Matchbox Monday moves into 2022 with Best of UK

Another week, another Matchbox Monday. As the world takes it a little easier with the holiday period in full swing, I do not let up on bringing my weekly Matchbox article to the table. I know I still have a few 2021 items to finish off (the last Moving parts and Collector batches, plus Hitch & Haul if it ever appears), but for now I am going to begin with my first report of 2022 items. And it’s not because there’s a Capri in it! Oh wait, maybe it was. I was in a rush to get that one opened! But before I get to it, let’s have a look at the other models that were in this batch of 6.

Just like the 2021 series, the 2022 series is a set of 12 models, and they will be released in 2 batches through the year. However, this time, they have made them a lot more simple by releasing them all in number order. So I will show them in that order. Which means I start with the number 1 slot. This is the MB1094 ’56 Jaguar XK140 Roadster. The XK140 still stands as the latest Jaguar casting that Matchbox have created, and I am hoping that we will see more in the future. With electric vehicles being pushed quite a bit, I don’t know why we haven’t got the new I-Pace yet. It has been winning awards. Plus, I am still hoping (fingers crossed) that one day they will do the 1983-88 XJ-SC, as I think a targa top model would be a little different too. But for now let’s get into the XK140.

It may be looking a little familiar, and well there’s a reason for that. It is a carry forward model. It was originally MB9 in the 2019 basic range. British Racing Green with a tan interior and chrome base.

But as I have both models now loose, you know there was something I saw.

Which this time was not a shade to the colour. I do enjoy a good shade variation, but there was basically no difference here. The windows this is just the way my camera took this shot. They have the same pale blue tint. The interior too. Spot on.

Talking of spot though, has the front tampo printing shrunk? Those headlights are more of a spot now than they used to be. Not a major difference, but I haven’t shown the best part.

When viewing from the rear, you might notice something much more noticeable. When it was first made in 2019 the details were picked out on the back in a lime green tint, around rear lights, license plate and the catches. But for the new release they are now in silver.

A much more standout look to them. The rear lights themselves are also a shade darker too.

So yes, this may be subtle, but this is a variation I like and now I have an additional BRG Jag in my collection.

Sadly the same cannot be said for number 2 in the series. This is the MB1214 ’56 Aston Martin DBR1.

Because this too is a carry forward model, and this one was from the 2021 Blue Highways II 5-pack. I compared the 2 very closely and can find absolutely no difference between them at all. I was quite surprised as I thought I would have found a nice shade variation or something. But no, it was identical. The one saving grace for those in the UK is that the Blue Highways 5-pack itself never appeared in the UK. We skipped it, so for those who never saw it, at least there is now an opportunity to obtain at least one of the models from the set.

Next up is the MB1086 Scania P360 Fire Truck. For 2021 it is number 3 in the set and again, this is our third carry forward in the batch.

As this model originally appeared in the 2021 edition of the Best of UK series. Out of the first batch we saw that year, this was one of the 2 models that was only 1 per box, and boy was it a fast mover. It was popular.

So the fact it has reappeared in the following year is not a bad thing. Again, it is only 1 per box, so in essence, this sort of makes it now as available as those that were 2 per box last year. Does anybody notice the artwork is different? Last year’s number 1 of 12 had the Scania logo on the front of the truck and the whole front end is all different. This year has better replicated the actual model’s front end. Not that I care because….

I took it out. This means that I did see something on this one.

Apart from the thickness of the paint coverage being different, which gives a different hue to the red. The new one just feels a little darker.

but also the yellow checks down the side are more green than they were in 2021. It hasn’t come out too well in the picture, but in real life I can see the difference in them.

Which is enough for me to now have 2 of this Scania in my collection.

Oh nuts! I could cry. For a UK collector this is probably about the worst thing that could have been done. The MB1208 LEVC TX Taxi. Which is such a shame because this model is not bad.

