Matchbox Monday moves along into batch C

It's batches like this that really gets me wanting more from the Moving Parts series.  For a number of years now, they have limited the range to 50 models (not including chases).  And almost half of these are new castings.  We get around two fifths to be exact.  Plus, some new castings actually appear in the Collectors series, but could be put in Moving Parts as well.  This means that their tool bank for this range is now quite bloated.  There is an easy scope to up this range from 50 to 75.  20 new castings, and it would be easy to throw in another 55 models to create a set.  And then, release them in larger assortments, with more models per assortment.  Move them (pun intended) to the same release schedule as the basic range, with 12 batches of 6 or 7 throughout the year.  A box of 12 could see 2 of most models in the assortment.  If it was a batch of 6, then it would be 2 of each.  This could become the new 1-75 series.  All licensed, all with opening parts on them.  That would be awesome!  Anyway, enough of my "getting pretty regular" Moving Parts rant.  We have a batch of stuff to go through.  

Funnily enough, with the way the numbers work this year, the 2 older castings are numerically up first.  We start with the MB1310 '19 Ram Ambulance. This is the model's 3rd year running in Moving Parts, and for 2024 takes the number 16 slot in white.

I immediately notice the Unit 58 on the upper part of the tampo.  A dead giveaway that this was one of Michael Heralda's designs.  It is an original design.  This is not the first time that this casting has seen a non-licensed look in the Moving Parts series. I like this look. We get the Matchbox County Ambulance livery, with an orange and red striped background.  And I like the red and yellow chevrons as well.  It is a simple design, but plastered well over the side of the model.  Plus, they have managed to squeeze in a few additional passes through the tampo machine.  The front end is fully detailed.

Plus, the rear is fully detailed.  And when I say fully....

Those red rear doors are the opening part, and are likely to have been tampo printed before assembly.  So, that does mean that they have managed to get a lot of tampo detailing across a core range model.  That is really cool.  I admit, I have been very impressed with this one. So much so, that I am starting my review by giving this a perfect 10.  We all like a licensed livery.  But, when they come up with their own, they can knock some real corkers out of the park.  That is why they do what they do.  

If you remember, the 2022 debut was in a Peel livery, with Peel based in Ontario, Canada.  

With 2023 seeing a pair of Matchbox themed issues.  The regular range model was in red with a yellow Matchbox Fire Dept livery.  The orange one was a special 70th Anniversary orange model in a side series for the celebrations.  

We also saw a pair of Burns Foundation models created as a promotional release for the annual Everett Marshall III Golf Tournament.  Red was the regular Burns charity model, with the pink being for Breast Cancer Research.

And then we had a Mattel Creations release with a National Parks livery on a special shiny green background.  

That is not a bad turnaround for a model that is only in year 3.  A total of 7 completely different looks so far.  I wonder how many more we will see over coming years?  I think there is still quite a future ahead of it.  

This model is further proof of the need to expand the range further.  Welcome back to Moving Parts MB1135 '65 VW Type 3 Fastback.  This was one of the original Moving Parts castings from when the range debuted in 2019.  Yet, this only is its 3rd outing in Moving Parts.  With so few slots, many models are having to pop out and back in sporadically.  This was a lovely casting, and I wish to see more of them.  For 2024, it takes the number 22 slot in dark green.

As with all of its previous Moving Parts releases, this model simply sports front and rear tampos.  As has been the case, the licence plate changes with each version, with the latest simply saying green in German.  Simple.  It works.  It comes with a black interior and grey base.  I have to admit, their grey plastics have not been suffering much with the swirly look lately.  This sort of shade of grey appears solid.  It makes a difference.

I really cannot fault this one.  I like it.  I believe this is Malachite Green.  An official VW colour option from the mid-1960s.  A perfect choice for the model.  

And because this casting has not seen a lot of action, the opening doors are still working perfectly.  The casting is still very sharp, and looks to have a lot of life left in it.  A lot.  Please use it more often.  I am giving this a perfect 10 as well.  

