I have to tell you, I am really excited to hear that in 2022 the Matchbox Moving Parts series is moving to a larger series. These last few years have seen a set of 20 models released in 4 batches throughout the year. Next year, they are upping the stakes considerably by giving us a set of 50 models in 8 batches. Woohoo! There are going to be a lot of new castings joining the series, around 20 if the line preview was anything to go by. Because I am loving this series. This is more true to how the Matchbox brand used to be. But giving us this higher spec series, we get a higher price point, opening parts, and just a little bit more detail to the models. With the basic range getting more and more restrictions to keep it under a $1US price point I would not complain if this ends up being the main Matchbox line. But for now, I am just enjoying the models that are coming our way. So time to dive in to the 3rd batch of 2021, which consists of 6 models, with many thanks to Wheel Collectors from USA who sent these over for me to preview here. 2 brand new castings, and 4 others in new designs.
As these are numbered up, I will do them in number order. This is number 11 of 20 for 2021 and is the first of the 2 brand new castings. The MB1254 ’50 Chevy Suburban. When you check up on the history of the 3rd generation Chevy Suburban, which often had Carryall in the middle of the name, there are very few differences between years. In fact between 1947 (its debut) and 1953 yearly changes were all very minor. It was only in 1954 that is saw a completely new grille design before being replaced in 1955.
but I don’t mind about the specifics of the years in question, because this does look really nice. Plus it gets the National Parks treatment right out of the box. What a debut!
Another thing that the Moving Parts series has over the basic range series is that cost reductions have not flipped construction around. Bodies are still metal with plastic bases. Sure the large fenders are a part of the interior section but I do think had this been a basic range addition we might have had no interior or a plastic body/metal base. This is more proof to me that the Moving Parts series is the one that is being the best for the future. Unless we can convince Walmart to raise prices.
Moving Parts is still classed as a core line though, so obviously this model is not receiving an all-round tampo print. But metal body, chrome base &….
An opening hood with the engine detailed inside is really cool for what is essentially still a core model. This is a great debut look for this model and I have to say I am really impressed with it.
Being British I admit I did not know much about classic Suburbans. I knew Matchbox had a Chevy Suburban which at the time of launch in 2000 was a modern one. So it is cool getting a classic to go with the more modern one. But when it was announced in 2020 I was not overly thrilled with it. But in hand, I have to say this is a real looker. the little details on the sides and everything. I am definitely looking forward to more of these in the future.
Oh it’s a new casting, so I show a base shot for those who wonder what they look like.
Next up is a model we have seen before. Taking the number 14 slot out of 20 is the MB1225 ’19 Ford Ranger.
Oh wow! This looks incredible. A simple blue with a really highly detailed front end. I especially love the detail to the Ford badge in the middle. I really like the look of this one a lot.
Granted, it is a core line, so tampo passes are still minimal. But I don’t mind. The blue is gorgeous and the casting is really good like this.
Plus it has the 2 opening parts. Front and rear. Have I mentioned I love this one. I liked the 2020 debut look for it, but this to me takes it to a whole new level. So simple and yet so elegant.
For those trying to remember, this was the 2020 debut look for the model. A matte grey look with a Skyjacker themed side design.
I have seen a few Ford Rangers around near where I live, as they seem to be getting a little more popular. I have to admit, the grey one is more akin to the sort I have seen, with adverts on the side, due to being a work vehicle. But I am such a fan of the plain, stock look. I hope to see more simple designed ones, especially with that front end tampo, in the future.
Oh yes. Number 15 of 20 is a second MB1139 ’16 Chevy Camaro in the Moving Parts series for 2021. We had one in batch A and now we get this here. Huge Camaro fan, and with no new additions in 2020 I am very happy to take 2 of them in 2021.
What can I say? This looks fantastic in white. I believe Chevrolet call it Summit white. A lovely crisp and clean example of the model again.
I am a big fan of the Camaro in general anyway, and this casting is such a great one too. For me this is my favourite of the bunch (yes even outdoing the Ford Ranger I was just fawning over).
