Another week begins, and another dive into the world of Matchbox. Their Moving Parts series is really starting to see some growth this year, and I am absolutely loving them. I can see these eventually taking over the mantle as the go-to series of Matchbox. That is if enough stores would sell them. Especially in the UK where we have zero stores that stock this range. So as always, I am very thankful to my friends over at Wheel Collectors in USA, who are starting to get a lot of new Matchbox items in at their store (you can click their name and it will take you to their store). They have sent over the second batch of the year, which means we still have another 6 batches due to arrive. I can’t wait. So without further ado, I shall get going with these.
As I often do, I am showcasing these in number order. There are 50 models in the series for 2022, split out over 8 batches. The first 2 batches are only 5 models apiece, which means the remaining 40 models will be coming over the space of 6 batches, so averaging 6 or 7 in each batch. Yes, build them up. As the year progresses the batches increase in size. As I said, I can’t wait. Especially as with a lot of new castings due, and oddly enough this batch having none, there are going to be quite a few close ups of new models too. Anyway, first up is the MB1192 ’32 Ford Pickup. It takes the number 24 slot in the series of 50, which means yes we are starting fairly high up as the new castings are taking up the first 20 slots.
This model has been very tastefully done in a nice solid blue. It does look very era-appropriate, as this sort of look was very 1930s. Again, very well done by the Matchbox team. It is simple, understated, and I love it.
The doors are also proving to be a good match for the rest of the body here. I have noticed it is something that they are having a few issues with at the factory. The front grille is a plastic piece so will inevitably be a different shade, as it is extremely difficult to get paint and plastic to match, but even this has been a pretty decent match. The grille sees a front end tampo print for the, well grille piece the headlights.
The rear is actually a double tampo hit. If you notice, the details for the tailgate are depicted on the blue body section and the lights are depicted on the black interior section which pokes out there. A lot of people would actually gloss over that as just a rear tampo print. But parts get printed before assembly which means that the 2 parts were printed at different times. It’s the little things like that which go unnoticed by many, but not by me. So kudos to the team for that added little touch there to give it a very authentic and simple look. In fact, all of the releases of this casting to date have been pretty simple. Shall we double check?
The casting debuted in the 2019 Superfast series, where it was slotted in the number 8 position that year. It arrived in gold with a chrome front grille section and again was a very simple look.
2020 saw it switch to the Moving Parts series where the metallic black with very simple front grille detailing again was sold.
2021 and back to the premium series, which by now had changed its name to Collectors. It was number 13 in the set and this one was a metallic burgundy, and again saw just simple detailing all over. So yes, this is being sold again with all simple details.
And I like it. These 4 releases to date all feel to me that they could be from the 1930s. Simple, understated, and looking very good.
They appear to be following a bit of a pattern. Only the debut saw gold runners and anything above and beyond detailing that the others had. the grille was chrome, and the rear had a Superfast logo on it. Since then they have all followed a simple pattern and I am thoroughly enjoying them. I hope to see a solid green version at some point. I think that too would work very nicely in this theme.
So next up we have the MB1255 ’20 BMW M4 Cabriolet. It takes the number 29 slot in the series in white.
A very simple look again, and another that with just front and rear printing on a standard looking model, I can see no wrong with what they did. I like the burgundy interior too. It just makes this model pop. Very impressive.
The doors open on this one too, and again they do seem to match up pretty well with the rest of the model. Although being white, that might have been just a little easier. It is a great little casting, and I am happy they went with the older generation than the brand new one. It is a bit polarizing.
I love the nice clean rear with the BMW “M” logo prominently on show. Yes, I really like this one. And I prefer it to last year’s debut too.
Enter the 2021 Moving Parts number 16 of 20 release. Don’t get me wrong. I liked that one. It also has the BMW “M” stripes only on the front. But I think the white really suits the model better than the blue did. Plus the logo doesn’t stand out as well.