The casting debuted as MB6 in the 2020 basic range. It was a part of batch E that year, and for some reason, they also decided to carry it forward to batch F. The UK missed batch E, but the smaller amount of them in batch F was still enough to clog up UK stores for a while. We barely got any early 2021 models. Our tubs/shelves were just so full of LEVCs that Tesco stopped ordering stuff. Eventually they would dwindle down and new stuff arrived. This would go and the LEVCs were still sitting there. Then they added it to the Best of UK series, which was being sold at a higher price point right next to where they were still sitting on the shelves. You know what happened. They didn’t sell. Tesco kept restocking with a box of 10 Best of UK, 8 would sell, the 2 LEVCs would stay. Eventually after a number of boxes the amount of LEVCs on pegs would be enough to stop warranting any new deliveries. So the UK stopped getting stock of Best of UK. They finally dwindled down enough in September that Tesco finally saw batch B 3 months late.

Later in 2021 they also included it as MB46 in the basic range. It was the same. No difference. Unless you were to look carefully at the rear lights. They were now a darker red. I checked, this is the same darker red rear light variant as the 2021 basic (which was skipped in the UK). So if you are a real variation freak, you might want to grab one. Please grab one. Please help clear stock.

Unlike the Scania, the artwork is the same. The only difference is that the 2022 issue is number 4 of 12, and the 2021 issue was number 11 of 12. Also the bottom left corner tells you the year too.

Which brings us on to the best part of the article. All new stuff. Finally, after two 2021 Best of UK carry forwards, two other carry forwards (3 of the 4 being less than a year old), the rest of the batch is of items never seen before. The first of which is the brand new MB1237 ’20 Land Rover Defender. This is number 5 of 12.

It appears in the set in a lovely plain white look with simple front a rear detailing.

Which pretty much mirrors the tampo design for the 2021 debut green model from the basic range. You can’t really go wrong with this level of detailing and I have to admit, the tampo really stands out better on the white background than it did on the green background of the debut look the other month.

So although I felt that green was the perfect choice to begin the Defender’s journey, I do think the Best of UK issue is a nicer one.

Showing the new Best of UK and the 2021 MB11. And I apologize for the dusty top section. You barely notice them in real life, but the camera always seems to enhance them. They are like magnets too. You wipe them off, put the model down, take a photo, and they are covered with them again. Where do they come from?

So yes I am very happy with this white issue after the original green (get it, it’s behind it in the picture, no?) I don’t know why I bother. So, this leads us to the last model in the batch. The cream of the crop. Saving the best ’til last. Etc etc etc.

The MB1244 ’70 Ford Capri. Oh yes. Doing a happy dance. I do have a complaint though. It’s 1 per case. Honestly, this is literally going the minute a box is going out. Boom! Box opened, 9 models put on pegs, 1 Capri going to the checkout. I could see this being 5 per case, with all the other 5 being 1 per case, and it would still be the quickest seller. This is pure gold. Well actually it’s yellow, but you know what I mean. Number 6 of 12.

This is just stellar. A lovely dark yellow with a black bonnet (or hood if you are in USA), as well as the front being detailed. This looks absolutely amazing.

And yes the black is covering the whole front as well as window surround. This is a known variant. Black bonnets, black wing tops or both do exist in real life.

Here’s an example of a real UK Capri with the full black top front section. It’s not the same spec Capri, but you get the point. This is a legitimate look for the model. And it is amazing!

Easily the star of the bunch, hence it going the second the box is opened. I have already heard stories of others struggling to find Capris and it has barely even started being sold. This is just fantastic work as always on this model.

It goes great with the 2021 basic range debut in silver too. One that was sorely missed in the UK until they finally threw it in a 9-pack. The silver MB18 had a more simple dual stripe front end. The yellow is much better. Oh yes, another improvement for the Best of UK range. Jeez! And that model was my model of the year, and now it has been improved on. Hmm! Early 2022 contender?

now as I haven’t been doing any dive backs yet, I think now is the perfect time to start. Because obviously the first thing that came to my mind with seeing the black front end was the classic Lesney casting. The MB54-B Ford Capri debuted in 1971 with a black bonnet.

Of course different times, this was a separate piece back then, as it was an opening bonnet and showed off the engine inside.

The thing is, many probably think of the black bonnet version first when they think classic Lesney too. But it was only the 1971 issue. One year! Of course during that year it varied. Like a lot. You can see the ones I have (I had more, but these showed the extent of shades better), it went from quite a deep pink shade though to a pale pink into light orange into quite a deep orange shade. Lesney paint was whatever happened to be available at the time.

