Another week passes in Matchbox land, and that means I am back with what I do best. Go nuts over the silliest of things. Yes, it is time for another dive into one of the new 12-packs that Matchbox surprised us with this year. As with the MBX Electric pack I previewed a few weeks back, this pack is all about models pulled from the recent archives of the brand to sell in alternate markets.
Now I realized that I didn’t actually do an external package shot of MBX Electric. This is how the sets get shipped out. As I said, these are being aimed at alternate channels. Online ones mainly, which is where they are targeting parents with a chunk of models in one go for their child. So an order comes in, a box like this gets shipped out. Of course, if you were to look around, you may be able to find a hobby store or dealer who stocks them too. That is if you are nuts like me, and goes crazy over the littlest of things.
So I open up the outer box and inside is a set of 12 models in a sleeve.
Obviously with these not destined for major retailers, and therefore not something you will likely find in store, they don’t need to seal the inner package. The outer box did that. As I said, this is just a sleeve, for this, the MBX Adventurers 12-pack.
As with other packs, the contents are displayed on the rear. Nothing special. As I said, these are all carry forward issues. Although in the MBX Electric pack we did get a Tesla that had actually arrived early. But not this time. Nothing is 2022. They all come from the recent archives. So time to dive in. Now I thought I would mention, these are packaged just like the last lot. Inside each slot the model is wrapped in paper. I did not do a paper shot this time, as I noticed that I was going so long last time I had no time for a dive back at the end. I know some enjoy them, so I thought shoot through these faster and get a dive back at the end again.
We start with the MB953/MB1000 Chevy K-1500 Pickup. I am marking the model’s MAN number down twice, as there is a little question mark over it. I should see if I can find out 100% for sure. As many know, when the model debuted, it was MB249. After 2014, they altered the casting into MB953, but shortly after advertised they had altered again into MB1000, yet the base still states MB953. Did somebody forget to change that with the second change. Or did the second change not happen? I believe it may be the second scenario, but I do need to make sure. I know I tend to list it as MB953.
This is a repeat of the last basic range issue from 2020. MB69 at the time. Such a shame they didn’t dig back a little deeper into the archive and give us one that was originally under the MB249 casting for an instant variation. But me being me, I had to check anyway.
The newer one is on the left here. It is a little bit darker grey, and the orange interior is also a little bit darker too.
Not massive, but enough for me to want to keep the new one.
Next up as I work my way through the top row left to right, then on to row 2 etc. Another large 4×4 wheeled model. The MB1183 ’68 Dodge D-200 Pickup.
This model is a repeat of the 2019 MB63 debut look of the casting. Tan with olive sides. However, this was also part of the first batch of the Dodge series this year at Walmart so we have already had a carry forward this year. Plus it popped up in a 9-pack this year as well.
So as we know, the original release back in 2019 has a darker olive side print. In 2022 they have been making them much brighter.
But what that does mean is that the new release really isn’t coming up any different to how it was earlier this year. Sadly, this one does not feature in my collection. Oh well, 1 in, 1 out.
Now this MB723 VW Beetle 4×4 has been seen a few times too. Which is a real shame. With a rich history to dive into I do get a little frustrated to see them pull the same model out again and again.
I mean, this is a nice look. I am a fan of the D.E.R. series, I just think with so many options to pull from in the history of this casting, we saw a 5-pack repeat of the debut look recently, but there are over a dozen other options to choose from. That’s a lot to pick from, yet they do the same old same old.
It was originally the MB82 for the US market, MB24 for the LAAM market or MB31 for the ROW market back in 2009, during the period of the brand split. During my travels I found the matte chocolate was fantastic for shades.
In 2020 this look returned, but was now metallic brown. A small but significant change, and the Walmart exclusive Off Road Rally release was also proving to be good for shade variations. Plus they added it to a 9-pack in early 2021 too.
Wow! Newbie is 2nd in from the right. Okay I do love my shades, and this is a significantly different brown to anything I found the other year. It stands out doesn’t it. So yeah, I am very happy to add this to the collection, but I still lament all the other carry forwards they could have pulled from the archives. Hint: there is a National Parks release. Hello? Perfect for another go around.
Ooh, now this looks good. The MB1058 Sonora Shredder. I was a big fan of this casting when it arrived back in 2017. And what was even better, that debut year saw 2 releases. Black and red. I know it is a Matchbox originals casting, but this is definitely one of the best ones they have done.