Let us do another quick recap.  I mean quick, as this model is not being used a lot.  It debuted in the first Moving Parts series.  Being the launch year, there were not a lot of castings, and as such, this debuted in red, and then saw a blue recolour later in the year.  With 2020 still being in build-up mode, the blue was repeated for the 2020 year.

2019 was a significant year, as they were also properly relaunching the premium segment.  At first, it was known as Superfast, and the model was also thrown in that range in an off-white look with gold wheels.  I even managed to obtain a shade, as it could be found a little more creamy at times.  You would have thought that after such a huge debut, this would have been a popular casting.  But, apart from that blue turning up again in 2020, we did not see it again until 2022.

When the Moving Parts series last saw the model.  This was in a purple look, that was mirroring the classic Superfast from 1970.  I am still waiting for the pink one to appear....

2023 gave us another premium outing, this time in what is now known as Collectors.  This was also in green, but as you can see, the green is a totally different shade.  

So, as you can see, there have only been 6 different versions of this VW. 1 less than the Ambulance.  Of course, the Ambulance did see some promotional items, but still.  This VW deserves more action.  

Enough of the older castings, this batch is new casting heavy.  Four of the 6 models are brand new.  That is a very high proportion.  So, let's have a look at the first one.  The MB1468 '78 Ford Bronco.  With the recent spate of modern, 6th generation Broncos hitting the Matchbox ranges, it is so nice to see some stock classics.  We only had one before.  A 1972 1st gen, but with a canopy roof and large 4x4 wheels.  I had been wanting something more stock for years.  This year, we are getting 2.  A 1st generation stock is in the basic range (review coming shortly) with this short-lived 2nd generation being in Moving Parts.It takes the number 23 slot in the range, and debuts in blue.

First impression?  Lovely!  For those who do not know, the Ford Bronco originally debuted in 1966.  The first generation started off well, but with competitors coming in with better models, Ford planned to replace it for the 1974 model year with a new, larger model, based of the F-series chassis.  However, with the fuel crisis in full swing, they felt a larger, fuel-hungry vehicle may not be the best choice, so plugged away with the first generation until finally launching this in 1977 as a 1978 model. By that time, they were almost finished with its replacement, as the 3rd generation debuted in 1979 as a 1980 model.  The second generation was literally a 2-year generation.  So, it is really nice that Matchbox have chosen this version for a model.  The SUV only came in this one configuration in real life.  A 3-door with a removable rear area.  However, although this Matchbox has a seperate piece for the rear end, it is not removable.  I tried.  It does not budge!

This model is marked down as a 1978.  When it launched, there were 2 trim levels.  Custom and Ranger.  The lower Custom level had round headlights.  The higher Ranger had square headlights.  This has square, so is therefore the Ranger version. In 1979, the custom changed their headlights to square. This is the sort of level of detail that Matchbox gets into at times.  Sometimes a model may have something wrong, but this is a correct configuration.  Kudos to the team for getting this correct.  Of course, this being a core range model, the front end is not being detailed.  It is made of the base section, and is chromed.  Something we see quite often.

However, this does receive side and rear detailing.  Most of it is the large white stripe that encompasses a lot of the vehicle.  It sees a little silver edging around it.  Plus some rear lights, and the side badge.  

What would be the removable top section is made of plastic.  It sort of reminds me of many classic Fords from the Lesney era and Universal era.  Of course, those did unclip.  But, with this sporting the window inside this rear section, I can see why they did not allow it to be removed.  I definitely think it was a good choice to make this a different piece.  Had they tried to tampo print this, it might have meant less tampo detailing elsewhere.  Plus, sometimes, trying to do this much tampo printing can be tough, and sometimes see rough edges or gaps. I mean, you can see a few little gaps in all the white on the side.  This is usually where the casting details are too far away for the pad to reach.  Being plastic does not bother me.  The majority of the model is metal, and it still feels solid.

Opening the hood on this one reveals a highly detailed engine.  And the hood raises quite high.  Something that we see issues with on other models.  The engine is also tampo printed, which means that this model has seen 4 passes through the tampo machine.