But the model lasted for 5 years as a basic range issue. 1972 through 1975 were purple. Four times as long as the debut look with black bonnet. Was it just not as memorable. Is this what a black bonnet does? Will we always remember this Best of UK issue as being the best of the new Capri casting because it is the only one with a black bonnet? Yeah I know, I am losing the plot. Ha ha! Having fun. It’s a Ford Capri!

Of course with 4 years of production there too, the purple shades also varied a lot. So much fun. Those are 2 of the 9 different shades of purple I currently own. Mind you, saying that, I do have 10 shades to the 1971 pink/peach/orange/whatever they fancied using at the time issue. Maybe that is why it gets remembered more. There are just more shades to look for. Or I am seriously behind on purple shades.

Plus who can forget the model was also in the TP-5 Weekender twin pack too? This was a proper orange and again with the twin pack being sold between 1976 and 1978 (3 years) shades of orange were also inevitable.

Of course, this was yellow. I had to go a different route too. Hot Rocker! this was a simple offshoot to the original Capri, and they removed the bonnet, took out the engine, and inserted a massive engine in its place, and attached a pin to the inside of one of the front wheels. As the model would roll the pin would keep knocking against the bottom of this large engine moving it up, hence the “Rocker” part to the name. It debuted in 1973 as a Rolamatics model in green as MB67-B. Of course, as with everything Lesney; shades! Green ran for 2 years and varied throughout production.

Before they turned the model into a dark orange in 1975 where it ran another 3. Of course this was also great for shade variations, going from orange to quite a reddish orange through those 3 years of production.

But I knew I would end up with this when I saw the new one. After being dropped from the basic range, the US range saw it pop back up in 1981. It was sold as MB72-D for 3 years in yellow with a black and white Maxi Taxi design (with the base also renamed Maxi Taxi too). Of course this too saw variations in shade. Although part of that is that when it was re-added in 1981, the tooling had been shipped over to Hong Kong. 1981 saw many US exclusives made in Hong Kong rather than in the UK. But as it rolled through into Universal’s era and it was assigned MAN number MB088, they closed the Hong Kong factory down and moved it all to Macau. Macau issues from 1983 are noticeably darker yellows. Of course Hong Kong does vary a little too, and I am still to find the rare Hong Kong run when they accidentally marked the roof the wrong way (with Maxi Taxi facing off to the other side). One day.

But that is another review of new stuff done. A batch of 6 with 2 identical issues to those already released.

2 other carry forwards, but with something worth keeping them for (if you are a variation nutter), unless of course you like packaging. I keep forgetting there are people who do that!

And of course the 2 fantastic new additions both in my opinion better than their basic range debuts from 2021. I do hope that with only 2 new and 4 carry forwards it will balance out a little more with batch B. Usually these sets are half and half. But if we have more carry forwards, I do think ones more than a year old should be included. Range Rover Evoque? Caterham R500? Morgan Aeromax? Lotus Evora? Perhaps even Ford Transit or Transit Connect? They were traditionally British. Mini Cooper S Cabrio? Austin Minivan? TVR Tuscan S? There are quite a lot of British vehicles that would still work, even in a carry forward guise. But enough of this, I think it is time for me to have fun with another dive back.

So as there is a Land Rover in the new set, I guess we should look at the classic Land Rover. The MB12-A Land Rover Safari. This initially debuted in 1966 back in the regular wheel era. It is a very light model, and even today it still feels like one of the lighter ones they ever made. The body is metal, but everything else was plastic. People used to say about bases being metal in the Lesney era, but not this model. After debuting in green in 1966 it turned blue in 1967 where it ran until being switched to Superfast wheels in 1970.

There is a rare transitional blue with the Superfast wheels, but I am still on the hunt for one. Been close a few times, but still nothing. So this means I just have the gold. This gold did vary in shade, as did the roof attachment. Oh but that was. Come 1971 it was gone.

Wait, there was a second Land Rover. One that some might miss, as it was not the most Land Rover looking Land Rover.

These were quite popular in the 1960s in the UK in real life and Matchbox created a model of a Land Rover Fire Truck in 1968.

Again a very simple affair. Metal body, plastic base which also formed the internal rear section, blue windows and a white ladder. 4 parts. This ran in one look from 1968 until 1970 in red with a Kent Fire Brigade label. The only real variation is the label can be squared (like above) or stepped (cut around the letters). Hmm! That was too short. Was there another Land Rover? No! Okay so maybe I should just do something British for the 1970s.

