Matchbox Monday wonders if we should buy more candy

Do these look familiar?  They should.  Matchbox issued this set of 6 Candy series models in 2020.  At the time, they were a unique set, aimed at some of the smaller USA merchants (Walmart and Target were getting stuff, why not other places?).  Roll along 4 years, and we are finally going to see a second batch of these.  But, before batch B arrives, they decided to do another run of the originals.  For some, this is of no interest.  Other people who like packages will note that the new packs are slightly different in their overall design, so worth getting.  But, I am one who likes to rip everything out of the package, so for me, it is all about whether the models themselves have anything of interest in them. Luckily, Wheel Collectors got the batch in, so sent me over a set. So, are they worth getting again?  Time to dive in....

I remember when the series first appeared in 2020, the models were numbered between 1 and 6 on the package, but the models themselves had a different order, as they were also numbered 1 through 6.  I did wonder if they might have taken the time to re-order the packages to make them the same as the models inside.  But, as you can clearly see here, the MB741 VW Caddy has the number 2 on the side of the van, but, it is number 1 of 6.  So, they kept the order out of order.  This is really tough for people with OCD!  So, number 2 is number 1.  

This comes in white, with an orange base and a Tootsie Roll Pop side design.  The Tootsie Pop has been with us since 1931, expanding the line from the earlier Tootsie Rolls that had launched in 1896.  Mr Owl is on the side licking either a cherry or raspberry flavoured pop.  

So how does this differ to the one that originally came in 2020?  I think we should bring that in to compare.

Bringing in the old one gives us an immediate difference.  It was so easy to see.

The orange base on the new run is significantly darker than it was 4 years ago.  The casting itself has seen no modifications in any way in the interim.  This is all about the base, 'bout the base, no treble!  Sorry, I couldn't resist a little Meghan Trainor "All About That Bass" lyrical input.  

Although, it you were to look closer at the side, you would notice that the brown tampo printing is coming out a lighter shade than it was before.  The rest all appear to be a good match.  It is nice to see the VW Caddy (or if you go by the base name, "Licenced by Volkswagen") appear again.  It is becoming a little sporadic now, especially with a Renault Kangoo in rotation.  So, just in case this is it for the model, I am going to do a recap of them all again.

It debuted all the way back in 2008.  The basic range model was a simple plain blue, but we had a really cool Genuine VW Parts 10-pack release at the end of the year in the 1st Editions all-exclusive pack.

For 2009, the basic range release came in green with an INCS side design.  I noticed that the shade of green would vary quite a lot during production, although people in LAAM markets didn't.  It wasn't sold in Latin America.  

2009 proved to be quite a hectic year. A City Service 5-pack gave us a really cool DHL model, Superfast included a red and black Firestone themed model, and in Germany, a Euro Edition series was sold with a Schlüsseldienst Locksmiths (Schlüsseldienst being German for Locksmith Service) on another green model.  I never saw a shade to that green. But it was much shorter run.

In 2010, the LAAM market was ignored again in the basic range, as that silver Quick Steam model was sold in the US and ROW markets only.  A City Action 5-pack issue in red with MVS on the side was sold worldwide.  We also had a Glass & Window blue model sold in the Action 10-pack.  

After that, the model was dropped from the basic range entirely, with only a pair of 5-pack issues being sold in 2011. A Service Center 5-pack gave us a teal "Diecast Service Center" model, and a licenced 5-pack for Handy Manny saw a yellow model with Manny on it.  After this, the model went into hibernation.

It was 8 long years before we saw a new one.  Strangely enough, it was in the basic range.  A white pizza themed model was a part of the 2019 range, which, apart from the earlier and later Candy runs, are all we have seen since the 2011 model year.  As I said, it has been sporadic.  Is this going to be a swansong?  Or will we see another random model pop up in the future?  I am keeping my fingers crossed for the latter.

So, model number 2 in the series, is model number 4.  Side note, why are these aged 14+?  Are they worried that younger people might actually believe they were candy and try to eat them?  

This is the MB995 Ford GT.  The classic.  From the 1960s.  As I have often stated, the easy way to check which Ford GT you are looking at is to check for wing mirrors.  The original in the 1960s was designed as a race car, and then homologated for road use.  So, Matchbox made the original.  The later one from the 21st century was designed initially as a road vehicle, and then adapted for racing.  Again, Matchbox made the original.  Hence, wing mirrors.  So, this has no wing mirrors, it's the classic.  