It looks more, due to a separate rear section. I honestly think that they made the right choice there.  Did it need an opening hood?  Could it have had doors opening instead?  We do seem to have more opening hood models in the range than anything else.  But, I don't think it made much of a difference in this case.  Hood? Doors?  I still think they did a great job here.  Does it sit a little high?  Perhaps?  I have checked some pictures of real ones, and many appear to sit high.  I don't think it is an issue.  I love it.  So, scores.  Inclusion?  Out of all the older generations of Broncos, I think this is the nicest.  Plus, being such a short generation, I think it makes it perhaps a little unique.  I am giving this a 10.  Casting?  Hmm!  I honestly have not seen anything that I would want improved.  The shape is captured well.  The stance, the detailing.  I cannot fault it.  So, again, a 10.  Final design?  Hmm!  I love the blue, and the white with silver trim detailing is lovely.  I wouldn't have expected as much tampo printing on a core model as this did get.  The only thing that is a minor, and I mean minor, blemish is the white stripes being a bit patchy.  That is more to do with the shortcomings of the tampo pad itself.  And slight deviations in a flat surface, and the tampo machine starts to struggle.  Having such a lot of white to tampo print was always going to be tough.  But, should that be losing points? I don't think it should, as this is sort of beyond their control.  Until a new way of printing in large quantities becomes as affordable as the simple tampo machine, I have always lived with these minor imprefections.  There are alternatives at the factory.  Ink jet printing and fusion graphics.  Both will go through surface bumps and holes with no issue.  But, both are more expensive, with fusion graphics being a very expensive system, and ink jet printing being a mid-point system, but leaving a rough finish on models.  Both also have the advantage of being applied to a finished vehicle, and both have more than 4 colours as a limit.  I understand that, at the end of the day, these are kids toys, and many kids will get them and play with them, chipping them in the process.  So minor gaps in the tampo will inevitably mean nothing in the end.  So, I am still giving this a 10.  I know these are being made with a profit in mind.  They have to keep costs to a minimum.  This does mean that this first model gets a total of 30 out of 30.  I do love it!

Base shot.  Well, this is a new casting.  I always provide a base shot for a new tool, with occasional ones for anything that gets altered.

The next new casting debuting in this batch is the MB1473 '23 Alfa Romeo Stelvio.  As is often the case, the new number 37 for the 2024 year debuts in red. However, I noticed a small error with the packaging, as it marked it down as a 2022.  Oops!

Named after the Stelvio Pass in Italy, famous for its 48 switchbacks, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio first arrived in 2016 as their first SUV. Since that time, they have added the smaller Tonale, and now the Milano (oops, sorry, Junior) is arriving to complete a trio of SUVs in the range.  Of course, this is not the first time Alfa Romeo have moved away from the standard cars.  Does anybody know about the 1952-54 1900M (often known as Matta).  It was their rival to the Jeep.  It only ran for 3 years, and there was a military (AR51) variant and civilian (AR52) variant.  Then there was the 1984 Z33 Tempo Libero.  A minivan derived from the Alfa 33.  That one never got beyond the concept stage.  After the Kamal concept was shown in 2003, it took well over a decade for a production version to arrive.  It has since been the biggest selling vehicle in their portfolio, as people simply want SUVs now.  Aren't people boring.  So, it is about time that Matchbox finally started playing catch-up and added the model to their range.

The model itself debuts in Etna Red, the lighter of the 2 Alfa Romeo red shades.  They also have a darker "Alfa Red". It is quite common for Matchbox to debut a new Alfa in red.  To date, only the original Carabo in 1970 arrived in a colour other than red, although I believe a certain Tonale is coming for the basic range in green as a debut. So, red is perfectly fine.  The front end appears to be relying a lot on the application system for the detailing. However, my photo is making this look a little rougher than it is in hand.  I am also counting the colours.  I am seeing more than 4 colours here.  Have they improved their tampo machines and can now do a 5th colour?  Or are we getting 2 passes through the machine for 1 section?  I am actually a little curious.  I might have to try and find out. I do notice the look of the headlights.  For 2023, the Alfa Romeo headlights were updated with a new triple light look. But, I am still keeping my original naming of 2023 Alfa.  I will show why at the end of this model's review.