After that debut 2-model year, 2018 saw a green one, and then it was ignored in 2019. 2020 saw 2 releases. Another basic in orange, and a second green issue in the Off Road Rally set at Walmart. After that? Well, this carry forward. I am happy the casting has not been forgotten about. What is even better? They chose red, rather than black from the debut year. More chances for a shade?
Well during that time it did see a good bit of shading anyway. From a cherry red to a much darker pinkier shade.
Although that has nothing on this. It is so much darker. A massive shade variation.
I tell you, even if I did not have another variation to add in the set, this is a great one for me. If only they could do more big changes like this with the paint.
The MB1203 Polaris RZR is up next. This is a carry forward of the one they did in black. Wait? Checks records. They are all black! Son of a…
Okay, narrowing it down, this is a repeat of the 2021 MB41. So as this is not that old, I don’t need to talk too much about it. I did a review of it at the time on the blog, and then pulled it out again for the 2022 issue in black too. I don’t know why they model is just coming in black all the time. They advertise an Indy Red look on their website, but also show an orange one. I really hope they can give us another colour for this.
But in the meantime, why not check out the 2021 comparing it to the new run. 2021 is on the left. It is a satin black look, with 2022 being a dull matte finish. So they are coming out different, and in the collection it goes. Keeping fingers crossed for a non-black release still.
The poster model for the set. As they call it. I mean, it is the one shown on the front of the inner sleeve once you open the outer box, so I think we knew this was coming. The MB1247 ’21 Ford Bronco. Well, this did only arrive last year in the basic range, so there was not a lot of history to dive back into.
They could have just done the 2022 again, but I am glad they went back and did the 2021 again. Production times of the 12-pack and the batch the 2022 Bronco arrived in are about the same, so I doubt I would have seen anything at all with that.
The new one is on the left. I classified it as a darker pinkier shade of red than the 2021 run.
But there’s more. The base is also coming out a little darker too.
So another one goes into the collection. I am not doing too bad.
Ah! The MB1243 MBX Field Car. This model has been seen a lot. I mean loads!
It only debuted as MB17 in the 2021 basic range, but it feels like it has been around much more. Well, if you look at 9-packs, then the answer is yes. Batch D 9-packs of 2021, there was a Field Car. Batch A of 2022, another Field Car. Batch C, yet another one. So it keeps popping up.
And well, with a lot of production runs over the last year, it is no surprise that I have been able to spot a lot of shading to the orange. Metallic oranges do shade well. But with 4 noticeable shades in the collection already, I could not find another slot to fill. This was pretty much the same as the 2nd from right I had already. So this turns out to be my second pass.
Ooh I loved this one. The MB300 ’56 Ford Pickup. For those that don’t remember it, this was the last release for the casting. It was in a 2020 9-pack (batch B) as one of the exclusives.
It gets another outing here. Which again, like the VW Beetle 4×4 and Chevy K-1500, this model has a rich history of variations to choose from. Yet, they just went with the last one. Had it been any of the mid-late 2000s issues before it went on hiatus, there would have been an instant variation due to the casting getting a small tweak when it returned in 2018. But sadly that was another opportunity missed.
I am going to keep this one though. You might notice how the yellow in the door sign is a much darker shade on the new run. The orange is also a little bit lighter too. I see it easily I keep it in the collection.
The MB1196 ’48 Willys Jeepster is next to get a thorough check. This model is a repeat of the 2020 basic range debut of the model as MB38 in burgundy.
It is actually the middle of the 3 releases seen to date, as a yellow was the first look, but was exclusive to the 2019 Jeep set, and a mint green appeared in 2021’s basic range. A part of me would have loved to have seen the yellow Jeep set issue see another outing. But I will take any of them. None are bad, and so far none been carried forward.
So putting these 2 side by side, you can see that the new run is noticeably lighter in shade.
Plus it appears that the Willys logo tampo on the rear has also shrunk a little. So that’s definitely going in the collection.
Now, this model is a repeat of one that has just appeared. The MB1199 ’19 Jeep Renegade seems to get everywhere. For 2022 the basic range issue was in blue as MB6, and so has not been around very long.
