Matchbox Monday starts the 2024 premium products

2024 Collectors batch A.  sadly, Wheel Collectors were unable to secure this set, so I had to resort to eBay.  Yes, it happens.  They are extremely helpful with most things I get, but occasionally something slips through the system.  They tried ordering it, but for some reason, none arrived.  Which is a bit of a shame.  It is a lovely batch, even though there was no new casting anywhere to be seen.  As I have often stated in the past, this is their premium level of releases, and as such, they don't have to have opening parts.  3 of the 5 models in this batch are basic range castings.  Which, funnily enough, are the first 3.So let's get stuck in.

The first of these is the MB733 '55 Ford F-100 Panel Delivery. This is not the first time that we have seen a premium release on this casting.  Heck, it is not the first time we have seen a blue and white premium release.  But, this one is really cool.

You see, this is not just any old side design. The Endless Summer is a 1966 surf documentary about Mike Hynson and Robert august, who in 1964, came up with an idea that they could surf a whole year, if they were to flip between the northern and southern hemispheres. Bruce Brown had been making surf documentaries for quite a few years, and to fund this project, he re-edited his previous 4 films into a larger one called Waterlogged, and raised $50,000 to help fund the adventure. The 2 "stars" would pay their own round-the-world tickets costing them $1,400 at the time, and they headed off in 1964 from California, visiting Hawaii, Senegal, Nigeria and Ghana from the Northern Hemisphere, and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand from the Southern Hemisphere.

The poster for the film is now in the Smithsonian, as John Van Hamersveld, a fellow surfer, created this iconic look before they headed off. He was paid $150.

He took an establishing shot of the surfers, and turned them into silhouettes, which gave us the iconic picture. The film is deemed to be of cultural historic significance, and is preserved in the National Film Registry. Bruce Brown made a follow-up in 1994, called The Endless Summer II, and his son, Dana, made a further film using unused footage from both films and cast interviews, releasing The Endless Summer Revisited in 2004. The South African location of Cape St Francis was pretty much unknown before this film, but is now considered to be one of the most famous surfing sites in the world, as it is known for the best waves. So, to mark 60 years since they went out on their adventure, Matchbox has made a commemorative model. 

I have to admit, I don't know exactly why they chose to honour the film, or why they chose this model to do it with.

I perused the documentary. There were a couple of vehicles, and a panel van was used briefly. I believe it was a 1957-49 International KB-series Panel Van, unless anybody knows any better. But, it was more about the surfing and the destinations. There were some other cool cars, too.

While in Australia, they travelled around in a Ford Falcon XL-series Squire Station Wagon.  You have to love a wagon.  

And, what could be more iconic in a surfing film than seeing a line of VW Beetles with surfboards on their roofs driving along.

Although, following the Beetles was a gorgeous little Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider. I admit, I would like to see some of these made by Matchbox, but the Alfa is gorgeous.  I would love to see that in the Matchbox range.  Anyway, I am digressing. I like that they chose to honour the film 60 years after the surfers headed out on their journey around the world. If you were a surfing person, this film is still one of the most significant. And Matchbox has had a few surfing themed models in the past. I like when they come up with unusual models. And I love the look.

Obviously, the model is fully detailed, and being a premium, gets a cool white over blue look, that we rarely see nowadays.  I don't think I have seen a core range model getting a split look like this since the Mexican VW Beetle Taxi in 2008.  Which, funnily enough, is when this casting launched.  Mind you, this is not done the old way by masking, as this is a white tampo print going over the top and down the side.  I love the little details to the rear.  The nod to the film again, and a few very "60s" details.  I think this is a great model.  I know this casting was cost-reduced recently, but I like that it still gets used.  And, to be honest, I barely even noticed the cost-reduced part, as the wheel arches saw some white detailing to them, which covers up some of the difference.  Yes, this model is a great start to the series.  I am giving it a 10 out of 10.  And, as it has been a while, I think I need to dig out the older ones for a dive back.

It all started, as I noted, back in 2008, when it launched as MB64 in the basic range worldwide (2008 was the first of 4 US/LAAM/ROW split years). It came in orange, and featured a Farmers Market side design.  I often find orange is good for a shade or 2, and this did not disappoint.  

It was also available as a Show Model at the 2008 International Gathering of Friends that year in a lovely gold with white roof look.  Its first premium outing.