The model sees no detailing to the sides.  The interior is forming the wheel arches.  A common practice.  The shape of the model from the side appears to me to be just about right, and this one does sit low.  The paint does appear a little thick, which is bunching up, mainly around the door handles.  It is difficult to avoid in their paint factory.  And I was told many years ago that red is the worst paint colour to get right.

The rear sees a simple tampo print. The doors are the opening part for this model.  Good.  As I just mentioned, the go-to opening part appears to be at the front.  I understand why.  There are 2 doors.  2 extra parts.  An opening hood (or bonnet) is just the 1 part.  And opening rears are often including a window piece, which involves some fiddly assembly.  Although some are just a plastic piece, where they tampo the non-window part.  But they still need riveting at the top. An opening front is often a drop-in part.  The easiest.  Doors will involve multiple parts, so I am always happy when they get them.  

Again, we are at the scoring stage, and I am stuck to come up with anything to lose points over.  Inclusion? Definitely.  As I said, this is the first Alfa SUV, and so is an important model to have in the range.  A perfect 10.  The casting? I love the doors opening, and I see no errors that could have been altered for production.  A 10 again.  Final look?  How can you fault red with front and rear detailing?  You simply cannot.  A perfect 10 again, for another full marks debut.  30 out of 30.  

And the obligatory base shot confirming this is indeed the updated 2023 model.  This is why I choose to call this a 2023 Alfa, as I go by whatever the base says for things like this.  

Sometimes things don't always go exactly how Matchbox want them to.  This is one of those small hurdles that they have to deal with on occasion.  As many know, the team announced that the MB1385 '19 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster was one of the new for 2023 castings. It was due in the last batch of the 2023 Moving Parts series, but the tiniest of hurdles can lead to a delay.  I don't know what the delay was, but they realized early enough that it wasn't going to make the cut. So, what did they do?  Leave a gap in the 2023 series?  Just have this model wait until ready and throw it in as a 2023?  Well, with such a big change in the way the models were packaged, neither of those options sounded good.  So, as they had time, they switched it with a version 2 of the MB1384 '63 Ford F-100.  That red one was going to be the 2024 release, but was moved forward to the last 2023 batch and took the Lambo's slot.  So, the Lambo takes the Ford's slot in the 2024 series as number 43.  Therefore, there will be no Ford F-100 in the 2024 series (hoping it returns for 2025, as they really should expand the range).  It arrives in orange.

Named after a Spanish fighting bull (as many Lamborghinis are, the Aventador was sold by Lamborghini between 2012 and 2022 as their flagship model. It went through various guises during that time, and in 2017 they launched the SVJ variant. Super Veloce Jota. "Super" translates very easily to English. "Veloce" is Italian for fast. But, what about Jota? This is actually taken from the Spanish way of saying the letter "J". Why J? This is because the SVJ is designed to be track-focused. What has that got to do with anything? Well, for that, we refer to the FIA. Yes, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, which covers motorsport, have a section about making vehicles applicable for racing. It is all covered under Appendix J. Yes, this is where they chose the "J" part of the name from. Making a car track-ready according to Appndix J of the FIA rules. So, there you go. As to the Roadster, they made 800 examples of this between 2019 and 2021. The Centenario, which Matchbox also have in their toolbank, was based on the Aventador, so it is nice that they chose to not simply have a roadster variant of the Centenario, but went with the Aventador. Of course, some could say why didn't they do the replacement? The Revuelto? I have a feeling their other brand went with that, and as such, it would just be a duplicate. Give it a while for that to come up with some unique variations for Matchbox to go with. Of course Matchbox never did the Murciélago either.  They have done the older Diablo twice now.  Mind you, for a while, Matchbox were not making vehicles of this kind at all.  High performance sports cars were off the table for a good decade or so.  I think they have some gaps that could do with filling. Ha ha!