And again, when exposing the engine you can see it is highly detailed again. Terrific work from the guys to get so much detail in there. It is absolutely fantastic the effort being put into this little model.
And it shows what they have managed to do since they launched the Moving Parts series in 2019. The first Camaro was brown and didn’t see a detailed engine.
We also had a blue issue later in 2019 in the Moving Parts series too, meaning that 2019 saw 2 as well. Excellent.
Plus we had the green one with the black hood in the Superfast range that year. That was the first we had seen of a detailed engine, which at the time we thought would be held back for premium use only. But oh no, they have managed to sneak that down into the general line. You don’t always notice the little things they managed to squeeze in.
Of course 2020 saw a carry forward of the blue Moving Parts issue only.
Before 2021 gave us 2 Moving Parts models, both sporting that lovely engine print.
Love the license plates. Matchbox Chevy Camaro. Still need one that has 2016 on it though. Perhaps another that has MB1139 on it. Then we can line 5 of them up with (1) Matchbox (2) MB1139 (3) 2016 (4) Chevy (5) Camaro on them. Yes!
Is that a subtle hint that I want more of these? Sure is! Especially one in what Chevrolet call “Crush”. It is a deep orange colour.
Number 16 of 20 is next, and this is another brand new casting. The MB1255 ’20 BMW M4 Cabriolet. About time we had another BMW Cabrio. the last one was launched in 2002 as a promotional item, then a German exclusive later in the year. And then never seen again! Seriously. One promo, one German, one year. I hope this one gets to see a few more outings.
Can’t complain at a BMW. Granted on my example the doors are a slightly darker shade of blue to the rest. This is because the parts are painted at different times, and sometimes this can lead to a small variation in shade. Methinks there is a possibility of finding an example where the door is a lighter shade to the body? Yes that is the sort of thing that goes through my head when I see things like this.
And that was about the only thing I thought was less than brilliant (although in my eyes a lot of fun). Again terrific work on creating this casting by the Matchbox team. The dark blue, which BMW call Tanzanite Blue looks really nice. Now they went with the 2020 BMW here, not the brand new 2021 vehicle, but that is good to me. The 2021 has a new large grille which is a bit polarizing. I am not 100% sure the direction BMW are taking their models in is the best. Some of their new designs have huge grilles that are taking over half the front of the car. Granted you will not mistake them as being a BMW, but the previous generation was so much more subdued in its design and I absolutely loved them. So if I had a choice between a 2020 or 2021 M4 Cabrio, I would go with the 2020. I do prefer it. So I am very happy with this choice.
Checking out the rear, and yes I do note that the license plate on mine is a little skew-whiff. But I can still read what it says. Dream on! In cryptic speak. We haven’t seen many of these in a long time. In the late ’00s and into the ’10s these cryptic codes were all over Matchbox cars, and I used to love de-ciphering them. But they faded away and I was not sure we would see them again. Granted a few have popped up recently due to some models being carry forwards from that era, but is this the return of the cryptic code? I really hope so. They are so much fun. You may also note the word Matchbox sprawled across the rear too. That was totally unexpected. I like it. Unlike the cryptic code though, I am not looking for Matchbox to be written over all models, but once in a while it is cool to have it placed on a model like this. I honestly did not thing I would have so much to say about the rear end of a toy car.
And look at those doors. Again, just like with the Chevy Monte Carlo in the last batch, these are really smooth to open and close. I honestly don’t know what they have done with door mechanisms recently, but something feels like it has changed as they just seem to open and close so well.
I am extremely impressed with this model. It may be the outgoing generation, but unlike the last Cabrio they did, this better not be a 1 year and over model. We need plenty more of these over the next few years.
