Matchbox Monday looks at the first 2022 French Best of series

Well, for 2022 we have seen 3 different sets of Best of. UK, Germany and (as I go through here) France. But where 2021 for these was roughly a 50/50 split between new castings and carry forward issues, so far with the Germany and UK sets we have seen 4 carry forwards with only 2 new looks exclusive to the sets. But with France, sadly we only have 1 “new”. All of the other 5 in the series are carry forward. I know this does upset quite a few collectors who don’t like the concept of carry forwards. Yes I know, I do like to hunt for shades etc, but if I was given a choice between a carry forward and something new, I would go for something new. The more new stuff I can get, the better. But I have always enjoyed my shades, and other variations I notice on models, so when I am faced with these, I still check them out to see what there is to offer. As was the case last week, Dirk Schleuer has provided me with the French set from his website. I am due some items from Wheel Collectors in USA soon too, as they are finally getting new Matchbox items in as well.

So any luck with the carry forwards? Well sadly, it isn’t always a lot. In fact, the MB1230 Tesla Roadster, which is the 1st model in the set I found nothing.

This was a carry forward of the debut look for the model, when it arrived in the 2021 basic range as MB4. The matte burgundy look was good for shades right from the word go, so the new production run for the France series was just somewhere in the middle of the range and nothing of interest. It is surprising to see them go with this model, not because it isn’t French. I mentioned with these country exclusives, it is not about cars made in them, it is about cars that are well known/common in them. Teslas are popular in France. Well they are getting popular everywhere. So I understand the logic for adding a Tesla. For me, it was just too new. Obviously the only other Tesla so far from the basic range was the older MB903 Model S. The Semi is a Convoy related vehicle and the Model X was a Moving Parts one (the non-moving parts is coming later this year). If they wanted to include a Tesla, they should have gone with the Model S instead. Plus, this set of 6 models have 3 red ones. That’s a lot of red. The Model S came in blue, white or grey too. So one of those (I think the blue would have stood out best) would have in my opinion been a better choice as a carry forward. It’s from 6 years ago, so has not been seen in a while, but would still feel current.

Next up though is the one new model for the series. The MB1013 VW Transporter Crew Cab, which has been given a design of the Sapeurs-Pompiers. Translating from French, this basically means firefighters. Part of the Fire Brigade there. Pompiers is the official translation for firefighters. Sapeurs-Pompiers used to refer to the Paris based military firefighters, but in recent years has begun to see use in other brigades too.

These use the Sapeurs-Pompiers de la Marne design that was first used on the Scania P360 in last year’s Best of France series. But Dirk know what I am like.

He sent 2 of them. The VW comes with or without items in the rear, but sadly it is causing more of a headache than anything as distribution has this 1 per box of 10 models. I still don’t know why these sets of 6 models are shipped out in 10-per-box assortments. To me, it is more logical to ship them out in 12-per-box assortments and then that way there are simply 2 of each model in the box.

I am also impressed that they maanged to get a 3-pass through the tampo machine print for it. It looks really good in red, with very authentic looking side designs. As I mentioned last year, the actual name on the side is fictitious but it is a very good representation of the type of look that would be seen in France.

It’s a lot of fun trying to get both variants of every release of this casting. Back when it debuted in 2016 as MB95 in blue, it was pretty easy to get both. It was a standard basic range model.

For 2017 it stayed in the MB95 position but was now green. Again easy enough to obtain both bed variants.

However 2017 did see some more difficult versions to find. A Color Changers series debuted that year, and the VW was added to that as well. It was green, like the 2017 basic range, but had a design similar to the 2016’s debut look. However, with the change to a plastic body/metal base, it was given a new MAN number, MB1070. Color Changers were not the easiest to find.

Although they were still easier than the 2017 Gathering promotional issue. It was created as the dealer model for the event, and they are limited enough without the fact that half had items in the back and the other half didn’t. But I was not going to let that stop me.

For 2018 the model had been dropped from the basic range, but was still included as a part of the Color Changers series. This was now orange (cold) or yellow (warm) and not too easy to get.