For 2009, the model was given 2 basic range outings.  At the time, the range had 100 models, and 25 saw a version 2 later.  Early runs were in red with an Auto Parts design, before it switched to a blue McKenzies Ice Cream Co liveried look later.  Both MB49s were available worldwide.  

It saw 2 further outings in 2009, as there was a purple Classic Cars 5-pack release with a Mobile Pinstriper livery, and the aforementioned other blue and white premium.  This was the Superfast 40th Anniversary release with Sonny's Ford Shop on it.  

For 2010, the model was only sold in the US market as MB69.  This was in matte black and featured the Holst Speed Shop look.  Felix Holst was in charge of the brand at the time.  A Farm 5-pack saw a beige (or taupe) look for Bros Farms, and the "Action" 10-pack, which had the sub-title City Heroes, saw a yellow look with a "The Garage Service Center" side design.  

2011 saw Matchbox making their first small tweak away from the realism that is always such a good seller. As we moved into the 2010s, the bean counters wanted brighter colours, and so this MB69 (US) or MB46 (ROW), not sold in LAAM markets, came in a very bright funky green look.  It had a P8! Energy Drink (fictional) drink logo on the side, which, if you opened, you would see was different on either side.  I had more than 1, as I was noticing more shades.  As they moved more away from realism, the model was barely used at all.  

It took another 3 years before we would see another one.  It appeared as an exclusive in the 9 or 10-packs (depending on market at the time, as the US had already reduced, but other markets were still selling with an additional model for a few more years).  This model was in red with the recurring MBX County side design.  It is a real shame they never revisited this one in the recent MBX County themed set at Walmart.  

It was another 3 years before another popped up again.  This was just as things were starting to revert to the tried and trusted realism that Matchbox is known for.  Why they continually try and tweak a winning formula is beyond me.  They keep failing, they keep going back to realism.  MB17 for the 2017 model year was in a matte blue with an MBX City Store side design.  After this, the casting went away for a little cosmetic surgery. 

It returned 5 years later.  Of all places, it popped up as a semi-exclusive in the first 2022 9-pack batch.  2021 had seen them create 3 semi-exclusives that would be found in both 9-packs in each batch, but this was phased back out for 2022. However, there was still this one model that sneaked in.  The casting was modified to turn the side fenders (or wings) recast as a part of the interior, rather than the body.  

And then, after no showings in 2023, this is one of 2 outings for 2024.  The other was a part of the Coffee Cruisers V 5-pack.  The model was in beige in the set, and if you opened it, you would discover that this is also a "2 different designs" model.  One side, which is the one hidden in the package, has Hot Rod Honkers on it. 

But, the one that most people see, is the Rock 'n Roll One Man Show design that shows out in the pack.  Since the return, there have been 3 outings.  I am hopeful there will be more.  Classics can keep popping up for years and not get stale. 

Number 2 in the set of 5 is blue.  Wait.  What?  We already had a blue one.  If you were to see these on the pegs (which is not that common, as they sell fast), it does feel like a lot of blue.  5 models, and 2 of them were blue.  Could they have switched this with a different coloured model from the next batch?  Possibly.  Just for a little more colour variety.  But, I am very happy to see this MB1211 '18 Bugatti Divo get a premium release.  

And I have to say, this looks stunning.  In case you did not know, Bugatti created the Divo in 2018, and over the next 4 years, built a grand total of 40.  That is it.  Named after Albert Divo, a 1920s/1930s racing driver, who won the 1928 and 1929 Targa Florio in a Bugatti Type 35, the first car reached their owner in early 2020, and the last one was this one.  Finished in carbon blue (which Matchbox done as a matte finish) and with gold wheels, and a small French flag behind the front wheels.

This model now sits in a collection, somewhere in Europe. And Matchbox have recreated it perfectly in miniature.

And I think that little French flag addition is one thing that would have stopped it being a core range release.  I bet they had to work hard to get this one made.  I have no idea if they contacted Bugatti, and then Bugatti in turn contacted the owner of Divo number 40, and asked for their permission to make it.  Or if Bugatti has the rights to just okay it without having to discuss with the owner.  These are the legal complications that can often arise behind the scenes.  We don't see how things get from planning to production.  We only see the end product.  

