Matchbox Monday energises the E batch Moving Parts with a Creation

I know I am still a little behind on things.  Batch H has started to appear now (as convoluted as that is), and here I am talking about batch E of the Moving Parts series.  But, with most non-basic or Moving Parts now done, I think I am working a batch of each every 3 weeks for a while, so they will catch up again.  As always, these were sent to me in the UK by Wheel Collectors, as we still don't have a proper outlet for them.  So annoying.  These are my favourite parts of the Matchbox range.  I am adding another Creations to the end of the batch, just to pad things out a little.  I have a number of these odd models, and I thought it would be better to tag them in where appropriate, rather than try and make a big post out of them.  And this seemed to work well here.  So, without any more delay, let's check out some new castings.

Because, this batch of 6 models contains 2 of them.  The first is the MB1376 '21 Fiat 500e.  It takes the number 9 slot in the series.

We do have a Fiat 500 in the basic range.  But that is the regular ICE version.  This is the electric variant.  A little different, particularly along the front end.  I will do a little comparison later.  For now, I will concentrate on this model on its own.  

I admit, I am a sucker for the little cars.  The Fiat 500 is a very small one, although if you were to ever see it side by side with the original 500, it would look massive. They went with the electric version here, as they are attempting to make a certain percentage of the range electric.  I have heard the quantity has about stabilized now, so we will not see as many electric vehicles being added on a yearly basis.  But, we will see more.  

This is one of those vehicles where the only real difference between electric and ICE is that there is no radiator grille on the front, and no exhaust sticking out of the back.  But what we do have at the back is a little opening tailgate.  This reminds me of a classic Renault 5, from when I was growing up, but this is a metal piece.  That was a plastic one.  And it contains a window piece in there.  I remember, with the old Renault, I used the gap in the back to slot my finger in to open it.  But, I have to admit, this is pretty easy to lift as it is.  A very good piece of engineering here.  I notice that the reversing sensors on this appear to be cast into the model itself. I think that is better than on the Mazda MX-30, which was getting them tampo printed on it.  

The question for me is, does this model deserve to have 2 different variations?  One (ICE) in the basic range, and one (electric) in the Moving Parts series.  To be honest, I would say not really.  With so many different vehicles out there, having 2 almost identical across 2 ranges is a waste of resources and space.  The BMW i8 and 2020 Chevy Corvette are 2 that really fit the bill.  They are the exact same vehicle, built with or without a moving part.  This, well, when you buy the model, you are seeing it from the side.  And, well, it's a Fiat 500.  You really have to know your stuff to know the difference between an ICE and electric version.  As kids, do they really care?  They are just seeing a Fiat 500.  I think they should have gone with the Fiat 600. It is also an electric car, but is a little larger, and therefore, giving off a different silhouette in the package.    

Which is really annoying, because I do like this one.  I think it is a very cute model, and has been crafted very well.  I am just not a big fan of 2 very similar models being in 2 ranges.  At the very least, they could have come up with the convertible version of the 500 as an electric car.  Because that I can get behind.  Had the Corvette been a convertible in Moving Parts, I would have loved it.  Had the BMW i8 been a convertible, I would have loved it.  And this is still too close to the regular 500 we have to warrant being included again.  Does that make sense?  Great model.  Had there been no previous 500 in the basic range, I would have given this a 10 out of 10.  But, because there is, I am giving it an 8.  Scored higher because this is not the exact same vehicle, but close enough that you do not notice much in the way of a difference until you put them side by side.

Before I bring in the MB1245 '19 Fiat 500 Turbo, as this is a new casting, I will show off the base, for anyone interested.

I brought in the 2022 basic, as this was also in blue.  A totally different shade of blue.  But, still a blue.  Obviously, the earlier one was a 2019, so there have been a few cosmetic changes made in the interim, but you can see how the major difference at the front it down to the lack of a proper grille, and a slight change in the way they show off the logo.  Nothing major.

