So this week’s Matchbox report is arriving just a little earlier. Spoiler alert: next week’s will too. This is because we are again at the time of year, where Matchbox nuts (like me) start looking over towards Leipzig, in Germany. Dirk Schleuer has, as always, set up a convention at the same area as the Modell-Hobby-Spiel, with tables being set up in the Leipzig Exhibition Centre itself, known as Leipziger Messe. As part of the experience, as he did last time, he has been busy setting up 3 unique auctions to run alongside the event. Auction A is, obviously, the first one, and has already begun.
Notes from Dirk himself. He will of course be sending out emails from his Moyshop email address each day to anybody who is bidding, and will also provide further updates through his Instagram account at this link if you were to follow him on Instagram too.
Now, Dirk is happy for literally anybody to bid on the lots in both Auction A and Auction C. Please remember, all bids are to be placed in euros. Make sure to note what that equates to in your local currency. For me, in UK pounds, it is around €1.14 to the UK £. The US $ is almost identical to the €. Other country currencies will be different. Also remember, this is in Germany. Times are German times, which is Central European time, or GMT+2, so Auction A will be closing at 2pm GMT+2 time on Saturday October 1st. Before I get on with my general report, I am going to show off the 10 auction lots in Auction A for people to drool over, and possibly bid on.
Lot A01 is a 3D print of the MB1243 MBX Field Car. Close ups of the 3 pictures….
If you click on a picture it will open up as a larger shot if you want to look closer.
Lot A02 is an FEP sample of the MB911 Toyota Tacoma Lifeguard from the 2021 9-packs.
Close-ups of the 3 pictures again.
Lot A03 is a bare metal pre-production sample of the DY-25 Porsche 356.
With the 3 close-up shots again.
Lot A04 is a pre-production painted sample of the Skybuster SB-87 Twin Engine Blaze Buster in red and blue.
Lot A05 is an FEP sample of the MB1221 ’20 Chevy Corvette’s debut 2020 basic range release.
With yet more close-up pictures.
Lot A06 is an unpainted pre-production sample of the MB1203 Polaris RZR.
We actually had 4 pictures for this one. Note the lack of where the model is being made on the base.
Lot A07 is a pre-production sample of the MB1012 Mazda MX-5/Miata in red.
Lot A08 is the original first draft sample of the MB1226 ’19 Ford Mustang GT. However, there is a small change to the model since this was first set up. Dirk found the wheels for it, and have added them. So below the close up pictures show the first draft with wheels included now. You will be getting them model with wheels!
As you can see in the close-up pictures, it does look a lot better with the wheels attached.
Lot A09 is a pre-production sample of the MB1330 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S in green with a blank pink base.
For the last time, we have some close-ups of the base, because the last lot doesn’t have any close-ups.
This is because lot A10 is a chance to own one of only 25 of the rarest of the 4 Leipzig models that Dirk had commissioned from Mattel for this year’s event. For those that remember recent events, we have a show model, limited to 300 examples. A dinner model then follows, limited to 125, with an early bird of only 75. A final set of 25 are for those that help with the event. The show model will be unveiled on Friday, at which time you will know what the casting is. So you will know more about it shortly before the auction closes. Well, about a day or so if you are on Instagram and follow either Dirk or me. Good luck with bidding. I am in. I am looking at spending money here.
So with the auction lots shown, time to get on with the report. This is Best of Germany batch B. These have been supplied to me by Dirk too, as it was pretty logical to be getting a German set from Germany. With Dirk running Moyshop.de he does have a lot of items for sale. Both new and old. That’s where these came from. So time to dig in.
Because we are starting with a brand-new casting. The MB1305 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, taking the number 2 slot in the series. It is always a bit of a surprise when a new casting randomly pops up unexpectedly. I doubt anybody was expecting something new for the Best of Germany series.
I am going to pass on a stupid piece of trivia. When I photographed this set of models, I was wearing a bright red t-shirt. As I was sorting the pictures out ready to write up the report, I noticed how the red ended up being quite reflective. Some photos, therefore, will be sporting some unusual red reflections in them. Note to self: wear duller colours for photography purposes.
