Matchbox Monday has a “Global” “Working” line to Russia

It’s that time of the week again. Officially, I am back at my usual posting time after 2 weeks of slightly earlier postings. This week I am back with more items that have been kindly sent over to me by Wheel Collectors in USA. Now I should point out that they did have both batches of Best of Global in stock, but the first batch of 6 models was the exact same batch as the first batch of Best of UK. They asked if I wanted them sent, but I said it was of no use to me as I open the packages. So apart from the packaging being different between Global and the country sets, there was nothing unusual. But I did get batch B sent over. That is because they are a mix of France and Russia models. The Best of series is a way for the Matchbox brand to increase content in various areas around the world where they are hoping to increase sales. Places like Australia and USA are doing extremely well in general, so there is no need to try and give them something a little unique to try and bolster the sales. The UK & Germany have been struggling a little lately, with dropping sales, and so received some unique content to try and bolster sales. France, Italy and Russia have been markets they are trying to increase sales in, and as such have also seen exclusive models to try and help. But they decided to give the others a chance to see some of the action, so models were cherry picked out of some of the other ranges (UK for batch A, France and Russia for batch B) and these were then created into an alternate “Best of Global” series for other markets. Although I am hearing that some markets started getting more (like Canada and Australia), and some of the country exclusives started appearing in other countries (UK set in Greece, Russia set in South Africa). It is crazy, and I do my very best to keep up with it all, and as such I do create lists of what comes out each year to keep track of it all. But before I get stuck in, I am going to do the easy part first.

Working Rigs. This is batch C. I wasn’t a fan, but since Wheel Collectors have been sending these over, i admit I have been having a lot of fun with them. I will begin with number 9 of 16. The RW051 Garbage King XL.

Oh this model has a lot of play action to it. It is brand new for 2021 and comes in blue with a white cab. Plus there is a bin for the model to utilize too.

Through use of a multi-point section, the bin can be lifted up, tilted and tipped into the top of the model.

The rear of the compactor section opens up too for more play value.

And the rear tilts up too. So you can actually put things in the bin, tilt it up and throw it in the top, then open the rear, tilt and out it comes again for more fun. So this has been extremely well thought out. I really like it.

The bin is a separate item, so best make sure it too doesn’t end up in a bin!

It is picked up by the use of 2 forks that stick out the front of the cab.

But as I said, these are multi-point, so the forks will slide back when not in use so as not to poke people by accident. Just as in real life.

And as I said, this is a new item, so I do my obligatory base shot.

They called it the Garbage King HD, and it reminded me of something else.

The last batch had the RW040 Cement King HD. I was curious as to whether the cabs were the same. Turns out, no they are not. I have a feeling it might have been the plan, but with the construction of the mechanism to take the bin up and throw away contents, that tall cab might have actually been too tall to accommodate it. So they had to come up with a new, albeit fairly similar design.

I actually prefer the front end look of the new one, and hope we see more uses of it as a cab. For a Matchbox originals design, I think it is an extremely nice one. So very realistic, yet cannot be tied to one specific manufacturer. So clever!

I was also curious though. We recently had a miniature that also has one of these bins. The MB1217 MBX Garbage Scout. Last year this too arrived in blue with a blue bin, and you know, same Matchbox Services design. I wonder how they stack up?

Well as it turns out, the smaller model has a noticeably larger bin. Quite surprising really. The 2 bins have been designed in 2 different ways. The smaller bin has 2 holes in the side for the prongs to slot through for lifting and chucking.

But the larger bin has an irregular octagonal shape design that is simple slotted on the rear of the model to hold it in place. You have to manually lift it on to the back. This is the difference that a working rig model has, so many more parts that can enable to the model to do so much more.

But out of interest how do they work with each other? All these tests I do. It is maddening. Or I am maddening. One or the other. So the smaller bin fairly easily balances on to the rear of the Garbage Scout. The larger bin does balance on the forks out of the front of the Garbage King.

In fact, you can lift up the larger bin to throw contents in the back. Of course if you were attempt to go beyond this point, the whole thing will fall off because you know, gravity! But I honestly don’t think it was really worthwhile them trying to set up an identical bin system between the 2. 2 different scales and 2 different play styles make them not the best compability-wise, but I do like that both have the “Garbage” name in them. Garbage King, Garbage Scout. You can even tell which is the bigger one by name alone. But now I want to see more Matchbox Services liveried models….

