As I mentioned last week, I decided to do the latest 5-packs for 2022 in my reports and with 4 packs being a part of batch B this year (2 new, 2 carry forward) I split it in to 2 halves with the first half last week, and the other half this week. Hopefully very soon I will be receiving new stock from Wheel Collectors in USA as I cannot wait to get into some of the other side lines that Matchbox has going on. But for now, let’s get stuck into the rest of the 5-packs that are new to the market.
And, just as I did last week, I will begin with the new pack. It is called MBX Off Road, and consists of 5 models all sporting brand new designs. Well technically, these are all brand new for this pack, but not all the designs are. I do love a recurring theme (or 2).
I am simply going to do these in the order they appear in the pack from top to bottom, so this means I begin with the MB924 ’14 Chevy Silverado 1500. It appears in cranberry this time with Flo’s MBX Adventure Tours on the side. I love some of the little tampo prints. Air Conditioned Summer Fun? That made me giggle. Summer berry festival? Where do they think of these things from? I am guessing this must have been influenced by something. A little bit out there with the design strategy, but I really like that. It’s different, and I always like it when they come up with these unique looks. That said, I also like recurring themes. I just like stuff okay!!!! Ha ha!
I like the colour too. This light red look is a nice choice for the model. Yes I know it might have been better with a chrome front end but I am not too fussed about that.
Because obviously when the model debuted it did see a front chrome look. The grille being a part of the base section, the early issues had a simple front and rear tampo printing for the model. It debuted as MB118 in the 2014 basic range in blue, and this saw simple front/rear tampo printing, and for me, a fantastic range in the shade of blue used too.
In 2015 it moved to the MB40 slot, and again was given a simple look, which this time was on a charcoal model. Again I found shades to it.
And in 2016 saw one more front/rear tampo print release in the basic range, this time as MB40 again, but now in red.
It was after that release that we finally saw them drop the chroming part, and also give the model its first side deisgn. A WazUp Elevator Service look on this white MB59 issue. Considering it was white, I was still able to find a shade, as sometimes (particularly when it comes to how thick the paint is sprayed on) the model can come out a little creamy.
That proved to be its final basic range outing, and for 2017 I thought last outing completely. But no, it popped back up in 2018 in the Walmart 100 Years Chevy Trucks exclusive series. This was in grey with simple front and rear printing again.
It saw a carry forward release in the 2019 MBX Construction 5-pack, as they brought back the 2016 basic range look for the pack.
However, as the model was no longer being chromed, that gave us an instant variation. It was also coming out in a slightly lighter shade too.
We also saw this pink release. A unique set of sweet related singles were to be found in smaller supermarket style chains of stores in USA at the time, with this sporting a Laffy Taffy design.
For 2020 it was in another 5-pack. MBX Construction II. Only this pack wasn’t a carry forward. This was an all-new pack, unlike the 2019 release. It came in green with a Native Landscape side design, and me being me found yet another shade.
Before the model was given an INC make-over for 2021 in the 5th batch of 9-packs. This was a semi-exclusive for that batch and was found in both assortments in batch E. This is the latest issue and I still feel we have more to come from the casting.
Now I am probably not being too far out with my estimate that not too many people are fans of the MB1004 Road Mauler. A Matchbox originals design from the mid 2010s when they were experimenting with some rather unusual looking vehicles with large oversized wheels. This one was not as extreme as some (thinking of the school bus, fire engine etc), and in a way does not look too far fetched. Obviously with the limits in place for how many parts they can use to construct it, there was a rather unusual construction method where by obtaining a 3rd axle meant only 3 other parts could be used. A base, interior (which also forms the window) and body. With the windows only being small here, I do not mind it too much. It doesn’t detract too much. And the clever way they amalgamated the parts together meant that there was quite a bit of colour-breaking throughout it.
Now the model has not been used an awful lot over the years, but it does get the odd outing here and there. But, and here’s a shocker, I really like this one. Let me dive back into its short history and explain why.
It debuted originally in 2016 as MB98 in the basic range. It came in mint and I discovered that mint is good for shades.
The casting saw one more use in the basic range before being dropped. This was in 2017 as MB101 in white. But now the fun begins….
