Matchbox’s Adventure 2000: Raider Command (K-2001, 1977)

Matchbox Adventure 2000 Raider 1976

Matchbox Adventure 2000 Raider 1976-2

Matchbox Adventure 2000 Raider-5

Matchbox Adventure 2000 Raider-3

Matchbox Adventure 2000 Raider-4

Raider Command (K-2001), the signature vehicle of Adventure 2000, was used in a famous early Judge Dredd story for 2000 AD called The Cursed Earth. Dredd and his unit must travel across the radioactive desert of the former U.S. to deliver an antidote to Mega-City Two, and they need a kick-ass super-tank to do it in.


In the story, inspired by Roger Zelazny’s Damnation Alley (1967) and its boring 1977 film adaptation, the “Land Raider” and the “Killdozer”combine to form a “modular fighting unit” that crushes the irradiated “muties” and scares off a T. rex named Satanus. (Interesting note: After finding and extracting his DNA, scientists cloned Satanus for the opening of a Dinosaur National Park, an original concept that was ripped off by Michael Crichton for a 1990 novel I don’t need to name.)

I don’t know how the cross-promotion came about, but Adventure 2000 was being developed in and has a copyright date of 1976, and the Dredd story ran in 2000 AD from May to October, 1978. There were ads for Adventure 2000 in 2000 AD, but I haven’t been able to track any down yet.

(2000 AD images via the 2000 AD Tumblr and Dredd Alert)

9 Responses to “Matchbox’s Adventure 2000: Raider Command (K-2001, 1977)”

  1. 1 hobgoblin238 March 18, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Wish I still had mine.

  2. 2 Fractalbat March 18, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    I wish there was a way to get those little grey soldiers. They were so ubiquitous back in the day, but all mine are gone now.

  3. 3 leftylimbo March 19, 2014 at 11:19 am

    So cool that you did a post focused on this awesome playset. I used to drool over this set all the time in Fedco. That tank freakin’ RULES!

    Is it just me, or does the spaceman on the upper left of the box’s hang tab look remarkably like the seaman on the Matchbox Sea Kings boxes? At the very least they have that same “Superman” smile, if there’s any way to describe it…

  4. 4 Dan Eveland March 19, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    Man, I LOVED this toy as a kid. It’s was the best. I had completely forgotten about the dudes it came with. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this.

    • 5 2W2N March 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      Welcome. Glad you enjoyed it. I’m doing a post on each vehicle because I think they’re so unique (and not shabbily made, like toys today).

  5. 6 Robster June 14, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Still have the raider command. Men have gone, missiles blown up and rubber tracks deteriorated but still great playing memories. Matchbox used to make greatest toys, as did Gorgi, Dinky and Britains.

  6. 7 Will Kenedy July 11, 2016 at 9:30 am

    I managed to pick up a NIB “Raider Command” (vehicles only) pair at a local boot sale a few weeks back. The canopies were still intact, and the tracks likewise – but the missile had been lost.

    The dredd fan in me squee’d when I saw it for the princely sum of $15 (AUD). Especially after I saw another one a few stalls further down, with damaged canopies asking $40 for their one also NIB.

  7. 8 Mac MacMac December 21, 2020 at 8:10 am

    Lesney (owners of the Matchbox die-cast toy vehicle brand) had a good relationship with UK comics’ publishers and often provided them with free samples of their existing products for use as competition prizes in order to raise their profile. It was a win-win situation all round: the comics running the competitions got a sales boost, and the toy company promoted their wares and generated interest in their overall output, too.

    Writer Pat Mills had seen the ‘K2001 Raider Command’ toy released by Matchbox in 1977 as part of their wider Adventure 2000 (sheer coincidence) range of futuristic battle vehicles; it was advertised for sale in 2000 AD as early as Prog 35 and again in Prog 38, well before appearing in the Judge Dredd strip! Mills was so taken by the design that he persuaded 2000 AD management to negotiate an early example of a ‘product placement’ deal with Lesney so that he could use the exact likeness of the toy in his forthcoming Dredd epic, ‘The Cursed Earth’. The actual toys themselves were given to artists Mick McMahon and Brian Bolland so that they could draw directly from them to ensure accuracy to the product and consistency throughout the story, and 2000 AD indeed went on to run a competition to win sixty complete sets of the Matchbox Adventure 2000 range donated by Lesney.

    Word is that 2000 AD’s present publisher Rebellion once approached Matchbox with a view to negotiating a re-release of the toy in actual Dredd branded packaging as an item of official character merchandising but that the proposal failed to win the manufacturer’s support.

  1. 1 Corgi’s The X-ploratrons (1979) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on January 20, 2016 at 8:30 pm

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