Although not as hard as the 2019 variant, which arrived in the very last batch of the series before it got cancelled. These proved to be really tough to obtain.

In 2020 we finally saw the original casting return. As 9-pack exclusives. That year each batch saw the same casting as exclusive in both sets, but in alternate colours. So we had both a yellow or a red one, which meant obtaining 4 10-packs to get them all. Although had I known the red would return in the 2021 Best of Germany series, I might have waited on that one.

2021 (aside from the Best of Germany carry forward) saw an orange issue in the Target Retro series. Again not the easiest to obtain, but I had some help from friends in USA to get them.

And we also saw a Hitch & Haul issue as well, which I was able to secure through Wheel Collectors for a blog report a year or so ago. Wow! Has it been that long since batch A arrived, and batch B is just starting to hit. Hopefully I will get a chance ot do a blog report on them soon.

So number 3 in the series is another new casting from 2021 that is just run again for this batch. I admit, as a basic range issue from 2021, getting it again just a few months later just doesn’t seem right. The MB1245 ’19 Fiat 500 Turbo is yet another red model too. I know last year they sold the 500X in the series, so can see why they would want to try and use a different model instead, but I am sure they could have come up with something a bit different. Where’s the Bugatti Divo gone? That’s a French car.

So yeah, it’s red and has the front and rear tampo again as it did when it first appeared as MB19 in the 2021 basic range.

Which as I said at the time of the first release, was a very nice debut look.

But bringing in the original 2021 release to double check, I did find a small change. It’s not a lot, but….

The interior on the new release is a slightly lighter grey. It is not very easy to see in picture. They look pretty much the same. I was a little on the fence as to whether I would keep this as it was a small difference, but decided to in the end. Because you may also notice that the Fiat badge on the front has the actual word “FIAT” in a different font. Tiny subtle differences. For some they mean nothing. For a nerd like me, it’s enough to keep it.

So next up in the series is number 4, the MB1216 Renault Kangoo Express. It is looking very familiar. Well, yes. Another carry forward, and this time from the 2021 Best of France series. Just like the BMW M5 in the Best of Germany, or the LEVC Taxi/Scania P360 in Best of UK, this is just more of the same model that was released last year.

However, Dirk knows what I like. When he got his assortment in, he noticed the yellow was quite significantly different on 2 of them so sent me both.

So that did put a smile on my face. Thanks Dirk. The difference between the bright yellow and dark yellow is really noticeable.

So although I had it already, I was happy enough to get both of these. But could they have chosen a different release for the carry forward?

Well, being still a relatively new casting gives us very little to work with. The 2020 basic range debut was this MB5 in white with an Agave Acres design. Not exactly screaming French.

And in 2021 we had an MB30 release in brown with a locksmith design. But as many know, one side was in English, the other German. Neither were French. So perhaps no again.

Which does leave the 2021 7 of 12 Best of France release. At that time I found a shade variation to it as well. This was down to one being in Best of France, the other Best of Global in USA.

But unbelievably the 2 new ones are actually more extreme in shade than either of last year’s finds. One was darker still, the other lighter still. So I do now have 4 of them. I am building a postal truck army here. But it is a shame that we are getting so many carry forwards of well, barely old models.

Yep, 5th model in, and number 5 is the 4th carry forward of something we have seen in 2021. The MB867 Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia.

Just like the Kangoo, this was a repeat of a model we saw in last year’s Best of France series. Only that time it was number 9 in the set, where this is number 5 in the set.

So as people know, this was a rather realistic looking Police livery, just tweaked enough to make it a Matchbox original design.

Comparing it to the one from last year, the blue tampo printing is coming out a bit lighter now. But do you also notice the window?

It is not as smokey as it was last year. So yeah, it is a decent enough difference for me, but as a whole this batch of models isn’t really doing much.

And then we get the last model in the set. The MB1199 ’19 Jeep Renegade. Carried forward from 2 years ago. That is actually the longest carry forward gap we had.