In 2018 it was used in a 5-pack for the first time. It was called dirty Mudders, and the model came in tan, with an olive interior and grey base. During production, for those who like weird variations, the wheel hubs changed from brown to tan. Or the other way round, I can’t remember.
And in 2019, it was used in another 5-pack. No Road, No Problem saw the model in olive with a brown interior and grey base. Again I found a variation, this time on the olive. But what you might not have noticed is the tampo printing. This is the first outing since 2019, in yet another 5-packs. So pack number 1, pack number 2 and pack number 3, shall we stack the 3 models?
Do you notice anything with the tampo printing? The first one had mud splatter, and Dirty Mudder Truckin’ on the door. The second one had the exact same, but with a “2” slapped next to the door print. The latest one yet again has the exact same, and now, you guessed it, there is a “3” slapped next to the door print. I love it! I am huge fan of recurring themes, and this model is the star of its very own theme. I may be alone in this, but I am definitely up for a 4th and 5th 5-pack release in the future with “4” and “5” slapped on the doors and keeping the rest the same.
It may be this one random case of recurring theme is actually sparking a few other people’s interest in the casting more. I don’t know. But for me, this little detail that Matchbox are doing with this casting is brilliant.
Now talking of recurring themes, does this look familiar to anyone? The latest MB1177 ’16 Ram Flatbed appears in this pack in zamac. On the side is a rather familiar looking skull and crossbones motif.
Along with a black bed and gold base. So where was this used before?
On the MB1009 ’68 Ford Mustang “Mudstanger” casting. It was originally in the 2018 Dirty Mudders 5-pack alongside Road Mauler above, and then reappeared as a carry forward in the 2020 Walmart exclusive Mustang set in USA (and in a few other places around the world).
The other parts to the build are slightly different in colour, as the Mudstanger has an olive interior and brown base instead of black and gold, but the zamac finish and skull & crossbones motif roll over to the new model brilliantly. I wonder if this is the beginning of a new theme?
So can I go through the history of the Ram again? I literally just did them 2 weeks ago. You know what? Yes, I am. Mainly to show just how different a silver painted finish is to the zamac. Zamac being a raw unpainted metal type look. The first 2019 MB24 was silver, with the Cole livery on the side.
And then we had the 2020 MB77 in green, which had a grey rear end to it. The only non-black rear end released so far. I guess because it also incorporates the window component too, there is not much leeway for colour variations on it.
The 2021 MB100 in blue was good for a shade or 2 with the ongoing CarGo theme.
And the City Adventure II 5-pack later in the year in yellow still managed to throw up a shade to the light yellow paint, with some coming even paler than others.
And then, as I previewed 2 weeks ago, the 2019 debut look returned, albeit lighter and with a thicker font to the side tampo. The MBX Construction III 5-pack. So batch A gets a Ram Flatbed in a 5-pack, batch B gets a Ram Flatbed in a 5-pack. One with a repeated look, one with a recurring look.
This one is all new. The MB985 ’57 GMC Pickup. I have not seen a Truck hero side design before (checking Hero City stuff to be double sure). Of course this looks nothing like the stuff that was coming out during the Hero City era circa 2003-2004. Because this looks very nice, in a simple white design with a grey side design, with a shield on the door.
I like how the grey lines drift out backwards from the wheel arches.
I keep doing dive backs don’t I. Of course this wasn’t always MB985. It debuted under the manufacturing number MB786 back in 2010. It had a dual debut. It was MB38 in the basic range, but this was the first year that Walmart stores in USA requested something unique. So what Matchbox did was create 4 unique looks for basic range models for USA Walmart stores only, and all other stores (Target K-Mart etc for USA)/countries (including Walmarts in other countries too) received the alternate. This alternate was a simple light blue model with front and side detailing. Something I did find shades too.
Whereas Walmart stores in USA saw this white look, with a door design that was related to Walmart itself.
And we had the bronze 1st Editions 10-pack release as well.
2011 saw the most confusing issue. MB38 again, as 2011 saw Mattel attempt to keep as many Matchbox models under the same number in a throwback to classic years. But when this black model first started appearing, everybody was saying they had an error model. No tampo. Until we started seeing more and more, and it dawned on us that it was supposed to come like that. I am surprised we don’t see more plain looks. In decades gone by that was pretty much the norm. Nowadays it is quite a radical thing to do.