Now back to the model. I can see the conversation now. Mattel: “let’s pull out the older Cayenne for the German series”. Porsche: “why can’t you make the current one?” Mattel: “Err, okay”. Of course, it likely didn’t happen quite like that. I don’t actually work for them, so I am not privy to the inner dealings between Mattel and Porsche as they were setting this up. But as the end user, I am very happy that they did. This casting looks great. Loving how they got the wrap around rear lights going so well.
Oh look, red reflection. Rats! So this model debuted in metallic black, and features a dark smoke window which also incorporates a large moon roof area. But there is an interior. This is not a 3-piece build. The windows are just dark.
You can make out the tops of the seats inside sticking up on this model. But this does give us a great profile shot of this new casting. They really did a great job of getting the model looking good. I am impressed with it.
Plus, this now gives us the modern Porsche front end, which the old one did really look dated with what it had. Simple graphics on the front for the badge and headlights.
And, being a new casting, the obligatory base shot. So, as I heard the Cayenne was in the batch, I had the older casting ready for a dive back. So I am doing it anyway.
Which is also good, as it can make for a good side by side comparison. The MB675 Porsche Cayenne was one of the early castings debuting under the Matchbox team after they had been moved to El Segundo. It was MB60 in the 2005 basic range. As you can see, the front end is quite dated, compared to the front end of the modern one.
It is also noticeably thinner. The thing is, that was likely more realistic. As a rule, models tend to be fattened a little, as when they are shrunk down, the proper proportions do tend to look a little unusual in small scale. It has been an unwritten rule in model car creation for a long time. It actually works. Being slightly wider, models actually look better in my eyes.
Ooh, look at the red glare! That t-shirt is not good for photography purposes. The models are quite similar in length, although the older one being at the front is giving off the effect it is longer. But to keep this as a 4-piece build, I think the change to the roof, with a large window part depicting the moon roof, is the way they got around it. I think there is a weight limit, and larger SUVs can be quite heavy with a lot of metal. The older casting had a simple roof with sunroof depicted in the metal.
So as you can see, this is in no way a modification to modernize things. This was a full-on, new build from scratch.
Something I am very happy to see. Not that I didn’t like the classic. It is a Porsche, after all. And I do love a Porsche. But with a new casting now in the database, I can see the new Cayenne getting many outings over coming years.
However, I should get back to the classic. I do have a prepro. I got this early bronze painted prototype with a blank base many years ago.
Which is from before the 2005 issue debuted. This was all part of the transition from the old team based in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and a new team that was set up in El Segundo, California. As I said, this was one of the first castings they created, under the brand-new direction. Hero City (and Ultra Heroes) had been a disaster, and the new era, returning to the realism that we knew and loved, was definitely upon us. But what was also upon us was that the new team in El Segundo decided that production for Matchbox should be at the factory in Thailand. When Mattel had taken over the Matchbox brand from Tyco, they inherited the factory in Bangkok that Tyco, and before them Universal, were using. But in the mid 1990s, production was being split between the Thai factory and one in China. Mattel had decided to consolidate everything in China. But the new team felt it was actually better to base operations in Thailand. So during 2005, all the tooling was packed up and shipped over to Thailand. As we know, models currently in production were sent first, to keep production moving as swiftly as possible. Recently used, but not in current production, castings were then shipped over in a second batch. A final batch was prepared using toolings that had been put in long-term storage. A lot of Convoy stuff was in that batch, as Convoys were not in use for a number of years. This was along with a lot of older castings that had been long out of production and put in long term storage at the factory out of the way. It left China, and we are still waiting to find out what happened to it. I think it was diverted to the Bermuda Triangle. Luckily, the Cayenne was a brand new casting, and was in the first shipment. So shortly after it debuted with a China base, the model was soon sporting a Thailand base, which it then sported for the rest of its life. The Thailand issue is a much darker grey than the China one was.
The casting was also added to the Superfast range too. Officially, this is classified as a 2005 release, but for the first 3 years, the Superfast series was out of sync with everything else. Where most model years actually begin before Christmas each year and run until around October/November time, the Superfast series debuted in 2004 very late. It arrived in Summer, and the first year ran through spring 2005. This had a knock-on effect to the next 2 years too. The number 74 slot in the Superfast series was a part of the final batch, and therefore actually appeared around spring 2006. The ROW issue was in burgundy. As you can see, that had quite the shading to it.
