Matchbox Monday finishes 2022 Collectors


With a view to giving myself more time, you will start to notice my reports are getting shorter.  Ever since I started a new job last year, I have found my spare time is now much less than it used to be, and trying to fill up this time with so many things has started to become more difficult.  I spoke with John Lambert (who first got me into this on Lamley), and with the guys at Wheel Collectors, and this is the new plan.  Short and sweet reports.  There is not going to be an awful lot of diving back.  I am simply looking at the new stuff, with the odd random older models making appearances.  As and when it is logical to include older stuff, not so much for the sake of it.  I hope you still enjoy the reports.  For this report, I got a little help from Dirk Schleuer in Germany through his Moyshop store, who managed to get me the entire batch of Collectors D.  However, these are now available at Wheel Collectors as well.  They are finally turning up in larger quantities.  There are only 4 in the batch, as a final new casting has been delayed until later in 2023 (as it stands).  However, all of these are new for 2022 too.  Which makes this report rather easy to do, as there is not a lot of back diving available anyway.  So let's get on with it.

The first of these is a debut for the MB1335 '90 Toyota MR2 in the number 10 slot in the series.  Internally, this was known as the W20 generation (noted in the box art).  It started production in late 1989 as a 1990 model in many markets, although in North America it was late in arriving, and debuted as a 1991 model during 1990 itself.  It ran until being replaced in 1999 by the W30 generation (I wonder if we will see that in Matchbox circles?)

The model has taken its time to arrive in Matchbox-land.  Honestly, almost 3 decades!  For those who don't know, Universal were in the midst of tooling up this MR2 for including in the 1993, but somehow, with the takeover by Tyco, this was 1 of 3 castings that were dropped.  It was assigned a MAN number, MB241, but that was as far as it went.  MB242 was going to be a Chevy Camaro RS convertible, but as the 3rd generation was about to be replaced by a new 4th generation, this was dropped in lieu of creating a 4th gen.  MB243 was going to be a Toyota Celica GT4, but again Tyco decided to drop that and concentrate on a new Supra Turbo instead.  The MR2?  That just went.  So here we are, 3 decades later, and finally we get the model we were going to get in 1993.  

Is it worth the wait?  Yes!  Is my photography still awful.  Yes!  I am going to change settings to try and see if I can do better, non-blurry pictures.  Expect that in future reports. Because I did all these first.   This model has been created with headlights that are part of the window section.  And it sports lovely detailing around the front of the model.  

I love the rear end detailing on this one.  It is beautiful.  The casting itself has been very well crafted, and the tampo detail just enhances it.  The roof also sees a tampo hit, signifying the T-top style.  The large doors are nicely crafted, and open/close solidly.  

I did mention the lights being a part of the window section.  Well, for those of us who like this stuff, they have created 2 window sections.  One sports popped up headlights, the other in the down position.  

But this is not all.  

Because the interior also sports a variation.  You can find the model with either LHD or RHD.  

Which means, as we have seen in the past, there are 4 different variations to find on this.  Lights up/lights down, and LHD/RHD.  So Dirk went nuts, opening up many cases of these to find me all 4 of the variations.  Thanks, Dirk.  This can be quite expensive when this is part of the most expensive premium range in the Matchbox portfolio.  Aside from Mattel Creations, that is.  Please don't make a Mattel Creations version of this model....

Therefore, I have 4 of these, and can see my collection of MR2 growing rather rapidly.  

Because there is also the MB1240 '84 Toyota MR2 to take into account.  

This too has the same 4 combinations of variations, so for each MR2 I buy, I have to get 4.  Not too bad for a basic range model, but for a Collectors series release, this was a really expensive ordeal.  No bread or cheese for me for a week!  Ha ha!

Although I cannot complain.  This is a lovely little casting.  I prefer it to the other one they did.  The Mk1 (or W10) is fine, but this Mk2 (W20) is much nicer.  

So I will be going nuts getting 4 of each issue.  Bring on the next one.

Ooh, I got a good shot of the rears here.  Do you see they cast both Toyota and Turbo directly into the casting?  This is a throwback to the old days when Lesney and Universal used to do that.  Long before tampo printing really took over for these things.  And you know what? I love it.  This is nostalgic for me.  It almost makes me feel like they found that old casting from 1992/93 and finished it off.  Great work.  

Being a debut, I show off the base.  Not too many details, leaving plenty of space for the writing.  No mention of W20 on the base.  Just to the box art.  

MR2s are taking over, and fast.  They will breed like rabbits.