Eco Growers was the side design used on this blue Farm 5-pack issue that year too.
And we saw this lovely, heavy, white topped yellow issue in the 2011 Lesney Edition series as well, featuring a metal base as well as the metal body.
After 2 busy years, the model took a year off. Seriously! Nothing in 2012. Although that was a bit of a turning point within the brand as they were starting to move away from the realism that had built the brand up after the 2004 Ultra hero fiasco that finished off Hero City, as Mattel were trying to re-brand Matchbox a little differently. Many classic vehicle castings started being dropped and/or used sparingly as more wild and original creations were brought in. Of course we know that didn’t last, as again the brand suffered. It does do its best when it has a level of realism to it. 2013 saw just the one outing for the model, as it was olive in a Battle Mission 5-pack. Nice for a spot of shading too.
2014 did see another basic range outing. Canon Construction on this green model, which I did get a small shade to, but doesn’t really show up so well in photo, was sold as MB18.
And in 2015 we saw one final outing for the original MB786 casting, as another Farm release was made in red. Except this was not a 5-pack outing, but a Mission Force outing. As soon as they finished production on this, a 5-pack appeared with the altered casting in place.
Now under the MB985 moniker, this Stephens & Sons Salvage themed rustic brown issue was in the Classic Riders 5-pack looking very much like a Sanford & Sons truck. That was a TV show in USA that ran from 1972 through to 1977 on NBC.
As we were moving back to the realism, so did the model to the basic range again, and in 2017 saw this brown Boone County Sheriff model as MB80. Again, another model that was really good for shade variations.
Color Changers appeared that year too, and these models were closely based on the original castings, with metal bodies changed to plastic, and plastic based changed to metal. However, they pretty much all seemed to be constructed just slightly different so if somebody had plans to drill models apart to artificially create a metal body/metal base (plus an all plastic) model, they would discover they wouldn’t quite go together. On this MB1066 model, the body section would extend over the interior section between the window and rear bed, which the original casting did not. However, for fun, they decided that the rear beds on the Color Changer models would sport a variation. With or without tools.
That first released basically used the 2013 Mission Force 5-pack look again.
But in 2018 they released a second Color Changers model that had its own unique design. Marios.
That proved to be the only 2018 release, and in 2019 the MB985 casting was in the basic range again. This time in red with a Vintage Bicycles design. It was MB92 and is, as it stands, the last basic range model.
The model took 2020 off before seeing this Ranec themed 5-pack release in early 2021. The pack was officially known as MBX Road Crew and during production you could find shades of orange interior/bed.
And then late in the year (which again means I only recently went through them) we saw this National Parks recurring theme on the Walmart Trucks release in batch B. And now this. And another, which I will get to in a minute. Because I am going pack by pack and there is another left in this one.
That being the MB832 Jeep Wrangler Superlift, which is quite unusual as it is sold without the Superlift name or logo on it. This one is black with orange and white side designs, Bushwacker on it and some additional grey pin striping.
A nice simple look for the model. I like how they continue to highlight all the riveted areas and exposed edgings on this one. one more dive back to go.
So the model first appeared in late 2011 advertising the 2012 Toy Fair. Being the Toy Fair model, this did not sport the Superlift name or logo in the design itself.
We then saw the actual vehicle that Superlift had brought to SEMA in 2010. It arrived at the start of 2012 in the basic range as MB51. It was green with orange side detailing and a Superlift logo (plus Matchbox logo too as the real one had it).
In 2013 we saw our first fun variation. The 2013 MB115 usually came with the relatively new ringed 8-spoke wheels, but there was a batch made where the older ringed cogs made an appearance. It had a Superlift logo on the doors.
It was also a part of the special 60th Anniversary series that year too, which was a mid-range series above basic but below premium. It came in yellow, something I found some great shading to, and again did have a Superlift logo. It was only a partial though on the rear doors.
In 2014 it was sold as MB52 in tan, and again there is the Superlift logo on the rear door.
This was the only other non-Superlift logo’ed issue. The 2015 MB97 in orange had a simple Xtreme Adventure side design and no logo.