So number 10 of 16 for the 2021 year is the RW005 International WorkStar 7500 Dump Truck in burgundy and grey.

One of the first Working Rigs castings from 2009 when it was still known as Real Working Rigs (hence the RW… numbering system based on “Real Working”), of which this is in fact a carry forward design from 2010. It was in the last batch of that year. I didn’t collect them at the time, so have none to compare against but have been told that the original issue was more of a metallic brown. This is definitely metallic red. They relaunched the Working Rigs line in late 2018 and after a single batch there, this also appeared as a carry forward in batch A of 2019, which arrived just in time for Christmas 2018. At that point is had been changed to a metallic red, but I believe the tampo was a brighter shade of orangey yellow.

So without any older issues to work from I am just here to talk about the model. This is why carry forwards can work. Yes you will get some collectors who will have already got them and will be busy lamenting over having had them previously and what is the point. But not everyone did. At the end of the day, the core market is still children, who mainly come and go from buying Matchbox, so for them seeing this is something new. But for others who were unable or weren’t choosing to collect originally, bringing something back for another go around gives them a chance to add it, when they didn’t before. Of course the other part of this argument is that this is the third outing for this particular livery. Neither of the 2x 2009 outings have seen a second appearance, so having already seen this carried forward in 2019 wouldn’t it have been better to bring forward another of the old liveries from 2009 instead? So yes, positives/negatives. I look at things from an all-round perspective. The original ****Construction issue was blue and with Garbage King HD being blue, would it have been too much blue? Of course that could have debuted in burgundy instead? But then it wouldn’t have matched the 2020 issue Garbage Scout basic. So a small change can cause further changes, can lead to ripples becoming waves. It’s a tough process. We don’t see it from their end. We just get our view.

But anyway, side tracking. Design. I like the look of this. Nice and simple with a Road King Haulage side design and 85 at the rear.

Being a working rig means they have more leeway in tampo printing, as the dump section will have been done at a different time to the cab. Nice and simple, straight forward. No fancy splashy logos. I like the colour scheme too.

So for me, yes I am happy to see this one here. Having not had it before, this is my first opportunity to own it. Of course I do have another of this casting though.

As last year it came in this awesome livery as a nod to Shabbir Malik, a former Matchbox Ambassador and friend of mine.

Did you notice that these also sport front and rear tampos too? Just simple headlight/taillight tampos, but they are there.

Daft fact, the dump section of this model tilts ever so slightly further back than that of the new Garbage King HD. The more you know….

Yes I come up with the wildest of comparisons don’t I.

Which brings me to the 3rd model in the batch. The RW029 Freightliner M2 106 Vacuum Septic Truck.

I believe this too is a carry forward model. It has only ever been issued once, back in 2012, and it was the same design. However, as daft as that was, the model actually pottered about for 2 years. They cancelled Real Working Rigs after 2012 finished, but certain stores kept requesting more, and they continued with the last batches running them until 2014, so this model kept appearing, and i believe had some base detailing re-engraved in 2014. I could be wrong. From what I can make out, the only differences between this and the original issue is that various parts are in different shades. The side lights at the front are a different orange. The vacuum tube is a different shade of orange. The septic tank at the back is a different shade of blue. Even the grey base is a different shade. So for the variation collector, this is a good model to get, and for those like me who have never seen it before, this is a chance to have a proper look for the first time.

A vacuum septic tank truck is not something I ever would have thought of as a model. But that’s what makes it so cool. So out there. So way beyond left field. It’s brilliant. The vacuum tube rotates around.

The rear opens to get rid of the waste. Just imagine if it was really sucking up stuff. Eew! But as a model, this is cool.

And look, this tips up too. There is a lot of tipping going on in this batch.

So yes, I like this. Again, as I was not getting them in 2012, this was all-new to me, and I enjoyed having a little fun with it. So for me, it really works.

Well I had to didn’t I. It doesn’t tip up anywhere near as far as the other 2 models in the assortment. But it did more than the other model included.

Because there was an issue with number 12, and as such they still wanted a 4th model, so gave the other new casting for 2021 another run. The number 1 of 16 RW050 International DuraStar Box Truck in white with Speedy X-Press livery which I originally previewed in this report. So there were actually 4 models in the assortment.

