Matchbox Monday “D”-lights us with the final Target Retro models of 2021

Thanks again go out to Rory McDonald for helping me again with the Target exclusive items from USA. He goes by @wyoming_wheels on Instagram. This time he sent over the final batch of the year which is only a smaller group as earlier this year we saw 2 batches of 7 instead of 6, so there were only 4 left to go out of the set of 24. Most of which do look pretty familiar. But that is never the end of the story with these, so I think it is time to delve in and see how they play out.

Which, because I am doing them in number order in the series, I am beginning with number 12 in the set. This is the MB777 ’71 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. I do love a wagon. And i do really like the Olds. It is still one of my favourites of all time. So, although this may be a carry forward, I was still very much looking forward to getting this new example.

For those who are new to Matchbox, this is a brown model with a lovely wood effect side design with silver pin striping. I have to admit, I have always loved the wood panel sided models. The details in the wood panel effect are so good.

The interior is black withe updated casting featuring the 2 dogs in the back no longer looking at each other. I swear they had an argument as they both just look off into the distance now.

This was the last time we saw the model. It was MB13 in the 2019 basic range. During production I was fortunate enough to find 2 different shades of brown personally, as you know I enjoy my shade variations. So how does the new one stack up?

Well for starters, notice the base? Yes the new one has a chrome base whereas in 2019 it was plain grey.

That makes for a clear difference without the need to resort to seeing if the shade of brown was different.

Although it was. Quite noticeably. The new one is a much lighter brown than before. I think the Mattel team have slid this one in as the 2019 itself was a carry forward. And to paint a full picture, I am doing a full rundown again. I am sure I did one recently, but with only 4 models in the batch, I am padding it out something chronic.

The casting debuted in 2009 as MB1. The idea behind the 2 dogs in the back was that they were a nod to a classic Mercury Commuter which had them, and also came in a metallic green. Their plan was to debut the model in the same green as the Mercury but the first batch came out in apple green. Way too bright. So a running change was made to correct the paint.

Of course it wasn’t ending there. The regular metallic green still sported shades for those of us who like them.

And we also saw a batch appear with double 10-spoke wheels instead of the usual tri-spokes. Yes this model really went nuts.

but it was far from over. As part of the debut year the model was chosen to sport 2 looks as MB1. A few batches after green came white. More shades anyone?

More wheel variations too. Yes they had the same wheel shortage during version 2’s run too. It was a fun year.

Next up was when we saw the brown one. 2010. It was MB18 in that year, and during production the shade of brown varied quite a lot.

The new release is different to all 3 I have. I set it back slightly so you knew which newbie was from the front. But that had a chrome base too. As i said, I wonder if they took our talk of the carry forward not having a chrome base and rectified it. Gave it another carry forward to give us the chrome base back. Because the one thing we did say was good was that it had been on the modified casting.

A few years back they altered the model from being a slot in rear to the drop method. Because of this, and the rivet that was added to affix the car in place, it did mean that the dogs had to be separated. Such a shame.

Although I have to admit, if they ever do another carry forward, I would love to see this again. Another brown, which was the 2010 Camping Adventure 5-pack release. Instead of the usual wood panel sides, this just had the silver pin stripes, but they they had a ton of fun with the rear by adding a load of bumper stickers. I thought it was great. Even more because I found 2 shades on it.

2010 was also the first of 2 years we saw a Lesney series. This was the next level up from Superfast, where each model sported a die-cast body and base. It made them feel so heavy in comparison. The Olds was number 16 of the set of 20 for the first year arriving in batch F that summer, in a lovely black which for the first time sported sported woodgrain sides and a detailed rear. Plus the roof rails on top were detailed. It is also the only time the model has used disk wheels, which also got white walled.

2011 was the final year in its original usage. Amazing really how it went a bit nuts for 3 years then went quiet. the basic range issue was definitely out of left field. No tampo on the body at all on the MB18 that year, but the front window had a For sale sign on it. I also found 2 shades of blue, and funnily enough the for sale signs are in different places.

It was also in a Classic Rides 5-pack in red too. Again this model had no tampo printing at all. Not even a for sale on it.

After that the model took 3 years off. It finally popped up in a 2015 10-pack as one of the exclusives that year, and proved to be a final outing for the dogs being close together. This was another woodgrain side designed model.