Now I hope that this is not an omen.  Matchbox making a model of the final Divo, meaning Matchbox won't do any more.  I am just getting into this one.  the Divo was quite a significant model, as this was Matchbox finally being able to make supercars again.  They had phased them out in the mid-2000s, as Mattel were trying to distinguish a difference between Matchbox and their other model brand.  When this came up in 2018 at the Gathering as a future 2019 release, I was (as well as many others) shocked.  A car like this, as a Matchbox?  What the? This was a real turning point for the brand, and over the last 5 years we have seen many more supercars returning to the Matchbox fold.  But the Divo?  Well, it has not exactly had a busy existence.  This latest release is perhaps the nicest one of the few that have been made.  Yes, 2 blues, not the best in a small mix of 5, but you have to hand it to them.  The 2 blue models that appeared are both stunning.  And again, I am giving this a perfect 10.  I don't see how they could have improved on it.  I hope the owner of the real one has a model sitting alongside it.  

So, let us remind ourselves of this model's short existence. It debuted in the last 2019 batch of singles, using the look that was unveiled on the 24th August 2018 at “The Quail - A Motorsports Gathering“ in California, in the United States. This model was also revisited in the 2022 Best of France series.  

And, as soon as we had seen the debut, a second black model appeared at the beginning of the 2020 model year.  Wow!  2 in a matter of batches.  Awesome!  And then, it was tumbleweed city.  There was nothing in 2021, and as I said, the 2019 debut was showcased in a French set as a carry forward in 2022.  I admit, I was pining for a new look.  

And 2023 did not disappoint.  Seriously, in the short space of 1 year, we saw 3 new looks for the model.  If you visited a Walmart in the USA, or select other stores in other countries, you might have found a platinum 70th Anniversary special  However, if you visited a Target store in the USA (I believe Target USA is just Target USA), you might have found a special red issue mixed in with the basic range.  However, if you happen to be in a country that sells 9-packs, you might have been able to find a yellow one.  Wow!  That was an influx.  That was more in 1 year than the previous 4 combined.  

Which does mean, in total we have seen 6 releases.  Bugatti released 40 of these in the real world.  I am just saying.  I think we have time to show off a few more looks. Of course they may not be premiums.  That little French flag does appear on many in real life, and it is great that Matchbox made an actual model with the flag.  As a premium, the flag is a must, but if we get more core releases, as we have seen, they are able to do them without.  The crux of this is, I want more!

Model number 3, in the series of 20 for 2024, is the MB1292 '94 Mitsubishi 3000GT.  It comes in yellow in the Collectors series.  

I did a little research, and I believe for the 1994 model year, Mitsubishi sold the 3000GT in Martinique Yellow Pearl.  However, from what I can see, the Martinique Yellow Pearl has a mild greenish tint to it.  It is not bright like this one is.  This is a solid banana yellow.  Which, I believe was an aftermarket change. 1994s can be found in this vibrant shade, particularly for those sold in the USA as a GTO.  However, it does look nice.  And it is not blue.  The blue one was in the basic range.  

However, this is where things do start falling apart for this one.  You see, when I get the premiums, especially those that are basic range issues upgraded, I expect to see more detailing.  I know, when it comes to the Moving Parts, they have a fraction more of a leeway to add in additional detailing to models, and as such, a premium upgrade to a Moving Parts doesn't see too much extra added in some cases.  Moving Parts are twice the cost of a basic (there or thereabouts), and Collectors doubles that again.  So when a Moving Parts gets upgraded, I expect a little extra.  For a basic range upgraded, I do expect a bit more.  The Ford got a lot.  The Bugatti got a little.  This?  Well, the only difference is the wheels.  Once you open it and remove any packaging.  This looks just like a basic range model with 2-part wheels on it.  When you look at the real ones, I have to admit, there is not a lot that they could have added.  It is pretty much about as detailed as it is going to get.  Sure, they could have added a couple of black splashes to the side vents just before the wheels.  But, they are not necessarily correct.  You look at some real ones, and they would just look yellow anyway.  

Which is a real shame.  This is a gorgeous casting.  I love it.  It is one of my current favourite castings in the Matchbox portfolio.  But, as a premium?  I am just not feeling it.  This model could have had the same plastic wheels as the basic range model for 2024 and would have basically looked the same.  What am I really paying a premium for here?  I can't give this a great score.  As much as I love it, this just does not scream premium to me in any way.  Those wheels are actually a part of the problem.  They look just like regular ones.  Which is great in a way, as the regular ones are lovely wheels.  But, this just looks like a regular basic range model to me.  I am scoring it a heart-breaking 6.  I love it. I really do. I think they missed a trick by not using the Martinique Yellow Pearl look, and they threw it in the wrong range.  I don't think this warrants a premium outing.  Period! Not unless they come up with a really clever and unusual look. I believe that they nailed this one so well as a basic range model that it does not require any further upgrade.  That is testament to how good some of the basics are.  They nail things so well in the standard core ranges, there is just precious little that can be added.