It might have been due to Superlift changing their logo, as when 2016 arrived, we had a new Superlift logo emblazoned on the rear quarter of this basic range MB119 in blue (or dark blue, I got 2).
That new logo was also featured on the rear doors of the Walmart exclusive Jeep set issue too. It really stood out compared to the rest of the tampo printing didn’t it.
And then the model went very quiet. A little too quiet. It finally resurfaced last year as a 9-pack exclusive. 5 years after its previous outing. This orange striped issue simply had Superlift written on the red stripe. So yes, a little unusual seeing the new one without Superlift somewhere in the tampo, but I do like it.
With that pack finished, I guess I should bring out the other one. The one that a lot of people don’t like. Because it is a carry forward pack. I know these are a contentious issue, but for some like me they are cool to throw up random variations. For others, they have seen them all, don’t care. There used to be a time when Matchbox would sell a model unchanged for 10 years. Nowadays we get maybe 2 months for a basic range issue. So getting more is still meaning they are much shorter run than days of old.
So there are 5 models in the MBX Highway II pack. How do they compare against their original runs? And when I say original, for the most part I mean “original” original.
The MB1046 ’51 Hudson Hornet Police is a carry forward of the debut look for the model. Originally sold as MB57 in the 2017 basic range, this is extremely close to being an exact duplicate of the lot.
All I am seeing with this new run is that the smoke windows are paler to how they were when it was originally issued.
The MB1036 ’16 Chevy Camaro Convertible is also the 2017 debut look in red where it was sold as MB2. Again almost identical.
On this one the very dark grey interior (right) is now an almost black interior (left). Everything else I could see on it was coming up the same.
Next up is the MB327 ’33 Ford Coupe. This is a carry forward of the Dirty Mudders 5-pack issue from 2018. And yes,that was the debut issue for the updated casting. At the time I found a few variations, as it sported a small shade to the burgundy.
And the window tint varied during production. Some were quite blue compared to others being pale blue. The new one’s windows were sort of in the middle, maybe more towards the paler end. But side by side?
Wow! That’s a huge shade. So much darker. I love it! For me, these sort of carry forward models are great fun.
After that comes the MB810 ’71 Pontiac Firebird Formula. This was a more significant carry forward as this was the debut look of the model from 2011, when it first arrived as MB15 (it had 2 versions in that year and turned tan later).
So with an 11 years gap between production, the new one is actually pretty close in shade. It is a little bit lighter. But you might notice the clear window. It was originally smoke. Small, but significant.
Although if you are a base variation collector, that too is different. Apart from the writing having been altered during its production life so obviously having the newer look base, it is a different blue too.
Finally, we are back at the GMC. This, I think, was rather sneaky. All the other models were carry forwards of their debut looks for the castings (or modified castings). But, if you looked at my dive back on the GMCs, MB786 was switched to MB985 in 2015. But when they produced the model in 2 looks that year, this Farm issue was the last of the original casting before it switched to the new one.
So we do have 2 different castings for this model now in red.
A small, but really significant change for this one. Apart from that, everything was pretty close. The base being a slightly darker grey being about the biggest shade. They replicated the other colours almost exactly. So yes, carry forward packs may not be to everyone’s tastes, but I sure enjoy them. I never know what surprises might be thrown in them.
And with the end of that 5-pack I am done with the new stuff this time. I guess it is time for another dive back into my collection.
Which this week I am going to start with what has been described as a transitional Matchbox by some people. Back in 1969 when Lesney created the Superfast range, and all models until that time started retro-actively being known as regular wheels, different people took to the change in different ways in denoting what constitutes a transitional model. The most extreme is those who literally means 1969 models in regular or Superfast guises. Of which there are 5. Those who might say all 10 of the 1969 Superfast issues. Then there are those who say any model that started off as a regular wheel model but was converted to Superfast. There was quite a lot more of them. Others might say the whole of 1969 and 1970. Covers a wide range. But as we get to the further extreme the other way, we could get a full set of 150 models. The final 75 issues in slots as regular wheel models coupled with the first 75 models released as Superfast. Many are the same casting, they had both. But some slots never saw both. The MB16 slot was the last one to finally transfer over as the Case Tractor did not have wheels. It had tracks. So when it was finally replaced by Badger as MB16-A in 1974, we finally saw Superfast wheels on all 75 models. Of course technically, this was not a Superfast.
