Matchbox Monday makes a start on Batch C basics

Another batch of the basic range is with us, and this batch officially contains 17 models in it. However, there is a chase and a “special bonus” model included in the batch, which I will touch upon in later reports. To begin with I am just taking 6 models from the batch, which were sent over to me by Wheel Collectors in USA. Thanks guys (they sent a massive box of goodies).

So I am just getting stuck in. So today I am starting with the MB1199 ’19 Jeep Renegade, which takes the MB6 slot in the 2022 basic range.

This is the model’s 3rd outing in the basic range, and yes, it is still in a lovely simple colour with front and rear tampos. I believe this is somewhat close to what Jeep referred to as Sierra Blue. It was a colour choice to the Renegade for a while, although I am not sure if it is still an option now. But this is a 2019 Renegade so is not a brand new 2022 edition. So going with the older colour choices makes sense.

I have been a bit of a fan of this casting since it debuted and I love that they are keeping it simple all the time. Of course now I say that, it will probably go in a completely different direction for its next outing. But so far I am liking all that I have seen.

Even more so that I have already discovered a shade variation on it. The one at the front is a paler blue to the one at the back. I don’t hang around finding my shades do I?

So how about a recap of the history. It first arrived in 2020 as MB1. It debuted in bright green with the same front and rear tampo as the new one. I have often said how much I like consistency.

However, if you were paying attention, the early runs came with a lighter grey interior to them. The interior forms the lower portion of the front of the model, and after an initial pale grey look, later ones sported a grey that was closer to the shade of the base.

For 2021 it was sold as MB26 in red. Again the design was lovely and simple. This time I found no variations to the release.

But also that original green kept popping back up. It re-appeared late in 2021 in the Best of Italy series (as the renegade is built there) as one of the carry forwards. Well actually the whole batch was carry forwards.

But in this batch it was a noticeably different green.

And then at the start of this year it also popped up again in the 2022 Best of France series as one of their carry forwards.

It too was a different shade of green. Putting the 3 side by side I could see a difference which is why I have all 3.

Although I can definitely see the difference in the 3 regular releases. Not on the rear license plate though. All 3 have the exact same Jeep plate. As I said, these have been amazingly consistent throughout the 3 releases. The only difference between the 3 is the colour the body was painted in. Tampos, windows, interiors, wheels and bases have stayed the same. Consistent or what?

Next up is the MB1212 Self-Driving Bus. This too is on its third outing in the basic range, and for 2022 takes the MB37 slot.

Now as I have shown in the past, this casting is basically the same when viewed either way. So it is tough to guess which the front end is from the back end. However one side shows a Matchbox City logo on the left and an Eco logo on the right.

But as you might have noticed here, these are the other way round on the other side of the model.

And with the packaging showing the model coming towards you with Eco towards the front end, I would say that this is the front end of the vehicle. At least that is how I am working it.

Looking at the direction of the base is irrelevant. The body simply clicks on and off. Which is part of the fun with this casting.

Because, as I said, this debuted in 2020. It was sold as MB3 that year and came with a blue top over white lower. The new one is a dark amber top over grey lower.

But because these tops click on and off, we can mix and match. Make up our own variations. Blue over grey and amber over white anyone?

Perhaps I should bring in the 2021 MB28 in yellow over black for a little fun too.

Oh look, that now has a grey lower and the new one a black lower. These are lots of fun. It may be a Matchbox originals casting, but it is a fun casting on top. I enjoy getting these. Just imagine if you owned 3 of each release, you could have made yourself your own set of 9 custom variations by now. Obviously these are not real variations. We are just making them up. There is not crossover in production between releases, so none of these custom variants we make are official in any way. So beware if you see any advertised as a rare variation. It is not. It is a custom.

So is this model on its third outing in the basic range? Not quite. It’s just a tad longer. 2011 the casting debuted. The MB821 Ford Police Interceptor. It shows no sign of slowing down either. First released to coincide with Ford’s police variant of a 6th generation Taurus in late 2011, which was replacing the old Crown Victoria police vehicle, Ford never used the Taurus name in marketing for the model. They simply called it the Police Interceptor Sedan. So Matchbox followed suit in not using the Taurus name either.

And the casting just keeps plugging away. Which is fine. It does not look dated and still works now. So why not carry it on. It takes the MB42 slot for 2022 and comes in white with a yellow/orange/red band down the side with an FD Hazmat Team logo too. And can I say, I just love this look.