The Ford is yellow, and features Sugar Daddy on the side, as well as the number 4.  Because, you know, it is number 2 in the series.  OCD!!! Sugar Daddy is another creation from the Tootsie Roll Industries.  Although they weren't created by them.  They debuted in 1925 as Papa Sucker, but changed their name in 1932 to Sugar Daddy.  Tootsie Roll Industries bought out their company in 1993.  

In comes the original from 2020 for a little comparison.  How does it differ from the 4-year gap?  

Whoa! Look at the sort of mild shade variation.  Hey, it's definitely good enough for me, as I enjoy a shade.  I can see it.  You can see it in the picture.  But, for those who want more, I can give you more.

What happened to "GT"? It now just says Ford in the side stripe, with the GT part being dropped.  So, this is an alteration to the tampo (and again, the brown is lighter).  So, again, I think this is a definite one to obtain a second time.  In fact, spoiler alert, out of all of them, this is the best difference.  

Unlike a certain MB982 Hummer H2 SUV.  Which, for some reason, they have noted as being a 2002 vehicle.  The best part about this is that the number match.  The model is Unit 3, and the package states it is number 3 of 6.  Ah yes, the OCD in me is quietening down.  

This model is in brown with a Tootsie Roll side design.  Seriously, the third Tootsie Roll Industries model.  As I mentioned, this is the 1896 candy that started off the company.  It has been around a long time. As has the Hummer.  That debuted in 2003.  

There is not a lot to say about this one. Out of all of the models in this carry forward set, this is the one that has the smallest of variations.  

As I bring in the original from 4 years prior, you can see they look very much the same.  

The biggest difference here is when you put the bases side by side.  The new run is a fractionally lighter grey.  It is a small shade.  Just about enough for me to keep it.  But for many, I think they will look at and think "whatever".  

Again, the brown is coming out a little lighter, but on a proper paint job, the lighter shade is not as big as on a tampo print.  It's there.  Again, people are rolling eyes!  I'm keeping mine.  It is overall a lighter shade, with both body and base being visible side by side.  I do enjoy variations, as I think I will do another dive.  

With this model being in its third decade of use, we do have quite a history.  As noted, it all began in 2003, and initially under the MB526 MAN number.  Yes, this was a Hero City model.  In fact, the first 10,000 produced even had a Hero City logo splashed on the side.  This was also the very short-lived era of putting the model number in the basic range on all models, and the Matchbox logo, which at the time had been altered into an oval.  Luckily, those 2 nuisances were short-lived.  

For 2004, it was not given a basic range outing.  A black model appeared as part of the new Superfast series that launched that year, and an orange model was in a licenced Hanna-Barbera 5-pack featuring The Flintstones on it.  

2005 saw it back in the basic range, as a charcoal model was given a worldwide release.  At the start of the year, we also saw a Hanna-Barbera single.  In the early years of licenced 5-packs, a few months arfter a pack arrived, we would see 3 singles released, with 3 of the 5 models pulled out at first and sold on their own.  That was in 2003, but by 2004, they had gone one step further by making the singles in an alternate colour to the 5-pack release.  They phased out singles shortly after this, but we got a Hanna-Barbera set of singles, and the Hummer was now yellow.  

2006 saw another basic release.  This was in white with a camouflage design.  A Nick Jr licensed 5-pack saw Patrick from SpongeBob Squarepants on the side of another charcoal model.  

2007 saw 3 releases for the model.  None of them were in the basic range.  A Police 5-pack gave us one of the models in white.  Another white was a part of the Adventure 10-pack.  Guess which was which?  

The final release was another licenced 5-pack model.  It was a bit of a go-to model for the licenced 5-pack series, wasn't it?  However, this one in brown as part of a Go Diego Go set saw a change as some came with a chrome base, and others with a black base.  

