Matchbox Cars in Tbilisi

I thought back in January, that I might have bought my last new Matchbox car in Tbilisi – Last ever New Matchbox car? – when I bought a peg warming Jeep Wrangler from the 2018 Jurassic World Series, hanging on its own in Pepela on Peking Street. Now I am happy to report that Pepela have some new Matchbox, these appeared on the pegs in March, they are from the 2020 W box selection. I have found three of the four I wanted to find: 1970 Plymouth Cuda, Aston Martin DBR1 and Mercedes Benz S123 Wagon…the only model from the selection eluding me is Mr Bean’s Mini. The 1974 VW Type 181, I got for my grandson Lazare, I hope it might inspire him to be a Matchbox collector…

Update: 13 April 2021…I found two examples of Mr Bean’s Mini in my local Pepela, so now I have all the models from the selection I wanted. I hope they wil have other selections in future.

Mr Bean’s Mini Cooper

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Monthly Acquisitions March 2021


March has been a good month for collecting I added 11 cars to my collection including 8 from my favourite brand: Matchbox.


8 Matchbox Models
  1. Boss Mustang. Made in England 1:65 Scale. Early 1970s.The car is in near mint condition but the box is rough.
  2. Opel Kadett GSi “Police”. Made in China. 1:57 scale. 1990s. Quite playworn but wheels run well and light bar is intact.
  3. Ferrari 308 GTB Made in Macau. Mid 1980s. 1:55 scale.
  4. AMX Pro Stocker, Made in Macau. 1985. This is in a rough state, missing windscreen and part of the roof.
  5. Fandango. Rola-matics. Late 1970s. This was a gift from Ladi. Made in England.
  6. Swamp Commander. 2017. Made in Thailand. A recent model, bought secondhand. Part of the Explorers series.
  7. ´80 Mercedes-Benz W 123 Wagon. 2020. A new model, finally we have some new Matchbox in Tbilisi.
  8. 1970 Plymouth Cuda. 2020 1:62 scale.
New Matchbox and Hot Wheels in Blisters

Hot Wheels

There were just two Hot Wheels added this month, but I was very happy to find them both.

  1. 2020 Jaguar F Type This is one of my favourite new cars, I had a chance to sit inside one in the showroom.
At the wheel

2. ’89 Porsche 944 Turbo. One of my favourite car designs of all time.

I was pleased to see new Matchbox models on the pegs in my local Pepela, I was worried the Jeep I bought back in January may have been the last.

There was also one car I found by a brand new to me called Playmates, this was a model of the Rat King in Hearse. This was from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.

Rat King in Hearse


Totals: 11 Models:  8 Matchbox, 2 Hot Wheels, 1 Playmates

4 Bought new 6 bought second hand 1 Gift

Outlets:  3 Dry Bridge Market, 3 Cheap secondhand Stores near Station, 2 Pepela, 2 Carrefour and 1 gift from Ladi

Net expenditure: 86.60 GEL ($25.81)

1 lari = 30 US cents

5 Matchbox cars

5 Matchbox cars: Boss Mustang, Ferrari 308 GTB, Opel Kadett GSi Police, Swamp Commander, AMX Pro-Stocker

2021 hasn’t been great for collecting because of the Pandemic. This month, March, the Pandemic is still prevalent but some restrictions have been lifted so I can hunt again for diecast models and not merely rely on the paltry stocks at the local grocery store. So far it is half way through the month and I have picked up 5 Matchbox cars, Matchbox is my favourite brand because of its nostalgic resonance with the cars of my childhood.

The highlight of the month was the Boss Mustang with box, the only model “Made in England”. The box is not in the best condition but the car is near mint, I found this on Beso’s stall at Dry Bridge Market, I have bought old Matchbox cars and Majorettes from Beso before, last August I bought twelve, which I wrote about on this blog:

The Boss Mustang goes nicely with my Piston Popper, a Rola-matic Mustang, which has its pistons going up and down when the car is rolled along the ground.

Boss Mustang and Piston Popper

Also from Beso I got a very playworn AMX Pro Stocker. This model was produced in 1985 in Macau.

The secondhand toy shops around the central station are open again, they don’t have much new stock but I found the Opel Kadett GSi Police Car in one for just 1 lari and a Swamp Commander in the other. The Opel has lost a lot of its paint but still rolls well and its light bar is intact, and as my first real car was an Opel (Opel Corsa 1.5D), I have a soft spot for Opels. The Swamp Commander is the most recent model, made in Thailand in 2017.

Swamp Commander on ice

I returned to Dry Bridge Market on Sunday and found the Ferrari 308 GTB on Zura’s stall, another eighties Matchbox car.

Monthly Acquisitions February 2021

The Pandemic Restrictions continue to curtail my hunting. This month I added just three cars to my collection.