The green debut from 2020 was the one that made the rounds. After debuting, it popped back up in a 2021 9-pack, then in the Best of Italy set. In 2022 it then transferred to the Best of France set too. However, the 2021 red has not been seen again after debut. But with a Ford Bronco and Willys Jeepster in red, another red might have been overkill. Wait? Did I mention the yellow Jeepster a minute ago? Yes, another reason that would have been cool. Have the yellow Jeepster, then repeat the red 2021 issue of this.
Because believe it or not, even though it has not been out long, I have managed to find a shade of blue to this.
The new one does sort of fit in the middle, but by doing so it actually makes the variations stand out less. It is one of the weirdest parts of being a crazy shade collector. Sure I like to find a shade, but I have to draw lines. Sometimes a small nuance can appear in the paint. But I do feel I should have limits to how close they get to each other. By adding this and lining all 3 up, it actually makes it harder to see a shade, and for this very bizarre reason I am going to leave it out.
The MB1184 ’65 Land Rover Gen II Safari is up next. This is also blue, just like the Jeep was. But it is a darker blue. It is also a model that comes with a dual roof element. Ooh! This could be tricky.
It is a carry forward of the debut look for the casting, when it first arrived as MB64 in 2019. If there is a shade to this I am going to be having a lot of fun trying to figure out how to get the alternate roof load variant aren’t I.
So putting the 2 side by side I would say that the blue is just about the same. Maybe a slight nuance difference, but not enough for me to panic. Wait a sec?
I am now in panic mode! yes, I am totally crazy, but the roof element to the new production run is coming out in a duller brown to how it did back in 2019. That is quite a variation to me, and this means I am going to have to try and figure out how to get the alternate. This might take me a while. Yes, I am that nuts!
Finally, wait, what? Wow! I have rushed through these quite fast, haven’t I. I told you I had learned from my drawn out post on MBX Electric how to condense this into a much more streamlined post. I finish with the MB911 Toyota Tacoma Lifeguard. Another recent issue originally, it was a Batch F 9-pack exclusive in 2021.
That was the first new look we had seen, following 2x reds and 1x yellow when it first arrived in 2014-2016 before going on hiatus. I didn’t include either of the Albuquerque convention dealer models or the 2016 Shark Week issue as they wouldn’t fit here as carry forwards. Only the core issues. Mind you, we have just had another arrive, as a blue appeared in batch D 9-packs in 2022. So although I would have preferred one of the older ones to compare against, I will still check the 2021 run one.
I don’t know how well this is coming out in picture form, but in real life, the new run is a notably brighter white than it was last year. That looks almost cream in comparison.
The red tampo? A slight change there too, but that is just a nuance. The creamy white versus white is enough for me to add to my collection. So time to add up.
Out of 12, it appears I am adding 9 to my collection. A three-quarter win. I am much more thrilled with that than I thought I would be. I admit, I wasn’t sure if it would be more wins versus loses.
The 3 losers from the batch. Which is a shame as I do like all 3. But I can only go so far with hunting down my shades.
So if you are like me and go crazy over the smaller things, then sure. Why not grab a pack and go nuts. If not, please remember, these are designed as an internet grab for parents to buy a job lot for their child to keep them happy. They are not specifically designed for us. Mattel are attempting something a bit different with this, and if all goes well, we will see more of these online packs appearing in 2023. If all goes well, they will attempt to pop something unique inside. No guarantee, but with an ever-changing world out there, moving things online to the internet is a smart way to go. Start small, then try to expand.
So as I promised, zipping through those a lot quicker allows me to dive back again. And with the new models being of an adventurous theme, I decided to theme the dive back too. Which this week starts with a classic Lesney MB47-B Beach Hopper. This model debuted as a Rolamatics model in 1973 and ran until 1978. As the front wheel rolled around, it would make the man inside jump up and down.
Officially, this went unchanged for those 6 years. Unofficially, the complete opposite is true. Because this is a pre-tampo printed look. In the early 1970s, Lesney’s way of getting the pink splatter on the top of the model is just that. Take a brush, dip it in pink paint, and then go splat! Therefore, technically, every single one is different. But as i have just been talking about, there is only so much I can do with hunting down variations. I simply cannot afford to go and buy every single one I find. So the idea is that I try and gauge significant changes. Like these 2. One is a darker blue than the other, and also has more in the way of a pink splatter effect. A noticeable change.
