Matchbox Monday is Porsche-ing it up


So, many people who know me, know that I am a huge Porsche fan!  The 911 is my favourite car of all time, and the Porsche company is my favourite car manufacturer.  So when Matchbox announced that in 2023, there would be a special Porsche set available in Walmart stores in the USA, as well as a few other markets too, do you think I was happy?  Well, no!  Because they also noted that in 2023, there would be 6 different sets of models.  Until now, we had fewer sets, but each set would be of 12 models, released across 2 batches.  So, I was almost about to jump off my chair and throw my hands up in the air, when I sat there, frozen, thinking "only 6". That is just my luck.  I finally get my dream set, and they reduce the quantity.  But in all honesty, yes, I am very happy.  I got Porsches!  Any time a Porsche rolls in front of me, I am happy.  I would also like to give a shout-out to Luke McKenna (@matchboxluke on Instagram), who obtained this set for me and shipped them all the way from Australia.  As I noted, Walmart might be the exclusive retailer in the USA, but you will find these in some other markets.  

So, I think we should get stuck in. I have seen a lot of people talk about the artwork these sets are getting for 2023.  I do think they are very eye catching, and with this Porsche set, I do like the fact that each model's card art acts like a colour chart for the model's colour.  Like this MB1305 Porsche Cayenne Turbo.  It comes in red, so the artwork has a lovely front-on depiction of the real car, with a striped red going from dark to light as it fades down the card.  I admit, they have put a lot of effort into the card art for 2023.

It's wasted on me.  Look, a Porsche!  Yes, I am here for the models, and it is really nice seeing only the second look for this recent casting.  Now it is in red as number 1 in the set of 6. And, as was the case with the debut version in the 2022 Best of Germany series, this model sports a simple front and rear tampo print.  That's all it needs.  And it looks even better this time around, as the red really highlights the tampo printing, and the windows, being a dark tint, are not too dark that you can't see the interior inside.  

I am so happy that they have recently returned the tampo printing that does sneak around the edges.  There was a time when this was stopped, and those corner lights started looking a little unusual.  Do you notice the light red tampo hit in the bottom light there?  Yes, they really did a great job with this model.  Fantastic!

I bring in last year's black debut release just to show the slightly lighter tint to the window on the red makes it look a lot better.  I don't know why the black had such a dark tint to its window.  Being so dark, it could have done with a lighter tint to offset the body.  Especially as it does have an interior.  The red is an easy 10 out of 10 for me.  Gorgeous!

The older MB675 Porsche Cayenne Turbo did see a couple of red releases.  A 2008 basic MB42 was in a very light red, with a 2013 basic MB24 coming in a darker metallic red. This is more of a medium red, slotting in somewhere in between.

Number 2 in the series is the MB1185 '85 Porsche 911 Rally in a lovely black look.

I really like this.  Wow!  A solid black, with tinted windows and a simple headlight/spotlight printing on the front.  This is the first time that we have seen the model not sporting a side print.  

This is also the first time that the roof components have been highlighted as well.  Well, first time in regular usage, as the model debuted as a toy fair promotional release, which obviously had everything detailed.  This just looks amazing.  I have heard that this has been the most popular model out of the series in many places. I can see why.  Sometimes less is more. This is the thing with Matchbox.  Sometimes the bestsellers are the ones that have the smallest of detailing to them.  Spend time creating all these different side designs?  Nah!  Just detail the roof and headlights, and it becomes the best seller.  

As I did mention the toy fair model, I thought it only right to bring it in for a picture.  Oh, look, they have the same jerry can.  Must have had some left over.  Ha ha! Of course that was a premium model, so does sport a complete tampo detail, and this means that it still stands as the only time the model has seen the rear depicted.  This debuted late in the 2018 model year to advertise the 2019 model year, as toy fair models do.  

Well, as I got the older models out, I guess I should do a quick recap again.  It debuted in the 2019 basic range (officially) in white with a 13 Matchbox Porsche side design.  MB65 was repeated in the 2020 Off Road Rally Walmart series.  

While 2020 also saw a green model (which was repeated in a 2021 Advent Calendar) as MB66 in green.  Plus, another special model, this time in the Target Retro series, popped up in brown with a design that had been used previously on a VW Beetle 4x4. Awesome.

And then, errm, well, this.  I know.  I can't believe that this model was only used for 2 years in general.  Aside from a few repeats, this model had not been seeing a lot of love, and I am so happy to see they finally have given it another outing.  It is a bit overdue!  10 out of 10 for the execution.  Again!

