I have a box. Yes, this is the latest Mattel Creations release for the Matchbox brand. Now, normally, I would add one of these to my regular posts as a tag on extra. But they went and chose me favourite vehicle for a Mattel Creations release, so you know I just had to do something extra special. So, sit back, and watch me go absolutely nuts over just one model. Can I make a whole blog out of it? Of course, I can.
I do enjoy reading their blurb. And yes, I do stare when I see one. I love this generation of 911. The 930 as it was known behind the scenes, is still one of the most iconic vehicles of my childhood. It was an instant favourite, and I would cover my bedroom wall with pictures of cars. And in all honesty, about half of the pictures were 911 Turbos. Sure, there would be other Porsches, a few Ferraris, Aston Martins, Lotus, and well, I had hot hatches on the wall, (Vauxhall Astra GTE, Peugeot 205 GTi, Ford Fiesta XR2i etc). Anything that looked cool. Up it went. But the 911 Turbo clearly was the main focus. It was my favourite. It still is my favourite. Growing up, Matchbox had a 911 Turbo in the range, and I was so upset when it was finally dropped in the 1990s. However, when Mattel announced they were bringing it back a few years back, my heart skipped a beat.
Now, I don't usually show these. But when you first open a box, the internal contents are wrapped in tissue paper. To preserve the internal package, I assume. I don't know. Because a few seconds later, that stuff is ripped to shreds.
So this is the Porsche! Pink, with a very '80s shape design vibe to it. The package matches the look of the model, with more shapes along the side.
The rear of the internal package has the same blurb as the outside one, but also a casting history, which pays homage to the original MB003. However, there is a mistake. They have it that the original ran from 1979 until 1991. It actually ran from 1978 until 1993. That first year, and those last 2 years were very important! Ha ha! I think people know I might end up having to do a dive back to prove everything here. Hence, this blog being very long. Well, not as long as I used to, but this is a little longer than I am not doing. But it's about 911 Turbos, so of course I am not going to be running short.
The internal sleeve, once removed, has a Hawaiian feel to it, and still feels very '80s to me. I like the effort they put into these. I know some lament over the high cost of the models, but I still enjoy getting them. My wallet may disagree.
So then we get the plexicase with the model. Each plexicase has a unique design to the base, but the plastic top section tends to stay the same.
Top off. Time for a closer look at the Porsche. I like it. Of course, they could put images of smiley poo faces on a 911 Turbo, and I would still like it. It's a 911 Turbo! My dream car.
The base section is a dark blue with pink grid lines on it. Apart from being pink, this does remind me of the late 1980s Matchbox packaging. An unexpected, but cool, visual for me.
As always, the base section has additional legal information included, and of course there are those 2 pesky screws that are holding the Porsche back. Not for long. Trusty screwdriver is always nearby for me. I take it to the USA with me each July, just in case.
When the model is removed, you discover that the base has a lit up area to the design under where the model would be. You can just make it out in the earlier overhead picture with model in place. As I said, they do put a lot of effort into these. But enough about the packaging. Let's get to the model itself.
Brilliant! Yes, end of blog. Oh wait, I was looking at doing a bit more.
This really does scream ‘80s to me. Sure, this type of look was more akin to the later 1980s in general, and this is obviously a 1980 vehicle, but I am not one to really get into the specifics of the dates. The Porsche is an ‘80s vehicle. The look is very ’80s! I am fine with it.
Being a high-end premium model, this does mean that the team have an opportunity to go to town with the design. 4 colour limit? Nope! 2 passes through the tampo machine? Nope! Every surface is being printed on, and it is extremely colourful. Again, a very 1980s thing. I remember being a teenager in the 1980s and clothes at the time were often very colourful. We would wear fluorescent socks, brightly coloured t-shirts, and funky designs. I tell you, this is bringing me back to my teenage years. So, yes, it is working for me.
Plus, the opening doors add to the look. I am impressed at how well the door and the main body are so closely matched. I know this is a little bit of an issue with many models that have opening parts. Getting the parts to match can be an issue. Not with this one.
I think the way that the pink fades into the bright blue as the model works its way down is a great effect. Painting the wheels light blue to match the lower end is a great touch.
The light blue also forms a stripe going over the roof too. The only part of the model that was not printed in any way was the rear spoiler. It was just left plain black. I think the blue stripe continuing through it could have worked as well.
The way that they have also wrapped the tampo printing around the lower edges of the vehicle is really nice too. No shortcuts, or anything like that. That is one of the things that I like about the Mattel Creations stuff. The fact that nothing is feasibly off the table.
