I really enjoy the Matchbox Moving Parts series. But I am still finding the batches can be somewhat small at times. They only come in boxes of 8. I don't know why. Some batches may only see 5 new releases. The extra 3 will either be duplicates, or carry forwards from previous batches. When it comes to basic range models, in the US range, they come in boxes of 24. ROW markets in boxes of 72. These are marketed at roughly twice the cost, so to me, they should be in boxes half the size. 12 for the US and 36 for ROW markets. Then we could get more variety. I also want to see the range expand. I mean, we have slipped just above 50 now, with the inclusion of the chases. But, I would love to see this get a traditional 75-series order for each year. I think they have now built up the toolbank to accommodate a range of 75. All that aside, I am here to talk about this batch, which has been kindly sent to me by Wheel Collectors, as the UK still does not sell them. Officially!
2 of the models are carry forwards from older batches. The Bentley was originally in batch A, with the Ford F-100 coming from batch C. I can spot no differences in the models from their previous runs. The Bentley did sport shades of grey originally, so this is simply another on the darker side of charcoal.
Batch D sees just the one new casting, and this is doubled up in the assortment as well. I do think it is a good idea to duplicate new castings, as these often garner more attention simply for being new. And if you think about it, the 2 carried forward from previous batches were also brand-new castings. This is the MB1386 '64 Buick Riviera. It takes the number 19 slot in the series of 54.
The Riviera was launched in late 1962 as a 1963 model in a segment in the USA known as “personal luxury car”. First coined about the second generation Ford Thunderbird, when it launched in 1958, transforming from a 2-seater to a 4-seater, it took until 1962 before Studebaker (with the Avanti) and Buick (with this), launched their competitors, with many more following during the '60s. The Riviera took its name from the Italian word for coastline, and evokes the thrill of the French Riviera. It was originally used as a variant of the Roadmaster in 1949, but became its own model with this release. Daft fact, when GM saw the Thunderbird selling so well, they were going to go with a Cadillac personal luxury car, but Cadillac passed. So they opened it up to the rest to come up with ideas, and Buick won. Buick sales were flagging, and this was the kick they needed. And got! Total sales for the 1st generation (1963-65) were 112,244. It was a success. It ran through 8 generations, with the 1999 year being the final one, as coupe sales were flagging by the 1990s.
So why a 1964? This is the middle year of 3 for the 1st generation. From the front, the 1965 is easy to spot, as the dual headlights were moved and hidden. So we know it is not that .
However, one of the few visual clues that separate 1963 and 1964 Rivieras is a small stylized “R” in the rear lights. It was added for the 1964 year. As you can see in the rear shot of this one, there is the R in the middle of the lights. So, yes, this is one that really needs to be tampo printed. But I like that they went to the trouble. It is a really nice casting.
Low and sleek. Beautifully opening doors. They have done wonders creating this casting. I did look at some pictures of real vehicles, and this pin striping on the side is spot on! They have captured the real vehicle so well. I am extremely impressed.
I am impressed with the additional pin striping added to the tops of the doors on this as well. They have done a stellar job with this casting. Definitely one of the best ones of the year to date.
An easy 10 out of 10 in my eyes. I am very happy to see more Buicks. Did you know that this is the first time that Matchbox has sold multiple Buicks in the same year in miniature? This is only the 5th Buick casting to date. An old Le Sabre ran during the Universal/Tyco years. A Century Police debuted in 2012 and was last seen in 2018. A Riviera Convertible arrived in Moving Parts in 2019, saw another outing in 2020 and is now back this year. And the Skylark debuted in 2021 and is still going. As I said, the first year we have seen more than 1 Buick. It's about time it saw more uses. Debuting in 1899, this company has been around a long time. It was also the founding company of General Motors in 1908. So, it is an important one. We have a Roadmaster coming in 2024, and I am hoping for more. Perhaps a 1988 Reatta?
Oh, new casting. Base shot. For those who are interested.
The MB1309 Mazda MX-30 is next up. Another manufacturer that, until recently, had not been used much by Matchbox. These last few years have seen a significant up tick in the Mazda castings debuting. This is number 23 in the series for 2023 and comes in a lovely dark red.
Mazda refers to this as “soul red crystal”. It is a genuine colour option on real cars. It transfers to the small scale very well. Although I do have a few reservations over the way that they have marked out the front sensors with grey rings. They are not so obvious on the real vehicle. This is where they are, but in this size, they do look a little weird. The rest looks stellar. They have captured the lights and grille section wonderfully, and the lower end is made up of plastic in dark grey on the real car, so this is a perfect replication.
Obviously, being an SUV, they do tend to look alike from the sides. Although the way the doors are marked out is quite unusual. Mazda came up with a distinctive look on this car, and Matchbox did a great job with bringing that down to small scale. And this time out, the red really enhances it all.
The rear sees simple lights and badges depicted. Which, as the rear opens, means it is done to both the rear of the body, and again with the opening section.
Which, when opened, does reveal either a set of luggage, or a dog asleep in the back. The goal, as a maniacal collector, is to obtain both with each release.
I think this is a much nicer release than the 2022 debut. The number 4 from last year in a pale blue. Although the front sensors didn't seem to be as noticeable on that release.
There was a 70th Anniversary orange, but that was a slightly unusual release. These 2 do follow the exact same tampo printing, which is something I do enjoy. But, with that sensor detailing, I am giving this a 9 out of 10. Harsh? Yup!
Hell, yeah! The MB1310 '20 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is back. Although when it debuted last year, there was no mention of Hellcat on the package. Upgrade? It is number 39 in the set.
Dodge calls this Frostbite. It is a really cool light blue shade. Is it me, or is that a little Hellcat logo on the side? Small touches that make a difference.
