Matchbox Monday beats around 2024 Batch B

There are 12 batches of basic range releases that Matchbox sell on a yearly basis (in the current configuration), so I am attempting to do a monthly round-up of a batch.  I am moving on to the second of them this week, which, if you follow the Matchbox brand, does now mean that Target stores in the USA will be sporting an exclusive.  This is not part of the batch that Wheel Collectors sent over to me, as they just shipped the rest along to me. But, as always, I do need to dig in.  So let's get going.

As I tend to do, I will be showcasing these in number order in the range.  Which is a little easier to do with the basic range than with Moving Parts, as the number is in orange against a white background, so is easily visible.  Number 13 of 100 for 2024 is the MB1291 '66 Dodge Charger.  

For the 2024 range, the model is sporting a really nice dark metallic green look. This is a real colour option from 1966.  Dodge referred to it as dark metallic green.  Finally, a logical name for a colour.  Sometimes I wonder about car manufacturers and the weird names they come up with for the shades of colour they have.  It is a dark metallic green, so they call it as such.  

This is how a real one looks.  I think it is stunning, and Matchbox have done an amazing job in replicating it. The chrome base forming the front end just works well.  

And the simple front and rear end tampo printing is spot on.  This is a perfect little replica, and exactly the reason why I love the Matchbox brand so much.  They went with the disk wheel, although the tri-spoke could have worked just as well.  It is an "either/or" choice.  There is no preference.  I cannot fault this, and it gets a perfect score from me.  10 out of 10.  And a bonus as well.

The model comes in shades!  I love it.  I always enjoy a nice shade.  Especially when it comes on such a nice model.  

It's quite funny.  The model debuted in the 2022 range, and that was also a secondary colour (orange), and again I spotted a shade variation.  That model follows the same front and rear detailing/chrome base approach that the new one has.

Whereas the 2023 release saw the model sport one of the 70th Anniversary platinum looks. Side detailing, no chrome base, but tri-spokes!

I think this is a wonderful little casting, so am very much looking forward to seeing plenty more looks in the future.  I wonder if we will see a racier look in a premium issue down the line, or perhaps a nod to a classic Lesney model of Big Banger, Pi-Eyed Piper, or Dodge Dragster? All 3 were bases on the Charger, but it did take until 2022 for us to see a stock model. Of course, the plain looks are still very much wanted.  Burgundy?  Red? Cream? White?  So many choices. I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

New for 2024!  I like that they put that on all of the new castings in both basic and Moving Parts.  However, the subject for this new casting is the MB1448 Tesla Model 3.  It debuts in white for 2024 as MB53.

The things is, the MB1372 Tesla Model 3 debuted last year in the Moving Parts series.  I don't know why they are going nuts releasing so many Teslas in both ranges.  With the Roadster and Model X now being a part of both ranges, this is the 3rd of 6 Teslas that appear in both ranges. The only ones that are basic only at the moment are the Model Y, Model S and Semi Truck.  They don't make the Cybertruck.  And as that comes unpainted, I think it would become very boring, very fast.  So I am happy they don't bother with that.  But, as we going to be seeing any of the other 3 appearing in future Moving Parts guises?  Sure, Tesla has been popular, and I know Matchbox are throwing in many of the "clean" vehicles, as they push for more electric and hybrid stuff. But, with 50 slots in Moving Parts, and 100 in basics, I would much prefer 150 different vehicles.  I love the Model 3 debuting in Moving Parts last year.  Seeing a second one in the basic range, and I am already bored.  Including it?  I would say a 2.  I am not going to score a 0.  It is not awful.

In fact, the casting itself is really good.  But, what would I have expected with the current team?  They have worked their magic on the model again.  

From the side, they have captured the shape very well.  

However, what is up with the way the rear window doesn't seem to go all the way down?  Is that right?  It doesn't look right to me.  It feels as if it is cut off.  Not a great look.  Casting?  I would rate it an 8.  I don't think it is the best it could have been.

I can't fault the final look.  White, with front and rear detailing.  Exactly as you would expect on every other Tesla car that has been done by Matchbox.  For that, I cannot give it a lower score than 10.  A perfect ending.  

It is a new casting, so of course I show the base.  

And a bonus for me, it is also shading.  Some are coming in a more creamy shade than others.  This may be partly down to the thickness of the paint.  I tend to find this iridescent whits will turn a little creamy if it gets a bit thicker.  Which is why I always enjoy getting a model in iridescent white.  

