Another week passes, and as I catch up with things again, I really wanted to get up to date with the Collectors models. I had held off on the last of the 2021s until quite recently, went straight into the first 2022 batch and now here we are on batch B. No hanging around. Again many thanks go out to Wheel Collectors who sent over the batch. And as always, if you click their name, it will open their shop page in a different tab for you. Just like with the last batch, we have 5 models included in this assortment, of which the first one is a brand new casting.
It is also the first of 5 scheduled new castings for the 20 model range this year. Although until they all hit, you never know if each casting will make it. The Nissan last year was just a tad late. With Matchbox showing a sneak peek of Batch C and no new castings involved, it is looking like the final batch of the year is going to be an extremely new one. There are still 4 new castings to come, and there were also plans to include a few new Moving Parts new tools as well. But for now, let’s take a closer look at the new MB1334 20 Ram Rebel shall we?
It takes the number 1 slot in the set. It debuts in a very simple red with black accents design.
This is a real colour combination from Ram. It is known as a two-tone exterior colour. In this case, flame red with diamond black crystal pearl coat. It looks absolutely fantastic.
And the model comes with an opening hood to show off the engine inside too. The model is fully detailed, obviously, being a premium series issue. All sides get printed as does the engine.
For those who do not know, the Rebel is the off-road variant of the 5th generation Ram Pickup truck. Only available as a Ram 1500 the Rebel does get a choice of Quad Cab or Crew Cab design, which in essence gives us the length of the rear doors on the 4-door model. With these being long, this would place this as a Crew Cab variant. So in full, the model is a Ran 1500 Rebel Crew Cab.Ram Rebel is fine. Rolls off the tongue much easier.
And I have to say, the team have nailed it once again. This is a lovely rendition of the real vehicle. They have really captured it well.
Even the front end, although I wonder if perhaps the grille did need to be a little more stand-out? That is about the only thing I could find with it. I think it looks lovely.
The model features a large moon roof on the top to be able to see in. The rear bed is consistent with how they do all rear beds on models nowadays. Rather than the mid ’00s to ’10s trend of trying to use the whole bed out of the interior part, which was causing some stress issues under construction, but was giving a seemless look to the rear. They no use the split part rear bed, but it does mean construction is easier and more secure.
I tried another shot of the engine. My camera did not like focusing on it.
Being a new casting, this does mean a base shot too. Since Ram split away to become its own entity in 2010 this is currently the third Ram that Matchbox have made, and as far as I am concerned, this is the nicest one too. I look forward to seeing more of them in the future.
Next up in the batch is the MB1174 ’35 Ford Pickup. A casting that first appeared in 2019 as a basic range model, and sees its first outing as a premium vehicle here.
It takes the number 6 slot in the series and comes in matte black with a lovely recurring Mooneyes livery. I do enjoy seeing these recurring looks, especially when they are real ones.
It has no moving parts. Not a requirement for Collectors series models. But this does get a full tampo treatment and rubber wheels.
It even comes with a chrome interior and a chrome base. Lots of chrome to this one. I am enjoying seeing these Mooneyes models, and am glad they don’t just make them all yellow. Mix it up a little.
I have to admit, as much as I like the core ranges, when a model is given the premium treatment, you can really see some of the extra little details that tend to get lost on a basic model. I am very happy that we get premiums again. When they faded away in the early 2010s I was a little sad. I had just really got into them, and was (still am) busy filling in all the back catalogue of them.
Getting models like this are fantastic, and I am very happy I made the decision to include premium issues now. This is definitely my favourite look for the model to date. Which has me thinking, is it time for a dive?
As I mentioned, we first saw the model as MB21 in the 2019 basic range. It came in green with a Matchbox Construction Co side design.
For 2020 it appeared in Kingson Pop! blue as MB51.
Although my favourite basic look is the Swapmeet Special from 2021. MB85 was so cool with the one blue door.
Which is why I show it twice. I love when we get alternative side designs. Gives us a lovely surprise when we open them up for a look.
2021 also saw its first foray outside of the basic range too, as it was a part of the Walmart Trucks series in red with a Ford Genuine Parts side design.
