Matchbox Monday sees the C batch for 2024

I know I only did the second batch of 2024 a few weeks ago, but these do appear monthly.  So, I felt I should try and ensure that I run through a batch every month if possible.  And, well, with next week being the Easter weekend, I might be having a little fun.  This batch contains 8 models in total, and 2 of them are brand new castings as well.  So, let's get on with another batch.

But, before I get to anything new, I do have a few existing castings with new looks to go through first.  The first of these is the MB1299 Audi e-tron.  For 2024, it takes the MB5 slot in the basic range and comes in a lovely red.

I have been enjoying seeing such simple looks on this one.  As has been the case with all the basic range issues to date, we see some simple front and rear tampo detailing.  That is all.  It is all it needs.  For the money, I cannot complain.  

Although there is a part of me that wishes they could throw in a licence plate of some sort on the rear.  I wonder if this is an Audi thing, as the TTRS also gets a blank space where a licence plate should be.  That really stands out, but on this one, it doesn't quite seem as bad.  I still think it is something that would enhance the model just that little bit more.  The wheels are perfectly suited.  The base, interior and windows are exactly as they need to be.  I am trying my best not to nit-pick too much, but I do like what I like.  And I feel that the lack of the licence plate is notable.  I would want one, so I am going to be knocking off a half point for it. Cruel?  Sure.  I can't just do perfect 10s for everything.  That would be boring.  But, even a 9.5 is a really high score.  I love the red.  My favourite look so far.

Which, if you need reminding, begins with a 2022 debut in blue.  Same front and rear detailing.  

2023 saw the model in silver.  Or grey.  Yeah, it did vary a bit.  Although some didn't notice, as for some reason, the ROW short card market didn't get it.  I have no idea why.  An oversight? That's all I can think.  

The model was also given a promotional outing later in the year, as in September 2023, it was being utilised as the 2024 Toy Fair model, and saw the "now" traditional bronze styling that Matchbox sports for their toy fair models.  

It is the only example to date not to see a simple front and rear print.  Please note, there is also a purple issue that was a 9-pack exclusive for 2024, but I have only just received my example, so it is a little late for inclusion this time.  Again, this saw the front and rear detailed, just like the single issues.  

After MB1299 comes MB1199.  Coincidence?  Yeah, definitely.  That's just the way it goes.  The '19 Jeep Renegade keeps plugging away in the basic range.  This is year 5 for it.  

It takes the MB16 slot in the range.  Omaha Orange is an official Jeep look for this vehicle, and the model replicates this perfectly.  As we have seen on every release to date, this model gets a simple front and rear tampo print.  Each release has had an identical print.  I love the consistency with that.  It makes them all so compatible when lined up together.  They look like they belong together.

So, you may be thinking a perfect score?  No!  Why?  Well, I have to admit, this is the casting's 5th outing as a basic range model.  That is quite a lot.  I love Jeeps in general, but I have to say, they created the MB1182 Jeep JL 4-door and released it in the 2019 range.  It ran for 2 years.  They have also added the MB1278 Jeep JL 2-door, debuting it in the 2022 Jurassic World Dominion series.  It has not been seen since. But, considering it was a part of the Jurassic stuff, this vehicle was completely stock.  It can be used outside of the Jurassic licence.  I just feel that they are just sticking with the one, and ignoring the other cool ones.  I really want to see more of the JLs.  I feel this is monopolising the basic range, and those are not having a chance to stick their toes in.  It is a great look.  Don't get me wrong.  Again, as they have done with all the other releases, they have made a lovely little model. But, they are doing the wrong one.  Give me a JL! So, I am scoring it a 9.  Yes, it's weird.  A great Jeep, but the wrong Jeep.  

But, it did give me a shade.  Oh, boy, do I love shades.

So, this is one that has been with us a while.  Obviously.  I just ranted about it.  It debuted in 2020 in green.  It is close to the Hypergreen that Jeep had, although a little more subdued.  It was also a part of the Best of France and Best of Italy sub-sets in 2022, with both sets using it as one of the carry forwards.  