2008 was quite significant.  How significant?  Very!  What is that front model?  It is a National Parks release.  Yes, the National Parks, that Matchbox has been having lots of fun with.  The first National Parks model came in the 2007 range (it was a Chevy Tahoe), and when this turned up in 2008, people were instantly pulling out the Tahoe to pair up with it.  At the time, message boards on the internet were still big business.  How times change.  People were going nuts posting pictures of the 2 together, and talking about how cool it was to have 2 models with the same design.  Yes, technically, the Chevy Tahoe was the first National Parks model, but this Hummer is the one that kick-started the whole recurring theme.  As we know, there are a whole host of recurring themes nowadays within the Matchbox brand.  It was one of 4 releases in 2008.  A Vacation 5-pack saw a blue Hawaiian Excursion release, and a licenced SpongeBob SquarePants 5-pack saw a darker blue with SpongeBob and Patrick on it.  We also had another Adventure 10-pack release in tan.  

2009 was a little quieter.  A Beach Patrol 5-pack saw a yellow release, and yet another licenced 5-pack issue in orange featured the Little Einsteins on it.  

2010 saw 2 licenced 5-pack issues.  A blue model was part of a Disney Movie set with a Jungle Book theme.  We also had another red model included in a Nickelodeon pack with Wonder Pets!  We also saw a regular red 5-pack release in a Mountain Adventure pack.

2011 was fun.  Another 5-pack release came in grey as part of the Dino Adventure set.  During production, they went nuts with wheels, as it came with cog wheels, 6-spoke wheels or crown wheels across the production runs.

And, of course, the annual licenced release.  Every year since 2004 has seen a licenced release!  This was a Penguins of Madagascar set, and this was during a period where they were testing out different approaches to detailing models.  Basics tend to see a simple 4-colour tampo print.  But, with things like this, they had been using fusion graphics.  They give a wide choice of colours across the design, and they can be applied to a finished model, allowing crevices and holes to be covered.  A tampo is limited to very little in the way of anything beyond a flat (or gently curving) surface, and is applied to individual parts.  Fusion grahpics cover everything, have loads of colours, but are expensive.  So, they tried something new.  Ink Jet Printing.  Again, like fusion graphics, they can be applied to a complete vehicle, but, as you can see, they are almost like the old dot-matrix printer.  They do a line, go back and do another line, and so on.  You can clearly see on the penguins where the printer was going back and forth.  It also leaves a rough finish, compared to the smooth finish of the fusion graphics.  However, it is cheaper!  

2012, and just the one issue.  Again, we know where it would be.  The licenced packs. This was another Penguins of Madagascar set, and this one really showed how printing on a finished model can alter things.  The printing goes right through the side windows along with the side of the body.   This is something that a tampo printer just cannot cope with.  The difference between the body and window section is too much for a tampo pad to reach.  

The licenced stuff stopped after this, as they had phased them out.  But, the model was not.  In fact, it returned to the basic range in a blue camouflage livery. This also saw a little fun with wheels, as some sported 6-spokes and others sported cogs.

However, after taking 2014 off, the model did return as MB526 for a final time in 2015 in a, yes a licenced pack.  Between 2001 and 2013, the licenced packs were just random items put together for fun.  Often from kids TV shows.  But, in 2015, Mattel obtained a Jurassic World licence, and assigned Matchbox with a task of making model cars for it.  This is a different marketing type of licence, and the first for Matchbox since Superman Returns almost a decade earlier.  However, with the licence arriving so late, the items being released were simple whatever they had with a Jurassic World theme to them.  We would have to wait for the follow-up film for them to really go nuts with Jurassic tie-ins.  The Hummer was a part of the "Jungle" 5-pack.

After this, the model saw the retooling from MB526 into MB982. Visually, there is precious little to see.  Internally, there were a few adjustments, although most probably didn't notice the 2 parts at the back that stick up from the base are a different shape to how they were before.  Anyway, the new tooling debuted in 2017 in the Walmart exclusive Camouflage set.  Wheels again changed mid-run, with the chrome effect turning into a more regular type of blue.

It then popped up in the basic range in a carry forward livery to the old 2009 5-pack issue.  However, this is with the new tooling, and the shade of yellow does differ.

The base shows the new writing, and removal of the old logo, returning the classic lozenge to where it belongs.  And a re-copyright of 2015.  