As to the model itself, I think they have done a very good job replicating the real vehicle into small scale.  Much better than the Diablo.  The front end looks menacing, just like the real vehicle.  And that window is low and mean as well.  We get a lot of detailing to the front, which does manage to work its way over the front towards the window.  

With the rear getting lights and badges depicted.  We have seen with some of this type of vehicle, the lower section formed from the base gets a tampo hit as well.

But, with the need to cover much more area with black tampo, I can see why they skipped that.  The sides have black tampo, the top has black tampo.  They have covered a lot of the vehicle in black tampo in a quest to replicate the real one as best they can.  I did wonder about the opening doors.  On the model, they almost look like they are missing the top front corner.

However, with the way that the model itself is constructed, they had to do that, or otherwise the scissor functioning ability would not work.  I get that.  So, to me, that is not a minus point.

The thing is, as you do open them, the inside section of the door piece gets caught on the window.  This means that they don't fully open.  I honestly don't know how to fix that. If they shaved a bit off the window itself so that the doors missed it, would the window have looked a little unusual?  I'm not too sure.  It would be less than 1mm off each side to make the doors miss.  From what I can tell, anyway.  As far as I am concerned, this wouldn't have really impacted the overall look of the window.  Or, because we have already seen this on the Centenario, could they have opened the engine compartment or front instead?  Or both!  Be a little different.  Sure, the scissor doors are a unique trait, but could it have been a little different, to avoid the opening doors catching on the window?  I don't know.  All I know is, I was a little sad about that feature.

And, just as with the Centenario, this has a clip to pop the doors on, and the outer section is made of metal, with an internal plastic section riveted to it to create the slot for the pin to go in.  

Of course, we only saw this door method of construction with the 2023 Mattel Creations release of the Centenario. Earlier issues had plastic doors.  I do think the current method is a better one.  

And I also think it is great to see 2 different modern high-end Lamborghinis in the range.  So, let's get on with the scores.  Inclusion.  I would give this a 10.  Yeah, it is different enough to the Centenario, and being a roadster, not a hardtop, makes this stand out as a different type of vehicle.  I love that they are getting vehicles in the range like this again.  Why would I score that down?  Casting.  Well, as you can imagine, I was a little sad over the opening doors themselves.  Seeing as the Centenario had already shown off what they could do, I think they perhaps could have taken this in a different direction.  So, I am scoring this a 9.  As to the final look? Lamborghini have unusual names for their colours, and this sort of metallic orange is known as Arancio Atlas.  Arancio being Italian for the colour orange, but atlas is beyond me. It looks amazing with all the detailing to it.  I would give this a 10 here.  I cannot fault the look.  As I said, the lower rear end not getting tampo is simply down to how many other panels are getting it, and this is a core range model.  In fact, if you look at pictures of a real Aventador SVJ Roadster, the lower rear is usually black anyway.  So, I think this look has been nailed!  A very respectable score. 29 out of 30.  Not everything can achieve a perfect score.  This is the first point dropped so far in this report.  

Base shot.  New casting.  

Which brings us to the last model in this batch, and the 4th brand-new casting.  The MB1457 '70 AMC Javelin.  I have to say, this model was one I was keen to see when it was announced last July. It debuts in the final slot in the series, number 50, and comes in a lovely light blue.

The Javelin history is quite a confusing one.  With Ford (Mustang) and Plymouth (Barracuda) basically starting the "pony car" segment, although some argue that the segment was sort of already there with the Chevy Corvair Monza sort of around that position already (when will Matchbox make a 1960-64 era Corvair Monza?) the Cuda and Mustang became very popular, and so it was inevitable that ever major US manufacturer would come up with something.  The Javelin was AMC's vehicle, and this debuted in late 1967 as a 1968 model.  However, alongside the traditional Javelin, they also created the AMC AMX.  This was on a shortened wheelbase, and only had 2 seats.  For 1969, there was basically no change.  But, in 1970, they tweaked the styling a little before releasing a new 2nd generation for the 1971 year. This was a longer production run, as it stayed until the 1974 model year.  But at this time, the AMX was simply a version of the Javelin, not a shortened 2-seat variant.  Out of all the Javelins, I think the 1970 is perhaps the shortest production run, and least common.  So, it is really cool that Matchbox made a version of it.