Colorado Red was the follow up in the basic range.  It appeared in 2021.  

2022 gave us a Sierra Blue look in year 3.  

And last year's basic range issue was in Alpine White.  

Yeah, this is a great assortment.  A lot of bright colours.  I am expecting a black one to appear at some point, although Solar Yellow should be on the cards for a future outing.  But, throw it in a 5-pack.  Hey, in fact, do a Jeep 5-pack.  Throw in the Renegade, along with a classic MB784 Jeep Willys, along with the MB955 Jeep Willys 4x4, MB369 '98 Jeep Wrangler and the recent MB1350 '23 Jeep Avenger.  Giving us a wide array of ages and styles of Jeeps.  I am sure that would be popular. I am not at all bored of seeing this model.  I would just like to see it used in other places, and the basic range slot given to another in the Jeep portfolio.

Express Delivery.  This is a casting that has seen a lot of action.  Out of all the generic models, or Matchbox Originals as they call them, this is definitely one of the nicest.  It has also been through a number of surgeries over the years.  It takes the MB20 slot for the 2024 series.  

Here's a fact for you.  This is batch C of the 2023 basic range.  100 models, and as of batch C, this brings us to 22 of the models released to date.  Out of all the 22 models so far, this is the first non-licensed casting to be included.  yes, every model in batches A and B were licensed.  This is testament to all the hard work going on behind the scenes within the Mattel company, that the Matchbox team have pushed so much to get as many licensed vehicles in the range as this.  10 years ago, we were dwindling down the licensed stuff, and more "originals" were coming in.  Sales were dipping.  They were trying to change the direction of the brand.  The consumers weren't interested.  Collectors more so, but the kids (and parents of the kids) were also not getting as many, as they were not as appealing.  It took a few years for the Matchbox team to push for the course correction, but lately, we have seen some incredible vehicles turning up in the range.  Sure, there are the odd non-licensed offering popping up, but these are now the minority.  And when they do pop up, they should be like this.  A realistic looking vehicle, with a cool recurring theme.  

For those who didn't know, this is a Michael Heralda design.  Agave Acres was something he created back in 2020.  

It was included on the debut of the MB1216 Renault Kangoo Express.  It has been repeated here, and works so well.  I love it.  As far as designs go, I would score this a perfect 10.  I love a recurring theme, and I love this personal theme of Michael's. It was based on a certain plant that grew outside his old house.  I love his imagination.  It's brilliant.  But, i know, I did mark down the Jeep a few minutes ago purely because it is being used so much as a basic range mainstay.  The thing is, I see alternatives that should be swapped in.  There are Jeeps that are not getting the love, and this getting spoiled rotten.  That is why I scored it down.  This model doesn't specifically have an alternative that could slot in, taking its place.  That is why I didn't score this down.  Does that make sense?  Had there been a bunch of other delivery vehicles like this, I would be wanting to give this casting a rest.  Sure, there is the Renault.  It's being used as well, as it is a smaller vehicle.  Perhaps the MB1091 International eStar?  But, again, it is a smaller vehicle.  The MB993 Delivery Service truck.  Smaller.  There is no comparable alternative here.  Maybe they should look at doing a new one?  Hmm!  A MAN TGE? That can be a large van.  Perhaps the Volvo FL-series, as a small box truck.  We have good options here.  But, in the meantime, I am going to do a dive back here.

The Express Delivery began life as MB787.  It debuted in the 2010 basic range in a Speedy X-press design, something which has also been subject to a few recurring spots.  It was also in green as part of the 1st Editions 10-pack that year.  However, when it was created, they had already had troubles with it.  It was heavy.  They had created a window section to the roof to try and alleviate some of the weight.  But, no, it was still too much for a core range model.  So, it got switched.  

