Matchbox Monday digs the D Batch Collector

So, here we are with the final 5 new additions to the Matchbox Collectors series.  Sadly, this does mean that numbers 16 and 17 were dropped from the set.  This appears to be a recurring theme with the Collectors (formerly Superfast) series, as they rarely manage to get all releases out for the year.  Quite often, this involves new castings.  They either get delayed or cancelled, but it is too late to switch in something new to take the slot.  But, we still get some really nice new castings, which I will get to shortly, as I begin with what is first numerically.

The MB1139 '16 Chevy Camaro.  It takes the number 14 slot in the series, and marks the second time that this casting has seen a premium outing.  Not that I mind, as I love this car. 

And what makes it even better is that they have released it in a bit of a recurring theme.  I do enjoy themes, and this is an Edelbrock red release.  The best part about this is….

It's a real car.  This is the one that Edelbrock made, and as you can see, the Matchbox model has faithfully reproduced this almost entirely.

Because, about the only thing that they changed was the small writing over the rear wheels has been swapped out for a Matchbox logo (with V6 Supercharger Development under it).  Well, let's face it.  That small writing was never going to work shrunk down to miniature scale.  I think they made the right decision to alter it ever so slightly.

I am loving the little touches high up in the tampo printing.  The black stripes along the upper edge under the side window.  The additional writing on the hood.  The white stripe going up around the front.  Yeah, this model was really given a lot of detailing.

And of course, under the hood is very highly detailed as well.  This is terrific.  I am definitely giving this a 10 out of 10.  A real model with a real look, faithfully depicted (with only understandable minor changes).  You can't go wrong with this one.  

As I mentioned, this is a bit of a recurring theme.  It debuted in the 2022 Moving Parts series, when the MB1166 '54 Henry J Gasser sported the look.

With the MB300 '56 Ford Pickup getting a similar look later in the year as a part of the Local Cruisers series at Walmart (in the USA, other stores in select other countries). 

I do love a recurring theme.  I hope we see more Edelbrock models in coming years. 

I thought I would dive into the casting's history as well. With only 5 models, and 2 being new castings, I am attempting to pad it out a bit.  Ha ha!  This model debuted in the 2019 Moving Parts series, as one of the first models in the new range.  It saw a brown release, followed by a blue release later, due to not having a lot of tooling for the range yet.  

Plus, it was given a Superfast outing as well.  Again, this was a new range, and they were still building up a range of tools, so utilized a few of the same ones as Moving Parts.  This was in green, and was good for a shade variation nutter like me.

Which was also useful when it came to its only 2020 outing.  I am a shade nutter, and with tooling still quite thin on the ground, a number of 2019s were re-issued in 2020.  The blue variant of the Camaro was rolled forward, but I noticed it was a little bit darker than the 2019 issue was.  So, I have 2 of them. 

In 2021, the model again saw 2 outings in the Moving Parts series.  The first was in the number 4 slot, and this was a red release.  As you can see, the red is a much lighter shade than on the new release.  Plus, obviously it is a simple front and rear printed model. Not an Edelbrock!

We also had a white release in the number 15 slot.  

In 2022, the model was sold in black in the Moving Parts series in the number 22 slot.  This year has been the first time that Moving Parts has not seen a Camaro.

It's still an impressive little collection.  Out of all the Moving Parts models created since the 2019 launch, I think this stands as one of the more commonly used models.  It is also one of my favourites, so to me, 7 is not enough.  I still want more!  Ha ha!

And now, we move on to our first new casting in the batch.  The MB1405 '69 Triumph TR6. It takes the number 18 slot in the series, and debuts in a lovely British Racing Green.

Yeah, you might have noticed I forgot to take the “in package” shot.  The package is standard.  I was rushing to get this out.  It is stunning!  The TR6 was a rather unusual model from Triumph.  They had a particular style, but had very little budget to replace the ageing TR4 & TR5.  So, they farmed the styling out to Karmann in Germany.  It was still made in Britain, and all the running gear was created in house, mainly based on the TR5.  It was pretty much unchanged from when they rolled the first one off the production line in September 1968 to when it was replaced by a TR7 in 1976.  The TR7 began in 1974 (as a 1975 model) but they didn't stop the TR6 immediately. It was phased out over a year or so.  