We now have our fifth one. They seem to be getting better and better each year. Now I did mention the Mooneyes theme didn’t I.
So let’s do a dive back there too. The MB300 ’56 Ford Pickup was first to sport the look. The 2018 Coffee Cruisers 5-pack issue saw it in yellow, and if you didn’t want to get a whole group of 5 for it, Walmart had it carried forward to the 2019 Ford Trucks series too.
After that the MB327 ’33 Ford Coupe saw a yellow 2020 MB95 issue too. So far the only non-pickup to see a Mooneyes look from Matchbox.
After which it too moved to premiums, as the 2021 Collectors series saw it in use on the only non-Ford so far. The MB1143 ’63 Chevy C10. That too was in yellow.
So as far as Mooneyes goes, we are now on livery number 4. 3x Fords and a Chevy. 3x Pickups and a coupe. 3x yellows and a black. Pretty cool. I wonder what the next Mooneyes Matchbox will be? Will it arrive in 2023? I have a feeling it could be with us a lot sooner.
I am glad to see that the MB1171 ’85 Subaru SVX is starting to see more action. It was a bit slow to gain traction after the initial release, so it is nice to see more appearing. This marks its first outing as a premium release.
Where it takes the number 8 slot in the set of 20 models. It comes in teal with some white striping and logos on the model, the most notable one being Falken.
Plus for the first time, we get a lovely front end detail that has not been seen so far in core issues.
I like that Mattel are now able to make more use of real licensed logos on models. It does them a bit of an edge over random squiggles. I do admit, I like the colour a lot.The white tampo is not overly used, but is simple and straight forward. Sure I do enjoy a simple stock look, but when tastefully done, a little extra can look fantastic too.
It can be a little confusing at first glance. The lights on the SVX are that thin strip that runs along the top Underneath, where the license plate line is, you see what appears to be white lights in your head, because that is where we often imagine lights to be on a car.
But it is not. It is simply the white stripes from the side continuing on the back of the model. The fact there is a casting line down the rear, and gives you the impression of white clusters is down to the real vehicle having the line because that is where the rear opens up. So with Matchbox making such a realistic detailed back end, you could be mistaken for thinking did they just do some white lights? Once you realize the actual printing reason, then you see how good it all is. Yes, I am liking this look, and I like that we get some of the core issues given the premium treatment.
And of course a quick reminder of the basic issues so far. 2019 and the MB5 debut in white. This featured just a simple light cluster and license plate on the back, which did just sneak around the sides too.
But as I said, it had a stuttering start, as after 2019 we didn’t see it until 2021 again, when MB88 arrived in metallic cranberry. Which for me I saw a deeper and paler look to.
And again, just sporting the rear printing that sneaks around the side, this was a lovely little tribute to the creator of the casting, Ryu Asada.
Holy wow! This thing is awesome! The MB1267 ’64 Chevy C10 Longbed.
I admit to being a car lover first, but this? Easily my favourite of the batch. I can see this being a player in the Top 10 awards at the end of the year. I freakin’ love it!
Taking the number 9 slot in the series, it comes in a rusty old pale blue look. Seriously, this is just fantastic. Although the engine does look pretty minty fresh under there.
Can I get a closer shot? I try. My camera really does not like close ups like this. Even with the macro on. Either that or it is just me not figuring out exactly how to work it properly. Googling photography courses as we speak. Ha ha!
But this just looks incredible. It has a lovely old time feel with the pale blue finish, but then they go and give it a really rusty look on top. Every surface gets it.
Even the rear bed in the back sports a really worn and grubby/rusty look to it.
There’s even rust creeping out from over the radiator grille. Talking of which, that radiator grille gives me the impression that it was originally white, but over the years has turned a dull cream colour. Which is also the case with the bumper too. I can see how this was likely white.
Which means that the base section has been made from a rather dull and aged looking creamy shade. Honestly, this is just so well thought out. I absolutely love it!