So now I am going to move on to the Best of Global. Again, Wheel Collectors have supplied me with these. Now the first 6 was a full set of repeats for the Best of UK batch A, and are as follows: 1/14 MB1086 Scania P360 fire Engine in red, 2/14 MB1167 ’11 Mini Cooper Countryman in grey, 3/14 MB1213 ’71 MGB GT Coupe in red, 4/14 MB975 ’15 Jaguar F-type in blue, 5/14 MB697 ’97 Land Rover Defender 110 in green & 6/14 MB1208 LEVC TX Taxi in black. They were numbered differently to the UK releases, and obviously the packaging was different, but they were sent out in a first wave to Wheel Collectors as Best of Global, and they soon received the second wave with the other 8 models for a full set of 14. Number 7 of 14 was the MB885 Renault Master Ambulance.

This model was also a part of the Best of France series where it was 1 of 12 there in batch A. I did a comparison between the 2, and cannot see anything different between the France release I previewed a month or so ago, which if you want a refresher, you can just click here for a new page to open.

Number 8 of 14 is the MB735 ’68 Citroën DS which in the Best of France series was 2 of 12 in batch A.

Again, I checked the 2 against each other and can see no differences between the 2.

Number 9 of 14 is the MB1086 Scania P360 Fire Truck from the Best of France series too. In that set it was number 3 of 12, also a part of batch A.

Comparisons between the 2 here showed nothing of note between the 2 issues.

Number 10 of 14 in the Best of Global series is another French repeat. The MB1216 Renault Kangoo Express is also a part of Batch B in the Best of France series, where it was number 7 of 12.

Bingo! I love this stuff. The loose one here is Best of France. The blistered one is obviously Best of Global.

But me, I love finding variations. The one at the front here is my original one from France. The one at the back the later one from Wheel Collectors in USA. Yes they are different shades of yellow.

The design and everything else is all the same. After all, Best of Global is taking parts of other Best of series into one alternate assortment for other markets. But they are run at different times, and as such a variation can always pop up.

So I am very happy in getting both the French run and the Global run. Because now I have 2 of them. So thank you Wheel Collectors, and thank you, errm, France!

I did a base shot. The French production run was dated P07, the later Global run P12. So that places production at 5 weeks apart. Total nerd out with that one.

Number 11 of 14 in the Best of Global series is the MB867 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia. Or just Gallardo Police as they put on the package. Again, a French repeat, where it was 9 of 12 in batch B there.

I wasn’t 100% sure if there was a small shade variation to the hood printing. But upon further inspection it was the same. Perhaps a small fraction out. But even I have my limits.

So now I move on to number 12 of 14. This isn’t French. As I mentioned, batch B was a mix of French and Russian and this is one of the Russian models. Now for those who are interested, I have been unable to source a set of Best of Russia itself, but I do know the models. The series, unlike Best of UK, Best of Germany, Best of France and Best of Italy, only consists of 1 batch of 6 models. Best of Russia is just 6. Half are new liveries and the other half carry forwards of older models. This is a duplicate of Best of Russia number 1 of 6.

It is the MB966 BMW M5 Police in a very Russian looking white livery. White is a very common police car colour choice in Russia, and the blue stripe with Полиция on the side is the standard look. Полиция is Russian for Police and if you wanted to say it, you would say “politsiya”. The ДПС on the front is pretty standard too. Those 3 initials in English would be DPS. Slavic-based languages have entirely different characters than Latin-based languages, so we see those letters completely differently to how they would actually be. It stands for Дорожно-патрульная служба (which if you try and say in English would roughly be “Dorozno Patrulnaya Slazba”) which translates to Road Patrol Service. So in English, DPS would actually be RPS. Daft stuff I know, but I find this sort of stuff nerdy, I mean fascinating.

The red and gold emblem on the doors is a very good representation of the real emblem that the Russian Police use. ГИБДД stands for Traffic Police, and a little 58 underneath sort of gives us an idea of who created this design. Michael Heralda. At the rear you will notice a 102 with a telephone next to it. The emergency telephone system in Russia has 112 for a general emergency, but if you were to dial 102 you would go straight to the police. So as I said, this is very Russian in its representation and a fantastic job. BMW M5s are used in Russian police forces too, so this is a perfect car to be added to the Russian series.

And as we always see, the front end of a BMW M5 Police always gets detailed too. Great stuff.

Number 13 of 14 is the MB885 Renault Master Ambulance, also in white. In the Russian series it would be number 2 of 6.

