Matchbox Monday begins batch B 2022 and ties up a 2021 loose end

Yes it is that time of the week again where I go nuts with a bunch of new Matchbox models and include a little dive back into my collection as a bonus at the end. This week I finally start diving in to the second basic range batch of 2022. Now I do want to point out that these are now available in store with my friends at Wheel Collectors, although I have picked up these ones from my local Tesco store in the UK on short card. Therefore you will note that the initial pictures of each model are on short card. Not on long card or power grab box, which is how Wheel Collectors stock them. So on with 2022. But before I do that, there is a 2021 loose end to tie up.

A certain MB1229 ’94 Lexus LS400. As does happen from time to time, delays happen. Matchbox were busy working with Lexus in getting this new casting signed off and ready for batch F of 2021. The final batch of the year. Sadly it missed the deadline and they were unable to get it included in the batch. But that doesn’t mean forget about it. No. Keep working ahead and hopefully batch A of 2022. Doh! Just missed it. So batch B it is. Note how the package does not have a model number on it. This is something that Matchbox started doing quite a few years ago for basic range models. If is is supposed to be for 1 model year, but ends up being nudged into the following one, they don’t put the number on the package. Marking this down as 3/100 would inevitable cause confusion later this year when the 2022 MB3 turns up. I know the packaging is the same as the 2021 packaging this time out, but they have the system. They kept to the system. So this is the final model of 2021. MB3, and you could call this batch G of 2021. I know I did in my listings, which are shown online for people to follow and keep track of if they need to.

Was it worth the wait? Nah! Ha ha! I kid. I think it looks really nice. Very well done. It debuts in a champagne look with a grey interior that also forms the lower section of the body.

I wasn’t too sure how they were going to construct this one, and with the real vehicle having a noticeable change in these parts, I do think a split deal was the best option. I wasn’t too sure whether they might have curved the base up to make the side, but you can see the base just poking out under the interior section between the wheels. I don’t know if it was just my example or not, but there was quite a noticeable casting flaw on the rear quarter at this angle. I think it was where the interior section may have been held on the sprue. It has made quite a significant mark on the side of the rear bumper there. The other side was spotless.

This is marked down as a 1994. The 1st generation LS was made from 1989 until 1994, with the 2nd generation taking over mid 1994 until 2000. But honestly, both generations looks remarkably similar. I am thinking this is the final specification of the 1st generation maybe due to the way the headlights seem to curve a little around the side. If somebody knows for definite please let me know too. I have been debating this back and forth in my head and don’t have a positive answer. So you would be doing me a favour. Quieten my brain down.

The tail lights at the rear look very well done. And yes, they had a lot of them. Or reflective strips. Either way, this amount of red does appear to be about the norm for the model and a good job in keeping it real. I like this, and am already looking forward to the 2022 incarnation, which I think is black if my memory serves me right from the Matchbox sneak peeks on Instagram.

So yes, this was worth the wait. I did not know the LS a lot before it was announced, but since that time I have actually seen a few on the roads in the UK. I even followed one last year in this colour scheme. If I had known this was how the Matchbox would have debuted I would have taken a snapshot. They have done a tremendous job in giving this a lot of detail. Just look how well detailed all the door frames, handles and fuel tank are. They won’t fade away in a hurry.

New casting, so as always I do a base shot just to show off the work they put into bases too. Do real LS400s have that design running through the middle of the base? If I see another one I am crawling underneath to have a look. Ha ha! I kid again. I am not that crazy. Close, but not quite.

So what else shall I show for this batch? I am splitting things into 3 parts here. There were 16 models in batch B, plus the additional Lexus too for a total of 17 new releases. I am showing off 2 pairs of 6, then a final set of 5 models over the coming weeks. Next up is the MB1200 ’76 VW Golf Mk1 GTi in silver. It is in the MB25 slot for the 2022 range in silver.

This is a very simple design, and sometimes the basic ones are the best. Simple black pin striping going down the sides and around the wing mirrors. Plus of course the front end detailing. With the only touch of colour to the whole model, sporting the thin red strip around the front end.