The US variant was produced in double the quantity, but I have not seen a shade to the creamy looking one.
Also, as a part of the 2005 Superfast series, a few 5-packs were created. The Autobahn 5-pack saw a dark green Cayenne.
For 2006, the model changed from grey to silver in the basic range. It was MB61, and this time didn’t need a change of country for me to find a shade.
Later on though, it saw a version 2. The silver turned in to a silvery blue look.
The red’s showing up again! Aargh! The model saw a regular 5-pack release this year. It was a part of the Showroom Cars 5-pack that year in blue.
Stars of Cars, the German exclusive series (hey, it’s just like this one) saw a brown release in the 2006 series.
And it continued in the Superfast series. However, 2005 was the only year Superfast had a USA and ROW release. 2004, and 2006 onwards, were USA only. This time, the model was in black.
Things were a little quieter in 2007. We had a basic range issue. This blue model was MB25.
The only other release was an off-white release in the Autobahn 5-pack.
It got even quieter in 2008, as this red issue was the final basic range issue of the casting for a while. It was MB42 before being dropped from basics.
2009 saw just a single release as a “Real” 10-pack exclusive in silver again.
After that, things became very quiet. This was a random 1-off return to the basic range, as MB24 in dark red.
We then only saw 1 more release. This was in 2017, where the model was added as an exclusive in one of the 10-packs that year. This was an orangey brown colour. With the new casting now debuting, I have a feeling that was the swansong for the original.
So next up is another Porsche. The MB1300 Porsche 918 Spyder. Wait? What? This has only just debuted in the basic range. A rather unusual choice, as there are other Porsches that could have been thrown in (911 Rally, Cayman, 914 for example).
So this is a carry forward of the 2022 MB31, now also number 5 in the Best of Germany series. As you can see, during regular production, I noticed the original run saw quite a stark difference in shade of grey.
Well, I have taken the new one out of the package. So I saw something.
It is actually in the middle of the 3. Both literally, and figuratively. The shade was between the 2 I had.
And if I flip the models, keeping them in the same line-up, can you see that the base is also a darker shade of grey? It is still in the middle. It was good enough for me to keep, but I heard some eyes rolling.
Next up, taking the number 7 slot in the set, is the MB1086 Scania P360 Fire Engine. This model is a carry forward of the debut release for the casting.
Which was sold as MB56 in the 2018 basic range. At first glance they do appear to be very similar.
But I took the new one out of the package, because I did see something there.
The grey plastic area is darker now than it was in 2018.
The windows are fractionally darker in shade, as is the red paint. But the grey plastics are where the most noticeable change occurs.
The tampo printing appears to be the same between the 2. No minor changes to anything. So it’s small, but I am still taking it.
I am surprised they didn’t put it in the 2021 series. As a reminder, as well as the Feuerwehr issue in 2018, Everett Marshall had a pair done for the annual Golf Tournament, one in red and the other pink.
And then in 2019 we saw this yellow release in the basic range as MB46 before the casting took 2020 off.
We then saw a triple “Best of” release for 2021. Best of France, Best of UK and Best of Russia all received their own exclusive Scania. But Germany did not. I guess they are making up for not having one by throwing the debut in this year.
This is one I am very happy to see. The MB1111 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U520. Although the packaging is marking it as a U5023. I loved this casting as soon as the first one appeared in the 2018 Jurassic World series, and was really hoping that we would get to see the model in non-Jurassic outings. Finally, after 4 years, we have.
Taking the number 10 slot in the set of 12 is this lovely Polizei themed model in silver and blue. It looks great. Continuing the look of silver with blue looks for various Polizei models we have seen in recent years.
It actually gets a triple whammy of printing, unless the front Polizei sign is down to clever positioning while running them through the tampo machine. I like that they also detailed the hooks down the side of the model.
Plus, the model does feature a 5-piece build. Something we don’t get a lot of in Matchbox core ranges, as the rear canopy is a click on piece on top of the standard body, base, interior and window parts.
So let us recap the Jurassic era with this. 2018 saw the first one in olive with a grey canopy in the All Terrain Fleet release. However, it was the model chosen to be different between singles and 5-packs. The single was good for a shade as I found lighter and darker olives.