So yeah, there was a small door design too, which you almost forget when you keep looking at this. Matchbox Small Parts Deliveries, El Segundo CA. And if you look carefully, you can just make out white and silver pin striping. Or what’s left of it. I really hope that we will see more “rusty” models in the future. Because if they are anything like this, I am going to love them all!
Honestly, this blows the Mattel Creations issue out of the water. Don’t get me wrong, that was really nice. But in comparison with the Collectors issue from the beginning of the year, it just pales.
I mentioned at the time when I showcased it how I felt it deserved a rear bed print. Now I have the Collectors model with the wicked print, it just hammers the point home. For me, I think these should have been sold the other way around. Just imagine the rusty blue with a garage background, and sitting on a oil leaked plinth. But saying that, at least this way more people have had the chance to obtain this one. So maybe that is better. All I know is, to me, the new release is clearly the better of the 2 released so far.
Which I think brings us to the last model in the set. The MB1161 ’16 Chevy Corvette Stingray. After being ignored after its debut, these last few months have seen an explosion of this casting, and in a few weeks I will be looking at another. It is not over yet.
Taking the number 19 slot in the set of 20, and after seeing many low numbers, this is a sudden jump.
It comes in red with the opening hood and a white/blue print, with black detailing too. Quite a busy model.
But I like it. I do enjoy stripes, and yes these appear to be stripes going all over it. I love the full detailing to it. The engine gets a lot of love too.
Being premium does mean we get the dual stripes over the top going all the way down. It has 22 and Matchbox on the rear.
Which you also see in a racing style on the side door too, along with the Superfast logo. Hmm! Why does that feel so significant?
Why of course, last year we saw a super chase in the basic range featuring the MB1221 ’20 Chevy Corvette. White with red and blue. And wait, is that a 21 style racing door number, and Superfast along the edge too.
Yes, when you put these 2 models together, you see now where the inspiration came from for the design. Similar, but not identical. Each model gets their own take on a theme, but I like it. I like the way that models blends and mix in together, with some recurring themes being so easy you can’t help but notice it. Whereas others are inspired by styles. This Corvette was inspired by the last Corvette. Putting the 2 together really brings that home. That is why I am a big fan of this one.
But anyway, back to the original Corvette here. A quick recap is about due I think.
It all started life in the 2019 Superfast range, where it debuted in white with dual black stripes going over the top. Oh yes, more stripes. But then? Tumbleweed. Where did it go?
It turns out nowhere. Literally. Just sat there for a few years gathering dust. We finally saw a new release of it only recently in batch B of the 2022 Moving Parts range. It came in a lovely dark red in the number 48 slot. Then within weeks.
Bam! We are on release number 3. Release number 4 is now out too, and I will be showcasing that in the near future too. So expect to see this trio make a return trip to the blog very soon.
And on that note, I believe part 1 of the report is over. So you know what comes next. A little diving into the collection.
Which this week starts with a real oldie. The MB53-A Ford Zodiac Mk IV. The Zodiac has a rather unique record in Matchbox-land. As many know, the series began in 1953 with the first few models, and over coming years they just kept adding more and more until when they were planning MB76 they thought older tools needed to go and replace their numbers with new models, and sealing the series at 75. Well 1956 saw the first “cars” added. An MG TD and a Vauxhall Cresta. In 1957, and bunch of cars were then added, and among them was the first “car” to see 2 different variants introduced at the same time. The Ford Zodiac Mk II. A saloon (or sedan) in the 33 slot and a convertible in the 39 slot. The Zodiac was designed by Ford and was a luxurious version of the ford Zephyr. After the Mk I, Ford of Britian went one way with the Mk II and Ford of Germany went another, with the Ford Taunus. Each subsequent generation of UK Zephyr continued to see a Zodiac luxury variant. They were made in Britain (and New Zealand) between 1966 and 1972, before Ford again combined UK and Germany with the release of the Consul (basic)/Granada (luxury) car. I don’t why they had a different name for the luxury ones, although soon after the later model was amalgamated to just be known as Granada. They did it again later, calling luxury Granadas Scorpios. Then amalgamated to the new name again before dropping the entire segment. Anyway, the zodiac Mk II ran from 1957 to 1961 (convertible) and 1962 (saloon), the Mk III was ignored, and the Mk IV was launched in 1968 as 53-c in blue. It ran 2 years like that and in 1970 made the transition to Superfast wheels.
