Matchbox Monday finishes the 2022 basic range, not 2023 range, at the end of 2023

Holy moly.  I thought the final batch of the 2023 Moving Parts series was a little overloaded, when I ran through them last week.  This batch is even more stuffed.  But, batch M of the basic range means that it came in a box of 24 models.  Getting as many as we did in it didn't overly matter.  There was enough space to accommodate everything.  What?  Me?  Not giving up on my desire for increasing Moving Parts batch assortments? Nope!  Broken record….

But, I can't keep going on about it.  I have 12, no 13, no 14 models to run through here.  Batch M of 2023 consisted of 12 models, but we also ended up with 2 additional items, which I will get to at the end.  First up is a brand-new casting.  The MB1350 '23 Jeep Avenger.  It debuts in the MB9 slot in the 2023 range and comes in a lovely yellow look.

The Jeep Avenger is the smallest Jeep currently offered, and is oddly enough not available in the USA.  It was designed as an electric vehicle in Italy, made in Poland, and is mainly sold in the European continent.  It is a part of a shared Stellantis/Dongfeng CMP Modular shared platform, which encompasses many vehicles.  The Citroën E-C4 and C4X are fellow users of this CMP platform, and the upcoming Opel Mokka also uses it.  The Avenger, as noted, was designed as an electric vehicle, but hybrid ICE engine variants are sold in select countries.  Matchbox have gone with the original electric one.  

This model has been created by Matchbox in the ever-increasing style of making the roof out of the window section. Sure, you can have a black roof on this car, but it is not always the case, and a body coloured roof will also be sold.  I would have preferred this to have had a roof, but I am sure this is something that the bean counters keep pushing for.  I would have said this is how Moving Parts is better, but as we saw last week, 2 of the last 2023 batch there also featured this build. I guess I need to just live with it.  I may not be a massive fan, but it isn't awful.  You can still tell this is a Jeep.  The front and rear get tampo printed, and the front saw a definite Jeep look to it.  

But, you do notice this has a very plain looking roof. There are no moon roof sections cast into it. I do like the way the rear pillar goes up into it.  

They have captured the overall shape well. I was looking forward to this model, but seeing the end result in the casting, I am a little deflated.  It is that roof way of doing things.  I can't get into it.  The rest is really well done.  The model is a decent size, and I do like Jeeps.  

You can see the “e” in the grille.  This is definitely the electric version.  So, what do I want to score it?  Inclusion? 10 out of 10. I was looking forward to it, and I don't think I will tire of Jeeps being added.  A great choice adding the Avenger.  Casting?  Nope.  That roof is not my thing.  I will score it a 7, as I think they did a decent job elsewhere.  The rest of the model is great.  Had the roof been better, it would have been 10.  Design? I am giving it a 9.  Why?  It is a shame they didn't go with a correct colour.  These are sold in a metallic yellow, which is known as “Sun”.  A simple naming choice.  I think it is a shame they didn't do a metallic look here.  Plus, the roof is a solid black.  Not a dark tint shade.  So, we can't see inside.  As I said, it was a little deflating.  It isn't awful, but I did feel a little underwhelmed when I got this one. 

A view of the base of the model.  No details as this is the electric one.  Just the usual Jeep legalities.  

Hmm!  Is this another of the same type of vehicle?  The MB1363 '22 Ford Bronco Sport takes the MB10 slot in the basic range, and this new casting debuts in a light minty look.

No.  This model is a 5-part build.  Quite a shock, as they don't tend to have many 5-part builds in the range.  However, this is a little unusual.  This is another vehicle that can come with a black roof, or a roof in the same colour as the rest of the vehicle, so they have done something different.  They have made a separate roof piece which the window inserts into.  I have to admit, I was quite surprised when I discovered they had done it this way.  I don't know how the model went through its development cycle.  Maybe they went to Ford with the same window/roof style as used elsewhere, and Ford said no?  So they came up with this?  Although, I am surprised they didn't do as they did with the regular Broncos.  They both have the roof as part of the body.  Basic and Moving Parts.  Do I like it like this?