Base shot! It’s a new casting. Some people like to see how they look. Highly detailed again.
but I did keep mentioning this last Cabrio didn’t I. the MB534 BMW 3-series Cabrio was created specifically to be a part of the 2002 BMW Dealer set. BMW Germany approached Matchbox in 2001 and requested a set of 8 models to be sold in their dealerships in Germany (& I believe in Austria too). Matchbox had a few BMW castings in their toolbank already. A 328i, which also had a police variant, as well as a 3-series Coupe, a Z3 and an older 850i. The 328i and Police, plus the 3-series Coupe were good to go. Great castings, BMW were happy. The 850i? It was looking a little tired, and the 850i was actually just out of production. But yes, a little tidy up to the casting and it was also good to go. That was 4. but the Z3. No! A something they wanted in the dealership alongside the real ones, it was not good enough. So Matchbox were asked to re-tool that model from scratch. But that was still only 5, and a Z8 was already being planned anyway, so that would be 6. They got to work on 2 additional models on top, the X5 and 3-series Cabrio. Because the Z8 was already so far into pre-production stages they just left it as is. But the other 3? the Z3, X5 and 3-series Cabrio, they requested they have opening doors too. So they worked on them including that feature. the X5 and Z3 they also planned on using in non-opening door configuration too, and as such created alternate sealed door versions. But the poor 3-series Cabrio, no. Just the opening door version for the dealer set. It came out in blue (just like the new model).
I don’t know why they didn’t want to make a lot of use out of the casting. It was really nice. And against the new one looks great. Being a dealer model, it was important that all models sported details front and rear, and the BMW badges must (very important that) be included in the tampo design.
Luckily we did get to see a second version before the casting was retired. Later on in 2002 the first Stars of Germany series was launched, and they put a green one in there too. Similar tampo detailing but no BMW badge. Very important in the dealer set, but not so much for a general sale model. But again this model was only released in Germany and surrounding areas, meaning that the actual casting did not see much action at all, and very little of the world saw them.
I do have a third one personally, as I managed to acquire an early prototype of the casting with a lot of the base details not in place yet. But it was such a shame, as I am sure they could have also created a non-opening door variant to it and released it for a number of years in various ranges.
I am really hoping that the new Cabrio gets to see a lot more action than the old one. I also wonder if the old casting actually still exists? If it does, I would love to see them dust it off and give it another go now. If we have a 2004 Honda S2000 in the Moving Parts range now, then obviously vehicles of that era are perfectly fine for throwbacks.
So now I move on to my next issue. The MB1146 ’82 Datsun 280ZX. This is number 17 out of 20 in the series this year.
This time the model sports a brown colour with tan and orange striping going over the top. Plus a few details highlighted too. I like the colour for this one, but am still waiting to see a plain issue with no striping.
That’s not to say I don’t like stripes. I love them. But occasionally I would like to see a non-striped version just for something a little different. The back end of this one does look good though. It appears this gets a top and rear tampo hit.
The side opening doors tend to be painted and tampo printed at a different time to the rest of the model, which sometimes mean a slight shade variation between parts. But this is a good match paint-wise, and there is no tampo on this one so no issue there.I have to admit, I think it is my favourite look so far. That or the blue one. Hmm! Deciding. But in the meantime, shall I run down them all as a reminder.
The model debuted in the 2019 Moving Parts series in a dark charcoal, sort of a homage to the classic MB077 Datsun 280ZX 2+2 that was designed in 1982 by Lesney but not released until 1983 under Universal ownership.
It then saw a premium release in 2020 in the Superfast series in red, with a full tampo design all over it and 2-part rubber wheels.
Followed by another Moving Parts issue later that year. It is tough for me to decide which of these I prefer. I love the wheels to the blue one, but the tan/orange on brown just gives me all sorts of retro vibes. It is tough. I like both of these.
As I said, I would like to see one with little tampo over the top. Headlights depicted, front badge, as well as the hood vents.
But they are nailing that rear end, which has been on all releases since the Superfast one. You may notice the license plate gets more and more to it in each subsequent release. Completely blank, then a top line, then painted and now detailed. It is the little things I notice isn’t it. Where will they go to from there?
And I believe this brings me to the last of the 6 models I am showcasing this week. Yes, after a few larger weeks, this one is more of my usual sized rundown. This is the MB1143 ’63 Chevy C10 Pickup. It is in the number 18 slot out of 20 for the year in golden tan.
I believe this is a real colour. Chevrolet called it “Desert Beige” and it was an option on the ’63, as well as a number of different Chevrolet vehicles. Perhaps slightly less of a golden hue, but I am good with that. This is a really nice colour.