Case in point.  The 2022 debut.  Brilliant!  It looked stunning in black.

Then, in 2023, they released another basic in red.  Stunning!  Again!  

And this year's blue basic range look is just incredible.  This shade of blue is something else.  And, as I said, look at the wheels.  They look almost identical.  I actually prefer the blue.  I think it is just about the perfect look for the model.  

So, we have a black, and all the primary colours.  All looking amazing, but the yellow cost more than the other 3 combined.  All because the wheels have a bit of rubber around the edge.  Such a shame.  Had this been a basic range release, I would have scored it top marks.  I think there are times that a premium upgrade is not required.  

After 3 basic range models getting an upgrade, we now have 2 Moving Parts models getting an upgrade.  The first, taking the number 4 slot is the MB1383 '22 Lexus LX.  It comes in green for its Collector Series debut.

Lexus calls this Nori Green Pearl.  It is actually the only colour that Lexus sells the LX in that is not black, white or a shade of grey.  There is no blue option.  Or red, yellow, brown, tan, orange etc.  It has quite a boring list of colour options.  I wonder if Matchbox will be able to create some of their own?  Just to jazz it up a little.

Now, just like with the last model, the level of tampo printing on this is identical to the debut Moving Parts release last year.  Moving Parts does have a higher price point anyway over the basic range.  It has parts that move.  And they are able to tweak the tampo to give us a little more in general.  

The front and rear were printed.  And the opening tailgate also get tampo printed.  However, this time, I do think there was something that they could have done.  It is a premium release after all.  The real ones tend to have a little chrome edging around the side windows.  I think they should have added that lovely little touch to the model. It would have really helped to solidify it as a premium release.  I wouldn't expect it on a Moving Parts release, but for the Collectors range, again, I did feel something above and beyond just adding a fancy wheel was justified.  However, I do like this wheel. On some models it really does not suit.  But, on this one, it does.  I think it works.  This one is a model I feel deserved an upgrade, but it still missed that little something from it.  A simple silver trim around the windows would have turned this into a star.  That is all it needed to make it perfect.  So, I am scoring it a 9.  Close, but not quite.

As I said, this debuted last year in the Moving Parts series, and came in white for the debut.  

and as a premium upgrade, the only change is the wheel.  Not as big a thing when going from Moving Parts to premium as going from Basic range to premium, but it is still noticeable. 

The final model is.... blue!  So, that means that 3 out of 5 models in this batch are blue.  On packaging that is predominantly blue with some yellow (yes, we also had a yellow model).  I have to say, as a whole, this assortment did not stand out.  They are nice models, but the colour palette just seemed a little bland here.  This is, of course, the MB1269 Nissan Z Proto, or 2023 Nissan Z as it is now called.  

Now, this is a baby blue.  It is quite different from the other 2 blues that were in this assortment.  And, from what I can tell, this is a unique look for the Matchbox model.  I can find no reference to a real Nissan Z looking like this.  It is not the first time they have made a unique look.  

I have to say, I do like this.  As has been the case with all the releases to date, the model is sporting a black roof and silver trim down the side of it.  Something the Lexus could have done with.  Oh, I am not getting over that, am I?  

The doors still open smoothly, and the mix of shades between door and main body are really good.  Quite often we find models with doors that are quite a different shade to the rest of the body.  However, they do seem to have improved on that area lately. There was something that I thought was missing. And for that, I am bringing in the debut.

As you can see, the model debuted in 2022 as a Mattel Creations exclusive in gold.  A unique colour again.  This model follows the same format.  Except it does not have the little badge on the rear.  However, I have done a little checking, and that badge was assigned to the Z Proto.  But, when production began, it got taken away.  So, this is actually correct.  So, yes, I am giving this a perfect 10.  Which is really weird.  Here I am complaining that there were 3 of 5 models in blue. Yet, those are the 3 that scored perfect marks from me.  As individual models, these are all beauties.  I just felt it was too much blue in one go.  Does that make sense?