The Emergency Medical Services of Russia is known as the Скорая Медицинская Помощь, and if you were to take out the middle word, what is left will translate into English as Ambulance. They call it Urgent Aid. We call it an ambulance. Different countries have different ways of saying things. You learn a lot doing this. As I mentioned with the BMW, 112 is a general emergency call, but if you were to dial 103 in Russia you would be put straight through to the ambulance people. It is quite a clever idea I think. You call 112, they have to ask you which emergency you are after, but if you know the direct dials, you can cut out the middleman and save time. Why don’t more countries do this?

We also saw a nice front tampo in addition to the sides again. Somehow they have managed to eke out a few additional tampo prints on these country exclusive models. Not all of them, but some.

I am very impressed with the level of attention paid to making these look as authentic as they can be.

I’m also impressed by how much we have seen of this Renault Master this year. After arriving in 2013 and seeing uses until 2015, we had not seen anything of it for 5 years, and now bam! 2021 rolls around and 3 brand new looks. Two different country exclusives and a 9-pack issue on top. Each one sporting a 6-sided star. That in itself is quite clever. The Star of Life is the official recognized symbol of EMTs all around the world and is a blue 6-sided star with the “rod of Asclepius” through the middle. The rod of Asclepius being the snake around, well a rod. Asclepius was the Greek God of healing and medicine. The Star of Life is a trademarked logo and can only be used under license. A 6-sided star is a 6-sided star, but when you put it on the side of an ambulance model, it sort of feels right.

Which brings me to the last model in this set of 8. A final Russian themed model. Number 14 of 14 in the Global series is number 3 of 6 in the Russian series. the MB1086 Scania P360 Fire Truck.

Oh this one is fun. Do you know what СПИЧЕЧНыЙ КОРОбОК translates to? Matchbox! The logo on the door is officially a Matchbox design, but it does look quite a bit like the Russian State Fire service logo without having all the detailing to it. Again very clever. And look, it has the 101 telephone number on the side. Guess what? Direct dialing to the fire service in an emergency.

I do also like this white and yellow striping effect going on too. Very striking.

Although after mentioning how both the other 2 Russian models saw a front print too, this one did not. But I like the look of it anyway.

It has been very popular in the Best of series. 3 different looks for UK, France and Russia and all 3 were also added to the Best of Global range too.

The UK issue has a blue window, the others smoke. The French issue has disk wheels and a grey interior, the other disk and white. All 3 have A58 on them…. As always, great stuff by Michael Heralda with these. I think they all look amazing.

So yes, we did get 5 French issues, which I have already showcased before when I was doing the French rundown.

But the global series also gave us 3 Russian vehicles from their smaller set of 6. For those interested, the other 3 models in their set are all carry forwards, and from what I am hearing are showing no noticeable differences to their previous issues. Just so you know what they are….

Number 4 of 6 was the MB789 Skidster. This came in yellow and was a carry forward of the 2010 MB39 version 2, which had already been carried forward once before into MB41 in 2018. Number 5 of 6 was the MB1056 Mercedes-Benz G62 AMG 6×6 in black that was originally a part of both the MBX Wild II 5-pack and the Jungle Action Mission Force set in 2020. Number 6 of 6 was the MB1074 MBX Flatbed King which was MB95 in the 2019 basic range. Of course, had I managed to get a hold of the Russian set, I might have been able to find some sort of variation.

So that brings me to the end of my jaunt down “New Model Lane”. Now it is time for a trip along “Dive Back Avenue”.

Which begins as I usually do in the Lesney era. With a bunch of Fire Engines in the Best of Global series, I thought I should showcase one. I chose the MB13-C (later MB013) Snorkel Fire Engine.

This model was created back in 1977 by Paul Carr while he was working for the Lesney brand. Officially this is a Matchbox Originals design, but you can see that Paul based it on both the GMC 6500-series and the Ford F-800 series at the time. It is sort of a cross between the 2, although people think more GMC than Ford. But this was a pretty solid heavy model.

I have often wanted to do this model purely because of a silly story that Paul told me about it. In the 1970s, Matchbox designers worked with large sheets of paper. It wasn’t done on computers or using CAD or anything like that. They literally would sit there at the desk and draw everything by hand from their minds (or possibly from pictures). He created the drawing and he felt a bit lazy. So the hoses that he depicted running down the 1 side over the rear wheel, he simply drew a few loops, then another few loops, and on the notes on the side, instructions to make sure they were actually done all the way across when they mocked it up as he couldn’t be bothered to draw loads of loops. These sheets of paper were massive, and he just thought that was pretty logical. But this was Lesney. Instructions? they don’t do instructions. He drew 4 loops towards the left and 3 towards the right, so that is what they constructed in the casting. And that’s how it stayed. I just love stuff like that.