The second model in the batch is the MB1313 Ford GT40, taking the number 13 slot in the series.  That's a lot of 13s.  Why am I getting "The Munsters" vibes here?  

This model comes in blue with white stripes, details and 6 roundel on it.  

This is absolutely stunning.  This is not too far away from the 1966 Le Mans entry driven by Mario Andretti/Lucien Bianchi (which unfortunately broke down in the year they took a 1-2-3 in the race).  It doesn't have the yellow front flash, and a few other differences, but it really does give you the vibe well. I love it.  This is a fantastic release.

I know I have mentioned before I love stripes, so this was something that I will always get behind.  The 6 roundel looks so right on this 60s era racing vehicle.  It also features a couple of other little logos.  Wilwood (brakes), Goodyear (tyres) and Bell (helmets) are all real companies, and all feature on the side of the vehicle.  It's all these little extras that you often don't pay attention to, but getting these is no easy task.  In this day and age, you have to seek permission to all of these companies to use their logos. They can't just slap them on models without permission.  So Mattel does their due diligence, and we get a little toy car that looks incredible.  

Obviously this is not the debut.  I recently showcased the debut, as it first appeared in the Moving Parts series, paying homage to the classic Lesney model.  

That was a lovely little debut, but this has just taken it to a whole new level.  I think this is an awesome release.  The only thing that may improve it could be when they do the Gulf one.  They had better do a Gulf one.  

Although there is one little thing that I noticed. I re-show this image again, to save you scrolling back up.  Do you notice that the engine was left blank?

But was highly detailed on the Moving Parts issue?  How did the premium release miss this part?  It is one of those daft things.  I do see premiums as being core models with more.  So in a sense, taking something away is sort of lowering the premium-ness.  Is premium-ness a word? But do you get what I mean?  It is only a small thing, and honestly the only thing I could drop a point for with this one.  Hmm? Points?  I did this for 5-packs recently.  Shall I do a points thing again?

The lack of engine detail is only really evident when you open the rear, so is not really a big thing.  It is so nice.  I am going to give it 9.5 out of 10.  For comparison, the MR2 I showed already gets an easy 10.  Even if it costs me another week of bread and cheese.  

So, model 3 of 4.  The MB1317 '20 Ford Bronco.  This is in the number 14 slot in the set.  

Another model that was seen already in Moving Parts, as this debuted this year in the Moving Parts series shortly before getting a Collectors release as well.  

This release comes in a lovely gloss metallic black, with a large area of matte black on the top.  Did you notice that?  The roof and upper half of the hood (or bonnet) have matte black tampo.  Yeah, they went to the trouble of doing that on this release.  Why?  Because it's cool.  Well, I think it is.  That was my first takeaway when I opened up this model.  Wow!  Honestly, that was what I said.  So in my eyes, they did something right.  

I love the opening doors on this 2-door variant of the Bronco.  And the stripes.  This has Ford Performance on the side, and they often use red, white and blue in their designs, so this fits so well.  Again, stripes.  I love it.  Brembo?  Real.  And this time it has little Matchbox logos too.  

The earlier Moving Parts series release in orange was a gorgeous debut.  This is just as cool, and with the extra details, to me just tips it over the edge.  Another 10 out of 10.  

However, one thing, does anybody know what that little yellow logo is under the Matchbox name behind the front wheels?  I am curious.  

So this brings me to the last model.  I told you this was short and sweet.  The MB1338 '90 Lamborghini Diablo. It takes the number 16 slot in the set in red.

This is the first we are seeing of this casting, and this too comes with a window section that also forms the front lights.  However, from what I have seen, there is not a variation with lights down.  I have only ever seen it with lights up.  I don't know if they were planning to do it, but cancelled it at the last minute, but didn't bother changing the casting.  It was too far developed.  But that is my guess.

So how does this look?  Well, they have captured the shape very well.  Although, to me, those side windows are too far inside the body section.  It has a minimalist front end detail, and a tiny dot on the sides for indicators.  

The rear has a simple lights section tampo, and when you open the engine canopy, the engine here has also been detailed.  

But this is the awkward part.  Did you notice that the window is black?  The front lights, too.  The engine bay was detailed on black.  Why?  Well, that is one part.  There is no interior on this model.  I have no idea why.  But this is a 4-part build.  Body, base, window, opening canopy.  It is quite the disappointment for a premium issue.  And in essence, for a Moving Parts issue, as I guess this will likely see Moving Parts releases over coming years.  It was one of the things I was enjoying the most about Moving Parts items.  All licensed, additional parts over and above the 4 parts that basic range models get as a maximum.  