And do you see where the 2 parts pop up from the base section at the rear?  Originally, the body section had an indentation and the parts would pop up outside of it.  However, this is a little tricky in high-speed production, and as part of the alteration, the base section was thickened out, and the body section just cut out that indentation completely, meaning that the base just slots straight in.  It is less fiddly and speeds up production. Every second counts with these models.

After that, we saw 2 more basics.  A 2019 in white and 2020 in orange.  With the Candy series originally appearing in 2020, this is another model that has seen no further uses since 2020, and has returned in the carry forward of this set.  

Next up is the number 5, sorry, number 4 of 6 MB999 Food Truck. It says 5 on the truck.  Seriously, why couldn't they get this sorted?  They had 4 years!  

This is another casting that has not seen a new look since 2020.  In fact, all the first 4 models in the set use castings that had not seen action since 2020.  The last 2 have.  This is pink and features Charms on the side.  Yes, part of the Tootsie Roll Industries banner.  Well, you probably have guessed by now.  Everything comes from Tootsie Roll Industries.  Obviously, Mattel set up a deal with them to create a range of models using their sweets.  In fact, spoiler alert, the second batch are coming later and will also be Tootsie Roll Industries sweets. Luckily, they have no numbers, because 5!  On number 4!  It gets to me.  Obviously, this is a logical casting to use for a candy model, and the side featuring loads of sweets on it looks amazing.  

But, is this one that is worth getting again?  Let's bring in the original to find out.

Looking at the original, I don't see anything too obvious.

But, when you put the two rtogether like this, I think it is obvious that the new run is sporting a lighter print on the side.  As you now know, if you just read the Hummer dive back, this is actually using ink jet printing.  This provides many colours, and really goes nuts with the smaller details on the counter.  Plus, as well as being lighter, the red pops are now sporting white highlights, which they didn't originally.  However, there is something else.  It is not a big thing for me, but to some, this is important.

They have changed the name again.  When the casting first arrived, it was simply called Food Truck.  Later on, they altered the name to Chow Wagon.  But now, they have tweaked it again.  It is Chow Mobile. It makes sense.  

After all, we have had the MB1250 Chow Mobile II since 2021.  I always wondered why the name didn't match.  It does now.  

For those who are curious, when the MB889 casting first arrived in 2013, it was simply known as Food Truck.  The counter was a part of the interior section, but they altered the casting in 2015 into the MB999 casting.  At this time, it was still called Food Truck.  This ran until the 2018 issue in yellow.  When the 2019 model arrived, they had altered the name into Chow Wagon.  This was trademarked.  I don't know if there was an issue with trademarking Chow Wagon II, which caused them to switch to Chow Mobile.  Legalities behind the scene are likely the culprit for the second name change.  We don't see all the hassles behind the scenes in getting models out to us.  

Number 5 is No. one!  In this case, number 1.  The MB713 Rotavator. Sorry, '65 Austin Minivan. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound.  Numbers do get a little mixed up at times.  Back in the Lesney era, when they launched twin packs, they brought a few models back to the production line.  To differentiate from the standard models, they assigned them ridiculously high numbers.  It was basically their slot in the range from before, with either a 7 or 8 in front of it.  Simple enough.  In 1982, after getting confused with models being sold in 1 country or another, as part of a US/ROW brand split, they decided to set up the manufacturing number system, which still gets used to this day.  The first 75 models were the 1982 ROW range, with 3 more after it being planned new castings (that didn't actually make it until 1983), and the US exclusives were then assigned the next numbers up.  The Code Red stuff was then thrown in after that (including a Skybusters casting), and the twin pack models were left out.  Universal took over, and started sorting out the MAN numbers a bit better.  Any twin pack issues that they were still using were carried on.  Older ones now dropped were ignored.  A few new tools that were never given a basic range number were also assigned a high MAN number.  For some reason, although they were simply making new tools and assigning them the next numbers in the order, for some reason, when it came to a trailer unit, they still assigned it a really high number.  In 1993, they added the MB713 Rotavator casting, which appeared as a trailer unit in a few Farming sets.  It was never used again.  It was a trailer, so give it a 700-number.  At this time, regular numbers were only in the 200s. With the move to Tyco, and then to Mattel, the people in charge changed, items were shuffled around, and things were lost.  By 2007, the MAN number list had actually reached the 700s.  Mattel, not knowing any different, simply assigned numbers up to MB731 for the 2007 new tools.  They just didn't know about this little oddity.  In fact, out of all the old 700 & 800 numbered models, only the MB743 Pony Trailer tool was still available.  And they hadn't reached that.  All the other tools had been lost in the transition from the China factory to the Thailand one in 2005.  Luckily, there were thousands of collectors who had been using the MAN number system to point out the error.  It was too late to do anything about 2007, but as of 2008, any previous MAN numbers assigned during the Universal era were skipped when new tools were being assigned numbers.  But, we do have the 2007 anomaly.  So, for some, they do mark the MB713a Rotavator, and MB713b '65 Austin Minivan. To others, they just go with MB713 as that is what it says on the base.  

