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Sunday, January 1, 2017

Matchbox and Greenlight 2015 Ram 1500 Police

As mentioned before in the Matchbox Chrysler 300 review it was a casting that I thought would not be as impressive up against the similar Greenlight versions, but after the review I was wrong and I found the Matchbox version to be even more impressive than the Greenlight version.  So how would the Ram 1500 Police fare up?  Well, this time I brought out a few Greenlight versions to see how they fare out.

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Ever since the successful update in 2013 the Ram 1500 truck has seen fare more diecast replica's than the 2009-2012 version.  One of the successful versions was the Greenlight casting, who paved the way for more trucks thanks to its intro into the Hitch and Tow series.  Since then the truck has gone through several variations in different trim levels with bed tops, running boards, police lights, front push bar, and lifted versions.  So when Matchbox introduced the Ram 1500 Police casting for 2016 it was a tall order against the successful and well-done Greenlight version.  To start off with the deco is the National Parks ranger version in light green, which Greenlight also did as a Hobby-only release.  However, the Greenlight version is in white with a green side stripe and Forestry Service badges.  The Matchbox version uses National Parks across the doors and more badging across the truck.  The Matchbox version is a crew cab truck but with a smaller rear bed than the longer Greenlight version.  That bed also features RamBox storage areas for some added uniqueness.  It does shrink the bed capacity, but not by much.  Greenlight does not offer the RamBox in 1500 models, but does offer more cargo capacity, a toolbox in the bed, and on some models a trailer hitch.

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The front-end on the Matchbox Ram has a front push bumper that is separate piece from the front end, allowing the detailed grille, bumper, and headlights to show through.  However, the lack of detailed headlight tampos makes the front-end look drabby.  The Greenlight version has the same push bumper but with more details on the grille and headlights.  On the sides the Matchbox version has large exterior mirrors, roof light casted into the windows, running boards, nice 6-spoke wheels, and additional information on the rear fenders.  The Greenlight version has the running boards and roof lights as a separate piece to allow different variations between models.  The 5-spoke steel wheels is pretty accurate to the Tradesman trim level.  Out back the Matchbox version has detailed taillights, a lower bumper with integrated reverse sensors and dual exhaust cutouts.  The Greenlight version is similar, but without the sensors and the side green stripe carries around to the tailgate.

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The interior on both are vastly different despite the same cabin layout.  The Matchbox version goes for the more police package version with the lack of a center console.  The rear center armrest is folded down limiting seating for four.  Otherwise it has the same dashboard and steering wheel layout as the Greenlight.  The Greenlight version shares interiors with the non-police versions, so it still has the center console.  The Greenlight base has far more accurate details because it is not compromised on space between the size of the truck and the information presented like the Matchbox version.  Both trucks are powered by the same 5.7L Hemi V8 and 8-speed automatic transmission.  The Matchbox version lacks a transfer case so its a 2WD version over the Greenlight 4x4 version.  The lighter weight and smaller size allows the Matchbox version to be more quicker on acceleration and swifter on handling.  So while the Greenlight version is more detailed and accurate than the Matchbox version, the Matchbox version has a few unique features that keeps it competitive against the Greenlight version and a perfect fit for the Matchbox rescue lineup.

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Finally, a quick look at a new feature to Greenlight castings in the form of a front snow plow and rear salt spreader for the trucks.  The Ram you see here is an unlikely choice for a plow truck: a pearl white Sport model with chrome 5-spoke wheels. Nevertheless it looks pretty good with the snow plow equipment.  The front has a red plow with lower black trim and upper driving lamps to aid in visibility since the plow covers up the stock headlights.  At the rear is a portable salt spreader: while not enough to cover several roads it's perfect enough for parking lot duties.  Most of the ones i've seen use a small gas motor (like a boat motor) to spread the salt around the area.  The plow is not moveable and both it and the rear salt spreader can easily come off (the plow on mines was not properly glued so it can come off to clean up the look of the front, yet still can use the plow in display mode.  While the rear salt spreader later broke on mines right after these pictures).  It's a great piece for those who want a plow truck in their winter wonderland.

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Update 9/4:  My Greenlight Ram 1500 with snow plow and salt spreader really didn't hold up well: the front plow is loose and then the rear spreader broke off!  Skeptical of another one of these issues I avoided any other snow plow/salt spreader Greenlight truck until now.  Here's the recent release of the Ram with snow plow and salt spreader, but now on the new 2500 Heavy Duty platform with lifted axles, black fenders, Tradesman package with black front and rear bumpers, and the Cummins turbodiesel I-6 under the hood.  It trumps the smaller 1500 in size and looks really good doing its job.  Plus the snow plow and spreader are far from being harmed by the road and on my tester were in excellent condition with no problems.  Still, I am keeping this one in its package and carefully pulling the vehicle in and out to protect the fragile plow and spreader.

And while we're at it here's the new Matchbox Ram 1500 Police in El Segundo fire department livery.  This is where the Ram looks right at home and it looks great in red with gray lower trim.  I added a few more details to really make this truck pop out more, especially with the front headlights.  Very Nice!

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