Matchbox Monday begins 2023 basics and clears up 2022 confusion

1 comment

This week, I am back with more of 2023 new items, as I begin the journey through the 2023 basic range, which is now being released in smaller batches on a 4-week turnaround.  Which means I can now do an entire batch in one go.  This means I am looking at all 8 models that were a part of batch A 2023.  Yes, there are 8 models in batch A.  Some may be thinking "err, no, there are 2 more".  This is where things get a little muddy.  

Because another 2 models did arrive in this batch.  But both of these are in fact 2022 models, and as such you could call them 2022 batch G, released mixed in with 2023 batch A. I will begin with those, as it makes sense to clear up all of this confusion as quickly as I can.

You may notice some models are being photographed on ROW short card.  Like this MB1282 Rivian R1T.  There is a reason.  I have been extremely grateful to Wheel Collectors for supplying me with a lot of models with which I can prepare these reports.  Sadly, due to various issues, they did not receive batch A or batch B assortments of 2023.  They have jumped from batch F of 2022 straight to batch C of 2023.  However, all batch B is in batch C, as well as a select few of batch A. Those that are still included in batch C, I have photographed them on US long card, and these can be obtained through Wheel Collectors.  Those that were not in the batch C assortment, I have photographed on ROW short card to distinguish them.  This Rivian was not in batch C.  It ran in batches A and B only.  

And this is where the confusion over 2022 vs 2023 gets even more complicated.  Many will know that when it comes to a model that was due to arrive in 1 model year, but ran late, when it does appear they don't put the model number on it.  In that way, it ensures people don't mix it up with the following year's release.  The Rivian was due to arrive in batch F of 2022 in the MB38 slot for 2022.  This model, along with a certain VW ID4 (or EV4) were running late.  The first production run went off without either of them. But the final sign-off was imminent.  For both.  When a second production run went off for batch F, the VW had signed-off.  In it went.  Sadly, the Rivian just missed the cut.  Because everything was so last second, when it continued on into batch A, they made a small blooper with the card, and forgot to knock the number off.  These things happen. We are all human, and mistakes do happen.  It is not a big deal, but this is a 2022 release running late.  It may seem a little confusing, especially when an MB38 pops up later in the 2023 model year.  So I just want to make sure that people know, the Rivian is a 2022 model.  Others from the final batch of 2022 were rolled over in to this batch, and all had updated cards with the 70th Anniversary logo on it.  Having a 70th logo does not mean something is a 2023 release.  Only that it was being produced during the 2023 model year.  The Citroën Ami, Dodge Charger Pursuit, Ford Mustang Mach-E, McLaren 720 Spider, Tesla Model Y and Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing also rolled into batch A from batch F 2022, and all now sport a 70th Anniversary logo on the card.  Purely because they were produced during the model year.  We know they are all 2022 models, as they were clearly being sold in batch F.  That VW ID4 though?  A late run into batch F, and no rollover.  That is quite a tough one.  

So now that this is all hopefully explained, let us get on with a look at the 2022 MB38 in closer detail.  Was it worth the wait?  I think so.  This is so well done.  It debuts in blue with a rather unique construction method.  The majority of the roof is a part of the window section, and this also includes the A-pillar to the truck.  When you look at real pictures of the vehicle (never seen one up close in real life), this is actually quite a realistic way of doing it.  The roof does have a large window opening like that.  The front A-pillar does almost look like an extension to the front window.  So, yeah, it is a great job in replicating it.

Although, if it were me, I would have made this window section a much lighter smoke.  It is very dark.  It doesn't look bad, but I think it could have shown off the interior better.

Because there is an interior in there.  The rear bed is not the same piece as the window.  You might have also noted full tampos.  Front and rear detailing.

Plus, we have the Rivian badge on the side, as well as a black B-pillar.  With the A-pillar being part of the window, I wonder if they had to utilize metal for the B-pillar for strength.  Therefore, they had to black it out using tampo printing.  These are some of the small things that the Matchbox team has to deal with to get things right.  We really don't think about all the little things going on behind the scenes to get a casting done.  Getting all of this right was likely part of the reason why it ran just a touch late.  But kudos to the Matchbox team for creating an absolutely awesome model.