Everything just pops on the white one. Very clear and tidy. Of course the other one did have the fun license plate. This year’s one was boring. Ha ha! I was never fussed by having Matchbox written on the back of the last one. Never sure as to why, but I didn’t think too much about it. So that is 2 out of 2 I am absolutely loving so far. If I was to rate this, I would say this is an improvement on the last issue.
Whereas this? Not an improvement on the last release. But honestly, I think the MB1263 ’88 Chevy Monte Carlo LS debuted in the best it will ever look. Everything after will be an also ran.
Now don’t get me wrong. Number 30 of 50 for 2022 is in a golden tan, and I really like it. I enjoy these tan models and I was seriously impressed by the casting after being a little ho-hum about it arriving when first announced. And again, the doors appear to be matching pretty well here.
And they still have that perfect closing mechanism to them. I can’t show that in picture. But I am still to find another model that has doors that close as perfectly as these do. Just like last year, the model sports simple front and rear tampos. At the front we get a silver grille and headlights depicted.
And the rear has the red lights depicted, along with a little silver pin striping and Luxury Sport on the license plate. Now I did get a slightly unusual one, as this one has a little tampo splash over the back with a few random pieces of silver dotted over it. I have seen others. They were clear. Mine was just a 1-off. And it’s all mine. Unique! Ha ha! I don’t mind things like that. Bloopers happen.
But as I said, as much as I like this golden tan release for 2022, I don’t think there will be another release of this casting I like as much as that black one. It was a home run right out of the box. Never to be replicated. Anybody who remembers my end of year Top 10 from 2021 will remember this was almost at the top.
I am not sure if this will make my end of year Top 10 for 2022. It’s still way too early to tell, but it is going to remain one of my better additions of the year. Because I am extremely impressed with this casting. So all releases will be popular with me, but all will be in the shadow of the debut.
I think this proved to be quite a hit when it debuted. The MB1262 ’78 Subaru BRAT. It is no surprise to see it return pretty quick for more. It was in the final batch of 2021 and now sees another issue only 2 batches later as number 43 of 50.
And do I love this look or do I love this look? That is your 2 choices. This time it is in white with a simple red stripe and BRAT and 4×4 amidst the stripe. These of course are based on the real BRAT is they were sold looking like that.
And the striping does go around the rear too. If you look really carefully at the corner, you can just make out a very fine mis-alignment between the side print and rear print. Obviously there had to be a join somewhere, but remember this is a picture which does enhance these things. I tell you, in hand you would not even notice it. They did a fine job in getting it remarkably close. I am literally only pointing it out to make you aware that this is a picture which will focus on things that on a small model are not even visible. It in no way detracts from anything and I love it.
Sporting an opening hood does mean that we get a detailed engine inside too. Another great job on this one. I am seriously impressed.
Plus, the best part for me is that this is just the last one flipped. Where it debuted in red with white printing, it is now white with red printing. I love these consistent looks for models, and this is a big win for me.
I am thoroughly enjoying this casting and am seriously looking forward to more arriving. And don’t forget, this is a USA BRAT due to the jump seats in the rear, and it is written BRAT as that is an acronym for Bi-directional Recreational All-terrain Transporter. Another home run.
This brings us to the final model in the batch, and the welcome return of the MB1161 ’16 Chevy Corvette Stingray. It takes the number 48 slot in the series of 50 models for the year. Although why the packaging shows the GM logo and not the Corvette logo I am unsure of. Not that it matters to me.
Because with me, packaging never lasts. As is the case with many vehicles that show off their engines, this one is highly detailed when you open the hood (or bonnet).
The model sports a lovely front print too.
As well as rear printing. I mean it doesn’t have stripes, but I still like it. This dark red always looks good on a Corvette, and most Matchbox ‘Vettes end up seeing it at some point. It is also very nice to see this return. I was wondering if it had been forgotten after the C8 debuted in 2020. Glad to see it return.