Well the chances of us getting a new Rolls-Royce lay somewhere between nil and zero, as Rolls-Royce don’t allow toy makers to make toys of their cars any longer. Only high quality larger die-cast replica scale models if you are lucky. But for the average child, they are never going to see a toy Rolls-Royce any longer. So we only have the classics to choose from. In days gone by Matchbox had quite a few. One of those was the MB39-B Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow II.

This particular RR started life in 1979 in silver with a red interior. It also saw a chromed front end grille/lights/bumper combination. It ran for 2 years like this.

You can find shade variations, but silver is not the greatest for them. These 2 are slightly different shades. Tough to picture, but easier to see in person.

However, in 1981, they turned it metallic dark red. This only ran 1 year, but shades of red were much easier to spot.

Interiors were also known to vary quite a bit with this model. Silver always came with a red interior, and there is supposedly a crossover with the first few red models also sporting the red interior. I have never seen one though. But what I do have is ivory (at the bottom) which is the most common interior found on red, as well as tan and brown too.

There is also supposedly a light yellow variant, but I again have not seen one.

In 1982 it changed again. Now it was metallic tan. Again shades of tan are to be found on the model.

As well as the crossover. The first few still had the ivory interior as found in the red before it switched to a white interior.

Plus this time it also started seeing window variations. Usually clear, some came out in a light smoke, and some amber. It does also come with an unpainted or silver base too. until 1982 all bases were unpainted, but in 1982 they decided to start using up some silver paint I guess. I never photographed the bases though as I completely forgot.

I remember for the next one though. 1983 and the model was dropped from the US range, becoming an ROW exclusive. Being only for the ROW market, production was kept in England through 1984 as it was still cheaper for Universal to ship out to Europe from England than from Macau, which is where the majority of the ROW items were going.

This new look was plum. The first solid colour choice for the model. But being the England factory, you were still finding shades of plum for those 2 years. It is also worth noting that in 1984, Universal set up a 4-year Japanese exclusive 1-100 range, and this consisted of pretty much all US and ROW issues combined together, as well as a few exclusive items. Due to the enlarged range, most models were re-assigned with new number for it. The Rolls was renumbered as MB14 in Japan.

The model actually continued into 1985 in the ROW (MB39) and Japanese (MB14) ranges. But by this time, Universal had decided to ship all basic range items over to Macau for production anyway. Strictly speaking this was not a new colour. A change of factory will usually lead to some quite noticeable changes, and this has to be one of the biggest I have ever witnessed. What was a plum look while made in England naturally just turned into maroon when they moved production to Macau.

It was only made for the 1 year before it was dropped from the ROW range too. This only came with a silver base.

But this wasn’t the end of the model. In 1987, they sent a shipment of castings over to Hungary of vehicles that were no longer in production. Hungary then went nuts for 1 year producing as much as they could before shipping all the tooling back to Universal.

During this year of production some things stayed the same. Wheels were always dot-dash. Windows were always clear. The model never saw any tampo printing added. But other things? Body, interior and base. These did vary.

Funnily enough, of all the models I personally own, none have a black base. Black bases were quite rare. The majority were silver. Interiors, I already showed a red, these 2 are black or lemon. different combinations appear too, so each colour choice could sport any of the 3 interior choices.

The body though. 3 different shades of blue, 2 of green, white, yellow, silver, there was quite a choice.

Obviously some, like the red, were noticeably different to the regular metallic red/plum/maroon.

Gold was quite noticeably different to the tan that was in the basic range too. There was a lot of choice.

But there was one more twist to the tale. In the 1990s these were randomly found in China. Packaged in unusual blisters with labels and stickers denoting what was inside, not an awful lot is known as to where they came from. It was one of 3 castings that appeared. The MB077 Datsun 280ZX and MB076 Mazda RX-7 also did. Where they a planned release for something that was cancelled? Were they just a trial run using castings not in use to make sure certain things were working? Who knows. But they were there.

All sporting a Made in China baseplate for the first time. Well actually the last time as well. None of the 3 castings were ever seen again after their random Chinese adventure.

