This week on the Lamley blog sees me working through the middle segment of the Matchbox 2022 basic range batch C assortment. As always, these came to me via Wheel Collectors in USA and I am very thankful for all their help in keeping me up to date with many Matchbox models. But first off, before I get into the assortment here, I wanted to showcase an extra model that was also included in the batch.
This is the MB1195 ’15 Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It is being included with the batch of basics, but you may notice the rather unique package. It is on a black card, and simply has the model name under the blister. This is not a part of the basic range, it has no 1-100 number. Also, as some people seem to think it is, this is not a chase vehicle. It is included in ALL boxes of batch C. The production quantity therefore is the same as batch C basics. This is part of a Matchbox promotion called….
Drive your dream car. The promotion itself was mainly in Europe.
Which is why if you were to watch the advert, you will see the price at the end being in Euros. You can watch the video by clicking this link to the You Tube video. It will open in a new tab. The Drive your dream car initiative is all about driving home (get the pun?) the fact that Matchbox is all about realism. Bringing what you see on the streets to life in a child’s hands. They just wanted to do more to promote it.
Therefore the model is one that has been seen before. It is simply a packaging thing. The guys wanted to use the car again as it was a part of the advert, and decided to put it in the entire worldwide assortment rather than try to limit it to the countries that show the advert. As I said, this is not limited. It is the exact same run as a batch C model. No chase or anything like that. But as I said, this is not 1 of the 100 models in the 2022 basic range. It is just a bonus one included in the assortment.
And as we know, this model has been seen before. It was a part of the first year the model debuted in the basic range in blue.
That was back in 2020 as MB36. But you might already see the difference.
Yes the new production run is significantly lighter in shade. It really stands out.
You may even remember that for 2022 the Best of Germany series carried it forward to. I noted at the time that it was a bit lighter.
But it was not by much. The new run is way lighter than what we have seen to date.
Which does sort of make me think why was the blue chosen as a 2022 Best of Germany carry forward? If the blue was coming now, maybe they would have been better off by using one of the other 2 earlier issues and giving them a second outing. I am sure the 2019 Mercedes-Benz 5-pack issue in red would have been a great option for a carry forward to Best of Germany.
And as we know, also in 2020 we had a purple MB49 issue too. I love that we had such a big difference on this carry forward model, but now I wish for a different Best of Germany carry forward, as I am not a fan of the same old same old reused each time something gets carried forward.
So now we get properly into the batch with the MB1245 ’19 Fiat 500 Turbo. It takes the MB11 slot in the range in this lovely shiny blue.
I mean that shade really shines. Is it a spectraflame style? It is definitely not a standard blue paint. It does make the model stand out. I am not sure if it is a real option or not, but I like it like this. So cute.
As per the original issue last year,this model sports simple front and rear printing, and i love the silver edge trim to the wheel hubs instead of full chrome. It does give it a sporty little edge. After all, this is a Turbo variant. I am impressed with this, and I much prefer it to the 2021 debut.
Which has been seen a few times. First off, when it arrived as MB19 in the 2021 basic range.
But popped back up again in the 2022 Best of France series too.
I kept both due to the French issue sporting a darker grey interior to the 2021 worldwide release. I am looking forward to seeing some more of these. I think they can come out with some funky colours too.
Now we move to a Matchbox Originals design again. There are some in the mixes. They are not all licensed. This is the MB1250 Chow Mobile II. Just like the Fiat, this is now on its second outing in the basic range. It takes the MB35 slot for 2022 and comes in white.
I hope we have no vegans reading this. I admit, I am not. So I am thoroughly enjoying the Famous Matchbox Burger side design. Now where can I find these when I fly out to USA in a week or so? Because I want to try one of Bill’s Bison Burgers.
I do enjoy models like this, as withe sides being the focal point, we know this is where they do like to have a bit of fun. Although is it just me, or are others getting very worried about Abe Lugo now? We get a choice of a bison burger, an Angus burger, a chili burger, a bacon burger, or a Lugo burger. I really hope that this just means he has a secret recipe applied to burgers, and not have parts missing when I see him at the upcoming Gathering in Albuquerque. So yes, I think this is a great little design on the side of the vehicle, and again loving the detailing of items in the hatch. The only thing I have to grumble about on this is that it is again in white.
