Sky-Busters SB28, Iberia A-300B differences

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Sky-Busters SB28, Iberia A-300B differences

Postby Tone » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:25 am

Matchbox Sky-Busters included a very early example of a toy Airbus Industrie A-300B. The original 1973 Lesney Matchbox Sky-Busters SP-3, gave way to the SB-28 model, made in Macau, China and Thailand from the 1980s through the early 2000s. These toy models have 3 1/2" wingspans.

The major difference between SB-28 and SP-3 is that SB-28 featured a modified lower fuselage with rectangular "landing gear doors" and a nose wheel that could be single or double. Sometimes the lettering under the wings is italicized, sometimes it is not.

I have two Iberia A300s that I thought were duplicates. I noticed the mint boxed example has pale grey wings. Immediately, I found my loose example, which has silver wings, and I compared the two.

Image

Image

The toy model made in Macau is the boxed example dated 1987. It has light grey wings and stabilizers, bright orange-red tampo printed upper cheat line, twin nose wheels, information cast underneath the port wing in non-italicized lettering. The variant made in China has silver wings and stabilizers, dark red tampo printed upper cheat line, single nose wheel, information cast underneath the port wing in italicized lettering, and 61123 beneath fuselage.
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Re: Sky-Busters SB28, Iberia A-300B differences

Postby MichaelB » Thu Mar 26, 2015 11:32 pm

Thanks for the comparison, Tony.
The engines also look different. I see to see some other small differences on some panel lines, but that could just be the photo angle or some indication of wear on the moulds.
How do these compare to the first issues, with the wire wheels?
As you know, MB totally made a new mold for their 777 after it's initial release in 1996. Perhaps this is just indicative of some upset at that time?
Thanks!
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Sky-Busters SB28, Iberia A-300B differences

Postby Tone » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:21 am

I agree! The Macau A300s have shorter engines than the China A300s. It's funny but the China A-300s are later than the Macau A300s but they have the underwing lettering larger and italicized, just as the original 1973 issue with Air France stickers had (I think). I wonder if different factories in different cities used slightly different versions of the tooling. The 1973 issue with the wire wheel legs lacked the large rectangle under the forward fuselage.

The 777 changed in 2006 and became slightly larger and somewhat cruder. I remember the original 777 caused a sensation in 1997 as a fine die cast toy. But in 2007 the small 777 returned this time with plastic wings. The 1997 and 2006 tooling had different numbers also: SB-41 and SB-67.
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Re: Sky-Busters SB28, Iberia A-300B differences

Postby MichaelB » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:42 am

That's how I see it, too.
When there is a cast change - like the underfuselage square area, I think it is done to accommodate a change to how the undercarriage is secured. I note that it's a change to the mold, but not a change OF the mold since it's entirely logistical.
The engines, though...someone thought about working them over...
I have added a photo of the original issue of the 777 showing both the painted and raw version. At that time Matchbox had a marketing angle about "Real Steel" and issuing bare metal versions - and did so with the 777. I've never seen one for sale. I still have at least 3 of these original (hard to store due to packaging) issues.
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