Plus the pink base also varied in shades too.
But talking of changes, Lesney made a big one with this. The window piece was tiny, and they were attaching it with a pair of rivets underneath the body section. It was slow, it was fiddly, and the factory workers were not happy. So soon after they started production, they went back to the drawing board and came up with this new look. Remove the window section entirely and add in a visor to the body section. Sure, it is a cast piece, and does look a little odd. But the factory workers are going to be able to manufacture these a lot faster and with a smile on their face. So by the end of 1973 the change had been implemented and the new Beach Hopper was rolled into production. I did manage to get this prototype of the changed version.
Once production began, you didn’t really notice too much. After all, there was a lot of pink splatter to deal with.
Of course, this continued like this until 1978. So a good 5 years of the altered casting. Apart from pink splatter, there was so much more to look for. One of the most obvious is the seat section. Usually they are orange, but for a while they switched them to yellow seats, before reverting again.
Then there is the case of the driver. Make him tan. Sure. Tan varies a lot. Light tan?. Pinky tan?
How about dark tan and pale tan? Yes he varied quite a bit during his time bouncing up and down in this model.
And as I said, pink was also good for shades. You might have noticed that the pink splatter on some were different pink shades. Well, sure, they were just dipping their paint brush in pink paint. Pink paint that changes on a regular basis.
There are other things to look for too. Labels! This usually sported a sun label on the front. Although I know of no alternate labels being used, there is the fact that sometimes they forgot to put one on at all. Oops!
And bases may not be painted either. These were actually a late run, as when the casting first arrived, the Rolamatics name was still being patented by Lesney and bases of all Rolamatics models had the same details. Lesney had applied for a patent in 1972, and were given a reference number 12174/72 from the patents office. This was added to the base of all Rolamatics vehicles until it had been approved and a patent number given. They got that in 1975 (yeah it was not quick) and in 1976 the bases of all Rolamatics modelse had the applied for reference removed and the official patent number of 1424808 added instead. Unpainted bases are only known to exist on models made after 1976 as they always contain the patent number on an unpainted base. They also only have orange seats. The yellow switcheroo was done in late 1974-early 1975. So there is quite a lot to find, even without losing it completely with splatter variations.
I’m jumping forward a little here. The MB194 Modified Racer. I have an ulterior motive. I really didn’t pay a lot of attention to it at first. So I missed out on quite a few variations. I am busy working my way through them as we speak, but I am missing a few. So please bear with me. I don’t own everything…. yet! In fact, I doubt I ever will. Where would the fun be in that? I enjoy the hunt for older stuff to fill in gaps.
So this model debuted in 1988 as either MB31 for the US market or MB12 for the ROW market. For that first year the grille and side bar were chrome plated, but in 1989 they swapped them to black. This carried through until the model was deleted from the basic range. For the ROW market it was after 1991, but the US market continued to sell it, still in the original orange look, until 1993.
This is an area where I need to pay more attention. In 1988 Supercolorchangers also appeared, and the model was in a pinkier look to the basic. But some came out almost orange again. I only own the one. Running through 1989 would mean this would also lose the chrome grille/side bar as well. I should look to add a Supercolorchangers variation. A shade? Tough to find due to the fact it changes itself, but not impossible. But I do need to get that black grille/side bar variant.
There is a small difference to SCC models over basics. The Goodyear logo on the front gets a white background on SCC releases. I wonder if, due to it being red, they wanted it to stand out better.
As I said, this model ran until 1993. Anybody who reads these reports, or follows me on Instagram, might already know that the factory in Macau was closed in 1990. It was replaced with production in either Thailand or China for various models. This one? It was sent to China.
So it got 2 years of Macau production versus 4 years of China production.
During China production, there was a small blip for a while. They accidentally put the 12 logo on the side facing forwards instead of backwards.
But what we also saw in 1990 was a company called Nutmeg Promotionals get in touch with Universal. They asked permission to use the casting and create a series of small run issues. Between 1990 and 1995 we saw 10 different sets of 4 models (plus a special promotional issue) released under the Nutmeg label. 7 sets were standard ones, with 3 sets being “Legends” series. I have to admit, being a USA only thing, and being short run, I do not have many. I have 6 in total. One of those is the promotional issue, but I still have another 35 to get. It might take me a while.