It does give you a colour break.  That is good.  I also think this also opens up a possibility of creating an alternate roof, perhaps with some items on it as a variation? Could that be on the cards?  

Could you just imagine getting a release where the roof has a canoe cast into it?  You know what?  This sort of gets me excited.  I was not 100% sure how I would react to the way this was built, but as I sit there, and let it sink in, I actually like it.  Of course, we may not see any alternate roof piece, and they might always come like this.  The model is well put together, albeit quite light.  But, with the wing mirrors being in the body section (another bonus over the Jeep), I am quite impressed with it.  

The model comes with simple front and rear tampos.  It is as expected for the debut.  

So, how do I rate this?  Inclusion.  A definite 10.  I was very excited to hear it was coming in 2023.  It was one of the main models I was looking forward to.  Casting?  Hmm!  I am giving it a 9.  A rather unique construction method for sure, and being light does not bother me. Look? I like it.  I can't find this mint colour being one of the official ones, but I still like it.  A 9.5.  That's a pretty decent score really.    

It's a new casting, so another base shot.  This one has an engine, so we get the exhaust pipes etc on the underside.  

The MB1179 '16 Ford Interceptor Utility gets a second outing in the 2023 range.  We saw it earlier in black, and now it is in white as MB26.  

The one we saw previously was a real livery for Kootenai County, so that was a perfect livery.  You can't go wrong with a real look.  However, I also love a recurring theme.  And this appears to be moving into that territory.

Because this simple Police design has been seen before.  Therefore, I am scoring this a 10 out of 10.  I do enjoy themes.  

Voila.  One MB821 Ford Taurus Interceptor from the 2014 Mission Force Police set.  They have replicated the look perfectly between the 2 models.  I also notice that the Taurus is coming back in 2024 in a carry forward 5-pack, which is useful as the model was altered in the last 10 years, with the roof bar being knocked out and the window altered to become the light. I have always said that 2 looks the same is a repeated look, but 3 is officially a recurring theme.  I don't think the 2024 carry forward of the Taurus constitutes a recurring theme, even though it will be slightly different.  But I hope that we do see another model with this look in the future.  Come on Dodge Charger! 

The one thing I did notice that was a little unusual.  The original Taurus has Unit 821 because they were using the MAN number, as is often the case.  This has simple given the model the next number up, rather than using its own MAN number.  There's nothing wrong or unusual about that.  It was just different.  But, as I have said in the past, I like when they surprise us.  Sometimes it is a big surprise.  Sometimes, it is something almost insignificant.  But, I notice!

Okay.  This was a bit of a surprise. The MB914 Ground Grabber.  Taking the MB27 slot in the range, this comes in the new, and explosive MBX Construction theme.  

Hands up, anybody who would have thought this casting would make a return to the basic range at this point in the Matchbox life?  First debuting in 2014, this was a part of the diversion for the brand, where they attempted to switch from the realism into the “from a kid's point of view” era.  This was basically a wheeled excavator type of vehicle that would sometimes come with additional parts.  It wasn't a bad casting, but was part of the era of adding larger wheels to models, as this was something that was done , as said, from the kid's point of view.  They came up with a number of Matchbox Originals castings, but did see a drop in sales as they were not as popular.  I think it is time they looked at perhaps adding a random construction vehicle to the Moving Parts series.  But, as we have never seen a non-licensed vehicle there, I would suggest a licensed vehicle.  I think a random one would work.  But, let's not overdo it.  

But, I do not mind it here.  They have released it in the new MBX Construction look that has plastered the ranges this year.  And I cannot fault them for that.  Because, this fits in with all the rest so well.  I cannot score it down.  I am giving it a 9.  It's not the best of castings, but the final look brings it up into the higher scores.  And, I have to admit, this is the best this has ever looked.  Hmm!  Dive back.