The model looks really nice from the side.  I think they have done a great job on the side profile.  I am loving the light blue look on this one.  I think the design on the side is fantastic.  The black striping and the SST logo (the SST was the top of the range), and that door handle?  Wow!  So much detailing.  You can also tell this is a higher spec version by the addition of the rear spoiler.  Base versions did not have them.

At the rear, they have created a unique piece to form the rear bumpers and light section. It is not a part of the base or interior. They have then tampo printed the light detail on top of this.  It looks fantastic, and the attention to detail is incredible.  The rear and the sides are brilliant.

And then we come to the front.  This is where, sadly, the model is being totally let down.  As I mentioned, this is a 1970 Javelin.  If you were to Google a 1970 Javelin, you will notice that the hood has 2 nostrils.  The 1968/69 had the 2 grooves going down.  So it looks like the hood is the wrong one for the year.  Plus, the whole front end has a really deep grille.  The lights are really inset on either end, and it has this deep feeling to it.  This?  Well, there is barely anything to the grille.  It almost looks flush.  The lights are barely noticeable on either end, and without any tampo printing, this does not help at all.  There is just no sense of depth at all.  I also think they looked at doing the grille from this unique middle element, and lights from the body. I think the whole thing should have been a part of the interior section.  By using the black plastic, they could have given the whole area much more depth and shape. And when you think about it, making that chrome piece to form a grille and a rear bumper, was it really worth it? Couldn't they have just made this from the interior and the rear just tampo printed the bumpers around the lights.  It is way too bland at the front.  It is such a shame.  Wrong year hood, too little detailing to the front end.  It is a disappointment.  I still love the model, though. I can't help it. It is to do with the reason why I wanted to see it.

The engine bay inside is amazing. Once you lift the 1969 hood up, you can see that it was created from the interior section, and then given a little tampo detailing to enhance it further.  I am not 100% sure if the lights could have been created from the interior.  You would have had a thin area of metal surrounding them.  But, this interior could have easily extended to make a deep grille area.  

So, what scores will I give this?  Inclusion?  Most definitely.  I was so happy to hear of it coming when it was announced at the 2023 Gathering.  An easy 10.  The final look is also amazing.  The blue with black hood piece, and all that side detailing.  I think that is fantastic.  Again, this is a 10.  The casting is the sore point.  It is let down by the mistake with the hood and the lack of front end detailing.  I would give that a 6.  I know, that is quite a drop, but often, the front ends really do make a model. This is a big blooper.  The one part that does lose it some appeal.  Which is a big shame, as this means it is bottom of my list.  And, the weird thing is, the model was my most anticipated out of the batch.  However, I still love it.  I can't help it.  I now place the Bronco ahead of it in terms of just how much I like it, but this still beats all the rest in my eyes.  The reason? Well....

After a quick base shot, to show that the chrome section was a unique piece slotted in between base and body, I will show off my reason.

This all has to do with a certain MB9-B AMX Javelin.  I remember owning a few as a kid, growing up in the 1970s.  I loved it.  Sure, it is not the best of castings, Lesney were good at making lots of things up as they went along.  But, I did not care.  It was such a cool model.  It was, and still is, one of my favourites of all time. This is why I had such a big grin on my face when I heard they were doing a 1st generation Javelin.  This is the second gen, as one of the most noticeable parts is to do with the way the body forms the window around the side doors.  1st gens have a slope, with 2nd gens having this kink.  This is definitely a second generation. I was so over the moon with my models as a kid, that this was one of the earliest prepros I pursued. I managed to get this mustard yellow one a long time ago.  

The model debuted in the 1972 basic range as MB9, replacing a certain Bertram 31 Boat & Trailer unit that had been around since 1967, and had transitioned to Superfast wheels in 1970. The first run sported a chromed section that had formed the dashboard and nostrils on the hood.  It is funny how both the classic and modern Javelins have this extra piece included, which started off in chrome.  