The model didn’t last that long really. It debuted in 1978 and ran until 1982 (although that last year was as an ROW exclusive). During that time it was always red. As seen here, the boom was a multi-part system. A part towards the front, another going back again then a bucket with a man in it.

but of course variations do exist. For starters. Red! It varies from quite a dark shade to a very light shade.

Windows. Usually blue, some can be found in amber instead.

The boom section is usually yellow, but some were made in white instead. Crossovers do appear too, as these are pieces that can be broken down and re-assembled but are officially known to exist coming direct from the factory mixed. the man in the bucket may be an alternate colour to the 2 boom parts. The section where they are affixed to the model can also be the alternate too. There is no value attached to them as they can be swapped over so I have not worried personally over getting them.

Bases too. I am not a base person, but due to me finding other variations I did end up with a silver base variant as well. Most tend to come with unpainted bases. But that was about all there was with that model. As I said, it ran 5 years in what was officially the same look, and after 1982 was never seen again.

I keep doing BMWs. They keep giving us new BMWs I keep pulling out older ones to dive back into. Eventually I will run out of those. But I haven’t yet. Enter MB052.

This is the later MB052, part of Universal’s attempt at making the range look more “new” than it actually was in 1983.

The MB52-C BMW M1 had debuted in silver in 1981, looking very much like the street car that BMW had launched. It also featured an opening front luggage compartment. It ran for 2 years morphing in to MB052 as 1982 hit and they created the MAN number system. But for 1983, Lesney had been bankrupted and Universal had taken over. But R&D work had stopped for a while. Employees didn’t know if they had jobs and the down time caused them to have a lack of new items to launch in 1983. With only a small selection of brand new castings available, the team set about making quick alterations to existing tooling. Some were quite radical, others not so much. The BMW turned from being a road car into a racing car. Large skirts were added, a huge spoiler added to the rear and the opening luggage compartment was sealed closed. There were a few other alterations too, but you get the idea. It gave the impression of having something new without actually having anything new. The debut release of the racing BMW M1 still had the MB052 MAN number. They didn’t assign it anything new. It ran for 2 years in white with a 52 design. There are actually a few variations. the one I have sports the “long” hood print. This is where the blue and black striped go all the way up to the window. Some can be found where they stop quite a lot short. The additional red roof stripe can be found in noticeable shades too.

In 1985 it received a new design. Black with a Pirelli 59 design. This particular look only ran for 1 year and there is not a lot of variation to be found, except the red print coming in lighter and darker shades.

Oh look, 58, 59. yeah I notice weird things.

Although as an aside, Brazil had a company called Trol who had set up a deal to create locally produced Matchbox models in Brazil for the local market. One of the castings they had was the BMW M1 and in 1987 they created this fairly similar look for local sale. They mainnly used 5-arch wheels on their models (similar to the standard 5-arch) although some were also found with 8-dot wheels too. The tampo printing was a little more basic but you could see they were using the 1985 basic range issue as a guide.

Of course they had their own spin on how things were set out. 59 and Pirelli were the other way around.

And obviously their bases were re-engraved with Prod Z.F. Manaus, Inbrima S.A. But they still had Matchbox Intl. Ltd on them too.

In 1986 the basic range issue saw another new look. It was now yellow with an 11 design to it. This particular design ran for 2 years, and this saw a number of variations.

Aside from shades of yellow or of red tampo, one of the more significant changes occurred late in 1986. You can see with the model on the right that the wheels are sticking out quite significantly.

This is because they came up with a new idea for the wheels. The central section that sits on the inside and attaches to the axles through the middle was quite short. They decided to lengthen that core section out to make the wheels roll smoother. Many models this did also require strengthening of the axle area with thicker base points, but the M1 didn’t require that.

In 1987 the model moved production from Macau to China which means more noticeable shading.

Base shot showing the 2 countries.