I am not sure what it is, but I remember when last year’s model arrived, it did tend to linger. I felt then that perhaps the white was the main sticking point. Again it is white, and seems to blend in with the background on the card. You see they are orange carded, but where the blister holding the model in is, it is white. I am starting to see this linger around near me already. Weirdly enough, everything that is lingering is white. Apart from the Opel. That is a part of my last report on this batch. So yes, these are totally different designs, and the 2021 MB24 had yellow windows too.
They are both nice designs. I just feel that maybe the white body is what is letting this down. It is just not sticking out on the pegs at all.
Same with this. It’s white. My local Tesco still has quite a few of the MB1233 MBX Fire Dasher on the pegs too. As now they have decided to actually put them on pegs. This is in year 2 and comes in white as MB46 this year.
It is a very nice look for the model. I said last year when the casting first arrived, they did a decent job with this as a Matchbox originals casting, and those red debut look models did not seem to hang around. But this white one? I swear it is just the colour that is slowing it down. Don’t get me wrong, a white model is not a bad thing. Some models look great. This one does to me. I just feel that there was too much in the way of white vehicles in this assortment. We had quite a few out of the 17 castings sold in white, and I think it just made the batch a little bland. Too few splashes of colour anywhere.
On its own this model is very well done. I love the realistic look to it again. The high level of detailing to the features that were added to the model. Maybe the grey base was a little bit light, as personally I would have made it black. But I thought it was a very good design. It just doesn’t seem to be selling too well.
I actually prefer the look of this one to the debut issue from last year. That was very nice itself, where it debuted as MB7 in red. But I think the white looks a little classier. It’s a shame it is not taking off the same way.
Of course they are not a patch on Everett Marshall III’s specials for the 2021 annual Golf Tournament promotion. He had a red with white cab edition made for the Burns Foundation charity.
Plus a second pink with white cab made for Breast Cancer Research too. Both were a short run promotion for the 16th Annual tournament.
So a decent set so far and I look forward to see more of this casting. Hopefully the next one will fly off pegs a bit faster.
A-ha! A new casting. The MB1288 ’36 Ford Coupe. We have quite a few models now from the 1930s. Now this is something to blow your wig at.
It arrives as MB48 in the range in metallic black with a simple front end detail.
We never got any detailing to the rear though.
The Ford Model 48 was sold for 2 years in 1935 and 1936, with the ’35s seeing a series of horizontal bars on the radiator grille, something which the ’36s did away with. Just vertical bars. The Model 48 (or deluxe Model 68) was sold as either a convertible, sedan, wagon, coupe, roadster or pickup. You would have a lot of choices in those days, and Matchbox have plumped for a coupe, as we don’t exactly have a lot of coupes from that era to choose from. It gives it a distinctive look compared to other 1930s castings being sedans or wagons. Something which I do like. I think it does make this stand out, and I like the flowing swooping design.
The detailing as well, it is really good. Just look at the way those rear bumper have been sculpted. It is the little things that stand out to me, and I really like the way this model looks. A lot of effort has been put into it.
So yes, I am happy seeing this model in the range. I look forward to seeing more of them in the future too.
Base shot, because you know, new casting.
Shall we bring in a few more 1930s era Fords? As you may remember we saw a 1932 Ford arrive last year. MB1234 is also a coupe, but has a completely different look to it than the new one. This is a customized Hot rod style to the Model B Ford.
Which is actually very similar to the older MB327 ’33 Ford Coupe, which was revamped a few years back
Although we do have another ’36. The MB1164 Custom ’36 Ford Sedan. If you were to rear up on the real Custom ’36 Ford Sedan you will find though, that the year denotes the customization. It was originally a ’35, but was transformed with a new grille and additional bodywork in 1936 for this special edition. But it is still, deep down, a Model 48 Ford.
The rears of the models are so much different, which gives them completely different looks.