For the 5-pack release, the model was in grey with an olive canopy.
In the 2019 series, the Unimog saw a new look. Black with a grey canopy. Strangely, with all the repeats of various Jurassic models we have seen, none of this casting have ever been repeated. Just the 2 in 2018 and 1 in 2019. So with no outings at all in 2020 or 2021, I am really happy to see this new release for 2022. Hopefully this means we will get to see even more of it too.
I can’t believe this is all we have seen of this model so far. I think this should get a National Parks release.
Mind you, we can have fun mixing and matching canopies with this. Look, an all-black one. The black model’s grey canopy looks pretty good on the new one too.
The 5th model in the batch is number 11 of 12. The MB363 ’62 VW Beetle. This one is a carry forward issue.
But I knew it was going to be needed, as the casting saw a few changes a few years ago, and this is a repeat of a much older release. Light blue with simple front and rear detailing, and a chrome base.
The rear license plate has 1962 VW on it. So which release was it?
It was originally the 2007 Real 10-pack issue.
And no, I didn’t have 2 because of shades. I had 2 because one had disk wheels, and the other had tri-spoke. The original disks were being phased out at the time, with a new disk wheel replacing it shortly after. So this model has now got both disk types.
The blue is slightly darker on the new release, and the headlights are depicted slightly different now. Plus, they can more clearly see the VW logo in the top of the silver stripe going over the frunk (as I believe they are known as). Obviously, the casting has been updated in between too, for that instant variation.
I did notice the rear license plate does have white writing on red now, compared to red writing on white originally. This is how I like to see carry forwards. Repeating an older one which has seen modifications in between.
Finally, the last model in the set is a carry forward of the MB1092 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. And this one links in with the Unimog, as this is a carry forward of a 2018 Jurassic World issue.
2018 was the debut year for the casting, and saw a basic range release and a Jurassic one too. Only as a single though. The Land Rescue Convoy batch was unique in that the alternate model between singles and 5-packs wasn’t simply an alternate colour. It was a completely different casting.
But again, I am seeing quite a bit of difference between the 2. The new one is quite noticeably darker, and the Mercedes-Benz tristar is in a much darker grey to stand out better.
The rear printing also appears to be slightly altered too.
Plus that base. So much darker than it was. This was a great little carry forward for me.
A reminder of the other issues. MB5 in the 2018 basic range was charcoal.
Plus we also got a Mercedes-Benz release at Walmart in brown too.
For 2019 the model turned red in the basic range. I did notice that the MB10 release that year was good for a shade or 2.
It was also in the Autobahn Express 5-pack too in blue.
For 2020, the model had been dropped from the basic range, and before this new run, this orange one from the City Adventure 5-pack that year was the last we had seen of it. That one was good for shades too. Mind you, oranges usually are.
And that is the end of that batch. 2 Mercs, 2 Porsches, a VW and a German themed fire truck. So what next? Ah yes, the dive back. So with this being all German, due to the Leipzig tie in, I decided that all my dive backs would be of German vehicles too.
Which I will start short and sweet. The MB36-A Opel Diplomat. The first Opel casting that Matchbox ever made, it actually began as a regular wheel model in 1966. It only came in gold in the basic range and this carried on through the brief transition to the Superfast era. There is a very rare sea green issue that came in a Transporter set in 1967, but as I don’t collect regulars, I am not worried about trying to get it. I only worry about the Superfast ones.
The model came with an opening hood or bonnet (depending on where you are as to what you call it), which showed a chrome engine inside.
And it also featured a tow hook on the rear as well, as many models sported them in the Lesney era.
But with only the 1 Superfast year there are still a few things to look for. Like whether it sported a silver front grille section or not.
Or the shade of gold. It did vary quite a bit during that 1 year.
So that was it for the first one. As I said, short and sweet. So I guess next up, I will do one a bit more involved.
The MB140 Mobile Crane. This model was an offshoot of the older Faun Dump Truck, and with it being a Faun, a German company, I decided to roll through this one. It arrived as MB42 in the ROW basic range in 1984.