So we know it was green with simple front and rear printing when it debuted as MB1 that year.

So I did enjoy the look of the debut. I can’t deny that. But it seems to be re-appearing everywhere.

Of course the latest issue is darker than the 2020 debut.

But if anybody remembered my post a short while ago, this was also put in Best of Italy 2021 too. And amazingly it is darker than that too. It does appear to be getting darker and darker as the years go on. Something that does make me laugh, as it sort of reminds me of the old Lesney era. Hmm! Idea for dive back….

But before I get to that, a quick base shot showing N23 (2020 basic), P36 (Best of Italy) and P43 (Best of France) release dates.

Of course the model has only seen red as an alternative. That was the 2021 MB26. I am actually quite thankful they didn’t go with that, as it would have meant 4 red vehicles in the set of 6, and 5 carry forwards from 2021.

Now I have to be honest, people know I do try to keep things cheery, but this wasn’t exactly the most appealing set I have seen so far. We only got the one new look. Plus, that was a 1-per-box addition. But then, with 5 carry forwards, 4 of them were only from last year. 2 basics and 2 Best of France issues basically just rolled over. The other one was only 1 year older, and a casting that has been thrown in 9-packs, added to Best of Italy and has been seen rather a lot in that debut look. I do understand the point of the carry forward. This is a way for Mattel to add more items to the stores without the need of increasing their own expenses. So yes, I see the reason behind it, and I am honestly fine with it. I know some others do not like them. But when we do get a carry forward, I really feel it needs to be of something that has not been seen for a short while. Not something from last year, or in this case, a lot from last year. Take the 5-packs. In 2022 we have seen 4x carry forward 5-packs. Most of the models have been out of production for a number of years. The oldest was a repeat from 2007! Granted there was a 2021 basic range in one of them, as well as a Walmart Truck issue (nice to get that around the world), but the majority are from a decent time ago, which as I said, for the children (the main object of these), a 5-year cycle I believe is enough to see a whole new set of kids wanting models, and not even knowing they were around before. But when a special set is made, and 4 of 6 are simply last year’s in new packaging, it just doesn’t feel as if it was the best choice for the assortment. I would have used an older Gallardo release as a carry forward. French Police have “Police” on them, so a few could have worked there. The Renault Master Ambulance’s debut look in red could have worked too as it doesn’t have anything actually written on it instead of the Renault Kangoo. Then throw in perhaps the Volvo V60 Wagon, Tesla Model S and Mini Cooper S Cabrio to top up to 5 carry forwards. Sure they are not very French, for the most part, but as I said, these are vehicles known well in France. Not necessarily made in France. Volvos, Minis and Teslas are well known and seen a lot in France. A Holden or a Buick is not. Well, with a number of very recent issues re-issued, this was short and sweet. So I think I will extend my dive back. And I have just the model to start with. Seeing the “green getting darker” syndrome of the Jeep Renegade reminded me a little of a number of 1970s issues.

Like the MB9-B AMX Javelin from 1972. Wait! That’s not green. Well, I had to start with a prepro. I do love my mustard one.

That’s better. Green. As I said with the Jeep Renegade, Matchbox had a habit of making a model in green then slowly making it darker and darker as it went on. The AMX Javelin was quite a high piece part count for Matchbox. It had a body, base, interior and window (the standard 4).

but it also came with opening doors, and a hood scoop that also formed the dashboard/steering wheel of the model. When it first arrived in the 1972 basic range as MB9. it was a very light lime green shade with a yellow interior and the hood scoop section they chrome plated. This meant the dashboard and steering wheel were also chrome plated.

But they quickly decided that was not going to be the case. The chrome plating did not last long at all. Many models would eventually stop getting chrome parts chromed, but the AMX was definitely one of the shorter ones, lasting only a matter of months. By late 1972 these were not left plain, which meant black plastic. But do you notice that they also made a tweak to the hood scoop? Check it closely. Do you see how the chrome one had 4 indented lines on top? The black one has 4 outdented lines. Why they made the change I do not know. I don’t actually know if a crossover exists. It is not something that has really been documented. But anyone who knows me will likely guess that I am actually looking.