I have been pretty impressed with this model, and how each release looks. There are a lot of classic American Pick-up trucks in the Matchbox range in general, and obviously being a non-American I never really grew up surrounded by them. In the UK in particular, Pickups were quite a rare sight growing up. They did start to see a little more popularity in the earlier part of this this century, but I heard they are starting to fall out of favour again, as a few have been dropped from sale by vehicle manufacturers. Classics though, to me that was a sign of classic Americana, and being a huge fan of things American growing up, I have been thoroughly enjoying such a wide variety of them being introduced. So I am really enjoying all of these.
When you open up the hood, you notice the engine is not detailed this time. I think that is down to being a part of the interior section on this model. Premium, sure tampo print it. But for the standard Moving Parts series, it is already a colour break, so leave it off. I am fine with it. I love the simple look to this one. Just the side pin striping detail as would have been released on the real one.
Something that has been going since day 1 with the casting. Its first release was also in 2019 (like the Datsun) in the Moving Parts range. This one was a dark blue colour. I believe it was known as Balboa Blue. Seriously, Matchbox are putting a lot of effort into being authentic with this.
After that was the first premium issue. In 2020 it was in the Superfast range with that beautiful rear bed detail.
With 2020 also seeing a Moving Parts release, this time in red. Cardinal Red as they call it.
Then, as shown not long ago, we had the Glenwood Green release in the recent Moving Parts series as number 8 in the 2021 series.
And another premium also shown not too long ago in the first batch of the 2021 Collector Series. This one was a customized look for the Mooneyes series to match other Mooneyes models.
And of course sporting that lovely rear bed look.
So let’s see. 2019 saw 1 release, 2020 saw 2 releases, 2021 sees 3 releases. Anything less than 4 of them in 2022 is going to be seen as a disappointment now. Ha ha! Because obviously, this is a cool model and deserves lots more releases. Definitely one of my favourites.
Which I believe takes me to the end of my rundown of what is new. As I said, just the 6 this time. Next week though, oh boy it is going to be double this…. But for those who like to see me randomly dive in to my collection for no apparent reason, stick around as I will do another 4 now.
And I will start, as I always do now, with a classic Lesney Superfast model. Inspired by having a Datsun in the Moving Parts series is the first Datsun they ever made. A 1970 Datsun 126X Concept car.
The real vehicle was unveiled at the 1970 Tokyo Motor Show and the wedge shape, enough space for 4 people inside and the 3-litre 6 cylinder engine along with a central strip of 10 lights down the front with green, yellow and red lights which depicted how fast the car was going as an idea for being more pedestrian friendly were all head turners. Matchbox liked the look of the concept and decided to create a model of it, releasing it as MB33-B in 1973. Of course they didn’t have all the angles to go from and so made up a few things. Like how the rear opened. All wrong. It is gullwing style, not how Lesney envisioned it. But back in those days you never sought permission for things. They saw a cool model and just made a replica of it in their own way.
The model ran from 1973 until 1976 in the basic range, always in yellow. For the first 2 years it was plain yellow. The yellow did see a little shading during those 2 years. The amber windows also saw variations between a light and dark amber.
And the orange base saw quite a bit of shading too between a brighter and duller shade of orange.
In 1975, with the advent of a tampo machine, capable of applying 2 different colours of printing to a model, those with a rather flat upper surface were given a pass under this new machine. They called these models “Streakers”. The Datsun was one, and in 1975 an orange and red flamed look was applied to the model. Yes there are 2 colours there. When they started production they didn’t realize just how close they would be on the final product.
So this was soon swapped to a more noticeable black and red colour combination. This ran until the model was dropped from the basic range at the end of 1976. But there was a re-issue. Japan had seen a set of older models re-launched there, and in 1978 the Datsun was re-added to the Japanese range as MB15, or J-15 as it was easier to note. In 1979 it became J-33 but was still the same old model with black and red flames. Nothing of note as such.