It debuted back in 2014 as MB108 in black and yellow.  There was a wheel variation to look out for.  And look, you had to.  Some came with gold wheel trim, others with yellow wheel trim.  Can you see the more golden hue to the one on the left here?  

in 2015, it was now black and green as MB45.

With 2016 being the last outing (until now) in the basic range as MB45 again.  This was also a really cool look, as they chose the recurring INC theme for this one.  I did notice some bases were a paler grey than others during production.  

After a 3-year basic range stint, the model only saw one more outing before this return, as a part of the 2017 Construction 5-pack.  I do think there is room for construction items, but with many moving parts, where they should go is obvious.  But, as I said, I am not looking at overdoing the Moving Parts range with them.  Simply moving these over would be a disaster.  They would bomb big time.  But, if we grabbed a nice licensed casting and introduced it, with realism and a fun moving section, I think it would work.  

It's not that this is a bad casting.  But, it is a non-licensed vehicle, and fairly average.  I know vehicles like this will not be the more popular side of the range.  They do serve a purpose.  And I would not complain if we were to see a Ranec liveried release in the future.  But, with the move back to realism, a more realistic wheeled excavator would be more ideal.  And, hopefully a licensed one.  

The MB1243 MBX Field Car makes a second appearance in the 2023 basic range.  Earlier in the year it was in a 70th Anniversary look, and now it appears again as MB28 in black.

I like this look.  It is sort of reminiscent of the Porsche 911GT3 and Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake super chases.  The orange and yellow striping looks cool, and the little Matchbox and M logo details are a fine addition. 

It's actually its 3rd 2023 outing, as it was in a 9-pack earlier on in white as well.  I did a dive back for the 70th Anniversary only a few months ago, so am not going to do another one.  There are so many to go through here, I am keeping each one shorter.  But, this is the nicest one I have seen of this casting, and it is a nice original casting.  I am giving this a 10.

Now, we move on to the MB939 International WorkStar Brush Fire Truck.  This appears in a rather familiar theme as MB39.  

This is the Forest Ranger recurring theme.  Similar, but not the same as National Parks.  Because they are based on a green, the other a light mint green, but this a little darker, some do get them mixed up.  

It's the first time we have seen this model in 3 years.  It was last used in the 2020 basic range.  After first arriving in 2010, and seeing a change in 2014, it has become a little more sporadic in use, but I think when it does appear, it is always a pretty solid seller.  I love the recurring themes, and so I am giving this one a 10.  

I am not doing a dive back here.  There are many to go through, and I am trying to work through so many models in this batch, that I felt I should pick and choose a bit more.  But, I had to bring this in.  It was the 2011 MB52 (unless you lived in a LAAM market). That was a National Parks themed model.  You can see the different shields that they use for the 2 liveries.  National Parks have animal themed yellow shields, and Forest Rangers have orange shields with a forest design. Plus, it is a slightly darker green.  

We have seen a number of Forest Ranger models over the years.  But, I think this is only the 3rd time that it has added the flames.  Unless I am forgetting anything.  The MB817 Ford F-550 Super Duty sported the flames on a 2012 Brush Fire Rescue 5-pack release.  It also sported a window variation, as early runs saw a milky red look, before it became a more see-through red.  

Then, the MB863 Vantom sported the flames as a 9-pack semi-exclusive in 2021 (returning in the 2023 Advent Calendar).  

I don't recall seeing a 2022 Forest Ranger model, so this means both the last 2 releases had flames.  I wonder if this will become the norm for the Forest Ranger design, as a way to enhance differentiating it from National Parks. I will see how the next one turns out. 

This feels a little familiar.  The MB1174 '35 Ford Pickup takes the MB47 slot in the range in a Mooneyes design.  

I love the Mooneyes look.  This is an easy 10 for me.  I enjoy recurring themes, and having real companies in them makes them even cooler.

Now, this is the only time we have seen a Mooneyes release in 2023.  We did see a few in 2022.  Both were premium issues.  One of them was….