After all, this was the only other release of this to date. That’s right, it debuted in the 2019 Superfast series in white with dual black stripes and this is only its second outing. Happy to see it return, and in such a lovely colour.
Hopefully, I know there is a C8 with an opening rear coming soon too, this will still see more years of use. Can 2 consecutive generations of Corvettes be sold side by side? I don’t see why not. I like this model, and I am happy to continue seeing it for a while yet. Another is coming extremely soon.
So that is the end of another little batch of Moving Parts. Batch C is just starting to appear and still looks to be a selection of 5. I look forward to showcasing those soon. As the year continues batches will start to increase in size. I can’t wait for that to happen, as I am finding in general the Moving Parts to be more exciting than the basic range. These 5 are all pretty cool little castings, and all of them are sporting very simple looks. This is exactly how I enjoy them. So while I wait for that to happen, I guess I should do what I usually do and prepare some shots of older models from my collection.
Which this time begins with the MB65-A Saab Sonett III. This was the first of only 2 Saab models that Matchbox have ever made. Obviously with Saab no longer around, we will never see any NEW new ones, but even coming out with a classic now might be tough, as trying to figure out who owns the right to the Saab name now could take a little work. The original Sonett (some say it was based on a simple Swedish phrase “Så nätt den är” which translates to “how neat it is” was first unveiled in 1955, mainly for use in racing, but as rules changed just after its unveiling, the plans were scrapped and a total of 6 models were made. Fast forward to the mid 1960s, and again Saab were looking at a small sporty car, designed to compete against the Triumph Spitfires and Austin Healeys of the time. The Sports Car Club of America was one of the biggest influences, and again they were looking at a vehicle that they could race in. A new model was launched in 1966, and they called in Sonett II. It had a tiny engine in it, and as all 258 models made were left hand drive, most exported to USA, and the belief was the engine was letting it down. A new V4 engine had been developed at the time and the Sonett II was upgraded in mid 1967 to the V4 and a further 1,610 were made until the end of 1969. The Sonett V4 was different also due to a large bulge in the hood to accommodate the larger engine. But as laws were changing for 1970, this Sonett V4 was not going to pass emission laws, so they developed the Sonett III. It ran from 1970 until 1974 and Saab made 8,368 in total. Lesney obviously saw one, like it, and created a model out of it. It debuted in the 1973 basic range in the MB65 slot, finally giving that slot a Superfast model.
It ran for 4 years and only sported the 1 look. It was blue, came with a yellow interior (which also formed the small hood bulge at the front), had amber windows and a blue plastic tailgate that opened up. Of course with 4 years of production you can find variances.
The most common is with the blue. It had quite the range from light to dark over those 4 years. You might find a small shade to the interior, opening tailgate or window element too, but they don’t seem to be as large as on the body.
Me? I love this model. Currently have 5 shades of blue. As I said, it varied. After 1976 the model was dropped from the basic range and that was almost that.
Because this popped up at the end of the decade. I am not sure what the plan was for it, but it ended up being found in a number of MP-1 branded 5-packs. They are not easy to find in white, but every other part was still identical to the original blue model.
Blue opening tailgate, amber window, yellow interior, unpainted base, 5-spoke wheels. Yes, everything else matched. Only the fact it was white made it different. After this short run issue the casting was then retired for good. Although in the mid 1980s a cost reduced casting was developed from it for their new budget range called Super GT.
But before I move on to my next model, I just had to pop these up too. As I said, I love this model, and have managed to obtain 2 pre-production samples of it. One in green, the other in yellow. And yes, everything else was still the same. I have also seen metallic gold and cream prepros as well, but again those still had every other part identical. I do find it funny that even through the pre-production stages, I have never seen anything else except amber windows, yellow interiors and blue tailgates. It was a cute little car. Still one of my favourites.