But there was in USA. Because at the same time they were re-releasing the Datsun in Japan, they were also creating a series of Roman Numeral models for the US market. One of them was called Golden X, and was simply the Datsun in a new shiny gold design. Now there were shades of gold and shades of green tampo to be had, but there is something else I am still to obtain. The first batch they accidentally put the yellow body on the new black base. Crossover! It was a short run and prices are high. I am still to obtain one. I will one day. I have come close a few times but lost out. But they rarely come up. I always keep an eye out though. It is my golden goose (pun intended) for this casting.
So what shall I do next? How about the MB175 Ford RS200. Inspired by the Ford Ranger in the latest batch being a lovely plain blue look, the RS200 had an exceedingly plain look at one point. read on.
It also had a couple of exceedingly plain prepros. I currently own 2 pre-production samples of this casting from when they first created it. One in plain black, the other in plain red. Of course it never came out in anything like these 2, which is why I was drawn to them.
Because when the model arrived, they went with a rally inspired theme for it. White with the Ford Motorsports look of the 1980s. It ran as MB34 worldwide from 1987 until 1988 like this.
Of course with 2 years of production you might find some shading, particularly in the blue print. But more noticeable was that it moved from Macau to China production in late 1987 for the 1988 model year.
In 1989 they flipped the colour scheme about, turning the model blue with white details. Although those paying particular attention might note that the number also changed to 2, and this was also in white, whereas the number was in black against everything else being blue on the original. Again blue could be the best bet for variation hunters. After 1989 the model was dropped worldwide. In 1990 they added the brand new Sprint Racer casting into the MB34 slot in the US range, and decided to bring back the old MB001 Dodge Challenger to the ROW range, now slotting it in to the MB34 position. Sprint Racer, yeah good, new casting. Seemed okay. The Dodge though. Nope! As soon as it arrived, they decided against it and dropped it again at the end of the year, moving it back to being a US exclusive MB1, as it was still selling extremely well there.
So what to do in 1991? Ah just bring back the old one. So they did. The RS200 returned, back in its old slot again where it stayed for another 3-year stint. This time though, they went almost back to the original look, except what was blue was now red. Even the Ford logo.
It was also at this time that the model saw its first use outside of the basic range too. Graffic Traffic was launched in 1991 with a range of models in plain white (and red windows). The RS200 was one of the castings chosen to be in the series.
At the end of the year, and repeated in 1992, Matchbox released a special game for the German market at Christmas. An official Matchbox product using the code MB835, Christmas World Rallye was a board game with a fold out board piece and 2 dice (1 regular, 1 with coloured sides), and included were 4 very plain models in blister packs, one for each colour in use (red, yellow, green and blue). Many of the 4 coloured models were sold outside of the set at the time, as when the pack was opened, they were still in blisters.
In 1992, realizing their error in including a red Ford logo instead of blue they tweaked the model just a little. Still keeping the model to a 2-tampo pass system, what was black became blue and the Ford logo was moved from red printing to blue too. And just for a little extra, they also added an additional Ford logo into the red stripes towards the rear.
After 1993 the model was again dropped from the ROW basic range. And you know what with? Again, the MB001 Dodge Challenger. Tyco had taken over the company and radically altered the Dodge casting for the 1994 range, so decided that would be the way forward (and it was as it ran 3 years, in line with its remaining time in the US range). But it was not the last we saw of the RS200. In 1998 a special Chinese promotion was made for Fanta, and 8 models were all painted bright orange with a Fanta logo and Chinese writing. This was a send off promotion where between July and October 1998 if you collected 8 ring pulls from special packs of Fanta, you could send off for 2 models. A different 2 models were available each month. You could also claim a large poster, which when flipped over had a game board on the back to play with using the 8 promotional models. One of them happened to be the RS200 giving it a nice bright orange finish to its time. After this the model was retired.