All I can say with this is that Matchbox has done an amazing job with it.  They have created a lovely rendition of the real thing, is if it was simply shrunk down to miniature size.  I am stunned by it.  This may be a Collectors release, but the tampo detailing it still very understated.  More akin to the stuff you see in the Moving Parts series.  

It gets a simple front and rear print, as we often see.  The sides have simply wrapped a little of the side indicator, rear light stretching around, and the door handle and lock are depicted.  That's it!  But, that's all it needs.  Coupled with the British Racing Green and the tan interior (mimicking the tan leather look that was popular at the time), and you have an amazing finish product.  Even the wheels are simple.  A new design, which is very similar to the basic plastic disk wheels used for basic range/Moving Parts classics and utility, but these are a 2-part build with real rubber tyres around them.  It just gets better and better.

And then you get the opening hood.  Yes, this is the way it opens.  It is a perfect fit when closed, and will stay up when opened.  It is easy to pop up as well.  Very important.  They have done a fantastic job there.  But, look closer.

That's a metal engine component in there.  A different and unique part inside the model.  That was unexpected.  Especially, as there is another part.

Because this has chrome bumpers front and rear.  But, that chrome is not used anywhere else.  Which means, this is a 7-piece construction (not including wheels).  Base, chrome insert, interior, window, body, bonnet (UK vehicle, UK way of saying it) and engine.  That's a lot of parts.  I am hoping this will also be able to see Moving Parts action, and not be limited to just premium releases.  I mean, this is way too good to see limited outings.  They have put so much effort into it, and it really shows.  I absolutely love it.  An easy 10 out of 10 from me.  I hope to see many, MANY more of these over coming years.  

Finishing off, as always for a new casting, a base shot to finish.  I love that we now have a Triumph car.  I want to see more.  In fact, I already mentioned the one I would love to see.  The TR7.  Yes, I want the wedge!  Hardtop, basic range, I think, to balance out the moving parts/convertible one.  

Now, I mentioned the Triumph having 7 parts, but hoping for use in Moving Parts, because next up, we have the other new casting.  But this, it will see outings in the Moving Parts series.  This is a premium exclusive.  The MB1409 '12 Lexus LFA.

This is because it has a metal base.  Yes, I begin with the base shot here. The reason for that is that the Matchbox guys have stated that they intend to build up a small group of models with metal bodies and bases to use in premium outings.  We saw the MB1406 '54 Jaguar D-type and MB1407 Porsche 910 already, as both debuted in batch B.  And now, the Lexus joins them as a premium exclusive model.

So, is this worth being a premium exclusive?  Well, do any? I can't see any significance in one model or another being made a premium exclusive.  It is a pretty unique vehicle.  I mean, I have never seen one in real life.  However, there might be a good reason for that.  It was made between 2010 and 2012.  That was it.  During those years, they made a total of 500 examples.  Out of those 500, only 499 have been sold to date (officially).  Yes, although they made 500, they still had inventory to sell for years.  Every year from 2013 to 2020 they were still selling random models as new.  By the end of 2020, there was one model left to sell.  It is in Australia.  In mid 2023, the dealership where it sits, gathering dust, officially bought it themselves, due to Australian laws.  If it was still unsold as of July 2023, then legally, they would no longer be able to sell it. So the dealership purchased it themselves, to register it.  But, it still sits at that dealership, waiting for somebody to want it.  That is a shame. But, this was the problem.  It was quite expensive.  And other vehicles were around that could do similar things for less money.  It was a tough sell.  Especially as Lexus are not known as a sports car company.  There is no planned replacement for it.  But as a miniature, it does look very cool. 

And, unlike the Porsche 910 and Jaguar D-type, this does also include opening features.  Those doors open.  Smoothly as well. 

When closed, they are a pretty good fit.  However, is that front gap just fractionally too large?  We have seen it on a few models.  That is the only thing I can honestly complain about.  The rest of this casting is fantastic.  They have done another stellar job.  

And I also love these tampo prints.  Again, quite a simple print.  But, the model didn't need to be overloaded.  They look a little unusual when I zoomed in for the picture, but these rear lights look amazing when I am simply holding the model in my hand.  

And the front is perfect as well. I cannot knock the tampo printing.  This is how I would have wanted this to look.  And white was a pretty obvious first choice.  I think it was the most common colour for the real vehicle. But, there are others.  Yellow, orange, red, bright green, blue, black…. The list goes on.  There are plenty of options for more very realistic releases in the future.