Clear windows, black interior, black base. Very simple. I like this. As I said, you don’t need to jazz up a model to make it look nice. It might just be me liking stripes too. I do enjoy striping on cars. I don’t know why. I always felt it looked cool, and still do.

And of course this is the casting with the sneaky little variation. Are there items on the rear parcel shelf? Yes (left) or no (right).

So this is a fun one where you keep trying to get 2 of each release. Talking of releases? It’s time for a dive back isn’t it.

It has not been with us for very long. This is only year 3. Year 1 was 2020 when it debuted as MB8 in the basic range in orange with a “Rabbit” themed side design, as a nod to the fact that Mk1s were often known as rabbits in USA.

Then in 2020 the basic range saw this MB33 in white with a Polizei design on the side. 110 is the German police emergency number, but it still snuck in “Rabbit” for the USA crowd.

But it also had a lot more fun in 2021 too. Germany saw the Best of Germany issue in the number 8 slot out of 12 in red with a white and black striped side design with GTI in there too.

And in USA they really went all in on the rabbit theme for this Target Retro release in yellow. But I don’t know if anybody has noticed a certain trend with this model? I have.

Every single release to date has seen a 3-sided tampo scheme. On all models we have seen the same front end tampo design and each one sports an alternate side look on top. Is this something that VW requested when they authorized Matchbox to do the model or is just a coincidence?

This does of course mean that to date we have not seen a rear end tampo print yet. I notice the daftest of things don’t I.

Next up is MB26. Literally, it is the model after the Golf in the series. This is taken by the MB1205 ’16 Alfa Romeo Giulia. For 2022 it is in metallic dark blue.

Now I have been trying to colour match this to Alfa Romeo official colours. They have a dark blue known as Anodized Blue, which is close, but a special colour has also been done in Montecarlo Blue, which is also close but the other way (Anodized blue seems slightly lighter, Montecarlo Blue slightly darker). So maybe they were doing a compromise of the 2 colour choices. Either way, it does look really nice and striking in this dark blue. I know Alfa Romeo tends to do a lot of red and white, but when we see a model in something different it really does stand out.

I have to say, even though my favourite colour is red, I think this is the nicest one of these done so far.

As a reminder, we actually saw this model debut in late 2019 as the 2020 Toy Fair issue. Funnily enough, it broke with the recent “bronzed” Toy Fair model by being in dark red.

Plus we also saw a Mattel Christmas promotional dinner model too, also in red, albeit more of a metallic cranberry, this time with a snowy theme for the 2019 Christmas employee dinner.

Although this was around the same time as the 2020 basic range debut of the model. Model years do tend to begin around November, so these were already in stores before Christmas 2019. MB12 was a traditional red look.

In 2021 we have seen the model thrice in reality. Firstly it was in the 2021 basic range as MB47 in metallic off white, which in some cases does come out quite creamy.

Italy had a Best of Italy series, and the 2020 model was carried forward for an additional run for that market. Plus a few others that might have got the Italian set too.

This was almost identical to the 2020 basic, with just a slight shade to distinguish the 2. A third was in the Collector series in grey, but I am yet to review that. I promise, that report will be coming soon.

So time to move swiftly on to the 4th model in the batch. A Matchbox originals casting. Yes, there were 3 of them in the batch of 17 models. Considering how high percentage wise these used to be, the fact that 3 out of 17 are non-licensed shows just how much effort the team is trying to put into the Matchbox brand. Now this is the thing.

Construction vehicles do tend to have a lot of moving parts to them. As a basic range issue, these have been cut right down now which means that the MB1176 MBX Backhoe does have a solid rear section.

Only the front shovel moves on this MB29 issue for 2022. It’s a really cool one, being in the recurring National Parks theme. I love it purely for being in the recurring theme over anything else. But here is a question. If Matchbox get some licensed construction vehicles to add to the Moving Parts series, enabling them to include more working and moving features on them, will they be popular? At first, the series was pretty much all cars and vans. This year sees an ambulance and a fire engine being added to the mix, which themselves are adding diversity to the series, and appear to be quite talking points. But will construction vehicles also work for diversity and popularity? Just thinking out load. Hey, shall I do another dive back?

