Matchbox Monday is working its way through more rigs

I have been quite getting into this Working Rigs series lately.  Originally, I did not bother with them.  My collection was limited to models in a 3" size.  Technically, it still is.  But the guys at Wheel Collectors asked if I would be willing to discuss them too.  I decided to add them.  They did ask about Skybusters as well, because they also stock them in their store, but this was really getting out of my comfort zone.  Although I hadn't collected the earlier Working Rigs (where they had “Real” at the start), I had still been busy cataloguing the series, and making notes of when/where they appeared.  But the Skybusters? Nope!  I know very little about them, and still know precious little.  I just never got into them.  So I don't see me ever expanding into the Skybusters series on the blog reports.  But I am doing the Working Rigs now.  Which is pretty cool, because there are some really nice castings out there.  

So let's get into this lot.  Which starts this batch with the number 1 of 16 RW028 MBX Excavator.  Wait a sec.  Does this feel familiar?

I swear I have done this before.  Checks records.  Yep. Batch A.  They repeated it for the second batch. Which is fine.  I mean, this is in the recurring  National Parks scheme.  

And I do like all the National Parks stuff.  Unless they are on a Skybusters.  I am skipping those!  We all collect differently, so for some, adding a Skybusters National Parks model would be a no-brainer!

So, out of curiosity, let's bring in the earlier production run from batch A for a little side by side comparison.  

Ooh, yeah!  The newer production run is on the left.  A much paler mint green shade.  If you are like me, and enjoy a shade variation, then this is definitely up your street. They are noticeably different.  

With 4 batches scheduled for the year, we should be looking at around a 13-week turnaround between batches.  And look at that.  13 weeks, on the dot!  That is what I call perfect.  

I am still to own any of the original 4 of these.  A blue INC one from 2012 (repeated in 2019), as well as a white (not a Ranec, but very similar) one also from 2012.  There was also a black one in a 2013 Mission Force set, that I had, but gave away.  Yes, regrettable now!  Then a 2018 orange one.  I only started this new avenue with Wheel Collectors in 2020, which is when the green one appeared.  I am still not sure whether I will go back and collect any of the older ones.  But I am keeping all the new ones.  Including the nice shade variation.  Because, this is a really cool one.  It's National freaking Parks!  

Which brings us to a lovely new casting.  The RW053 GM Brightdrop Zevo 600.  The what? I had to Google this.  I had never heard of Brightdrop.  It turns out, this company was set up by GM in January 2021, with a view to create a sustainable start mile and end mile delivery.  As such, the Zevo Van (600 and a small 400 coming in 2023) as well as the Trace pallet truck were created.  The first customer to take the Zevo 600 in 2022?  FedEx!  They took the first 5 off the production line in 2022, and immediately set a Guiness World Record by driving the Zevo from New York to Washington DC.  This never had any extra charge, and covered 260 miles, which still stands as a record at the moment.  So the fact that they got the licence to use this original company is even more awesome!

And for those who might not have noticed, this model is being made from recycled zinc.  This is slowly rolling out across the Matchbox portfolio.  As noted with the special Tesla Roadster promotional issue a while ago. By the end of the decade, Mattel hopes that the entire Matchbox portfolio will be made this way.  

hen you open the model, you cannot tell that it is made from recycled parts.  It feels just as you would expect it to.  They have done a terrific job in that respect.  Of course, 10, 15, 20 odd years down the line, I have no idea whether metal fatigue may rear its ugly head on these.  We have seen it in the past on models, and it is the only thing I do worry about with this change.  But you cannot sit here for a quarter of a century before making things properly to see what happens. 

As to the model itself.  Well, again, Google was my friend in looking at real ones.  

This is a real one.  I think they pretty much nailed it.  And the design as well.  At the bottom of the door, the Matchbox guys added US DOT RW053.  That is the model's manufacturing number.  A little Matchbox fun on an otherwise solid casting.  

Being a Working Rig, there is obviously something that is going to be working in it.  We move to the rear of the model, where you can see the opening rear.  

Which opens up very easily, and slots into place to hold up.  A simple piece of play value, but in a vehicle like this, I am not sure what else they could have done.  I am wondering if they are thinking of making the Zevo 400 in the Moving Parts series?  I think it would work, having the larger and smaller ones going.  

As you can see, you are able to fully slot the opening rear into the top of the rear of the vehicle. Plenty of space to throw things inside, especially the smaller children throwing things in the back to hide them. 

Te only thing I find that some may not like, is that this has blacked out windows.  No interior.  But that would have been a small part.  Was it really important? I am not overly fussed about it here.  Growing up, vans and trucks often did not have interiors, and I never had any issue with Lesney doing it.  Or Universal.  So why would it be an issue now?  One thing I do miss, though, is that Lesney would often simply have frosted windows that you could not see in, rather than solid black. But I have to admit, on this particular release of this one, black does not look out of place. 

I am trying to think, is this the first time we have seen a Working Rigs vehicle use a wheel that is more commonly seen on a basic range model?  

I really like this one.  I have to admit, when I first saw pictures, I was curious about the wing mirrors.  It turns out the main part of the mirror is a part of the window section, with the rest being a tampo print on the body.  Very effective I think. 

It's an electric vehicle, so again we are getting a very plain looking base.  But what else would you expect? I think this is going to be a very popular model.  