It featured the crane and jib from the older Crane Truck, as Matchbox, under Universal’s leadership, was still struggling for new toolings. So mash up two models and create something new. It came in yellow with a Reynolds Crane Hire side design. At first, production was in England.
Late in 1985, production moved over to Macau. Not a lot of difference.
Except obviously when you check the base.
In 1987, they decided to add the model to the US range too. It too was put in the MB42 slot. But as this was now a worldwide release, they decided it would be better to make it in China and ship to all markets from there. So it moved again.
So we were now on a third country of manufacture, and still the same look.
In 1990, the model saw a cost reduction, in that the crane cab was changed from metal to plastic. Many models were being cost reduced at that time. It was also decided that they would make it in Thailand too.
So it was now on a 4th country of manufacture. Now while this was all going on, I should point out there is an alternate version. The MC-8 multipack saw the model without the tampo printing. It ran from 1988 through 1990 there, and oddly, I have never picked up either one. This is why I do these. To remind myself of what I am looking for. Metal crane cab or plastic crane cab.
Finally, in 1992, they gave it a new look. Still yellow, but now the crane cab was red with a bridge logo on it. It ran for 3 years.
1992 also saw it added to the Intercom City series. Still yellow, this time the crane cab was fluorescent orange with the IC logo.
1993 saw a random 3-pack issue. This was sold in USA, and finally, the casting was being done in something other than yellow. It was now orange, and had a grey crane cab with the same design as the basic range issue.
In 1995, the model saw a new look. Orange with a black crane cab and grey boom. During the year, the shade of orange varied drastically.
In 1996 a Construction 5-pack saw almost the same model. However, although the model was still orange, the black and grey sections were flipped.
Whereas the basic range release that year turned a much darker orange, and all the other parts were now black.
Which gives us quite the array of oranges.
In 1997 it was given another new look. Blue this time, with the other parts reverting back to a mix of black and grey.
And as it was still in the US range, a Gold Challenge model was released too. This had all the extra parts in just black.
We also saw an Adventure Pack release too. But for this, they added a small hook to the side of the crane. As such, it was given a new MAN number. MB314. The Adventure Pack switched to blue too in 1998, but again I am still to get that one.
For 1998, the model moved to MB15 in the basic range. It turned red with the black and grey other parts again.
After that it was dropped from the basic range. However, 1999 saw a Scrapyard 5-pack issue released. I was a big fan of this Scrapyard set.
The way that all the castings looked like they were rusty. But this proved to be the final outing for the model. Considering the original Faun Dump Truck had removed all mention of Faun in 1989, this one kept the Faun name on the front of the cab all the way through to the end.
Next up is a casting that appeared to arrive at the wrong time. The MB425 Mercedes-Benz Actros 1857. It first arrived in 1999 as a German exclusive MB64 in yellow with a simple front end detail. However, it was at this time that Convoy was just being sidelined. Therefore after this debut look we never saw the casting for a few years, and to be honest, if you weren’t in a German market (I believe Austria got the German issues too, maybe another country or 2 did), you would not have even seen it at all.
Matchbox decided to bring Convoy back for the 2002 year. This model was added as CY-9 (taking over from the old Kenworth with box trailer in that slot) in blue with a Michelin design. There was also a pair or Collectibles models with Coca-Cola themed designs. I do not have either of those though. I have very few premium Convoys at the moment. After 2002, they pretty much forgot about Convoy again.
In 2005, with a new team taking over the reins of the Matchbox brand, they decided to throw this back in the basic range. Now it was worldwide as MB71 in dark burgundy. The model usually sports dome wheels, but there is a batch that was made with sawblade wheels. Again, I am still on the hunt for a sawblade wheel one.
In 2006 it was added to the City Transport 5-pack in green. This was because Mattel had just launched a new Convoy series. Because the toolings had been put in storage for many older castings, including all the trailer units, they were part of the final shipment to be sent from China to Thailand. The one that went missing. So when the decision came to relaunch the Convoy brand, they pretty much had to start from scratch with new rear ends. A few new cabs, and a few that had been used beforehand. This one (and a Ford Aeromax) were the only 2 old castings that made it across, as the Ford had been randomly used in 2003, so wasn’t put in storage with the rest, and this had been used as a basic, so had been pulled out early. Lucky.