For 2011, it was altered into the MB813 casting, and the metal body was turned plastic, the plastic base turned metal.  Weight reduction.  The blue release was in the basic range in a Darts theme, and the black SWAT model was a part of the Police 5-pack.  

2012 saw a green Warrior Burritos themed model in the basic range (something which spurred them on to make a food truck), but it was quite a busy year for the model.  It was also in the Mission Force: Space Crew set in orange. 

And it also saw 2 5-pack outings.  The standard 5-packs in an Airport Ground Crew set in ivory, and a Batman licensed 5-pack in red.  

2013 was a little quieter.  There was a a single release of an orange model in the basic range.  It also saw another Mission Force release, this time in the Airport Crew set.

2014 saw no basic range outing.  Yes, its original basic range run was 4 years.  It was in another Mission Force set, this one known as Space.  It was also a part of a City Works 5-pack in blue.  It was given a running change in that pack, as the early run with a white on silver side design didn't really stand out.  So, it was given a slight makeover to change it to red on white.  It made it pop better.  

2015 saw just the one outing again.  It was in the EMT 5-pack in red.

2016 saw the model pop back up in the basic range.  It came in black, and during production the wheels did sport a small variation.  The disc wheels being used may or may not see the middle detailed gold.  Some just had the outer ring highlighted. 

It took a few years off after that, but returned in 2019 in a classic NASA theme in the basic range.  

2020 saw a brief return of Mission Force, but just as carry forwards, and this was thrown in the new packs, and also it was added to a Convoy set as well.  The tampo design had shrunk a little in the interim between the 2012 run and 2020, and the base was no longer painted black. It has also continued on into the 2022 and 2023 Convoy series as a carry forward of 2020.  Although, later issues have had the tooling altered to seal the rear door (not shown).  

2021 saw a flurry of activity, although the Thank You Heroes was sort of a 2020 piece that didn't arrive until 2021.  It was definitely a blue year, as a dark blue basic range outing was joined by a light blue Retro series model, exclusive to Target stores in the USA, and various other outlets in select other countries.  

And, just to compound the blue, the 2022 basic range offering was also in blue, as it was given a recurring CarGo theme.  

Finally, a non-blue.  Or 2.  The 2023 series saw Matchbox create a special FedEx playset in the Action Drivers series, which included this model.  But, it was also found on its own in the basic range, if you didn't want to grab a whole set.  It was only a small set, and they are cute.  And I love the fact that they all clip together to make a larger scene.  But, you may also find that early runs had the FedEx logo come out in a different colour to the later ones.  So, yeah, this model has seen a lot of action.  Until it gets a contemporary, I see no reason for that not to continue.  

New casting!  This is the all-new MB1433 '64 Lincoln Continental.  It debuts in the MB21 slot in the 2024 series, and starts off in a lovely black look.  

I believe this is one of the new designer's creations.  Gaurav (Garry) Gopinath is a recent addition to the Matchbox ranks, and is working hard on coming up with some new tools for the brand.  First impressions?  Can he stay?  Yes.  I am extremely impressed.  It looks like he knows his stuff.  This model is freaking awesome!  It's really long.  Pushing the boundaries of how big they can make this.  

You can tell it is the 1964, as the 4th generation debuted for the 1961 model year, but the electric razor-like front end only had horizontal slats.  They added some vertical slats for the 1964 model year, which is what has been replicated here.  For 1965, they got rid of the electric-razor front end, and opted for a more traditional look.  Boring!  They made a good choice by going for the '64.  

And it appears Gary knows his stuff.  One wing mirror? Yup! That's how it should be.  Spot on!  

The model sports simple side pin striping. The rear lights are just depicted along the edge of the model.  The front chrome is a part of the base section. It didn't need much more.  Yeah, sure you could have pushed the red around the edge a bit more.  But is it really necessary?