Apart from the fact that this is a very nice side design anyway, this one is a recurring theme again. I love recurring themes.

It was used in 2021 on the MB94 release of the Hazard Squad casting, now getting a second outing. Ooh I hope we see more of these. I think the colours, being quite traditional Matchbox colours too, really make these memorable. As you can see, from the A58 on the Hazard Squad, Michael Heralda was the mastermind behind the initial design. I don’t know if he did the Ford too, or if he has just let them loose in utilizing his look for further outings, but I hope we see many more of these over coming years. Build up a nice little group of Hazmat Team models. I know it might be sacrilege to come up with this vehicle choice, but for me the MB824 SWAT Truck could make a good Hazmat Team model. Yeah I know, it is a Matchbox Originals design, but so was the Hazard Squad. But anyway, that aside, shall we do a deep dive on this Ford? There is a lot of history to it.

As I said, it first arrived back in 2011 as MB49 in black. It sported a Fargo Police side design on the white doors. This being an official design for Fargo in North Dakota. Daft fact, this was the last time to date that this casting has used a real livery on the side. Yeah I know, first issue and done with the real liveries.

As was often the case at the time, we then saw a version 2 later in the year. This was an original design for MBX Sheriff.

And then it was added to the 1st Editions 10-pack at the end of the year too in blue with a simple Pursuit side design. Again an original design.

For 2012 it moved to the MB6 slot in the range in grey with an Airport Police side design.

And the floodgates were opening on other ranges too. A Police 5-pack issue in black with a simple MBX Police on white banner side design.

And we also saw a Crime Crew Mission Force set with another black MBX Police release, this time on a blue stripe and white check background.

In 2013 it was in the MB58 slot in black with a Unit 7 Police Interceptor side design. The large amount of white tampo did vary in consistency throughout production too. Some came out much brighter (read thicker) than others.

And we got another Mission Force release too. This was simple called Police Crew and had Police on a white banner down the sides.

For 2014 it was in the MB87 slot in green with a Marshall side design. Or should that be Marshal? Yes, it was pointed out it only has one “L” in Marshal and a running change was made to correct it.

And, oh yes, Mission Force. Seriously. This was just the go-to model of the Mission Force era. The set was simply called Police this time, and the model was now white with a simple Police side design on it.

In 2015 the model was only seen in an EMT 5-pack. It came in blue with a Sheriff side design.

And in 2016 yet another 5-pack only release. This was called Fire and the red Fire Chief model did see some shading in the red during production. Some coming out a little more bronzed than others.

In 2017 the model underwent a slight re-tooling, turning the separate light bar into a part of the window component. Again it was 5-pack only, appearing in the Open Road Cruisers 5-pack. During production the shade of off-white did vary with some coming out more cream than others.

And there was a run where they ran out of disk wheels, leaving us with a 6-spoke wheel variant.

For 2018 it was back in the basic range as MB84. This black State Police model was another that saw the disks temporarily switch to 6-spokes.

The model took 2019 off. First break since debuting. For 2020 it returned to the basic range again as MB28 in silver with a blue Police Interceptor side design and featuring the Skybusters logo that Matchbox uses on the Skybusters models. During production the dark blue tampo varied between a regular dark blue, and very dark navy blue shade.

Oh and it still got the “we ran out of disk wheels” treatment too. Yes another run appeared with 6-spokes. They were fun. They really should still do them. I haven’t seen an alternate wheel variant since this.

Also in 2020 Mattel briefly brought back Mission Force. And as I said, this is the go-to model of Mission Force, so it was only right it appeared in one of the sets. The Rescue Squad set features this Unit 6 Police interceptor side design on a black model.

Which is absolutely nothing like the 2013 basic range issue. That was Unit 7. Love it! I think it is great when they can sneak a small change to a carry forward release like this. Of course it had the alternate light bar style too.

For 2021, 10 years after the debut year saw 2 looks, we saw 2 again. Only this time the 2 looks saw 2 different numbers in the range. At first we saw MB81, in a red Fire Chief design. again this did vary in shade with some coming just a tad more bronze than others.

And then we saw something extremely unique. MB95 arrived later on and for the first time, the casting saw front and rear printing. Having always been a core release, it has never had a premium look, so every single release concentrated on putting side designs on the model.