There is a rare transitional blue Superfast. I have not been able to obtain one yet due to the expense. So I just jump straight into the new green look. The model, being the Zodiac, was differentiated from the more basic Zephyr by means of a set of twin headlights on the front, and the fact that the spare wheel was placed inside the engine. The model, with it’s opening bonnet (or hood) showed off that spare wheel. Now obviously there was no Superfast plans in 1968 when it introduced, but even after the transition to the new wheels, the spare was still a spare regular wheel. They never switched that for a Superfast one.
During 1970 production of the metallic silver varied. Like a lot. Although the one on the left here does show signs of fading. But metallic green was still quite a variety.
In 1971, as with many models, with the launch of racetrack came the need to fattening wheels for more stability on said racetrack. As such the Zodiac was adjusted and thicker wheels were added.
As seen by this base shot.
You can also see that the wheel arches were enlarged to accommodate the wider wheels too, as they no longer sat inside them. That stability requirement for track meant they wanted the wheels as far out as possible, compromising a little of the realism they were known for.
So with wide wheels, they were definitely going to keep going with that thin regular wheel in the engine compartment.
As the year was finishing, and they planned to replace the model for 1972, the green switched from metallic green to a solid apple green.
Even this, being quite a shorter run compared to metallics, can throw up shade variations. In 1972 the model was replaced by Tanzara.
But even as production was bowing out in early 1972 to make way for the new model, it still kept that original regular wheel as a spare. Just in case.
So what next? 1982 and Matchbox deciding to make a Model of Yesteryear into a basic range. The year was 1977. Models of Yesteryear saw a new Y-1 casting in the way of the 1936 SS100 Jaguar. However, in 1982, they decided to make a smaller variant of the model for the basic range as well. The SS100 Jaguar (official base name) was often seen switched on packaging, highlighting the “Jaguar” part. Which technically it isn’t. The SS100 had debuted in 1936 and was made until 1939. SS cars was the company name, and had been associated with the Swallow Sidecar Company from the 1920s, and in the 1930s with their move to their own cars, changed the name. As was common at the time, vehicles were given various nicknames, and the SS100 was known as the Jaguar. When production stopped in 1939, people were simply referring to it as the Jaguar. The company was on a brief pause in the early 1940s, but when they started up again in 1945 they decided, because everyone was referring to them as Jaguar, they would just go with it, and change the name. But this model never resumed production. It was only ever sold as the SS100. Or often SS100 Jaguar, or SS Jaguar 100. Never Jaguar first. But packaging didn’t care. We often saw it as the Jaguar SS100, and only once open and flipping to see the base would we see SS100 Jaguar.
It was added to the basic range as MB47-D in 1982, and given the manufacturing number MB047. The plain red look ran for 4 years, but only if you lived in an ROW country. The US market dropped it after 1984. But with 4 years of production, things would change.
After all, 1982 production was in England, and in 1983, with the model being a worldwide release, the casting was sent to Macau.
Shades were to be found too, and due to the unique nature of the build, can be found just on the one model. The main body was painted separately to the engine cover, as the window piece is actually a part of the front grille/headlights, so actually runs through under there in lieu of an engine. So with the 2 red parts being painted at different times, you might find significant shades just on the one models as the 2 parts stand out.
So enough was enough. How to get around paint matches? Give it a completely different colour. For 1986, the ROW exclusive was given a new dark blue with a grey engine cover look. No worries about matching them up.
So I just revert to type, and go with the “engine cover is a different shade” variation.
After 1986 the model was dropped from the ROW range too, laying dormant until a random UK PG Tips promotion arrived in 1991. It was 1 of 4 classic vehicles given a very PG Tips style look. although this was just green and red, a few did see cream on the models too.
After that another lull until19 94 when Tyco decided to make a Jaguar Gift Set. MC-21 ran for 2 year and the SS100 was included in 2-tone grey.
After that, there was just one more promotional issue. This time from Australia in 1996, when a white model was made for Edwards Dunlop Paper.