The Actros was then added to the 2007 Convoy series. The new Convoy series had started numbering in the 100s, and this was given the CY-121 slot.
The CY-121 slot denoted that it was coming with a Flatbed Trailer rear, not specifically one with pipes on it. As this flatbed was designed to hold different items on it. The model was also looking a little different.
It had been touched up a little. Originally it had quite a high stance, which had been noticeably lowered, but also you might notice a certain rivet running through the cab.
These were the only 2 major changes to the model. But as it was, at the time, this meant it would be given a new MAN number.
It was now MB725 instead of MB425.
In 2008 CY-121 saw another appearance. This time the model was in white over blue and the cargo on the rear were boxes.
The boxes would actually open too. Sadly, after this, the Convoy range saw another phase out, this time replaced by Super Convoy at a larger size. This meant that all the tooling that had been created was also phased out. The Actors was never seen again.
So what next? The rather weird run VW Beetle 4×4 casting. In 2001, Matchbox created a brand new Beetle 4×4 casting which featured a set of roof lights on the top. It had a dual debut. A yellow one was a part of the US basic range as MB31, but they doubled it up (in more ways than one) by also releasing MB62 in the UK basic range in red too. In case you were wondering, 62 is double 31.
These models came with an opening frunk which would show a rather small spare wheel.
2002 was a fairly productive year for the casting though. It was MB45 in the basic range, in yellow again, and being a logo year, the first 10,000 produced saw a “50” logo on the roof.
It was also added to the Rescue Chiefs 5-pack in yellow. A lot of yellow I know. It seemed to be the go-to colour for this model.
Oh look, this one was white. It was also a part of the Mission H20 Launcher set that year too. However, after this 2-year run, they decided to alter it.
Because when we next saw the model, there were now a few changes. Firstly, the frunk was no longer opening. It had been sealed shut. The roof element was now also a part of the window piece too, and the separate part removed. As such it had been granted a new MAN number, MB582. This new casting debuted as MB45 in the 2003 basic range, in err, yellow. Seriously, what was it with yellow on this model? Again this was a logo year, so the first 10,000 had Hero City across the front.
A little side by side shot with the MB491 casting. They actually replicated the look of the roof bar pretty well when turning it into a part of the window section.
In 2003, they re-hashed the Rescue Chiefs 5-pack with new colours for the models, and so this turned away from the yellow it had originally came in to a white look. Plus, obviously now it was the new casting too.
They also re-hashed the Mission H20 Launcher set too. I am surprised they didn’t turn this one yellow. Obviously they didn’t, it was now silver.
In 2004, the model moved to the MB54 slot in the basic range. And unlike most of the models getting rather bizarre side designs, the only tampo this got was a single Matchbox oval logo on the side. But that was all we had that year.
The new Matchbox team were still learning things when they took over the brand. As we often see, many tampo designs nowadays sport the MAN number for the model in the design. That was the case for this 2005 MB74 release. However, they made a small mistake and used the original MAN number of 491 instead of the correct 582 number.
The Jungle Adventure 5-pack was in red with a Plains Zebra side design. Most of the production was in China, but late on, it did moved to Thailand for a final run.
It was also in a Licensed 5-pack too. And it was yellow. Hello old friend. This sported Tails on the side of this Sonic-X pack release.
And it was given a Launcher release too in yellow. Because, as I said, yellow was the main colour for this model. Seriously, it feels like every other one was yellow. This was in a Fire Truck set.
In 2006, the basic range issue was now a matte army green with Unit 2 side design. And this time, they did manage to get the correct MAN number in the design too. It was MB64 that year, and I did notice the green was good for a shade or two.
It was then added to the Mummys Gold 5-pack that year in white as well. However, this one came to an abrupt end. For in 2007 they scrapped the model completely and launched a brand new, built from the ground up, MB723 VW Beetle 4×4 casting, which is still going to this day. I never knew why this needed to be scrapped.
I am seriously hoping this hasn’t been scrapped. Because if it had been me, I would have thrown this into the latest batch of Best of Germany instead of the 918 Spyder which had only just been seen in the basic range. The MB979 Porsche Cayman. It is just not getting the love. So I am running this through in the hope that somebody at Matchbox is reading and remembers this casting exists. This is a pre-production sample of the model from before it debuted in 2015. In fact it was actually quite an early prototype and wasn’t ready for production yet.