It was a Rolamatics model. An offshoot of the Superfast range, where one of the wheels (in this case middle top here) had a pin attached to the inside which, when rolled, would strike a cog which would rotate something around. In this case a radar on the roof. This model was a Matchbox originals design (before Matchbox originals became a thing, again retro-actively naming it). The name Badger was chosen as the British Army at the time had a habit or naming many vehicles after animals. So Lesney created somewhat similar models for the Rolamatics sub-series and used other names similar to the army ones. Where the British army had the Ferret and the Fox, Matchbox had the Stoat and the Weasel. The British army had the Pig, made by Humber. It was a light armoured vehicle, and Matchbox created something vaguely similar, added a radar and called it Badger. As I said it debuted in 1974 as, according to some people, the last transitional Matchbox. Now the base was always unpainted, although the middle insert would range through various shades of grey right the way up to black during production. It was also modified later to strengthen it, and some of the writing was moved from the one section to be added to the wheel axles. The main base section was also modified later as it had the patent application number for Rolamatics at first. When the patent was granted, it was altered to show the patent number instead. But there is a way of helping to pinpoint years a little better. By looking at the radar.
The model ran from 1974 through to 1979 in the basic range, and only came in bronze. Of course Lesney being Lesney meant that the bronze used would vary quite a lot. These 2 would be from either 1974 or 1975. This is because they have the original chrome radar. Lesney chromed it for the first 2 years before giving up. It was common. A lot of vehicles went through the same process, some lasting much shorter periods of time. 2 years for chroming was quite a length for them.
In 1976, after they got bored of chroming, the radar turned cream.
Cream ran for about a year and a half, as mid way through 1977 they switched again. So this meant of course some cool shade variations can be found in cream.
But because they added the Badger to twin packs in 1976 running 4 years there, they were also using cream radars on the roof on that one. There is a rare olive drab for this model, but so far it has eluded me.
So they decided to alter the basic’s radar to black.
Although there was a short run in ivory done too. Not the easiest to find, and not the easiest to make out either.
Unless you put it next to a cream one, ivory radars are not the easiest to spot. Side by side it’s obvious, but on its own is not so easy.
So the black became the longest running radar on the model. Lasting from mid 1977 right through to 1980 when Pontiac Firebird debuted and replaced the model. So you can sort of help date the models by looking at the radars. 1974-75 = chrome, 1976-early 77 = cream, mid 1977 = ivory, late 1977-79 = black. Ivory I have not seen a shade on yet, as all other radar types bring up some cool shades. But I am always looking. Never say never, as they say. There is also another rarer variation too.
In 1978 a batch was produced with purple windows. It is the only non-green window, although if you hunt around with green window variations, you might find a paler almost bluish green variant. But after the Firebird arrived in 1980 this casting was retired and never used again.
I am moving in to the 1980s now with one of those castings that just never had much love at all. The MB195 Volvo 480ES. I thought it was a brilliant casting, and loved it. I was looking forward to getting loads of them. The only thing is, it didn’t get loads. It debuted exclusively in the ROW basic range as MB69 in 1988 and ran for 2 years. 2 years, in white, with it’s name on the side. When it was dropped for 1990 I thought we would see other uses for it, but no. It faded away into obscurity.
That’s not to say you can’t find some variations with it. Perhaps the tampo printing being in lighter or darker blue.
Or the fact that in 1989 they decided to no longer put Volvo across the front.
Of course I did mention how this was replaced in 1990. But the thing with Matchbox at the time, models were run all year long. Not as they are now with a batch every 2 months and then not used again (unless it pops up in a multipack). So technically, although a certain Highway Maintenance Truck replaced it in 1990, that truck was not sold as of January 1. it filtered in at some point through the year, so as the year began the Volvo was still being produced. This was the time they were cost reducing, and the base therefore switched from metal to plastic. Plastic bases are a short run though, as it was not long after the Highway Maintenance Truck was ready to debut. There are 2 other variants I am still to obtain. Malaysia had a promotion for Toys City with a label attached to the roof of this model in 1990. Still to get. and in 1991 China was experimenting with models as they were moving things from Macau to new factories and China was busy testing out castings. They tested out the Volvo and threw it in a multipack in 1991 in the same look, but this has so far eluded me too.
