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Matchbox Super Convoys - Part One



I'm a huge fan of semi-trailers, also known as tractor trailers, big rigs, and 18 wheelers. But most of the supposedly 1:64 scale die-cast ones are too small to be displayed with my cars.  For example, long ago Matchbox came out with their Convoy and Super Rigs series.  They had some really nice tractor trailers, but their scale was probably better suited to 1:87 scale cars.

In 2008, Matchbox came out with a line of tractor trailers called Super Convoys, which scaled a lot better.   There were several cab variants and different trailers also, which could be interchanged with each other.  The cabs, for the most part were die-cast and the trailers were plastic.  At the time, they were quite pricey at around $10 USD  and about $12.99 CDN.  I couldn't see myself paying those kind of prices, even though these trucks were really appealing to me.  Toys R Us and Canadian discount department store Zellers used to carry them, but they never sold and just sat on the shelves.

Then, in 2011, Zellers announced that they were going out of business.  A lot of their merchandise got discounted during it's final days, and it was during this time, that I managed to acquire my collection of Matchbox Super Convoys at about half of their retail price.  I picked up ten different tractor trailer sets, but I think Matchbox must have produced at least twenty different sets.  I think some newer ones came out in 2012.

Part one of my Super Convoys post will focus on the sets with the Kenworth K100 sleeper cab.  It's casting has lots of nice details.  Let's take a look at one in particular.  All the others are just colour variations.

The chassis, front bumper, grille, step, fuel tank, tail lights, mud flaps and fifth wheel are all chrome.  Details like windshield wipers, mirrors, marker lights, headlights and grab handles are all molded into the cab.  The large wind deflector is also molded into the body.




A closer look at the rear of the cab reveals cabling and two exhaust stacks.  Now if the cab could actually flip over, to expose the engine, that would be awesome.  But then the price would have been even more expensive I'm sure.  The biggest letdown would be the fact that the rear wheels are not duallies.  They aren't duallies on the trailers either.



Pictured above is the blue colour variation.  It has the UT logo on the cab doors which also matches the trailer.  The Kenworth badging is clearly marked as is the US Department of Transportation (DOT) number. Fire Extinguisher Inside label is a nice touch too. 

As mentioned previously, the trailers are all plastic, but will hook up to any of the other Super Convoy cabs.  This particular trailer is your typical cargo container. 


It has some nice detailing on the container walls emblazoned with the UT Universal Transportation logo.  Black mudflaps are molded into the trailer frame. What's cool is that this trailer has landing struts that fold down when the trailer is detached from the cab.  You can fold them up and out of the way when attaching to the cab.  For extra play value, you can open the rear door. It even drops down for easy access.



This next K100 cabover is the green variant.  This one features a company logo called Sekandari (sounds like secondary?) Transportation and ST.  There is other wording on the cab but it is hard to make out because the silver is hard to see against the green body.


The matching trailer also features the company logo and name.  The trailer is a open top dumper.  The landing gear folds away for haulage and part of the front frame will also angle away from the dumpster so that it can be tilted backwards.  The rear door swings up and out of the way.



The orange version Kenworth K100 cab uses the same UT Universal Transportation logo that we saw earlier on the blue model.  Badging, DOT and Fire extinguisher labelling is present, but the location of the DOT and fire extinguisher wording is reversed from the blue model.


The trailer featured with this model is a water tank which is removable from it's supporting frame.  Otherwise there are no logos or markings on the side of the water tank.  The trailer mudflaps and taillights are molded into the frame.  Foldaway landing struts on this trailer also.



The next two Kenworth models seem to garner the most attention.  They are both car transporters. The silver one here displays MBX Transportation.  Kenworth badging and Fire extinguisher are present but DOT number is missing.


The car transporter can carry up to five vehicles.  One feature that has been present in all of the other trailers has been the landing struts, but of all the models that need it the most, it is missing here.  Why?  Makes no sense.  Anyways, the transporter is nicely detailed with ladders on each side and rear ramp lowers for entry.  Further, the top level will angle downwards so that cars can be driven onto the second level.  Not crazy about the turquoise blue colour.  Would have preferred silver or gray instead.



 The final version of the K100 cabover comes in black and the company logo is called Cantral Express (not Central Express - trademark issues maybe?).  Kenworth badging, fire extinguisher wording is present, with extra DOT info.


The car transporter is black to match the cab and is otherwise identical to the earlier turquoise one.  It should be noted that the overhang of the second level just clears the wind deflector, but in doing so, makes the transporter look quite blocky.


In my next post, I'll look at the other Matchbox Super Convoys in my collection.

6 comments:

  1. Thanx for showing the Convoy Car Carriers!

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  2. Nice! Wonderful collection, damn ...!

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  3. Thanks a lot for sharing your awesome kenworth convoyes. I just manage to get the orange one, I'd love to have them all. Are these pieces considered as rare nowadays? 'Cause it is hard to find information about them on the net. Greetings from Mex!

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