So anyway, the chrome made way to black pretty quickly and the model ran in green until 1977 when it was dropped from the basic range. But that is by no way the end to that section.

In the early years 5-spoke wheels were the way to go. But sometimes they would made a batch with maltese cross wheels instead.

Yellow was the default option for the interior, but look at that. Some came out orange.

And yes, crossovers do exist. Orange with maltese cross wheels are very hard to find.

But as time went on, so did the darkness to the green. Slowly it drifted darker and darker.

Circa 1974 and a white interior popped up too. Now by this time the maltese cross wheels were not in rotation in the AMX production and so a white interior/maltese cross wheel crossover doesn’t exist (as far as we know).

As the years continued, the shade of green continued to darken. But in 1976, they launched a new wheels style. 5-arch. As such the 5-spoke wheels faded out, and 5-arch became the new norm.

The difference in shades was quite noticeable.

So too was the fact that the bright yellow interior also morphed in to a darker yellow. They weren’t just darkening the green. The yellow was following suit.

Oh and have I mentioned that every now and then they would pop some silver paint on the base? Most were unpainted, but throughout its run an occasional silver base would appear. Funnily enough, nobody has ever seen one on a maltese cross wheel issue.

But as it was finishing up, you know it just kept getting darker and darker.

But what we also found during this late run was another random interior change. A small batch was made with blue interior. After 1977 the model was dropped from the basic range. But the story is still not over.

Because as 1976 began, twin packs began. TP-3 was an AMX Javelin towing a Pony Trailer combination. For twin packs, they decided to change the colour of the AMX to metallic blue instead. Early batches saw some leftover 5-spoke wheels being used up.

And of course they soon started going darker too.

These are both 5-spoke issues, although there were technically 2 different styles of 5-spoke. One a more square look, the other more rectangular.

As 1976 was concluding so were the 5-spoke wheels, and the 5-arch started being used here too.

Again, the model continued getting darker and darker.

But after a few years, they realized that so many parts on twin pack issues were not good, and as such many models started seeing some cost reductions. the most logical being opening parts. A number of twin pack issues saw previously open parts now sealed, and the AMX was cost reduced after its run in the basic range concluded. So from 1978, twin packs had sealed doors.

And yes, darker and darker we go.

The range from light through medium into dark was quite extreme. I don’t know what it was about paints getting darker and darker as they went on, but during the 1970s, this happened quite a lot. This twin pack issue ran through 1980, and sometimes people found the AMX mixed up and added to the TP-4 set towing a caravan instead.

In 1980, USA saw a special set of limited edition models. Cam Cracker was the name given to this unique solid blue with white tampo printing issue. It was only sold in USA and only came in blistercard. The base was unaltered.

In 1981, they decided to use that blue for the twin pack issues too. TP-3 or TP-4. It is an identical shade of solid blue to the Cam Cracker LE model, and I do wonder if these were painted up by accident and so just thrown in twin packs just to use them up.

Because a little later in 1981, the model turned metallic dark green. This is actually my old childhood toy from 1981. I was given the pack at the time and have never upgraded it. It has held up pretty well.

But these dark greens are totally different to earlier basic range issues. I got my lightest and darkest of those to compare shades. Plus of course it had sealed doors too.

After 1981 TP-3 was dropped as a twin pack issue. But the AMX carried on being used in TP-4 sets, and was now in red. These were not widely produced and red issues do command quite a hefty price tag on the secondary market. But this proved to be a swansong for the model. After 1982, twin packs were temporarily shut down as Universal were taking over, and in a bid to try and come up with “new” castings, the AMX was one of 7 chosen to be given a makeover. After this it became the MB117 AMX Pro Stocker and the original casting was never used again.