This very quickly changed to a black section, which is how every single model from later in 1972 came with.  The nostrils and dashboard were always black in the remainder of the basics and when it was switched to twin packs.

However, the interior section was very good at seeing alternates.  The most common variant is lemon yellow.  However, orange and white interiors were also made.

And later on, a blue interior popped up briefly.  

Maltese cross wheels were randomly used circa 1974, when there was a shortage of 5-spokes. During their brief time, both orange or lemon yellow interiors were in use.  The white interior never saw these, and it was before the blue interiors appeared.

The model ran until 1977 in the basic range, and during those 6 years it was always green.  However, in 1976, Lesney updated their wheel choices and the model switched to a new 5-arch wheel that they were debuting that year.  It also started to get a lot darker in shade.  It was during 1976 that the blue interiors were made.  However, most switched from the lemon yellow into a dark yellow interior.  Blue was a short run in 1976.  After 1977, the model was dropped from the basic range, as a Ford Escort RS2000 was taking over in 1978. But, by the time of this change, the model had already transitioned into the twin pack range.

Now, twin packs are not the easiest to follow.  This is because Lesney were very good at switching things around at a whim. So, people will find the green basic range model included in some 1976 and 1977 packs.  They may also find that this metallic blue release, that was specifically launching in the 1976 Twin Pack debut year as TP-3, could be found in a different pack.  Heck, they could be found in a single blister.  Lesney workers at the factory just put whatever in any pack. However, the official ruling is that TP-3, which had the model towing a Pony Trailer, is the official one.   

TP-3 with a metallic blue AMX Javelin was first run at the very start of 1976, and continued on until 1980. The first run saw the model still sporting the older 5-spoke wheels and a lemon interior, but this soon changed to a 5-arch wheel and dark yellow interior.  After the model was dropped from the basic range, they also decided to cost-reduce it, by sealing the doors closed.  You might find some included in the TP-4 pack with an Eccles Caravan, as well as some of the leftover basics.

In 1980, the casting was chosen to be a USA exclusive limited edition model.  It was known as Cam Cracker, and came in a solid blue, with a white tampo print over it.  It was only sold in the USA, and came in a special blisterpack that denoted it as a limited edition.  

Lesney slightly overdid the blues, so there were some leftovers after the limited edition finished.  These were left untampoed, and then inserted into some 1981 twin pack sets before a 1981 official recolour came along. You might have found these on both TP-3 and TP-4 packs.  

This was quite a short run, before the model switched to the correct 1981 issue.  This was a very dark metallic green.  Daft fact, I have had mine since 1981.  Yes, I was the original owner of this particular green one, and I am amazed it has held up as well as it has.  

However, green only lasted one year.  For 1982, it had one final look as it now turned red.  After this, the model was altered into the MB117 AMX Pro Stocker and the original Javelin was never seen again.  Additional notes. Apart from the initial chrome run, all dashboard/nostrils were black.  Windows were always amber.  5-spoke wheels could be found either squared or rectangular.  Bases are normally unpainted, but you might find a silver base on any release. And, as of 1978, the model number was wiped from the base. But, they still had so many "9" bases, that any of the blue releases could be found with or without them.  I have not worried too much with bases, or with the number.  It is a fun model to collect, especially if you are into base variations.  I do not, but I still enjoy the other variants.  This is because I loved the model so much.  I know I will love the new Javelin, purely as this is a reminder of my youth, and in a weird way, not being perfect actually appeals to me.  The old Javelin was far from perfect, but I never cared.  It's weird.  I gave the new Javelin a 6 for casting, but to me, that is cool.  It scores more than the classic Lesney would have done.  I would give that a 4.  But, I loved that, and I love this.  I am weird.  

Hey, as I mentioned MB117, let's carry on.  Why not?  A little nostalgia.  So, after the twin pack model finished, Matchbox had gone bust.  Universal had bought the assets, but there was a lack of new tooling.  So, they simply grabbed some tools that had been dropped, and altered them into something new.  The AMX Javelin became AMX Pro Stocker.  