After that the model took another 2 years off, whilst also undergoing a little cosmetic surgery to alter the way it was being constructed. It returned in the 2018 basic range with just the silver pin striping on this lavender model as MB116. But was also a part of the USA Target 65th Anniversary special series on top in a recurring sapphire theme.

After that was when we saw the 2019 MB13 carry forward from 2010. As 2010 and 2019 fell either side of the casting types, the newer one was obviously different, but it was noticed how the chrome base had been dropped. Nice to see it return for carry forward number 2.

With no 2020 action at all, it is nice to see the model get more love this year, as on top of this carry forward we did see a new look in the Wagons 5-pack in blue, with the usual woodgrain side design. I like the consistent look of this one. I hope to still see more woodgrain side designs. Although as I said, if we get a carry forward, the one with the rear bumper stickers was so cool. Mind you, how about a new bumper sticker with something about Camp Arrow Flint or Red Valley Camp on it.

The second new addition to the series is this. Number 20 of 24, the MB937 Urban Tow Truck. They now call it the MBX Urban Tow Truck, but I have a habit of sticking by original names for the most part, so still just call it by its original moniker. Plus the base has not been updated, so why try and confuse things.

This too is a carry forward. It is from 2018, and even still includes the 65th Anniversary logo on the side, which the 2018 issue did.

This model has been steadily going since its debut. 2020 had been the first year it had taken a break.

Now this is the 2018 model. It was in the Metro Transit 5-pack that year.

L29 and P24 production dates here are almost 3 years apart (just 5 weeks out from an exact 3 years. You might notice the new one has a darker grey base too.

It wasn’t the only difference. The orange on the side tampo is now much lighter. The original is on the bottom and you can see just how dark it was compared to the new one.

The shade of white and the window were just about the same. The grey interior/boom section was pretty much identical too.

It’s a shame they didn’t carry forward one of the original castings. Because when this model debuted back in 2012, it was under the MAN number MB839. This first year was MB82 in light blue which came with either orange or (when the orange ran out) chrome wheels.

Amazingly, this model is still not using the drop method. One of only a handful left that still have an alternative build. Therefore only the one rivet at the front with the back slotted in. The revamp for 2015 was a little different. I will get to that.

2013 still stands as the only year where this casting saw more than one issue. It was MB9 in the basic range in green.

Plus it was also added to the 60th Anniversary series, where it had a hybrid level of detailing. Not basic level, but not premium either. They were marketed as an in between area, and the model simply had 3 passes, the sides plus a front end.

In 2014 the original casting was MB2 in the basic range in dark red.

This proved to be the final outing for that original casting. As you can see, the changes to this model to turn it from MB839 into MB937 involved expanding the area around where the boom protrudes from, turning it from being part of the body section into part of the interior/boom section. As you can see, the base sticks out of the rear, as this is still a slot in production model.

The new casting debuted in 2015 in the City Adventure 5-pack. It was silver with a red interior/boom.

before making what is officially MB937’s only turn in the 2016 basic range. This blue model was one of 4 Matchbox ones that were being done to celebrate Michael Heralda designing 5,000 liveries for Matchbox (and others) models.

In 2017 it then moved into 5-pack territory. City Services for 2017.

Before the original for this look in the 2018 Metro Transit set. Now I pointed out the white was almost identical. But it was only identical to 1 I had. The other came out much more creamy.

And in 2019 it was in the Service Crew 5-pack. This mustard model also found some nice shading. But from 2012 until 2019 we saw the model once each year, apart from 2013 when it had 2. But 2020 was the first year without a release, so with one this year it now means that we are now up to 10 releases in 10 years. It still counts as the most up to date tow truck in the range. I think we are about due a new tow truck casting, but I think it might be time to move it to the Moving Parts series. And bring back the moving boom and hook.

Next up is the MB1082 Jeep Wagoneer. Which, according to the card art, has now placed it as a 1989 model. It takes the 21 slot out of 24 in the set.

This is coming in blue with wood grain sides.

Which is looking extremely familiar. Plus, has anybody noticed?

4 releases in this batch. 2 came with wood panel sides. Good job I like wood panel sides.

But anyway, this is a carry forward from 2020. It was in the MBX Countryside 5-pack which ran the entire year of 2020 and into the first batch of 2021. Amazingly I am seeing a slightly different shade of blue.