Before I move on to model number 3, I will bring in last year's Moving Parts debut in red.  That model was stunning.  I gave it a perfect a score when it debuted.  30 out of 30 for the 3 parts.  When the new one gets a 20 out of 30 in total, you know it didn't do that well.  I just don't like seeing the exact same model in both basic and Moving Parts.  They should try and do alternate versions, but as the Model 3 doesn't have an alternate version, it should be one or the other.  Not both and taking up a slot that something different could have been in.  

And just look at the way the rear window forms on the Moving Parts model.  That was a perfect execution.  The new casting is not as good.  

Although I am happy to see that they have made both models to the same scale. That is quite important.  So, all is not lost.

This does mean that we have seen 2 new Tesla castings debut in a matter of months from each other, and both in the same colour.  Yes, I know, Tesla only has limited colour options.  No green!  But, should they have perhaps started this in grey?  Just so that you immediately notice which is which, as they are almost crossing over each other in production.  It's all blending into one!

Next up, we get the latest issue of the MB1237 '20 Land Rover Defender 90.  This is another model that has a quick turnaround, as the 2023 issue did not appear until very late in the year, so just after being dropped from assortments, the next one is already in them. This black release comes in the MB61 slot for the 2024 range.  

I have to admit, this is one of the best looks I have seen on this casting.  I am not a fan of the casting, but the final design is really nice.  Santorini Black. Here we go, with the weird names again.  Santorini?  An island off the Greek coast, which had a massive volcanic eruption thousands of years ago.  I guess the "Santorini" part is referring to the volcanic residue that is left behind on the island.  I sort of see where they are coming from.  But, seriously, black is black.  You don't need fancy names for it.  And with that, I need to put myself back on topic.  

As we have seen on every release of this casting to date, the model is sporting a simple front and rear tampo print.  This time, mated to the black paintwork, it really pops.  And, I much prefer to see the darker tint to the window. When they do this unusual way of making the window also the roof, having it clear (like last year's brown one) doesn't look right.  If I had a choice, I would have the roof as part of the body.  But, if it is a part of the window section, then it should be tinted.  But, it is not a solid black.  That is also a bad choice, and this is a fairly dark tint, but I would say it is the best shade of window tint to suit the model.  This is not a great casting, it is too small, and the window as a roof is not the best, but this particular final look is the nicest to date.  It is tough to score this one.  I really don't want to give it top marks.  But, I cannot fault the final execution here.  

And, we are getting a variation.  Some are coming out with a satin effect to the black paint, with others sporting a matte effect.  It is really noticeable.  I am going to score it a 9.5.  It's as good as I can do.

It is definitely much better than the last issue, which was only a few months ago.  That clear roof did not do it any favours.  

I won't do a full dive back, as I literally just did it for the brown one.  But, out of the 5 different looks, this black one is clearly the best of them.  It is definitely the best the model has ever looked. Nicer than the Pangea Green, the light blue (I think that is a Matchbox colour), Fuji White and Gondwana Stone. Looking at official Land Rover colours, we have a darker blue (Tasman Blue), and a variety of greys left.  Or, perhaps Matchbox can give us their own take.  

Did you know that the MB1190 '14 Nissan NV Van is now on its sixth outing in the basic range?  And so far, this model has not been seen anywhere else.  Not even in the Hitch & Haul series. Something I was really expecting to have happened by now.  The 4th model in my showcase today takes the MB63 slot in yellow.

As we are seeing with this model, they have a lot of fun with it, coming up with fancy side designs.  For 2024, this bright yellow and eye-catching model is sporting a Los Angeles Tours and Adventures look. Which also includes an extensive name-check of an array of locations within LA.  

And, if you open the model up from the blister, you will discover that the alternate side is sporting a different design.  Still the same overall design, but the list is different, the star is moved to the back, and there are also a number of logos along the upper edge of the design.  I do enjoy getting a surprise when I open a model up.  This is making me smile.  And for that, yes I am going to give this a 10.  I think it is a great look for the model, and the bright yellow really stands out.  I think this is definitely one of the best looks for this model.

And, yes, 4 for 4.  I have noticed that some are paler than others.  This is a cool batch.  Particularly if you are crazy like me and enjoy shades.  Wait, I hear people rolling eyes!

