Matchbox Monday makes magic with Moving Parts B

I really wish that the Matchbox Moving Parts range was larger.  I also wish it was more widely available in the UK.  I have heard of a few people finding them in The Entertainer, yet barely any of those stores I have been in even have Moving Parts, let alone this batch (a few had batch B of 2023).  I did find a small independent store stocking Moving Parts.  When I say small, I mean it.  It is a tiny store, and as far as I can tell, the only one in the country.  And, with a range of 50 a year, with so many new castings coming out on a yearly basis, many are not being seen in year 2.  They have quite a database of Moving Parts tooling now, and can easily up this range to a larger group.  I would love to see them make it a traditional 75.  Anyway, I am extremely grateful to Wheel Collectors, as they are ensuring that I am not missing things.  And, even better, they were lucky enough to get in an order that had some chases in it.  I got a chase as well.  Yes!  So, with that in mind, I should get on with things.  I will do as I usually do, and go in numerical order.

Which means, I am starting with a blue one.  For those who read last week's report, I did mention how much blue there was in that batch.  Well, that is not the case here.  This is the only blue.  It just happened to be first.  It is the MB1372 Tesla Model 3.  This actually debuted last year, and they have slightly altered things for the 2024 model year.  You might have noticed a bit of a trend in making the new castings the first numbers each year, and then filling up the rest of the series with older castings in new looks.  This year, they have made it more of a random selection.  Because we do have new castings in this batch, but they are coming later.  The Tesla take the number 8 slot in the series.

After seeing something that Tesla don't do in the debut, this release is a standard Tesla colour. Deep Blue Metallic.  It looks fine.  However, is it me, or is it a little blotchy?  Particularly on the door.  

Every single Tesla comes with a simple front and rear tampo print.  This is no exception.  You cannot fault that.  I like the grey wheels, as they suit the look of the blue well. The window has quite a tint to it, but I do not mind that. This is a decent look.

The opening doors are still smooth, opening and closing correctly.  There is very little to go wrong. However, that slight blotching to the paint does chip a tiny bit off of a perfect score from me.  9.5.  It is good.  It is a Tesla.  I am just feeling there is just too much Tesla.  Sometimes, less is more.  And with only few colour choices (will Tesla ever do a green car officially?), I do feel these all seem to blur together into one Tesla promotion.  

I have to say, last year's debut will take some beating.  It is a lovely colour, and not one of Tesla's traditional choices.  I love that they went with something a little out of the ordinary. I guess they can't do too many of those.  

And, as I pointed out only a few weeks ago, 2024 has also seen a basic range version of the MB1448 Tesla 3 arrive in white.  

This is what I mean when I think we are getting a bit of a Tesla overload. I am waiting for the Model S and Model Y to appear in Moving Parts. With 3 of the 5 models appearing in both ranges, I just feel it is too much. I know some like a Tesla. I am not fussy about them. They look nice. But, when shrunk to a miniature size, they do tend to look a little similar. Except for the Roadster. That one is unique.

And now, I move on to the first of 3 new castings in the batch.  Taking the number 11 slot in the series of 50 is a new, updated look for the Audi RS6 Avant.  The MB1453 '23 Audi RS6 Avant is the current generation, as we have been using the first generation (Typ 4B) Renn Sport since 2006.  There had been 2 generations between that one and the latest Typ 5G 4th generation.  It is about time we had an update.  I have been waiting for ages to see it.  And, yes, Wheel Collectors did send it to me with the box already open. Why?

Because they sent me 2.  And this is one of the problems that we have with the new packaging style.  One of 2 issues that I am pointing out with this batch.  You see....

The Audi is being sold with or without luggage in the rear.  But, with the way they are now packaging them, there is simply no way of knowing which you are getting until you open the package up. Thankfully, the guys were happy to divulge my crazy desire to obtain all variations, and opened a few packs to get me both.  

This model is painted Mythos Black Metallic, an official Audi option.  But, what you really notice is that the window works its way into the roof quite far.  This is a little unusual.  I am not sure if I like this way of doing things.  Yes, the real car can come with a panoramic sunroof there, but there would normally be a small piece of the roof in front of it.  However, these are normally a carbon piece, not usually a part of the body colour. It is an unusual build in real life, and I am not sure what I think of the translation into a miniature.  

The shape of the model looks just about spot on to me.  I did a little comparison between these and the real ones, and I do think they nailed the look.  

That front end in particular, they really nailed the current Audi style.  Hmm!  That is a weird bit of camera flash on the one on the right, giving it the look of a bit of silver at the bottom.  

