Matchbox Monday takes a look at the Leipzig stuff

It’s that time again. The latest Matchbox convention has just finished up in Leipzig, Germany, across the road from the Modell-Hobby-Spiel which takes place at the same time. I have been to the Modell-Hobby-Spiel. Twice! It is definitely worth attending, just for the fun of it. It is massive, and there is so much to see there. Definitely a day (or 2). Dirk Schleuer as usual, set up the Matchbox convention in the hotel just over the road from the event, and as we saw last week, set up a series of 10 auctions which he opened up to literally anybody who wants to join in. That was Auction A. Auction B is a unique auction, which takes place on the Saturday night of the convention in the hotel. You would need to be a registered attendee to take part in that one. But then, leading out of Leipzig, he will be setting up another series of 10 auctions for the world to participate in again. However, due to a delay in getting the assortment of goodies in, he has been unable to begin the auction directly heading out of Leipzig as planned. They arrived while he was literally at Leipzig, so he has no choice but to fractionally delay the auction. It is set to begin on Wednesday. So please check back on site Wednesday as once the auction is live, the lots will all be shown here.

But of course, Dirk also arranges with Mattel a series of code 1 Matchbox created models for the event too. And with many thanks to Dirk for sending over a set to showcase on Lamley. This year follows the last few, with a series of 4 different colours on the one model. This year, he chose the new MB1298 Opel Kadett C Coupe as the convention model. For those attending the Modell-Hobby-Spiel, he arranged for a series of 300 examples in yellow to be purchased at the Leipziger Messe Convention Centre. They come in a plain white box, and you need to open the box to have any clue as to what is inside.

Inside you will find a plexicase with the yellow model screwed in place. You may also notice that the Leipzig Matchbox Toy Show logo is plastered across the front of the case. Usually they tend to put them on the top. Of course, you can always just unclick the case lid and click it on backwards, so the logo is on the far end.

Because these things do click off very easily. But I am not doing that. You know what I am like. This model is coming out.

Do I ever show the bottoms of plexicases? As you can see, it does contain all the legal jargon, plus licence details for using the Opel name and logo.

So the model is now loose. It comes sporting a set of real riders with 5-star insert. These are grey, and I think that works better than chroming them here. I remember when I first did a review on the Opel in a recent report, that the white with yellow lower side was one of 2 noted for that model. The other being yellow with black lower. I had visions of it being a future basic range issue. I did not have visions of it appearing this quickly though. It looks stunning. I see the little A. Lugo door name. Something tells me that Abe Lugo himself might have designed this look. Great work on it.

It comes with a lot of references to 21. This is because this is Dirk’s 21st convention. Most convention models have had some sort of reference to the event itself in the numbers.

And seeing a full-on tampo print for this really enhances the cool casting too. Please note that the black spray on the sides doesn’t look quite as blotchy in person. You can see some spray fade around the edges and wheel arches. The photos, as they are zoomed in, they do tend to enhance the issue. It is not as noticeable in person.

You can see the Leipziger Messe name and logo is also added to the model, as this is where they are first seen.

I think this looks amazing. The added detailing all over really makes this stand out more than the basic range did. And I loved that one! I also love that they included a little front window strip with Matchbox on it too. This is where having no limit to what you can add really pays off. It shows.

I don’t tend to do base shots after a model has debuted, but I just wanted to show how the rivets are different to normal. Great big holes running up them where they were initially screwed to the base piece.

So of course, the convention itself is over the road. The Hotel NH Leipziger Messe hosts the convention, which has the majority of events on the Saturday evening. Those who had registered with Dirk for the event met up in the hotel for the Saturday events, which follows a fairly similar plan to the USA event. Dinner, announcements, line preview, discussions, auction (auction B). The one part from the weekend that is different is that they don’t do room trading (and we don’t have the workshops), but instead rent out a section of the Modell-Hobby-Spiel itself to set up camp for the entire weekend. You will find a few sections, luckily kept together, completely devoted to Matchbox. A little Matchbox paradise.

For those registered for the event, they were handed a 1 of 125 dinner model.

As you can see, this one is following the same lines as the yellow convention model. Except it is orange.