It appears this model has proved to be quite a hit.  I am not surprised.  This is all part of the Matchbox way in getting everything just right.  I applaud their efforts here.  Casting, I give this a 10 out of 10, with just a small dip, in my opinion, for the window being a little too dark. 9.5 out of 10 for the end result.  This is a solid model. The question is, will we see a second release before the 2023 model years is through?  

Being a new casting, I finish off with the obligatory base shot.  A great casting.  One of the best of the current era.  I am very much looking forward to seeing plenty more of these over coming years.  And hopefully seeing the interior a little better.  Ha ha!

The other 2022 rollover follows a more traditional path.  The Matchbox guys were expecting this to not make the cut in 2022.  They had time to prepare.

Therefore, the MB1302 '18 Toyota 4Runner carries the traditional "we knocked off the model number" blister card. So we clearly know this was not actually in the 2023 range.  Getting 2 of the 2022 models running late, and both card art being different, is confusing.  I don't mind, though.  I open everything up and get rid of the card.  

So what was this?  2022 MB81.  Cool.  See, for me, no packaging, no big deal.  I catalogue the models loose, and they all fit in their respective years very nicely. So how does this Toyota look?

Brilliant.  Again, the Matchbox team are knocking these things out of the park.  This is extremely well crafted.  The front end for the model appears to have all the detailing of the real vehicle marked down perfectly.

The model has a high stance when viewed from the side.  It definitely makes it look imposing.  It also features a more traditional construction method with A-pillars in metal and B-pillars a part of the window.  Again, detailing is extremely crisp and detailed.  

And the rear also looks spot on.  As far as I am concerned, that is.  The tampo looks a little smudgy on this around the lights.  That was just a blip, it wasn't the norm.  I think this is another excellent casting.

Even the roof is finely detailed.  I think this, and the Rivian, were definitely worth the wait.  They may have been slightly late in arriving (this was noted at the Gathering in 2022 as possibly not arriving by the end of the 2022 model year, so we were prepared), and it is so good seeing them now.

Another base shot, as this is the first I am showing it.  I would give this a 10 out of 10 for both the casting and the final result.  This is exactly why I collect the brand.

And this is just icing.  I am seeing a lighter red, as well as a darker, more pinky tinged red look to the paint.  Yes, I have 2 of them. I come for the realism, I stay for the shades!

So, with the remainder of 2022 items done for now, as we are missing 2 that may or may not arrive at some point during 2023.  We just have to wait to see if they manage to get out or not.  If not, we may see the 2022 range capped at 98 models.  So attention turns to the first batch of 8 models for batch A 2023.  First up is a model that did not appear on long card in batch C, as it was dropped after 2 batches.  The MB1247 '21 Ford Bronco.  I have retroactively dubbed this a Bronco 4dr, as the new Moving Parts casting has the same name.  

It takes the MB25 slot for the 2023 range, and this look is one we all know and love.  The recurring National Parks theme.  You can't go wrong with National Parks.  It sports a Forest Management badge on this one, and a subtitle of Eco Management under the National Parks writing.  Obviously, each National Parks gets small twists to their looks. I love the little tent at the back, and is that a bucking bronco over the 23 towards the front?  That is so cool.  This may be a recurring theme and hugely popular, but you take the time to look a little closer, and some of the little extras just put it over and beyond.

This is definitely one of the nicest National Parks models I have seen to date.  I don't know if it is a requirement from Ford, but like the Rivian, this model is not sporting just 2 sides of tampo.  It got the front end detailed too.  Being black and white, and the sides featuring black and white, I am not sure if this was a clever manipulation to achieve the 2-pass through the tampo rule.  If it was, that was clever work by the factory workers.  If not, then it is good to see we get these little extras squeezed in.  

Oh, yes.  I still find shades.  This one comes in a lovely mint or a paler shade.  National Parks models often come with this shade combination.  I have quite a few like this.  I love it!  