And well, the custom is a part of the Moving Parts line due to having opening doors. So you won’t see these sold on the same peg (unless somebody accidentally puts one on the wrong peg). I do like that this new one is a stock example too. The first time we have seen a stock 1930s era Ford. 2 Hot Rods and a custom.
And this brings us to the last model I am looking at today. The MB784 Jeep Willys. Which on the packaging this time, is being noted as a 1948. It seems to range. We have seen as old as 1943 when they put a date on there.
It takes the MB50 slot in the range in tan with a snakeskin style livery top and sides. And tan wheels with white hubs. Why does this sound familiar?
Yes, recurring theme! I do love a recurring theme. The Mb1184 ’65 Land Rover Gen II Safari saw this look in the 2020 basic range. Same colour, same type of tampo design, same wheel colour of tan with white hubs.
Although on the Landie the roof items were green, whereas the Jeep has the interior in green instead. Ooh! Now I want to see more get this design. And honestly I would not complain if Badlander appears like this.
So yeah, I am loving this latest release of the Jeep. I have always liked the casting, and when you get a recurring theme on a model, I do enjoy them even more.
Especially if I can also find shade variations too. Yes it has only just appeared and already I am finding lighter and darker shades to it. You know what? This is the final model and I haven’t done a really big dive back. Everything else from this section of the batch was pretty new. So I know I have done it before, but I am getting the whole lot out again for another run through.
It all started in 2010 when it arrived as MB96 in the US range, MB65 in the LAAM range or MB61 in the ROW range. It came in army green and the wheel hubs could be found either grey or cream on the model.
It was also given a 2nd release that year now in tan with a hood and side tampo. Just like with the latest one, I found shades.
As I did with the pale pastel yellow 10-pack First Edition model at the end of the year. I love how this and the 2010 V2 both had “worn” tampo prints.
In 2011 it kept the same number in the range (MB96US/MB65LAAM/MB61ROW) and this time came in a matte light olive with an Anaconda Guides side design.
It was also a part of the Lesney Edition series that year with a metal base and a matte grey body.
In 2012, and the first year they no longer printed the windows, the MB108 Swamp Crew model in brown did vary in shade quite a bit.
It was also a part of a Battle Mission 5-pack that year in black.
For 2013 we had a terracotta model in the Desert 5-pack as the model was no longer in the basic range.
However, in 2014, it was back in the basic range as MB94 in bright yellow with a Lifeguard design on it.
It was also included in a Mission Force set as well, which was named Tactical. This was a matte green with simple side design.
In 2015 a new Battle Mission 5-pack was released, and this was included in it again in a dark green with simple side design again.
In 2016 it was now a part of the Military 5-pack in black with a Military Police design.
And was also included in the Walmart exclusive Jeep set that year in military green again with a design a little reminiscent of a classic Lesney design.
We never saw the model at all in 2017, but for 2018 it was back in the basic range in a somewhat familiar design.
It was the same as the debut, but no longer had the hood element to it (or window detail or headlights) on the 2018 MB121.
It took another year off, and in 2020 a blue model was sold as MB68 and was the first time we saw “WillyX” on the tampo design.
A Mission Force set arrived that year as well, with the Jeep being in the Lunar Team.
Mission Force sets in 2020 were basically carry forwards of old models, and this was another go around for the 2013 5-pack issue, which had a few small shade variations on it, and of course the middle of the wheel hubs no longer were detailed.
For 2021 it was now MB76 in the basic range. It was now red with a Warn logo on it, and again we had “WillyX” on the design too.
We also saw another in the Target Retro series. Again a carry forward model.
This one being way out in shade though to the original 2012 issue. So quite a few releases in. But I don’t see a reason to stop it. It’s such an iconic vehicle.
Ooh! I think that brings me to the end of my run of new models. 1 new casting, in the way of a real classic, as well as a couple of other classics (Jeep and fire truck) and some modern models too. Now as I usually do, I am going to carry on with another dive back into my collection.
