The MBX-U Matchbox Models Database

The Matchbox companies, Lesney through Mattel, have consistently been inconsistent in their organization of the miniature models and attendant numbering schemes. This became more apparent with the advent of MAN or FAB#'s and re-issue of some older models by Mattel. In some cases the same numbering has been used to identify multiple models, and conversely the same model may have multiple numbers. There is further inconsistency in whether models with different attachments (e.g. a light bar) are grouped together or given separate numbers.

Perhaps of even more concern is that Mattel historically has not been a fan of assigning individual model numbers,. And as we approach the endpoint of the 3-digit MAN# there's the possibility that another change in numbering scheme may occur.

Als ich anfing, meine Sammlungsmodelle in einer relationalen Datenbank zu organisieren, wurden die Schwierigkeiten, die diese Faktoren mit sich brachten, offensichtlich. Ich hielt es für notwendig, ein eigenes Organisationsschema einzurichten, das auf dieser Website verwendet und unten erläutert wird.

The database is organized using the following hierarchy, with a database table for each of these levels:

  1. Modelle
  2.    Versions
  3. Variationen
  4.          Releases

A feature of the web site is the ability for each user to their own collection. Collection records are at the level of the variation, althoguh release info can also be included in a user's collection.

In addition the database includes several reference tables (i.e. Wheel Types and Packages Types), and a number of lookup value lists for pre-determined selections to some field values (i.e. window color, country of manufacture). There is also a table of 'microvariations' that includes very small differences in variations that might not easily be detected and so aren't used as criteria to create a new variation.

Let's go through each level of the database hierarchy and understand what they mean.


What is a Model ?

All cars (note: I use 'cars' in a broad sense to mean miniature vehicle) with same characteristics, as listed below, are a single model; if any of these characteristics differ, they are listed as separate models

  1. Grundlegendes Körpergießen: Frühe Modelle weisen möglicherweise relativ kleine Gussunterschiede auf, wurden jedoch in der Vergangenheit als separate Modelle aufgeführt. Das habe ich hier behauptet.
  2. Scale
  3. Regular vs Superfast wheels

It is often the case that Matchbox released two items that were the same in all above characteristics, but were created with and have maintained separate model identities, i.e. Ford Galaxie Fire Chief and Ford Galaxie Police Car, or Big Banger and Cosmic Blues. For this database, those are considered the same model and combined herein. The different instances are listed as separate versions under one model.

Streichholzschachtel und Katalogisierer waren im Laufe der Jahre in Bezug auf Unterschiede bei beweglichen Körperteilen (Öffnen von Türen, Hauben, Kolbenknaller, Lenkhebel usw.), Karosseriezubehör (Baldachin, Dachträger, Lichtleiste, Pistole) und Innenguss (unabhängig davon, ob es einen Innenraum hat) uneinheitlich oder nicht, ob das Innengussstück andere Körperteile enthält). Ich überlegte, ob Fahrzeuge basierend auf jedem dieser Merkmale in verschiedene Modelle unterteilt werden sollten, stellte jedoch fest, dass die Anzahl der Variationen Schwierigkeiten bereitete. Obwohl es in beiden Richtungen Ausnahmen gibt, scheint es für das Überwiegen von Modellen nicht so zu sein, dass Abweichungen in diesen Merkmalen dazu führen, dass ein Fahrzeug als separates Modell aufgeführt wird. In den Fällen, in denen sie angebraten wurden (d. H. Ford Transit Ambulance vs. Ford Transit), werden sie in diesem Schema zu einem Modell kombiniert.

Characteristics of a Model in This Database

Each record in the Models table has the following attributes:

  • Unique Model ID (UMID)
  • Master Model Name: the most "accepted" name for the model. I wasn;t able to base this on the first package name or base name, as they were often very generic. This is an selected from the name used by most Matchbox references. If there are more than one traditional models that ar eincluded in a single database model, the name of the first of those released is used.
  • Erstes Erscheinungsjahr (nicht das Copyright oder Basisdatum, sondern das Jahr der tatsächlichen Veröffentlichung zum Verkauf)
  • Base Casting Date
  • Scale of the Model
  • Type of Vehicle : car, tow truck, taxi, dump truck, etc. SInce models may have, for instance, both an ambulance versionand a military vehicle version, there are 2 Type fields. All searches based on type cover both of these fields.
  • Make and Country of model: For instance, Ford and USA. 'Generic' vehicles that do not have a real make are designated as 'Matchbox' with USA as the country. Fnastastic odels, such as the Rhino Rod are listed as 'Fantasy' type with USA as the country.
  • Similar Models: Other models in the database that are similar. There are three Chevy Lumina models that have distinct differences so are listed as separate models, but are similar and cross-index to each other.
Die eindeutige Modell-ID (UMID)

As a result of the change in companies and organization of models across the decades, every current numbering scheme based on existing identities have some exceptions and duplications. These schemes are also dependent on the manufacturer's identification methods, which could change at some point. In addition, the rules used to differentiate whether two items are the same or different models differ across these numbering schemes.