Although I am noticing the small details that are being included now.  Window washer fluid pointer on the front, and as mentioned, the addition of the reversing sensors in the back.  But, apart from the rear lights being redefined in the interim, the only difference at the back is the lack of an exhaust.

The good thing is that these have been constructed to the exact same size and scale.  Having them in 2 distinct sizes would have made for things to be even worse.  Thankfully, they are the same.  But, again, the new one has a little extra.  Notice the B-pillar?  Absent on the original, but included here.  This does actually make the older casting look a little flawed now.  It's like they took a model, and then made it better.  But, I honestly didn't think it really needed making better.  They should have gone with a slightly different electric vehicle. 

I love a Mog!  Whenever I see one on the road, I smile.  So adding another model to the Matchbox portfolio is really cool to me.  This is the MB1380 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U5023.  Wait, didn't we have one already?  Yes, in the Jurassic World series.  A different variation with a canopy.  So, although it is of a similar vehicle, it has a different rear end.  So, to me, that is fine. Had this come with a canopy, looking a lot like the other one, I might have been saying something.  

It takes the number 13 slot in the series, and debuts in a cool Polizei theme.  

But this model has something unique.  You can see how there is a front end and a rear end.  Yes, it was made in 2 parts and then clicked together.

Which means that this model pivots.  This is a first for the Moving Parts range.  I know a few models in other ranges have had pivot points before.  A few Scrapers (basic and Working rigs) have seen a pivot point.  Working rigs also has a tractor and a JCB that had pivots.  But so far, nothing in Moving Parts, until now.  

Which does mean this model has a lot of parts.  There are 2 base pieces, 2 lower halves, 2 upper halves.  I am not sure if the window is a part of the lower half of the front, or if this is a 7th piece?  I have not dismantled the model.  Of course, 6 would roughly put it on a par with a regular model with opening doors.  So it has not stretched things too far, but I like that they have come up with this unique look.  

I think they have done a great job with this one.  The detailing is right.  It has that perfect Mog look and the parts fit together well, with only a small gap in between.  Obviously, had there been no gap, it might have been tough to rotate it.  Too much of a gap, and it would have looked bad.  I think they got it just right.

I'm giving it a 10 out of 10.  I think this is a brilliant model.  Likewise, I love the recurring Polizei look.  I know I may be a minority, as I know it has not been a big seller in the USA.  I see a lot of pictures of this pegwarming, which is a real shame. Perhaps they didn't want a Polizei theme.  There are sure to be many more.  I hope this will get a National Parks release soon.   

Okay, so we are done with the new ones.  Let's get on with the new liveries.  4 of these this time, and the first is the MB1310 '19 Ram Ambulance taking the number 26 slot in the series.  

This is a Matchbox originals design, and one that appears to be used quite extensively this year.  I will be showcasing the others very soon, as this is the first of the Matchbox Fire Dept, El Segundo CA liveries.  It almost sounds real, due to the El Segundo name.  But the El Segundo Fire Dept does have a different look.  I think this is pretty clever.  It is a simple look, mainly in yellow.  I think it works very well, and I believe they did a great job coming up with this design.  Plus, as I said, I will be showing off some more of these (the next one will be next week).

I have been noticing that a lot of Moving Parts models are getting a third pass through the tampo machine, so alongside the 2 side prints, we also get the front detailed.  It really does enhance this model.

And of course, the rear doors open up to show off the inside.  I showcased all the Ram Ambulances in my write-up from Albuquerque recently, so I will not do them again.  But what I will do is give this another 10.  For a simple Moving Parts release, and with an original livery, I think this is fantastic.  Plus, it has started a recurring theme.  What more can I add?

We move on to the MB1165 '65 Land Rover Gen II Pickup, which takes the number 32 slot in the series for 2023.  

It comes in beige with a snakeskin style side design.  We also have Jungle Safari X on the doors, and a Land Rover badge to finish it off. There are good and bad point to this, for me.  The good?  Recurring theme!  I love them.  The bad?  Ever since the snakeskin design commenced, I have not been particularly drawn to it.  I admit, I am not a snake fan.  So seeing a livery that is sorting of reminding me of snakes, well, it does sort of put me off.  