So, let's do a little further checking.  Hey, look, a blue one.  This is Seiran Blue, and official colour.  But, as this was a Japanese exclusive 2022 Moving Parts release, this also had the Proto badge on the rear.  

With the 2023 Moving Parts series giving us the yellow that we originally saw the prototype unveiled in.  Which is not quite the Ikazuchi Yellow that Nissan are selling the real Z in.  But, this is a Z release.

As you can see, during the Proto stage, there was a badge on the back corner.  Now it is a full-blown production vehicle, the badge is no longer there.  This is the attention to detail that I love from Matchbox.  Why couldn't they do it with the Lexus?  Oh seriously, I must stop with that.  It is a little silver trim.  

Well, that is batch A done.  3 more batches to come, and with it, we are getting some new castings as well.  I am looking forward to going through the new castings.  They have some amazing new castings coming this year.  As I said, 2 of the models were of Moving Parts vehicles. 

And the other 3 were of basic range models upgraded.  Was there too much blue?  Yes, definitely.  Was the blue amazing?  Well, yes.  It's weird how it goes like that.  So, you know what?  I will tack on an extra blue.  

Because I will showcase another of the Mattel Creations models.  The MB1246 '19 McLaren 720S Spider. You know the routine.  They come in these orange boxes.   

Which, once opened, comes the usual way, in a plexicase, with a fancy wrap around.  

That features the usual blurb on the rear.  

I am not spending too much time on the packaging, as this series has been going since 2021, and most of the models are released in the same way, with just a few exceptions.  The base to the plexicase features a blue and orange striped look, that suits the theme perfectly.  

And we get a lovely Gulf themed McLaren.  This model is stunning.  I love the theme.  The best part about it?

It is based on a real Gulf liveried McLaren 720S.  Wow!  This is freaking awesome!  Yes, I cannot argue when it is Gulf blue.  

Of course, Matchbox have the Spider variant of the 720S in their portfolio.  I am fine with the slight variance.  The fact that this is based on a real hardtop is of little significance.  It is still just about perfect.  And I am very happy with this one.  I especially love the little Gulf writing across the bottom of the rear. I don't know why? They have some great stuff that appears through the Mattel Creations subsidiary.  This is one of my favourites to date. A perfect 10 from me.  Because, you know, it's blue.  No, wait, that wasn't the reason.  It is just a coincidence.  I love the Gulf stuff.  And, this is the first time that we have a recurring theme appearing in the Mattel creations itself. 

This is because, back in 2022, the MB1221 '20 Chevy Corvette C8 was also released through Mattel Creations in a Gulf scheme. If they had one livery to repeat in Mattel Creations, I am happy it is the Gulf.Although, one day, I expect another Wheyhemes model to join the Mattel Creations debut. But, instead of another McLaren dive back (I have done them a few times), I think I will do a Gulf dive back. You might also notice another rather unusual recurring theme with this. 

The first we saw of them was in 2018, when the MB995 Ford GT was given a Gulf look in the Globe Travelers series. Do you notice the difference in the colour?  The Corvette was the same shade of sea-blue that the McLaren was in.  But, that is only for the Mattel Creations issues.  All the others, including this premium model, are a different blue.

Then, at the end of the 2018 basic range release schedule, another Gulf appeared. The MB927 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor was given the look, which carried forward into a 2019 Ford Trucks set at Walmart. 

We then saw the MB723 VW Beetle 4x4 sport the look in the 2019 No Road, No Problem 5-pack.  

Finally, apart from the 2x Mattel Creations releases, we saw the MB862 '66 Dodge A100 sport the look in the MBX Construction II 5-pack.  And, for those who noticed, during production the casting was modified to knock out the corner windows at the rear.  Funnily enough, after this modification was made mid-run, this casting has not been seen since.  Luckily, the Gulf theme has.  Through Mattel Creations. 

Although, again, if you are paying attention, the 2019 No Road, No Problem 5-pack was carried forward to a new run for 2024.  The same 5 models appeared, but this model now sports a gloss finish, and not a matte finish as it was 5 years before.  

An updated Gulf collection from Matchbox as of 2024.  I am really hoping to see more of these in the future.  This livery can run, and run, and run....

Talking of which, it is now time for me to run.  Another report is over.  I hope this hasn't left you feeling blue.  Ha ha!  This was a lot of blue.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Until next week, when I showcase more new 2024 items. Spoiler alert, it begins with a blue one!  I kid you not! On that note, I do hope everybody has a safe and happy week.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.