But this one was so cool I actually photographed it twice. Just to get the front and rear in view. An awesome release. I wonder what the next issue will look like? Will we ever see another licensed look for the casting? I mean the NYPD look is a given here….

Okay, time to move on to the next model. The MB1184 ’65 Land Rover Gen II Safari.

For 2022 it takes the MB45 slot in the range and comes in white with a Matchbox Africa logo. I am not too sure if this is related to the Mason James animated videos that appear on You Tube, but there wasn’t a World tour logo on the package, like the blue Land Rover Defender had earlier this year, so perhaps not.

I like the look of this too. Zebra stripes on a white model. You can’t go wrong with this look. It really feels like a safari look to it now. We have seen a number of simple front and rear prints, which I am a huge fan of, but for non-front and rear printing, I think this is definitely the best look.

And of course as a core issue this does mean the model is getting the full roof rack or partial roof rack with spotlights variant too.

So as is normal with this casting, I am busy getting 2 of each release. Reminder time?

It debuted in 2019 as MB64 in blue with a simple front and rear print. It sported both roof pieces in tan that year.

but as I always say, we get both roof variants on core issues so far. There could come a time when they use an alternative roof on a core issue, but so far we have not seen that. We have seen it on the 2019 Leipzig promotional issues. As is the case, each October, the German Matchbox convention takes place in Leipzig, across the road from the ongoing Modell-Hobby-Spiel. They tie the convention in to the same weekend. They set up a stand within Modell-Hobby-Spiel itself and as such, there is a promotional model. In 2019 it was a yellow Land Rover and this too had a zebra striped theme to it. These were the show models for the event. As you can see it has a canoe on top. Not a luggage piece. These are not transferable as they glued them in to the model before they left the factory.

If you were to attend the convention itself you would have received a green convention model. This did have a full luggage roof piece, and again it was glued. There was no alternative with partial luggage.

But if you were an early bird, the first 75 registered received this white zebra striped model with glued in canoe.

And then for the helpers, a 1 of 25 unique blue Land Rover with glued in canoe was given to those too.

And just so you know, the zebra striping is completely different on the new model. We have seen a number of zebra striped models over the years, and this just happens to be the latest.

After that busy start with 2019, 2020 proved to be a little quieter. It was sold as MB63 in the basic range in tan with a green roof piece (or 2).

For 2021, the model reverted back to the simple front and rear print for MB91 with a brown roof piece in either style.

And also saw a red release, again with simple front and rear printing, along with grey roof parts, as part of the Best of UK series.

Just like with the Self-Driving Bus, I do find these a lot of fun. Roof parts come off.

Roof parts get mixed up. Buy a stack of them and make your own variations. I wonder when we will see another Matchbox model with removable roof parts come along.

So now we are into the new ones. This is a brand new casting. This is the MB1290 Push ‘n Puller, which debuts in the 2022 range as MB47 in red.

This is a very unique looking model. Definitely something out of left field. It is an original design from Matchbox, and not strictly based on anything. But they have given the model a classic 1960s, maybe 1970s type vibe to it.

It is a nice looking model. From the front (or is that rear?) it is a nice simple and realistic looking vehicle. But what they have done is literally made it impossible to tell which end is which.

Because both sides feature the exact same tampo printing.

And literally every single thing about the model is mirrored. The interior has a steering wheel on the left on either side, and a seat on the right either side. It doesn’t matter which side you look in. You will see the same view. So just look at the base.

Yes the base has been mirrored down the middle. It has 2 Matchbox logos in the middle, one facing either way, and all the rest of the details are then duplicated along both sides. The only thing they didn’t do was to duplicate the date code at the factory as they were finishing the model. On this particular one I got, the code faces one side. Some could see the code facing front or rear. Sure the rivet is also different, but having a red rivet of unpainted rivet doesn’t mean anything. For all intents and purposes, this model is completely mirrored.

It is all the little details. Both window wipers go in towards the middle. It has wing mirrors on all 4 corners of the pillars.

They have done a lovely little job with this. I had absolutely no idea over how the end product was going to be. I am impressed with it. So much better than what I was imagining. Even the little touches with the livery. Friend or Foe. Wide open mouth or snarly mouth. and I do notice along the bottom a58 and MBX, both front and back. So I guess Michael Heralda did the design for this one. Great job Michael. Now the big question is, how well is it selling? Only time will tell.