I know I always say how cool it is to have recurring liveries, but there are the odd occasions when I wish they would forget one.  Ha ha!  

Being the first time this livery has been used in Moving Parts does mean that the model is also sporting a lovely front end print.  Honestly, that front end is amazing!  I love it!  The colour?  Beige?  Sure, this works really well on the Landie.  I just really can't get into that snakeskin.  A personal preference, I know, but it does put me off.  This is why I am only giving it a 7 out of 10.  Scoring more because it is a recurring theme!

If you are trying to remember, these are the others in the theme.  The original was the other ‘65 Landie.  The MB1184 ’65 Land Rover Gen II Safari.  It was the 2020 basic range release, but also carried forward to the City Adventure III 5-pack in 2022.  

And earlier this year, the MBX Adventure II 5-pack saw the MB805 ‘85 Toyota 4Runner sport the same look.  The original Landie was Unit 3, this being Unit 4, and the new Landie release being Unit 5.  I am sure there will be other units arriving.  They are not going to discontinue this theme because I don’t like it.  

I wouldn't want them to, anyway. But, as a quick rundown of all the Landie Pickups we have seen to date, I will admit, it is my least favourite.  The model debuted in the Collectors series in 2021, in a lovely yellow, with just a sliver of side designs.  I thought it was a great start.

And in 2022, it saw not 1, but 2 Moving Parts releases.  Maroon and orange.  Both sported simple front and rear detailing.  Both were fantastic.  

Of course, I would not expect every Moving Parts release to sport front/rear prints, but there is something I am hoping to see in the future.  In 1965, Lesney actually had a Gen II Pickup in the basic range.  This was in dark green.  I am waiting for them to do a dark green, as a nod to the classic.  Could it be front/rear printed?  Or could it be a clever nod, with a side design paying homage to their being a classic?  Who knows.  I just would like to see a dark green in the future in any case.

Wow!  This one is bright.  The MB1311 ‘95 VW Golf Mk…. Err, did they forget what generation it was when they were making the package? It’s a Mk III (nudge, nudge).  It was right there, on the base.  

This is bright.  Perhaps it blinded them while they were creating the insert.  Why does it remind me of toothpaste?  Am I completely insane?  Don't answer that!  Now, I have been trying to do a little research.  It appears that turquoise was an official colour for the VW Golf, but from what I can see, it was more for the modern Golfs.  The Mk7, the Mk8.  The only Mk3s I can see with this colour, appear to be custom ones.  But they do appear.  So, this is not beyond the realms of realism.  

And let's face it, this model grabs your attention immediately.  It sticks out.  So, in that respect, they have done a great job.  If I was asked what sort of colours we might see this casting come in, turquoise would not be one of them!  And that is thinking outside the box.  Another thing I enjoy seeing from time to time.  

I still feel this model was made a little too large. But, it is a good casting.  The rear opens well, exposing that parcel shelf.

And yes.  Wheel Collectors remembered.  I got both.  With, or without, items in the rear. You know what?  I am going to give this a 10.  It is just so bright.  It will be remembered for years to come.  

Longer than last year's debut will be remembered.  That pales in comparison to this.  Get it?  Because this is so bright?  No?  Oh, why do I bother!

I will keep looking for both variants with each coming release.  I am sure we are in for many more.

The final model in the batch is the MB1262 '78 Subaru BRAT.  It takes the number 44 slot in the series, and comes in blue.

This casting has reverted to the original tampo design across the sides and rear, which was evident on the 2x debut releases.  Which, yes, can be good.

And as much as I like the idea of using the same tampo over and again, I do feel there was a small opportunity missed with this one.  You see, in real life, there are blue ones out there with a slightly different take on the design.

You see, here are pictures of 2 different blue Subaru BRATs, and both are sporting the same side design.  A silver pillar to rear stripe, with a yellow/orange stripe leading it out and under the door.  I think this would have looked even cooler.  They could have ignored the rear section, and just done the side with this design.  How amazing would that have been?