And the wood paneling does appear to be slightly different shades too. So yes, it does work. But with only 4 releases of the Wagoneer to date, I would have chosen something different.

Not the debut. That isn’t because I found a nice shade of red to it when it launched in the 2018 range as MB88.

No I would have gone with the 2019 MB14 in charcoal. Why? As 2019 was hitting, models were getting smaller assortments, and then mid year went from a 2-batch system with a small group that carried over and a second small group on a monthly basis, into what we have now, a large group that sells for 2 months 6 times per year. This was batch B that year, but was a short run and was not easy to get. The 2018 was, being the debut, double the amount in the initial batch which meant it was easier to find in general. The blue being a 5-pack issue was sold for a long time, and is easy to find anyway. Therefore carrying it forward only months later was a little too soon. I think the charcoal would have been a much better choice for carry forward.

After all the only other is a 2021 5-pack issue. Definitely pointless carrying forward a model that is still in production. This Off Road Rally pack has also yielded a few shades, both in the pack and also as a part of 9-pack assortments.

Some might think it was perhaps a little too soon for this to be a carry forward anyway, but I don’t think so. Any previous year can count. I just personally feel that we should have had another chance to get the 2019 issue, as I feel this is about the hardest one of them all to find so far.

Which brings us to the last of the 4 models in the set. The MB1038 ’90 VW Golf Country. This is number 22 of 24 in the series, and hello, this is an all new design. Something we have not seen before. It is just a strange quirk of the release schedule where the first 2 batches of the year saw 7 models in them instead of the usual 6. Each time there were 4 new looks and 3 carry forwards. So this does bring the series back to normality by having all 24 releases out, and 12 being new, 12 being carry forwards as expected. This is the norm with these side series from Matchbox. the Walmart models will roughly be half and half. The Best of series will roughly be half and half (not including Global which was just a mix of the others). These are designed to increase the amount of items on the pegs, without adding extra costs through development and licensing etc. It helps to pad out the brand without too much extra cost. It’s a company thing. Us as collectors will often notice, but many kids will be too young to know of all of this and will just get (or parents get for them) items that they like. If you remember, in years gone by (pre-Mattel) models would hang around for years sometimes unchanged. Nowadays we get a few months, and perhaps a carry forward years later for another few months. that still equates to a lot higher turnaround of items than we used to get.

So anyway, number 22 is the Golf in orange with a Rescue Services side design. I love the extra little nods. The VW badge after Rescue Services. The 90 on the side denoting the year of the model, and the rabbit logo too. So cute.

After a few years of seeing the same Country side design, it is nice to see a few different ones as well. And as you know, I am not going to show it, the model sports the interior variation which means we can get it with the fuel can or chainsaw on the rear parcel shelf.

And as i have done a dive back for each and every model in this batch, I guess it would be foolish to stop now. So another reminder of what has come before with the Golf Country. It began life in 2017 as MB4. It was supposed to be teal. The first batch came out green.

So a running change was made to turn the model teal in the second production run (they also changed the wheels too for fun).

In 2018 it moved to the MB99 slot in the range and still sported the same Country side design.

but if you were in USA and visited a Target store later in the year you might have found this sapphire 65th Anniversary special mixed in with basics.

2019 saw the model move out from the basic range and this time it was in a 5-pack. The Service Squad pack saw this blue issue which did still sport the same Country side design, but now added “mtn. tours” underneath too.

2020 saw the model see it’s first special series usage, as it was in the Off Road Rally set that year, exclusive (officially) to Walmart stores in USA, but was found in other countries, and I believe spotted in a few gaming stores in USA too. This also had a little fun as the yellow tampo did vary in shade quite noticeably.

And then we hit 2021. To date this is the most usage we have seen for this casting. It arrived early in the year in the Off Road Rally 5-pack in white with a yellow/rabbit side design.

It was also added to the Best of Germany series as a carry forward in the second batch too.

Although as it was a repeat of the official debut release, the shade of teal was quite a bit different between the 2. This means that this year has seen 3 issues of this casting. Beating the 2018 record of 2.

Now this almost brings me to the end of the batch. Not wanting to only release 4 models in the batch, and with the first 2 batches getting 7 and the last batch getting 6, this batch still had 6 models included in the assortment. However, they simply re-inserted the MB810 ’71 Pontiac Firebird Formula from batch B and the MB723 VW Beetle 4×4 from batch C into this assortment again. This was just done to bump the numbers back up to 6.