But towards the end of the year we saw another small but significant change. Check out the Champion logo. I have no idea why, but they decided to alter it from the correct half red/half black into a complete red logo. Check out the Bell logo on the door. No white background and the word is now written in black not red. Maybe the factory were just getting lazy. I mean check out how well aligned all the tampo colours were in the bottom model. Pretty straight all round. But then you see how poorly the black tampo print was aligned to the rest on the top model. Perhaps this was simply a case of make a few switches, they don’t have to be quite so slow in making sure they are straight enough.

Finally, in 1988 the model saw one last look for the basic range, where it was now red. This look lasted for 3 years before the model was dropped worldwide.

There are 2 premium issues to add. In 1990 the World Class series had a yellow highly detailed plain look and in 1997 the Gold Collection had a highly detailed blue plain look. Being premiums I don’t have them yet. But those were the last 2 uses for that casting.

So now I move on to my next model. The MB370 Postal Service Delivery Truck. This is inspired by the fact that the Renault Kangoo Express has a French postal theme to it.

Now I know this is a little late for a 1990s era model. It’s a 2000. But it was copyrighted in 1999. What? Yeah I am making up my own rules.

So it arrived fairly late in 2000 as it was MB97 in the US basic range as an exclusive. It also saw the traditional USPS look that these types of vehicles have.

And of course, this was a 2000 model. So the first 10,000 examples did see Matchbox 2000 across the front window.

For 2001 they err, just carried it forward. Yes same vehicle, same look. Even the same number. It was still MB97. Where all the other 99 models in the range in the US series all saw new looks, this one just plodded along as was.

Of course there are a couple of small differences. For starters the ’01 had flower wheels instead of the 5-spoke that was seen in ’00.

And because in 2001 they had launched a new oval logo for the Matchbox brand (that didn’t go down too well and only lasted 4 years before reverting back to the lozenge) they were just slapping that logo on everything. So they shoved it on the back with the rest of the printing. After this though, the model went very quiet.

It didn’t see anything in 2002 or 2003, but finally 2004 saw a new look. This was a part of the Blues Clues licensed 5-pack, and obviously being a mail truck had a “Mailbox” side design.

But what this new arrival also gave us was a new name for the model. They had renamed it to Delivery Service Truck. It was still MB370. It just had a new name.

Appearances were very sporadic. In 2006 it turned up as a Coal Car. One of the Christmas seasonal offerings. Now I only show chrome wheels, but it can be found with a gunmetal grey middle too.

But it was also in a Haunted House playset too that year. Oh look, gunmetal grey wheels. I wonder if they were just leftover wheels that were used up on Coal Cars shortly later?

After that the model next appeared in a Spongebob Squarepants licensed 5-pack in 2008 in red.

It was now being made in Thailand.

But it took 6 more years before we saw it again. This was in 2014 when it rocked up in the City Works 5-pack. However, this was only in the first run.

Because although they had made a minor adjustment to the base, they decided that it was not enough, and so they went with a complete overhaul.

Although, before I get to that, I did manage to find a shade to the early run. Thin or thick paint really, which gives a totally different white look.

Oh and this was weird too, as these base changes on that model they forgot to add MB370 in at first and then did for basically a single production run.

Because the casting was then completely retooled. It was now MB993. The front grill area was now a part of the base. The roof now had a huge sunroof added. Plus the open side door now had a full window.

The rear shutter doors were now a part of the interior section too. As I said, major changes, and a new MAN number to boot. All while it was in the midst of the 2014 production run. So initial MB370 without MAN number, into MB370 with MAN number into MB993.

A better view of the side window too.

And they did remember to change the tampo printing on it. It was sporting the MAN number in the print, so this was altered too. I have not heard of a crossover, so I believe this was done at the exact time the casting changed.

The one thing they did keep though at the time was the name. Delivery Service Truck. Still going.

After 2014, we didn’t have to wait too long before we saw it again. 2015! Whoa! 2 years in a row. First time since, well it first started. It was in the City Works 5-pack again, but now in an all-new design.

And then it went quiet again. Another 4 years in the wilderness, and during that time they completely revamped it again. Now the body was plastic and the base metal. The side door was now sealed closed because there was no longer an interior. The sunroof was removed but a vent was added towards the rear.

But with all these changes they didn’t change the MAN number. As is the current rules, when a model gets altered, if this alteration means the original no longer exists, then the new one just keeps the number. They were starting to give out way to many new numbers for small alterations during the mid ’10s. And with tooling being assigned slots at the factory, they were starting to use up a lot of space for new slots and finding lots of gaps where older slots were now empty. And as we often forget, the manufacturing number system was set up for the factory to keep tabs on things. We just find it an extremely useful tool, hence them decided to add them to bases too so we can keep track.