Not bad for a vehicle that Ford Motorsport purposely built from the ground up to be a Group B rally car. 200 homologation examples were created between 1984 and 1986 for legal reasons (hence the name) and they also created 20 “full sets” of spare parts including bodywork parts. It is know that 2 of those 20 sets have been fully built to make 2 additional cars over the years. Those 2 are know as the “bitsa” cars. The RS200 made its debut for the 1986 WRC season, but due to severe accidents with Group B cars, they were banned at the end of the year, and with that the RS200 retired in real life. So the Matchbox model actually began after the real one retired, and stayed with us in 1 form or another for a dozen years. I also like that with such a similar Ford Motorsport inspired side design, they did like to mix up numbers at times.
Next up is Camaro time. Oh yes, I do like a Camaro. So with there being a new one in this mix, I thought I would go with an old one. In fact, the first “classic” Camaro that Matchbox created. Their first Camaro was an IROC-Z28 in 1986 which was a “new” 3rd generation vehicle at the time. They then followed it up with a ’93 Camaro in 1994, obviously a new one too (4th generation). It wasn’t until 1997 that they first released a “classic” Camaro. the model of choice? A 1969 1st generation SS-396 Convertible. They chose the ’69 with the more significant “V” shaped front end and specified it was the 396 (396 cu. in. engine, or 6.5 litre for those who do it the other way) which would only be viewed if you looked under the hood.
It arrived as MB40 in the 1997 range worldwide. It was blue with dual white stripes going over the top. If you hunted around you might be able to find some nice shading to it.
Being 1997 meant that the US release also had a Gold Challenge edition in plain gold to hunt down, as there were only 10,000 made. The model was also added to some of the Premiere series premium models with full details and 2-part rubber wheels with a dark green, white and orange models in 1998 (and a Coke model in 2000), but again as I am skipping the premium stuff for now as I don’t have them all.
1998 saw the model turned to white with the same tampo design as before. Except this time the hood stripes were now black. This was also the first year of Mattel (who had recently taken over) renumbering models each year. It now moved to the MB33 slot and was dropped from the basic range at the end of the year. But that was not the end of it. No, not at all. This model had a big life after its short 2-year stint in the basic range.
As signified by the fact that it was also in the 1998 Roadside Assistance Adventure pack. This was akin to the Hitch & haul sets/twin packs that we know and love. It came with a Chevy Breakdown Van and various accessories.
It made for a nice trio of models, all in matching designs. Red, white and blue.
For 1999 it continued in 5-packs, this time in orange as a part of the Open Road pack.
But after that, aside from the Coke model in 2000 I don’t have yet (and a rather unusual Collectibles item from 2000 too, where they made models from TV shows and films and added massive oversized characters to the tops, with this promoting the “I Dream of Jeannie” TV show and sporting a 6″ tall Jeannie on the top, way outside of my collecting parameters, the model was not seen again until 2003. It popped up in a Nickelodeon licensed 5-pack featuring Rugrats on the side. It was red in the 5-pack, but a few months later was chosen to be one of three that also had single issues in alternate colours (which was the norm at the time) with the single issue being blue.
2004 saw the return of the Superfast series as a sort of premium, and the model was instantly added in green in the number 40 slot (often referred to as SF40 to separate it from the basic range MB40 of the year). And yes, it featured the new bling wheels that they created for the Superfast series.
Late 2004 saw another example with side design as a part of the Haunted House 5-pack. A rather ghostly appearance on this black model.
And it had another licensed 5-pack release. This time it was a Looney Tunes 5-pack and the blue Wile-E Coyote model was later a green Wile-E Coyote model as this too was one of the 3 singles spawned from the pack.
In 2005, as part of a drastic change of direction from Mattel from the doldrums of Hero City/Ultra Heroes into what was later dubbed a golden age, the model was re-added briefly into the basic range.
Just as the original debut, this was blue, except MB21 for 2005 sported white flames down the sides, not white stripes over the top.
It continued on in the Superfast series too, in the SF40 slot, with the range being split 66.6US/33.3ROW. The US 2/3rds saw a cream issue and the ROW 1/3rd a white issue.
A Halloween 5-pack arrived later on in the year too, and some of the models sported the same design as the 2004 Haunted House 5-pack did. The Camaro was one, except now the model was red instead of black.
For 2006 we again saw a Superfast release. This was dark red, with quite a lot of striping going over it. This is because the model was one that was a “Streakers” model. Streakers being a nod to the original Lesney models (I showcase the Datsun 126X above).
