Another week, another blog.
I had noticed I was falling a little behind with Working Rigs. Although I am trying to cut down, I decided I had just about enough time to double up on these. So I will just dive right in. Now beware, you might notice the pictures starting to go a little funny during this. Until now, I had simply left the camera on auto. But it kept turning pictures yellow or red at times. And I was trying to fix them in editing. During my time with this lot, I accidentally knocked the setting off auto and onto whatever the next one was, and pictures went a little dull. Obviously, I never realized until it was all over, so I decided now was a good time to play with the settings, and see if I can find a better solution. You might have noticed last week was a quite clear selection. They were done after this lot, and you will discover others done after these are also a little weird. I was playing with things. I think I might be close to getting it about right. But that will be in a short while after I work through the pictures I did. So, for now, I hope you will be fine with the weird photography.
The final batch of 2022 contained 5 models, as they were playing catch-up from missing one previously. Which might have been this RW052 Western Star 49X Dump Truck. It is a brand-new casting for the 2022 range, and takes the 1/16 slot in the series.
The fact that the dump sides have a massive logo and model name on them, I think they were busy utilizing the show version of the real vehicle for the debut. Along with a high level of detailing to the front of the model. Very nice. You might notice that the front is a clip on piece, chromed.
But the cab does have a little fun. Dan's Hauler. And what does that say on the bottom of the door? Driver carries only Matchbox? Yes, they were having a little bit of fun here.
You might have noticed it came with a third raised wheel on the side.
This is actually a part of the base casting, and the fact that tampo printed it to match the rest of the wheels is quite the achievement. Is this the cheaper option? Putting a third axle in the rear obviously costs more than throwing the base part through a tampo machine.
The model sports working features in the fact the dump raises up, and the rear swings open.
Out of interest, how does it stack up with the old Working Rigs Dump Truck? The RW005 International WorkStar 7500 Dump Truck was one of the original Working Rigs models, debuting back in 2009. So I guess it is about time for a newer casting.
The original only sported a twin-axle rear to it. And you can see, they didn't just come up with a new cab section and re-use the rear dump part. This is not the Lesney era. It was all new, from the ground up.
Including the opening rear part for the dump. It looks the same, but is a thinner piece.
It just very similar in design. I guess these rears are quite universal.
I did notice the dump section does not quite go as high up as the other one did. That is not important. I think this is a very nice casting, and I wonder if the older International is now going to stop being used, as they concentrate on the Western Star. I think the new one is just as nice a casting, and perhaps a little cooler, as I like this "third axle" element to it. I just hope they can keep up with tampo printing it to match the rest of the wheels.
Number 2 in the series is the RW029 Freightliner M2 106 Vacuum Septic Truck in black/green. I think this looks fun, in the toxic tank livery.
This is a nice new livery for this casting, and I think it is lots of fun. I love the toxic green colour scheme on the black background. Why am I getting green goo vibes here?
As has previously been shown, the tank rises and the rear opens, with the pipe able to rotate around from side to side on the truck.
And this is definitely its best livery yet. I say that because....
Until now, there had only been one. It debuted in 2012, just as Working Rigs were being discontinued. It debuted in the 2012 series, and then returned as a carry forward in the same look in the 2021 series. So this is only its second design. I wonder if this could be a suitable candidate for a National Parks livery. Keeping the park lakes and rivers clean. Think about it, it makes sense. Sort of! Well, I would like it anyway.
Funnily enough, the RW012 MBX Mega Tractor is also the second livery. But this is a repeat of the second livery. Taking the number 5 slot in the series, is a return of the green one.
As I have only been getting into the Working Rigs since the rebirth, I do not own either of the 2 originals. It debuted in batch A of 2010 in blue, returned in batch C in green, and had not been seen since. Until now, where the batch C green returns for a second outing. So, for me, this is all the first I am seeing of it.
It comes in 2 sections. A tractor unit which pivots in the middle, and a rotavator trailer unit, which actually rolls along, as the parts are clipped in underneath.
The 2 parts slot together very easily, and the design for the vehicle is very good. Almost a John Deere type of design, in the simple dark green look. I love the little triangle added to the cab section. I have no ides why. I just like it.
It is a nice little model. It may be a Matchbox originals casting, but I think they did a wonderful job with it. Not having the originals, I cannot say for sure, but I heard the grey discs on the rotavator are lighter on the new release, and the white stripe on the new one is not as long was it was before. So it is slightly different.
Next up we have the RW006 International DuraStar 4400 Flatbed. This takes the number 7 slot out of 16, and comes in blue.