Doh! Another thing I discovered. In 1991 Matchbox released an Action Pack in USA. Then in 1992, Sam’s (the Walmart store) released a 30-pack with a number of alternate colours. Somehow I completely missed the fact that the Action Pack was a dark blue and Sam’s was purple. Both had the same design as the basic range, so I am not on the hunt for the Action Pack release. Now you might be seeing why I decided to do this casting. It is a reminder to myself of just how much I am missing.
But what we did get in 2992, and I did buy, was a Graffic Traffic issue.
After being dropped form the range in the US after 1993, the model saw no action in 1994 outside the Nutmeg stuff. But it did return in 1995. It was in black as a part of the Racing 5-pack. Got it! But was also sold in a TC-95 pack on the back of the Kenworth Transporter, exclusively in USA in dark blue. Again this was a limited edition, like the Nutmeg stuff. But this was done through Parlour City Collectibles. Very hard to locate nowadays. One day. But as you can see, I have quite a lot of these to hunt down.
We move to the end of the decade for the next model I dive back into. The MB429 Dune Buggy. This model was one of the early Mattel creations, debuting in the 1999 basic range as either MB92 in the US range or MB72 in the ROW range (except Germany). It was blue with a black roll cage and a white tampo design down the sides with a simple stripes and mountain design. The model also featured an antenna that had been slotted in through the roll cage’s roof lights.
In 2000, it became a US exclusive as it was sold as MB15 there in red. This had a Beach Patrol themed design, and as with all USA things that year, the first 10,000 made had a little Matchbox 2000 logo added.
But that wasn’t all that year. For 2000, we had gone with a 5-way brand split (along with 2001, this was most ever) and with no release in either the UK, German or other ROW markets, the Australian one did get a yellow and orange one as MB39 with a Rugged Adventures design.
We did see a worldwide release of a Mount Discovery 5-pack issue though. For this release, the model was teal and yellow with a grey roll cage, and had a simple RT-450, stripes and mountain design.
For 2001, the model was still plugging away as a US exclusive. This time it was MB35, and was purple with a yellow Sand Blaster side design. The first time it really saw a proper sandy design, as to me, that is the most logical area for seeing it. It even had the word “Dune” in the name.
The Wings ‘n Water 5-pack that year saw this red and black release that featured a couple of stingrays on the side.
For 2002, it finally saw its first worldwide basic range release. It was sold as MB46 and came in blue and yellow with a sort of lifeguard themed side design. Again, a logo chase was in effect, and the 50 logo appeared over the top of the front on the first 10,000 made.
A Beach Buggies 5-pack was also sold, and again we had a sort of lifeguard them to the Beach Patrol livery on this yellow and red model.
2003 saw no basic range release for the casting at all. But it saw quite a bit of action anyway. The Beach Buggies 5-pack was rolled over into 2003 and with it, all the 5 models sported new colours. The yellow was switched to teal. Obviously, the interior was also switched as well (which includes the antenna).
We also saw not 1, but 2 Launcher releases as well. One pack was desert themed, and this fell nicely in with a blue and red release with a turtle on the side. However, there was also a Fire set, and Unit 3 was this model too. Are dune buggies often used as fire vehicles?
To cap off the year, a special Camp Fun set was released. Included in the set were 3 models with a glow in the dark part to them. This was obviously the roll cage. In addition, the pack also contained a torch, to help you make the models glow.
After all that, the model took a year off to recuperate. Ha ha! In 2005, it returned in 2 different 5-packs. A simple Off Road 5-pack saw this black and yellow MBX Dirt 429 liveried release. A Pirates pack saw a yellow and blue with a pirate motif down the side.
This was the beginning of a long run of 5-pack issues. 2006, and the 5-pack in question was called Mummy’s Gold with this blue and grey release.
This was followed in 2007 by a Wilderness 5-pack release in white and blue. The model also sported a Sand Speeder side design. Why am I making a point of this? You will see.
Ocean Research was the name of a 2008 5-pack and included was this yellow and black model with the pack name on the side. After that, the model went on a little hiatus.
During its time off, the model saw a complete overhaul. A massive change to all parts of the casting, and as such they gave it a new name. Sand Speeder. See, I told you that was relevant. It was given a new MAN number and debuted in the 2012 Beach Rescue 5-pack. Except due to a mistake, the factory completely glossed over the fact that the older MB429 casting was no longer to be used and began production with the old one.