Which I believe brings me to the end of another new batch release report. So you know what I am going to do now, for those who like the extra. Collection dive back time.

Inspired by having the Urban Tow Truck in the set, I decided I would begin with some Lesney tow trucks. I actually am doing 2, because, well, the first one was too small to really get into.

This is because the first one was the MB71-A Ford Heavy Duty Wreck Truck. It debuted in 1969 as a regular wheel model in red with a white rear and Esso labels, and then transitioned to Superfast wheels in 1970 where it ran until 1972. And that was it. Sure, if you looked closer you could find variations. i believe the very first production run of regular models in 1969 had an amber window, but this was immediately changed to green which ran through to the end. Does not exist on Superfast wheels. Axle covers on the front wheels could be either maroon or black, but as they clip on and off, there is no extra value to either of them. The oval around the word Esso can be classified as thick or thin depending on which labels were being used. The hook on the back was the exact same hook that was also being used on the MB13-A Dodge Wreck Truck, MB30-A Faun Crane truck, MB42-A Iron Fairy Crane and MB63-A Dodge Crane Truck and as such could be found in either dark red, light red, yellow or lemon. But these can also be unclipped (if you are careful) and re-attached so again there is no value to having any non-red one. Red was the one being used for this and the other Wrecker. The cranes were all using yellow and lemons. After that, the model disappeared for a while.

But in 1979 it popped back up again. It was added to the TP-16 twin pack in olive green with a S64 label on the side (or not as some were found without). If you are lucky, you might find one with chrome hubs instead of the usual black. I am still looking. I am also to find a random blue model too. Something was being planned for the model, and it ended up being dumped in MP-1 packs in 1981, a lot were in Tesco stores in the UK. I would have been 9 years old at the time when these multipacks appeared. They were a simple affair. A box, with a plastic insert that had bumps all down the insides. Small cardboard strips would be inserted into these bumps to create 3 slots for putting random models in. As the cardboard could be inserted into many slots, they could put any old model in and just use the next slot to create the divider. So tall vehicles or short vehicles could be inserted. A lot of items were factory clear out items, but there was also a lot of 1981 items included. I still remember vividly a massive end unit full of them as I walked into my local Tesco store. I would recognize models from the basic range that were sold on their own too, but also remember seeing some US issues that were also thrown in. Or just stuff I was not used to seeing. I talked my parents into getting a few packs as each pack was theoretically different, and so was busy hunting down packs that would have 3 models in them I liked. There is a very good possibility I might have held a pack that had a blue Ford Heavy Duty Wreck Truck in it, but likely had other items I had so I put it back. I was 9. I didn’t know. But if I only had a time machine to go back 40 years and have another chance to go through those racks (and racks and racks). Still, I never got it then. I am still looking now. But as you can see, that wasn’t much for a dive back, so I doubled up with another.

Wreck Truck. A Matchbox originals design. A lot of people have denoted this as being a Ford, just like the heavy duty was before. but I have often pondered this.

Because it looked vaguely familiar to the Ford Transit that Matchbox had not long launched, people would often refer to this as a Ford too. But for starters, if it was a Ford, even without saying it on the base, Lesney had a habit of still putting the lettering on the front. The Transit did. It had F O R D across the front. But this makes no mention of any company. It is generic. A nice generic (I actually would say this is my favourite towing truck they ever made) but I have often believed that this is in fact a Lesney own design that is loosely based on the Transit style, but also has a lot of influence from the Bedford CF series. Especially as Bedford CFs in the 1970s in the UK were being used as towing trucks. I have a feeling that whoever designed this saw a Bedford CF in use in their local area, and used it as a guide for creating a unique Matchbox model.

I have been trying to find picture proof, but all I found was this. A 1978 Bedford CF being used as a guide for what is on a tow truck.

But anyway, the Matchbox one debuted in 1978 as well as MB61-C. It was red. I have one with amber windows, white booms and red hooks.. That is it. It ran for 3 years in red, and during that time has a whole bunch of variations. Hence me wanting to refresh myself too, as I feel I really need to work harder at picking more up. Amber windows are the norm. But there is a rare blue windowed example that tends to go for big bucks. the booms are usually white but are known to appear in red or green too. The hooks are also known to appear in black too, but just like before, hooks can be unclipped so there is no value to them. The booms were interchangeable with Toe Joe which is why red and green are known to appear as that was in twin pack use at the time. So as you can see, I have a lot to find.