And I am loving the fact that this has proper B and C Pillars on it.  They are a part of the body.  Many models have them as part of the window section.  The shape has been captured perfectly.  The look, with the black and simple front and rear detailing, is spot on.  The rear does not open too far, and it is not easy to keep it up.  It tends to fall shut all the time.  But, I like that they went with the rear.  Not many models have a rear opening, and a wagon should be one that really points to that back end.  It is a feature. And it has the luggage variation.  

That window piece, though. I know, technically, this is probably the closest to the real one they would get.  They are not going to tampo print a carbon piece look to the top of the model.  But, it does look a little weird like that.  I really don't think I like it.  I think I would have gone with a piece of the body to separate it from the rest.  As we usually see from castings that have a sunroof.  This is definitely an unusual build, as it looks like the window piece is overlapping the top of the body section.  I think it would have been better staying with the tried and trusted method.  So, scores.  Am I happy seeing a new Audi RS6 Avant?  Most definitely.  That old one has had a terrific life, but it has been going a long time.  And skipping 2 generations, I am so happy we finally get a new one.  So, for that, I am giving it a 10.  The casting itself.  The shape has been captured so well.  Although, this is par for the course nowadays.  They are nailing things left, right and centre.  And, giving us an Easter Egg?  Cherry on top stuff.  But, that window.  No.  I just can't give it top marks.  And, I do wish the rear opened further.  Obviously, you can see in through the rear to see whether it does or does not come with things in the back (as long as you open it first).  The real ones open up quite high.  I think they could have made it a little better at opening up.  So, for the casting, I am giving it an 8.5.  1 point off for the window, and a half point for the rear.  Yes, I have to be cruel. They did bug me just a little bit.  The slight imperfections, but enough to chip away at the perfect score.  The final look?  10!  Easy.  The black, tan interior, 5-spoke wheels, very light tinted windows?  Spot on.  And the opening rear matches beautifully. The lights line up along the 2 different parts well.  That makes it 28.5 out of 30 for the new casting.  Exactly 3 times the score of the previous model.

It is a new casting, therefore it gets a customary base shot.  Do I notice a 2022 copyright?  It looks like this was aiming for a 2023 release, but was likely delayed just a bit.  Or, are they now at a point where the lead time from copyright to actual production is now taking the best part of a year? I remember as a kid seeing a model with a copyright year of the year before it arrived, but a few were the actual year of release, coming out late in the year.  But, that was the 1970s.  We know that modern stuff is much more involved than it was.  So many more layers to deal with.  

Before I move on, I had to bring in that old one.  You know, the one with the lovely sunroof.  Oh, I am off again.  This particular MB696 Audi RS6 Avant came from the 2007 Autobahn 5-pack.  I chose it, well, because it is black.  It matches the new one very well.  

Lengthwise, the 2 models are very similar.  It does look like they have been made to a similar scale.  I do like consistency.  

The new casting is slightly lower, slightly wider, and has that wonderful aggressive look of modern Audis.  I think current Audis do look good.  

Although, one thing that never changes is the RS6 logo.  Well, it probably will, not that I have said that.  It really helps to match these 2 up.

I do enjoy the opening rear.  I am very happy to see a modern wagon in the Moving Parts range.  It has been a long time since we had a wagon with a rear that opened.  

And now, we move from a German update to a German re-visit.  This is another new casting.  The MB1451 '73 BMW 3.0CSL.  Although the package has classified it as a BMW CSL 3.0.  I have no idea why?

The base has it correct.  And that is usually what I go by. So, I am calling it what it says on the base.  The only time I tend to ignore the base is when it is not mentioned what the model is (bikes often have that misfortune as they don't have the space), or if a certain manufacture requests it for legal reasons (like VW with the Caddy (Licenced by VW) or ID4 (Electric Vehicle 4), or if it is a Range Rover (they have to put Land Rover)).  There are others.  I am not going to list them all.  It takes the number 25 slot in the range, and comes in a very visually appealing orange.

Of course, Inca Orange was an official colour choice for this car.  It was quite a popular one as well, from what I can tell.  But, as we also know, the very first Matchbox BMW was the 3.0 CSL, back in 1976.  What colour did it debut in?  Orange.  So, this also pays homage to the classic.  A double whammy!  Brilliant.  And this is just that, brilliant.  Look at the shape.  I know I am a big fan of the original, but this really captures the shape much better.  

Especially at the front.  They have absolutely nailed that front end.  Terrific work on this one.

Are you noticing all the tampo printing here? This goes all the way round.  Front, rear, both sides?  On a core model?  Wow!  This model is really going to town with the detailing.  