Now it is time to move on to the 1980s, and well this is a Best of France blog report, so I felt I should do something French in my dive back. Enter the MB142 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16. Only of only 2 Peugeot castings that Matchbox have ever done. Both during the Universal era. This was the first Peugeot, the Group B Rally car that was so successful in the 1980s before they were outlawed. In fact, I think it could be one of the most successful Group B cars of all time. The Turbo 16 was a heavily modified Peugeot 205, and 200 examples were made for homologation purposes. But Matchbox went with the rally look. It debuted in 1984 exclusively in the ROW market. The US market never saw this model at all. At first the 205 lozenge on the doors were printed in red.

The model came with the large opening rear hatch displaying the engine inside.

In 1985 they switched the door lozenge to black. These models were made in Macau until 1986.

In 1987 things started to get a little different. As part of an agreement with a company in Brazil, parts were shipped over there for local production. They sort of mimicked the original look of the model a little there, with the door lozenge and red and blue on the front being the same. But it was a much more simple affair.

The bases were updated with the Brazilian detailing.

In late 1987 production of the regular issue moved from Macau to China. Apart from the obvious change to the base, the thing people noticed different was the door lozenge again. It was now purple. Early ones were pretty dark.

You don’t notice too much of a difference between them and the earlier Macau black ones.

But through 1988 and 1989 the lozenge would vary quite a lot in shade of purple. From that dark down through a medium in to a very pale purple shade. After 1989 the model was dropped from the range.

Although the ROW market had dropped it, there was still those models being made in Brazil. After 4 years of the rather similar white model, they changed it up for 1990 by releasing a grey with Shell and 37 on it. That was a very unique look.

But it appeared that Universal had a bit of a rethink over dropping it. After 1990 they decided to throw it back in the range again. Still ROW only, but now it was MB25 for 1991. They came up with an all new design for it in orange with a 48 roundel and various logos.

And at the end of the year, a German exclusive Christmas Rallye World release appeared as a part of a game. It was one of the green models in the game. The game had 4 models included in plain yellow, red, blue or green. But each colour had a few different models to choose from. It continued on through 1992’s Christmas period too.

Which incidentally was also the last outing year for the casting too. They decided to give the model a new look for 1992. It turned yellow, and although they went as far as to give it a new side design, I think they got a little bored, as they just left the top design the same. Although now, instead of a 2-colour print, they just went with the blue. At the end of the year the model was dropped for a second time, and this time it stuck.

And as we know, Tyco went a little nuts when they took over the brand in late 1992. 1993 was already in the works, so for 1994 we started to see quite a lot of unusual items. Various weird tampo designs were common, but also were some rather out there vehicles too. One of the more bizarre was the MB290 Street Streak. It arrived in 1996 and was a simple 3-piece construction. A body, which they kept painting 2-tone, along with a plastic base and a window component you could not see through. There was no interior. I know people complain now over having 3-piece models in the range with no interiors. But they are still licensed vehicles. This from the 1990s was a generic (or Matchbox originals as they are retro-actively known as). The model debuted as either MB62 in the US range or MB72 in the ROW range in 1996. It was purple over white with black windows.

It was also immediately added to the Concept Cars 5-pack too in orange over black, with black windows.

For 1997, the MB62/MB72 issue was now dark metallic red over silver, with chromed windows.

Although if you lived in USA you would also have found it as a part of the Gold Challenge too. Obviously this was just gold, with smoke windows, but I did notice that it varied in shade during production.

It was also a part of the Cars of the Future 5-pack that year in red over black, again with chromed windows.

Now you see why I mentioned the basic being dark metallic. A quick glance might have had them mistaken.

As Mattel had purchased Tyco in November 1996, 1997 had already been done and dusted and a lot of 1998 was also being finalized. Mattel didn’t want to do too much immediately as they wanted to understand how things were. But they did implement their numbering system for 1998, meaning all models were given new numbers. Street Streak was now MB16. It was blue over silver with chromed windows. But during the year production moved from Thailand to China.

Which does give the model a bit of a different look. China issues are noticeably lighter in shade.

But this proved to be the end of the model. As Mattel were settling in, they were taking the range in a new direction and vehicles like this weren’t really fitting in so were dropped. So China production was short and sweet, although it did run into 1999 as models at the time lasted quite a while in production.