As you can see, as I take a few shots of the dinner model, this is the same.

It features all the same tampo printing as the yellow one, even down to the 21. Last year, the convention model was sporting a 25, as Modell-Hobby-Spiel was on its 25th event. Dirk started tagging along in year 6.

But I think to make things easier this year, they just went with the 1 number across all models. It makes sense. It could make things a little confusing seeing 2 numbers on multiple years.

As you can see, the orange is quite a lot different to how the yellow was. Considering how yellow with black down the sides is a real look for the Kadett, I think they did a great job with orange too. It looks very good as well.

Sadly, Dirk is still not at a stage for “early bird” with the convention models, and as such, the 1 o5 75 release is still known as the best buddy model. Everyone attending got the orange. Those bringing partners, friends etc, they got a green one too.

And wow! This one looks amazing. Yeah, I am getting it open.

Oh I love this shade of green. I don’t know if this is a real Opel colour or not, but on a model, it looks fantastic.

This is definitely my favourite. This green just pops! Again, the tampo printing is 100% identical to the rest.

But to me, on the green it just looks so much better. Can anybody tell I like this one?

Even the wheels. The grey hubs just suit this model so well. Yes, they have really outdone themselves yet again with the convention models.

So 300 convention/show models, 125 dinner models, 75 buddy models. There is one more to go.

Pinky! AS has been tradition for a few years now, there is a rare 1 of 25 run pink model for those helping with the event.

These are the little cherry on top of the cake of the convention set.

And well, I have to admit, it still looks really nice. Pink seems to be in at the moment. Quite a few vehicles have had a pink release lately, and it really suits this model too.

It is a sort of medium pink shade, and together with the black makes for another outstanding look.

I have to admit to being totally impressed with how these have all turned out. A great little set of models.

I really look forward to seeing just what they come up with for these convention models, and they really do not disappoint. And remember, Dirk is giving people a chance to bid on one of these pink ones too. There are only 25 in existence. Fully 100% code 1 Matchbox produced issue. One of the rarest out there. Good luck.

Mind you, this whole set is freaking awesome! I am so happy Dirk decided to go with the Opel for his promotion. He could have gone a number of ways. He tends to mainly do German, and Mercedes-Benz is often a go-to model. I thought he might have chosen the 450SEL as a throwback to the classic Lesney. No, we get this instead, and I am very happy he went this way.

I am sure these are going to be extremely popular. And good luck if you are going to attempt to bid on one. I think these could go very high.

Now, before I do a dive back, just a little reminder of the basic range issue debut from this year.

It came in white with a yellow side, and had the rear detailed.

I was quite surprised to see just how much more rear detailing was added to the convention models. I don’t wonder if the more simplistic rear lights were down to clever positioning in the tampo machine. Furthermore, I have a feeling they still managed to get it passed through twice. There is a clever way of switching positions during tampo printing. There are 4 pads coming through, but if you were to remove pad 3, it gives you a brief snippet of time to switch the position of the model for pad 4. You lay the model on one side. Pass 1, yellow pad, black pad, switch to rear, red pad. Lay the model the other side. Pass 2, yellow pad, black pad, switch to rear, black pad. Although, why didn’t they add Opel? We are never satisfied. Ha ha! But I have to think that we are not giving the people at Mattel (both in design, and at the factory creating these little models) enough credit for all the little things they try to squeeze out of them.

Now we have had white over and yellow, and yellow over black, I am even more curious as to how the 2023 basic (which I hope we get, nothing is ever guaranteed) will look. I can still see a yellow over black release working. A more simplistic one like the debut basic.

Although it would be nice having one with front details. Now I have seen how the front end looks with tampos, I want to see more.

For those trying to remember, this was last year’s offering(s). The MB1257 ’14 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Cabrio. As you can see, this followed a fairly similar path with colour choices. There was a yellow one, an orange, and a pink. The only difference was that what is green this year was black last year. But do you notice the numbers? The orange one has a 25. That is because last year, orange was the show model. The convention model was yellow, with best buddy in black and the helper model in pink. I don’t think black would have worked on this year’s Opel. Green was definitely the way to go. But why they flipped yellow and orange? It was to do with the real one being yellow over black and that being the logical biggest issue. The rest being offshoots.