Hmm! Where to go for my next dive back? I know, with a fire engine around I should attempt something along a similar vein. The MB143 Command Vehicle.

This was created as an offshoot to the earlier MB054 NASA Tracking Vehicle during a period where Universal were still trying to amass an array of new tooling. It was launched as MB54 worldwide in 1984, but there was a twist.

If you lived in an ROW market, it was red. It had a white roof and Foam Unit down the side with a checkered design. But if you lived in a US market, it was yellow. This had a Metro Airport Foam Unit 3 design. I don’t know why they decided to debut it in 2 different looks for the 2 markets. But that was what happened.

The models both sported metal Macau made bases which still featured a hole in the base to slot in the opening door on the NASA Tracking Vehicle. The casting modification filled the door in for this casting, and they updated the details to the base to show the change, but never filled in that bit.

In 1985 though, they decided enough was enough with the split and blended to the 2 together. A worldwide release of the vehicle in red (like the 1984 ROW), but with the Metro Airport Foam Unit 3 design (like the US).

These still sported metal bases at the time.

It ran for 4 year like that in the basic range. This does mean that there was going to be some variations. Usually found with concave 8-spoke wheels, you might find some sporting dot-dash wheels too.

You might also find the red to vary in shade too.

But what you will also find is that in 1986 they changed the base from metal to plastic. Still had the hole for the NASA Tracking Vehicle’s door.

But hold on to your hats? In 1989 for a final year in the basic range, the US 1984 issue came back, now worldwide. Although if you lived in an ROW market you might have actually already seen it too. In 1988 it was added to an MP-103 3-pack alongside a Helicopter and Oshkosh Extending Ladder Fire Truck all in yellow. However, when it first arrived in 1988 in these 3-packs it was the same as 1984 except now with plastic base.

As shown here.

But in 1989 when it was back in the basic range too, they stopped chroming the beacons. This was still a Macau made model. I mention that because in 1990 production moved to Thailand for the casting, but although the basic range issue was now dropped, the ROW market was still selling the MP-103 3-pack. Funnily enough I live in an ROW market, but can I find a Thailand made MP-103 3-pack? Nope! Still looking.

I am going to backtrack slightly. I wanted to try and put the basic range issues out there in order before concentrating on other non-basics. The first of which appeared in 1986. This was a part of a TC-5 Team Convoy set. It appeared alongside a standard CY-2 Rocket Transporter in a larger pack featuring the NASA logo. The casting sported a radar on the roof instead of the usual pump. This too lost the chrome to the beacons (but not to the radar) in 1989 as it too was being added to a 3-pack. This time an MP-108 pack with a Dodge Caravan and Rocket Transporter. This too ran from Macau into Thailand production, and again, yes still looking for Thai ones too.

Now before I talk of these 2, I do want to point another out I am missing. In 1987 Japan was doing their own basic range. Mainly models from both US and ROW assortments, and they had a few exclusives too. The Command Vehicle had been renumbered as MB61 for their range, but in 1987 they gave it a unique look. It was red with 3 and Japanese writing on it. It was also included in a C-11 gift set in Japan that year. It came with an exclusive Ikarus Coach and 2 Skybusters (plus a small playmat). I am still looking. So I move on to the next side release. Commando. Released in 1989, there were 2 factions. Strike Team (the olive green models) and Dagger Force (the black ones). Both teams had a Command Vehicle in their ranks.

Oh wait, is this a familiar looking model? In 1990 Team Convoy was still going and TC-1 featured the CY-13 Fire Engine alongside the Command Vehicle that was still sporting the Metro Airport Foam Unit 3 livery as used in basic ranges. But now these too had lost their chrome beacons. It was always chrome in basic range, but only after being dropped did it go black.

It also ran from Macau into Thailand production too. I don’t have a Macau with black beacons, just a Thai one. This is a noticeably lighter red to Macau.

Next up for the casting was a 1992 EM-80 multipack. This was like a Hitch ‘n Haul set with accessories, before Hitch ‘n Haul became a set with accessories. Although this was simply paired with a Snorkel Fire Engine in matching design along with a bunch of signage.

We didn’t see it for a few years after that, but in 1995 it popped back up again. It was a part of the Fire 5-pack that year in red.