To avoid those challenges, this database uses a generic model ID scheme as described below. Recognizing the value of current numbering schemes, and the extent to which Matchbox collectors are invested in them, The models and their UMID are however, all records here are cross-indexed to the traditional identities at the appropriate tables of the database. So, those who prefer to continue to use the MAN/FAB#, Mack No., or others, for searches can do so.

Die Modelle erhielten UMIDs in der Reihenfolge des Jahres der Erstveröffentlichung dieses Modells und dann der MAN # oder des Platzes in der Seriennummerierung für Modelle vor MAN #. Die früheste Version eines Modells wurde verwendet, um die UMID allen Versionen dieses Modells zuzuweisen. Zum Beispiel wurde der Chevy Highway Maint Truck 1990 erstmals unter MAN # 222 veröffentlicht und hat die UMID SF0361. Die spätere Version im Jahr 2007 unter MAN # 652 fällt ebenfalls unter diese UMID.


What is a Version?

Innerhalb eines bestimmten Modells gibt es normalerweise viele Versionen. Details, die verschiedene Versionen definieren, sind:

  1. Color Scheme: significant or easily noticed color variations (i.e. red, blue, olive green vs bright green)
  2. Tampo design: Data is recorded for both the graphic design (i.e. blue stripes or a Ferrari logo) and tampo text (i.e. the text 'Ferrari' on the car
  3. Release as separate models: some colors may seem very similar, but if they were released as separate versions by Matchbox (i.e. one several years later than the other or in a dfferent series), then they are listed as separate versions of a model
  4. Major Attachments: this applies to attachments that comprise the identity of the model, ie shovel on tractor shovel, boom and crane color on Crane Truck. The presence/absence of an attachment define different versions.
  5. Version Type: Regular wheel, Lesney Superfast, MB (post Lesney), Premiere level (extra detail and/or premiere wheels) or economy (i.e. plastic, no interior, black windows such as Burger King models)
  6. For racecars: Different #'s on the car create different versions (i.e. Catepillar Luminas #95 and #96 are separate versions though they look similar).

Each version of a model has these characteristics:

  • Unique Version ID (VerID) made up of the UMID + Version number (i.e. the third version of model SF700 would have version number SF0700-003)
  • Other ID numbers: Mack no., MAN/FAB#
  • Version name: Since there may be multiple traditional models under one UMID, different versions may have different version names (i.e. Under the 'Big Banger' model, there is that version, the Cosmic Blues version and others.
  • Year the Version was First released
  • The color(s), tampo deisgn and tampo text on the version
  • Version attachments, when appropriate
  • Code Level und Sekundärhersteller, falls zutreffend: Code 1, hergestellt von Mattel (oder LEsney usw.), Code 2-Design, angewendet von einem zugelassenen Sekundärunternehmen (d. H. CCI). Ich habe Code 3 nicht aufgenommen (kundenspezifische Modelle, die ohne Genehmigung von Mattel hergestellt wurden).

    What is a Variation?

    Innerhalb einer Version kann es kleinere Unterschiede geben, die Variationen dieser Version bilden. Details wie:

    1. Wheel style: often Matchbox used different wheels for the same model, perhaps using up what was lying around the shop. Each different wheel style or combination is a variation. Note- both front wheel and rear wheels are considered. CHaracteristics include design of the hub, color of tire and hub, rubber or plastic tires.
    2. Windows: There are often different colors of windows used for the same model. There is a separate page- WINDOW COLORS -that shows the most common vaiations
    3. Base Details: Plastic or Metal, color, details on the base etc. A model can have more than one base- an inset, a trailer base etc. and both are described.
    4. Color or Tampo variations: small variations in color may occur for the same version. SImilarly, some models aare obviously of the same tampo design, but have a differece- ie. inclusion or lack of the MB2000, 50 or Hero City logos on models form 2000-2004.
    5. Zubehörunterschiede: Gibt an, ob das Modell einen Abschlepphaken, die Farbe eines Fahrers usw. hat oder nicht.