Not that it is really important, as the year before we had some different models. Orange for the show model, white for the dinner model, black for best buddy and the pink helper model. They don’t have to follow the same pattern.

So with that done, I do believe it is about time for me to dive back into the collection again. I have no idea if I have shown all these before. I can’t remember which ones I have dug out already, but I just wanted to do a range of German vehicles this week (for obvious reasons).

So this week I am beginning with the classic Mercedes-Benz 300SE. This casting had first debuted in the 1968 basic range in green, and in 1969 was changed to metallic blue. The final blue painted issues were switched to the new Superfast wheels in 1970, which are very hard to find. Did you know that the base section forms the front lights and grille. When originally cast, this sported the tristar on the top of the grille. But when the base section was retooled in to the Superfast one, for some reason they swiped off the tristar and smoothed it out. So all regular wheel issues have a tristar sticking out the top of the grille, all Superfast don’t. Daft facts. I am full of them!

When it was originally conceived, this model had opening doors and an opening rear. That was very unusual.

After using up the last of the metallic blues, they then switched to gold, which would be the only official colour used for more than 1 year in the basic range. Because 1968 (green), 1969 (blue) became 1970-71 (gold). Yes, it only had a 4-year stint in the range, but half of those were in gold. However, there is another rarity. You see, the very first production run of gold was still featuring all those opening parts. But with the extra expense in making models with Superfast components, they decided it would be better to cut back on the opening parts.

And almost immediately, the doors were sealed shut. Finding a gold with opening doors is not easy. As I said, this was just an initial run. 99% of them have closed doors. Now those are a lot of fun to collect too.

It may have only been a 2-year stint in metallic gold. But the factory were never bothered about what was classified as gold. Err, this one is brown. It’s fine. Oh, this one has come out quite orange. Close enough. Just paint it somewhere in the ballpark of what it is supposed to be and ship it out. Time is money. Yeah, working in those days would have been so much fun.

After 1971 the model was dropped from the range. It was too realistic! It got replaced by a Stretcha Fetcha! A futuristic ambulance that Lesney had created as part of their new direction in the 1970s. Luckily, the direction did not last very long, and the fantasy vehicle was replaced by more realism. As I often say, they try these weird directions. They don’t work. They return to realism. And yes, they were doing it in the 1970s. But as part of the return to realism, was the desire to add more military stuff to the range. In 1976, twin packs had arrived. 1977 saw them add a variety of miltary themed packs to the series. At first TP14 was a Badger & Freeway Gas Tanker, but in 1978, mid way through the year, they phased these out and switched them with a Mercedes-Benz pairing. Something that Lesney simply called Military Staff Car & Ambulance. This was the return of the 300SE. It was now in olive green with a simple Staff side label.

It could be found in shades, and more importantly, the wheels were either 5-arch or dot-dash. Amazingly, none have been reported as sporting chromed wheels by accident. It appears by late 1978 when this first appeared, they had got a bit more used to putting plain black wheels on military vehicles. However, this is known to exist without labels. I have not found one myself. But what I have not pointed out, is that the rear was also no longer opening. This was a twin pack thing. So many vehicles added to twin packs had their features closed up.

As we know, in 1981, Matchbox dropped all military vehicles from the range like a tonne of bricks. Having some spare castings still sitting there, they simply painted them silver and threw them in MP-1 packages and shipped them out to get rid of them and not waste the castings. This was something that they had started in 1980 with their abrupt cancellation of the Japanese range, and subsequent throwing everything made ready for the 1980 Japanese range into multipacks to get rid of them. These multipacks ran a few years, and were often seen as a dumping ground for all sorts of items they were in excess of. I got mine as a birthday present in 1981 from my aunt and uncle. I still remember it. 2 vehicles were those I had already known, but in the pack was a black Lotus Europa, gold Rolls-Royce Silver shadow and silver Mercedes-Benz 300SE. At the time, I was 9. Literally. It was my 9th birthday. All 3 of those castings had pretty much been gone before I got my first Matchbox toys as a kid, and the catalogues I was getting never showed them either. So these 3 were all very fascinating to me. Not knowing they existed, they were unique in my toy collection. Now I ended up really over-using the Lotus, and as part of my adult collecting, I had to replace it. But the other 2? Well, this is the Mercedes. It doesn’t hold up too bad. I have never upgraded it. Sure, it has a few chips. I was 9. I played with it. But it is not that bad. So it still sits in my collection. Where it has been since new in 1981. I think that is pretty impressive. Of course, there is an even rarer variant. This too is known to exist with black 5-arch wheels. I have not managed to get one of those yet. But after they dumped these off, the model was never used in England again.