Yes.  A perfect debut.  The black model just looks incredible.  Was this model worth including?  I think so.  A 10 out of 10 for adding it.  The casting?  I cannot fault it.  10 out of 10 again.  The final look.  Amazing!  I think this is an absolutely stunning debut.  A full slate of 10s from me.  I am very much looking forward to seeing many more of these over the coming years.  

As it is a new casting, I will finish with a base shot, before I move on to.... Wait, before I go on to the next model on the list.

Well, I couldn't pass this by.  Back in the Lesney era, when this was a current vehicle, an example was added to the basic range in 1964.  It was slotted in as MB31, and it ran for 8 years.  At first it was blue, and in 1967, it switched to turquoise.  It then made the transition to Superfast wheels in 1970 and changed to gold for the last years.  I only own the gold.  The turquoise did briefly make it to Superfast, but these are very rare and command a lot of money.  I have not been able to get one.  But, I can have a little fun with the gold.

As I mentioned, the new casting is really long.  You can see when placed side by the side with the old one, it really stretched out beyond that one.  

Obviously, the old one does sport the metal base as metal body.  I don't know.  I think having a chromed front end looks a little better. The old one does have the vertical lines in the grille.  So, this was also a 1964 model.  However, you can see the new one curves the front grille out.  The old one was a little flat.  I guess their simple pictures they were using for inspiration didn't show the curvature of the grille.  Back in the 1960s, models were more often than not created from a picture or 2 of the real thing.  It is not like now, where they have access to many resources.  You can also see that the hood detailing is much more advanced on the new casting.  Again, the original didn't detail that part.  Or windscreen wipers.  I love the new wiper detail.  

Although one thing the old one did have was the opening trunk.  Yes, back in the day, moving parts were just something that occurred on models.  

But, what it didn't have, was the capability to fill up with fuel.  Yes, no fuel tank.  I tell you, the attention to detail on this new casting compared to the old one is incredible.  I have to admit, when it was first announced at the 2023 Matchbox Gathering, I was not overly fussed about rehashing the old Continental.  But, now I have the model in hand, I am simply blown away by it.  As I said, perfect 10s all around for the new casting.  

As i have my old Continentals out, let's do a quick photoshoot.  as I have often mentioned, I don't do regular wheel models, so I do not own either the early blue, or the turquoise.  Finding the rare transitional turquoise in 1970 Superfast guise is likely to be extremely unlikely.  They go for serious money.  It is probably number 2 on the rarity list after the Pontiac Grand Prix in red.  But, MB31-A was immediately changed to gold, where it ran through 1970 and 1971, before being taken out by a Volksdragon in 1972.  As is often the case with Lesney stuff, the paint shades would vary quite a lot.  

But, what we also find is that during 1971, the casting was modified to cope with the new, wider wheels.  Wheel arches, both front and rear, were enlarged to cope with the new wheels.  However, sometimes you might find a transitional model there.  At the bottom is the 1970 narrow arches/narrow wheels variant, and the top is the 1971 wide arches/wide wheels.  But, nestled in the middle is an example that had seen the wheel arches widened to accommodate the new wheels, but was still using up the last of the narrow wheels.  They didn't care.  As I always say, waste no, want not.  That was their motto.  Well, it wasn't.  But, it could have been.  They would never waste anything if they could help it.  If there was a small error, they would throw it out there anyway.  Fun for us as collectors.  Me, in particular.  Anyway, that is it for that model.  It doesn't have a lot of variations.  So, let's get back to the modern stuff.

It's a Porsche!  The MB1300 Porsche 918 Spyder, to be exact.  This is the model's 3rd year in the basic range, and pops up in the MB45 slot in green.

With this vehicle being a limited production in real life, I don't believe this particular shade of green was officially ordered.  However, theoretically, it could have been.  Porsche does have the capability to make a model in literally any colour you want.  As long as you pay.  And if you are buying a model like this, then you are willing to pay.  

Having a bright colour like this really enhances the intricate work on the casting.  It is something that the debut look sadly missed out on.  Since then, I have been happily taking in the brighter colour options.  With the front and rear detailing we are used to seeing, I see no other option than to give this a perfect 10 again.  I am loving it!