This one.  Of course, that was the only time that the Mooneyes look has not been a yellow vehicle.  So, by using this casting again in a yellow design makes sense.  I thought it was pretty cool.  

I know that the Matchbox team have given us a sneak of another model that is coming in 2024 in a yellow Mooneyes look.  Something else to look forward to.  Keep these ones coming.  

The MB1077 Mazda CX-5 continues to plug away in the basic range.  It is MB51 in the basic range, and comes in metallic tan.  

Actually, I should correct that.  This is Zircon Sand.  It was a special 2022 limited colour option for real Mazda CX-5s.  It is totally real.  And this model sees the same front and rear detailing that we have seen on all the older releases.  

I cannot fault this one.  A real colour.  Simple detailing.  I love the black wheels. A nicely tinted window.  Sure, the colour itself was controversial when Mazda released it.  Some loved it.  Some hated it. It is all a matter of whether you like this colour or not.  Personally, I do.  I am scoring this release a 10 out of 10. However, I wonder how much longer we can see this plodding along in the basic range. 

After all, it debuted in the 2018 basic range in grey, albeit with no front licence plate.  They altered the casting after this release to include one.  

the now altered casting was red for the 2019 release, and then was not seen in 2020.  

It was back in the 2021 range in black.

And in 2022, it was a dark blue release.  That funny look to the paint is light related.  It isn't actually mottled like it looks.  

But, this does mean, so far this model has seen 5 basic range releases.  It has never been used anywhere else. I am not done with it.  I like it.  I just wonder why it has not been utilized in anything else beyond a single release each time.  I did not see any mention of this in a 2024 5-pack or 9-pack.  Will it get a 6th basic range outing?  I mean, the model is still going in real life.  So, there is no reason not to.  Sure, the real one had a mild facelift in 2021, but it still pretty much as it is in miniature.  I just think this deserves a little additional action.  

Next up, we get something new.  The MB1352 Monarch EV Tractor.  The what?  I hear people asking.  

So, Monarch is a new company.  It was founded in California in 2017, with the idea of creating an electric tractor which can be used remotely if desired.  Therefore, it is driver optional.  They spent the first 5 years designing and creating the first tractor.  The Monarch MK-V.  The first 5 rolled off the production line at the start of April 2023 in Ohio, and over the course of the year, they have made the Time list of best inventions of 2023, and Forbes have announced they expect them to be a billion-dollar company soon.  They have lofty heights to achieve, but they appear to be going the right way.  This is a game-changer in the tractor/farming world.  Matchbox being in on the ground floor is pretty cool.  Yes, a tractor can be cool.  Especially when it is something like this.  

Of course, the main market for these are kids.  They are children's toys being made by a toy company at the end of the day.  So, I bet most kids will not know anything about the real company.  Matchbox have added the EV bit purely as a way of denoting it is an electric vehicle.  They are working hard to bring the brand right up to date, with all models slowly being transferred to recycled materials.  They have also added many electric vehicles to the range, to show that they are thinking sustainably.  But, again, the kids won't care.  Parents? That's another matter.  And many times, the parents will be picking up the toys for their children.  So, this sort of thing is being aimed more in their direction.  So, an electric tractor will appeal to some.  

When it comes to the casting, they have replicated the real vehicle very well.  The real ones do have an area at the front in black where you can put things.  They are thin, and they have this roof part which in real life will house some lights.  I cannot find anything to say that real ones have Monarch on the roof like the model does. 

This grey with black and blue on the sides? This is direct from how Monarch are selling them.  I am yet to see a picture of one in a different colour. So, that could be a lot of fun as Matchbox go their own way for future releases.  But, this one is a perfect little replica.  The only thing I think may have been a missed opportunity is that they didn't put a tow hook on it.  Maybe Monarch requested no tow hook.  