Because in 1985, it was chosen to be one of the castings that was shipped out to Bulgaria. In the early days, castings shipped out were only to be run for 1 year. They had to be back in the hands of Matchbox at the end of the year, so the factory just went nuts, producing as many as they could in as many different looks as they could. Gold, red, metallic red, silver, as well as a variety of greens and blues were painted up. Interiors were made up in black, white or red. And window components were mainly clear, but some had a slight yellowish amber tint to them. Wheels were always dot-dash, and bases were always silver. That was about the only consistency.

Bases were re-marked with Matchbox Intl Ltd Made In Bulgaria, as this agreement was with Universal. But the majority of the base was how it was before.

I did say it came in a variety of blue shades. None were the same as that original transitional model. Plus, silver bases and the lack of any opening features are also certain giveaways.

It is the same with gold. I believe there is only 1 shade of gold, but it was nothing like any of the shades that Lesney went with. And again, a lack of ivory interior (something that stayed on the Lesney from start to finish) and lack of opening features is also a giveaway. After the casting was returned from Bulgaria to Universal, it was put in storage and never used again.

Time to move on to the next model. The MB151 BMW 323i Cabriolet. It debuted in the 1985 basic range as MB39. The same slot worldwide, although the US market would only keep it going for 2 years. The model I have above is actually a pre-production prototype in plain off-white with a simple side pillar and roof frame detail, something which was a part of the first issues. However, they did add more details as they entered production.

Because when it did arrive that first year, it also sported a little 323i door design too. It was also chosen to be a metallic blue.

However, it swiftly received a running change. The first production run did not have a bump on the front of the bonnet (or hood if you are in some countries) signifying the BMW badge. This was quickly added to the casting and most blues will feature the bump.

Production was in Macau, and during this year, they couldn’t decide whether to leave the 8-dot wheels on it or not. They didn’t. It came with dot-dash wheels at some point.

For 1986, they simply swapped out the blue for red. The tampo design was still the same. Black pillar and roof, along with the 323i on the doors. Wheels? 8-dot.

Which sometimes came in gold.

Only this time, during a moment of forgetfulness, they switched them out for 4-arch wheels. Not dot-dash. At the end of 1986, the US range would drop the model, but the ROW range would continue selling it unchanged until 1989.

However, the US market did continue selling the model in general. You see, in 1986, the Superfast series was launched in USA. 24 models in new looks, all sporting a brand new starburst wheel that was the fastest and smoothest wheel to date. SF-14 in the series was the BMW and it was now in white with a red and dual blue scheme with Alpina. Alpina being a maker of high performance cars for BMW.

An oddity appeared at the end of 1986, beginning of 1987. BP had set up a deal with Matchbox for a series of 12 models to be made available through a promotion in the UK. As many know, this deal was literally about to be signed when BP pulled out. But as this was so late in the day, production on the first 6 of the 12 models had actually begun at the factory. Most models were simply the same as the basic range issue, except in an alternate colour. The BMW was chosen, and was simply painted white instead of red. However, as it was a BP promotion, all the models would also sport an additional BP logo on them. This was to be applied at the front of the car. When production was halted, due to the deal falling through, they suddenly found themselves with thousands of 6 castings. Each with a BP logo on it. So they simply ran them through a tampo machine to cover up the BP logo and shipped them out somewhere. 5 of the 6 models ended up in USA in multipacks, but the BMW was the oddity. It was actually mainly found in the UK in window boxes, instead of the regular basic in red. The BP logo covered up by a BMW badge.

