Matchbox’s Adventure 2000 (1977)

Matchbox Adventure Boxes

Matchbox Adventure Catalog 1978

Matchbox Adventure Catalog 1980

Adventure 2000 debuted in 1977 and the die-cast “ultra-modern vehicles designed for the world of the future” were produced through about 1980. The slim backstory:

The year is 2000 – The planets prepare for battle. Re-enact the excitement of inter-planetary conflict with the action-packed vehicles from Adventure 2000.

A new wrinkle was added in the 1979/1980 catalog—“The interplanetary commission prepares for an expedition to planet ZETO”—and all the vehicles were recast in a deep blue.

The beautifully detailed line was developed and made in the UK. Matchbox was a longtime British brand, in fact—owned by Lesney Products—until the early ’80s. I found a choice 1977 ad (via combomphotos/Flickr) featuring some great art. Not sure how “Zorgon the Creepy Monster” fits in, but they can have my 75p.

Matchbox Ad 1977I’ll do separate posts on each vehicle, because they’re that cool. (There’s a nifty tie-in with the 2000 AD comic and Judge Dredd.)

Here’s a close-up of the Command Force (K-2005) set, introduced in 1978.

UPDATE (3/4/14): Jason at Contra Dextra Avenue discovered that the three smaller vehicles in Command Force—the Hovercraft (1972), the Planet Scout (1975), and the Cosmobile (1975)—had been previously issued. They were part of Matchbox’s Superfast line, which you can check out at Dan’s Matchbox Picture Pages. I don’t know if the latter two are Matchbox’s first produced futuristic vehicles (doubtful), but they predate the Adventure 2000 line.

Matchbox Adventure 1978-1

Matchbox Adventure 1978-2

Matchbox Adventure 1978-7

Matchbox Adventure 1978-6

Matchbox Adventure 1978-5

(Top image via Vectis Auctions; catalog images via Moonbase Central; Command Force images via eBay)

14 Responses to “Matchbox’s Adventure 2000 (1977)”

  1. 1 Fractalbat March 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Wow! I had all the green series except the command truck. These were fantastic toys and I used them for everything.

    I had a bunch of the grey soldiers from this and other sets. I wish I could find a source for them now, they’d be great for sci-fi RPGs.

    • 2 2W2N March 4, 2014 at 3:55 am

      People still hunt them down to use with Judge Dredd RPGs. The Raider Command vehicle was featured in a famous Dredd story called The Cursed Earth.

  2. 3 leftylimbo March 3, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Awesome. Matchbox totally ruled when it came to futuristic and military vehicles. I totally remember that K-2001 Raider Command set with that killer tracked “tank” vehicle. Definitely one of those toys I used to drool over at Fedco.

    I totally dug Matchbox toys for their weird orange-y windshields and windows, revealing all the shiny, detailed gold interior cabin spaces. Man, how much more ’70s can you get? I’ve fantasized about building a life-size Matchbox car using the same aesthetics, lol.

    Adventure 2000? Baahaaha! I wish we were that adventurous! Where’s my jetpack? =D

    • 4 2W2N March 4, 2014 at 3:53 am

      “I totally dug Matchbox toys for their weird orange-y windshields and windows, revealing all the shiny, detailed gold interior cabin spaces.”

      Totally. We wanted to see the guts of things.

  3. 5 contradextraavenue March 4, 2014 at 3:46 am

    I saw this and had to dig out my three vehicles from this series, which I’m posting pics of over on my blog. Interestingly enough, all three of them predate 1977.

    • 6 2W2N March 4, 2014 at 3:51 am

      Son of a GUN. You and your collection. Earliest copyright date should be ’76, but they didn’t come out until ’77. Let me know if anything says ’75.

  4. 9 Phil June 2, 2015 at 5:12 am

    I loved these SO much growing up. I would kill to get them all now. Just beautiful toys.

  5. 10 Goonerreed November 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Among my favourite toys pre-Star Wars and Transformers. Think I played with these beauties till they fell apart! Thanks for showcasing them.

  1. 1 Matchbox: Adventure 2000 Series (The future according to the 1970s) | Contra Dextra Avenue Trackback on March 4, 2014 at 4:02 am
  2. 2 Matchbox’s Adventure 2000: Raider Command (1977) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on March 18, 2014 at 2:33 pm
  3. 3 “21st Century Global Guardians”: Corgi’s X-Ploratrons, 1979 Trackback on April 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm
  4. 4 Mutating Empire: Britains’ ‘Space’ Toys Trackback on January 7, 2020 at 3:42 pm

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