Can you believe this casting is on its 4th outing in the basic range? Compared to some of the others in the range, it is a bit of an old timer. 2019. Not many here from before the 2020s. Although I am about to get to a real old timer in a minute. Its debut was in white and orange, but not a Ranec themed model. MB23 was simply an MBX Construction designed model. 58 in the side? Hmm! Michael Heralda special methinks.

2020 saw the use of a recurring theme this time. INC. It was MB92 in the range in 2020.

And in 2021 we saw a unique design on this orange MB68 issue.

4 basics, no other uses. Will it get a 5th basic outing next year? Or perhaps a chance to appear elsewhere.

So before I get to the oldest model in this set of 6, I guess I should showcase the newest. A brand new MB1285 ’65 Ford C900. Ah this brings me back. The 1980s often saw Convoy style cabs in the basic range, especially in the US range (Kenworth and Peterbilt), with Scanias, Macks and Ford arriving later. Oh and don’t forget the DAFs, Mercedes-Benz and errrm…. Torque Titan? Ha ha!

Now I am calling this a new casting, but I have to be honest. I don’t know if it is all new, or just adapted. Back in 2020 Matchbox re-introduced Convoys. A brand new Tesla Semi was created, and the ’13 Ford Cargo was updated to accommodate the new Convoy hooks, but there was also an MBX Cabover and Lonestar Semi Cab added. But if you look carefully, both of these appear to be based on earlier Super Convoy castings of MBX Rig I and International Lonestar. Well Super Convoy was not around very long, but it later added a few more cabs, and one was a Ford C-900, looking quite a bit like this. But as Super Convoy were being built at a slightly larger size to miniatures, I never collected them. So I honestly cannot say if this is another that has been adapted from a Super Convoy cab, or if this is a brand new build from scratch.

Perhaps somebody who collected Super Convoy and collects these might do a comparison at some point, but until then I am just going by what I see. Doesn’t it look glum. Ha ha! It’s the angle I have pictured this that gives it a bit of a frowny face. But this is a very good likeness of the real C-900. Even down to that lower grille and bumper being different to the rest of the front.

It comes with a simple 2-axle wheel configuration, which means it still has a 4-piece build elsewhere.

Which gives us a look inside at the huge steering wheel. I am guessing that is about the correct angle for a steering wheel like that. I have seen trucks before where the steering wheel is much more horizontal than what we are used to in cars.

I love the simple side design as well. Yellow with red ans Shell on the model. The red wheels match it too, and it is good seeing these Convoy style wheels being used here. They really suit the model well too. This is really cool having a proper Convoy style model in the basic range again. It has been a few years.

And well, it is new, so here’s a shot of the base for those who like that sort of thing. So obviously those in the know will have already seen the recurring theme.

This comes with the same look as was seen on the MB733 Ford F-100 Panel Delivery in the first 9-pack batch of the year. I am hoping that we will see some more of these too. Plus perhaps a Convoy or 2?

I mean it is compatible. It was designed specifically to house the new trailer units in the rear.

I used the tanker trailer that was originally on the MBX Cabover in 2020 as a guide, because you know, tanker – Shell. It seemed to fit.

Which obviously the tanker does too. Slotted in perfectly. So yes, I am seeing this as a likely Convoy issue down the line, possibly as early as the next batch? Who knows.

Now new Convoys are sort of backwards compatible. The older Convoy rears had thinner hooks, which means they will go into the holes.

They do jiggle about quite a bit as their hooks are much thinner, but don’t actually fall out.

And yes, the earlier incarnation was also built with the same hook style which means the original Convoy stuff also fits in.

I was having fun with Shell themed tankers as you can tell. Now the pre-Convoy trailer units had a T-bar to hook in so didn’t fit.

But what about the really early stuff? Lesney models with a cab and trailer combo. This MB63 Freeway Gas Tanker, also in a Shell livery, is a good example.

Well in those days they configured them the other way around. The cab had the hook, and the rear had the hole. So although I can rest the tanker easily on the top of the Ford C-900, and rather impressively it is the perfect height. If I was to move the Ford forward, the tanker would stay put and fall down once cleared. But it was fun to try.