Funnily enough that was the only time that the model did not have a black base. This promotional at the end had a blue one. After the promotion finished, so did the casting.
So as I had been talking about Tyco, why not bring in one of theirs. Occasionally Matchbox likes to throw a random concept vehicle into the mix. In 1995 Chrysler had unveiled the Atlantic Concept Vehicle which was heavily inspired by the Bugatti Type 57 Atlantique of the 1930s. The Atlantique had been anglicized for many markets into Atlantic, and the Chrysler Concept used that name too. Tyco created a model of the concept giving it the MAN number MB306, and launching it in the basic range as either MB11 in the US market or MB34 in the ROW market in 1997. It came in the show colour of golden tan. It featured a light tan interior and a black grille tampo. It also had a thin red strip around the rear for the lights.
Being 1997 meant that USA also had a plain gold one released as part of the 75 Challenge too.
In 1998, with Mattel now in charge, on April 12t hey launched the Matchbox.com website. As part of the launch, they released a promotional model of the Atlantic. It was the same as the 1997 basic, but saw a few more enhanced details, a set of rubber wheels, and had the launch date on the doors too.
The enhanced front look extended to the interior too, as the dashboard also saw some additional detailing too.
For 1998, it appears Chrysler were being a little picky. The model was not given a new colour. Everything else pretty much was given a makeover for 1998, but with this, all we had was the front lights now depicted.
And the interior of what was now MB19 worldwide was brown.
For 1999 they tried again. Nope. Still golden tan. So they made a small adjustment to what was now in the US range only as MB39. The ROW range just gave up. The grille changed from black to silver, and the interior turned into a caramel shade instead. After this they just gave up completely. A premium Chrysler set had also been made in late 1998 and again this was just in golden tan. So apart from that Gold Challenge they got away with, they just could not move away from the show colour, so after 1999 just dropped the casting completely.
Okay time to dig deep and pull out a model I bet many people have forgotten existed. The early 2000s Mattel era was sadly a bit of a lower ebb in the history of the brand. After first taking over in 1996 (but being too late to alter 1997’s releases, and in some part 1998), Mattel were unsure of what they wanted to do with their new brand at first, and just let things run. But in 2000 they sat down and had a think, with a view that they would move the brand more towards “heroes” and utility vehicles. Many Matchbox originals designs started appearing as the brand moved towards Hero City and the inevitable Ultra Heroes of 2004. Unfortunately (or if you of the opinion that it was actually a fortunate thing) the direction was a complete disaster, and sales tanked, with the whole direction being completely scrapped in 2004, the Mount Laurel offices in New Jersey closed, and Matchbox moving in-house to El Segundo. A number of castings were disposed of in essence after the 2004 debacle, as when they looked at the new realistic direction of 2005, they just did not fit. one was the MB488 Ladder Truck. In all fairness it wasn;t actually that bad of a casting. The front end wasn’t the prettiest, although I have seen worse in real life trucks.
The model featured a rotating and extending ladder on top which slotted in to 2 raised sections on the roof when closed up.
There was a hole in the roof so you could see the interior inside. Hoses were on show on the top too.
It also featured a triple-axle wheel set, something which you don’t see a lot of these days. Plenty of side detailing too, which does not look out of place.
Although the one thing you had to be sure of was when it had the ladder down, it would actually stick out the rear ever so slightly.
Because if you didn’t the front end of the extension would stick out and get caught on the roof light instead of slotting in where it should. Was that perhaps a small design flaw? Maybe. But there is little we can do about it now. It debuted as MB27 in the 2001 basic range in red with an Alarm force side shield design.
For 2002 the model moved to the MB25 slot, but was not a part of the ROW range. It was only in the US range. It was burnt orange with a Super Splash side design, and being a 2002 issue, we did get a 50 logo on the first 10,000, which in this case was at the rear.
