Little Green Army Men...movers

Matchbox just released a slew of military vehicles that had me standing in the toy aisles knowing full well that an Indiana Jones adventure in my living room was inevitable.

In the back left is the Sahara Survivor, a 2009 Matchbox release and part of the Desert Adventure subset. Some research has proven it to be based on a Gulf War era British Special Forces Land Rover. In the back and to the right is the Jungle Crawler, another 2009 Desert Adventure series release. It is based on a 40s era Dodge WC-53 Carryall. Finally up front is the granddaddy of military people movers, the Jeep Willys, which is a 2010 Matchbox release and part of the Jungle Explorers series. Each of these cars will set you back about a buck, so I totally plan on army building when I see more!

In my opinion the Jungle Crawler is the coolest of the bunch. It just screams WW2 and I only wish Matchbox would release some WW2 era military Mercedes so it can kick some Nazi butt!

There is plenty of detail to see on this vehicle, even though it has a simple one color military paint job. You can see the engine through the sides of the hood and even the benches that go lengthwise down the back interior to hold the troops.

The Jungle Crawler is a fun and unexpected WW2 military vehicle to pop up in the Matchbox line-up, and a must have in Army green. I can see them popping out more colors in the future, both relevant (grey, tan) and ridiculous (neon pink,) so I plan on amassing an army of these when I see them.

Up next is the Jeep Willys. Although clearly military in it's green paint, this Jeep has a triangle on it's hood and not a US Army star, so it isn't directly pushed as a military themed vehicle, but we all know the truth. It's part of the 2010 lineup, a surprising early release as it is billed as #96 of 100 on the card.

This Jeep is also one that I plan on amassing an army of while it's sold in military paint schemes. But since the Jeep has been so versatile and long lived, you know this one will show up in playsets and single packs in every color of the rainbow for years to come.

Again, the detail is amazing, and this Jeep Willys is sure to be a fan favorite among kids and adults alike.

Finally we have the Sahara Survivor. This vehicle is British military and Gulf War era, so it doesn't really fit in with the other two, but I still had to have it in case some freak time warp brings them all together, which happens a lot in die-cast toy military adventures.

Boasting lots and lots of detail, the Sahara Survivor has canisters and bags and boxes molded all over it.

I hadn't realized the Clampetts originated in Baghdad, but I guess it does explain their oil money. The bullet holes on the side are a nice touch.

A gun turret would have been nice on this one, but it probably would have bumped production costs up. Otherwise it's a great unique desert warfare vehicle and still allows for plenty of sandbox adventures.

Okay Matchbox, time to start making some German WW2 vehicles!

Buy stuff by me at Zazzle!


  1. These are quite cool and i have always thought Matchbox was way better than Hot Wheels.

    Great Stuff Bubba i called up my buddy Sign of Zeta about these because his Grand Father used to have a Jeep Willys when he was alive and Zeta has many fond memories of this so he will be going out to buy one of these so thanks for the heads up on it.

  2. That green Jeep is a classic.

  3. jboy - that's great to hear. It's stories like that that keep me going :)

    LEon - it sure is! :D

  4. I've often thought about customizing a Hot Wheels Mercedes 540K in German military colors. They used them as staff cars and should pretty good. As to the three vehicles you've detailed here, I bought all three for the very same reason! Planning on making a battle scene with some of the Jeep and Dodge and Hot Wheels tanks and other military vehicles. Hey, I grew up watching The Rat Patrol, so is it any wonder I'd like to recreate scenes from this war era?

  5. I love, Love, LOVE Matchbox. I much prefer their realistic molds and proportions compared to Hot Wheels more stylistic approach to vehicles.
    Plus, I am a huge Jeep fan. I grew up working on them, and owned a couple of CJs in high school (an '81 scrambler, and '76 cj-5). So naturally, any jeep I can get my hands on is worth it (I've already bought two of these CJ-2s).
    I really want Matchbox to release their own scrambler in the future. The Hot Wheels model is good, but doesn't fit in size-wize with all my matchbox cars.