Matchbox Monday "D"-lights us with another basic range batch

This week on Matchbox Monday, I will have a look at batch D of the 2023 basic range.  This batch has been provided to me by Wheel Collectors (thanks guys), which means that I am not showing off the additional Target exclusive red edition.  I will get to that one at a later date.  I can't believe I am basically one third of the way through the 2023 basic range already.  Especially as last week I was running through some 2022 items.  Yes, I am all over the place.  A lot depends on the timing of when items come in.  I can't photograph what I don't have yet.  Anyway, let's get on with the show.

So where do I start?  Number 1!  Obviously.  Ha ha!  For some people, they may be scratching their heads.  Yes, the MB1299 '20 Audi E-tron is in the mix.  I mention this, as for some reason, it was not included in short card assortments for ROW markets.  It only appeared in batch D in the US markets on long card.  ROW short cards do get it in batch E, so don't worry.  

This is the model's second outing in the basic range.  For the 2023 model year, it comes in metallic silver.  I think Audi calls this Floret Silver.  As we know and love, this model sports a simple front and rear tampo design.  But do you see something on the wheel.  Or should I say in the wheels.  It is something I have been noticing lately.  Many axles seem to be a little long. This means that wheels can often stick out quite far at times.  You push them in, but the axle still sticks out a little.  I don't know the reason behind it.  Perhaps it is a safety concern, or allows a model to roll along a bit better.  Maybe it is simply something that means production is faster.

You can't go wrong with this type of look.  A real vehicle, in a real colour, with proper lights depicted.  This is the way (as the Mandalorian might say).  I think this looks lovely.  And what is even better?

This model is in batch E.  Wheel Collectors sent me over another from batch E, and this is a different shade to the original.  Bonus!  Thanks guys.  It turns out that a gap between production runs is doing wonders on this model.  

R48 for the lighter batch D model, and S06 for the darker batch E model.  That is an 8-week gap between the 2.  Early batch D vs late batch E maybe?  

I only found one shade to the blue in 2022.  This silver is good for me.  Both are lovely in Matchbox terms.  A very nice model.  

As is the MB1168 '18 Dodge Charger.  I was a little curious whether a Moving Parts Charger arriving in 2022 might mean the end of the basic.  No, it did not.  But as I did point out when it debuted, it was a different variant of the Charger, so I was hopeful this would continue.  It is taking the MB13 slot in the 2023 series.

It comes in black.  Every car seems to look good in black.  There is something about that colour that just suits a car. I am extremely impressed with this release.

Again, a simple front and rear tampo print with Charger on the licence plate.  Nice clear windows.  Yep, this is a sweet looking ride.I think it might be the nicest one released so far.  

Oh, does that mean a dive back?  Yes.  The 2019 MB2 debut was this F8 green.  Yeah, that is what they call.  I have no idea what F8 means, but this is what Dodge calls this shade of green.  

The 2020 MB15 was in blue, which is close to the "Frostbite" option that Dodge has.  

The 2021 MB55 was known as Burn Out Grey by Dodge.  

With 2022 giving us 2 releases.  Hellraisin is the official name for the purple Charger, found in the basic range as MB52.  And yes, I found a nice shade on it.  With Octane Red being a part of the Walmart (in the USA, and others in different countries) Dodge Series.

And now it goes pitch black.  That's the colour name.  So all of these releases have real-life counterparts.  Yellow Jacket, Go Mango, Torred and White Knuckle all look great, and I feel could all make a case for being a future release.  I am still not ready to give this up.  The Moving Parts version is a Hellcat.  This is a regular Charger.  They can co-exist for years.  At least, I hope so.  I love this model, and am not ready to see it fade away yet.  

And now we move on to the MB1294 '49 Kurtis Sport Car.  This unusual little car takes the MB46 slot in the 2023 range.  

The Kurtis Sport Car was a very limited production run of 18 (out of 36 planned) and dark blue is one of the colours chosen for the model at the time.  So this is an excellent representation of a real model.

As we saw with the debut issue in 2022, this model features tampo printing on the front and rear of the body, but then has the chrome section added after, giving us that really deep rear end.  So lovingly done.  I do enjoy these oddballs. And I think the Kurtis has a good few looks left to give us.

