perfect tribute to those. Again this was a swansong for the older casting before it was modified.

A nice blue and really funny design. To me it looks like they are throwing a box at your home. Ha ha!

But they were a nice little bonus for us, and all money gained from buying the packs was sent to good causes too, so this was a definite worthwhile thing to do.

And when you are stuck at home unable to get out and do things, you play…

Yes I was out in the garden with these utilizing a few of the Action Driver playsets as I felt they were a good fit.

The Ambulance leaving the hospital ready to save more lives.

The eStar charging up and the Garbage Truck filling up at the fuel station.

The helicopter on the roof ready to take off. The Scania stocking up on supplies to head to the more rural areas. The police making sure everything is safe.

The delivery truck offloading supplies to the store (and getting some cash).

Yes I was enjoying myself with these, and didn’t want to forget the photos after all that went into doing them. So I hope you didn’t mind this report going into extra time.

But that is about it now. For sure. I hope you managed to stay until the end. My reports are getting longer and longer aren’t they.

And that really is the end of this report. Next week I will finish off batch D basics. Until then have a safe week.

5 Replies to “Matchbox Monday previews the final all new 5-pack of 2021”

  1. I noticed on the Boone County Ram and Interceptor, they put “Call 911” on one side, and “Call MBX” on the other side. That’s pretty creative.

  2. Great report as always! I’m looking forward to this set, I just love licensed emergency vehicle liveries, I wish we could have more of them. My local county police department might be too obscure for the majority of people to appreciate, but a D.C. Metropolitan Police livery would be the next best thing as far as something semi-local to me. At any rate, I’ll be eager to add these to my collection (out of package, of course 😉 )

    1. whaaa??? Well that’s a not-so-minor detail!! Kind of disappointing to be honest, for continuity’s sake. I still like that it’s a licensed livery, but this is an odd choice.

    2. Actually, this is doubly strange, because the fire vehicles in this set definitely ARE based on the Boone County MISSOURI vehicles, but the two police vehicles are the Illinois ones. This is very strange….

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