And it saw a licensed 5-pack issue again. This time the pack was One Piece, part of the Japanese Manga anime that was proving popular at the time. This model was black and featured Sanji, a prince from the Germa Kingdom on the side.
2007 only saw a release in the US Classics 5-pack that year in orange again. Shades of orange can be found.
This was not a simple carry forward of the earlier 1999 issue, as it was a different orange, and although similar, the tampo design down the side was different.
And Superfast had now been renamed Superfast America, with a smaller set of models to collect. This was now green as SFA7.
In 2008 it only saw the 1 appearance. Back as a licensed 5-pack issue, this time in a SpongeBob SquarePants pack. After that the model lay dormant for a while.
Before exploding in 2011 (did you like my volcano inspired pun there) as 1 of the models chosen to be a 10-pack exclusive. Until 2011, each batch of 10-packs would see an all-exclusive pack coupled with 2 different non-exclusive packs, but these had a single exclusive in the top corner. Those 2 exclusives would roll through the year in alternate colours for the batches. But in 2011 they started phasing out the all-exclusive pack but with a twist. The first 3 batches simply had the 2 non-exclusive packs with 1 exclusive top corner, and again each batch had the same 2 exclusive models running through all 3 batches. But the final batch saw a 1st Editions all-exclusive 10-pack released. But it was on its own. No non-exclusive packs were released with it. The Camaro being one of the 2 chosen (the other being a ’65 Ford Mustang) therefore appeared 3 times through the year. The first batch was yellow, second batch black and third batch red. As i said, same design running through all batches, but each batch was a different colour.
After this, to date, we have seen just one more issue. And it was back where it started. In 2013 it appeared back in the basic range. This was tan, and yes I have 2, because they are different shades (albeit not coming out too well in the picture). It was sold as MB16 that year, and to date is the last we have seen of the casting. I am not saying retired yet, as I do wonder if it will return. I think it was close this year in a 9-pack before they went with a different Camaro. So I am not ruling out another appearance somewhere down the line.
So let’s move on to the last one to dive back to. And this was an obvious one. Chevy Suburban meet Chevy Suburban. I did mention right at the start of this report how Matchbox had released a “modern” Suburban in 2000. So I thought best to have a closer look.
Now this was a 2000 release, so when MB436 was first launched in the 2000 basic range, it sported a Matchbox 2000 logo on the rear of the first 10,000 USA issues. The rest of the MB80 there (or MB60 depending on country) never saw this addition.
In 2000 Matchbox ran a children’s competition, the winner of which would see their town or city depicted on a range of Matchbox models in the 2001 range. The winner came from Westworth Village, a city in the state of Texas. Five models sprinkled throughout the 2001 range saw references to them, with a Chevy Impala Police, Ford Expedition, Refuse Truck, Extending Ladder Fire Truck and this Chevy Suburban all making reference to it. This was MB74 in the range, and was still sold worldwide. A first, as similar competitions in 1998 (for the 1999 range – winner in Ridge NY) and in 1999 (for the 2000 range – winner in Cleveland OH) were both released on 5 models that were exclusive to the US market. They stopped doing these competitions after this.
In 2002 the model became a US exclusive as MB8. It was a light red featuring a Stop, Drop & Roll design. Something that was big in USA. Again, this was a logo year and you couldn’t mistake that one. It was massive, adorning the hood of the model for the first 10,000 examples.
It also started seeing uses outside of the basic range that year too. This was in the Flame Fighters 5-pack. This was a darker red to the basic range.
And this one was a part of the Across America series. Wait? Red again, and even darker still. I notice the weirdest of things don’t I. It was advertising the Annual Spud Day, as this is celebrated each year in the city of Shelley in Idaho. In fact, we are getting close to the next one. September 18th 2021 is the next Annual Spud Day in Shelley. It is quite a big thing in Idaho.