Well I did mention there was something a bit older to come. This is not actually the oldest casting in the batch. The oldest appears in my next report. But this MB1071 ’07 Honda Ridgeline has actually been with us since, well 2007.

It takes the MB96 slot in the basic range for 2022 and comes in a really nice metallic orange with a Matchbox United States logo on the side, as well as some stripes and it’s name. Considering this has been around for 15 years now, this is the first time it has been released in orange. It looks very good, with the added gold wheel hubs too.

Anybody following these blogs will remember I showcased another new Ridgeline for 2022 as well, but at the time I stated I wasn’t going to do a dive back as I was saving it for right now. Not that I knew in advance that the batch I was putting it in would have such little dive backs on the other castings I was reviewing. I literally only planned it out a week ago. I love it when things just go together in a nice neat package.

So where to begin? 2006. Wait? What? I thought this was a 2007 Honda released in 2007? Yes and no. When the casting first arrived, in the 2007 range as MB57, it was blue. It featured a simple front and rear tampo design, and during production you were able to find both shades of blue and also the wheels differing. At the time it was fairly common for the 2 different 6-spoke wheels to be in use together, and often getting mixed up. Notice how the one on the bottom has large spokes and a thin black section surrounding, compared to the top featuring smaller spokes and a much thicker black section surrounding. The wheels are the same size, they were just created in 2 different, but almost identical styles.

But if you were to look at the base of the then MB705 casting, Mattel had marked the model down as Honda Ridgeline – 2006 across the bottom when viewed sideways on.

but as 2007 progressed the model was chosen to receive a second issue too in red. During this production people started noticing a small change. The Honda Ridgeline – 2006 turned into Honda Ridgeline – 2007. And yes, I do happen to have both. Not specifically for the base change. I wasn’t fussed.

But i was noticing that the yellow area just under and around the rear bed was sporting shades itself. Some were coming out in a more tan shade.

As well as the dual MB57 debut, the model was also added to the 1st Editions 10-pack at the end of the year too. This was grey with a 71 and stripe effect down the side, as well as mud splatter too.

In 2008 the brand split. US areas saw a 1-100 series, and LAAM saw a selection of 75 out of the 100, with ROW markets seeing an alternate selection of 75. The Ridgeline was not a part of the ROW range for 2008, but was in the rest. MB80 was its US number, but as it was above 75, any LAAM or ROW models from the last 75 were simply moved to the gaps being left from those taken out, and this was moved to the MB38 slot for LAAM markets.

But 2008 did see a lot of use of this Honda casting. 10-packs for starters. This time the Adventure pack saw this grey issue with side design.

Hitch ‘n Haul also saw a grey issue, towing an MB747 Travel Trailer also in grey.

It was also included in a Skybusters multiset called Amazon Adventure with a Jeep Wrangler and a plane, as well as these 3 accessories (plus a playmat).

And finally it was number 16 in the Superfast set that year too in burgundy, with a high level of detailing and Ridgeline printed on the rear window.

2009 and it was still not chosen to be in ROW assortments. The US MB97 or LAAM MB69 that year came in blue with a Sport Fishing Experience side design. I may not have been in the correct area to receive it, but that still didn’t stop me finding a nice shade on it.

This year it was also seen in a 5-pack for the first time. Beach Patrol (as if you didn’t guess something like that) was the name of the pack that featured this white model.

In 2010 they finally decided to slip it back in the ROW range again, meaning it was available worldwide. It may have been due to having 2 versions for the year like in year 1. At first the MB82 US, MB42 LAAM or MB27 ROW issue was in olive, which had a black tampo print that either came out glossy or satin depending on how it was applied (or possibly when as I heard humidity can play a factor).

Later on it turned silver and again I found a shade, this time to the silver itself. This proved to be the last in the way of basic for a while, as well as for that year.

It was still a 5-pack go-to and because Hitch ‘n Haul were being phased out at the time (so happy they are back), many trailer units started turning up in 5-packs instead. The Travel Trailer was in the 2011 Camping Adventure 5-pack, and the tan Honda was the only model in the pack with a tow hook. So obviously these were meant to be together.