There's that Hellcat logo again. And on the licence plate. They really like their Hellcat stuff here. I think this looks amazing.
I did notice that the engine bay is not detailed. I wonder if this is down to the added side prints. They might be maxing out on the passes allotted to the model. Not that I mind. I can live with not seeing a detailed engine bay. The casting is still well detailed. I still give it a 10 out of 10.
This looks really cool next to last year's debut orange. The number 10 was a great starter. But I think I might prefer this one.
Although that one did have the Hellcat logo on the back. Not on the sides, though.
This is a 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat. Back in 2020, Matchbox sold the MB1168 Dodge Charger in the basic range in blue. Similar, but a little darker. This looks to be more a B5 Blue.
For a little fun, I thought I would bring in the pre-production sample of the MB759 Dodge Challenger I own. The Challenger never had a similar shade in production, but this prepro is pretty close.
Anyway, time to move on. The MB1144 BMW i8 is up next. Purple? Yep. Twilight purple to be exact. This was something that BMW released the real i8 in, so why not in miniature as well. The model is in the number 48 slot for 2023.
This is something unique. I currently have 292 examples of Matchbox BMWs in my collection. This is the only purple one. I can't believe they have never released one before. I think it looks amazing.
It really enhances the look of the model. This is the best looking “moving parts” version of this casting to date. Actually, just looking at the colour, I would say the best i8 of them all. Across both castings.
It has done enough to draw my attention away from the fact that with the unusual build, in that they wanted those doors open, you can't see inside.
Unless you physically open those doors. I still prefer the basic casting over this, but now I just want to see a purple basic range release.
Even though I love the final look, I still can't give this a 10. That lack of seeing inside still bugs me. And the way those doors fit is not the best. They are plastic, against a metal body, and the fit is not the greatest, and colour matching is quite tough between the different elements. But I love the purple. I'm giving it an 8.
Had it been on the MB1093 casting, it would have been an easy 10. Yeah, I am being tough now. I was noticing I was giving everything a 10. The Mazda lost one mark for 1 thing (the front sensors being too blobby), but this has the lack of seeing inside and ill fitting doors. 2 things. But, as I have the models out, let's do a dive back. This basic casting debuted as MB4 in the 2018 basic range.
Since then, the basic casting has not seen any basic range action. For 2019, the newer casting arrived in Superfast, in the number 2 slot.
Although we did also see the basic casting as a Target 35th Anniversary special. These were mixed in with basic range issue at the store, so you could technically argue it was a basic range release.
2020 saw nothing. 2021 saw the Collectors series receive an orange premium release.
With the basic casting seeing one more release in white as a part of the Stars of Germany series.
We saw our first Moving Parts series release for the model in 2022, as this charcoal arrived in the number 36 slot. This is the second Moving Parts release.
Which does now mean that the model with opening doors has now taken the lead in releases. We have 4 unique looks, compared to 3 on the sealed door casting. I am hoping for another basic, to even things up again. Ha ha!
This leads me to the final model in the batch. The MB1323 '75 Mitsubishi Lancer Celeste. It takes the number 49 slot in the 2023 series in year 2 of existence.
And I had 2 of them. This is Jamaica Brown Metallic, and was a Mitsubishi option in the 1970s. One of a number of browns that they provided as options at the time. It was the 1970s. Brown was cool.
The model sports front and rear tampo, as well as a little black pin striping down the sides. It is all so well done, and as I pointed out when the model debuted last year, it was a cracking casting to boot.
Unlike the Charger, this one does get the engine detailed. Very impressive work, getting so much out of the tampo details. I am seriously impressed with this. I do feel a very 1970s vibe to it. Job well done. I can't fault it. 10 out of 10..
And of course, I have 2 due to the model sporting an interior variation. LHD or RHD.
Which you may remember means it either comes with or without ridges in the rear. There are only 2 interior parts. So only the 2 variations.
This model is sporting the same tampo printing as last year's debut. This was the Moving Parts number 14, but also included in the Japanese only set as J-11. The yellow model was a lovely debut, but again, I am preferring the new look. It feels more '70s to me.
I am loving the consistency.
Right down to the detailing of the engine bay. This is a stellar release, and definitely worthy of another 10 out of 10 from me.
I believe that is the end of another report. 5 vehicles. 2 US vehicles, one classic and one modern. Both perfect scores from me.
With a 10, 9 and 8 going to the other 3. 47 out of 50. Final score. That still pretty good. I would still love to see this range extended, and more models added to each batch. 5 was just too small.
Oh wait. Is there something extra? Sadly, Wheel Collectors never got this in their delivery, but batch D did provide us with a 6th model. A Super Chase. The MB1306 '19 Ford Mustang Convertible. Surprise. I did manage to get one. A little late, but I decided to tag it onto the batch it did come in. The Super Chase models are numbered 51 through 54, and this being the second one means it is 52.
It looks absolutely stunning in black with a grey stripe going over the top.
Plus, it sports the Ford Performance detailing down the sides, which also include a little red, white and blue striping.
Being a Super Chase means that it sports some real rider wheels, and more tampo detailing beyond what we normally see. Plus, I spot the SC licence plate. This thing is gorgeous. I just wish it wasn't so tough to find. 10 out of 10 easily. That brings us to 57 out of 60.
And that truly is it for this batch. I hope you enjoyed my run-down. That is it for this week. But next week will be busier. Expect the Leipzig Auction C items to appear on the Lamley blog on Saturday, as the auction goes live Sunday, leading out of the convention. Then, Monday will see me running through the promotional issues from the event. Spoiler alert, they are awesome! Until then, I hope you all have a safe and happy week.