There is one other variant to the Volvo though. Alongside debuting in the ROW basic range in 1988, it was also added to the Laser Wheels series too, which ran through 1989 and into 1990 at which time they phased the series out, but stocks took a while to sell through. But this is all we have for this casting. I was sad it never got the love.
Not like this. The MB230 isuzu Amigo. Although you might not have guessed it from the basic range. It debuted in 1991 in blue as MB52 worldwide.
In 1992 they changed the look to this red style, where it ran for 2 years. And then they dropped it from the basic range. The red stayed pretty consistent, but I know there is a possible orange tampo shade variation to find, which I am still busy hunting down.
But outside of the basic range, we saw quite a lot of action. The first of which was also in 1992, when a Dream Machines 3-pack, aimed more at the female half of children at the time was released.
But after 1993 the tumbleweeds blew in. 1994? Nope! 1995? Nada! 1996? Forget about it! 1997? Hello! In 1997 a Land Sea and Air 5-pack arrived, which featured the Amigo in white with a blue splashy side design (that also had orange shadowing).
Now this is the fun part, during 1998 they decided to amalgamate all production in China. Most items were at the time being made in Thailand, but Mattel had taken over and were switching things up. They decided to utilize the Thailand factory for other items, and concentrate Matchbox production at one of 2 factories they had in China. The Land Sea and Air 5-pack was still in production and as such the toolings were sent over to China and finished off production there. I actually have 2 China ones, as I found the blue tampo printing varied on it.
Plus, I am not sure how well you can see it, China chrome bases sort of have a slight golden hue to them.
They then updated the Land Sea And Air 5-pack by giving us new colours, and renamed it Beach Fun. So the Amigo was switched to blue.
But that wasn’t all. alongside the swirly model, a new Dino Riders 5-pack was launched in the beginning of 1998. Production hadn’t moved as yet, so the first batches arrived from Thailand. Both of these come from Thailand. Huge shade variations to the model.
Base shot. Both definitely Thailand.
And of course with toolings shipped off to China, production continued there, and yet again I found it was great for shades.
And yes, the China bases here also have a bit of a golden hue to the chrome.
This led to the model being given another shot in the basic range. 1999 saw this worldwide release. Now 1999 had seen Germany get its own basic range, so the US market saw this as MB54, the German market saw it as MB52 and the rest of the ROW markets saw it as MB49. Phew! After that, the model needed a year to recover.
Which meant 2001 was its next issue. It was a part of an SOS 5-pack in red.
And in 2002 it was a part of the World Zoo 5-pack in green. Usually found with chrome hubs, there was a small run where they were left unchromed. I don’t own one myself as at the time I wasn’t hunting wheel variations and now cannot find it. There’s a word for that. Hindsight!
It was never actually used in 2003, but it was going to be. 2003 had been the last year of a contract Matchbox had with Coca-Cola and during that year a set of 12 singles were due to be released in window boxes. The first set of 6 arrived, but due to an issue, the other 6 got delayed. That delay then fell into the boundaries of “it’s too late to do now as the license is running out”. So unfortunately they got dropped. The Amigo was due to be one of those final 6.
For 2004 we saw a Nick Jr licensed 5-pack issue, featuring Diego from the Go Diego Go series on the side.
And in 2005 the model was added to the first year’s return of Hitch ‘n Haul. It was in a Secret Swamp set, and this was the time when production was moving out of China back to Thailand, so this model actually saw production in both places. However, I missed it at the time and am still trying to get a Thai made one.
2006 saw yet another licensed 5-pack release. This time in a Spongebob Squarepants set. This teal model had a very happy looking Squidward on the side.
And then, what would prove to be a swansong for the MB230 casting, another Nick Jr 5-pack release, and yet again choosing Diego from the Go Diego Go series for this model. After this the casting went into hiatus.
Flash forward to 2013 and surprise. The Isuzu is back again. Although now it was MB879. It was back in the basic range as MB102 in green.