The model turned yellow for one final year in the basic range in 1981. I have done a bit better with yellow ones.

Green booms with either red or black hooks. Check.

Red hooks also come with red booms. Check.

And obviously the red booms comes with black hooks too. Check.

I even have lighter and darker amber windows on this model. but I am still a long way to go. I did not make mention of white booms. They exist too, and I have neither the red or black hook versions. 2 more for my hunts list. This one also sported base variations. As well as black we had brown, blue-grey, unpainted and greyish brown. There is a lot to find for me. So I am putting the pictures here to show what I have and remind myself what I need.

After being dropped from the basic range, the model saw one further use in a 1982 twin pack. TP-32. Although if you are lucky, you might find one in a late single blister as the single issue was moving to a Peterbilt replacement. They do exist. Red or black hooks again and white or red booms exist here. No green. It was also the only time the model saw a tampo print.

And just for fun. TP-32. It came towing an MB001 Dodge Challenger.

Next up on my trip through memory lane is something brown. The Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser was brown, so I went with something from Universal that debuted in brown. The MB177 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit. Because why not.

The Silver Spirit debuted in 1987 as MB66 in the ROW basic range only. The US range did not see this tan model. Although if you were in Japan with their hybrid 1-100 series, it was issued as MB54 there. The amber windows on these 2 that I have are different shades. The top one is a lighter amber window than the bottom one.

In 1988 they turned the model gold for 2 more years.

Shades of gold can be found with 2 years of production, even coming from the Macau factory. Now there is a crossover here, as in 1990 they went to turn it red and the last production run of gold had a brown interior and clear windows. I am still on the hunt for that one.

Which inevitably leads us to the red. This is where things get quite complicated for this model. For starters, they decided (finally) to add the model to the US range as MB55. Production at first was still in Macau and the model had a brown interior.

Now this is an early Macau. For some reason they decided to give the base a textured look to it shortly after production began on red. I am not going to bother with that one.

But later in the year they moved production to Thailand as well. This gives us a different shade, and a slightly darker brown interior.

Now obviously by now the base was textured, but it like a light mottled affect to it and in a picture like this is barely perceivable. At the end of 1990 the model was again dropped from the US range, but it was still going strong in ROW countries.

The first change happened in 1992. The Thailand factory changed the interior to cream, and for some reason added a crest to the doors. I have no idea what the crest means or why they did it, but this did not last long.

Because by 1993 the crest was gone and it was just back to plain red again. Except now it was sporting a creamier interior.

In 1995 another change happened. They decided to move production over to China and throw it back in the US range again. This time as MB73. Chinese made models tend to come out quite a lighter shade.

Again it only lasted 1 year in the US range, but the ROW range was also close to finishing up. It carried on a second year made in China and finished up in 1996. After this the casting was retired.

I will give you a “clue” as to my thinking behind this one. The last model was something brown because the Olds was brown.

I am going with the MB324 Chevy Tahoe. It debuted in 1998 as MB46 in metallic burgundy with a Chevy and 454 moniker across the top and a white/yellow flash down the sides. The eagle eyed will notice I found shades. Oh yes. Although strictly speaking they weren’t the debut. It was in a First Editions twin pack in dark green and unpainted. I do not have those yet.

In 1999 the model moved to the MB99 slot with a Clogs design on it. However, this was a bit of an unusual case. For some reason people in USA were unable to find it. Most people ended up sourcing it from Canada, which was also taking the US range, as this model was not a part of the ROW range. It had been dropped from there after 1 year.

Another silver issue was included in the Coca-Cola 5-pack with a simple Coke themed side design. This model was re-issued as a single Coke release in 2001.

And at the end of the year they released a special NBA twin pack in USA featuring a black and a white Tahoe with Michael Jordan on them. There is technically another 1999 issue in a way, although I am still to find one. They prepared a whole stack of plain white models for use in code 2 production by companies like ASAP and Color Comp.

For 2000 it was MB33 in the US basic range, which meant that the first 10,000 examples sported a Matchbox 2000 logo on the front window. This was a competition winner model, as in 1999 Matchbox had run a school competition and the winner’s town was depicted on a set of 5 models. The winner was from Cleveland, Ohio.