After it was pointed out to them, they switched over to the new, updated casting. As you can see, the antenna is no longer a part of the casting. The roof section was shortened, and the sides became a lot taller.
The tabbed areas to the front and rear were shortened to make assembly easier.
And the old screwed base was switched over to a new riveted one. And as I said, the casting was given a new name along with the new number. I think, because a new Dune Buggy had arrived in 2006, they wanted to differentiate between them easier.
Well, this continued seeing 5-pack outings. A 2013 Beach Rescue 5-pack saw this green and grey release with a cool swirling side design and MBX 8.
After a few years off again, for 2016 the model saw another 5-pack release in the Desert set. However, during production, they altered the casting again. The seats and engine were a different part to the rest before, but they combined them into one while the pack was in production. So after earlier releases saw a grey seat/engine, later ones had them matching the rest of the orange section.
After that, you will never guess what? It popped back up in the basic range. Officially the debut basic range release of the Sand Speeder casting. It was MB110 in 2017. However, after this green and grey release, we have yet to see it again.
So now to move on to another model. The MB687 International CXT. Now this is a truck.
This model debuted as MB29 in the 2006 basic range. It was yellow, but during production you could find shades of yellow. Or you might find a batch where they didn’t bother chroming the wheels.
They also added a highly detailed model to the Superfast range in red. It was number 73 in the series and saw the rarely used wheels in action.
As we were getting ready for 2007, they decided to use this casting as the 2007 Toy Fair model. It was a highly detailed black and red affair, arriving in late 2006.
For 2007 it was MB60 in the basic range in blue. This model was very good for shades too.
It was also a part of a Battle Kings set known as Front Liners. It came in a brown camouflaged look, but the matte brown paint was also pretty good for a shade or 2.
And so was the grey base.
We also saw a 10-pack release in 2007, as this was a part of the all exclusive Adventure 5-pack. It had a simple Mountain Rescue and bird logo look to the side design on this olive model.
In 2008, the basic range split 3 ways. The US and LAAM markets saw this white Grant’s Farms liveried release as MB68. The ROW market skipped it, seeing a certain Jeep Wrangler slot into its place.
We did see that certain Ocean Research 5-pack in 2008 though. You know, the one that had a Dune Buggy in it. Well, it also contained this model in red with an Ocean Research side design too.
But unlike the Dune Buggy, that was the end of things for a while. Straight into 2009 and again the ROW market was skipped while this MB65 arrived in dark metallic orange, or a very dark orange. This time though, the LAAM market was also skipped. Only the US market received it.
A licensed 5-pack arrived this year too, with this blue release sold in a Handy Manny set. It looks pretty plain.
It did get a single tampo print over the rear bed.
A Jungle Attack Battle Kings set was released this year too. The model, again, as a Battle Kings release, saw some variations. This time it was with the tampo printing. There were 3 colours to the tampo camouflage, and the yellow on top is more tan on the bottom, and the darker green is much darker too. The lighter green was a pretty good match.
In 2011 the basic range release was again yellow. This time there was more of a side design, with King Construction on it. This time, the US MB47 was also the ROW MB47. However, it still wasn’t in the LAAM range. And just like the debut yellow, you could find some good shades to it. However, this time, wheels were always chrome.
We also got a Service Center 5-pack issue in gold. Again, shades were around if you looked.
In 2011, the final year of the 3-way split for the basic range saw this Lyons Bros liveried black model in the US basic range as MB47. But for the first time in the 3-way split, it was also in both LAAM and ROW ranges too.
We also had another 5-pack outing. A Farm set saw this silver model with an Eco Growers livery adorning the sides appear. During production, you might have found either cog wheels or crown wheels on the model. Cogs were the norm. But in times of shortages they drag out some classics.
It’s quite amazing how we are now seeing all these environmentally friendly looks for designs, and hybrid/electric vehicles in the range. But this was an early advocate for them, wasn’t it. After an Eco Growers theme to a 5-pack, the 2012 basic range MB31 (the range was amalgamated again) in green had this cool Algae “Alt Fuel” livery.
It did take a year off in 2013, but came back in 2014 in the ever-continuing INC livery. I love these recurring themes, and this was a really cool one.