I really cannot fault it for what it is.  This is a game changer in the farming industry, and Matchbox are right there on the ground floor. I am not the biggest farming fan, but I like that they do go with a more diverse product portfolio.  It is a licenced tractor.  When was the last time we had one of those in the basic range?  2000?  The last time the Mercedes-Benz Trac 1600 Turbo was seen.  Since then, it has been a slew of non-licensed Matchbox Originals castings. To bring in a new licenced model, I think this is a terrific choice.  It is different, unique, and totally out of the box. I am giving it a 10 for inclusion.  As to the casting?  A 9.75.  They made a fantastic job replicating the original.  As I said, i would personally have liked a tow hook.  You know, the sort of thing that appears on pretty much every single tractor they have made.  But, that is a minor thing.  The final look?  Obviously a 10.  How can you fault them replicating the real vehicle's look?  You can't.  How well I think this will sell?  Time will tell, but a tractor in general is not the most exciting of vehicles.  I don't think it will be a bad seller, although I haven't heard much of whether people have noticed it hanging or not?  I live in the UK and so far, I don't think we have seen this batch yet.  But, thankfully, I have Wheel Collectors in my corner to help me. I will see more of how this is seen in general when we get the batch and I notice whether it hangs around too long or not.  

This is a new casting, so it gets the obligatory base shot.  But, before I move on, did anybody catch the wheels?  They are all new.  All of them!  Do you see how thin the larger rear wheels are?  Usually, these are about twice as wide.  This is a narrower dual ring 8-dot than as seen on other models.  

I bring back this photo for another viewing.  Do you notice that the smaller front wheels are the exact same?  We never had that before.  Dual ringed 8-dot small wheels.  So, Matchbox have tripled their portfolio of dual ringed 8-dots.  Large wide, large narrow and small.  S, I wonder if this large wheel will be unique to this for now? I can see the smaller one being used elsewhere.  

Yes!  This is one of my favourite Matchbox pickup trucks.  Of all time.  Not just the modern stuff.  I love the MB1275 ‘86 Ford F-150 Pickup.  It debuted in the 2022 Jurassic World: Dominion series, but I was really hopeful that it was going to easily slide over into mainline uses.  A lot of the Jurassic World stuff has been stuck there.  Only one model has managed to escape the range. The MB1111 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U520.  I see how some of them were specific to the series.  A Ford Explorer (plus a wrecked one), The Mercedes-Benz ML-series, Gyrosphere, Armored Action pair, etc.  The Mercedes-Benz G-Series was modified for regular use.  But, what about Textron Tiger?  Either Kawasaki?  The motorbikes?  The Jeep Wrangler with roll bar (I can see the canopy and vet bags being a bit unique)?  There are some I feel could get uses outside of Jurassic World, and I am also hoping the MB1278 ’18 Jeep Wrangler is going to see further action.  But, out of all the Jurassic stuff, this was my favourite casting, so this is perfect to see non-Jurassic use.  It is Mb84 in a lovely light blue.

This is a fantastic look.  Very realistic.  Well, it should be….

It is a real look.  They have nailed it again.  I literally cannot fault this one.  A perfectly smooth side tampo print on a perfectly matched light blue paint job.  

Plus, it again received a chrome base with Ford badge and lights depicted on it.  This is an absolute stunner.  If anybody saw my Lamley Awards Top 10, they will know that this was placed in the number 5 slot in my 2nd list.  New looks on existing castings.  I love it.  11 out of 10.  Okay, I know I can't.  10 out of 10.  

Well, as I had mentioned it, let's bring in the 2022 Jurassic World Dominion release of the casting.  This red look was number 8 on my Top 10 list in 2022.  This casting has been Top 10 for 2 years in a row.  

I think the Matchbox team have a lot to live up to in the future.  I am very much looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.  I am seeing some very cool looks on real F-150s that they can go with.  Ooh!  This is exciting.  

Talking of which, a new casting.  They are always exciting.  Yes, even if they are a Volvo.  Volvos can be cool. This is the MB1359 Volvo XC40.  It debuts as MB86 in white.  