I have been noticing that many models are sporting shade variations lately.  Is the factory becoming a little lax in their output?  Or are they deliberately targeting the crazy nutter like me in giving us many, MANY shades.  This one is another that is coming in brighter or duller shades of green.  

Doing another quick dive back reminds us of that 2022 debut.  It came in a metallic dark grey, which lost a little bit of the casting detail.  You just didn't notice it as well, as it didn't stand out on this one.  And, for those who forgot, this was also thrown in the second batch of the 2022 Stars of Germany series, as a carry forw... sideways?  You can't really call it a carry forward if it is the same year.  Can you? it was carried across?  Carried around?  Carrying the range, because you know, Porsche? No, I am not biased.  Why do people keep asking?

2023 saw a bright yellow model turn up in the basic range.  Much more colourful. 

So, we are up to 3 in the basic range.  However, there is a 4th.  An MBX Electric Drivers 5-pack appeared at the start of 2024, and a metallic blue one appeared in it.  Again, I have only just picked this pack up. So many 5-packs just appearing in the UK.  It is tough to keep up!

It's a Moggie Minor.  We, in the UK, often used to call this a Moggie, or Moggy (either spelling is fine), as a term of endearment.  Nobody really knows why, how etc.  It just is.  I see it, I say Moggie Minor.  The MB1351 Moggie Minor Saloon, fine Morris Minor Saloon, takes the MB57 slot in a lovely British Racing Green. 

This is an awesome look.  Of course, there is the fact that this classic British vehicle is in a classic British colour.  Brilliant.  But, there is also the fact that it is not that far removed from the really old Lesney made Morris Minor 1000.  Sold as MB46 between 1958 and 1960, the first 2 years were in a solid green colour. However, that was a lighter shade.  Morris actually called this Connaught Green at the time.  What?  You think we just called everything British Racing Green if it was that sort of shade? 

I love the attention to detail on this.  The front grille detailing, and the rear looks amazing.  The UK style classic numberplate feel to this is just spot on.  Of course, it is not an actual British numberplate (as we call them), but it is done in the style of one.  I think they have done a stellar job.  So, again, I cannot give this any less than a perfect 10.  

And, if anybody was wondering why there were 2 of these in all of these pictures, Wheel Collectors did send over 2.  This is because this is a casting with a dual interior.  Some are LHD and some are RHD.  I have one of each.  Thanks, guys.

This joins the 2023 debut version in 70th Anniversary platinum, featuring both steering wheel interiors.  

Again, there are more.  Just as I was sorting this out, I received a bunch of 9-packs, of which 2 of them contained an exclusive maroon Moggie.  One of each steering wheel.  But, 2024 is seeing a huge influx of Moggie Minors, as the MBX British Roadways 5-pack is also appearing with a dark blue one included.  In my travels, I have currently just found my first, and am hoping to get the alternative soon.  So, there are 4.  Well, there are in this picture, but they are doubled up.  There are 4 colours to date.  You know what I mean!

We move on literally to the next number in the list.  MB57 was the Moggie, and MB58 is the MB1424 '77 Jaguar XJ6C.  Another British classic, and this one is a brand new casting.  It debuts in a lovely blue look in the 2024 range.

Jaguar first launched the XJ-series in 1968, and until the XJ40 arrived in 1986, these were in 3 variants.  Series 1 ran until 1973, series 2 until 1979 and series 3 until the vehicle was replaced by the all-new one.  Although, the XJ12 did continue production until 1992!  However, this is an XJ6C.  This means it is not a standard one.  The C stands for Coupe.  It was a short-lived idea during the series 2 portion of the XJ history.  In fact, they showcased the C at the 1973 launch, but it had a few issues, and did not begin production until 1975.  They only made just over 10,000 and stopped production in 1978.  After that, they never looked at a coupe variant again.  So, this is a really cool vehicle to add.  A bit of a left-field choice, and I love it!  My desire for it to be included?  A perfect 10!