2011 also saw a licensed 5-pack release for the model too. It was in a Handy Manny pack in red with various characters from the show on the side.

2012 saw another 5-pack issue. Outdoor sights was the name of this pack, and again the same 2 models were destined to be linked together due to being the only tow hook and trailer in there. Hmm….

Makes a good match doesn’t it.

And oh look. After a year off, a 2014 5-pack did exactly the same again. It was even called Outdoor Sights again. This time the Honda was in yellow with a Canoe Tours design.

After this the model took some time off before getting a revamp for 2017. Again it was a 5-pack re-debut for the new MB1071 casting, which this time had a different trailer item. The MB422 White Water Raft & Trailer joined it for the Explore the River 5-pack.

A few modifications had been made to the casting in the few years it was sidelined. Mainly noticeable are the changes to the rear items in the bed due to the additional piece of body that was created for the rivet.

The rivet had already been there, but there was a rather unique way of pulling the interior section over it to cover it, and hooking it under too. It was awkward, so needed to be altered.

After this it returned to the basic range for 2018 as MB113 in a rather familiar design. For those interested, wheels did vary a little during production. Some came out very red, others a more pinky red.

Of course the model was a carry forward of the 1st Editions model from its debut year. However, the shade of silver was different, the wheels were different and the newer one had no mud splatter. That was all on top of the fact it was the updated casting too.

We didn’t see it in 2019, but for 2020 it was a part of the Walmart exclusive Off Road Rally series. It was another carry forward model.

This time from the 2008 US and LAAM basic range issue. It was very similar to the original one, except in this case there was the fact that it was the updated casting.

And after taking 2021 off too, the model has served double duty for 2022 by also being in the MBX Road Crew II 5-pack as well, as shown a few weeks back. Now that model is gorgeous in black with gold pin striping, and a detailed front end. But I can’t help but wonder now that I have the basic range issue too. Wouldn’t the gold wheel hubs have looked better on this one?

And on that note I will finish off the “new” portion of this week’s blog. That is the first 6 of the assortment (5 of batch B 2022, 1 final 2021) done. Another 11 batch B models to go through over the next few weeks. So in the meantime, you know what is coming next. A little dive back into my collection.

Which starts off short and sweet. The MB4-C Pontiac Firebird. This was Lesney, who at the time would work mainly from random pictures of vehicles that were not too well known at the time. The Pontiac Firebird being a US muscle car, was not exactly well know in the UK, and when they created a model of the updated 1974 look to the 2nd generation Firebird they did so with a few of their own artistic tweaks. The model is very wide, and the wheel arches really are prominent. the nostril flares, that were so common on the Formula version in reality are right up at the front, whereas the model had them in the middle of the hood. The front end doesn’t point in the middle quite as prominently as the real car does, but even though it had these flaws, it was still awesome! I had one as a kid. I loved it! I played it to death. Since then I have updated it with mintier examples. There’s not a lot to it. As I said, short and sweet. It debuted as MB4 in the 1975 basic range in blue. It ran until 1979. That was it.

With Lesney creating a later, updated look for the 2nd generation Firebird to replace it, this model had very little to look for. The model was only sold in blue, never saw any tampo, always had an unpainted base, amber window and chrome interior (that also gave it the flared nostrils). There are some variations to look for. Amber windows are usually quite dark, but if you are lucky you might find a lighter shade. I am still looking. The wheels were pretty much always dot-dash, but 5-arch and maltese cross wheels are known to exist. Again I am still hunting them down.

But the one thing that is pretty easy to find is the shade. It comes in a variety of shades from quite a light to quite a dark. Although I do notice, literally as I do this picture, that the amber window on the light here is a little cloudy compared to the dark. Hmm! I am always looking to add more.

Which in this case included obtaining a pre-production sample. I got this green one with a brown roof. It came from an ex-Lesney employee, who said they often painted the roof of this just to see what it looked like.