And straight away I am into the generics, or Matchbox originals as we now refer to them as. The MB30-B Beach Buggy. In the early 1970s Lesney went a little nuts by adding 3 buggies to the basic range. The Baja Buggy, the Beach Hopper and this. It arrived as MB30 in the 1971 basic range, and ran for 5 years. It came in pink with yellow splatter over the top. That was it. No yearly changes. No changes at all, unless you look closely.
The first batch featured a white interior. They looked at it, felt it wasn’t really working like that and switched it to yellow. White interiors from 1971 are very tough to find.
But there was something else that they did. In 1972, they launched Whoosh-n-Push and Soopa Coopa too. Both used the same rear engine piece as the Beach Hopper. But they felt the 2 corner exhausts that looked okay on the buggy, well they didn’t really suit the larger vehicles. So they made them larger. Rather than try to have 2 almost identical engine pieces, they just altered it and ran it as a large exhaust engine on all 3 models. So the Beach Buggy did change its engine for 1972 and ran that for 4 years.
There is another really random variation. On the base, where it sticks out the rear to hold the engine in place, they cast PAT and APP into the 2 side struts. Well a random batch was found without PAT APP on there. It wasn’t an early batch and it wasn’t a late batch. It was just somewhere in the middle. Did they wipe it off thinking the patent had been granted? Then realize the patent was for something else and then had to put it back on? I have no idea. It just happened. I am not a base variation collector. I just randomly ended up with one anyway. Because I got a bunch of these for fun.
The model ran 5 years. Would the shade of pink stay the same? No! Obviously not. This was Lesney. It does come in quite a few shades.
And that splatter. Well technically every single one is a variation. It’s random. No 2 are alike. But I have to be sensible. I can’t literally buy every single one I can find and line up hundreds of them saying “well they are all different”. So I try to look at the overall density of the splatter. The last pictures showed a pair with what I would classify as low coverage, but large spots. Here we have another low coverage, but with fine spots and another that is just absolutely plastered. You can instantly see a huge difference. Okay yes. I get both. But I do have to draw lines as to how close they can be to say enough is enough. I am crazy. Not that crazy.
The year was 1983. Universal had just taken over the brand from Lesney after their bankruptcy, but due to the situation at the time, a number of projects had been shelved, halted etc and as such there was a distinct lack of new tooling. Universal wanted to get this rectified as quick as they could, and one of the first things they did was to create some “new” castings out of old ones. For some (AMX Javelin, VolksDragon, Holden Pickup) they simply altered into something new and that was the end of the old casting. But the other 3 “new” castings were simply offshoots of existing ones. The IMSA Mustang and IMSA Mazda were simply the Boss and RX-7 turned into a racing style with minor surgery. However, the MB118 Porsche 935 Racing was a little bit more involved. The 935 was a real vehicle. So the Porsche Turbo casting had quite a bit of surgery to adapt it into the new casting. The window and interior components carried over, but the rest was quite a bit different. It debuted as MB55 in the US range or MB41 in the ROW range in light blue with a Team Porsche design where it ran for 3 years.
Production was in Macau, but we were still able to find shade variations on it. There is actually a wheel variant too. In 1985 some were found (mainly in USA) with gold wheel hubs instead of chrome in a very late run. To date I still have not found one.
But what I did get from 1983 was a UK promotional issue. In 1985 the UK market sold the basic range (and Convoys) in golden window boxes, and if you cut off the headers, you could send in a bunch for a free Porsche! There were 2 to choose from. The turbo or the 935. I had enough for 4 so got 2 of each. Oh look, the purple tampo on one is darker than the other. Seriously, how lucky am I with this stuff?
In 1986 the basic range model changed its design to white with a multi-coloured stripe effect and 10. I found the harder to find gold wheels on this one. It was the early run before they switched back to chrome again. But it really feels like the gold wheels were right at the very end of blue and more commonly found (for a rarity) on white.
1986 was also the year that the US market saw the launch of the “new” (at the time) Superfast series. A series of 24 models featuring new starburst wheels. I have 2. Well do see a shade?
There was a fractional one. But no, I actually found one where they accidentally put the wrong wheels on them. Oops!