So shall I get on with the next prepro? Yes, this was 1982. After the whole Japanese debacle where Lesney had set up a special unique range in 1977 for the Japanese market. they then decided to expand it in 1979 with some external R&D by a sub-contracted Japanese company to design and build 4 unique castings for this Japanese market. After seeing these castings once production had begun and the external R&D people sent over samples, the Lesney guys were horrified, cancelled the whole Japanese exclusive deal, and under the terms of the agreement actually took ownership of said 4 castings. They sent them to Hong Kong to another sub-contracted company to see what they could do. They tinkered a bit, and some releases were made, mainly for the Australianand US market. Then, due to the splitting of the basic range in 1981, with Lesney realizing that it was cheaper to build and ship to USA from there, sent over some additional castings to manufacture, ship and sell in the US market. But they still weren’t happy with these 4 castings. One was a Galant Eterna, which was basically known as a Dodge Challenger in USA. Lesney, being in England, though “hey, we have a Dodge Challenger”. So they just modified their original 1975 casting and released it in 1982. The other 3, well there was a Toyota Celica XX (they looked at doing a Supra instead), a Savannah RX7, which they just made a new Mazda RX7, and then there was the Fairlady Z, which was the Datsun 280 in domestic Japanese form, so they just created a new Datsun 280ZX casting to replace it in-house at Lesney R&D.
1982 had seen them set up this new MAN number system. Confusion was rampant with the 1981 range, as different models were being sold in ROW markets to US markets. Worse still, for 1982, more new castings were coming that were going to be sold under different numbers for the 2 markets. For example the Pontiac Firebird SE was going to replace the Citroen CX in the US market as MB12 (the Citroen was carrying on in the ROW market as it was popular there), but it was going to replace the Combine Harvester in the ROW market as MB51. The Combine had already been dropped from the US market for 1981 and Tanzara brought back, now known as Midnight Magic. But that was carrying on in the Us market. How would they list the Firebird SE? Until then, most models had simply been given their number, with a backslash and then the next number up. So MB1/1 was replaced by MB1/2, MB1/3 and so on. That was the internal numbering. Easy enough. Models brought back in twin packs were assigned slightly new numbers, by adding either a 7 or an 8 in front of their original number. So the MB57 Eccles Caravan was turned into MB857. Pony Trailer was MB43, now MB743. This sort of logic was working. So they took the 1982 range, listed down the ROW series of 75 models as MB001 to MB075, and then were hoping that these 3 new castings were going to be issued in 1982, gave them the next 3 slots. So for example, the MB051 Pontiac Firebird SE was numbered after its ROW slot, not the US MB12 slot. After these 3 additionals, they then listed down everything in the US range, but not in the ROW range as the next numbers, followed by some Code Red models, as these were also being used. Twin pack models had already been assigned numbers way off in the distance and were pretty much forgotten. Side note, twin packs were dropped temporarily after Lesney went bust, and when returned in 1984, any not still in use were permanently forgotten (like Eccles Caravan), but those that Universal brought back (like Pony Trailer) kept going under that number. When eventually Mattel hit the 700s, they had forgotten this list, and the first year over-rode those in the lower 700s, but once pointed out, they then skipped the remaining ones. Hence why Pony Trailer is still now MB743. But those 3 additionals? Early prototypes have Lesney England bases. Like this red one above. But they never got issued in time. Each one had issues. The Toyota couldn’t get the roof formed properly, the Mazda had issues with the rear license plate and the Datsun?
Well the doors wouldn’t fit properly. This blue one has doors that as soon as you touch them, they try to make a run for it. They had issues with all 3 new castings. then with Lesney going bust and R&D not knowing what was going on, the later part of 1982 became a bit of a quiet zone until Universal took over.
The toolings for all 3 were finished up and production was ready to commence. Of course, being a worldwide release meant that these 3 castings were immediately sent out to Macau for production and only pre-production samples sported a Lesney England base.