The final result looks nice.  Diablos are very plain looking in real life (for the most part) so I see the tampo printing being just right for it.  You cannot go wrong with red.  But, it is not gelling with me.  

Which is a shame.  The first instance of cost-reduction to a Moving Parts release.  

Base shot.  It doesn't state it is a 1990 here.  Just on the artwork again.  But for a little fun, as I haven't exactly done much in the way of a dive back here.  I told you this was short.  

I happened to pick this up, randomly, just as I was getting ready to prepare this report.  So, why not do a little comparison.  

The original MB232 Diablo debuted at the end of the Universal era.  1992.  This particular issue, also in red, was a 1997 Select Class series 4 release.  As was the case, this also came with a box in a blister (although those early premium blisters were ridiculously long).  

Modern Collectors boxes are a little tall.  I don't know why.  Old boxes were square ended.  These are rectangular.  

That casting was a little longer than the new one is.  Plus, it clearly has a lovely little interior section, but no lights popping up.  

It was also much wider.  More noticeably at the front.  The real Diablo does get wide at the rear, and the new one has really captured the shape better.  Plus, I hate those 1990s era wheels.  This is part of the reason why I stopped getting them at the time.  They were ridiculous.  They stuck out so far.  Those front wheels are pushed in as far as they could go.  It was ridiculous.  Look at how beautifully we don't see the new one's wheels, as they are nicely tucked in to the wheel arch perfectly.  

This is the full height to both engine canopies.  The old one really shot up high.  The new one doesn't go too high.  Having not owned a real Diablo, I honestly cannot say how high the engine canopy goes.  So I can't say which one did that better.

But both did a great job with the engine detailing.  However, the extra effort with the new one definitely puts that ahead in this area.  

The new one sits lower to the ground, which again is a plus point for the new casting.  However, it did not have the opening at the rear of the passenger section, which is above the engine canopy.  Point to the old casting. The tampo detailing is so much better.  Not just with the more fine detailing to the lights, but that central strip is much better on the new one.  The old one was just a little off.  

From the sides, you do see how the new one has wing mirrors.  Plus point.  It also has a better sweep to the body section going over the side window.  Even if that side was too indented.  So, even?  The rear bumper is incorporated into the body on the new casting, and not the bumper.  Makes sense.  You don't have to try and match the bumper now.  So plus point to the new one.  But, all in all, I do see a number of flaws with this one.  The lack of an interior, the side windows being too far inside the body, the lack of a rear window.  These are all things I think should have been better.  It is a shame.  But I am giving this one a 7 out of 10.  Plus, with the front lights not having a variation, I think they should have gone with a late 1999 facelifted Diablo rather than the original, just to be different, and use that window section better.  Not everything can be perfect.  Even for me, as a huge Matchbox nut.  If I see flaws that could be improved upon, I will still point them out.  

And that is it.  Yep.  No dive backs.  No deep dives.  Just a run through the batch.  I can cope much better with smaller reports like this.  I hope you still enjoy them.  

The best part about this batch is that all 4 models sported opening parts.  However, this does cap the 2022 set at 18.  Out of 20 that were due.  Number 15 was going to be a Rosenbauer Fire Truck.  However, this has been delayed.  There have been a few hiccups.  When it will arrive?  We hope by the end of 2023, but it will not be classified as a 2022 model.  They have drawn a line under 2022 after this.  Number 20 in the list was going to be a 1979 White Western Star, but due to various issues, this was flipped to a 1979 Freightliner FLT, and was moved to the 2023 series, debuting in batch A. So with a few adjustments, it ran late.  The 2023 series is being upped to 22 models to compensate for being 2 short in 2022.  You will see that with batch B, which consists of 7 models instead of 5, all with a 70th Anniversary logo on them.  But that is for another time.  

Hey look, I ended up with 7 here.  I don't know why I bother.  This is it for now.  Next week, is it time for more basics?  Until then, I hope people enjoy their week.  


  • Ryan Hedden

    The little yellow triangle under the Matchbox sticker behind the front wheel on the Bronco is the trim level which is “Badlands”. The 1:1 trucks have this.

  • M. B.

    I’m fairly certain the small yellow decal on the Bronco fender is the emblem for the Badlands trim level.

  • Conan

    Hi David, great report as usual…I’ve got this set at home and went back and checked the Diablo and if you shine a bright light in there is an interior in there….not sure why the windows are so darkly tinted? I thought the ‘90 MR2 was superbly done too – didn’t realise Matchbox had come close to making one in the ’90s…

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