And finally for this batch is the brand new MB1283 ’12 BMW 3-series Touring. It takes the MB58 slot for its debut.

Now I do have 1 question about it. Why did they go with the previous “F31” 6th generation of 3-series instead of the current “G21” 7th generation? Did they perhaps feel the overall shape was a little too close to the recent ’20 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake? So going with a previous generation gives it more of a distinctive look? Not that this is a complaint. This casting is really nice. And I am more than happy seeing it. Perhaps they are just looking at giving us models from a number of decades for more variety? I don’t know. But I like what I am seeing, and I am also hearing it is doing pretty well in stores. So it can’t be that bad of an idea going with the previous gen. After all, now we get an ’00s Audi, a ’10s BMW and a ’20s Mercedes-Benz.

The model debuts in metallic black with a simple front and rear tampo design. On the rear we also get a TRNG WGN license plate, which is shorthand (or just using the consonants) for Touring Wagon. No vowels allowed! It’s a BMW. Ha ha!

The model also features a large moon roof on top, and unlike the Merc last year, the windows here are nice and clear, giving us a lovely view inside.

I have to admit I am a big fan of the 6th generation 3-series, as I think the styling for them was really nice. So this is a great model to include. the roof rails really do stick out well don’t they.

An impressive model indeed. I look forward to seeing many more of these in the future. Definitely one of the highlights of the batch. 6th generation? 7th generation? Who cares? It’s awesome!

So before i do one more little dive back here, I just wanted to do the usual base shot for a new casting picture. But the one thing that really got me excited was that this is a wagon variant of the 3-series.

Well let’s have a quick recap of the 3-series in general. Matchbox first created a model of the 2nd generation of 3-series. For the MB151 casting of a 323i they went with a cabriolet look, with side windows up and a roll bar over the top. It ran from 1985 until 1993.

When the 4th generation hit, Matchbox decided to go nuts. We saw the MB424 BMW 328i. This was a sedan/saloon version of the vehicle. It ran between 1999 and 2003.

However, the MB439 police offshoot saw a little more use, first appearing in 2000 and last appearing in 2008.

We also saw a coupe too. Again a 2000 debut, this didn’t last as long as the police, as MB451 only saw uses until 2005.

However, that is not as bad as the last variant. The MB534 full blown Cabrio look of the 4th generation. Debuted in 2002, finished in 2002. 2 short run outings and done.

Which when you think about it, this does mean we have had models of the 2nd gen, 4th gen and now 6th gen BMW 3-series. So by that reckoning, when the 8th generation arrive later in the 2020s should Matchbox be making a model of it? But as you can also see, we now have all the different body types of BMW 3-series. Cabrio, both with rollbar and full open, sedan/saloon, police and coupe joining the latest wagon issue. So that is a really cool set. Another reason why I love seeing the wagon variant of the BMW released.

Hmm! I think that is the end of my first part again. 6 models out of the 17 in the batch. I am splitting these up a bit with other items mixed in so expect part 2 in a few weeks. In the meantime, let’s bounce back again with a dive into my collection.

And this time I am going to begin with the MB28-C Lincoln Continental Mk V. the thing is the Mk V was launched in 1970 and by the time Lesney finally got around to adding one to the basic range, the real vehicle was finishing up. It was stopped after 1979 with a Mk VI arriving for 1980, and the Matchbox version debuted in 1979.

Well they had done the model now, so they kept it going a few years. 3! yes, it ran from 1979 until 1981 in red with a white roof and unpainted base. But as I always say, this was Lesney. The factory in England just used whatever was available at the time so variations can be found.

The most obvious were the different shades of red paint used to paint the model, and also when you look closer, the interior too.

The chocolate interior is one that does stand out, and this can be found in shades ranging from quite a pink shade, to a very deep red.

And of course other interiors will sport similar shading too. During its time, the wheels were always dot-dash and the base unpainted. the roof is white, but over time some have started fading.

But after 1981, the model was not done completely. In 1988 Universal sent the casting over to Bulgaria for them to make use of it as much as they wanted to. The original contracts were that models were leased for 1 year. But for 1988 they changed them to just giving the factory the castings. So the Continental could still be there. It was used for a long time.

Obviously the bases were altered to say Bulgaria, but even though the factory were now keeping the models, they still used the Matchbox branding.