However, this is not perfection.  Sadly, they went with an opening bonnet/hood.  Okay, in theory, they could open anything they want.  It is just, well, I thought they would have gone with the doors.  The original had the doors open.  And, well, with this opening towards the front of the model, it is a little unusual, yes, but that is full open.  There is a detailed engine inside.  Yes, 5 passes through the tampo machine.  That is a lot.  And, well, if they had gone with opening doors, with side detailing like that, it would have actually meant 6 passes.  Because each door would have needed a pass.  So, I do see it in a way.  Of all the parts that do open, this is the only one that can get away with needing no tampo.  But, it is only a tiny gap.  It reminds me of the MB176 Skoda 130LR & MB491 VW Beetle 4x4.  Both had opening parts that barely opened, and you struggled to see what was in there.  It does give it a "what was the point" moment.

And, once open, it is not the easiest at shutting.  You try and click it down, and it pops up at the front.  You then spend a number of seconds fiddling about with it to get it closed again.

Still trying....

Screw it!  It's sitting like that now.  So, scores?  Inclusion. I think it is a fantastic choice.  They do enjoy bringing back some iconic vehicles of the past.  And I love that they chose the original BMW that Matchbox made.  10 out of 10.  Casting?  Err!  Well, there's this part that I am struggling to close.  Had this been a basic range model, it would have been a perfect 10.  The shape has been captured effortlessly.  I love it.  But, again, I cannot give a perfect score on a moving part.  So, 9 out of 10.  The final look? Absolutely incredible.  5 passes through the tampo machine (or possibly even an upgrade to ink jet printing, as this has that sort of look to it).  The beautiful orange background and the stripes.  Anything less than a 10 is lying.  A perfect 10.  So, a 29.  Which, in ratio, is currently putting this top of the leaderboard for this batch.  

And, I have to bring in the classic, don't I. The original ran from 1976 through 1980 in orange, and I went with one of the ones with clear windows (more often found with green) for this comparison.  

Again, the length of the new one is comparable to the classic.  But, do you notice that they have correctly pointed the front end.  The original was a little flat.  But, they likely had a single photo to work from, as was the case in those days.  It was common in the 1970s to simply work from memory, or from a single photo on a model.  They didn't have resources that are available nowadays.  But, in this case, the new casting has lost the B pillar.  

From the front, you can see that, again, the new one is a little lower.  This time it is just a fraction narrower.  It gives the model a more realistic look. It was pretty common in the 1970s to fatten models up a lot for the models.  It also gains some wing mirrors.  And, as I said, the angle of the front grille is more pronounced, as the real one way.  The original did go quite straight down.  

Which is also evident at the rear.  There is a possibility that they were working without a proper picture of the rear, and making it up for the model.  That was another things that did used to happen. I remember Paul Carr telling me that exact scenario played out when he made a model of the Peterbilt in 1981 (launched in 1982).  He had 1 photo.  It showed the front, it showed the side.  He had absolutely no idea what the back should look like, so he guessed.  That was how they used to roll.

I know it sounds weird, but even though the old one was quite wrong in a number of aspects, there is just something about it.  I really like the new one.  But, the nostalgia factor might be playing a part, as I still prefer the old one.  It has always been one of my favourite castings, having had 2 as a kid (I accidentally (yeah, right) pulled the doors off my first one and bugged my parents to get a new one).  We had time.  As I said, it was around for 5 years.  

Now, this is something brand new from Matchbox.  The MB1460 Porsche 356.  Again, the package has marked it as 356A.  

Yes, I begin with the base shot again.  Yes, Porsche 356.  No "A".  

For those who do not know, Porsche started making the 356 in 1948.  Early models had a split window at the front.  Then, in 1952, they changed it to a 1-piece, but this did have a "V" in the middle.  It was when they launched the 356A in late 1955, they changed the window to a single curved piece.  This model has the single curved piece.  Therefore, it is a 356A.  So, what am I calling it?  356!  Didn't you just read my blurb on the BMW? I go by the base.  Anyway, number 30 in the series of 50 debuts in an absolutely stunning white.  Along with a gorgeous red interior.

This model is beautiful.  I have longed for the original 356 to be made in miniature.  356? 356A? 356B? 356C? It didn't matter.  I just wanted to see them make a 356 in any style.  And they have gone completely stock.  It is a visual delight.  I am stunned.  

The model comes complete with simple front and rear detailing, as well as a little detailing on the single grille on the opening rear (which means it can be no newer than a 356A, as the 356 B & C had twin grilles).

