Matchbox Monday takes the collector route to the 70th Anniversary

This is an exciting little set.  Technically, it is batch B of the 2023 Collectors series, which was kindly sent over to me by Wheel Collectors, but all these models have the same look, and are all in this exclusive package.  I am not showing the blister for them, except for one (it randomly appears in the blog), as I got a little ahead of myself. What?  I open things up.  This batch also sees the first of a small turning point in the Matchbox portfolio, which I will get to at some point.  Wait? I will do that now.  

Because the first model in the set is the first of 2 new castings.  Both of which are seeing something a little different.  As I said, it is part of the Collectors series, and this year the set is 22 models.  3 batches of 5 (well, that was the plan), and this set of 7.  

This is the MB1406 '54 Jaguar D-type.  This was created specifically as a throwback to the classic Lesney era.  Something really cool to celebrate the history of the brand.  This model represents the 1950s.  Did anybody notice that each model was from a different decade in this assortment?  The Lesney model debuted in 1957 as number 41 in the range, and ran until 1964.  However, in 1960, the casting was reconstructed in a slightly larger size (62mm instead of 55mm) as the 1960s saw them start to make models larger.  This was known as 41b, as opposed to 41a.  But, the throwback to Lesney was not the turning point.  

That goes to the base.  This is a metal base.  And it is a metal body.  That makes this model quite heavy. But, more importantly, it also makes this model a premium exclusive.  They made a decision that when it comes to premium products, they needed to squeeze in a little extra when they can.  So by creating a small group of castings that have metal bodies and bases, this gives a higher premium content to their range.  I know some will argue that they just make a metal and a plastic base and use things everywhere.  But, these are additional expenses.  So these double-diecast models are looking at being just a 2 metal piece build.  No plastic alternative.  That gives them a premium feel in hand as well.

Obviously, there is the model itself.  A brand-new tool for 2023.  This is a lovely little casting.

It is the traditional RHD model, and I am already looking forward to a British Racing Green example.  After all, the classic Lesney only came in British Racing Green.  Obviously I cannot compare side by side, as I do not own the original.  It was from before my time.  I only start with Superfast in 1969.  

But this casting looks fantastic.  So sleek and smooth.  Well, the casting is.  They have given the premium platinum models a matte finish, instead of the gloss finish of the other models.  I guess it adds to the premium-ness.  I love the little gearstick inside.  You can see it sticking up in front of the middle piece here.  

Sadly, mine has got a little bit of smudging to the rear licence plate.  I am not going to fret over that.  I always say, these little things give the models a little uniqueness.  I am definitely impressed with this. 

Although, not as impressed as I am with this.  It's a Porsche!  Again, they have done the same with the number 7 of 22 release.  They have given us a new casting with a metal body and base.  So, this is going to be a premium exclusive as well.  

The MB1407 Porsche 910 does not say any specific year on it, in real life, Porsche constructed 29x 910s in 1966 and 1967, which they officially called the 906/10, as it was superseded by the 907 in 1967.  But it is often known as the 910 regardless.  So, after a model of the 1950s, we have a model of the 1960s.

This model does bring back a lot of memories for me.  I owned a 910 model as a kid, growing up in the 1970s.  I loved it!  Did you know it was the first Porsche that Matchbox made? It debuted as MB68-A in 1970 and ran through 1974.  

You just know I am waiting for them to do a retro 1970s look, emulating the original at some point in the future.  Because this casting is awesome, and I am hoping to get many more.

The attention to detail is amazing.  Even down to the way the side windows look flush against the body.  

Now, I loved the original. It was awesome, and it will always have that charm that does not go away.  The new one is technically better.  But so is technology.  Therefore they are able to properly craft replicas in much finer detail than before.  I dare say the Lesney model was likely created based on a couple of pictures. That was often how they did it.  Take a picture, create a model that looked like it.  

Talking of which, let's bring in said original. It only came in dark red with a 68 label in the basic range.  Officially.  We all know there would be others.  

As you can see, when placed sidfe by side, there isn't a lot between them.  They did a remarkable job back in the day.  The new casting doesn't have a spoiler lip at the rear.  A couple of smaller details are a little finer detailed. But in general, they are a pretty good match. The new one is a little rounder at the front.  