So we are into the Mattel era now, and in to the 2000s. The Chevy SSR. SSR stood for Super Sport Roadster. This is because the real vehicle had a retractable hard top which meant this was technically a convertible. It’s retro design was inspired by the 1940s Chevy Advanced Design look. Matchbox were so quick getting this model out, that it was launched in the basic range in 2002, long before the real vehicle finally got going. It started on New Year’s Eve in 2003 as a 2004 model, but due to lack of interest, wound up in early 2006 after just over 24,000 had been made. But the Matchbox model lasted a lot longer. MB550 was initially launched late in 2002 as a US exclusive MB70 in blue. The first 10,000 made sported a 50 logo on the back of the model before the rest were left blank.

In 2003 it went worldwide with the yellow Tony’s Pizza model being sold as MB57. Again the first 10,000 saw a logo, this time a Hero City one.

It also saw its first promotional outing, for Ace Hardware stores in USA. This was one of many MANY Duracell on-pack promotional issues being sold in various places around USA. If you went to Ace Hardware, you could pick up a pack of 8 AA batteries with either a red or a white Chevy SSR with Ace Hardware’s logo on them on the pack too. So if you wanted both, you needed 16 AA batteries. There was another 2003 issue as well. A My Classic Car Collectibles issue in blue looking a lot like the basic range debut, but with more detailing and rubber wheels. The only rubber wheeled model made of the SSR, but I am still to get it.

In 2004 the model was already out of the basic range, but saw plenty of other uses outside of it. Team Players was the name of a 5-pack that year featuring 5 different models each with a sporting theme. The SSR was in orange with a basketball type theme to it.

The model was also included in the Justice League licensed 5-pack with Superman on the side. For the 5-pack the model was in burgundy, but as was the case at the time, 3 of the 5 models in the pack would then be re-coloured for a single pack release a few months later, and this was one of the 3, now in blue.

It was also a part of the first Superfast series in 2004, in the number 21 position. This model with the blingy wheels created exclusively for the series, was in yellow with front and rear detailing.

It also saw quite a rare promotional issue for SEMA that year too. This was a plain orangey-red model with no tampo printing on it at all. It came with a thick sticker on the back depicting SEMA and 2004.

In 2005 it appeared in a Nintendo licensed 5-pack in silver with Luigi on the side of it.

Plus it was also a part of 2 different Launcher sets. The first was the Auto Cargo set at the beginning of the year in metallic burnt orange with simple detailing.

Later on it was also a part of Oceanic Research too. However, during production of this set, Mattel decided to move Matchbox out of the China factory and back to the Thailand factory where they still produce items now. So we got 2 variations of it, which you can see sport a different shade of blue to both rear tampo and window.

Base shot of the 2 models in question.

It was the only one to see a cross between factories. All the other 2005 releases were made in either 1 factory or the other. These Superfast issues from the US (silver) or ROW (red) releases of the model were only made in China.

In 2006 it was back in the regular 5-packs again. This was in a Construction pack in dark burgundy with a simple side design on it.

It was continuing on with the licensed 5-packs as well. One Piece was the pack this came from, featuring Luffy on the side.

Of course there was also a 2006 Superfast release too. This time in purple, although there was only 1 colour, as the ROW secondary colour only lasted the 1 year.

In 2007 the model returned to the basic range. Plus it was given 2 looks for the year as well. Version 1 was lime with front and rear detailing. Something always good for a shade or 2.

MB18 ran for 3 months in lime before turning to metallic burnt orange, which again I did spot a shade on.

It was also given a 10-pack release as well in the Real set. This was in white with a red and black top stripe going over it.

In 2008 it was given 2 different licensed 5-pack releases. Now at the time I wasn’t going so hard on wheel variations. But both sets do sport them on the SSR. This was a Nickelodeon pack which had a charcoal SSR with Jimmy Neutron on it. Although both of mine ended up with double 10-spokes, I was already nuts for shades, and found quite a significant shade to it.