In 2015, it was only seen in a Construction Zone 5-pack. It was red with a simple MBX Construction themed side design. And during production, I did notice the red was getting a little shady. But there was something a little more significant.
The model was retooled. As has happened with most of the pickup trucks in the mid 2010s, the rear bed was originally metal, but was changed to be mainly plastic. Usually, they are inside the rear, but on the CXT it was a level rear and more noticeable. For this change, they granted the model a new MAN number. MB986!
After all that change though, this too has not seen a lot of action. It took 2016 off and popped up in a 2017 Jungle Mission 5-pack in gunmetal blue.
And just like the Dune Buggy/Sand Speeder I had just showcased, this then made its casting debut in the basic range. This was in 2018 as MB22 in olive. And again, just like the other one, it has not been seen since.
So as I keep with the adventure theme throughout the entire dive back, I finish off with the (and I apologize to any German-speaking person as I say this) MB825 Road Tripper. This model debuted in the final year of the 3-way split as either MB91 in the US market, MB52 in the LAAM market or MB58 in the ROW market. It came in cream with a Soujourner Adventure side design. During production, again when cog wheels run out, they grab some crown wheels to keep production going. Why do they not do more of this? Easy ways to generate more interest with people wanting them both.
With the body being plastic and the base metal, they left it officially unpainted (or zamac plated as they call it). But as was often the case, this zamac has a habit of coming out cold (with a blue tint) or hot (with a burnt brown tint). This in itself is quite a difference.
But this was not the only release. It was chosen to be a 2 version debut, and shortly after Sojourner Adventure came this white Brave Cat model. It had the same base variation, but all models sported cog wheels.
It was also a part of the all exclusive 1st Editions 10-pack at the end of the year too. This grey issue was a sign of the slight tweak the brand was seeing for 2012.
The 2012 MB72 though, it was actually pretty cool. This green Arctic Team liveried model has potential for a new vehicle to carry on its theme. After all, this is number 2. We need a number 1, 3, 4 etc.
We saw another green too, this time in the Mountain Adventure 5-pack. This one had Road Tripper written all over the side of it.
And look, another with Road Tripper written all over the sides. The 2013 MB86 in mint.
The Jungle 5-pack didn’t have its name on the side. Just a large MBX and the words Sleep & Safari across the top, with a slight jungle looking stripe going along the lower edge. I think this is a pretty cool look. During production, you might notice that the 6-spoke wheels were found in 2 styles. Larger spoke with thin edging or smaller ones with thick edging.
Oh wow! This one has the name all over it. It was MB49 in the basic range for 2014, but by the time it had been pointed out a certain snafu with anybody who speaks German, it was too late to change this one. But changes were underway.
Later in the year, the model was added to the Outdoor Sights 5-pack. But one thing we immediately noticed was the name on the base. After pointing out that in German, “tripper” means gonorrhoea, they changed the name of the model to MBX Prospector. Much better and as far as we know, “prospector” has no awkward meanings in any other languages.
And what’s more, this was a National Parks model. A quite plain looking National Parks model, but it is none the same. Plus, I noticed the shade of mint did vary on it too.
It was in the 2015 basic range too. It had a long run as a basic. MB108 was in green with a Grizzly Back Country theme, which included a few licensed logos (including Skyjacker) which works, as a winch does appear on the front of the casting. The shade of green was also good for a shade or 2.
We also saw this cool Mobile Research Unit appear as a part of the rush-released Jurassic World series. It was one of 2 castings (along with a Scrambulance) that I thought actually looked like they could have been in the film. With only a matter of months from securing the licence to get the items out, there wasn’t a lot of realism to them. But not all was lost. After all, it gave us plenty of time for them to sort out some great stuff for the follow-up film (and again for the new one).
Okay, so who didn’t get the memo? Yes, the 2016 MB122, although made after the change to the German-friendly MBX Prospector name, still got the original name emblazoned all over the sides. Oops!
For 2017, as part of a now-common carry forward thing, the original look reappeared in the basic range as MB72.
However, apart from the base being different (due to the updated name) we did see a few other tiny tweaks.
The bright stripes on the sides were much darker red, compared to the original’s orangey red. Plus, they no longer detailed the window in the rear door.