So far we have seen this model debut in the 2021 range as MB21 in red.  This featured the simple front and rear detailing.

With the 2022 MB34 also following the same route, but was now blue in place of red.  I do love simple detailing on models.

I also love chasing down that are more difficult to acquire, too.  I never showed this at the time of release when I was showcasing that batch, as this was proving quite elusive.  But I got it in the end.  The Super Chase appeared in the middle of 2022 in white, and this was white with full detailing and rubber wheels.  

Making this the fourth release of the casting to date.  With a new Bronco Sport coming in 2023, and the 2-door version in Moving Parts, I think Matchbox are on a real roll with Broncos, and am sure we will still be seeing plenty more of these over coming years.  

Next up is the MB1221 '20 Chevy Corvette.  This did not last until batch C, so I grabbed one on short card.  It takes the MB31 slot in the 2023 basic range and comes in white.

With a really cool black stripe down the front.  Oh, I do love a stripe.  It also sees some black touches down the sides of the model for a change to the norm.  This is a very nice rendition of the casting, and the black wheels help to set this off beautifully.

Giving us those side details does mean the rear end has been left blank this time.  There is a first for everything.  But I think this is a really cool look for the model.  Did I mention I liked the stripe? In fact, I think this is the coolest release yet for a basic range release.  And there has been quite a few releases of this casting, considering this has not been with us a while.  So, deep breath....

The model began its life in 2020 as MB47.  This was in a lovely metallic blue, with simple front and rear details.  This was a great start, as I found the shade of blue would vary quite a bit.

It then moved to the MB40 slot for 2021, and again was a simple front and rear printed model, this time in red.

It was also chosen to be the inaugural Super Chase in 2021.  This, too, was in white, except this saw full tampo printing of red and blue along with rubber wheels.  

But 2022 went even further.  Again, this was a basic.  This time it was black as MB20, again with simple front and rear detailing.  

But we also saw the Albuquerque Convention Dinner model in green (early bird 1 of 75) or blue (the rest) for those attending the Matchbox Convention in July 2022.  

And we also saw a really cool Gulf liveried models in the Mattel Creations series.

And if you are a complete nerd, like me, you would also point out that the Local Cruisers Walmart series had a carry forward of the debut blue model.  I kept this one as it was yet another shade to what I had already.  This one had a bit of a purple tint to it.

So, released in 2020, by the start of 2023 look at the collection I have.  This thing is multiplying.  For a core model, the newest white is my favourite.  But I still have to give it to the Gulf and the 2x Gathering models. They are just so nice. I am a big fan of this casting, and am happy to see it still in use after the Moving Parts version was created. Because, I don't know if you remember, I do prefer this one.  

A brand-new casting is up next.  And this one did continue on into batch C, which means I got this courtesy of Wheel Collectors.  The MB1362 '21 Koenigsegg Gemera.  

This one definitely had some people talking when it was announced at the 2022 Gathering.  Matchbox making a Koenigsegg?  Wow!  Things have really come a long way in the last few years.  It is so nice to see the brand being given some love. I am writing this with a smile on my face, as I still can't believe how far the brand has come in these last 5-6 years or so.  In the mid '00s, realism was the key.  The brand was growing. But hypercars, supercars, grand tourers etc.  These were not exactly forthcoming.  In a bid to keep the brand separate, these were felt to not be a good fit.  So the Matchbox brand was limited.  As we know, the mid '10s lost its way a bit before Abe Lugo stepped in and course-corrected.  But he didn't just correct the course.  No, he enhanced the course, broadening the range of items allowed under the Matchbox banner.  These last few years have seen some of the best work from the Matchbox brand in a long time.  Even better than the last golden age of 2005-2011. I am so thankful to have people like Abe championing the brand from within the Mattel corporation, and along with the team under him, are doing some of their best work in a long time.  Yes, I keep saying how much I love this new stuff.  It is because of people like Abe who have pushed the limits to give us all of these amazing offerings.  And they have kept to the ethos of keeping things realistic.  But also allowing for much more variety in the range of vehicles allowed.  