It saw another 5-pack outing, this time in the Sydney Olympic Gamess 2000 5-pack in a purplish blue. Again I found shades to that model as well.

It also saw a playset release too in the Mountain set. This was a large playset, and featured the model in red with a black side design and mud.

In 2001, apart from the re-issue of the grey Coke model, we didn’t see any more Tahoes. But in 2002 they redid the silver as a yellow model for the 2002 series. But while they were doing that they also changed the base from plastic to metal. It didn’t last and a late run reverted it back to plastic again.

Although plastic grey and metal silver are not too easy to distinguish. In hand though, yeah it is easy to tell which is which.

The 2002 basic range issue was quite late in the year, after they had reverted back to plastic bases again, so this never saw a metal base example. But being the MB51 issue in the US range, it did get a 50 logo on the first 10,000 examples. Mind you, the story goes that most of these actually ended up in South America, and many people have not managed to get one. It took me a few years to track one down. It was one of 3 models that proved quite elusive (the others being a Ford Panel Van and Pontiac Piranha).

After 2002 it took yet another year off before returning in 2004 in a licensed 5-pack. This was a Looney Tunes pack and featured Bugs Bunny on the sides.

But that was not the only licensed 5-pack offering. Only a few months later we had another blue issue with Blues Clues on the side in the Blues Clues 5-pack. In the early days of these licensed 5-packs, they would also release 3 of the models in the pack as singles in an alternative colour. Although the Looney Tunes model was not chosen for a single repeat, Blues Clues did see an alternative in yellow as a single.

But this was not it for 2004. It had quite a year as it was also a part of the Around The World series too, featuring Washington DC on the side.

And it saw this lovely detailed burgundy issue in the first Superfast series in 2004 as number 74 in the series, although with the series being offset, it didn’t see the light of day until early 2005.

2005 saw a promotional issue which was a giveaway at a Cincinatti Reds baseball game.

in 2006 it was used in not 1, but 2 different 5-packs. The yellow issue was in a City Transport pack and the black was in a Police pack.

Before what is actually a very important model arrived in 2007. This is a mint National Parks model. Many know the National Parks theme which has been running for a long time in Matchbox circles. How long? Well, since this arrived as MB72 in the 2007 basic range. When we first saw it, we didn’t think anything of it. I mean this look had never been used before. But as the years have gone, we can turn to this model as the daddy that kick started a whole era of recurring themes. I even found shade of mint too.

In 2008 it was back in a 5-pack. The Fire 5-pack had this in an El Segundo Fire Department livery.

Before going into semi-retirement after this 2010 Bros Farms liveried Farm 5-pack issue in 2010. I say semi-retirement, because after 5 years, we did see one more.

It was in an Outdoor Sights 5-pack, and although it has a National Park badge on the door, it is not linked in with the recurring National Parks (with an “S”) theme that we are used to. All National Parks models have the same orange style logo (often with a different animal) and National Parks itself is written outside of the logo. As you can see, this had a different style of logo with National Park (no “S”) included as a part of the logo. So similar, but not the same. After this we have not seen the casting since, although you can never discount it popping back up again.

I am going to finish off with a model that had a design that looked rather similar to the VW’s design. The 4×4 Scrambulance.

I know this is a Matchbox original design, but there was always something about this one I liked. I can’t put my finger on it though. I just always found it to be a cute little model. It debuted under the MAN number MB845 back in 2012. It was MB109 in the basic range that year and came in yellow with a Primate Rescue side design.

The primate in question came in either a very dark or a very light blue during production.

2013’s MB73 was the model that to me looked a little like the VW’s design and was the inspiration behind me choosing this model to finish off with.

In 2014 we were in the short-lived era of pulling models from the basic range, and this model served double duty by being sold as MB39 and being in the rescue Duty 5-pack.

Another red issue came along the next year too. This Seven City Ambulance look was the 2015 MB98. This was also the year that the casting was altered a little into the newer MB989 variant. I will get to that in a minute.

2015 also saw a second issue of this casting as a part of the Jurassic World series. These models were literally thrown together at the last minute as Mattel were so late in obtaining the license that they had very little time to prepare anything. This was one of the single issues in that 2015 series, and although most models in reality had nothing to do with the film except for having the Jurassic World logo on them, I thought this particular model was actually a fairly decent representation of the types of vehicles used in the film.