After that, the model took 2018 off before getting a final (for now, unless it pops back up again) look for 2019. MB70 in the basic range was this red Weekender Retreat liveried model. I think they should have popped this one in the MBX Adventurers 12-pack. Something a bit different.
Talking of which, that is it for the report. 12 new models (of which 9 I kept) which included 2 Fords and 2 Jeeps. Did you notice the classic Jeep is open-top, modern hardtop, and the Fords were a pickup (classic) and SUV (modern).
We also saw other pickup style vehicles, 2 with empty rear ends, and 2 full of items.
Plus 4 others. I think any of the last 3 I did a dive back on could have worked in this pack. And with none of them seeing action in the last few years, they would have been quite welcome returnees from me. Well anyway, after a bigger set, next week I move to a smaller set for my report. But that time I am not linking my dive back in with the “new stuff” part. I did ponder it, but decided against it. So until then, I hope you all have a good week. Catch you next time for more Matchbox madness.
3 Replies to “Matchbox Monday is going on a short adventure”
Mattel taking the piss again ! If you have leftover bare metal cars, just paint them a different colour for the collectors instead of making a 12 pack. David, you’re English the word is alternative, not alternate, you’ll be saying howdy y’all next, rant over,
Rats! That was a spelling mistake. Alternate is an English word, but would have been used in a different context to how I put it. Hence the spell checker not picking it up.
But with these, they are not for collectors. Mattel are only assigned so many SKUs as they call them for Matchbox. Each new design, colour etc is assigned an SKU, so if these were to be new looks, then 12 models would have to be deleted from elsewhere to accommodate. Swings and roundabouts. These are just a quick and cheap method of doing something through an alternative (got the word right this time) with no additional SKUs being used and therefore not having to delete from another range. If they can build momentum, then they get assigned more SKUs for upcoming years and can provide more exclusive and new items for various ranges. It’s all business stuff. We, as collectors, only see the end result, which to us is just more of the same. Which we forget, before Mattel was how Matchbox used to be. Some models would run for 10 years unchanged. Nowadays, it gets 2 months of production. They do another 2 months later on and we are up in arms. That is still less then 5% of what we used to get in terms of production length for some models. I am not a massive fan of carry forwards, as they refer to them. But in the old Lesney days and Universal/Tyco too, with many MANY years of continual production, we would find variations over time. This, to me, just cuts out that middle period where it always seems to be the same.
Sure, give me an option, no doubt I would want a 12-pack of all new stuff. I would want everything to always be new, and increase the amounts of items on the pegs. Basic range of 100? Why not Moving Parts too? Why are 5-packs so short in comparison. They could be 100 too. 20 different packs over the course of the year. In fact, to me, the basic range should be 144. Release them in sets of 12, 1 set per month.
But I am not the business person telling the Matchbox team what they can and cannot do. I am the end person wanting more stuff. I still enjoy getting what does get released, so I still get them.
The MB12 Modified Racer casting would have been pretty underused if not for the appearance of Nutmeg on the scene.
They followed White Rose Collectibles’ lead with the NASCAR stuff, but clever!y concentrated on the Modified scene in that respect, which was particularly popular in the Northeast of the US where Nutmeg, if I remember correctly, were based.
As I was a big NASCAR fan and loved the White Rose stuff, I also gravitated to the Nutmeg models. I have all 40 Modified Racer releases, the Mike McLaughlin promo and the Team Convoy release in blue/silver. There was supposed to be a further Team Convoy issue, but that only got as far as the pre-pro stage. All the Nutmeg models were based on real race cars driven by notable drivers and legends from that scene.
Nutmeg also issued a number of models using the MB72 Sprint Racer casting. Again, these models added to the number of variations on a model that otherwise saw limited use in the Matchbox range. So I ended up with 25 Nutmeg issued models (based on real race cars) in addition to the Matchbox released variations and the Looney Tunes Taz version.
So far as White Rose was concerned, they touched upon the Modified scene with the introduction of the MB217 DIRT Modified Racer, which was exclusive to them. Aside from a White Rose promo in sky blue, a further 14 models were released based upon real race cars of that series of racing at the time. All great to look at when lined up together!
Incidentally, there is a cool Code 2 issue of the MB12 in chrome that Charlie Mack issued through the Matchbox USA club. It was part of a set that also included the likes of the MB54 Chevy Lumina and MB37 Nissan 300ZX amongst others.