This model really suits the overall look, with the lovely green paint job and the Junior Mints logo on it.  Even had this been a regular issue outside the Candy series, I would still have bought it.  Okay, so I get everything.  But, it would have been one of the nicer looks for the Minivan in general.  I liked it when it came in 2020, and still like it now.  It is my favourite of the batch.

I was a little curious as to how the new run differs to the older one, so I will bring that in to compare.

Green is often good for a nice shade.

Hmm! It's fractional.  It might not be a significant enough shade.

But, look at the brown again.  This seems to be a bit of a recurring theme with all the models that have chocolate in them.  Every model with brown tampo printing is coming out with a lighter brown tampo in 2024.  It's almost as if it was dark chocolate, and now it is milk chocolate.  Now I want chocolate!

Number 6 is number 6!  Hallelujah!  It appears that 3 and 6 aligned.  1 is 2. 2 is 4. 4 is 5. 5 is 1.  My OCD is struggling with that.  Still, as I rip everything out, I can just forget what package numbers they were.  And just concentrate on the models, which finishes with the MB723 VW Beetle 4x4.  Luckily, there was no earlier MB723, so this is the only 1 of those.  Not like the Austin.  

I'm seeing DOTS in front of my eyes.  Is that a bad thing?  Nope!  it's just the livery.  DOTS had launched in 1945 by Mason, which Tootsie purchased in 1972.  Gum drops have been a staple of many countries for a long time.  These are one of the major USA sellers of gum drops.  Because, as I am in the UK, we don't tend to get any of these over here, unless I was to venture into a US candy store.  We do have a few specialist stores like that. In fact, there is one not far from where I live.  They are a little expensive.  Maybe I should try some of these when I next visit the USA, and see what I think of them.  What a tough task I am assigning myself.

This is the tropical style, and the model does suit the vibe.  I wonder how this looked 4 years ago?

Well, I am not seeing any brown.  I wonder if this will sport anything else.

It appears that the DOTS are the main focus of the attention here.  Differing from the norm, these are now sporting a darker blue background to how the original run did them.  

And for those who do like the base stuff, you might notice that since 2020, the base has been slightly altered to have the Matchbox logo in the lozenge.  In the 2010s, they did tweak the logo slightly to get rid of the lozenge that surrounds it, and make it grey (something not seen in the base), but they have altered it back.  Amazingly, the green tint to the base is also a very good match.  This is DOTS and a lozenge.  I am really hungry now.

For those who wanted to know, the base was adjusted between the 2021 Target Retro release in 2021 and the 2022 carry forward 5-pack release.  

Well, that is the lot.  All 6 revisited 4 years after they first appeared.  So, as the title alluded to, were they worth getting again?  It all depends on whether you like variations in any way.  If you like packaging, then yes.  The packages are different in 2024 than they were in 2020.  If you like any adjustments to castings, then the VW Beetle and Food Truck bases are sort of worthwhile. If you like different bases. If you like a tampo change, then the Ford GT is good.  If you like shade variations, the VW Caddy (major), Austin Minivan (medium) and Hummer (minor) all work.   Mmm!  If you don't like them at all, then this set is not for you.  But, well done for getting this far in the read.  I have no idea why this set was re-run before we get a new batch later in the year, but in my own personal case, I am happy they did.  I have added all 6 of them to my collection, which is quite rare with carry forward stuff.  

Next week will be a regular batch of stuff again.  I hope you enjoyed my little read through of an entire carry forward set.  Until next week, I hope everybody has a safe and happy week.

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