Oh, wow!  Look at this one in lime green.  The MB947 Porsche 911GT3. It takes the number 3 slot in the set, and this colour reality stands out.  

This looks fantastic!  An easy 10 out of 10 again.  Yes, 3 models in, and 3 10s out of 10.  Am I in heaven?  About as close as I can get for now.  Hee hee!  I love the bright lime green matched with black wheels. Again, front and rear tampo printing.  

It's about time we saw a green with front and rear printing.  Because, do you remember the only other time this model was released in green?

Yes, this was in 2011, when Matchbox last decided to move away from the realism they are known for.  It was MB12 in the range that year (under its original MB729 casting with separate rear wing), and came with a side design.  It was not a bad design, but this model did prove to warm pegs a bit.  However, for somebody like me, it was a good time to hunt around for shades.  Because that green was supremely good for shades!  Those are 3 of the 5 I own.  

But since we have finally seen the updated casting in use, all releases have been awesome!  Just simple front and rear detailing.  The 2020 9-pack debut pairing, where one pack had a purple and another a blue one.  Each had a very similar rear licence plate to the new one.  

2021 saw a Best of Germany release in red.  Again, a simple front and rear print adorned this.  

And who can forget the Super Chase.  This has stripes!  I like stripes.  It was a part of the 2022 basic range, but proved rather elusive (hence the super chase moniker), and it also had an upgraded package with full tampo and rubber wheels.  

It's funny how this appears to be getting more love than the '85 Rally casting that only debuted in 2019, yet this traces its roots back to 2007.  Not that I am complaining about this getting the love.  I just want the other one to continue getting the love.  

As is usually the case with these smaller side sets, as a rule they will tend to be half new and half carry forward.  It is not set in stone.  Sometimes we may see more new stuff, sometimes more carry forward.  But, this set has done the norm.  3 brand-new looks took the first 3 slots in the set of 6, with 3 carry forwards taking the other 3.  So number 4 in the series is the MB816 Porsche Panamera. This was a carry forward of the 2021 Autobahn Express 5-pac issue in yellow.

The thing with 5-packs is that as a general rule, they tend to last longer in production than a basic range issue.  A basic range can last a few months, where a 5-pack can sometimes see maybe half a year of production.  So we tend to have more chances for it to vary over the course of production.  That was the case with the Panamera.  During production of the 5-pack (as well as a side production in 9-packs), we w it vary in shade of yellow, and I actually own 3.  But I showed the lightest and darkest here.  

I could not find anything in the new one that might make it worth opening and keeping.  So I continue with the 3 I had before.  It is a shame that they chose such a late release to repeat. Because the model has been around since 2011.  In 2018, it saw a small tweak to the construction of the casting, and so this 2021 release was already of the new construction style.  

The change saw a tweak to the rear end of the model, with the last of the earlier ones in silver, and the first of the later ones in blue shown here.  The interior was shortened to not cover the rivet area.  It helped with the drop method of construction that we see on models, as before, it did require slotting in place to cover the riveted area.  So had we seen a carry forward of any pre-2018 models, these would have been cool just for the fact that the casting is slightly different.  There are not actually that many.  This model is another of the little loved castings.  It debuted in 2011 in plum and in dark green (2 versions), and a 2011 1st Editions 10-pack release was already carried forward to the 2022 Advent Calendar. And there was the 2014 silver basic range issue.  That was it.  It pops up randomly.  I don't know why.  But that silver could have carried forward instead.  It would have been a better option, and we don't have a silver in the new set. Because out of the 6, I am only keeping 5.  Even worse, after thinking about missing out on a possible 12 due to the change of the little sets for 2023.

Next up is the MB979 Porsche Cayman.  Do you remember they had this casting?  Because, again, this hasn't had a lot of love.  Seriously, what is with Matchbox creating these awesome Porsche castings lately, and then forgetting about them?  

Number 5 in the set of 6 is a carry forward of the 2018 basic range release.  Back then, I did manage to find a shade to the MB124, with some coming in more of a creamier shade than others.  So how does the new one compare?

It was opened, so I did see something that warranted me keeping it

It is on the lighter shade side, and is fairly close to the lighter one I had before.  But there is a small difference to them.  

But what I also noted with this was how much brighter the licence plate is. The code on the rear really stands out this time around.  

I am going to do another dive back here.  Yeah, I know, any opportunity to show my prepro.  I had this lovely metallic green prepro prototype from before they cast in the fuel filler cap on the side just behind the wheel.  And yes, the front and rear wheels are different.  It was a prototype.  I don't think matching wheels was of the utmost importance.