You might recognize this blue. It was used when the model first returned in 2018. Then, it was repeated for the 2020 Mission Force series. And now it is on its third run in 5 years.
Which is a huge shame, as I love this casting. So much fun. The rear that pulls out.
The ramp that slides back and tilts down. It is so cool.
Because it allows you to tow 2 models on the back. It is a great little casting.
But this is the third time we have seen it. All pretty recently, too.
I did not get the 2018 release. I only got the 2020 Mission Force re-issue. So I compare that with the new run.
It is almost identical. Just a slight shade to the tampo printing. Nothing more. When it debuted in 2009, it was given 3 looks before the original cancellation of the Working Rigs series. Since the re-birth, the first of those has seen a fresh outing. But the other 2 are still 1 and done. I think either of those would have been a better choice, as they were opting for a carry forward.
I do have the 2020 single issue.
And 2021 single issue, both of which were new designs. I have often stated, I don't like seeing the same release carried forward. With some older ones being used once, I don't know why they are on a third run of a recent issue. It is not old enough to keep coming back all the time.
The final model in the set is the RW030 Freightliner M2 106 Satellite Truck in white. This is also a carry forward from an earlier 2012 release. It takes the number 8 slot in the series.
I did not collect back in 2012, but I do know that this is a significant variation, as earlier models sported a metal rear section, which was changed to plastic for the re-birth of the series. So this is different to how it was originally.
I don't know if anything else is different. I don't have the original to compare. But I do know that I like this model. It is a fun little casting, with the satellite dishes that lift...
...and pivot. But what I also like with this, is that the design on the side was a recurring theme.
As I mentioned, this was released originally in 2012. What was in the basic range that year? A certain MB541 Rescue Helicopter in a somewhat similar look.
And an MB436 Chevy Suburban that definitely was in the same style.
A few years later, the MB1032 Ford Transit TV News Van appeared in the 2017 range in a fairly similar look, but it was not quite the same. I do see potential for a revival of this look. Let's get more news vehicles in the mixes.
I had 3 before this. I kept this from the 2013 Mission Force UFO Crew, because I just loved it so much. I wonder if they will bring this look back?
However, with 2020 seeing a Mission Force issue of a repeated 202 Mission Force set issue.
And 2021 seeing its first new look since the rebirth, I think they should do another "new" look first. Mix and match.
Well, that brought me to the end of batch D, and with it, 2022. But, I am going to jump straight into 2023 as well. Try and jump start these to get them more back up to date.
You can tell these are 2023 issues, as they have a 70th Anniversary logo on them. Batch A consisted of 4 models, with the first, taking the number 1 slot, being the RW026 MBX Excavator.
And what is this? A National Parks livery? Excellent! I did mention I love recurring themes. You don't get much more of a recurring theme than National Parks. It gets everywhere, and this is the latest addition.
And you can't go wrong with National Parks. So it will go with anything. Having it here is lots of fun, due to the Excavator having a lot of moving and rotating parts.
You might be noticing, this is the point where I accidentally pressed something on the camera and changed the settings. I did not notice until after I had finished my entire set of photos, so everything is starting to look a little off. Hence, me now looking at setting things up manually for better photos (after many MANY years leaving it on auto because I was lazy). I was busy showing the different points of articulation on the model, and somehow knocked the camera. I am good like that.
And in this slightly reddish picture, I showed off the fact that this comes with treads still. This was a classic Lesney way of doing things, and carried on until the mid-2000s when Mattel cost-reduced to remove them on miniatures. But for working rigs, things are still as they were. This is a great throwback vibe.
And with the National Parks livery, this is by far the best Excavator they have released in this range. Excellent job.
Number 2 in the series is the return of the RW004 Western Star 6900XD Wrecker in blue. I say return in a dual sense. It has been 4 years since we last saw it, and err, it is a repeat of that one from 4 years ago.
Oh, jeez, the colours started going really off here. I couldn't even get it back in picture editing. But you can still see it. It is actually my first example of this casting. I didn't really start picking them up until 2020, so the 2019 items are not in my collection. This casting saw 4 looks in 2009/2010 and was not used again until a 5th outing in 2019. So it is a little surprising to see the final outing chosen as the carry forward. Any of the original 4 could have been good. But, if you are like me, this is the first time I have it, so it is still worth it for me to get it.