And yes, this is seriously cool.  I did a little Googling to check out pictures of the real vehicle.  Honestly.  They have nailed this one.  He has a seriously talented team under him who are able to create these little masterpieces.  Because I don't see how this could have been crafted any better.  The real vehicle does have that little window style opening across the top.  It features a wrap around window, and I don't see how they could have made that any other way.  I am guessing that the window is not in an open position for integrity of the metal part. Because, as we saw with the Rivian, with no front end pillar, they added another in the middle to help with strength.  They really couldn't here, as there is no middle pillar.  But because there is quite a lot to the rear that extends upwards, this does allow for this very clever way of construction.  As long as the window piece itself is solid enough to hold the weight, particularly under pressure.  This is something that toys have to have, factored in.  A kid steps on it, we must ensure it doesn't snap, crush or deform too easily. And this is solid.  I am not going to test it by jumping up and down on it. It's too nice for that.  

It features a relatively simple front and rear tampo print, with the rear forming lights, and the rear end of the roof window section.  I don't know if that has a name for it.  

If you were wondering, what is going up the middle of the window?  That is the window wiper.  Factually correct.  Koenigsegg made the model with a window wiper sitting up the middle in the resting position.  So this has been replicated by the Matchbox guys.  Another detail that has been perfectly rendered.  

I am totally impressed with this.  From the fact that we have a freaking Koenigsegg in the Matchbox range, to the perfect execution of the casting, down to the lovely debut look.  This has ticked all the boxes.  Brilliant!

Oh yeah, this was new.  Base shot.  A bit plain.  This is actually a hybrid.  So I am not sure if anything is supposed to be there or not.  There is a 2-litre 3-cylinder engine inside, and 3 electric motors.  But they may be covering that up to aid with aerodynamics.  So I am not marking it down, as I have never seen under a real Gemera to verify.  

Next, we have the MB1289 Road Roller.  I do wonder how they managed to trademark "Road Roller", as noted on the package.  Isn't that just a generic term for this type of vehicle?  I am not sure why they didn't call it MBX Road Roller.  It would have fitted the pattern of putting MBX at the start of the Matchbox Originals items.  

This is year 2 for the casting, and this year it takes the MB52 slot in the series in green and red.  Which is very significant.  This has so many nods to the debut of Matchbox.  The very first model that Matchbox released was the 1a Aveling Barford Road Roller in 1953. It ran for 3 years in green and red, before being replaced by a newer Aveling Barford Road Roller in green and red for 1956. This was upgraded to a larger Road Roller in 1958, and again to an even larger casting in 1962, before finally being dropped after the 1967 model year. From 1953 until 1967, we had 4 different Road Rollers in the number 1 slot.  With a cheeky No 05 on the side, is this a clever way of saying this is the 5th green and red Road Roller in the basic range?  The logo on the side is also paying homage to the old Aveling Barford logo itself.  Although not seen on miniatures, Lesney created a kingsize as K9a in 1962.  Again in green and red, it featured a sticker on the side that was identical to this, with Street replaced by Aveling and Works replaced by Barford.  The lion logo and Diesel Roller parts are the same.  I honestly believe the writing above is a clever nod in itself.  Lower East Smithfield?  L.E.S? Leslie Smith, Smithfield?  Am I seeing too much here, or is it a very subtle little Easter Egg? A modern vehicle paying homage to the actual beginnings of the brand itself.  This is awesome!  Honestly, even the last area.  Matchbox in a curve with quotes is extremely similar to the way the early 1950s boxes would write the word on packaging.  I can't show you any of these classic items as I do not own them.  But if you were to Google them, you would see.  

So this is honestly just an amazing livery on this casting.  One which a lot of people may not actually spot.  But if you know the brand, and know the history, you would see how much this is paying attention to it.  It is definitely a great homage/addition.  This is the stuff we often overlook from the Matchbox guys.  The attention to detail, and their determination to remember the past as they move to the future.  