Again, this is a new casting created by Garry.  He has done another fantastic job.  I am going to mention the way the windows look in the picture is a little exaggerated.  They don't look quite that weird in hand.  I think it is down to the angle, and the fact that these pictures do zoom in on the models.  The thickness of the plastic is giving a slightly weird illusion as you look through.  It's fine.  

The casting itself it stellar.  Garry has done a fantastic job again.  Capturing the coupe look, the lack of B-pillars, and the overall lines of the casting are just right again.  I cannot fault the work that has gone into creating this little model.  It looks fantastic.  Again, a perfect 10.

But, then we come to the final look.  I believe Jaguar refers to this as Azure Blue.  It is a genuine option for Jags of the era. Great work there.  The blue looks fantastic.  Wheels? Windows? Interior?  I can't argue those points.  But, we come to the bumper.  This also forms the front grille.  It's grey.  A dull grey at that.  And this is that particular shade of grey where the swirls in the makeup of the plastic tend to come through.  You can see a line going down the front.  It is such a shame.  These Jags were always sporting chrome bumpers and a chrome grille.  Why was this not replicated on the model?  I mean, the Lincoln debuted in this batch with a chrome base.  This should have been chromed as well.  A missed opportunity for sure.  The tampo printing front and rear was amazing.  This is literally the only blemish on a perfect little model. 

Which is why I have to drop a point.  I am giving the final look a 9.  I hate that I did that. I so wanted to give it a perfect score.  I love the model.  So close, yet so far.  

A close up of that grey base.  After all, it is a new casting.  

Before I move on to the last model, I just have to point out that this shades as well.  2 different blues?  Oh, yes.  I can't help myself.  

The last model in the batch is the MB1355 Tesla Model S.  This is the model's second outing in the basic range, coming only a few months after the debut in late 2023.  It turns up in red as MB89.

With Tesla only having a few standard colour options, it is easy to guess the sort of colours we are going to be seeing.  This red is one of the most likely ones, and of course it makes an appearance.  It comes with black wheel hubs, which I think does suit the model.  

And of course, we get the usual front and rear tampo printing that we would expect from a Tesla.  Nothing unusual ever appears on these castings.  It is pretty much as I would expect.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I honestly can't see a reason for scoring it down.  It is a traditional Tesla colour, and has a lovely front/rear detail, and I like those black wheels.  So, yes, it is a 10, but it is a "meh" 10.  Does that sound weird?  We just have so many Teslas in the range.  I just find the whole thing a little boring, if I am being honest.  There's nothing wrong with a Tesla, but we just have so many of them, in a limited range.  I would love more variety of manufacturers.  

As I said, this model has not long debuted.  It was fairly late in the 2023 series that the white one arrived.  

And now we have the second one already.  

Of course, as I am about to finish, I had to bring in the original Matchbox Tesla.  The MB903 Tesla Model S was the first Tesla casting that they produced.  It was designed by the late Ryu Asada, and the same red look adorned the 2015 debut release.  

Of course, that model was created via the old slot in method.  The rear licence plate would be a part of the base section.  Nowadays, with the drop method, rivets rule, and this does allow for the rear licence plate to be added.  Audi, take note!

And, on that sarky comment, I am done with another batch.  Batch C gave us 2 awesome new castings, by way of Garry.  I am giving him a thumbs up, as he looks to have slotted in the Matchbox team perfectly well.  I look forward to seeing more of his masterpieces.  

One of those was a British car, the other American.  And, we also saw another car from each country in the mix. Both of which were new last year.

We also had 2 German vehicles that have been with us for 3 years, as well as an SUV and van.  The SUV is American, the van sort of based on an American vehicle. And those 2 have been with us a little longer.

Next week, I think I should have a little fun again.  We will be coming off the back of Easter, so why not mix it up again.  Until then, I hope people have a safe and happy week.

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