’88 Honda CR-X (Hot Wheels), Peugeot 504 Coupe V6 (Solido) and Lada 2102
This looks interesting…

On Monday 22nd February, I visited Dry Bridge Market in Tbilisi for the first time this year. Public transport doesn’t run at the weekends, so I took advantage of a break in my schedule on the Monday, to head to Dry Bridge Market. There were far fewer sellers than usual but I did see a few diecasts, I found some overpriced Yesteryear models (70 lari a piece, no thanks). I also saw some older Hot Wheels cars on blisters. But what caught my eye was an old suitcase with some models in rough condition, in which I found a Solido Peugeot 504 V6 Coupe minus its rear wheels and in quite a playworn condition. I also found a plastic model of a Lada 2102 estate, both were around 1:43 scale and both were 5 lari.

A the beginning of the month I’d picked up a ’88 Honda CR-X by Hot Wheels in Pepela.


Totals: 3 Models:  1 Hot Wheels, 1 Solido and 1 Soviet model

1 Bought new 2 bought second hand

Outlets:  2 Dry Bridge Market, 1 Pepela

Net expenditure: 17.90 GEL ($5.38)

1 lari = 30 US cents

Monthly Acquisitions January 2021

With Lockdown still very much present, I haven’t been able to do much hunting for diecast cars. There was a small window when the shops were open around New Year and I picked up a Matchbox Jeep Wrangler from the Jurassic World Series, this could be the last new Matchbox car I find in Tbilisi, as the brand hasn’t been distributed here since 2018.

Jeep Wrangler

The other cars I can add are those I found in my local supermarket, where I go to find my food and other provisions. Carrefour has recently stocked some new 2021 Hot Wheels from the A case. I added a couple of these this month to add to the few I picked up last month see: Monthly Acquisitions December 2020. I have most of the ones I want I even left a few that were quite tempting like the 2018 Bentley Continental GT3, Mercedes A Class and the Chevy Nova Wagon Gasser.

Hot Wheels Pegs at Carrefour

I added a 2019 Audi R8 Spyder, I have a few R8s in my collection, I find it a good model for comparing diecast brands as many have cast this model. The Hot Wheels model is nice and clean with tampo decorations on the front and rear. I also picked up a Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo in a fetching metallic blue, not the Super Treasure Hunt unfortunately but still an attractive model.

January Acquisitions: Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo, Audi R8 Spyder and Jeep Wrangler


Totals: 3 Models:  2 Hot Wheels, 1 Matchbox

3 Bought new

Outlets:  2 Carrefour, 1 Pepela

Net expenditure: 27.70 GEL ($8.38)

1 lari = 30 US cents

Last ever New Matchbox car?

’93 Jeep Wrangler (Jurassic World Series)

On Saturday, 2 January, there was a brief window in the Lockdown. I took a walk along Pekini Street in Tbilisi and visited the Pepela toyshop. On the pegs amongst the Hot Wheels they had this Jeep Wrangler from Jurassic World, The series had been released in 2018, the series was the last new Matchbox range to appear here in the Republic of Georgia. I bought it, thinking this could be the last new Matchbox car I ever buy here, if that’s the case it’s sad, particularly as I can see the very attractive models in the new Matchbox range online.

Monthly Acquisitions December 2020

December acquisitions

Carrefour has finally got some new Hot Wheels, there hadn’t been any new stock since the Pandemic impacted on Georgia in March. The first car I got was the Nissan Fairlady Z, before the new stock arrived. I didn’t at first realise the new stock had arrived, I was just in Carrefour doing my grocery shopping and I noticed a Toyota AE 86 Sprinter Trueno in Falken Tires deco, it looked impressive but I wasn’t aware it was a new model. The following day I returned to Carrefour to see what else they had and found the X-34 Landspeeder, a model of Luke Skywalker’s ride from Star Wars, I liked this so much I bought two, also I bought a Triumph TR6 in an eye-catching metallic green. I had the Triumph before in yellow, but it looks better in green. I was able to resist some other tempting Hot Wheels models like a Chevy Nova Gasser and the Barbie Campervan. I didn’t find a Jaguar F Type or a blue Nissan 300SX, which my research suggests should also have been in the 2021 A Case. I shall be looking out for those two on future visits.


Totals: 5 Models:  5 Hot Wheels

5 Bought new

Outlets:  5 Carrefour

Net expenditure: 39.50 GEL ($12:02)

1 lari = 30 US cents

Finally some new stock

Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno

Since the Pandemic hit in March, there has been no new Hot Wheels stock in Tbilisi. Today, I found this Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno (2021 issue) in Carrefour (a supermarket).

I returned to Carrefour to take this photo of the pegs, sorry its a bit blurred, Carrefour don’t like customers taking photos, so it was taken rather surreptitiously. As you can see there are some new models like the ’19 Mercedes Benz A Class and also they still have some of the 50th Anniversary models from 2018!

Pegs in Carrefour with a mix of new models and some stock dating back to 2018

I hadn’t even realised at the time it was new, I thought I might have overlooked it previously, a lot of the stock here is still 2018 models like the Hot Wheels 50th anniversary models.