It debuted as MB24 in the basic range worldwide. It was all new for the ROW range, but in the US it simply took over the slot that the older Fairlady Z was in as the Hong Kong made Japan original casting was immediately dropped. It came in black with a light amber window and simple gold stripe detailing. The white interior plain is a prepro from England.
As seen by this base shot of the pair. For some reason they moved the scale from the middle of the car to the front for production too. I don’t know why.
In 1984, completely oblivious to Lesney’s issues with Japan, Universal set up a new deal with Japan. It ran for 4 year, and after originally taking the ROW range in 1983 (and reverting back to it in 1988), for 4 years Japan saw the 1-75 range increase to 100 models. Models were all released under different numbers to elsewhere in the world, and they took a number of core issues, some US and ROW exclusives, a few carried on a year after the rest of the world had dropped them, and they also saw a few exclusives. Released in the number 34 slot was this unique white model with blue and red tampo, various logos and 33. Because you know, it was number 34 in the range. I would have either put a 34 on the model, or released it in the number 33 slot. But that’s just me.
But that wasn’t all. A new casting was created, which was simply the MB077 with a set of lights stuck on the roof. It was given a new MAN number of MB144 for this release due to the additional part. This one was sold as number 44 in the Japanese range. Both of these castings ran through the entire 4-year exclusive Japanese range run. After 1987 and the Japanese range reverted back to taking ROW only and these 2 looks were dropped (the MB144 completely).
In 1984 they decided to add a little more gold to the model in the regular basic range. The catalogue model actually sported a little bit if white mixed in with the gold.
But they decided against it for production and those white tampo stripes also turned gold too. The model ran for 2 years in the basic range in this “more gold tampo” look and then was dropped for 1986.
Of course during production you might also find some were made with gold 5-arch wheels instead of the usual chrome. There is a caveat to that though. I mentioned that the model was dropped after 1985. Well this gold wheel model appeared in 1986. How? As I have mentioned before, until Mattel took over and completely changed how Matchbox was produced/sold in 1998, there was a simple plan. A model would be produced continually until replaced. So in 1986, the Datsun 280ZX would be replaced in the MB24 slot in the range by the newer MB167 Nissan 300ZX Turbo, but that doesn’t mean January 1. the new casting would appear at some point during the year. So in the early part of 1986, any store requesting more MB24s would simply get a new production run of this Datsun. So yes, it was replaced in 1986, but was was still in production as the year began. Just not by the end of the year. Which means that gold wheels were a 1986 thing on a model, that according to books finished in 1985. We can tell that because they stick out. The reason?
I show on one of the Japanese white models. Axle braces were added for 1986 because the model was being added to the Superfast series that was launching in 1986 and they required these axle braces. Therefore all models got them.
Which did mean for regular issues they stuck out the sides of the models. Starburst wheels on Superfast models were much thinner and as such didn’t stick out. The 2 Japanese issues were basically a half and half with thin vs wide axles. But the black basic range was just a short run of wide at the end. Most come with gold wheels but it does exist with chrome wheels too.
And well, as I have been talking about Superfast, this was it. The 1986 SF9 in black with orange, yellow and white tampo. Plus those starburst wheels. The very first batch had wheels that are slightly smaller. If you were to get out a tape, the original wheels were 10.5mm in diameter, but were almost immediately switched to a larger 11.5mm diameter wheels. I don’t have a 10.5mm. It ran until 1990.
In 1987 this was then joined by a Laser Wheels equivalent. Superfast was a USA only series, but Laser Wheels was worldwide. It was supposed to take over, but USA kept requesting more Superfast stuff so they ran them both. This was one of the few models that saw no difference between the Superfast and Laser Wheels model except for the wheels.
In 1988 the Laser Wheels variant did see a change. They turned the black into metallic grey. This too ran until 1990 at which point the Laser Wheels and Superfast series were finished.
This is from 1987. A little side step for the model. Matchbox launched the Roadblaster series, and Killer Zee (as this was called) was a part of the Motor Lords team. It saw a small change to the body, as the interior was removed, as well as the doors. The window component was completely altered to give us this look.