So you can see how the door is now closed, the sunroof is gone and vent added.

But what they did do this time was change the name of the model again. It is now known as MBX Service Truck.

This model has come a long way since it first debuted back in 2000 and has seen a lot of changes considering it has not had a lot of action. I am sure we will see it again.

So finally, because well I haven’t done anything based on a Working Rig model. So because there is a new garbage truck in the Working Rigs range, I thought why not do one that is quite recent. As the Postal Service Delivery Truck, sorry Delivery Service Truck, I mean MBX Service Truck was pretty late and just nudging into the 2000s as a debut, I thought I would go even more modern with a 2014 debut. The MB904 Garbage Gulper.

It may not be the prettiest of castings, but it has a very similar front end loading action to the new one and that is what inspired me to write up on it.

Talking of front ends. Yeah, it wasn’t the prettiest.

But most of the time the bucket was in front of it, and the rest of the casting I actually thought was pretty cool.

Especially the fact that there was garbage already piling up inside. It was the little things that make me smile. And it this model can make me smile, it can’t be a bad model.

You know what? It doesn’t show up too clearly in this picture? Better take another. Oh wait, too late, I’ve already posted the article. The wheels are significant on this. When it debuted as MB98 in the 2014 basic range the wheels could be found in either a shiny gold or a dull yellow. Now I have pointed it out, perhaps you can see it better.

And if you were really nerdy, the base section (which wraps around to form part of the front and rear) can be found in lighter or darker shades.

In 2015 the model moved to the MB17 slot in dark green. This was during the “let’s shove models from the basics in 5-packs too” phase and it also appeared in the City Works 5-pack that year too (alongside the Delivery Service Truck I have just shown in brown). It also returned in 2017 as MB18 as a carry forward, and try as I might, I found exactly zero differences between 2015 and 2017 runs.

But in between all that green issue was this white one. It was MB14 in the 2016 basic range.

Again, if you are a nerd, you might have noticed the bucket at the front varied in shades from a dark yellow to an orangey yellow.

It finished its run in 2018 as MB17 again. This time in a Fast n’ Fun blue design.

Which, just like the first release, can be found with shading to the base section. The casting has not been seen since. This was from a side-step period which has been moved away from again, so I am not sure we will ever see it again. But I do think more people are happier to see the MB742 ’08 Garbage Truck now back in regular use again.

And this brings me to the end of my latest report and just to tie up with a bow my original title, I’ve ended up in Russia. These are the 6 Best of Russia models.

I hope you enjoyed my report. Next week more Best of action ensues. Until then, have a safe week.

8 Replies to “Matchbox Monday has a “Global” “Working” line to Russia”

  1. Funny you mentioned direct dialing to fire service, ambulance being clever. Actually, it was the case here in Hungary, too. (In fact, I think, in most of the countries around here.) And it was good and even little children, too, were taught and they knew which one to call. Then they came up with the central emergency call centers similar to 911 which can be called everywhere in the EU. Not a bad idea but it maybe would make more sense if there were a number to ambulance, another to fire service what you can call from everywhere…

  2. Excellent blog although I can’t help wondering if there’s more to these ‘Best of’ series?
    There’s a Best of/Stars of Italy and a few have appeared on a certain auction site but I can’t find much info so would appreciate any further information from anyone.
    Look forward to more updates/ blogs

  3. I think you opened up a can of worms with the comment about Mattel struggling for sales in the UK market there David. Finding them in the stores here has been difficult for collectors for years now. They only have themselves to blame for that situation.

  4. Hello David. As usual, your commentary about Matchbox toys of yesteryear continues to be enjoyable. I recently purchased two examples of the silver BMW M1 from 1981. What a great toy! I like the first (silver) version the best by far. Hot Wheels has issued a premium version of that same car and they consistently do a very good job with it. One of my favorite BMWs!

  5. I think it would be cool if Matchbox did a Russian car series, not just just cars with Russian police/emergency/etc. liveries, but actual RUSSIAN BRAND CARS, like Lada, GAZ, UAZ, Moskvitch, etc. Although I am not really sure how Mattel will manage to be able to obtain the licensing for those brands, but hey, a collector can dream.

Leave a Reply