This is only its second outing.  It debuted as MB28 in the 2022 basic range, at the start of the year (it was in the first batch), Some chrome grilles came out with a blackness to the insert, with others being pure chrome.  I haven't heard of a blackness to this year's being found.  I think we have some nice looks to come.  Obviously Frank Kurtis' own car. It was a dark green one.  Then there is the first one.  The original vehicle was silver.  We also have yellow ones, although they don't tend to have the chrome down the sides.  But you know what?  I think this would look great in black.  Because, it's black.  Anyway, I am looking forward to seeing where they take this for the next issue.  

Recurring themes.  The next model in the list is seeing the early signs of a new recurring theme.  It is one that Michael Heralda came up with.  In a 5-pack.  And now we are getting a basic range model to join in.  Yes, I see this as the start of something good.  The MB742 '08 Garbage Truck, or as it is known now, Garbage King!  It is MB61 in the 2023 basic range.  

The grey and yellow look is excellent.  I like the simple Matchbox Construction logo, with a figure to the side.  

This is unit number 9 in the collection of these. And I am already looking forward to seeing more of these turning up in coming years.  I really enjoy a recurring theme.  

I also enjoy shades, and again, Wheel Collectors sent me over another from batch E which has a darker orange rear section to it.  

This model looks great with the 4 that came out already in the 5-pack.  Yes, the MBX Construction pack that arrived earlier this year contained 4 models in the same design.  The MB710 Dump Truck, MB924 Chevy Silverado 1500, MB1176 MBX Backhoe and MB1289 Road Roller.  

So with the new model being unit 9, it joins units 2, 3, 4 and 5 to make a quintet.  The other model in the 5-pack was a Scraper, but this was a carry forward from a 2012 Construction 5-pack, except with a casting change in the interim.  I am not 100% sure why they did it that way?  But they did.  But with no Unit 1, or anything from 6-8, I see potential for more.  Plus, why stop at 9?  This can go up and up.  In fact, just as I am finishing this report, a new 5-pack is just starting to turn up in the USA which features more of these, with numbers in double digits.  Yes, growing already....

This is another of those models that is in a continuing theme.  Except, this theme does appear to be a little under the radar.  The MB954 Highway Maintenance Truck, or Plow Master 6000 as they refer to it nowadays.  It is in the MB64 in the series for 2023.  

It is hard to believe that this casting has been with us since 1990.  It has seen a few revisions over the years to keep it within cost parameters, which recently included a change to the lower rear, turning it into a part of the window section.  As we know, when it first arrived, it was a Chevy C60/65/70 Heavy Duty Truck, and the Chevy bow-tie adorned the front grille.  That was the first thing to be adjusted.  Then the plow went, returned as a part of the base, and now the latest change sees this now in its fourth decade of use.  Honestly though, it can continue for many more years.  It still works.  

This latest version sees the yellow Matchbox City Road Maintenance livery, which has been seen on a number of vehicles recently.  This being unit 6.  I do enjoy recurring themes, so I cannot fault this look.  And it seems like this is a bit of a late addition to it.  A highway maintenance truck in a road maintenance livery.  It fits perfectly.  

As I had just shown one Road Roller, I thought why not bring in another here.  The 2022 debut was another of the recurring theme.  Unit 9.  I did run through others in the series last year when I showcased the Road Roller.  I will not bother again here.  But I like this.  I am waiting to see more.

Which brings us to the one new casting that arrived in the batch.  The MB1353 '16 Nissan Sentra.  It takes the Mb70 slot in the series for 2023 and debuts in blue.

This, to me, was a bit of a left-field choice.  Not that this is an average road car.  That part I love!  This is one of the things I like the most about Matchbox, that they are not afraid to make models of average vehicles.  It doesn't have to be a flashy sports car.  It doesn't need a huge spoiler.  We don't need every pickup truck.  We don't need to include other vehicles that are very unusual or quirky.  Sometimes, a completely standard, stock, road vehicle, the sort you will commonly see on the road, is just perfect.  And for that reason, I am absolutely loving that they include this one.  No, the thing that got me is that this is a facelifted version of the previous generation of Sentra, and that they didn't go with the current generation.  

The model itself looks fantastic.  It appears very well crafted.  Now, I don't live in North America, and this vehicle is not sold in Europe.  So I personally am not somebody who will see this on a regular basis.  But, checking out pictures of the real one, I think they did a terrific job in recreating it in miniature.  This is exactly how I want a Matchbox model to be.  

The debut blue look looks amazing, with nice clear windows and front/rear detailing.  For those who didn't know, this is a recreation of the "deep blue pearl" paint, that Nissan debuted for the 2016 model year as a part of the facelifted model. It joined another 9 colour options, which I hope are in the pipeline for upcoming releases. These are Red Alert, Brilliant Silver, Super Black, Aspen White, Gun Metallic, Graphite Blue, Titanium, Cayenne Red and Fresh Powder (which is a solid white compared to Aspen white which is pearlescent).  

