PLEASE NOTE: I will no longer be altering the variation codes. All new discoveries will be inserted in to their correct place in the timeline and given a suffix.
So a new variation that would be nearest to variation 4 would become the new 4a, etc.

Matchbox Superfast MB12-d Setra mini coach



The Setra S80 mini coach was included in the SuperFast 1 -75 series as a replacement for the regular wheels #68 Mercedes minibus. This casting really does captures the look of the very sucessfull German built 1970 Setra family although artistic license has been used to reduce the scale width proportions between from the fullsize 2.5 metre width and 8 metre length and given larger wheels to look more like a scaled down 10 metre coach.

The Setra was always packaged in G boxes or any blisterpack with copyright dates between 1970 and 1974. Many different colour trial #12 Setras survive to demonstrate just how many alternatives Lesney considered before making 3 different choices for the 4 year production life of this new toy.

The first production runs were painted in the same shade of darker gold clearcoat over gold primer carried over from the previous #12 Land Rover Safari. All gold Setras came with untinted windows and ivory coloured seats, usually with a white plastic roof and window surrounds although these are very prone to discolour or yellow as they age with exposure to heat or light. However some collectors regard some off white roofs as being coloured intentionally by Lesney although the evidence is not conclusive and perhaps all Setra plastic roofs are best regarded as just ´white´.

The casting was briefly recoloured to bright lemon enamel, and while common these exist in much smaller quantities than the other 2 production colours. Most lemon Setras continued with untinted glazing and ivory seats of the previous gold issue. However there is the rarest production variation of the #12 Setra which has green tinted glazing to complement its lemon paint. It is very easy to swap glazing, seats and wheels between Setras so unless the toy remains factory sealed in its blisterpack collectors are warned that there are many undetectable fakes in existence and care should be taken when considering paying significant price premiums for loose examples that can be created in minutes.

The bulk of #12 Setras made were in the final colour, which was commonly burgundy although one run was actually purple clearcoat over silver primer. All of these were made with the same shade of vanilla (instead of the original ivory) plastic seats as used on the #69 Rolls and many other contemporary castings. Green tinted glazing was standard on all of these although today it is possible to find some fitted with clear glazing although none of these were recorded in the 1970s by AIM and none have been found sealed in blisterpacks.
This leads to the suspicion that all were created by collectors as a by product of creating the desirable lemon with green glazing variation. Supplies of untinted windows and ivory seats are accepted by many collectors as having been exhausted during production of lemon bodied Setras which can be found with both ivory and vanilla coloured seats.

All #12 Setras were fitted with hollow 10.5x2mm 5 slot thin wheels and this was, along with the #23 VW T2 and #57 caravan the very last thin wheeled casting produced in the 1-75 series. There is one casting variation which exists in 50:50 proportions - under the rear bumper thin lips or thickened lips can be found, dependant upon which of the twin moulds in the single body shell tool gave birth to the Setra under consideration.

Roly toys of Brazil assembled this casting from Lesney supplied components in colours of their own choice in the early and mid 1970s. There was no further use of this tooling after it was withdrawn from the 1-75 series in 1975.


Above: Three variations of the Setra Coach, On the left is the first version in yellow gloss with clear windows and white roof, Center and right are metallic gold with the center one having a grey roof.

Above: Another yellow gloss Setra but this one has green tinted windows, This one is quite hard to find but it is easily faked by dismantling and switching the windows from a more common version.

Above: A Setra in metallic crimson with white roof and clear windows.

Above: Right, A metallic crimson Setra but this one has green tinted windows and a white roof along with another in metallic purple with off white roof and green tinted windows.


Above: A metallic purple Setra with white roof and green tinted windows.

Above: top, the vanilla and below ivory coloured plastic interiors.

Above: the thin / thick rear bumper casting variation, both types of base casting are equally common.

Above: The orange Setra could easily be mistaken for the 68b Mercedes coach. orange setras can be found as UK pre production colour trial models as well as Brazilian produced models.

Above: A rainbow of pre production and colour trial models.
photo courtesy Neil Waldmann / Christian Falkensteiner

code
number
body
colour
roof
colour
window
colour
wheels
code 1
metallic gold
light grey
clear
10.5x2mm 5 slot
code 2
metallic gold
white
clear
10.5x2mm 5 slot
code 3
lemon yellow
white
clear
10.5x2mm 5 slot
code 4
lemon yellow
white
green tinted
10.5x2mm 5 slot
code 5
metallic crimson
white
clear
10.5x2mm 5 slot
code 6
metallic crimson
white
green tinted
10.5x2mm 5 slot
code 7
metallic crimson
off white
green tinted
10.5x2mm 5 slot
code 8
metallic purple
white
clear
10.5x2mm 5 slot
code 9
metallic purple
white
green tinted
10.5x2mm 5 slot

Values based on Vectis actual selling prices.
gold, clear windows, white or grey roof - £20-£30
yellow, clear windows, white roof - £20-£30
yellow, green windows, white roof - £70-£90
metallic crimson, all models - £20-£25
metallic purple, all models - £15-£20