As I move into the 1980s, I am still in Lesney territory. Because this was 1980 itself. This was the MB38-D Camper. It never stated it was a Ford, even though the grille has Ford cast into it, and it was clearly a Ford Courier as a basis for the camper. It was scheduled to be released as MB35 and replace the Fandango but was switched at the last minute. Coming out late in the 1980 model year, the plan was for Fandango to be replaced. But a decision in late 1980 was made to drop all army related vehicles as soon as they could, so models were re-assigned new numbers to replace those army vehicles in the range. So the last of the 1980 new arrivals and early 1981 arrivals were moved from their planned slots into new ones and the army related items in them deleted. The MB38 slot had been occupied by a Jeep with a gun in the back. The first batch of models had just started being produced with no.35 on the base, and with an amber window to the rear camper section. But they still threw them out into stores anyway, and as well as changing the number decided to not bother with an amber window either. However, if you are nutty for base variations, the amber window did outlast the no.35 base. Mine happens to state no.38 on it, so was the later of the early run.

Of course almost immediately that window was gone, and from then on the Camper only came with a single camper section on the back.

I thought I would show this for fun. Obviously you rarely see the camper section removed from the main model. But without it you can see a huge piece added to the roof to rivet the camper in to (something they forgot to do in this case). Plus 2 large slots at the rear that the camper section would slot into as well.

But sadly this model lasted even less than the Pontiac Firebird. Debuting late in 1980, by mid 1982 it had been replaced by the Ford Model A Van. The Courier body section though, it was adapted into the MB063 4×4 Open Back Truck which also arrived in 1982. Again no mention of Ford, even though it was still cast into the grille. But with a short life, the Camper still managed to give us a number of variations. Obviously the amber window variant is the hardest to find. Shades of body are pretty easy to spot. It ranges from an orangey red shade to quite a dark red.

And the camper section usually appears in tan, but some later issues sported a cream camper section instead. Putting the 2 side by side does make it quite noticeable. It was such a shame that this casting was not kept around for longer. I was 8 when I first got one. I thought it was really cool and was really looking forward to getting more. But 2 years later it was gone, and until I got hunting for variations as an adult I only ever had that one. But every time I see it, this model really does bring back some cool childhood memories.

So after the early 1980s, I am jumping to the end of the 1990s. This is the MB380 Mercedes-Benz A-Class. A radical departure for the brand when they first launched it in 1997. They had never made a car that small, yet it was unusually tall too. It is said that they lost over €1400 on each 1st generation A-Class made. A second generation did not arrive until 2004, and the current 3rd/4th generations were a complete change of direction. Matchbox debuted the A-Class in the 1999 basic range in red. However, this was the year that the German basic range was radically different to anything else. Where the US and ROW markets saw an MB56 with a purple interior and a kayak themed side design, Germany sold it as MB75 with a simple lights detail and a black interior.

In 2000 it was only chosen to be in the ROW basic range. MB31 that year was silver and used the same simple lights design that the German debut had seen.

In 2001 it was only Germany keeping this going as a basic range issue. Now in black as MB63 exclusively in that market, and still sporting a simple light design.

However, it did see its first use outside of the basic range, as this green Chuckie themed model was a part of the Rugrats licensed 5-pack.

For 2002 it was now out of the basic range entirely. But this white issue was found in a Snow Cappers 5-pack.

They also re-did the Rugrats licensed 5-pack in new colours, but as a cost reduction, they were moving from a 3-pass tampo print to a 2-pass tampo print. Therefore the additional Rugrats logo that had been on the 2001 green model’s hood was on the 2002 purple model’s side.

There was a further 2002 release. Again this was purely for the German market. Lucky Germans getting all the cool stuff. A Stars of Germany series had debuted for 2002 and the A-Class was one of the 12 models chosen for the first year. It came in yellow with a simple lights design again.

They also added a 50 logo to all the Stars of Germany models in that year too, but these were not limited to 10,000 examples (all of them had them), and they were placed on the bases of the models, not in the main design.

For 2003 things were so much quieter for the model. Snow Cappers had rolled over from 2002 and the 5-pack was simply refreshed for 2003 with new colour combinations. What was a white Merc was now a blue Merc. A second 2003 issue was made too. A Coca-Cola Collectibles model in yellow and white, although being a premium issue I never got it at the time and am still to obtain it.