It actually debuted in 2015 in yellow as MB1.  

Then moved to the MB26 slot in 2016 in red. But was dropped from the basic range for 2017, with the white being a return for just 1 more outing.  

Ad after nothing again in 2019, we saw this brown issue released in the 2020 MBX Highway 5-pack.  And, until now, that was all we had seen of it.  

Which brings us to the last model.  Number 6 of 6 is the return of the MB785 '71 Porsche 914.  

Guess what?  This model debuted in 2010 and has had a sporadic life.  Go figure!  This is a carry forward of the 2011 MB16 release.  The oldest of the dive backs into their history for a repeat performance.  I had 2 at the time.  The orange saw a nice shade.  

But, what you mainly notice with the new one, is that the window section is a little different.  It is not quite as tinted, and the surround for it is now a much brighter orange.  This is giving it a much better match to the body.  

For those who like this sort of thing, the base has seen a re-engraving in the interim between production of this orange one.  It still officially keep the VW moniker that they put on the base. his was because the real vehicle was going to be sold as either, and was developed as both a replacement for the Porsche 912 and VW Karmann Ghia Type 34.  Late on, Porsche convinced VW that it would be better to sell it just as a Porsche.  But, for legal reasons, the VW name still appears on the model.

That window surround was quite a significant thing for me.  This is because I had a lot of fun with the debut release of the model.  It debuted in 2010 in lime green, but the first production run came out in a pale pastel green.  They had body matched the window surround, but as a running change was required, they also switched the window surround to darken it up a bit.  However, there was a crossover, which I found. The late window surround wasn't a great match, but it was rushed through.  

Well, as I have them, why not show off this sporadic release model as well.  2010.  The debut year.  Aside from the light green, a second green appeared later in the year as a version 2.  This was a very dark green.  A mustard yellow was sold in the 1st Editions 10-pack and a blue one was used at the 2020 Gathering in Albuquerque as a show model.  At the time, they would produce a special show model for the Sunday toy show in a blister pack (which is long gone).  

Apart from the 2011 basic in orange, we also had a yellow Classic Rides 5-pack release, which was good for a shade or 2, and a red Lesney Edition model with a metal base and a cool Earl B. Comthax racing livery. And then, nothing.  2012 and it was gone.

It did come back for 2013 as a 10-pack exclusive, with each of the exclusives being a classic vehicle with a single upper tampo print.  This came in blue.  And then, it was gone again.

4 years later, and it popped back up again in the Best of set.  This was the return of premium Matchbox, and we saw the Earl B. Comthax livery return for a second outing.  The red was lighter, the base back to plastic, but is now had rubber wheels.  For those who cannot remember, Earl B. Comthax is an anagram of "real Matchbox".  

And again, it took 4 years before we saw the next round of releases.  2021 saw it get quite a run.  Red (MB45) and white (MB74) basic range releases and a silver 9-pack issue. It was a semi-exclusive, meaning it appeared in both sets in a batch that year. 3 models in 1 year, and now this.  Which means it only saw "new" outings in 5 different years (2010, 2011, 2013, 2017, 2021).  As I said.  Sporadic!  Just like the Panemera and Cayman.  And the 911 Rally. The Cayman has only just started, and the 911 GT3 was a long-running icon of the range for many years, and appears to be on a new run.  But as a rule, many modern Porsche castings don't seem to get a lot of use.  I wish I knew why.  

Well, on that sour note, I am done with my latest showcase.  3 fantastic new looks.  All of them stellar releases, and all 3 getting a 10 out of 10 from me.  

Plus 3 carry forwards, of which 1 didn't even make it into the collection.  That was a bit of a letdown.  Especially after the realization that the set was only 6 and not 12, like we were used to.  

So, a bit of a mixed bag, really.  Which I am, really sad to say, as these are freaking Porsches!  Oh well, not everything is a home run.  Half of these were.  2 managed to get a run.  One was a swing and a miss.  I hope you enjoyed my Porsche trip, anyway.  They are Porsches.  They are still cool.  Next week sees me checking out more basics.  Until then, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.


  • Andre Alexander Andrews

    I like Porsche toys cars

  • Keith.

    Very lazy of Mattel to reissue 3 colours we already have in our collections, how hard is it to do different colours like the other 3 ? I already have the Cayman and Panamera from singles, 5 packs, and 10 packs, but they want us to shell out for another one in these financially straitened times. The 2 yellow ones are not paint shade differences, one is lemon and one is bright yellow just like the green ones are different colours. Available in other markets APART FROM THE UK which makes collecting very expensive for us English collectors, but do Mattel care ?

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