Oh, just look at that roof. Yes, I am at a stage where I look at the roof first on new castings.  You know why.  I can't believe the XC40 was launched in November 2017 as a 2018 model, but it has taken this long for Matchbox to release one in miniature.  Now, they appear to have gone with an earlier configuration of the XC40, as in 2023, it was mildly facelifted, with the front fog lights being altered.  These look to be the original design.  

Being a basic range model, this is being created with the drop method, which means we do see the river through the rear of the model.  I am not that fussed about that.  I know some are not keen, but I know this is a cheaper construction method, and I am happy to live with it.  So, for me, this is irrelevant. the rest of the casting is very well done.  The XC40 has this rear side section that goes up like that.  The team have captured that perfectly.  However, I do have an issue with the window.  Sadly, it has not fitted in right.  You can see how it is dipping in through the moon roof section.  

You can see from this angle that the whole section has been squashed, and misshapen.  That is a shame.  This means I cannot 100% comment on the casting.  Is this a fault with many of them, or was mine a 1-off blip? It is tough to say.  

Because I think that they have captured the shape of the real vehicle perfectly.  The rest of the casting is exactly how I would expect it, and I was actually liking that the window section has the side windows slightly indented to give a decent depth to it.  

And I cannot fault the final look.  Plain white, with simple front and rear detailing.  Perfect. But, with this fault, I am torn over my scoring.  Inclusion?  Yeah, I love that they have put the XC40 in.  A 10 out of 10.  Design?  A perfect 10 again, as there is nothing I would have expected any different.  But the casting?  Had that window been a perfect fit, I would have given this top marks.  But, because of this fault, I just can't.  But, I have been doing a spot of Googling.  I cannot find another like mine.  So, I am making this a personal choice on the 1 that I have.  I am scoring a 9.5 out of 10.  A minor drop due to the incorrect build.  Had it been correct, I would be kinder.  I just can't justify giving a perfect score to a faulty model.  I might end up with a new one to replace this.  I will see how I feel when they turn up in the UK.  

New casting = base shot.  Obviously.  

Whoa!  This is model 12 of 12.  Well, 12 in the regular batch.  There were 12 of the 2023 models appearing here.  This will bring us to 99 out of 100.  There is a single addition that had to be a replacement.  A model dropped out (it happens) and they rushed a replacement through, but sadly it missed the cut to be included in the batch, so ended up being added to the first batch of 2024.  This often happens, as 2022 did not finish with the final batch.  More on that in a minute. Because, I will talk about the MB1239 '18 Toyota Hilux first.  It takes the MB894 slot in the range in a creamy white look.  

Again, this may be something to do with my specific model, but the front end appears to be very thickly painted.  Some of the casting detail appears to be faded out.  It looks a bit blobby.  Which is a shame, as I like this model, and the last 2 both came out very well.  There are not a lot of pictures to check to see if this is limited to me.  But, this is a little bit of a worry, that for 2 models in a row, I am finding issues.  First a construction issue on the Volvo, and now a paint issue on the Toyota.  

The rear end came out beautifully.  I cannot fault that side.  The side doors are depicted crisply.  It just appears to be the front end.  I like the colour and had that front end been crisp, I would have given it top marks.  As it is, I am dropping to a 9.5. Just like the Volvo.  I think it may be just mine, so I am not being cruel.  

the 2021 debut in red came out very crisp. You can see the fog light area recreated looking very sharp.  

And the 2022 basic range release in green was even better, as the model sported this fantastic shade variation during production.  

I am loving the continuing tampo details.  They keep them the same on each release.  Had this had a sharp front end, I would be totally singing its praises.  Again, I might have to hunt down a second one.  Is this just a ploy from Matchbox to get more sales?  I do like this casting.  I would love to see more of them in coming years. But, what I would also like is for them to look at a classic Hilux….