But production of this model was actually during its transitional period. You see in 1987, they modified the casting to add a tow hook. The last non-tow hook models were white and the first with the hook.

In 1988 a Dutch BP promotion did go ahead with a blue 323i and a small BP logo on the rear quarter.

The US Superfast release was to continue in production until 1990, as such would also see this transition. Much easier to find this one though, as this was a normal production run. There is also a Laser Wheels variant sold worldwide as LW-14, with disk wheels in place of starburst. This entered production after the casting had already been changed, so only exists with the tow hook.

And although dropped from the US market, the basic range issue was still going strong in the ROW market, so was also altered to include the tow hook. The reason?

Pretty obvious. They added it to the twin pack range as TP-118. It was first seen towing the MB794 Glider Transporter. The Glider Transporter had first arrived in 1977, and being outside the basic range at that time, was called TP-7. However, after reintroducing twin packs in 1984, older trailer units were allocated MAN numbers for the first time that appeared way off in the distance. Numbers in the 700s. For some, they had been basic range castings, and were simply their old number with a 7 in front. For others that had never seen basic range action, they gave them high up 700s beyond what would have been in the 1-75 series. As we know, when Mattel arrived in the 700s, they did initially over-write castings the first year. But after being reminded, they did skip the rest, and this is still the only MB794 casting. There was no later Mattel made casting for that number.

I always thought it was such a cool trailer unit too. You open the canopy, remove the glider, and click the wings in place. Such fun. TP-118 ran for 2 years, and then they dropped it. The glider unit switched allegiance to a Porsche Turbo as TP-122 in 1989 and the BMW took on a new trailer unit too.

It was now TP-123, and was towing the MB031 Caravan. The BMW was 2-tone blue and the caravan grey.

It ran for 3 years, which meant that because the factory in Macau closed in 1990, production switched to Thailand. You can see the Thai ones on the right being a little different. The BMW has a lighter tone, and the caravan has yellow windows instead of amber.

It’s easy to tell with the BMW, as you check bases and it tells you where it was made. The Caravan though? They made a small error with that. When production had first left England, they wiped off England from the base, then added Macau. But then for some bizarre reason, they tabbed off the country of origin in 1987. While it was still being made in Macau. I have no idea why. Production moved to Thailand in 1990 and what did they do? Just leave it. So this release always had a blanked out country of origin base. You just need to know that amber windows means Macau, yellow windows means Thailand. Luckily the 2 factories gave us very different looks to windows.

And with Matchbox being completely full of random and bizarre things in those days, after dropping the model from the ROW basic range after 1989, in 1991, they decided to throw it back in. Literally. No change to much at all. It still looked the same. But there were 2 things different. For starters, it was now MB28 in the basic range instead of MB39.

And as I had mentioned, the Macau factory had closed, so this too was being made in Thailand. It was completely random though, as after 1991 they dropped it again. Just a 1 year reprisal.

But 1991 also saw a little more action for the BMW. Not content with TP-123 and towing a caravan, they also added TP-127, where it was towing the MB793 Inflatable on Trailer. Although there is a crossover too.

In a few markets they released a special “Hobby” 3-pack. Each pack was literally a model with 2 trailers. They took the TP-123 pairing and added in the trailer unit for TP-127 and sold it under the MP-805 moniker. These Hobby sets did not last very long and are not easy to find nowadays.

Mind you, neither did TP-127. Arriving in 1991, it was gone after 1 year. The TP-123 pairing that had been going for 3 years continued into 1992, but was now given a refreshing new look. And yes, that sort of look was very late ’80s, early ’90s. This look ran for 2 more years before they retired the casting.

However, it went full circle to go out with a surprise. At the end of 1993, some markets saw a series of “Sports Cars” baggies. This was an idea that Matchbox came up with for smaller retailers to sell Matchbox on the counter in blind bags. Inside was a variety of models, many of which were current looks, but a number were also of models that were no longer in the basic range, but were brought back for the series too. The BMW was one that came back. These were all made in Thailand, and it was found in either the red look (which was the 1991 MB28 ROW) but also that original blue.