Those doors are barely noticeable. I am not going to mark them down.  I am going to give this a 10 as well.  Yes, I am being generous.  I did contemplate a quarter point knock off.  But, we are getting close to Christmas.  Maybe the festive cheer is getting to me.  No, I am not on the eggnog already! Before, I move on to the next model, I just wanted to say, these wheels are so cool as well.  Simple 5-spokes, on real rider rubber rims.  Perfect!

Ooh!  The MB734 ‘70 VW T2 Bus returns!  I have been waiting for this model to make another outing for a good few years now.  Especially when the MB1145 ’59 VW Microbus arrived (back in 2019, only used twice, but is returning in 2024), I did wonder if this casting was doomed.  Particularly due to the 5-part build.  Something they don't do much of in the basic any more.  I thought this might be phased out and that used in its place.  I am glad to see I was wrong.  Taking the number 20 slot in the series, it sports a lovely brown design.  

As you can see, this is a 2-tone brown.  A very '70s vibe.  We see the metallic golden brown accentuated with the dark brown side and front section, with a few other shades of brown pin striping the side.  A white roof, white stripe under the doors, and just look at those wheels!  The perfect wheels on this.  Is it me, or are we getting some stellar wheels in this batch?  

The rear gets a simple lights details and a 70 years nod to the licence plate.  A lovely end to the model.  But, I did want to point out a little extra detailing.  Especially for those who don't open things.  I believe there are people who do things like that.  Each to their own.  Ha ha!  The side you see in the package sports a little flower symbol at the back end of the tampo printing on the side. 

But, when you flip the model around.  That side design is a little different.  A white flower, and a Matchbox 70 logo.  That's a fun little bonus.  Especially for those who open things.  I love it! So, another 10.  I have no other option here. This is a lovely casting (I have always felt that), and this release is a great one.  Out of the premiums, this is definitely up there.  I think I need a dive back.  This has a good one.  

So, we go back to 2008.  This model debuted in the year that the basic range split 3 ways.  The US market had 100 models, and Latin America (LAAM) had a selection of 75 out of the 100, with other ROW markets getting a different selection of 75 out of the 100. However, LAAM did not get this.  It was MB79 in the US and MB55 in the ROW market only, in its debut look of plain orange, with front and rear detail.  I did notice the orange was great for shades.  

And we also saw a 2008 Toy Fair model, in what I still classify as the best look ever on this model.  I just love all the fun they had with tampo prints all over the casting.  

2008 also saw the model used as a dinner model at the Albuquerque Gathering.  Much has been said about the models used that year.  This, as well as the Cadillac Sedan DeVille, are all going a little funny.  The metallic paint is prone to bubbling, and the tampo print is flaking off all by itself.  Mine is suffering quite badly. Some said it was down to me opening it and exposing it to the air, until others who had them still sealed started reporting the same issue.  However, it is looking to be going at different speeds for different people, and some are barely seeing anything wrong with theirs (so far).  

In 2009, the basic range saw 2 looks for the model.  Again, both were simple, and again the LAAM market was ignored.  MB94 US was also MB65 ROW.  

The model was also used as a send-away promotional model for the 40th Anniversary of Superfast.  It came in gold and black, and this was also a look that was good for shades.  Even though it was a mail in model, I still managed to obtain lighter and darker shades.  I had a deal with somebody to obtain these. It wasn't pure luck. 

In 2010, they finally allowed the LAAM market to get in on the basic range action.  MB79 US/MB13 ROW was also MB36 LAAM.  This was a green Sportsman Lodge look for the model.  

The model was also included in the Adventure all-exclusive 10-pack.  It came in a light blue with a Sport Fishing Experience design.  I did notice that some models were coming out in a very pale shade compared to others.  

It was also given 2 other blue outings.  The Lesney Edition series ran for 2 years, and models in the series all sported metal bases.  The VW was in year 1 in blue with a white upper half, and is pretty heavy compared to others.  I do not know if the metal base is still around.  Obviously, it wasn't used for the new issue.  We also saw another blue issue in a Disney Movie licensed 5-pack.  

Not content with 3 blue outings in 2010, for 2011, the model was also given a blue look for the basic range.  This year saw them attempt to keep models in the same slots as the previous year as much as they could.  This, well, it saw the same number for all 3 markets.  MB79 US, MB36 LAAM and MB13 ROW.  It came with a Blue Horse Trainers side design.  