So, let's go through the rest of the 6 so far, because I want to point out something at the end.  It debuted in the 2019 range in silver with an Ultra MBX Shuttle livery.

For 2020, it was in black with a Courtesy Shuttle look.

2021 was a cool look, in white with a Sea Aquatorium design. I liked that one.

And I also really liked 2022's Adventure Tours in brown, with a nod to New Zealand on it.  Really cool.

And last year saw a Harbor Ferry Transport look in grey.  

My takeaways from this.  1. Why is this not being utilized outside the basic range?  2. Leading on from that, it has a tow hook, and I have been waiting for a Hitch & Haul outing.  It is perfect for a H&H release.  3.  Why have we not seen a recurring livery on this yet?  In fact, I think this is a perfect candidate for the National Parks series.  Come on, National Parks it up please!!!!

Number 5 on the list is the latest outing for the little MB1361 Renault Twizy.  This is MB65 for 2024, and comes in a bright white look.

This release is in white.  And Renault just call it white.  No fancy names.  In fact, if you were to look at the colour options for this little electric quadricycle, it is quite extensive.  Matchbox has quite a list to choose from. In fact, Renault will apply all sorts of looks to the real vehicle.  You can add patterns, camouflage looks, even country flags into the design.  You can go nuts and make the vehicle stand out.  I see some fun looks in the future for the model.  

For now, it is a simple look with front and rear detailing.  Something, that I always say, you can't go wrong with.  As such, I am giving this a fun little 10 out of 10.  It is a funky little model, and quite unique.  

And is also getting a more creamy variation.  5 for 5!  I am going nuts with this batch.  

Last year saw the model debut in blue in the basic range.  It came with the exact same livery as the new one.  I do like the consistency.  But, with this one, I am also keen to see them stretching their creative juices and coming up with something a little different.  I think it will work on this one.

There is a 3rd release, as it was in a 5-pack this year as well.  However, being in the UK, I have not seen any 2024 pack as yet.  One day we will get them. Hopefully before 2025!

Ooh!  This MB1292 '94 Mitsubishi 3000GT looks really nice.  It takes the MB74 slot in the range in a lovely shade of blue.

I am not sure if this is supposed to represent the Fiji Blue that Mitsubishi would be using around that time.  Either way, it is stunning.  It really suits the model.  I don't think I have seen this particular shade of blue used before. They should use it more often.  I cannot fault this at all.

Now, I have loved this particular model since it first debuted in 2022.  And, red is my favouorite colour.  However, this particular shade of blue is blowing that away.  With the simple front and rear detailing, and those 5-spoke wheels working so well, I am easily giving this a 10 out of 10.  I don't think this will be topped.  I have a feeling that this will stay as my favourite look on this one.  

Heaps better than the 2022 debut in black.

And, as I said, I think it looks even nicer than the one in my favourite colour.  That was the 2023 release.

This is the first one that has sported the 5-spokes.  I think they look nicer than double 10-spokes.  I also notice that this completely matches the 2022 with the rear plate logo.  For some reason, it was omitted from the 2023.  Perhaps due to being a red logo on white background?  Surely that would have just been a white tab with no colour?  Maybe they like to re-use templates, and would have had to do the logo on the white background, and it come out a bit orange?  I don't know.  All I know it, this blue is a real stunner.

It wasn't the only blue, either.  The MB1236 '19 Subaru Forester also sees a blue release in the MB78 slot.

This is the more common silvery blue shade that has adorned many a Matchbox model.  Subaru calls this Ice Blue.  I can see why.  It is quite a common sort of colour. I owned a car in this sort of colour a while back.  In fact, I have had 2.  It is a lovely shade (not as lovely as the Mitsubishi), and with the front and rear tampos that have been used on all Foresters so far, this is a lovely addition.  

Again, this deserves a 10 out of 10.  I think the Forester is one of my favourite Matchbox SUVs ever made, and am lapping up all the new releases of them.

I couldn't help it. Shade!  Just look at the difference in blue hue on these 2. There is a big shade variation on this, which I often find with these silvery blue models.  Most sport some really cool shades.  Hey, I have just realized.  The Mitsubishi is the only one so far that I have not found a shade on.  And it was such a beautiful colour.  Son of a....

Because I realized, this is the 7th and final model in the batch.  6 of them I have found shades on.  That is a hefty percentage.  But, my favourite of the lot is the only hold out.  Oh well, let's get on with the recap of all Subaru Foresters to date.  If you remember, this model is now in its 4th year in the range.  It debuted in 2021 in green.