And to think, back in the day they spent all that time trying to get those doors working. Typical! Could have just left them off and released it in 1982…. No? Ha ha!
the model was then able to attach a few additional pieces for full-on assault.
After 1990 the model was retired. But in the mid 1990s China was making some tests on things. To do this they pulled out a few casting that were not in use to practice on. One of them was the Datsun. They painted it metallic red, and it came with either 8-dot wheels or dot-dash wheels. These are pretty hard to find.
They are the only thing that was made in China. I am not sure why they did these. But they did.
And just in case you were interested, it was a different metallic dark red to the Roadblaster model. After this the model was retired for good.
Okay why not tackle a bit of a biggie here. This is the MB280 Plymouth Prowler Concept Vehicle. The Chrysler Group unveiled this concept at the 1993 NAIAS Auto Show in January 1993 and well, it was met with a really mixed reaction. Some absolutely loved it, for this was before retro was cool, and nobody had even done a hot rod type car from scratch. They decided to actually make it later on, with just under 500 models made for the 1997 model year. After taking a year off, they created more from 1999-2002, although because the Plymouth brand name was being killed off, it was marketed as a Chrysler Prowler for the last 2 years. In total nearly 12,000 vehicles were made in one of 12 different colours. The actual production vehicle didn’t veer too far away from the concept. So much so that when Mattel later re-engraved the base, they actually deleted the words “Concept Vehicle” from the name. The model debuted in 1995. It was sold as either MB34 for the US market or MB6 for the ROW market. It debuted in the concept show model’s colour, purple and featured a simple silver front grille print. Fun fact, purple was the only choice for the 1997 production run in real life. They added 11 more options in 1999. I still don’t know why it wasn’t produced in real life in 1998. Well actually, tell a lie, there was 1. It was made, and then subsequently buried in a time capsule in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where it will be opened up again in 2048.
During production the shade of purple did vary.
Although people often don’t take as much notice of the fact that the shade of grey to the base also varied.
In 1996 the model continued on in purple. Except for one small change. They stopped printing the grille. I don’t know why.
The model ran into the beginning of 1997 (as I had just mentioned with the Datsun above) and before it was given a makeover a final batch was given the new concave 5-spoke wheels that had just debuted.
1996 also saw 2 different 5-packs issues. The black model was a part of the Convertibles 5-pack, and the orange the Concept Cars 5-pack. Both packs arrived at about the same time, and as you can see both actually sported the exact same tampo design (in different colours, each matching the interior). As these were both early 1996 releases, neither were still in production when the wheels changed.
Now 1996 and 1997 did see a number of premium products. I don’t have them all, so am just going to list things. Well actually it began at the end of 1995, as the 1996 Toy Fair model was in yellow (don’t own), and in 1996 the Premiere Collection saw a premium look to the purple in series 1 (do own, but didn’t show). A series of 3 white promotionals appeared in 1996, one specified Dallas, another Hong Kong, and a third more generic “Toy Fair” model too. Then we had 4 more Premiere Collection models (charcoal, red, silver and blue) later on too. These then culminated with the 1997 Toy Fair models in black at the end of the year. If it has a yellow interior (like the one I showed) it means it was in use in Germany and the UK. If it has an orange interior it means it was in use in USA.
1997 came along and with it a new look for the basic range. Not a huge difference to before. It was now maroon.
But it did get the silver grille back too.
This also meant, if you lived in USA, that we also got a 75 Challenge model too in plain gold. Although that was actually an early issue and does run the gauntlet of starting with spiral wheels and ending with concave 5-spokes. I am still looking for the 5-spoke.
We had another 5-pack. Cars of the future was the name, and this model was in white, and carried on with the 5-pack design tradition from 1996. Prowler on the side, matching the interior.