Of course, come 1987 and SF6 was joined by LW6, as the whole world saw Laser Wheels, the Superfast offshoot arrive. Wheels were now mini discs and many models saw their solid paint jobs turn metallic. The Porsche going from red to metallic red.
With the basic range running unchanged until 1988 in the ROW range (the US had dropped it after 1987) and Superfast/Lasers going unchanged until 1990, 1988 did not see a lot of action up front. But there was a promotional issue in Hong Kong. A set of 12 Racing Team models, each featuring a number from 1 to 12, and a character from the Chinese Zodiac, the Porsche was 11 Ox.
And there was a Porsche 3-pack, known as MP-106. The regular white Porsche turned yellow in the pack, but everything else was as the basic range issue was.
Now as an ROW exclusive, the basic range MB41 switched to a new colour combination of red with different striped colours. They also changed the number in the tampo to 41 too. This proved to be a swansong for the ROW range too, as it was dropped after 1989 there too.
but as I mentioned, Superfast and Laser Wheels were continuing on until 1990. What replaced them? Lightning Racers. New for 1991, each casting had 2 releases, each in extremely vibrant colours, and the wheels were even newer, and featured graphic designs on the side. Windows were all chromed and featured “shoadow” areas to them as well. It wasn’t a success. They were gone by the end of the year.
But this still was not the end, as another multipack arrived in 1991. MC-23 was a Porsche set, featuring 4 different Porsches, all in different colours but with similar designs (their name on the side, large Porsche badge on the front). A Convoy Truck was added with Porsche on the box trailer too. The 935 was in red.These 2 have a small shade of red to them.
These were early production runs after the casting had been shipped from Macau to Thailand, and at first they wiped the “Made in macau” bit off with a raised plate, then realized they didn’t re-mark it, so tampo printed it. There are some found without the tampo. Then they re-etched the details in to the plate.
Also in 1991, the model saw its first outing in World Class. Well, it’s a Porsche. I am doing premiums. World Class number 22 was in yellow, with full detailing, 2-part rubber wheels and as was the case with World Class, the windows were chrome.
This was found in 1992. Wait, what? It looks a bit like the debut version.
Yes it was a little similar to it, except a lot more simplistic with the tampo. But this wasn’t a regular issue.
This was Brazilian. Oh yes, Matchbox had an agreement with a company in Brazil to build models at a factory for local sale due to import laws at the time. Universal sent over a few castings late in the day for Brazil to use.
However, as Tyco were taking over, the agreement was scrapped. In early 1993 the factory released a set of 3 different 4-packs of the castings they had in new unique colours and that was the end of the Brazilian stuff. The Porsche was now in white.
Where back in regular factory land, a second 935 was added to World Class in 1992 too. This too was in white, but just like the previous yellow one, was fully detailed with chrome windows.
The only difference was with the license plate on the rear. After World Class finished, and that small run of 4-packs in Brazil the casting was retired once and for all.
So now I am going to take you to the end of the decade, and another Matchbox originals design. The MB418 Snowmobile. This model arrived as either MB94 in the US range or MB74 in the ROW range that year in red and black featuring a yellow and black rider. Although it looks like it doesn’t, the snowmobile does roll along.
If you were to flip it over you would see there are 2 wheels up the middle of the (painted black) base. I am not sure why they really bothered to paint up the fake snow tracks. It did seem a little pointless.
But that was not all we saw in 1999. A Survival 5-pack saw this yellow and blue example, along with a grey rider.
A-ha! The reason I pull out things. I have discovered I am missing one. Yes, my list is what I have, not what I need. This is the 2000 MB76 in the US range or MB56 in the ROW range. The first 10,000 in USA had a Matchbox 2000 logo on them. And it turns out I don’t have it. Rats! Note to self, look for the logo one of this.
However, 2000 also saw the launch of the Launcher series. That first year had a Test Centre set which featured the Snowmobile in white, orange and black with a blue and orange rider.
In 2001 it moved to the MB8 slot in yellow and black and had a black, purple and yellow rider on it. After a 3 year stint, the model was then dropped from the basic range.
It did continue on elsewhere though. For 2002 it saw 2 uses. First off it was in a Snow Cappers 5-pack in white, maroon and black with a red rider.