They were close to another one though. A Fairly OddParents licensed 5-pack was going to be issued that year, but after prototype samples of the 5 models were made, they canceled the pack. The A-Class was going to be one of the 5 models in the pack and it was going to look like this.

It did see a licensed 5-pack release for 2004 though. SpongeBob SquarePants was the name of the pack, and this had Plankton on the side.

It was also included in the Around the World series too, in white with the Parthenon of Athens depicted on the side of the model.

In 2005 it returned to the basic range for one more outing. MB32 was red again, just like the debut year when the entire world saw it in the basic range. Only this time it had an Auto Repair & A-Class side design.

It also had a 1-off release in the Superfast series. Well I say 1-off, it was 2005. The US series saw a black number 32 and the ROW assortment saw it in white.

Which leads to the final issue of the model. A yellow licensed 5-pack issue for Ice Age 2 featuring Scrat on the side was made in 2006, at which time the casting was retired.

So after 2006 comes 2007, and my 4th model. And well, with a brand new Lexus casting arriving in this assortment, who was wondering if I would showcase the only other Lexus casting? Yep. I am. The MB714 Lexus GS430. Lexus had been formed in the 1980s by Toyota as a luxury brand (at the same time as Honda did with Acura and Nissan with Infiniti) specifically targeting the USA market. In 1981, USA seeing cheap Japanese imports selling so well set up a Voluntary Export Restraint with Japan where only 1.68 million cars could be imported a year. It grew over the years little but little, but the big 3 Japanese manufacturers saw that to maximize profits, they needed to focus on the higher end market. But their names had already become synonymous with cheap imports. So the new luxury brands were their way of getting the higher spec vehicles successfully into USA and make them money. By 1994 when the restraint was lifted, these high end luxury brand names had become embedded, and as such were being used in more markets around the world too. So they kept them. the LS series which arrives in the current assortment was actually the first Lexus model developed. The GS series arrived 2 years later. Matchbox only made their first ever Lexus model after the 3rd generation GS series had arrived in 2005 and was proving to be quite popular. They debuted it in 2007 as MB23 in tan. Shades were to be found on this during production.

Later on in 2007 it was also given a version 2 release. It was chosen to be 1 of 3 models that saw the same emerald green look for their version 2 release, with a special 55th winged logo on it. There was a minor shade to that as well if you can see it in the picture.

Plus it was added to the 1st Editions 10-pack at the end of the year in silver.

For 2008 it moved to the MB37 slot in the basic range in red. Or dark red if you found a shade like I did.

It was also a part of the VIP5 5-pack that year in a dark metallic blue. Just how dark? Well, as these 2 shades go, they got pretty dark.

As well as these it was also chosen to be in the 2008 Superfast series in black. Tampos were basically the same as on regular issues, but the side window edges were enhanced on these over those from core ranges.

In 2009 it was still MB37, except it was not a part of the ROW market. That was just coincidence that year, as it was 2011 that saw them keep numbers from 2010 if they could. This was in a dark metallic blue.

As you can see when comparing it to the 2008 VIP5 5-pack release, it was not as dark. That one was really dark as I mentioned already. Plus the 2009 basic has a tan interior, not black interior.

2009 saw another 5-pack release. This time the pack was just called VIP. They dropped the “5” from it. I guess they figured people could count. It came in an iridescent off white, which if you hunted around could sometimes come out a little on the cream side.

The final year for the casting came in 2010. It was immediately out of the box in metallic green as a part of the Real 10-pack.

Before it saw 1 final outing in the basic range in metallic burnt orange. Another colour that is often good for shade variations. However, this year the ROW market saw the model return and it was the LAAM market that did not see it. After MB34 was dropped this particular Lexus was never seen again.