Which also opens to reveal a lovely, detailed engine inside.  This is simply stunning.  

It may be a small opening, but it is all that is needed.  And it stays open in a solid position.  It is very well done.  I am so impressed with this one.

I cannot fault it. You may notice no wing mirrors.  They were optional.  Not all Porsches had them. It has such wonderful lines without them, why bother?  I am fine with it.  I think I have to give this a perfect score.  Inclusion?  Most definitely.  I already said I have been pining for a 356 of some sort.  I got my wish.  10.  Casting?  I cannot fault this.  I am not just being biased.  I love Porsches.  But, even if I hadn't been a massive Porsche fan, I don't think the beauty of this one can be faulted.  10.  The final look? White, lightly tinted windows, front and rear detailing (as well as engine), a lovely red leather look for an interior, disk wheels, chrome base.  Spotless!  As is the score.  30 out of 30!  This one is going to be a real contender for model of the year.  

I now move on to the second repeat model in regular assortments.  The MB1225 '19 Ford Ranger.  The second of 3 of the standard issues in the batch that is not a new casting.  But, unlike the Tesla (and the next one), which both appeared late in 2023, this has been around for quite a few years.  It debuted in the 2020 range, and has been a mainstay ever since.  For a Moving Parts model, that is quite a phenomenon.  I think this is the longest serving continuous Moving Parts model in their range.  It takes the number 39 slot in the series and appears in grey.

When this model first arrived, it saw a few side designs, but after that, every release has followed the same pattern.  We get a simple colour, and the front end gets detailed, along with the Ford badge adorning the grille, along with a colour coded bottom edge print on it. Some people might not notice that it is actually a tampo print on the grille.

And the rear stays blank.  Although in this case, the rear has come out almost silver, in comparison to the grey of the rest.  

Which, tampo-wise, for a Moving Parts model is low.  However, it does have the opening rear tailgate and an opening hood.  It is a fun little model.  And I love consistency.  It is a shame that mine has the rear coming in a totally different shade.  It does stand out.  For that reason, I am going to score a 9.5.  So close.  I have been rather amazed by the staying power of this one.  Where we are seeing a quick turnaround for many models in the Moving Parts series, this one is enduring.  Is that because it is a Ford Ranger?  Are they known for that?  I see them on the road in the UK.  They do seem to be more of a worldwide Ford truck, rather than a US one. I like that a pickup truck I will see regularly on the street is in the range, so am happy to see some more.  I like the plain looks.  

The 2020 Moving Parts debut was also grey, but this was a much darker shade, and had the side design. Skyjacker. We haven't seen that on a model in a few years.  It's about time we saw another one of those.  

For 2021, the model saw a Collectors series issue in orange, with a Superlift and stripes look.  It also bizarrely had no grille detailing.  On a premium.  Momving Parts saw the first of the continuing theme of simple front detailed releases in blue.

Which has been followed up by red in 2022 and black in 2023.  I love this level of symmetry between the models.  The exact same tampo.  The exact same wheels.  

Am I tired of this?  No, I am enjoying it.  I love the simple looks, and I am looking forward to adding a few more. Although, I would not say no to a recurring theme. How about an MBX Construction, INC, or Ranec look? I would very happily go for any of those as a future issue.  Hey, go for all 3. I would take them all.  I think there is still life in this. But, this does prove that with the many castings that are now in their database, there is room to increase the range.  There are quite a few now that have not been used in a few years, yet deserve more outings.  

Now it is time to move on to the last of the regular issues.  The third and final model that is not new.  The MB1381 '20 Chevy Tahoe.  As was the case with the Tesla, this first arrived in late 2023, and is already on a new outing.  This time, the number 49 of 50 comes in a dark red.

This look is officially called Cherry Red Tint, according to Chevrolet. This model takes a slightly different path with the front detailing than the debut did.  That one was black, so utilized a little silver to enhance the front.  This simply has a large black tampo printed grille.  Plus the Chevy bow-tie and lights depicted.  It is not all black. I have to admit, the hood gap seems more prominent here.  I think on a black model, the gaps tend to go dark, and it almost hides it.  Now it is a lighter colour, you really see how much of a gap there is to the fitting of the hood on the rest of the body.  Which is a shame.  I really like the model, and was happy to see a new Chevy Tahoe again. 

The rear end has simple detailing again.  

The black front trickles over into the engine compartment, with a little detailing for the engine.  I love this red look, and overall, I think is a really nice model.  I am going to score a 9.5 though.  That ill-fitting hood is not the best.  I just think there is too much of a gap, and now it is not black, it does stand out more.