The other pack was a Scooby Doo pack, and this time I found the model with flower wheels. Both sets have them with the other wheels too. However, yet again I did end up with 2 because of the shade of green. Yes,while some people were hunting down wheel variations, I was busy checking shades. I like being different. I will find the wheel variants eventually.

The model saw 1 last 10-pack “Real” issue as well. This time in orange, but just like in 2007, this sported a 2-colour top stripe design.

After this things were winding down. 2009 just saw 2 licensed 5-pack releases. One was the year that Disneyworld/Disneyland in USA extended their yearly offerings out. Usually we were seeing a bus and a plane each year, but in 2009 a 5-pack also appeared exclusive to their theme parks. This had a Chevy SSR in champagne with a Little Einsteins side design. A Handy Manny 5-pack also appeared later in red too.

We then had to wait for 3 years to see what is (unless another miraculously appears) the swansong for the casting. In 2012 a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse licensed 5-pack was created with a sea green SSR with a Busy Barn Yard side design, as well as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy depicted. So as I said, unless another appears this was the last the casting was used. A decade ago.

Time for the final model of the week. The MB814 Aqua King. A spin off of the MB695 ’06 Utility Truck (the tanker), Aqua King arrived in 2011 as MB71 in the basic range. It was also given a 2-version debut too, as at first it was blue, and then later turned green.

This was during the era where we used to get a fancy promotional each Dream Halloween too, and this was the 2011 one. I loved the Zombie Elixir vibe.

And you just know they were having serious fun with the design.

It also saw a 10-pack release in the final set of the year in burnt orange with a “Scorched” design. It was a busy debut year for the model. It proved to be quite the hit among collectors too.

But you know what? 4 releases during the first year, and we are half way through listing it. For 2012 it was MB21 in red with a simple Water side design.

And in 2013 it was also just a basic range release, as MB105 in green.

After that we had to wait until 2016 when it popped back up as MB30 in white, with a Quench side design.

And then finishing off in 2017 as MB19 in grey with a Juice Instinct livery on the side. But that was it. A busy year 1 with 4 issues, and then another 4 coming over the next 6 years. We have not seen it since, and I do wonder if it will return at any point.

Which does bring me to the end of another report. I hope you enjoyed it. Not so much on the new stuff, as the batch was a little light on new items.

But for somebody like me, I still managed to add a bunch of them to my collection. So I think next week I really need to make a start on batch B basics don’t I. Until then, have a safe and happy week and catch you next Monday.

6 Replies to “Matchbox Monday looks at the first 2022 French Best of series”

  1. I’ve noticed there’s going to be a new mix of France and Germany sets in the next few months but no UK. There are persistent rumours that Tesco have now dropped Matchbox. No new stock appearing and more worryingly more and more stores taking away Matchbox labels altogether or putting discontinued on them.
    Very disappointing if this is true!

  2. I visited Tesco in Gainsborough today, the only Matchbox on display was half a dozen or so of the “best of British” taxi – no surprise there. There were no Hot Wheels either. I spoke to a nearby staff member who told me they were expecting a delivery tomorrow (Saturday) and looked on her phone for Matchbox. It showed five packs on order but no single items; so there is some future stocking planned. Hopefully the lack of singles was just for that order and not a permanent move. Some other stores locally have re-stocked with case B in the last two weeks

  3. Still nothing in my local area Tesco’s… About 4 weeks ago they stocked a one hit wonder of B case. Still nothing of any signs of restock.
    Prices tags… Singles trays are taken away.
    Nothing of Matchbox.
    Funtoys is the new thing and sneeking in HTI….. Yuck!!!…
    We’ll see?!…. Best of luck all
    . Hope it’s just a glitch?!.

    1. I am still waiting for confirmation, but I believe this may have something to do with a new supply chain, and the possible re-numbering/re-naming of products to facilitate the new system.

      1. Hope you’re right. It seemed that they had just about got their act together this year so hope any new arrangements don’t mess things up again.

      2. Thanks Mr Tilley, I hope you are correct. Once again in saying thanks for your read ups.👍

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