What about adding a classic like a 3rd generation Hilux?  The 3rd gen debuted in 1978, but they didn't add a 4x4 variant until 1979.  This would be slightly lifted, and would have to come with the roll bar with lights on it.  We don't seem to be getting any of these in the Matchbox range, and I think after a classic Ford Flareside and Dodge Dakota that debuted in the 1980s, we need a new roll bar with lights pickup of that era.  Let's go with this one.  

I realized too late that I should have split this report over 2 weeks.  It would have made things much easier.  For myself more than anything. After 12 models in the batch, I am still not done!  Because, this is an even numbered batch.  Batch 12.  That means, as of 2023, that Target stores in the USA are getting something unique.   The Red series.  This batch was the MB927 Ford F-150 Raptor. It was the last of 6 unique models for Target. 

They have come up with some really cool looks on this casting, going all the way back to its debut in 2010.  It keeps on trucking.  I have always liked the model, and am very impressed with this latest look.  I love the white splash going down the side, and the Raptor logo on the door.  Plus, all the little detailing of rear lights and door handle etc.  

In a change to the usual routine, this model sees a white hood instead of the front grille detailed.  Different.  I like it.  I might have preferred the grille detailed, but this is cool.  It doesn't drop the score for me.  A 10 out of 10.  I have always like this casting, and 14 years in, I am still not tiring of it.  Even though we have had 627 versions.  Okay, maybe not that many, but we have seen a lot. And I am fine with it.  There's only been 20.  Although with variations, I own 38 different ones.  I am not going to show them, as this is going on a bit.  

But, what I will do is bring in the other 5 Target Reds from 2023.  This has been a fantastic debut year for the little sideline.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these 6 models.  They have not been the easiest to obtain, and as you know, you can't order these online.  You can only get them by going into a Target store in the USA.  Or by obtaining them second hand through auction etc. I don't mind.  Sure, I would love an easier way to get them. But, for the most part, I have not found them to be too tough.  I can't wait to see what is coming for 2024.  We have already seen a sneak of the first one.  I think they are continuing in 2024 where they left off in 2023.  So, apart from a final straggler, we are done with the 2023 basics.  However, we were never done with 2022 basics.  Until now!

Because the 2022 MB8 has finally arrived.  In the final batch of 2023.  The MB1301 SpaceX Dragon ran just a tad late.  It also came on a uniquely designed card.  As if I care.  This thing is coming out.

But, quickly, before I do that, the rear of the package does state the number in the range, although it didn't denote the model year, so some may be a little confused.  But, this year's MB8 was the new 1941 Plymouth Coupe casting.  

Now, we did get a special limited edition release of this casting, so we have pretty much seen this already.  It is a clear representation of the module that Elon Musk has created.  It comes in a simple white look with a grey line going around the middle.  That is significant.  

The model looks a lot like the limited edition one, but I will need to bring it in to show the differences. 

From the front, they do look similar.  The limited edition one is a brighter white.

The rear saw a lot more detail to the limited edition one.  But, are you noticing that grey ring?

The casting has been altered.  Yes, you might not have caught it, but the new one has a grey ring and a white section above it, both held in by the upper section.  But, the older one was a 1-piece middle section in grey, with the white parts above tampo printed to cover the grey up.  I was actually surprised to see this change. I guess they felt it was better to create an additional part to the build than tampo print so much.  So, there you go.  Being a 2022 model wasn't the biggest shock with this one.  It was more about the casting being altered.  I have no idea if we will see it again.  I can't see much more that they can do with it.  But, never say never. 

Phew! Am I done? I think so.  I really should have split this in 2.  It would have been easier, and I could have added a few more dives in to the mix.  Oh well, lesson learned.  It was a loaded batch, with 4 new castings. 

Along with another 10 models, some in recurring themes and some in simple new looks.  

Yep, way too much for 1 blog.  I will not do a batch this large again.  I hope you managed to get through it all okay, though.  Next week, a change of pace as I have a little fun.  Until then, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.

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