You can see the additional chrome grille detailing that the original had.  I understand why that was added there, but wonder if it could have been added here as well?  I think it could have worked.  Checking pictures of real red ones, I see that they come with plain black or a little chrome on them, so either way is correct.  I think it might have been nicer, with a touch of silver.  I am not downgrading my score. After all, what they did was correct.  I am not arguing it is the wrong type of correct here.

As you can see, the red adds black into the tampo printing for the rear, which helps to enhance things on this end.  It looks better with the added detailing.  I look forward to seeing what colours they come up with next.  White or blue are my guesses for future issues.  But, before I move on to the extra special model, I just wanted to bring in one more.

I noticed that this matches the 2023 Moving Parts debut of the MB1387 '24 Chevy Blazer EV.  I thought they made for a good pairing.  Anyway, on to the chase.

This is the first of 4 Moving Parts Super Chase models for 2024.  The MB1253 '19 Pagani Huayra Roadster.  It comes in a lovely black and bronze look.

For 2024, the Moving Parts Super Chase models match the way that basic range Super Chase models are packaged.  We get the Super Chase logo on the package, and no number.  Last year, when Moving Parts launched Super Chase models, they changed the series of 50 to 54, and then numbered from 51 through 54.  All while the basic range had unnumbered chases.  I am glad that they have synced the 2 ranges up.  

As we would expect from a Super Chase, the model receives an uplift in the amount of tampo detailing it is given.  Plus, it now sports real riders.  This brings it up to Collector series level.  I am loving the additional detail over the top, and I notice a little SC on the side for Super Chase.  This appears to be the norm for most of the Super Chase models now across both ranges.  

And of course that engine on the inside is highly detailed.  It looks spectacular.  

Now, if you remember, back when I was talking about the Audi, I mentioned that there are 2 issues with the new style of packaging.  One was that you could not see in the rear of the models.  For some, this is proving problematic when we are looking for the variation. Mazda MX-30s and VW Golf MkIIIs may be being bought in bulk.  Maybe that is their evil plan, to get us to buy more.  However, there is another small issue.  One that I think might not have been thought about.  This model has real riders.  

These real riders are then slotted into the foam insert before being packaged in the box.  However, as you attempt to pop the model back out, it is really easy to pull a tyre off.  And, if you are not careful, you might lose it or damage it.  Sure, a plastic wheel will destroy that foam insert with no visible harm to itself.  But this type of wheel is a little different, and that foam is going to be the victor.  I bet you that this is not something that the Matchbox team have thought about.  I am not sure how they fix it, without a complete change.  Or just ignore it and hope nobody does actually damage or lose a wheel while trying to remove.  And no, this is not a call for me to start leaving chases in packages.  I am going to open everything! But, that is a packaging issue.  Not a model issue.  The model is stunning.  And this, well, it is only the second model of the batch that is getting top marks.  Sure, the Audi and BMW only lost minor marks in the construction.  And this is not getting a score.  It did when it arrived, and it was not a top score.   So, I guess, the Porsche is the winner!  Ha!  

Talking of the debut, this is giving the Ford Ranger a run for its money.  It is only 1 year behind.  It debuted in 2021 in blue.  Which I did notice was good for a shade.

With 2022 seeing a multi-release.  Just like the Ford Ranger seeing 2 ranges in its second year, this was also in the Collectors series for 2022 in white, which I think is not as nice as the new one.  I think this one looks spectacular.  Those colours just pop.  They work so well together.  The Moving Parts series saw a nice red issue.

And 2023 gave us a charcoal release in the Moving Parts series.  

That's a lovely collection of Matchbox Paganis.  That is a line I would not have expected to say a decade ago. The current direction of the Matchbox brand is at such a high level nowadays, that I do have to be a little stingy with scores.  I know only 2 models scored a perfect 10 (although all the new castings got a perfect 10 for the final look), but when I score things down, I am still thinking they are amazing little models.  I love this direction, and these Moving Parts releases are exactly how I would want to get my models.  This is why I continue to support the Matchbox brand, and ignore any other brand.  I am loyal, and the current team are pandering to what I want, because it is what works.  Long may this continue.

So, I think that means I am done with another blog.  This batch gave us 3 brand new castings. All amazing, but one is really standing out as a possible casting of the year.  

And another 4 models (if you get the chase), 2 of which are in their second years, the other 2 being much more long-run.  

Next week sees me looking at a lot of new stuff, that pretty much all feels familiar.  I decided to lump a few things together.  I hope you enjoyed my latest ramblings.  Until next week, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.

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