The main change to the model, aside form a little enhancing of some front detailing, was that the spare wheel was no longer a clip in piece. It was now a part of the base section which was built up at the back to create the spare.
The interior was also stretched out to cover more of the rear bed too. I was happy to see this return, but that was short lived. We haven’t seen it since.
They went through all the trouble of updating it and refreshing it, only to use it once and toss it aside. Goodbye amigo….
I move into the 2000s next and a month or so ago I did the MB535/MB539 BMW X5 civilian car. Well they did an offshoot, as a vehicle with a light bar too. This lasted longer than the civilian model did and I felt I should give this an outing too. It was assigned MB596 with the addition of a light bar. Notice how I wasn’t referring to it as a police car. Because a police car was only one possible scenario for this model. In fact it was a while before that scenario even happened. It debuted in 2003 as a German exclusive Stars of Germany issue in white and orange with a Notarzt design. Notarzt are well known in Germany, and it means emergency doctor.
For 2004, and a slight tweak to rename the series Stars of Cars, this German exclusive was in a Feuerwehr design. Feuerwehr being the German fire department, and as such that would sort of make this a fire chief car.
It was only in 2005, when they finally decided to add the model to the worldwide basic range as MB59 that it saw a use as a police car.
Then came the fun part. 2006 and another German exclusive Stars of Cars series issue. At first the model came in white with 6-spoke wheels and a full set of tampo printing all round. But then things changed in a later production run.
The model switched from doing tampo printing into fusion graphics, giving it a much smoother appearance. But it also turned into a more cream looking model and the wheels switched from 6-spokes to double 10-spokes.
The fusion graphics look was really a huge improvement over the original tampo print. But that wasn’t all.
Before they finished producing these it went through another minor change. The logos on the doors and on the front just above the BMW badge were removed. It was still cream with fusion graphic printing. Oh and they decided to switch the wheels back. So it had 3 distinct variations to it.
After that it went quiet for a while. It appeared at the time that it was finishing up at the same time as the civilian one was; 2006. But suddenly in 2011 we saw another release. This black police version was a part of the Lesney Edition series.
Which meant it also had a metal base. After this the model lay dormant before being refreshed and revived in 2014.
As part of the general cost-cutting procedures, Matchbox altered the casting to incorporate the roof light into the window piece, hence the new MAN number. MB872. although nowadays alterations to castings don’t give us a new number any more as it was leaving too many empty gaps at the factory.
This new model appeared in the 2014 basic range as MB90.
The base was tweaked with new information too. Since then the casting has only seen one further outing.
Which, unless we see another one in the future, means that it ends as it starts, in white with a Notarzt livery. This was a 2018 9-pack exclusive issue.
Which just leaves the 2010s. I do enjoy pulling out these Matchbox originals that were not exactly loved by collectors. They were a part of the sidestep that Matchbox was making at the time, which we are so thankful they stepped back away from now. But just like the Road Mauler which is in a new 5-pack this year, I do think this may appear again at some point. The Mb925 Rumble Raider. out of all the models this was not that extreme. The ones I felt were the worst were vehicles which had the large oversized wheels attached to regular looking vehicles. But although this had massive wheels, they didn’t seem too out of place here. Yes, I know, there is also a lot of plastic. I know many don’t like that either. But this, to me, was not the worst of the bunch. It debuted in 2014 as MB119.
The black roof section did appear to sport either satin black paint or matte black paint for production, which although not too easy to see in picture, are really noticeable to the touch.
In 2015 it moved to the MB88 slot in teal.
And was also a part of the Police Response Mission Force set too.
And in 2016 it moved to the MB105 slot in orange with an MBX Off Road livery.
I noticed that the MBX logo was the same one as used in the 2015 issue too.
It then had one final outing in 2018 after taking 2017 off in purple as an enforcer for Tanho Security. We have not seen it since. Will it ever return? Who knows. But I will.
Because I am finished with another report. One with 2 different GMC Pickups, 1 new, 1 carried forward.
Along with 2 other newbies with recurring themes.
And 2 newbies in all new looks.
And 4 other carry forward models. All those 4 being new runs of their debut looks.
Next week I will be looking at some more country exclusive issues for 2022. So until then, have a safe week and catch you all next Monday.