In 2016 it was MB81 in the basic range in red, and just like the Urban Tow Truck I showcased a little earlier, this model was also one of the Michael Heralda club 5000 issues, celebrating his milestone of hitting 5,000 different designs on model cars.

All the models sported the same red, white and blue look with a similar theme to them. These were units 1 and 4, with a ’66 Dodge A100 Pickup as Unit 2 and a Quick Sander as Unit 3 both predominately white with red and blue.

Finally after taking 2017 off, the model returned one more time in 2018 as MB76 in a carry forward design from the 2013 issue. This is why I was leaving the comparison. I thought I would compare 2 that looked the same.

So let’s bring in the 2013 issue shall we.

This was another case of changing the construction method from the original slot in method to the drop method that most models now employ. The newer casting on the left has the extra rivet at the back and the base that was originally slotted into the rear of the casting now has that end tab removed and the rear of the body is filled in.

They also made a small change to the roof by extending the window section to incorporate a whole line down the middle rather than 2 squares. I am not too sure of the rationale behind that one, as both parts are plastic based so this is not a weight issue. My only guess is that this does make the construction go even quicker. Perhaps they were a little fiddly to slot in and the longer single line slots in much faster. Every second counts in production lines which is why we have been seeing many models change their way for being constructed. We have not seen the casting since 2018, but you never know if it will pop up again. I personally would be happy with another outing. I know many do prefer the licensed models.

And that brings me to the end of yet another blog report. A report that featured 2 rescue style vehicles.

As well as another 2 with wood panel siding. Did anybody notice that? Well all that is left for me to say now is to wish everybody all the best for the season, however you celebrate it.

And I will return next Monday with more Matchbox fun to start the week. Until then, have fun and stay safe.

7 Replies to “Matchbox Monday “D”-lights us with the final Target Retro models of 2021”

  1. Great report as always, real shame the retro series is US only…reckon it’d do well in the UK if given a chance…regarding the classic ’70s Wreck Truck I’ve always thought it was modelled on the Ford A-series which was a Transit based truck sold in the UK 73-83…think Matchbox also made a super kings Luton van version too…

  2. Again, the rest of the world miss out on models that are only sold in one shop in one country unless we pay extortionate prices plus postage and VAT. Lazy by Mattel, if you are going to reissue old castings at least give us some different colours !

  3. Although I long gave up on collecting MB for one of the reasons Keith G. noted, I still do enjoy these articles especially because of the dive backs. I didn’t realise how sought after the blue window variation on the MB61 Wrecker had become. I feel fortunate to have acquired that as well as the blue MB71 Wrecker. Continuing on the blue theme the MB61 Peterbilt Wrecker was very briefly available in blue as well. Picked one of those up along the way for a bit of a premium, but well worth it.
    Thanks again David for a good read. Happy Christmas all.

  4. IMHO it has been the worst year for diecast in the UK. Matchbox brand well… Nothing new. Every year is a flop for distribution.
    Also still why only Tesco to buy?!…… And that’s when weeks, months and batches jumped. 1 box per 250.000. Woo….
    HTI brand has plagued the land.
    Thank you and great reads. Merry Christmas all.

    1. It was worse a few years ago before Tesco took it on. When Asda dropped it we had nothing at all for 6 months. The UK was completely barren of Matchbox products. Tesco have had some hiccups lately, and I am so hoping that we can get Matchbox into many stores in the UK. But the recent hiccup is not actually them. It’s this whole global economy issue that is causing random products to run out at random times. We hear the motor industry has a shortage of microchips for new cars, which has caused second hand cars to jump in price. Supply chains across multiple industries are being affected, and at the moment the diecast portion of Mattel is suffering. Stocks are out in many countries around the world. Not just the UK. Obviously Mattel don’t want it, we don’t, even Tesco wouldn’t. I just hope it sorts itself out soon and products start appearing all over again.

      1. Yeah the world of weirdness?!?!….It’s a shame for Mattel/ Mbx brand and so on.
        Matchbox has turned back kinda good again for real vehicles choices. If and when things kind of get back to the new normal…. Someone at Mattel can make, discuss and promote this brand back to the UK for all. This brand would do well.
        Once again thank you for your knowledge.
        Have a good Christmas.

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