Last year, the model debuted in yellow as MB4.  This is a recurring theme, which is also cool.

But somehow that pales in comparison to this one. Great job guys!

Next on the list is the MB813 Express Delivery.  It takes the MB56 slot in an awesome real FedEx livery.

It has been too long since we last saw a FedEx model in the Matchbox range.  So this is a very exciting addition.  A recurring theme?  Well, yes, in a way.  Recurring from a long time ago.

Spoiler alert, I am going to be taking a deeper look at this in an upcoming report.  Because Matchbox have released a FedEx playset, and I will be showcasing that in the very near future.  At that time, I will be taking a deeper look at the logo, this model and all.  So, be prepared.  I am moving on from this awesome release (am I saying awesome too much?) 

To this awes...astounding look. Because this is the MB1215 MBX Cycle Trailer.  It is MB63 in the 2023 range, and as we know, you can find either a Scrambler or a Chopper on the back.  

So what makes this release so incredible?  It is white, and features a red and blue upper stripey look.

And the rear features a licence plate with CYL RNR on it.  A little shorthand for Cycle Runner, methinks.  

On their own, these 2 are pretty much average.  Fairly normal.  But I am going to jump ahead.

Because this is the MB1206 '95 Nissan Hardbody (D21).  It takes the MB72 slot in the range alongside the MBX Cycle Trailer.

What is that on the side?  Cycle Runner?  In the red and blue stripey design.  Why is that familiar?

Because they have specifically designed this as a vehicle to tow the MBX Cycle Trailer.  How freaking awe.... inspiring is that! This is one of the best dual releases I have seen in quite a while.

I am a huge fan of Hitch & Haul.  Vehicles towing other vehicles? I love them.  We see many models that appear in the basic range that don't match up perfectly with others in the batch.  However, some are nods to older vehicles.

Because when the MBX Cycle Trailer debuted, in the 2020 basic range as MB99, it came in red with a black and white design over the top.  There was no match for it.

When it returned in 2022, as MB98, this time it was white with a Sheriff Compound design on the top.  This was a recurring theme, as it originally appeared on the MB860 Ford Explorer in the 2015 range, and then returned on the MB129 Chevy Blazer in the 2019 range.  The Blazer had a tow hook, but because of the large wheels, it wasn't a great match.  But with 3 years between releases, many might have missed the link.  

So, a stand along design.  A recurring theme.  A pairing.  The pairing makes so much sense.  The best idea for a trailer in the basic range, I think. They have really put their thinking caps on for these.

The thing is, the Nissan has a choice of 2 trailers to pull.  Which do I attach? Do I need to leave one behind?

No! Because, this is me, so I always check for things.  The Nissan sports this lovely design across the top and sides.  

You hunt around, you might find a shade.  Oh yes, I discovered the red is a bright shade or almost a maroon shade.  2x Nissans. Am I happy?

Or am I absolutely ecstatic?  Mind you, there is a part of me now checking the tops of the trailers to see if I can find shades there.  And then I am back at square one.  Unless I then find a blue shade on the Nissan.  But then I would need to find blue on the trailer.  This could go on.  

Talking of going on, I am not finished yet.  The Nissan debuted the same year as the MBX Cycle Trailer.  It was about the closest you could get to matching up.  It was red.  The only red vehicle in the 2020 range with a tow hook.  Mind you, the MB62 that year did come with a factory side look that Nissan Hardbody Pickups were often found with in real life.  

2021 saw a different side design on the teal MB38 release.

But the original side design (now with additional Nissan) did appear on both the Walmart releases in their Truck series. Blue was in the first batch.  

And black was in the second batch.  

The same design returned again for the 2022 basic range, as the white MB17 was also sporting it.  

So with 6 releases to date....

Apart from a small change to the side design on the 2020 basic in teal, this is the first real design change to the model.  And what a time to really go all out for the change.  Tying it in with another casting to make a pairing within the batch.  Please, guys, make a vehicle/trailer combo in matching looks more common in the basic range.  Because this was the best release for both of these in my opinion.  