After taking 1996 off it popped up in a Police 5-pack in 1997. As 1998 was beginning production was moving from Thailand to China for 5-packs and a late run saw China production.

Where the opposite occurred in 1998. It was a part of the Jungle Attack 5-pack for 1998 but the first production run was Thailand with all the rest being China. So the blue is much more commonly found made in Thailand, the black camouflage more common as a China made model. But after these finished production, so did the casting. It was never used again.

Next up on my dive back. Something that in all likelihood was bound to happen sooner or later. The MB250 Ford Probe. This is because in Europe, the Ford Capri was sold across 3 generations from 1968 through 1986. But after they stopped making them, the public were still after something. So they simply brought over the Probe from USA to fill the market void. After that finished, they sold the Ford Cougar, which was basically the USA Mercury Cougar with a few alterations. After that Europe really didn’t have any sporty Ford until they finally decided to bring over the original Mustang (something the Capri was supposed to be a European equivalent to) in 2015.

The Probe debuted as MB44 in the 1994 basic range. Seeing as this was right in the heart of Tyco, we never saw a simple version in the basic range. All of them had funky designs. The first was this balck with a blue and pink edged design over it. Something if you look harder enough you might find a shade of blue to. Not bad going, as both of those are China models. It started production briefly in Thailand before moving to China within a short while.

In 1995 they changed the design to metallic red, and this time it sported a strange orange through yellow side splash. However, during the year, Tyco were attempting a little fun for collectors and altered some of the model designs. In this case they changed the orange to yellow splash into a peach to white splash.

in 1996 they changed the design again. Before Mattel it was not common to get a new look every year, but the Ford Probe was going for it. It was not purple, but utilized the same side design as in 1995, except it was now green through white. As production was finishing up in early 1997 of this release, a final production run saw them switch the wheels to the newer concave 5-spokes that were debuting in the 1997 year.

This then led to the 1997 release. Bronze. Still with the same 1995 (& 1996) side design, now blue through white. I found this was a very good one for shade variations though, coming in quite a light through to quite a dark shade of bronze. So that meant that the model was sold for 4 years in the basic range, and each year was different.

Plus we ended up with 4 models all with the same side design. I do enjoy recurring side designs.

Of course, hitting 1997 meant we saw a Gold Challenge model. The only time the model was seen in a plain look. I do own one of these as a pre-production model in solid gold, before they decided to go with a metallic gold for production.

But it had quite a short life really. 4 years of basic range issue (which also yielded a gold one), plus this one additional release. Also in 1997 it was a part of the Premiere Collection, World Class series 9. It came in blue with an enhanced level of detailing, but still sporting a splash down the side. We also saw rubber wheels added to the model, and rather unusually, a large engine stuck to the front. After 1997 and the 4 years of action, there was no more. Just like with the real Ford Probe stopping production so did the Matchbox one.

However they did have some excess stock of the 1997 premiere model. As with quite a lot of the premium issues of the time, the factory had a bit of a clear out in 1998 and put models together in whatever way they could to make a whole. This model was simply put together with some gold spiral wheels and dumped on the local market. Mine still has the detailed interior of the premium, but it is also known to exist with the plain black interior as used on the 1997 basic too.

To finish off the dive back, I decided to go back to the something British theme. The Aston Martin DBR1 is a very eclectic British design, and this also rings true for the MB595 TVR Tuscan S.

This casting had a very unusual debut. Mattel had obtained the rights to create some merchandising for the Looney Tunes Back In Action film in 2003. Matchbox were to release a 5-pack as part of the licensed 5-packs series that they had recently started doing. But the TVR was a bit of a standout vehicle. Mattel sought the rights to actually create a model of it for the pack. TVR agreed, but it was a bit late and early packs saw a Chevy Camaro Convertible used before this casting debuted as a substitute later.

In 2004 they threw it in some more side ranges. Again it was used in a licensed 5-pack, this time in the Justice League pack in gold featuring The Flash on the side. As was common in those early days, 3 models from these 5-packs would appear as singles in alternate colours too, and the TVR had a single release in silver.

It was also added to the Around the World series in blue too representing London. Daft fact, TVRs were made in Blackpool in the UK, which also has some iconic landmarks. But how many people around the world know of Blackpool in the UK? London is obviously the capital and so would be the first place anybody would likely think of.