So time for one more casting before I finish this week. A perennial peg warmer if ever there was one. The MB819 Coyote 500. This was a Matchbox originals design, which I saw had some potential to it. This was during a period where they had created a number of rather unique off road style racing type vehicles. With their other brand focusing more on the track vehicles, Matchbox really went to town on creating a number of alternate, more extreme and niche areas of motorsport. From rally raid, to rock crawling and sandrailing among other motorsports. The Coyote 500 was one of a number of these vehicles, which as a rule were not too bad at selling. But the Coyote did struggle against its peers, which was a bit of a shame. I actually quite liked this one. You might tell as I did go a little nuts on it.

It debuted in the 2011 basic range as MB81 in the US range, MB29 in the LAAM range or MB65 in the ROW range. Its initial look was red with a snake themed design over the top. I found the red to come in lighter or darker shades.

Later on it was given a second look in the 2011 range as well, changing to this blue Dragon 5 look. This time though, it was the window component I was finding would change. Early runs came out quite pale, which was okay for the window itself, but as it also extended over the rear of the model, it was actually quite transparent on that part, so was darkened up to help cover it up better.

And yes, this was another casting that was given a 1st Editions 10-pack outing too in their debut year. This finishing the primary colour theme by having a yellow model (to go with red and blue basics).

In 2012 the basic range MB107 issue was in zamac with a somewhat familar top design if you had been busy collecting the series at the time. This was more prominent on another casting.

I do wonder if we will ever see this energy drink design return. It was also on the MB733 ’55 Ford F-100 Panel Delivery Van which had been in the MB69 slot in 2011. 2 years in a row with the cat. I am not opposed to a continuation. I always thought this would have been a brilliant design to add to an Aqua King.

We also saw a rather unusual Desert Adventure 5-pack release too. It came in blue in the pack. But the blue body did not receive a tampo print at all. It was all confined to the base section, which was also forming the lower half of the sides, giving us a Coyote and mud splatter look.

Oh back to the top again. In 2013 it was MB100 in the range in dark green with a snakeskin inspired top design.

In 2014 this look served double duty. It was MB61 in the basic range, but at the time, 5-packs were pulling random models from the basic range to them and this got pulled into the Jungle Reconnaissance pack too.

On this one, the base section (which if you remember forms the lower half of the sides which is why it interested me) came in a light or medium grey shade.

That proved to be the last basic range release for the model. In 2015 it saw just the one release. It was in a Jurassic World 5-pack. At first the pack was called Desert, until it was pointed out that the film had no desert scenes in it, so after the initial production run the pack was renamed Island.

They liked the word “Desert” though, so called a 206 5-pack by that name and threw the Coyote in there. This came in black with a 31 Off Road top design.

And a base that saw some quite drastic shade variations.

Which as you can see on the side shots, really do stand out against each other.

In 2017 the casting saw its final outing in the Explore The River 5-pack. Yes the same 5-pack that the Honda Ridgeline (shown earlier) was in with the White Water Raft. This was pale blue with a River Rafters theme.

But it was not quite the end of the Coyote 500 itself. An alternate MB1069 casting was created for Color Changers. The 2017 debut used the same design as used on the 2016 5-pack release. The alternate casting didn’t have the window section stretching over the rear part of the car like the regular casting.

This then saw a second outing in 2018 in tan in a unique design. And yes, I managed to find a shade to a Color Changers model. As I said, I actually quite liked this one. But after Color Changers finished the Coyote 500 has never been seen again.

And that I believe takes me to the end of the blog for another week. I hope you enjoyed my run down the first third of 2022’s basic range batch B (and last 2021). We saw 2 new castings in the way of a classic Lexus and classic Ford truck cab.

And 4 other models, 1 German, 1 Italian, 1 Japanese and 1 err, well can you call it American as it was designed in-house at El Segundo? I come up with the daftest of thoughts don’t I.

Now that we have seen the back of these 6 (get it, they are all showing their rears), next week will feature another 6 from the batch. Until then I hope everybody has a lovely week and catch you next Monday for more of the same.

6 Replies to “Matchbox Monday begins batch B 2022 and ties up a 2021 loose end”

  1. Yes David, that Lexus LS is the first generation. The headlights are a dead giveaway, as does the front bumper. Notice the first generation has the “strakes” go across the whole width of the bumper, while the second generation only on the sides, with the central intake being a large square on its own.

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