But then they went and did another 5-pack of Convertibles and completely changed the side design for this blue model. The Convertibles pack did roll through to early 1998 and as such production was shifted from Thailand to China. It means the 2 models are slightly different in many aspects.
Base shot! Thailand vs China. There were another 2 premiums this year too (not pictured). A black model in the Gold Collection and another dark metallic red, similar to the basic but more detailed in the Premiere Collection.
In 1998 the model became a US exclusive. That’s right the ROW MB6 was dropped, but the US MB34 was now moved to MB18. It came in metallic tan and again lost the front grille print. You might also note a change of shade. Variation?
No, actually it was more to do with the fact this too moved from Thailand to China. The only other issues in 1998 were premiums again. Bright purple, orange, yellow or burgundy were the 4 different premiums. I am still busy hunting them down. One day I will be pretty much on top of premium stuff. I do have a few, but as I said, if people want me to show the ones I do have, I can photograph them.
In 1999 the model was no longer in the basic range. But it was back in 5-packs again. This time the Open Road 5-pack. There was only one premium this time, in a metallic rust look.
For 2000 the model returned to the US basic range. This time it was black with a simple headlight tampo.
But as this was 2000, the first 10,00 produced of MB4 that year did also sport a Matchbox 2000 logo on top of the regular rear lights printing.
2000 also saw some “blank” models prepared for use by companies like ASAP and Color Comp. One was grape, the other lemon.
Named as such because they are different to those we knew from before. The grape here is shown next to the 1996 purple. Noticeably different shade.
And the lemon next to the 1999 5-pack where you can see again just how much paler it is. They were unique paint jobs for these blanks.
In 2001 the model was back worldwide in the basic range again. It was sold as MB58 everywhere (first time under the same number in the range worldwide) in metallic gold with Prowler down the side in large yellow letters.
It was quite a lot different to the 1998 look. As you can see. There is a small shade, and it now says Prowler. Totally different.
After that, the model took 2002 off. It returned in 2003 with a bang. It was a part of a Nickelodeon 5-pack featuring Jimmy Neutron on the sides and after the metallic blue was made, a second alternate black model arrived a few months later in the singles too. It also saw 3 more premiums too. After not having a premium outing since 1999, we saw 2 different Barrett Jackson releases (first copper with black top, then silver with black top), and at the end of the year a Justice League model appeared in black with Batman on it.
They obviously liked the black top look, as in 2004 it was added to the Superfast series in blue with a black top. It was sold in the number 58 slot in the range.
It was then sold in metallic sand and in purple for the 2005 Superfast series. Sand was the ROW release and purple the US release.
Now the metallic sand is very noticeable against earlier tans.
And well, so is the purple. Definitely a duller purple than what we were used to.
In 2006 it returned to the basic range. It was sold as MB17 in silver with very minimal detailing.
And then later in the year, they only went and gave it a second version too. This time in metallic orange, which is always good for a shade.
That would prove to be the final outing for the basic range. But it wasn’t quite done. After having 2007 off, 2008 saw a licensed Go Diego Go 5-pack arrive with Diego himself on the side of the model. During production it switched from flower wheels to double 10-spokes.
And after a few more years off, we got a final issue (unless they bring it back, you never know) in a 2011 licensed 5-pack too. This time it was a SpongeBob SquarePants 5-pack in blue with Bob and Patrick on the side.
So as we move into the Mattel era for this week, my attention moves to a model that I would still like to see pop up randomly and also am surprised it never saw any emergency style alternate. The MB674 Volvo XC90. If you were to Google Volvo XC90 ambulance, paramedic, police, notarzt, feuerwehr, or various others in different languages, you would be inundated with loads of photos of vehicles just like this, with a roof bar on the top. Mattel could have gone nuts with those. But as it was, we only had it as a civilian vehicle. It first debuted as MB55 in 2005 in silver. A very plain silver. No front end tampo, and only a rear print.