However, if you were outside USA, you did get a model mixed in with the basic range. A set of 4 “birthday” models were released in the ROW market in window boxes, mixed in with assortments of the basic range, but were also found on long card blisters in US markets outside of USA itself. USA was seeing an Across America special series and this was something for all the other markets (although Germany also added a Stars of Germany series, which was so successful they kept it going for years). This white model simply featured a load of balloons and streamers on the side with 50 on them.
The model also saw its first 5-pack appearance too, as a Flame Fighters pack had this model in red with Alarm and ladders on the side.
We even saw another model in one of 4 puzzle sets. These puzzles were actually 4 large jigsaw style puzzles made up of 20 pieces per puzzle. Each came with a model blistered to the header above and the the 20 pieces could be slotted together in ways that made up roadways in whatever configurations you wanted.
For 2003 and the real Hero City era, a white model with a bit of a non-sensical side design appeared, again worldwide, this time as MB3. Being another logo year, we found the first 10,000 to sport a Hero City logo on the front window this time.
At the end of the year, a unique Mattel store 20-pack was issued that saw something unique with all 10 models. 3 were exclusive to the set, with another 7 seeing alternate colours used on the models from the regular 2003 issue. However, all models in the set (bar the boat that didn’t have them) had gold wheels in the set, instead of the standard chrome, which meant every single one was different in some way. This was one of the 10 that simply had the alternate wheel hubs.
The model was also added to a Fire Heroes 3-pack sold in USA, which was a part of the “Heroes” side venture that was going on at the time. After this though, the model was not actually used in 2004, and well, with 2005 drastically altering course for Matchbox, this casting was deemed surplus to requirements and never used again. It had a rather brief 3-year existence.
I always felt this was a bit under-utilized as well. The MB893 BMW 1M. This was a seriously cool model, and arrived in 2013 as MB111 in the basic range. It came in a lovely metallic orange, drawing comparisons with a classic Lesney BMW 3.0CSL.
The model featured the name on the license plate too.
And was clearly written on the base too. BMW 1M. Excellent stuff. I loved this right from the word go.
However, when it next appeared in 2014, you couldn’t help but notice the license plate saying BMW M1. Did somebody get that the wrong way round?
But then you peered at the base of the MB71 release from 2014. The 1M had been etched out and re-marked as M1 there too. It was discovered that it was BMW themselves who requested the change to the base name. It was a little unusual for sure, as the real vehicle was a 1M. But Mattel go with what is asked of them when creating models of licensed vehicles. BMW ask for it to be changed, they change it. From this point on the casting was now known as BMW M1. I still refer to it as 1M though.
In October that year, Dirk Schleuer commissioned a special premium looking model for the annual Leipzig convention alongside the Modell-Hobby-Spiel. This model was paying homage to the classic racing BMWs of the 1970s. 13 was because it was the 13th convention.
For 2015, the model turned up in red in the basic range as MB8. Oh don’t you just love the sneaky stuff. The license plate had BMW 1M on it. It turns out BMW were okay with that, but the base had to stay the same. Legal stuff. Don’t you just love it!
For 2016, they still had the 1M license plate on what would be the final basic range outing. This tan model was MB12 that year.
The model was also given a special premium outing that year in the new Best of series that was launching. It came in gloss black with a pin striped edge to a matte black hood and side patch. you have to feel it to really capture what they did with this. It was really cool. But that was seemingly it. Nothing in 2017 or 2018.
Until 2019 when this silver model was included as a 9-pack exclusive, again with 1M on the license plate. Since that time we have not seen anything more of this casting. I am not ready to say goodbye. I think it still had life in it. Especially now that a similarly aged BMW 3-series Touring has arrived in 2022. You know, one of the castings I showcased in last week’s report.
And that I believe is the end of yet another report. Did anybody notice that out of the 5 Collector models included, 3 had opening parts that all enabled us to see their engines?
With the other 2 not having any opening parts.
Or that 3 of the models were pickup trucks from 3 different eras of motoring.
With the other 2 being sporty cars.
They definitely made for a decent little set. Especially that Chevy C10 up front. Easily, by a long way, the highlight of the set for me. Next week I think I will do another selection from batch C of the basic range. But which ones? Tune in next week to find out. In the meantime, I hope everybody has a decent, happy and safe week ahead.