I know this may not be everybody's cup of tea (I am British, this is a saying we use, even though I hate the taste of tea), but I really like this look. It is a fun design, and a very nostalgic one too. It is giving me the classic '80s vibes, and making me reminisce about my time as a teenager in the 1980s. So this, to me, means that they have done a wonderful job. I am more than happy to add this to my growing army of Porsche Turbos. Hmm! Want to see the army?
I will start by going back through the history of this casting itself. 2019. The launch of the new Superfast series (now known as Collectors). The Porsche debuted in the series in a dark blue with a Superfast 50th logo on it. Of course, I did discover lighter and darker shades. I was not letting those slip by me.
In 2020, the model moved to the Moving Parts series. Did you get that little pun? No? Why do I bother? The first few years of Moving Parts didn't number the models in the set, as that only started in 2021. It was a lovely simple red look. Still my favourite of this casting. Although I love them all!
Dirk Schleuer also took the opportunity to create a series of releases for the 2020 Leipzig Convention. Sadly, the convention itself was cancelled due to the worldwide pandemic, but the models were still made. The orange would have been sold through the Modell-Hobby-Spiel event. White was the standard dinner model, and the black was originally going to have been an early bird release, but was altered to become the “best buddy” model, as Dirk had to tweak the concept that year.
And who could forget that there was a helper model. Limited to just 25 examples, this was given to those who helped with the convention. This was the first pink one we saw for the model. This being the second pink one.
We also saw another Superfast release. This was in grey with a Lugo 2 design on it. But did you notice that the design was not included on the doors for this one?
For some very unusual reason, Mattel decided not to use the casting in 2021. Who do I need to make a complaint to? Ha ha! Luckily, Jim Gallegos saved the day, as he chose to make the casting the dealer model for the 2021 Matchbox Gathering in Albuquerque. It came in a nice shiny green look, but there was a special issue in chrome.
For 2022, we saw the 2020 Moving Parts model return in a special 6-pack. The red was actually an almost identical match, but the rear light strip was so much lighter for the 2022 run.
And then, at the end of the 2022 model year, it was included in the Moving Parts series in brown. This was actually a last minute addition, due to a new casting not making it. Hence it being number 18 in the series of 50, with all the rest of the first 20 being new castings. There is an orange one with a 70th design for 2023, but I have not reviewed those yet (upcoming report).
But as we know, this 2022 Moving Parts release paid homage to the original model's debut, back in 1978. So, I think this is the perfect time to run through the long (very long, as I went nuts with this) run of the original Lesney casting.
So, where to begin? Right at the very start. Prepros! Yes, this casting was first drawn up in Lesney in May 1977. Shown here are 3 early prototypes from before manufacturing began. Note that these white, orange and blue models have no S-AN 161 licence plates. Something that was added later on in the pre-production stages.
Of course, once the licence plate was added, this did not stop the pre-production samples from being made. They were doing a lot of tests, with a variety of colours. Shown here are olive green, metallic very dark green, metallic dark blue and a pastel plum look.
And I wouldn't be me without going so nuts that I am also getting interior variations on prepros. Yes, plum and metallic gold, both with 2 different interior colours. I am that crazy.
But then we get to the 1978 debut. Metallic brown. The paint used varied through the year, as some came out in a very gloss finish, others in a matte finish. Then you could find in between paint types as well.
In 1979 they turned the model silver. At first, it still sported the leftover yellow interiors that had been used for the 1978 brown release.
But then it flipped to a red interior, although some were found with a tan interior.
There are variations to the paint. Some are sporting what is known as a baby silver. It's almost like a soft version of the standard silver paint. Not the easiest for photography purposes, but in hand it is easy to see.
The base also sports variations. I do not worry about that too much. But a brown base is a rarer issue. I just happened to have one anyway. There is also a rare wheel variant. Dot-dash wheels. I had an opportunity to own one in my early days of collecting and foolishly passed. I was not into wheel variations at the time. Now I cannot find one at all. They are out there somewhere.
In 1980, it changed again. 3 years in, and 3 different colours. However, for the first time, this was a look that ran for 2 years. 1980 and 1981. At first, this used leftover red interiors from the 1979 silver. I have managed to find a few shade variations to the early red interior one. Not easy to spot.
This soon changed to yellow. This in itself varied. Some came in a pale yellow shade, whereas others were a very dark, almost orangey yellow.
And boy was this green good for shades. It ranged from a very light to a very dark shade, and many in between.
For 1982, they planned their first look at a tampo printed Porsche Turbo. These are both pre-production samples of things they were looking at. A QXR design? Perhaps just a simple 90 and Turbo look. Yes, that one will work.