After that the model had a bit of a quiet period. In 2003 it became part of a promotional on-pack offer with packs of Duracell AA batteries. But a pack, the model was sitting in the pack by the side of it. The thing is this promotion ran for quite a while, and when it started the models had 2003 on top. At first they were in USA, but Canada got wind of it and asked if they could have some as well. So they re-did them but by now it was 2004 so they altered the top print to say 2004. I actually only have the 2003. I never bothered at the time getting the altered ones, except for the Police car as they changed the tampo print from Sheriff to Police too, as Sheriff didn’t really work in Canada as well. Now I wish I had got the others. Can I find them? No!
After that we saw a new issue of the model in 2005. It was a part of the construction 5-pack that year as a surveyor vehicle. Really cool design.
It was also in a licensed 5-pack for Sonic-X. This one was a dark burgundy with Knuckles on the side and a lot of gold chrome. Blingy!
Then we had this too. The date? July 12th 2005. The place? Comerica Park, Detroit. This was the scene of the 76th Baseball All-Star Game between the American League baseball stars and the National League baseball stars. The American League won 7-5, and the kids in attendance also won as they were given this Chevy Suburban as they entered the stadium.
The model took 2006 off before returning in a Hitch ‘n Haul set for 2007. It was packaged along with a Watercraft & trailer along with some accessories including a large octopus in a set that was originally called Orca Monster, but was later changed to Wild Water.
It was also a part of the 2007 Battle Kings Snow Scouts set, part of the United Alliance team that Battle Kings were depicting. Over the years they had Battle Kings there were 2 teams, United Alliance and Rogue.
In 2008 the model saw another 5-pack appearance, in a set called Vacation. This is still my favourite version of the casting. Not because I found a really nice shade of burgundy on the model.
No, this is because of what was on the rear. You didn’t really notice until you go the model out, because of the way the model was packaged in the 5-pack. But I just loved the rear covered in bumper stickers. Honestly, I wish we would have more of this stuff. I know the Jeep Willys Wagon in the 2020 Superfast series had a bumper sticker on the back. So I am hopeful that more will appear.
In 2009 another 5-pack appearance followed, this one in the Fire pack featuring a Huntley Fire Protection District design.
2010 and the model was back in the basic range again. This green MBX Home Inspection model was MB45 that year.
And yet again it was in a 5-pack. This time a Police Squad pack with a K-9 Unit side design.
In 2011 it was 5-pack only again. This time the pack was called Farm and this was in a matte green with an Eco Growers side design.
In 2012 it was back in the basic range again. MB89 in a blue News Channel 6 designed model, which was actually created to match a Working Rigs model. The RW030 Freightliner M1206 Satellite truck that year. I don’t have that one so can’t show it to compare.
But this was the last we would see of MB436. It was the Outdoor 5-pack of 2013. The model was undergoing a small but subtle change.
Into this. The MB857 Chevy Suburban. I honestly couldn’t tell you what the difference is between the 2 castings, as they basically look the same to me. But what I do know is that when MB857 first arrived, as a part of the Crime squad 5-pack in 2014, we had quite a significant window variation. Smoke or black. Literally. Some came out in solid black.
After taking a year off, it was then in the 2016 Police 5-pack featuring a really cool NYPD livery.
It then saw a 2018 basic range issue in tan as MB38, which I featured just the other week as a part of my Boone County rundown. If you remember I have 2 shades.
And in 2019 it continued in the basic range, now as MB54 featuring a really cool NYPD livery. Wait? Why am I getting déjà vu?
Ah yes. This was a carry forward from the 2016 5-pack. The model is almost identical, save for a small amount of shading to the blue tampo and the window tint. But they don’t really come out in picture. They are really subtle. And that, to date, is the last we have seen of that casting. 20 years it had been going, so that is not a bad effort.
Which really does take me to the end of my report this week. I hope you enjoyed it. Because next week I have double the models I am showcasing as new stuff. As I said, I am busy amalgamating a few things to try and get a little more up to date again. I just don’t want to skip things as there is just so much great content coming from the Matchbox brand at the moment. But also, if you are a Matchbox fan, you might want to keep an eye on the blog. Tomorrow a little mini moment is going to drop, before I return next Monday with my usual stuff. So until then, have a safe week.