And they went nuts. So many colour choices. Now when they first started, the model was plain. It was painted in a variety of colours and came with either a white, yellow or red interior. Bases were either silver or black. Many combinations of these items were made. Blue here with alternative interior or base.

But as the casting was not going back, they continued production for many MANY years. At first, models were still mainly plain. This plum issue was from somewhere in the mid 1990s.

But they eventually started putting logos on them. These are from 2004, when the Bulgarian factory joined in with the 35th Anniversary celebrations of Superfast by putting that logo on the top of all the models they were making that year. I don’t have too many Bulgarians. Particularly on a model like this, there are likely thousands of variations, and I do not believe anybody has attempted to catalogue them all. It would be almost impossible to do. The yearly leased stuff you can sort of catalogue, but the last 3 assortments that were sent over and run for decades, no chance.

Matchbox has a history of including random concept vehicles, ever since they first started the Superfast era. This still continues as we have seen a few recent concepts in the basic range, and one in Moving Parts. In 1986, under Universal’s ownership, they released the 1984 Quasar Concept. First unveiled at the 1984 Paris Motor Show, the real concept vehicle was based on a 205 Turbo 16, with a whole futuristic body on top. Funnily enough, Matchbox have only ever made models of 2 Peugeots ever. Both during Universal’s time, and the other was that 205 Turbo 16. So they made a Peugeot rally car and a concept vehicle based on it. Since then we have never seen another Peugeot in miniature by Matchbox. One day I hope they will change that. The casting ran for 6 years. However, depending on the market was the fact that the 6 years were consecutive or broken. The debut look was the show model. This was how the real vehicle looked. although the word Quasar was in the area after the doors before the rear wheels, not on the door itself. It was MB49 for 2 years running until 1987.

However, during 1987 they switched the wheels from chrome to white hubs.

Alongside the basic range release, the US market launched Superfast. A series of 24 models, although there was going to be a 25th. Number 20 in the set was never made. I believe this could have been a VW Golf GTi, due to the fact that this model received axle braces alongside the other 24 models that were put in the set. But with no number 24, the Peugeot took the number 25 slot in the set. It was a solid blue with pink stripes and a 9. It also had the new starburst wheels and the brand new casting had axle braces right from the word go.

In 1987 the series went worldwide, but was rebranded Laser Wheels, and the wheels themselves were given the CD style look. As part of this, many models received a brighter look to the paint, and in this case the solid blue turned metallic. It was also given the number 24 slot in the Laser Wheels range, as it was stupid to duplicate the missing number 20 slot, and so those above were just nudged a place down. Both series ended up running side by side as US stores were still calling for more Superfast too.

Also in 1987 a rather unique take on the model was added to the Roadblaster series. This was a set of models which were also a comic, and the Quasar saw some modifications to the model. The rear engine was replaced with a turbine and the window section (which also included the front lights) was replaced with a larger piece with holes and slots.

As such the model could be transformed into Motor Master. This was a part of the Motor Lords team. A new large engine was attached to the turbine, and a cover could be attached over the window section, with a gun that could be slotted in the top too. These parts were all found in the pack the model came in.

For 1988 the model saw a new colour. Instead of white, it was now plum. The Quasar logo on the side turned yellow, and additional yellow tampo was also added to the top and sides.

However after a year, they decided to no longer add additional purple tampo to the roof of the window section leaving it blank.

The model ran until 1990 in the US market, but 1991 for the ROW market. In 1990 we saw a small change.

They moved production from Macau to China. Weirdly, although the US market dropped it after 1990, and ROW 1991, the US market popped it back in the range in 1995 for a year. I have no idea why. It was still just how it was in 1990/91. However, you may find a random Tyco branded MB72 package with a Peugeot Quasar in it. Very strange. But it wasn’t done yet.

1990 had also seen the model added to the My First Matchbox series. It was very brightly coloured in simple reds, oranges, blues, yellows and greens. Wheels included. At first production was in Macau, but with the factory closing in 1990, production was swiftly moved….

To China too. It carried on through until 1993.

However, during that final year, models still in production stopped getting their wheel hubs painted, and the final runs were simply with blue wheels. These finished after 1993, and apart from the 1995 reappearance in the US range there was one final outing.

A 1998 Fanta promotion in China. A set of 8 models were a part of this promotion and all received the same orange look. This ended up being the last we saw of the model.