It then had a dark metallic red outing for 2022.

And 2023 saw a lovely black issue.  

So, 4 years of basic range action, and this model has not been seen anywhere else yet.  Not as long as the Nissan NV Van, but still, I am surprised it has not popped up anywhere else as yet.  So, that is the batch for most people.  This is what Wheel Collectors shipped over.  However, being an even-numbered batch, this does mean....

If you live in the USA, and you have a Target nearby, you might find a little bonus.  I say might, as I know these are quite popular, and many struggle to see them.  For batch B, the first of 6 Target Reds for 2024 is the MB807 '10 Holden Ute SSV.  

With a full year behind them now, we know exactly what to expect from a Target Red.  The model will obviously be in red, will feature some sort of white trim, and the wheels will have a red ring on them.  Perfect.  This Holden fits the bill, and get a full wraparound detail.  The front gets the usual detailing.

The rear also gets some detail, with the badges, licence plate and a white stripe along the bottom.

And I am loving this side design.  The white stripes whisking their way along, with the little SS detail at the end.  Plus, they added in a few other little details too.  This is a real stunner, and I have to say, the last few Holden Utes have really been mindblowing.  I am giving this a 10.  Obviously.  I think it deserves 1 more dive back, as this has quite a bit more history than any of the others in the batch.

Because this started off in green, all the way back in 2010.  That green was quite amazing.  The range of shades was quite astonishing, and these are the 2 extremes of the 5 that I own.  Yes, I have a handful of just green ones!

Of course, that was the original casting for MB807.  Many pickups and the like have been altered to make things easier for constriction in the factory.  In the early days, the rear luggage section would be slotted over the body to hide the riveted area.  But, slotting in models does take time.  Changing to the drop method did mean that the rear bed has to come up a little short.  

In 2011, the model was given 2 basic range outings.  At that time, 25 models out of the range would see 2 looks, and this was blue and orangey red.  

It also saw its first alternate release, as the Modern Rides 5-pack saw a very dark purple release.

2012 saw the model in white in the basic range, and the first time that it saw something else instead of the front and rear details of the previous 4.  It had a Rock 'n Rescue side design.  You might notice it has the exact same wheels as the new one.  After 2012, the model went on hiatus.  Yes, it saw 3 years of action then tumbleweed.

When it re-emerged in 2018, it was popped back in the basic range as a carry forward of the debut 2010 release.  However, during its off-time, the casting saw the alteration that I had mentioned.  So, although it was the same as the debut, the casting itself was not.  

It then saw another purple outing in 2019 as part of the Blue Highways 5-pack.  Although this was the second 5-pack outing, and second time in purple in a 5-pack, too, this was a much brighter purple, and the wheels were different.  It was just another purple.  

It didn't see any use in 2020, but 2021 saw 2 different outings.  A basic range issue in white, with a yellow strip going all the way round and wheels that didn't have the outer rims printed.  Just the middle part.  A very cool look.  And it was also a part of the Walmart exclusive (In the USA, other countries sold in other places) Truck series.  Again, this was in purple, but saw this cool Falken side design.  As I said, the last few have been really cool, because that is these 2.  Yes, 2022 and 2023 saw no additional outings.  These are a really cool trio of Utes.  

I have thoroughly enjoyed collecting the Holden Ute.  I hope this is not the end.  It is a little ominous.  5 releases, hiatus.  Another 5 releases with the altered casting.  I hope it doesn't mean another hiatus or the end of releases.  I am still waiting on a metallic gold one.  And the obvious banana yellow!  Why have we not had a yellow one yet?  Even silver and black have been conspicuous with their absence.  3x purple, 2x white, 2x red, 2x green and 1x blue.  I make that only 5 actual colours in use.  So many 5s.  Come on number 6....

And on that note, I think I am done.  This batch saw 2 US vehicles.  1 classic and 1 "brand" new.  

It also included 3 Japanese vehicles.  2 of them being modern vehicles, 1 not.  2 of them being blue vehicles, 1 not.

We also saw 1 British, 1 French and 1 Australian vehicle as well. Nothing from Germany this time, although I think it is being well represented in the next batch.  That is for next month.

This month's basics report is in the history books.  Time to file this one away and prepare for a sweet time next week.  Until then, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.

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