Because it never had the fuel filler cap over the front wheel, which Porsche was adamant be added before production began.
It took prime position in the 2015 range, debuting as MB1 in yellow. Of course, me being me, I saw shades to the yellow.
In 2016 it moved to the MB23 slot and was now in red. It then did not appear at all in 2017.
It did return in 2018 though. To date, this is still the final time it was seen in the basic range. It was MB124 in off white, or quite a creamy white if you look around.
After being dropped, it took 2019 off. Seriously! 2020 saw the first non-basic range issue. This brown one was in the MBX Highways 5-pack and again I did notice some shading to the model. But that is it. What the…? 4 releases? That is not enough. It hasn’t even been used as a carry forward for any further outings either. Just nothing. It’s a cool little casting. I would love to see it again. It is too early to forget about it.
Which brings me to the end of another report. 2 new looks for the German release, including a brand new casting.
And 4 carry forwards, all of which I am actually adding to my collection. Next week’s report will also be arriving slightly early too. This will feature the convention models from Leipzig, and will also showcase Auction C which will run out of Leipzig for a week.
So good luck if you are going to attempt to bid on any of these 10 items.
Which brings me to the end of this report. I hope you enjoyed it.
5 Replies to “Matchbox Monday (slightly early) heads to Germany”
The Mercedes Benz Actros Cab in yellow was actually available for a short period of time in the UK. I picked up a few on a visit to my local Toys R Us. A great, though sadly underused casting.
I always had a soft spot for the Mobile Crane casting due to the tampo print when it first appeared. As Paul Carr revealed in the first forty years book published by MICA way back, the idea to combine the body of the MB58 Faun Dump Truck with the crane section of the MB49 Crane Truck was from John Reynolds. He was the head of the R&D Department at Matchbox at the time.
Could you expand on the story regarding the missing shipment of castings from China please? I’d never heard this tale before they explains why so many old molds have never been reissued.
There’s not much else to it. The China factory had 3 area of tools. The “current” area, was where the tools were being kept that were in use at the time. They were crated up and shipped to Thailand first so production could continue as quickly as possible without too much of a break. They then moved to the “short term” storage area. This was for tooling that was not in current production but had been in use during the last year or two. They get moved there for ease of access, as these would likely be coming back for more production runs. They got crated and shipped to Thailand too. After that they moved to the “long term” storage area. After not being in use for a few years, various tools would be moved to the back of the factory out of the way. Convoy had been out of use for 3 years, and tooling had been moved there. Other older castings would also be sitting there. The crate of stuff left the factory and never turned up in Thailand. Nobody knows what happened to it. Therefore, Mattel has no stuff in the portfolio of castings that had not been in use since the early 2000s. Any tooling we see from earlier than then is of an item that had been used for something within the time frame that had kept it in the short term storage area for shipping. This is why the Ford Aeromax cab and Mercedes-Benz Actros cab from Convoy were still around, but all other Convoy items were not. They had both been used later than the rest of the Convoy stuff and so were not moved to long term storage.
There are quite a few Opel Diplomats out there with unplated engines which actually look pretty good.
Nooooo don’t say the old Cayenne is dead! I love that casting! In fact, I prefer it over the new model, and I hope MBX brings it back. an unofficial then & now would be brilliant.
Anyway, for the new Cayenne itself, it’s surprisingly well done. These days I see so many castings getting butchered (looking at you, Cayman)but thankfully the Cayenne turned out well. But this particular release is a bit cheap looking. I don’t know why MBX keeps doing this but a more tasteful colour and wheel choice + clear windows would’ve done wonders to make this look stunning. But that’s fixable, at least we got a great casting.
Speaking of the Cayman, just look at the wheel base and where the rear axle is places. It just doesn’t look right. You may say it’s a small thing to complain about, but it throws the design out of line and that makes the casting unattractive. Sadly, that’s a bummer.
But thank you for this report! I enjoyed the old vs new Cayenne comparison and reading through the casting’s history (And I would, as I’m a big Porsche enthusiast). Always love reading those!