You might have thought, wasn't that red prepro actually a production model? No, it wasn't. Red interior. It never came with a red interior. This was a pre-production sample of the casting. The model came with a tan interior. Usually.
Again, red was amazing for shades. A dark red? A light orangey red? Sure, why not.
And the thing with being Lesney, their focus on quality control was never great. More fun for us. Miss the side tampo? Oops! Miss it altogether? Whatever! Just pack them up and ship them out.
There were other variations as well. They made some of these with glow in the dark windows. It was actually very late in the day, and these were planned for some upcoming glow in the dark track sets. But many were shipped out on their own.
Also, late in the day was a short run made with a white interior. And, yes, this also saw both a clear or a glow window included.
This model rolled through the 1983 model year, but with this being a worldwide issue, production moved from England to Macau. The most notable part was that the window now sported a slight amber tint.
Unless you flip to the base, obviously.
Shade variations to the Macau made Porsches was a lot more subtle. I have never seen much of a difference, only owning the 2 with a small difference.
I do own a few pre-production samples of ideas that were floating about for future issues. Blank red Macau made models were created, and they were issued with a variety of different number labels. I only picked up one number label. There are a lot, and even I thought I was going too far by trying to get all the numbers. It was a label after all.
In the end, they just went with a simple change of colour to the model. It was now in black, and the tampo switched to gold from white. There is a known variation to black also appearing with no side tampo. I am yet to find it.
But did you know that in 1984, plans were underway to release the Porsche Turbo in a Matchmates set? It was going to be packaged with a Porsche 928 in a blister with a Porsche badge included. The first batch of Matchmates were simply models pulled from the basic range and paired up with their badge. Nothing unusual. But they were going to expand with more, and start including unique looks. This was going to be the Porsche Turbo look. However, the series got cancelled, and it never got made.
But what did happen in 1984 was an expansion to the range in Japan. Universal set up a unique range of 100 models. They took the ROW and US exclusives, using both to expand the series beyond the traditional 75, and with gaps still, decided to add in extra exclusive content as well. The red was exclusively sold as MB78 there, and the white as MB28. These ran for the entire 4-year stint of the special Japanese range.
In 1985, Matchbox ran a promotion in the UK. Models were packaged in exclusive golden boxes, and if you were to cut the headers off and send in so many, Matchbox would send you a free Porsche. Two were made. One was a Porsche 935 Racing in white with a Buttons theme to it. The Porsche Turbo was the other one. At first, they came up with a few other sweet-liveries for the model. A brown Rolo one, or perhaps a green Polo. But, with Cadbury's Buttons already in use, they thought perhaps it was better to go with a non-sweet livery.
So they released it in a dark blue with a Wranglers theme to it. I even managed to find a variation to a promotional model. Yes, the Wrangler logo appears either in a dark yellow, or a lighter, almost greenish yellow.
In 1986, Universal were about to run a promotion in the UK through BP. A series of 12 models were created, each one featuring a BP logo on the model somewhere. With a tight deadline, production began on the first 6 of the 12 immediately before signing on the dotted line. Sadly, BP pulled out at the last second, and thousands of models had been created already. Amazingly, with all the prepros I find, I am still looking for the original of this. The BP logo was on the door. There are some out there. I will find one eventually. But, for now, I have one of the “altered” models. Those produced were simply over-tampoed with something new. In the Porsche's case, a 3 logo covered up the BP logo. 5 of the 6 models ended up in the USA in multipacks to dispose of them. The last (a BMW 323i in white) ended up in the UK in single window boxes.
In 1987, a certain Japanese exclusive was turned into a worldwide release. Except that there was a small tweak. A stand alone 14 on the door was now shrunk and put in a box.
And in Brazil, a company called Trol set up a unique deal to sell Matchbox in the country. Brazilian laws of the time forbade toys from being imported. But parts? No issue. So Universal would send over all the parts and this local company would put them together. Only having a simple tampo machine, this company was somewhat replicating the 1982-86 issues of the basic range, but in a reduced capacity. Both red and black models were made, and wheels were often concave 8-spoke in either gold or chrome. There was a small run made with 4-arch wheels instead.
Also in 1987, we did see a BP promotion. Only this was not in the UK. This was in The Netherlands. There were 10 models in the promotion, which you could collect via building a book of stamps. The Porsche was a part of the second batch of 5 models issued.
1988 saw a small tweak to the basic range model. The original tan interior turned blue.
At this time, a UK 3-pack was created, and the model turned a baby blue colour. The MP-106 set saw a standard Porsche 959, but the 935 Racing and Turbo were both in alternate colours to their respective basic releases. This is likely because, at the time, all 3 were being sold in white in the basic range. So they just wanted to add a little more colour.