But late in 2004 we finally saw our first realistic look. It was added to the Superfast series in the number 35 slot in green. It was its only Superfast release.

In 2005 it saw 2 different Launcher releases. A yellow model was a part of the Auto Carrier set that year and the red model was a part of the Oceanic Expedition set.

Plus its continuing run of being included in a licensed 5-pack. This year it was in the Ed, Edd & Eddy set, with Edd on the side.

And then something unusual happened. It arrived in the basic range. 2006, 3 years after the casting debuted, we finally had a basic range release. It was dark blue with simple front and rear detailing, and if you were like me, you would have found a nice shade.

Oh did I mention the annual licensed 5-pack release? Actually, this 4-year stint proved to be it for licensed 5-pack releases. This cream Yu-Gi-Oh release featuring Jaden Yuki on the side was the last licensed release for the model.

It wasn’t the last we saw of it though. 2007 only saw the 1 release. This time it was a part of the UK exclusive Best of British series in purple. Again I found a shade to the purple during production.

Before it returned to the basic range again for 2008. I found a slight shade. Only kidding. It appeared twice as it was chosen to be one of the models to see 2 releases that year as MB22. It started off as green but after a few batches turned orange.

And then rather shockingly, it stayed in the basic range for one more year. This was MB14 for 2009 in brown with a black-edged white stripe going over the top. Of course I was happy to find more variations to it again. But this proved to be the last basic range release, and last for a while.

Because the model popped up one more time in 2013. This time, for the first time, in a regular 5-pack. Exotic Rides was the name of the pack and this was in black. I have no idea if we will ever see another. TVR as a company is still going officially, but has not produced a car since 2006. The Griffith was supposed to start in 2018, but keeps getting delayed, with plans to begin production in 2022. Mind you it would be cool if they created a model of the new Griffith too. We just have to wait and see though.

And this I believe is the end of another Matchbox Monday. The last of ’21. Next week we move into ’22 officially, but with a certain global distribution issue at the moment, new content is going to be a little thin on the ground temporarily from me. I hope to have loads of new 2022 items (and the remaining few 2021s) coming at you very soon, but in the meantime, I am going to be just a little creative for the next week or 2. I hope you enjoy what I have planned.

As I don’t want to miss my weekly Monday articles. I hope you enjoy reading them too. So until 2022 have a lovely rest of the year, a happy and safe New Year celebration and see you next Monday for something just a little different.

4 Replies to “Matchbox Monday moves into 2022 with Best of UK”

  1. I have yet to see any of the Best Of UK models in the Tesco stores where I live. The Ford Capri would be tempting to buy!

    The Japanese airport set has indeed been a tough one to find over the years. I eventually obtained the Command Vehicle loose, but was fortunate to pick up the Ikarus Coach in the white and orange colours of the ‘Airport Limousine’ company on a work trip to Japan in 1989, as they were being sold as part of the basic Japanese range at the time on small blue grid blister cards. I bought a few and traded the spares. It was cool to find as I had travelled on a real life coach run by the company on the trip from Narita Airport into the bus terminus in central Tokyo.

    Finding any Matchbox even then was quite difficult, even in the big stores. Had I been a Tomica fan I would have been in heaven. When I returned in 92 Matchbox models were no longer being sold.

  2. That Ford Capri I can’t believe it was one per box!!!…. One box per 250,000?!!… I only found another black cab and white Land Rover Defender.
    Tbh it just came and went back to series 2. Then nothing for weeks/ months of anything Mbx.
    Also strangely my local Tesco has a label of discontinued over the price of singles. Strange.
    Thanks for the good read.👍

    1. I’ve seen a few people online reporting the same thing, let’s hope it’s just a normal procedure for Tesco for products long out of stock. Finding new 2022 Matchbox singles appears to be a Worldwide problem, ive not seen anyone from the U.S or Australia find any and these countries are traditionally the first to receive new stock. Oddly the German Tedi chain have masses of them and thus lots have been found there and in their Spanish branches too. Even more odd is that the yet to be announced Case B of singles have already been spotted in Malaysia!
      As for this Mix 3 UK Series, I was VERY lucky to find a freshly pegged assortment and grabbed the elusive Capri. Strange how it’s been a one off consignment replaced very quickly by the previous Mix 2.

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