A number of these 1983 castings did not last long.  And this was no exception.  Debuting as either MB17 in the US range or as MB9 in the ROW range, for 2 years it was sold in grey with a black and red top design and 9 on the doors.  However, apart from shading to the silver, you can find a total of 4 variations.  The windows would be either amber or clear. The wheels would either be dot-dash or 5-arch.  Both combinations exist with both pairings, for a total of 4 versions.  After 1984, the US decided to drop the model, but it continued on for 1 more year as an ROW exclusive.

Yes, I have another prepro.  This was something they were looking at doing, and a small sample run was created.  There are a few of these around.  However, they decided to go a different way with the model.

It came in a maroon look with a Dr Pepper logo.  This was available in the US later in the year, as after it switched, they added more to the model by making it a part of a Dr Pepper set for Team Convoy.  Team Convoy also included a Kenworth Racing Transporter for it to travel on, and a Chevy Van as a support vehicle.  The model was dropped from the ROW basic range as well after 1985, but this continued through 1986 in the Team Convoy TM-3 set.  After that, it was dropped entirely.

However, during 1985, the model did see a cost reduction.  Yes, both original AMX castings saw a cost reduction.  First, the original Javelin had doors sealed, and now this one switched from a metal base to a plastic base.  The last of the single issues were found with the plastic base, although I would say probably more Team Convoy sets have plastic bases on the model.

After this, they sent the casting over to Hungary.  1987 saw a local Hungarian manufacturer churn out many examples of this model, most of which were sporting a simplified version of the original 1983/84 look.  However, this was now in many colours.

It was not just the colours and tampo that switched.  Even windows could come in different colours.  This was a lot of fun to collect.  I am far from having them all. I don't tend to worry about trying to get every Hungarian or Bulgarian shade.  Talking of which....

Yes, they also sent this to Bulgaria.  It was a part of the biggest shipment of tooling to go there in 1991.  As had been agreed with Universal, after 2 runs (1985 and 1986) where tooling was leased on a yearly basis, they now had a run from 1988 that they were allowed to keep.  But, after a few years, they asked for some more stuff. So the Matchbox team sent them a bunch of new castings in 1991.  The AMX was in there, and has since seen many, MANY liveries and colours.  I am never going to attempt them all, but am happy to grab a few random, assorted looks.  Like these 03 models.

Or this Le Mans themed model, which I believe surfaced in the '00s.  As I said, there are thousands of these.  I am not going to attempt them all.  I don't think anybody has even tried.

But, there is one more thing before I wrap this up.  At the same time that Bulgaria received this tooling, so did a new factory in China.  Universal had a factory in China that was making items in the 1980s, but, alongside the Macau factory closing, that factory was also closing.  However, alongside the new Thailand factory opening, they also had a new Chinese factory opening, and sent along a few castings that were no longer in use to use as a test.  These models were sold in 3-packs in ROW markets, or as part of a Super Value Pack in the USA with 6 models included.  This SVP pack is where these models are often noted.  The AMX was one of them.  Denoted with the China tab on the base.  This was not the original China factory.  For the most part, these models were all tested by using liveries that had already been in use.  It was simply to test that production was working okay.  A couple did see a random new colour.  

But, not this one.  It was a replica of the original 1983/84 look.  However, it was a little different, as is the case with a different factory. The silver is much darker than on the Macau models, and the interior is now all black.  I don't know why they still had the 2 parts for it after deleting the original's hood scoop.  The red in the tampo is much more of a burgundy, compared to the pinkish hue of the original.  But, this was it for this model.  However, it is not retired as such.  It still continues in Bulgaria.  Although only on a random occasion. There is not the call for them now like there was.

And with that, I think I am done with another report.  Six vehicles in the batch, and two thirds of them were brand-new castings.  Hey, at least one of them had me digging around in my collection.  

With 2 further models seeing their 3rd years in the Moving Parts series.  

As these shuffle off to be added to my collection, I now start to "collect" my thoughts over what to write for next week.  Subtle hint there.  Until then, as always, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.


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