And I love that they secured the FedEx licence for it.  I showcased a history of FedEx with the MB813 Express Delivery earlier this year.  This model came in batch A of the basic range, and we saw a playset issue.  The 2 versions seeing a small variation in the FedEx logo. 

The new Brightdrop looks to be hybrid of the 2 issues of the smaller model.  The “Fed” part is closer to the basic range release of the MB813, but the “Ex” part is more akin to the playset issue.  

I wonder if they could get a FedEx logo on the eStar Electric Van? A nice vehicle that I have seen (on my Google searches) that FedEx have used.  The MB1091 issue in Warn livery is the 2022 basic range (and 2023 5-pack) issue.  

And now for something that some people will have seen before.  But for me, as a relative newcomer to owning Working Rigs models, this is something new.  The RW008 MAN TGS Flatbed Cargo Hauler, taking the number 8 slot in the series.  But do you notice anything on the card art? A small blooper.  Next to the Matchbox 70 years logo?  A certain Freightliner logo.  Oops!  MAN is a subsidiary of Traton, which is part of the VAG Group in Germany.  Freightliner is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks, which is a part of the Mercedes-Benz Group in Germany.  I notice random things.  

Of course, I open everything, and the package goes in the recycling tub.  So that little error is now history in my little world.  I now have my first look at the 2009 casting of the MAN TGS.  Which is fine, as those who collected right from the start will also have been looking at this.  It is a carry forward of the original 2009 release, which arrived in the final batch of the year.  It comes (came) in blue, with a Tom's Transport side design.  A simple design which worked then, and still works now.  It doesn't need to be all flashy, as this looks very realistic. 

In the rear you will find an arm that will collect the crate to offload.  

The arm rotates around to place the crate on the floor, and the sides of the rear bed will also lower.  A lot of play value in this one.  Why is this reminding me of the old Lesney Ford Transit?  

The arm sports a number of pivoting points to it, which is really cool.  

The rear bed of the MAN TGS has 2 slots for the crate to be left.  Towards the front….

Or in the middle.  The arm can extend or retract to pick up the crate from either position.  However, as I don't own the original 2009 release, at the time it did actually sport 2 crates, one in each position when released.  It has only been since the 2019 rebirth of Working Rigs, that the crates became a single one.  

And from what I have heard, the overall look of the model (except losing a crate) is almost identical to how it was when released in 2009.  The only differences are that the front end is now inkjet printed, not tampo printed as it was originally (giving a different final effect), and the fact that the base was re-engraved in the interim between “Real Working Rigs” and “Working Rigs”.  

But I wanted to do something little as an extra.  Get it?  Little?  It's a basic range model. So smaller.  This is the only MAN casting to have ever been seen in  small scale.  And not for very long.  This is the blue one of the MB1073 MAN TGS 18.440 Dump Truck.  It came in the 2020 MBX Construction II 5-pack.  With both being MAN TGS castings, I thought it would be nice to see how the made them slightly different.  To be honest, apart from being made in smaller scale, they are remarkably alike.  The main difference is that the lower grille area was a part of the base on the smaller one.  Conversely, the steps were a part of the body.  

Placing them side by side really enhances the difference in size between a miniature and a working rig. These are both models of the same basic vehicle, yet one is so much larger.  

The other 2 basics join in for this final picture.  In 2018, it debuted as MB31 (a little late) in a dark yellow.  An initial run with a simple front print saw a running change to incorporate more printing, with additional printing down the sides. 2019 saw the model move to the MB27 slot in red, with the same tampo as it ended the yellow run.  The 2020 release in blue used the same tampo again.  It has not been seen since.  Which is a real shame.  

The final model in the batch is the RW020 MBX Road Grader in a very familiar looking livery.  It takes the number 13 slot in the series.  

This model appears in a dark yellow with yellow rings wheels and an Matchbox Construction side design.  

Yes, this is the same construction theme that has debuted in a huge way for 2023.  This was a Michael Heralda design, and it serves a great purpose here, with its first foray outside the smaller sized models.  

As you may remember, we first saw this new livery on the MBX Construction 5-pack in 2023.  4 of the 5 models in the set sported the look (a certain Scraper repeated a classic design). The MB1176 MBX Backhoe and MB1289 Road Roller shown here.

As well as the MB710 Dump Truck and MB924 '14 Chevy Silverado 1500 shown here. 

We then saw the MB742 Garbage King (FKA 2008 Garbage Truck) in the basic range sporting the same look.  The second construction themed 5-pack is also now appearing, and again, we are getting more of the design.  I just haven't got mine yet.  I really like a recurring theme.  I just wonder, at the rate they are going, are we going to have utilized all the models too quickly.  

Again, I am missing early releases of the casting.  The debut yellow from 2011 and the red 2012 issue.  However, the red was re-issued in 2021, which means I do sort of own it.  

It then had another yellow release as part of the rebirth in 2019, which I missed at the time, but picked up when it was repeated in 2022.  

Which technically means that the latest is only the 4th official look for the casting.  It has been produced 6 times, but 2 are carry forward issues. So I am not doing too badly with this one.   

And on that note, I think I am done with another review.  Only 4 models.  2 of them are new (one a new look, the other a new casting), and both looking awesome.  

The other 2 being seen before.  One recently, but sporting a shade.  The other a long time ago.  So good for me.  

You may think only doing a review of 4 models is a small offering.  Just wait until next week.  Until then, I hope everybody has a lovely and safe week. 

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