Height-wise, they are also very similar.  I have a feeling that they might have used the Lesney model as a basis while constructing this as well.  That way, this was also a great homage to the original casting. 

The new casting has been built in the more common drop method.  Get a body, turn it upside down, drop a window component and interior component in it.  Grab the base, drop it on top and rivet, rivet.  No, I am not a frog.  I said rivet!  The original casting was using the slot in method, as the rear lights would pop out of the back, holding the model in place.  This method is a slightly slower method. Hence, Mattel making as many using the drop method as possible.  When you make thousands upon thousands of a model, every second counts. 

This is why the original only has the one rivet on the base.  Both bases are quite plain. I am guessing in real life it is, too.

As I have the original out, why not do a little dive through them.  As I said, it debuted in 1970, and ran through 1974.  In 1971, this model was given the change to the wider wheels.  It was one of the early changes, as the wheel arches would already accommodate them. They started the change in mid-1971, and it took until fairly late in 1972 to finish working through all the castings.  The easiest ones were done first.  Obviously. 

During its 5 years in the range, the model would usually sport an amber window.  But some were found with clear windows.  

And 5 years of production?  Yes, red will not stay consistent for 5 years.  With Lesney, it barely lasted 5 days.  

And of course, this was a company that kept running out of labels.  The 68 label was finished?  Meh!  Just grab a 45 label and carry on.  

45 labels were found often enough to find shades to the red paint as well.  It was the go-to change.  However, scorpion and 137 labels have also been found.  I do not own either of those yet, but am always on the lookout.  

Aside from the basic range, it was also to be found in the G-3 Racing multipack. It sported extra labels which you would apply to the model.  The little 68 on the side was added in-pack, the rest were applied once you had opened it.

And who could forget the only non-red.  In 1972, they added the model to the B-r-room Stick set, in an exclusive white look.  It is nice to see this model return, and I am looking forward to seeing many more of them over the coming years.

Time to move into the 1970s, with the MB1213 '71 MGB GT Coupe.  This is number 8 in the series and comes in, you guessed it, platinum.

I must admit, I had been waiting for a premium outing for this model.  I am a huge fan, and so I am very happy with this one.  It's about time it had the all-over tampo treatment.

Stripes going over the top?  The 70 roundel.  This model is just fantastic.  I am sure many are happy with the chrome too.  

As is the norm for these, the rear licence plate makes note of this being in the 70th Anniversary series.  

I have to do a dive back here, as this is a model I have a preproduction example of.  Picked up at the 2022 Gathering, it looks perfect next to the platinum with orange accents.  

With the model seeing 3 outings in the basic range.  A 2020 debut as MB61 in red.

Was followed by a 2021 basic range release in British Racing Green as MB42.

And a final basic range release in 2022 (so far) in a mustard yellow.Hopefully, after this MB73 issue, we have not seen the last of this in the basic range.

Although, this is scheduled to be a 9-pack exclusive in 2024.  It remains to be seen where else it may appear, if at all.  After all, it has seen 1 outing per year across the first 4 years.  This may be a recurring theme with this model. 

Into the 1980s I go, and a random picture of the outer package.  Yes, I did take one blisterpack photo.  All the rest follow this same pattern.  The MB805 '85 Toyota 4Runner takes the number 9 slot in the series.  

It is nice to see this casting continue on.  After the original 2010-2016 run, it did go a little quiet for a while.  Then, 2020 saw a Retro release and 2022 a Japan Origins release.  This, however, is the first time this model has had the premium treatment. 

And I have to say, after the retooling for 2022, I was a little worried over the front end.  The retool seemed to lose a little of the distinguishing features of the model.  But it does look really nice here.  

Again, stripey.  I love stripes, so I am throughly enjoying these 7 models.  

And what is this, though?  Still no back printing?  I honestly thought that with it finally getting a premium outing, it would finally see a rear tampo hit.  But, alas, this is still left blank.  A bit of a disappointment, if I am being honest.  You do sort of expect a little more from a premium.  I am surprised this wasn't detailed.  All the models so far have seen a full range of tampo.  Excellent all-round.  But this does feel like a letdown.  