We also saw a special promotional series in Hong Kong. Dragon Team Racing saw a series of 12 models, all in unique looks and sporting a number (from 1 to 12) and an animal in the design. The Porsche was number 8 and featured a dragon. However, I did find a rather unusual one with only the 8 printed on the roof.
In 1989, MB3 in the basic range was given a new look. It would sport some chevrons down the side, as well as the Porsche name, and a logo on the front. All 3 of these are pre-production samples. One in red, one in a light blue, and the other in a solid darker blue.
The production model arrived in a shiny metallic blue. It only ran for 1 year in the basic range, but in 1990 was moved to the twin pack series, now paired with a Glider Transporter as TP-122. It ran for 2 years there, switching from Macau to Thailand production during the 1990 year as they closed the Macau factory.
There was also a plan around the time to match the Porsche Turbo look to the Porsche 935 Racing look, and this design closely matches that of a 935. However, this never made it to production.
For 1990, the model sported another new look for the basic range. This would be its final basic range look, and this would run from 1990 through to 1993! A whole 4 years! Not 2.
But, as noted, the Macau factory was being closed down in 1990. A new China factory was replacing it, but a lot of manufacturing went to the Thailand factory. The model did see a small change, mainly to the interior on the Thailand made models.
Unless you look at the bases.
An MP-804 muiltipack was also created, and the Porsche was given an alternate colour. All 3 Porsches in the set featured the same look, and this time they were all in the same colour. Each of the 3 models was black. And this time, all 3 were exclusive (a 944 and 959 joined the 911). However, again, I managed to secure a prototype for the set. Notice the different side tampo featuring just a 911 on the door, and turbo in italics under. For production, they moved the Turbo above the 911 and added Porsche along the bottom.
In 1991, they upped the multipack from a 3-pack to a 4-pack (plus a Convoy). The new MC-23 set kept the 944 in black, but now the 911 was turned yellow, the 959 white, and a 935 was re-added in a red, all with the same design. This was definitely a signature Porsche look across their models at the turn of the 1990s.But wait, is that yellow very bright?
It sure is. That was a prepro once again. Boy do I have a lot of Porsche Turbo prepros. Yes, the production model was actually a much darker, almost mustard yellow shade.
In 1992, as I noted this model did run beyond 1991 in the basic range, there was another small tweak to the tampo. The Porsche printed under the doors changed from yellow to black. This was how the basic range issue would finish in 1993 (or early 1994 when a certain Hummer would arrive).
Things were definitely winding down for the casting. A 1992 switch to the TP-122 twin pack saw it turn yellow. Although it was close to appearing in a red design. Yes, another prepro.
And during 1993, the model was also included (alongside a 959) in the Showstoppers series, which also included a plinth for the pair to sit on. Again, I have more prepros. Early drafts saw it in a light blue, then switching to white with a full colour badge on the front, before finally settling on a black badge.
Whereas the back end had been settled on right away.
But we still were not done with this 1993 medley. A fun Club was set up for kids in the UK, and those who joined were given a unique white Porsche Turbo with the Fun Club livery on the top/sides.
And, they created a series called “The Sports Car Collection”. This was designed to be a counter top sale item. Boxes would be open on the counter for kids to grab as an impulse buy as they were paying for things. 15 models were in the set, and only 1 was in a unique colour. A certain Lamborghini Diablo. However, many were of note, as they pulled out classic liveries for many, and with production now being in Thailand, many were seeing notable changes. The Porsche was given both the 1984-86 black and the 1987-88 white looks for a carry forward look. But these were both made in Thailand.
Between 1984 and 1988, production had been in Macau. So both were quite different in their end appearance. After this flurry of activity on this casting in 1993, that was seemingly the end. It went very quite.
But, out of the blue, in 1997, a final swansong appeared. A Super Cars 5-pack saw the model return for one last outing before retirement in blue. This featured an orange and white flash down the sides. But that was it. The model was no more until Mattel decided to honour it with the new casting.
And that is it. One history of the Porsche 911 Turbo casting, from its early pre-production days in 1978, right up to the latest Mattel Creations release in 2023. Am I bored with this? No chance! They could keep this going forever, and I would lap up every release.
And that is it from me for this week. I hope you enjoyed my rundown of the classic Porsche 911 (930) Turbo. This was the longest report I have done for a short while. Next week will be 3 lines long. Ha ha! Only kidding, another batch of new stuff from Wheel Collectors is up on next week's blog. Until then, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.