    Each variation in the database has these characteristics:

    • Unique Variation ID (VARID) made up of the UMID + VerID + a letter for the variation, i.e. SF550-001-a and SF550-001-b are 2 variations of the same model.
    • Specific Mack# from C. Mack's latest catalog versions
    • Model name on the base- this often differs among versions and even sometimes among variations
    • Manufactourer location: Where the model was made- England, China etc.
    • Wheel styles- front and back
    • Basistyp: Kunststoff oder Metall
    • Base color
    • Fensterfarbe
    • Interior color
    • Color or tampo variations
    • Miscellaneous details: knowing that I couldn;t predict every possible way 2 cars could differ, I left 5 generic fields for additional details.Includes the detail type (i.e. what aspect of the vehicle is different) and the detail variation (the specific of that detail); for example-

      {{DetTyp1: kayak color DetVar1: Yellow

      Hinweis: Bei einigen Modellen, insbesondere bei älteren, gibt es kleine strukturelle Details, die von Sammlern identifiziert wurden. Einige davon erfordern, dass das Modell zerlegt werden muss, um zu sehen! Wenn ich die Unterschiede zwischen zwei identifizierten Variationen nicht leicht erkennen konnte, habe ich diese separat als "Mikrovariationen" aufgeführt. Ein Link auf dem Suchergebnis zeigt alle für ein Modell identifizierten Mikrovariationen an.


    What is a Release?

    Eine Veröffentlichung ist die Art und Weise, wie ein bestimmtes Modell verkauft wurde - seine Serie, Verpackung usw. Viele Sammler meiden diesen Detaillierungsgrad (sie sammeln nicht "Pappe", wie das Sprichwort sagt), aber es ist oft nützlich, um ein Modell zu identifizieren oder Ihnen bei der Suche nach einem Modell bei ebay zu helfen, um zu wissen, wie das Modell verpackt wurde. Jede Variation hat dann eine oder mehrere Releases. Die Veröffentlichung umfasst sowohl die Serie, unter der ein Modell verkauft wurde (dh 1-75, Spielset, Promotion), den Markt, auf dem es verkauft wurde (USA, Rest der Welt oder 'ROW' oder vielleicht bestimmte Länder), als auch das Jahr, in dem es angeboten wurde . Ein Modell, das 1984 in den USA als Nr. 50 in der 1-75-Serie und auch in EUrope angeboten wurde, hätte zwei Veröffentlichungen.

    Each release in the database has these characteristics:

    • Unique release ID (RelID) made up of the variation ID + a 2 difit number for the release.
    • Release Year
    • Country of sale: If sold in a particular country it can be listed as such (i.e. promos only sold in Belgium). USA is the biggest example of this. Aggregations of markets include ROW- rest of world (anywhere but USA), LA- Latin America, and if generally available, CORE- offered in all major markets.
    • Line: Miniatures, SKybusters, King/Superking, COnoys etc. The highest level distinction of releases. This site focuses on miniatures, but many miniature models are offered under SKybusters etc, and those are included.
    • Theme: Matchbox has sometimes used a particular theme for its packaging and sales across different series and years. Examples include the Tyco 'Fast Lane' theme, the much-loved 'Hero City' theme, and starting in 2014, 'On a Mission'. Check them out at RELEASE THEMES
    • Series: 1-75, Multi-packs, Gift Sets, Premiere models etc. A list can be found in RELEASE SERIES LIST
    • Serien-ID: Wenn eine Serie nummeriert ist, z. B. die Modelle 1-75, diese Nummer.
    • Subseries und Subseries ID: In den letzten Jahren hat Mattel das 1-7-Set in verschiedene Subsets, Emergency, Construction usw. unterteilt. Andere Beispiele sind die verschiedenen "World Class Series" unter Premiere-Modellen
    • Package ID & Code: Mattel, and to some extent Tyco, include package ID#'s on their packages. These are typically 5 digit numbers or letter-number combos. The pkg ID often differs for the same model in the USA and other countries. The package code is a general style of the package. For 1-75 these are based on the common Box or BLister types (i.e. Box F)
    • Paketname: Wie heißt das Paket, wenn es nicht eindeutig identifiziert wurde? Nicht zu verwechseln mit dem im Paket aufgeführten Serien- oder Subseriennamen. Beispielsweise ist "Exotic Rides" in einem 5er-Pack ein Paketname, während Premiere und World Class Series 5 Serien- und Subseriennamen in einem Premierenmodell sind.
    • Model Name on Package: What the model is called on the specific package, This often differs by country and differs from the nam on the car itself.


    Every model you enter into your collection uses the UMID, VerID, VarID and optionally the RelID. In addition you can enter info on the purchase, value, storage location, date of purchase etc.


    Jedes spezifische Modell verfügt über eine eindeutige Kennung, die alle oben aufgeführten Informationen abdeckt. Ein Beispiel ist:

    • SF149-003-a-01:
    • This is model SF233 (Lesney Dodge Challenger, 3rd version of this (the blue one), first variation (chrome interior) and the 1st (and only) release of that variation- offered in Brazil in 1979.