For those being curious, this was the 2022 re-tooling, and how the Japan Origins model came out. It looked quite bland across the front.  The new one does improve on that a lot.  So, I have to give it that.  After 3 models that I would give top marks to, I would say this is an 8 out of 10.  Maybe 8.5.

Let's head into the 1990s with the number 10 model in the series.  The MB969 '93 Ford Mustang LX SSP.  

Unlike the others seen already on the list, this model has seen a premium look alongside regular core looks.  This latest is another stunner. It doesn't get a front detail print, but with lights that are formed from the window component, it is not as noticeable.  

But, again, look at that blank rear.  Such a shame.  I was expecting detailing again.  

I think it all ended up on the top.  That is a lot of tampo up there.  From this angle, this model looks great.  Just a tad short on tampo printing for my liking.  As a premium model, I do expect no limits. But, that aside, I think the overall design is very good.  

I had mentioned about this getting a premium outing before, so why not do another little dive. This was a little slow to arrive.  Supposedly the MB95 of 2014, it didn't turn up until 2015.  

2016 saw a silver outing in the basic range as MB66. I did notice a shade to that one.  

And then it was also thrown in the Best of series, which was the initial return of premiums.  This one in blue saw a lovely rear end detail. 

It was then almost forgotten until 2020.  It came back with a bang.  It was in the MBX Highway 5-pack in a Boone Country brown look.

Plus, it saw 2 outings in the Mustang set from Walmart.  Batch A was a new Texas Highway Patrol look., whereas batch B saw the debut CHP model return.  

In 2021, it became a 9-pack exclusive in blue.  We also saw a Target Retro repeat of the 2016 basic range model in silver.  

When you ignore the carry forwards, it really hasn't had a lot of outings for 10 years or so.  That is running at less than 1 per year.

As we move into the 2000s, we see the MB696 '02 Audi RS6 Avant.  I think it is the first time I recall of it being specifically dated.  This takes the number 11 slot in the set.

And, yes, this model gets a full wrap of tampo treatment.  Front, rear and both sides.  

Talking of the sides.  Stripey McStripeyface! Yes, I love those stripes.  After a couple of, well I wouldn't say duds.  A couple just shy of greatness, we are back to the crème de la crème again.  I really like this look.

For a model that has been with us since 2006, this little Audi just keeps plugging away.  I hope it doesn't get forgotten due to the new RS6 Avant coming for 2024.  That one is a Moving Parts release, so I see no reason to let this one slide away.  At least I hope so, anyway.

Finally, we end up in the 2010s with the MB1056 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6.  This one does not have a date on it, but the real one was manufactured between 2013 and 2015. The 2010s.  It takes the number 12 slot in the series of 22 models. 

Again, this model has been the recipient of some premium outings before.  The MB1056 casting was specifically designed with an interior that doesn't need to be included.  When used in a core range, the windows are blacked out and the interior left off.  When promoted to premium, windows become transparent, and an interior gets inserted.  A very cool concept, and I am surprised it was not done more often.  

Again, we see some simple striping down the sides.

But this time, that striping wraps around the rear as well.  Awesome!  I love it! This is a really cool example of this model.  How about a partial dive back?  Just with the premium outings.

As the model debuted in a premium guise.  The 2017 promotional toy fair model, from late 2016.  It was also a part of the 2020 Superfast series.  You may be wondering about a certain Target exclusive gold issue from 2019?  Technically, it is a core range model, but there was a sneaky little interior and transparent window addition to it.  

And of course, there was the other promotional trio from Leipzig.  It was the 2017 Convention model.  However, early bird issues were the same, but with no tampo printing on the bonnet/hood.  It was also the Modell-Hobby-Spiel show model, and this has the logo for the Leipziger-Messe. So this model has seen some premiums.  Always good ones at that.  

And with that, I do believe another blog is done.  2 brand new “heavy” new castings, both scheduled for premium only outings. 

Along with 3 more cars….

…. and 2 more versatile vehicles spanning across 7 decades.  So, hands up, who had noticed the little 7 decade theme with these?  I thought it was a lovely little Easter Egg.  

A fantastic themed set.  My only minor gripe was a lack of tampo printing on 2 models.  That was it.  And that is minor.  It doesn't detract from the overall theme.  It's just a personal preference.  Next week, I believe I will be moving some things around again.  Until then, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.

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