And was also in the Across America series too, where it was chosen to be the model for Colorado.
In 2003, Mattel re-hashed a number of 2002 5-packs in new colours, and one was the Snow Cappers pack. Now it was white, yellow and blue with a yellow rider.
After 2003 the casting was pretty much done. Except for a random outing in 2006 as a part of the Dino Creatures Easter Eggs assortment. Each egg would open up and inside would be a random model. This would be found in some of them. An all-maroon with black model featuring a blue rider. This was similar to the 2002 Snow Capper model again, but different rider and different upper half to the body. After 2006 the casting was no longer used at all.
I am doing another Chrysler next. This company has not been used by Matchbox much. The first model was just a Dodge Caravan in a one-off different front grille release, and recently I showed the next model in their database, the concept Atlantic. Well in the early 2000s they went in on the PT Cruiser. Both a van and a convertible casting were added to the range, and apart from the current 300 casting, those were the entire history of Chrysler. The MB580 PT Cruiser Convertible I thought was a really cool model. It was such a shame it go so few outings. As you can tell, this debuted as MB72 in the 2003 basic range in metallic dark red with the name on the side, as well the number it was in the range. Something they attempted in 2003, but soon dropped after a lot of backlash. The first 10,000 made had a Hero City logo on the side too.
And that was the last we saw of it in the basic range. Seriously. One and done! In 2004 it did see a bit of action though. Funnily enough most of it in licensed 5-packs. Both these were in blue. The Wonder Woman themed side design was a part of the Justice League pack and the one with Nick on the side came from a Jimmy Neutron pack.
But we did also get a lovely yellow with matte black tonneau cover printing (brilliant job with that) added to the Superfast series too.
For 2005, the model only got another Superfast outing. This time in either purple for the ROW market or in burgundy for the US market. After 2005 the model was dropped from Superfast too, and all the realistic looks were finished.
This left just a scattering of licensed 5-pack issues left for the model. In 2007 we saw it in the second Go Diego Go 5-pack of the year. It came in yellow with Diego himself swinging in on the sides.
Then after taking 2008 off it doubled up for a final flourish in licensed packs in 2009. First off was this Nickelodeon 5-pack release with a close up of SpngeBob SquarePants on the side.
And then we also saw this Mickey Mouse Clubhouse release too with Mickey himself adorning the sides. It almost felt like a wood panel side to the model behind the graphics. It wasn’t but that could have been a cool design. Sadly, this proved to be it for the casting, and it has not been seen since. Do you think this deserves another outing? I think it is retro enough for a retro model anyway and can still work in a random 5-pack or 9-pack.
So I am going to finish off with a model that I think most people know, even if they don’t follow hockey. The MB1005 Zamboni. This was definitely a bit of a unique model to include, and as far as I can remember, the only vehicle that started with a “Z”. It arrived in 2016 as MB7 in white over blue. It had a very simple look to it with just the front detailed.
It was a very unique looking vehicle, and I was expecting a whole bunch of them to have some fun with.
Because for me, with the upper white section being removable, I could see potential for lots of future fun with it. I will show you why.
Because in 2017 we had our one and only alternate look. This purple model was MB13 that year, and along with the front print, also saw some additional side graphics on top. But that top comes off.
So it gives us a bit of fun. Like other models that have a removable part, these could be mixed and matched to make fun new combinations. I tell you, the white top on the purple model looks really good. The purple on the blue? Meh! Not so much. I was always surprised we were not given more examples of these. Maybe the change of direction back to realism in general also negates a realistic vehicle that, well, doesn’t actually go on the road. These belong on an ice hockey rink. Is that meaning a lack of real play value? I don’t know. But this was one of those castings that had a really short shelf life.
Hopefully the new ones coming out now don’t end up the same way. I mean if they are anything like the Jeep that just keeps pottering on, we could see many of these over coming years.
But that is the back of another report done. Next week I will be moving on to another set of models before returning to the last of batch C later on. So until then, I hope people have a lovely, safe and happy week, and look forward to seeing you all again next Monday. Or whenever you get a chance to read it.