The last three cars I bought were all JDM models, I can’t access secondhand shops and markets because of the lockdown, also non-essential shops are closed, so it was a surprise to find new Hot Wheels stock in the supermarket, I had visited to stock up on food not diecasts.

The last three models I bought all JDM: Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno, ’16 Honda Civic Type R and Nissan Fairlady Z

List of the cars expected in the 2021 A case: 0:25 – Hyperfin 0:33 – 2010 Chevy Impala 0:40 – Toyota Off-Road Truck 0:48 – ’19 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 0:55 – HW Warp Speeder 1:00 – ’64 Nova Wagon Gasser 1:15 – RV There Yet 1:22 – ’96 Porsche Carrera 1:28 – 2010 Chevy Impala 1:35 – 2019 Audi R8 Spyder 1:43 – ’64 Chevy Chevelle SS 1:50 – Buns Of Steel 2:04 – ’10 Pro Stock Camaro 2:12 – Hi-Roller 2:19 – Barbie Dream Camper 2:32 – Quad Rod 2:39 – ’86 Monte Carlo SS 2:46 – Tooned Twin Mill 2:59 – Rodger Dodger 2.0 3:06 – ’52 Chevy 3:21 – ’70 Dodge Charger R/T 3:28 – ’86 Monte Carlo SS 3:35 – Hot Wheels Ford Transit Connect 3:48 – Electro Silhouette 3:56 – Baja Bone Shaker – Regular Treasure Hunt 4:10 – Carbonator 4:19 – Road Bandit 4:27 – Knight Draggin 4:34 – 2018 Bentley Continental GT3 4:58 – ’19 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 5:06 – ’32 Ford 5:12 – ’10 Pro Stock Camaro 5:25 – X-34 LandSpeeder 5:36 – Mad Propz 5:44 – Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo – Regular version (this model is the Super TH to look for) 6:13 – 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 6:21 – Aero Pod 6:28 – Big-Air Bel-Air 6:36 – Mattel Dream Mobile 6:43 – Electro Silhouette 6:51 – Aero Pod 6:58 – Corvette C7 Z06 7:07 – Hyperfin 7:19 – Rigor Motor 7:26 – Corvette C7 Z06 7:32 – 2019 KIA Stinger GT 7:38 – Veloci-Racer 7:53 – Retro-Active 8:00 – 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 8:08 – Veloci-Racer 8:14 – 2019 KIA Stinger GT 8:20 – ’70 Dodge Power Wagon 8:30 – Knight Draggin 8:43 – Barbie Dream Camper 8:49 – ’69 Camaro 9:06 – 2019 Audi R8 Spyder 9:12X-34 LandSpeeder 9:19 – Tanknator 9:30 – Triumph TR6 9:37 – Poison Arrow 9:46 – Batman Arkham Knight Batmobile – Non ID chase version 10:06 – Rodger Dodger 2.0 10:11 – ’64 Corvette Sting Ray 10:17 – T-Rextroyer 10:28 – Big-Air Bel-Air 10:35 – ’64 Chevy Chevelle SS 10:41 – ’70 Dodge Charger R/T 10:52 – Mattel Dream Mobile 11:02 – ’64 Nova Wagon Gasser 11:11Toyota AE86 Sprinter Trueno

Brand Comparison BMW 3.0CSL Hot Wheels v Majorette v Matchbox

BMW 3.0CSL left to right: Hot Wheels, Majorette, Matchbox

I’m not a great fan of modern BMWs but I like some of their pre-1980 models like the BMW 3.0CSL. I have three examples of this model by different diecast brands. The Hot Wheels model is a recent casting, it has a plastic base and is made in Malaysia. The Majorette and Matchbox models date from the 1970s and both have that nostalgia buzz, I had an orange Majorette model in my childhood. They are roughly the same length but the Matchbox model is significantly wider than the other two. The Matchbox model looks too chunky, the other two look to be closer to the proportions of the actual car. The Hot Wheels model has attractive tampo decoration, looking like a Castrol sponsored race car, but it has no opening parts. The Majorette model is made in France and has a tow hook and suspension. Of the three my choice would be the Majorette model. Whilst I love Matchbox and it is my favourite brand in this comparison it is my least favourite, it just looks too chunky.

  1. Majorette
  2. Hot Wheels
  3. Matchbox

Monthly Acquisitions November 2020

A Mini and a Honda Civic

This month I just added two cars to my collection: a Mini Cooper by Cararama, this I found without wheels, maybe I can make a diorama of it, and a ’16 Honda Civic Type R by Hot Wheels. We haven’t had any new Hot Wheels here since the Pandemic, I’m tempted to get more Ford Escorts but I already have two in each of the liveries available, the Civic at least was new to my collection.


Totals: 2 Models:  1 Hot Wheels 1 Cararama

1 Bought new, 1 bought secondhand, 

Outlets:  1 Secondhand Toy Shop 1 Goodwill

Net expenditure: 10.90 lari ($3.29)

1 lari = 30 US cents

…collecting diecast cars, like the 3" Matchbox cars I had as a kid