I don't think the Sentra came with a sunroof, so the model doesn't.  

So yes, another stellar debut of a new casting.  I love it.  I think it has quite a few supporters, as I see many like to talk about it.  I am wondering, after last year seeing a 2012 BMW debut, and this year a 2016 Nissan debut, are they just looking at creating models across all decades now?  No decade being currently off the table?  It is a slightly different approach, as we used to just see new vehicles, or classics.  But how far back does the term "classic" start?  Maybe they are just creating a range from all the decades to showcase more of a range.  Especially as vehicles are more and more turning into general facsimiles of each other.  

Oh yeah, new casting.  Base shot!  Oh, it is an ICE vehicle. A traditional Matchbox base here, with various exhaust and other parts depicted.

Oh, and this one is shady as well. I am doing quite well with finding shades for this batch.

Now we move on to a Tesla.  Which one is this? The MB1280 Model Y!  I have to be honest.  I am having trouble distinguishing between the Model X and Model Y in miniature.  In real life, they are quite different.  But once shrunk down, with both being crossover SUVs, and Tesla's signature front end, they start to look quite alike.  

It is MB89 in the 2023 range in pearl white.  As is the case with all of the Tesla models that have appeared to date, it comes with a simple front and rear detailing, and you cannot go wrong with that.  

White appears to be quite a popular colour for Teslas, and as such, this fits in perfectly.  But then it only comes in 5 colours.  We have already had red and grey.  That only leaves blue and black to finish it off.  I wonder what they will do after that? Although, I believe Tesla are starting to look at more colour options.  I have heard something about a cherry red being used in their Berlin factory for European purchasers.  Hopefully, this does mean that more colours are coming.  Something more for Matchbox to paint the models up in.  

The best part about painting models in pearl white.  When you find a model from the end of the paint tree (the point where the paint sprayer switches direction), those end of the tree models get a little extra paint.  This gives them a seriously creamy look.  I found one.  I had to!

As I had done it last year with the Tesla Model X on the left here.  No wait, right.  I don't know.  There are 2 Model X and 2 Model Y shades there.  Wait, I have it.  X is right.  The Tesla logo site further down on the X. Oh, and if we check the roof, you can make out the markings for the opening gullwing rear doors.  I am getting there, with setting these apart from each other.  

And this brings me to the last model.  The VW Beetle will never die!  I can't believe VW stopped making these in 2019.  Matchbox decided to honour it by making a model of the final look for the Beetle.  Possibly ever!  The MB1218 '19 VW Beetle Convertible comes in red as MB98 for the 2023 range.  

This model is really nice.  I love the red look for it.  Again, this is sporting a simple front and rear tampo design.  Clear windows and a black interior finish it off, and this is just about perfect.

I love the little licence plate on the rear too.  Red VW. On the nose.  Each licence plate is exclusive to the release.  Hmm!  I guess I should recap.

It debuted as MB2 in the 2020 range, in what is known as Stonewashed Blue by VW and had a "Sun & Fun" licence plate.  It was a part of the "final edition" exclusive paint scheme.  Final edition models were given one of 2 exclusive looks.  Stonewashed blue and Safari uni beige.  We have had 1.  Have we had the other?

2021 saw a white model, with a Cali VW plate on the rear.  It was MB27.  Definitely not beige.  

100% not beige.  The 2022 MB14 came in metallic orange and had a VW Life plate.  

So, the one thing I am absolutely loving with this casting, is the exclusive licence plate adorning the rear of the model.  But if I have one request, please can we have one in Safari Uni Beige, please. Yes, I said please twice.  I think this particular colour looks fantastic on the real model, and it was one of the exclusives made for this specific vehicle.  I just feel that Matchbox should really make a model of it.  

And on that note, I am done.  Yes, another batch over and done with.  There was a Target exclusive that came out in the batch.  I don't have it yet, so cannot get it in the report.  It will pop up later.  This batch (outside of the Target exclusive) had 8 models, of which 4 are cars either in year 1 or year 2 in the range.  

With 2 more that have been around a few more years.  But all still pretty new.

The 2 utility vehicles though, they have been around much longer, have seen casting and name changes, but are both coming in recurring themes.  So I am enjoying them just as much now, as I did when they first appeared.  I hope you enjoyed the report.  Next week I go upmarket.  Until then, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.  

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