It then went orange elsewhere.  A Camping Adventure 5-pack saw a lovely shade variation for the nutter like me.  I didn't see a shade to the Go Diego Go licensed 5-pack release.

After 4 years, the model was dropped from the basic range, and things started quietening down.  2012 only saw the one outing.  This red model was a part of the Outdoor Sights 5-pack.

2013 did see 2 outings.  A Mission Force UFO Crew set saw a black model with a UFO Tracker design.  I always thought this was a fun model.  It was also included in the 60th Anniversary sereis, in black with a 60 logo on the rear.  Having it with a 70 logo on the side is a fun little piece of printing.  After this, the model was laid to rest for a while.  

Because, until we saw this model pop up, the only other release over the last 10 years has been this grey model in the Best of series in 2017.  This is why I thought they were replacing it when the '59 Microbus debuted in 2019.  Too many parts for a basic.  The other designed with moving parts.  I am so happy to see it continue to get outings. I know there is a carry forward basic being used in a 2024 VW set. So, I am even more happy.  

Which brings me to the last model in the batch.  The MB1263 '88 Chevy Monte Carlo LS. It comes in blue as number 21 in the set.  

Okay, from the side, this doesn't look too bad.  I like the shade of blue, and it sports a simple silver stripe along the bottom.  We get door handle and lock detailing (much like the Triumph).  However, I am not the biggest fan of those particular wheels.  They are a little blingy for my taste.  It's a shame they didn't use the same wheels as the Lexus.  

Then we get to the top.  It has a bit of a custom car wrap design.  Many stripes going over the top.  Now, the thing is, these are a little bit tough.  To some, they will love things like this.  Custom car wraps are fairly popular.  Some people like things like this, as it makes their car stand out.  Getting them in miniature will therefore, also work.  But, I am in the other camp. I prefer the simple looks.  Fresh from the factory style.  In all the cars I have owned, I have never added anything to the exterior, or changed anything.  It hasn't had any decals or wraps.  No fancy spoilers or skirts.  It has never been lowered (or highered).  It has never had any changes made to the exhaust, or the engine mapping system.  I like my cars as they come from the factory.  Until you get inside.  I do add personal touches inside.  But, from the outside, it looks like any other car on the road.  I like them like that.  Which also translates to the miniatures.  I do prefer stock looks. But I do appreciate the efforts in coming up with something a little unique and different.  This is not a bad design.  In fact, with me being a collector for many years, I see a lot of similarities to the 2006 Streakers models they did in the Superfast range.  It's what it reminds me of.  

The front and rear see simple lights, badge, grille details added.  Perfectly stock there.  

And I do like the blue interior.  It is tough to score this one.  It is not exactly my sort of look, but as far as the look itself goes, I think it is very well done.  I like that they tried something a little different.  Sure, simple front and rear detailing works on the Moving Parts releases.  But, we know they can do a little more for the premium outings, but on a model like this, that really only gave them one route to take.  I appreciate the effort, and I think I will be scoring this an 8.  I kept changing my mind.  7, 8, 7, 8, feeling generous with Christmas coming.  8 it is.  Seriously, there is no eggnog in sight.  

I mean, I doubt I will ever see anything that will match that debut.  When it launched in the 2021 Moving Parts series as number 12 in a plain black, I was blown away.  It was, and still is, one of my favourite releases of any car from the 2020s. This was a perfect debut, and anything that follows will feel like it's playing catchup.  

The 2022 Moving Parts number 30 issue in gold. Catchup!  Bonus point for finding a shade.  Ha ha!  

For 2023, it moves to premium.  Still catchup. It will always be catchup.  I still look forward to seeing more of them.  Hopefully another Moving Parts in 2024, as it was not in the 2023 series.  

Which brings me to the end of the batch.  4 out of the 5 models have moving parts.  Bonus!  2 of them are doors, 2 expose the engines.  

And 2 of the models are new castings.  Both really well done.  Especially the Triumph.  Did I tell you I like the Triumph?  Ha ha!

With 3 models seeing further outings.  One a small group, another medium group, and a final model with a lot of older outings.  

Next week, I notice that it is Christmas.  I do intend to still show something.  However, I am currently not 100% sure how we are going to be uploading it.  It may appear the day before, on the day, or the day after.  I will keep people updated on my Instagram page, as I had a few random things to run through before I work through the last 2 basic and last Moving Parts batches of 2023.  Until then, I hope everybody has a safe and festive week.

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.