Which obviously never came with a tow hook back in 1985.

And was obviously not made in Thailand either. After this, the casting was retired once and for all.

I am cheating slightly with my dive back scenario. Aiming for a model from each decade, I snuck in 2x 1980s and ignored the 1990s this week. This is the MB182 VW Transporter. Clearly designed as an ambulance vehicle, it did not make mention of it on the base though. This was a casting exclusive to the ROW market. It ran from 1988 through 1996 there, but never appeared in the US range. It was sold as MB20, and for the first 2 years was a simple white affair with orange stripe and orange cross.

It also featured an opening rear which was actually made out of metal, which is quite unusual. Not many models get an opening metal rear. I don’t know if you have also noticed, but on one side it has 3 windows, the other only 2. I am not sure why they made it that way. Perhaps somebody who is versed in the VW Transporter history, there is a reason for that and they can point it out. I am curious as to why the 2 sides were different like that.

Although the basic range may have been ROW only, there was a secondary issue made in black. This debuted in 1989 in the Commando series, which was seen worldwide. It ran for 3 years there. Which means it started production in Macau and ended in China.

Although in the basic range, the design changed from orange to red in 1990. However, this was not strictly due to the change of country.

Because although all China made ones have red tampo, the very last Macau batch does too. However, I am still trying to find that one. It is not easy to track down. Most Macaus are orange.

In 1992 they slightly altered the design. The cross moved higher up and thy added the word Ambulance to the side too.

Although on the alternate side, because it has that extra window, the Ambulance wording was simply squeezed in over the rear wheel. Really? Why did this have 2 windows one side, and the three the other?

1994 saw a major new look for the casting, which would go on to run for the last 3 years in the ROW range. It now had a neon orange and green tampo design, which during those 3 years of production saw some noticeable shading to the green tampo mainly.

After 1996 the model was dropped and never officially used again. However, a few years later, the factory doing their clear out of inventory found some leftover Commando models. They just put them together any old how. There are 2 known variants. This one I found sports chromed 8-dot wheels. Another one sports black 5-arch wheels.

And they also included the grey interior component that would normally be found in the basic range issue, instead of the charcoal interior that came in the Commando model during official production.

So I jump ahead to the 2000s now. This is the MB544 Porsche 911 Turbo. What I have here is an early prototype of the new casting that was coming for 2002. It sports a blank base and a plain yellow body with green windows.

It did actually debut in yellow. Again this was an ROW exclusive, although that was not a permanent thing this time. It was MB69 and the first 10,000 produced saw a 50 logo over the rear wheel arch on one side.

And if you lived in Germany, you would also see a green release as part of the debut series of Stars of Germany.

Which makes the prototype even cooler, as it is yellow and green, and the 2 debut year models were yellow, and green. Well I thought it was cool. But then it is a Porsche, and I always think they are cool.

As I said, this did not stay as an ROW only model. For 2003 it was sold worldwide as MB9 in red, and being another logo year, the first 10,000 had a Hero City logo over the front.

I also got this pre-production sample of the 2003 Stars of Germany issue as well. They were supposed to be making the Porsche 911 Carrera Convertible, but accidentally sent samples over of wrong models. It got rectified before production.

2004 sadly saw no basic range release. It wasn’t a completely lost year though. It was a part of the Auto Cargo launcher set that year in a simple blue look. It also came with black windows, although an interior is hidden inside.

And it was also a part of the first Superfast series of the rebirth too. This grey model was number 20 in the series, and saw a higher level of detail than any we had seen already.

My third prepro. Yes, I had 3 pre-production samples of this casting. This is the actual hand painted sample made for the photoshoot for the 2005 poster.

However, by the time it got to production, they had decided they were not going to include the word Matchbox under the window, or a large 05 over the rear wheels. So as the posters were about to be printed, they quickly airbrushed those parts out of the picture.

It was sold as MB69 that year, and during production the wheels switched from flower to lace.

It also saw another Superfast issue. 2005 saw the range appear in USA as it did in 2004, but also a secondary range appear in other markets outside of USA in alternate colours. The ROW issue was black and the US red.