I now move in the 1990s with a trip to Australia. Seriously, Australia and New Zealand were the places to be if you were interested in the new MB294 Holden Commodore casting in 1997. As part of the Inaugural Collection, this casting was created in limited quantities and sold in silver with Australia’s First on the side, as well as the other half being left unpainted.

These were the first Holdens off the production line.

You see, in 1997 Matchbox had decided that because the Australian (New Zealand does get included) market was so strong, they were going to give them some unique models. We had seen a number of promotions coming from Australia and companies were crying out for something more relatable as a casting. A classic Holden FJ Panel Van had been made a few years earlier, but they expanded with a pair of racing vehicles. One based on the Ford Falcon, the other, based on the Holden Commodore that used to race in the mid 1990s. They also gave the Australian market some unique vehicle too. The Holden debuted exclusively in the Australian market as MB54 in white with a large logo and 25 Commodore Race Team livery.

And they were straight in on the promos too. This Castrol 11 model was a 1997 Australian promotion.

However, with things being planned out way in advance, the 1997 basic range would be the last under Tyco’s ownership as they had been bought out by Mattel in late 1996. Mattel completely revamped things for 1998, giving the whole series a makeover and dropping the Australian exclusive thing. But they didn’t drop the whole US/ROW exclusives for a number of years yet. So the Holden ended up as an ROW exclusive MB64 for 1998. It came in pumpkin orange which is known for shades, and so does the blue tampo on it. Mine has the blue shades.

1998 also saw a whole set of Australian promo models for the Australian Football League (AFL). I am showing the Melbourne Demons model here, but there were 8 different Holdens in the set (as well as 8 Ford Falcons for a set of 16).

The casting was not used in 1999, but for 2000, and Mattel fully on top of things, they decided to go nuts with many country exclusives. The UK, German and Australian markets all had 10 exclusive models in the basic range, and one of the Australian exclusives was this white and red Holden as MB11.

And this was also the year that the model was finally being shown to the world. A 5-pack arrived for the Olympic Games worldwide, and as the games were in Sydney, Australia, it was logical we had to have at least 1 Australian vehicle in the set. So the Commodore was given a spot in silver, with the Olympics logos all over it. But that proved to be it. MB294 was retired after this.

But there is an addendum. In 2001 MB475 was launched. It was simply the Holden with a roof light on top. It debuted as MB35 in the ROW range that year. And then that was done too. Why? Well, they were going a different way. Racing vehicles were being removed from the range and as such, even with a light bar sort of making it a police car, this was still being removed.

But let’s carry on the story shall we? 2001 had seen a newer Australian vehicle debut exclusively in the Australian range. But instead of using racing vehicles as police cars, they decided that new casting can be altered to a police vehicle instead. Although the Holden was gone, an older Ford Falcon racing vehicle did pop up a couple more times. But the focus was now on the MB545 Ford Falcon Police. This was a 2002 ROW exclusive MB27 in white with a blue and yellow battenburg side design. The first 10,000 examples made had a 50 logo on the front too.

But a second variant was also in production. You see MB545 has a square roof light, but MB553 was a LoPro roof light release. This too debuted in 2002, but this was in a Police playset and could be found in many places around the world.

Square lights? This is MB545. Again an ROW exclusive. Again MB27 too. Again in white, except now with a green Polizei style design. Again the first 10,000 had a logo on the front. This time a Hero City one.

Another square light, MB545. This was MB49 in the 2004 range. Yes, right in the heart of Hero City. It was actually sold worldwide. But I don’t know if anybody can figure out what the design was meant to be? All I see is a mess of colour and a plaster.

But that was not all we had for 2004. And both of these have LoPro lights, signifying they were the MB553 variant. They decided to put the model into 2 different launcher sets that year. The black one was a part of the Police Boat set, and the blue one was a part of the Rescue set. after this the MB553 variant was never used again.

But MB545 got one more outing. and it was a lovely one. A 2006 Superfast issue in the number 28 slot. Black with white doors/roof and a lovely high level of detailing. Talk about saving the best until last. It is a shame we never saw the casting again. I really liked it, and felt it was being underused.