There is 1 more model for me to go through.  The MB1190 '14 Nissan NV Van.  It is in the MB71 slot for 2023.  

The model comes in a pale grey with a Harbor Ferry Transport side design.  You will also note the little Matchbox City logo at the rear end of the livery, as this little roundel is appearing on a lot of models lately.

This is a new design, which this model has always sported.  It is a nice design, but I have to admit this one doesn't particularly stand out.  Maybe because the rest of the batch was so good, this one sort of feels a little forgotten in the background.  Which is a shame.  I like it, but it is not giving me the same level of excitement that all the others did.  I do wonder if this could be the start of something for the livery.  Which could be really good.  Because, as I said, it is a nice design, and given a run as a recurring theme, I could really get behind it.  

But saying that, none of the other Nissans have ever started anything.  It debuted as MB84 in the 2019 range in silver with an airport shuttle theme.

The 2020 MB83 in white with a Sea Aquatorium side design is not that far removed from the current one.  Both a watery theme.  

And I did really like the Nissan Courtesy Shuttle look to the 2021 MB66.

And this Matchbox Adventures look to the 2022 MB1 was also very cool.  But, I have to say, not one of these has been recurring, or started anything recurring.  

And so far, this model has only been seen in the basic range.  It has a tow hook.  I am very eager to see this given the Hitch & Haul treatment.  Whether in the Hitch & Haul series, as part of a larger 5-pack, or like the Hardbody/Cycle Trailer combo we have in this batch. Any way you want to see it, I want to see this model linked up in any way to any another model.  

And with that, I am at the end of batch A.  For now!  Because there is one little item missing.  Batch A saw a Super Chase.  This has proven to be very elusive for me, and I have now managed to secure one.  But it has not arrived with me yet, and I didn't want to keep delaying this batch.  So I have made a decision to showcase that with batch B in a short while.  So I am capping this at 10 models.  Three of them are from the USA.  

Another three of them were Japanese vehicles.  

With a further three being Matchbox Originals designs.  All 3 of these I was happy enough with, as they all had some great liveries.  

We only had the 1 European vehicle in the batch.  I think I should make up for that with my first dive back.

I am going back to the beginnings of the Superfast era.  1969!  That year saw Lesney create this whole new way of making their models.  The first production run consisted of 10 castings, 5 of which were immediately switched from the retroactively named regular wheel era, with another 5 being brand new for the debut.  One of those brand-new castings was the MB20-A Lamborghini Marzal.  This was a concept vehicle that Lamborghini had showcased at the 1967 Geneva Motor Show.  It was never intended to be a production vehicle, and only the 1 was ever made. It still exists too.  With this new move within Lesney, this was one of 2 concept cars they created for this launch.  It arrived in a metallic burgundy with amber windows and an ivory interior.

It ran through the remainder of 1969 and whole of 1970. Therefore, if you hunted around, you could find shades.  

1970 also saw Lesney release a G-3 gift set with 6 models from the basic range included.  Each model sported a couple of labels, and a sticker sheet was included with which you could add more.  The 2 label on the front, and the small Avon labels at the rear, were included to begin with.  The other stickers were added from the sheet.  

In 1971, the model turned pink.  

All other parts of the model remained the same.  Amber windows, and an ivory interior.  

However, as with pretty much everything Lesney, this pink was very good at not being pink.  The paint they used was all over the place, and over the course of the year it turned salmon.

Putting pink and salmon together really shows the difference in paint.  

But if you are anything like me, you will not be stopping there.  So many different shades to find.  It is things like this that really got me into finding shades, which I still do with modern releases.

Of course, with the G-3 giftset still going, this meant that the red labelled version would give way to a pink labelled version.  

The model continued on in a more salmon shade until 1974, but there was a drastic change made in 1972.  Lesney had released a range of tracks for showcasing how fast these Superfast cars were.  But in doing so, they found that the thin wheels, particularly if they were inset, were very unstable.  There was only one thing they could do to rectify it.