This year also saw some Superfast 5-packs as well. An Autobahn saw a yellow 911 Turbo as part of the set.

And if you were curious, the shade of yellow was much more mustard than the debut release.

The model was back in the German exclusive series again in silver. This had now been renamed as Stars of Cars from 2004, due to the desire to include non-German made vehicles in the series. Of course we did get German ones still. And this I did spot in shades of grey.

For 2006, the model moved to the MB25 slot in the basic range, and just like in 2005, the wheels would switch from flower to lace during production.

And then, just to be sneaky, 2006 was the year that the double 10-spoke wheel debuted, but it was after the model was deleted from assortments. But a late production run was made with the new wheel, exclusive to some 3-packs. These tended to be mainly found in Australia. That was where I ended up getting my 3-pack from.

2006 saw it in the Superfast range for the last time. This time it was just in white, as after the 2005 experiment, they moved it back to being a US only range.

We never saw the model in 2007. But in 2008 it did pop back up in a Real 10-pack in black.

2009 saw another 10-pack issue in the Real set again. This time it was in brown.

But that was it for a few years. It went a little quiet. 2012 saw a return to the basic range though. It was MB106 in plum with a simple Turbo side design.

But that was not all. 2012 was a good year, as it was also in a Police 5-pack. A rather unusual vehicle to add to a police pack, as some pondered whether this was a robber vehicle for the cops to chase. It was red with a simple Turbo side design.

And yes, it was the same side design as the basic. I love seeing models like this, with the exact same design on different colours.

It took some more time off after that before seeing another 5-pack release in 2016. It was a part of the Exotic pack in rustic orange. Which I did notice was good for a shade or 2.

This was followed the next year by an Open Road Cruisers 5-pack release in red with front and rear detailing. To date this is the final time we have seen the casting.

Time to finish off with the MB883 VW Karmann Ghia Type 34. This is a casting that hasn’t really had a lot of usage, but after this 2013 debut MB35 release in pale blue (which I did find in various shades of paleness), a quite significant issue arrived.

Why this was a Leipzig promotion issue for the 2013 event. In those days, Dirk was only getting the one model, but as we have seen, it has expanded out, and now he gets 4.

After 2013, it was already removed from the basic range. For 2014 it only saw 1 release, as a 10-pack exclusive in silver. I did spot quite a noticeable shade variation to the silver during production.

In 2015 it was in the Classic Rides 5-pack in blue with a light blue side print. I did sport a shade to that too, but it was not as significant as the silver one was.

In 2016, it returned to the basic range as MB29. It came in green, and yet again I saw a shade to it. Seriously, I was finding a shade to everything outside of the promotional one.

After taking 2017 off, it returned to the basic range again as MB21. Wait, only 1? Yes, I did not find a shade to this one. However, it was actually a carry forward of the 2014 10-pack issue.

And if you were to line it up against those 2014 shades I had, this was significantly different.

For 2019 it was still in the basic range, and did this appear before? Yes, but I still had a shade to the 2019 MB17.

Because it was significantly darker in general compared to the 2016 release. Plus it had a white base, not chrome. To some, they did feel like it was a new look, rather than a carry forward. The license plate?

Well it has been a bit of a go-to license plate for this casting. Apart from the debut (and not including the promo), and Type 34 that had a rear detail had the same Fun2Drv plate. Daft fact to finish off for sure. Because this is all we have seen of this casting.

Which brings us to the end of another report. But not Matchbox for the week. As I said, Auction C will be arriving, all being well, on Wednesday. So check back for the list in the next day or 2 and have fun with bidding on more stuff. Auction A had some very high prices paid for some of the models.

Just in case you were interested. Final prices for Auction A. Wow! I will catch you all in a few days with Auction C. Until then, have fun.

2 Replies to “Matchbox Monday takes a look at the Leipzig stuff”

  1. There was also a Graffic Traffic version of the MB20 VW Transporter in plain white with blue windows.
    The one that has always eluded me is a pre-pro My First Matchbox edition with Teddy Bear tampo that was made in very small numbers and appeared in the catalogue.

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