Don’t you just love changes of direction. Like the one Matchbox tried in the early ’10s when the realism was thrown out of the window for models as seen from a child’s perspective and bright colours. So we got the MB865 Torque Titan. Designed as if seen from a small child’s view, where they look up at the big wheels to see the vehicle. Of course it has a bit of a Max Max vibe to it too. It debuted in the 2013 basic range as MB31. It came in tan with a simple side design.

And funnily enough you could slot convoy rear sections into the hole at the back. But they were a little low for it, due to their smaller wheels.

But the model plugged away in the basic range during the ’10s. In 2014 it moved to the MB26 slot in blue. It usually came with blue hubbed wheels, but there were some found with traditional chrome instead.

For 2015 it moved to MB35 in the basic range. We saw it in this green look.

But only a few batches later, it turned orange for a version 2. This one was a little confusing. It says CarGo on the sides, but it didn’t sport the usual CarGo logo. So some were unsure if this was really part of that ongoing recurring theme.

2016 saw another blue issue. This time a baby blue look to MB54 with a Torque titan Transporter side design.

And the model saw its first outing outside of the basic range that year too. It was a part of the Monster Week licensed 5-pack that was sold that year. It had a Sasquatch on the side.

As the decade was getting close to finishing, the side step from Matchbox was fading away and the realism returning. Yay! 2017 proved to be the final time the model was used in the basic range. It came in grey with a Torque Titan and flames side design. But there was 1 more outing before retirement.

A rather muddy looking black model appeared in a 2018 9-pack/10-pack (depending on market) as an exclusive. This proved to be the swansong for the model, as with the realism returning, the Mad Max looking truck has not been deemed as being as appropriate for use.

And with that, I do believe another report is over. We saw a couple of brand new castings.

A couple of off road style vehicles (although is the Jeep really off road?) Maybe I should say SUV. Wait, is the Land Rover really an SUV? We saw those 2!!!! Wait is that really 3? Jeez! Moving on.

And we saw 2 service vehicles. Yes, nailed that one first time!

So as these head off into the sunset…. Wait, is the Push ‘n Puller going? Or coming? No, I am going down a rabbit hole here….. I hope you enjoyed this week’s report. Next week I sidestep from the basics to give you another batch of something else before returning for more basics soon. Until then, I hope everybody has a safe week.

14 Replies to “Matchbox Monday makes a start on Batch C basics”

  1. Is it just me or does the Push’n’Puller look a bit like a Ford 100E prefect? At least on the picture on the card, less so in the metal. I found several double-ended cars using the same concept on Google Images, but none like the model.
    And at the risk of being accused of whingeing, are we likely to see it, and the rest of this batch, in the UK? Local stores still re-stocking with case B

    1. You’ll be pleased to hear this new batch has been appearing at Tesco over the last few weeks. Two new 5 packs are also being spotted.

      1. Oh 5-packs too. I have seen Batch C at Tesco stores near me, but the 5-packs are still currently empty. Hopefully they will restock very soon.

  2. Yes, at last batch 3 begins to appear – pot luck though. A few great models, the BMW, the ambulance, the Fiat in blue, and the Opel!! My 2 gripes: the windows in the Land Rover are awful – solid opaque grey, not even heavily tinted clear – yuk; and the push-pull thing? As Mike G says, there are several notable double-ended cars to choose from – including the Citroen 2CV as used on narrow tracks for forest fires; that would have been amazing as a Matchbox, not a word I’d use about this red thing.

  3. Please don’t mind me cause I only came here for the BMW ha! What a lovely casting! I’m a huge BMW fan (and a big estate fan as well) and seeing them do an E91 3 Series Touring is just a joy! And yes, that is indeed the E91 gen, not the F31 as mentioned by mistake, which came out in 2005. So you might even call this a modern classic if you want. And based on the casting details, I’d say this is either a 335i or a 335d, both of which have very fast straight 6 engines and are fairly rare in real life. Compared to all the 50s and 60s vintage cars and the modern sports cars and SUVs, this one seems very boring but to me, it’s the most interesting. And it’s one of those cars I’d love to own in real life. And for that reason, I feel a lot of 2006-2012 Matchbox vibes from this, when the line was filled with “ordinary” cars like this. So I definitely love this one a huge amount!

    Also, as a little suggestion, I’d love to see you do a BMW special post one of these coming days! Matchbox has a very good catalogue of BMWs and particularly the ones from the early to mid-00s (or the Hero City era as we like to call it) would make for a very interesting indeed!

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