The wheels would have to be wider, and they had to be at the edges of the model.  This caused a lot of complaints from the purists, as this was the first we saw of vehicles being hacked up to change things.  

The front wheels were not too bad.  Just a tiny piece of widening to accommodate the wheels better.  But the rear wheel arches?  They were flat, and the wheels hidden inside.  But that had to go.  This was severely hacked to make those wider wheels work.

It continued on until 1974, and that meant that the salmon was also very good for shades, with some coming out quite orangey.  

The interior would always be ivory.  But the window was not always a dark amber.  Some came out very light.  There are also a few with silver painted bases, but I have not picked up one of those yet.  

There is also a yellow model to be found.  In 1972, Lesney released an item called B-r-r-oom Stick, also known as Zingomatic in some markets. This was a package that contained a model from the basic range along with a plastic piece with a string attached.  You could hook the string under the model, and this would enable you to steer the model without bending down. Models found would include the Hot Rod Draguar, BMC 1800 Pininfarina and Mercedes-Benz 300SE in standard looks. But the Porsche 910 and Lamborghini Marzal came in unique looks just for the sets.  The Marzal was in yellow, and I did notice this was also good for a shade.  The series did not last, and by 1973 was gone again.  After 1974, the model was dropped from the basic range, but was given a new lease of life in the mid 1980s in the Super GT range, which was a cost-reduced range.  After that, it was retired.  

The other model I am diving back to this time is from the Mattel era. The '99 Ford Mustang Police. They launched a hardtop and convertible in 1999 both using the same casting, but featuring a roof that ran over the top to make a hardtop look, or just as a window.  In 2000, they took this one step further by adding a triang roof light to the roof and giving it the MAN number MB460.  It debuted as part of the first series of the Collectibles D.A.R.E. series.  It was based on a real vehicle being used in Sikeston, MO.  

A secondary D.A.R.E. themed model was also released.  This was in 2001, in a D.A.R.E. 5-pack in maroon.  However, this was not based on a real D.A.R.E. vehicle in use, and they decided to give this a LoPro light bar.  

As was the case at the time, any change to a casting warranted a new MAN number, and this was assigned MB509.  I did notice that the position of the light bar was different between the 2 bars.  The LoPro being a little further forward. I wonder if they had 2 separate castings in full for these.  

MB509 was also a part of a Launcher set as well that year. The Fire Boat set saw this yellow and red example.  

In 2002, it saw another Launcher release.  Mission H20 saw a black MB509 included.  

The original MB460 casting was utilized for one more outing, in a premium True Heroes 4-pack that was exclusive to Target stores in the USA.  This is still one of my favourite looks on a police car.  Reminiscent of the NYPD theme, but an original Matchbox design.  One day we might see another in this look. The True Heroes set was sold through the Matchbox Collectibles side of the brand at the time, and therefore was a fully detailed and rubber-wheeled model.  

Mission H20 was brought back for another outing in 2003.  The same models were included, but in alternate colours.  The Mustang had flipped from black to white.  

There is a rare variant of it.  An FEP run was made with red windows (and no blue in a part of the side design), but although this was switched to clear and added the blue, the FEP run was quite large, and they slipped them out anyway.  They are not easy to find now.  But this proved to be the end of the Mustang Police.  After 2003, we never saw another outing for either Triang or LoPro roof lighted Police cars. Mattel never utilized any other light styles for it.

And with that, I am done with batch A.  6 of the models were still a part of batch C, and I got through Wheel Collectors.

The other 4 showcased this time were dropped after batch B.  So I showed them on ROW short card.  As mentioned, there is an 11th.  A Super Chase which will be showcased along with batch B shortly.  

So that is me done for another week.  Next week I am going to be back in 2022 for another batch of items.  Until then, have a safe week.

1 comment

  • Charliep

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the weekly blogs, very informative and entertaining. Regarding the models Rivian R1T & Toyota 4Runner – Wouldn’t be less confusing if the year is included above the model number on the blister card?
    Lately we have had one or more model that fail to make it to production on time.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.