It is a nice look, and obviously has a nod to my friend Chuck Wiersma in the tampo design. So I refer to Chuck's expertise in pointing out the differences between this and the 2019 debut. For starters, the Wiersma tampo on the door is smaller to fit in with the casting better. The "W" logo for Western Star now has the small star in the middle of it. It was omitted on the initial run. The light blue tampo is now a brighter shade, so stands out better against the darker blue background. Finally, the grey plastic is a lighter shade than it was back in 2019. But the casting has not been altered in any way.
So it is time for me to have a little fun. As I said, this is the first time I have owned this casting, so for me, this is all new. So the rear boom moves up and down. Wow! It goes vertical.
The hook then pulls out, releasing the additional wheel lift to rotate out.
The wheel lift is very good for, well, lifting wheels.
But that hook? It is tiny. You can just about balance the front end of some models on it. But as soon as you move, they just fall off, as I couldn't find any with a thin enough front to hook it under.
That hook needs to be bigger. I am surprised this has been in production so long with it. Has nobody ever pointed this out before? We have had since 2009! It is the only gripe I have with this casting. I think it is a really cool model, and I hope to see many more liveries. But again, if they are carrying forward, dig further back into the archives. There's some cool stuff out there. Although Chuck may not agree this time.
The third model in the batch is the RW051 Garbage King XL in green/white. This takes the number 3 slot in the series for 2023.
Being a relatively new casting (it has only been with us since 2021, which means I own them all), this is still seeing nice new looks for each outing. And this is another really cool one.
Because this is a repeating theme from the MB742 '08 Garbage Truck (now known as Garbage King) from the 2021 basic range. Which means we now have Garbage King and Garbage King XL in matching looks. That's freaking awesome! That is 2 brand-new looks for models in the batch, and both using recurring themes. One being a long-standing one, and the other a recent one. But I just love recurring themes. So both are just as great to me. This is one of the things I love about the models. You can see they added their names in small font to the upper left side of the green sections. It is awesome! This is my favourite of the batch.
As I do think this is a fantastic casting. The raising and opening rear parts to the model.
Plus, being able to lift up the garbage, tilt, pivot, and throw it in the rear as well. It is a great casting, and a magnificent look. This is a 10 out of 10 job if ever I saw one.
As a reminder, it debuted in 2021 in blue, with a theme matched by the MB1217 MBX Garbage Scout. Loved t!
And for the 2022 series was given a unique design for the Matchbox City ongoing theme of sorts (that Matchbox City logo appears in a lot of places). I wonder if this will roll out to the smaller Garbage King? I would not say no to that. Or MBX Garbage Scout. They work as a trio. They need to match each other.
And with dumpsters that come off, you can always have a little fun.
Hmm! I think the latest orange dumpster works really well with the original Garbage King XL.
The final model is another carry forward. The RW043 International WorkStar Street Cleaner in green. It takes the number 4 slot in the series, and repeats a look from 2020.
Or should I say, it's only look! Yes, this model was a 2020 debut casting, and has not been used since. It is a shame to see they didn't give this one a new look. the Garbage King XL gets one each year, and this one just pops back up as it was again.
Which is a big shame, as this is such a lovely casting. Lots of play value. The rear section that lifts, and the rear that opens. The wobbly rolling section.
Although it is a shame those brushes don't rotate out the sides.
The thing is, it was a 2020 debut. That was the year I started getting into these. So, I have it.
So I can show that the biggest difference is a part of the tampo that was removed. The green, which was applied over the white. With that, they made a couple of tiny tweaks. The brush logo was simply etched out of the white to show the green backing to the plastic through. Easy enough. But they forgot to do that with the "i" in Services. So now we have "Street Serv ces". And for some reason, the "M" logo at the back was just filled in. A minor change. But a bit of a funny one.
There is a small shade to the green to top it off.
Which brings me to the end of another post. A dual set of Working Rigs releases. This does actually include 2 different castings based on a Freightliner M2 106 chassis. Both of which are hugely different vehicles.
With 2 others also being very closely linked. The International DuraStar and International WorkStar vehicles. Again, 2 totally different concepts.
Wait a sec. We also have 2 Western Star vehicles. A 49X and a 6900XD.
As well as the 6 licenced vehicles from 3 manufacturers, we also saw 3 Matchbox originals designs, all with a lot of green to them.
All good for a little fun, with the Excavator snatching the dumpster from the Garbage King HD.
So the Garbage King snatches the tractor's rotavator. Boy, are these a crazy bunch. Or is that me? Yep, more likely me. But with that, I guess I am done for another week. Next week sees me return to another batch of singles. All 2023. Until then, I hope people have enjoyed my latest ramblings and have a good week ahead. Until next time.