This was shortly after the move from Mount Laurel to El Segundo for the Matchbox brand, and soon after (mid 2005) production of models moved out of the Chinese factory into the Thailand one. So midway through this production run it switched. The 2 are very similar here.
You do really need to check the base to know which was which. After this, all production was in the Thailand factory.
In 2006 it was red as MB60 in the basic range. This model was very good for a shade or 2.
There was also a German exclusive in th2 2006 Stars of Cars series in metallic cream.
And the model saw its highest level of trim outing in the 2006 Superfast range in black. The number 38 issue was the only one to see side window detailing out of all XC90s made.
2006 was the only year that saw more than 1 issue of the model. 2007 saw this metallic light green appear in the basic range as MB24. Again I was having fun finding shades to it.
Although not as much fun as I was having in 2008. The MB43 issue in blue here, all 4 I have are different shades.
The difference between the lightest and darkest was really big. I was loving it! But sadly I think I was loving it all too much. This proved to be the last time it was in the basic range. 4 years and done.
But it did pop up one more time. It was in the Real 10-pack of 2010 in brown. Yes, again I did find 2 shades of brown for this one. I was doing really well duplicating (or quadrupling in the case of the blue) all issues apart from the non-basics of 2006. But sadly, we have not seen anything of this casting since that time. I would not be opposed to them dusting the casting off for a 9-pack release, or a random insert in a 5-pack. As I said, I would also have loved for them to create an alternate with light bar and create a wide range of Euro themed designs across the police, ambulance and fire sectors (plus more too). Especially as this model debuted 10 years after the one I showcased just before it, and didn’t even last as long as that did.
And now I move to the final model this week. The MB855 Oshkosh M-ATV. The real vehicle was first released by Oshkosh in 2009 as a replacement for the aging HMMWV (or Humvee is most people call it) for military use, although in the end, this being a smaller and more nimble machine ended up being in production as well as it. The M is actually short for MRAP, which itself stands for Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected, with ATV obviously standing for All Terrain Vehicle. It first arrived in the Matchbox range as MB110 in 2012 in dark green with the name sprawled across the sides.
For 2013 this orange version served double duty. This was during the short era of pulling a model from singles for 5-packs, and the MB84 issue was also a part of the Battle Mission 5-pack. But if it is pulling double duty, I might as well have 2. Oh look, one was darker than the other. Sweet!
There was a second 2013 release too. Remember Mission Force? I still miss those. We briefly saw them again the other year, and as soon as they were here, they were gone again. Anyway, this was in the 2013 Tactical Crew set in dark red.
For 2014 we finally saw a very traditional looking M-ATV in the way of the MB83. A light tan with front and side detailing. Brilliant!
But we also saw another Mission Force issue as well. This time it was blue in the Tactical set (no “Crew” on the name this year).
In 2015 the model was dropped from the basic range, but it wasn’t quite done with having 2 releases. The Battle Mission 5-pack saw this grey issue, which saw 2 different wheels during production. The more common cog wheel or the rarer large 6-spoke wheel.
And Mission Force. Oh yes, 3 years in a row being included in a Mission Force set. This year’s set was called Strike Squad and the model was beige.
After that though, the model went on hiatus. It returned in 2018 to the basic range where it was sold as MB122 in what looks like a very familiar look.
Yes it was a carry forward of the 2014 basic range issue. But the shade of tan was a little different between the 2.
Since that time the model has been seen one more time. This was the 2020 MB70 in blue with a Federal Police side design. I do hope to see it again. Especially if Mattel reach out to the Police in Wilmington, North Carolina. They actually made one of these in their police force in 2019 in black with white doors. It would make an awesome model! Just throwing ideas out there.
And on that note, I do believe another report is over. I hope you enjoyed it. And again thanks to Wheel Collectors for keeping me in Moving Parts models. I do like this batch.
Next week another batch of another range. Mixing and matching as I work my way through the year. Until then I hope everybody has a good week, and see you next Monday.