It would have still kept the engine detailing.  2 sides and engine.  Job done.  Perfection.  As it is, I am giving it a 9.  Still a good job, but an opportunity missed.  I am being a little harsh.  As I said, the score is still high, because this is a duplicate tampo from the debuts.  And I cannot fault consistency.  But I can't give everything a 10, especially if I see a way it could have been improved.  

As I said, this does match the debuts.  The red was the first one, in the last 2021 batch of Moving Parts, with white coming very soon after in the second batch of 2022.  

Later in 2022 we saw a black model with a different side design. 

As much as I like this design.  It is real.  It is cool.  Had they gone with the other design as used in real blue BRATs, it could have been even better.  This is not to say I would not want to see this design again.  They did a brown BRAT with cream stripe like this.  That would be so cool. But if they did a cream one, that usually sports a completely different orange and brown side design.    So redoing this design in, perhaps, brown, would not be so cool.  Each individual release would denote which design it gets.  I am still looking forward to seeing what they come up with.  I do love this casting, and this is not an awful job.  It is a great job.  Just not quite perfect.

Which is all of batch E done.  But not this report.  I am tagging in another Mattel Creations release.  This is the 4th 2023 release.  As this appears, the 6th Creations model has just appeared, so I am not far behind on these.

But as there was 1 MB1310 Ram Ambulance in this report, I decided to throw this one in as well. This is awesome.  Another National Parks model, but for the first time, it went premium.  There was a Convention dealer model that was close, but that 2022 model was a National Parks & Lakes model.  I thought this was going to be like that.  But no.

When you read the blurb, you almost feel it is real.  The way they have worded it, this does sound like it is a real livery.  That is how good this theme is.  Michael Heralda came up with it, back in 2007!  16 years later, and it is still going strong.  

This was another of Michael's designs.  Daft fact, he accidentally spoiled it by showcasing this on one of his artwork pieces at the Albuquerque Convention.  

But I won't get into that.  I will get into this model, which comes on a rough piece of terrain.  

I like when they put in some effort into the terrain pieces.  This is a unique one.  Not just a simple road.  This Ambulance has had to traverse a lot of places.

Not that I am overly fussed.  Now the model is loose, I doubt I will see that terrain again.  Ha ha!  I am here for the model.  And yes, this looks amazing.  National Parks.  An iconic recurring livery.  But this time, as a high level premium, this get a metallic mint paint job.  The side details are what you would expect.  The black and white striping, logo, lights, details.  Yes.  As a premium, this does get real riders.

It does get a lot more.  The front grille is detailed.  We saw that on Moving Parts, so nothing new there.  But, do you notice the roof light?  It's red.  It is a part of the window section of the model.  This means it has been detailed. And the front end of the rear section is detailed as well.

It also gets a lovely roof print.  Are they solar panels?  They sure look like it to me.  A great touch.  

And just look at all the detailing on the rear.  That is a lot of added extras.  

The opening rear doors are actually white.  You barely notice through all the striping going on their outside.  

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Seriously, I am not sure what else they could have added to this.  Detailing the wing mirrors?  Adding something to the hood?  I think they have put in about as much as they could have done here.  They seriously went to town on it.  Or, should I say, Michael went to town.  It shows.  Just look at the roof lights? This model is amazing.  It shows.  This is more of what I expect from Mattel Creations.  Some serious workmanship. A perfect 10 out of 10 from me.  This has renewed my faith in Mattel Creations.  I did feel this year was becoming a little blasé.  But, they can knock one out of the park when they want. 

And with that, I think my job is done for another week. A batch of Moving Parts with 2 new castings.

As well as a model that I took an opportunity to add in an extre Creations of it.  

And another 3 new looks that led to varying levels of success in my eyes.  

Next week, I will be tackling 2 different ranges in one, as I play catch up.  I hope you enjoyed my report.  Until then, I hope you all have a safe and happy week.  

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