Ikarus Matchbox
1/3 Introduction & MB releases 2/3 Unique models 3/3 Promotional items
The ultimate Matchbox Ikarus Coach collection! On this site we try to collect and present all known small Ikarus models. Already 58 !!! different liveries!

You can find here all code 1 models that have been manufactured in big series and have been distributed for sale to the general public and unique, commemorative or one-off code 2, code 3 and code 4 models as well, whose livery, or decorations, have been altered, removed, or replaced and some of them were never intended to be released to the general public or collectors market.
Ikarus Matchbox
The 'Ikarus Coach' debuted in 1986 in Matchbox's catalogue as the reduced size replica of the Ikarus 365. There is no information about what has motivated the company's leadership to release a product based on a Hungarian bus. Maybe the - then - very modern and attractive design, the innovative technical solutions, the multiple prizes won by the coach have contributed to this decision, or they simply wanted to pay tribute to the worldwide well known Ikarus brand.

The product was introduced as MB-67 (manufacturer number: MI 170) in the Superfast series. The model, produced in Macau, has plastic chassis and metal body. Its scale - theoretically - 1:140 raised some questions and led to a dispute on a Hungarian blog. Namely, measurements and calculations show, that the dimensions of the model represent much more the Ikarus 325 midibus (existing only as prototype) than the 365. But in this case the small details are not in accordance with the real coach.
Most likely the designers at Matchbox got two different drawings and mixed up the details. As mentioned above, the length, width and height reminescent to the 325, but the driver's door, the grilled cargo door behind the left front wheel, the exhaust pipe on the left and some other particular points were only visible on the prototype of the 300-series , the 386 K2.

All in all, this model happened to be a bit eclectic, but we should be happy that it exists at all. Now let's have a look at the 58 different liveries!

On the first page the code 1 models - that have been manufactured in big series and sold to the public - are presented:
1. Voyager (1)
The 'Voyager' - the first Ikarus Matchbox - appeared in 1986. Its white body, orange roof and the sun & bird motives on the side make it an attractive model.

For those seeking more action, it was also available in a special accessory set with a BMW 323 Convertible and a free launcher.

2. Ikarus
This beige colour coach was issued in Hungary in the year of debut.

3. City Line - Tourist (1)
Probably the green and white, 'City Line - Tourist' labelled coach was produced in the highest volume. This livery was available in the stores between 1988 and 1991.

Also sold in 20 Pack and Super Value 5 Pack.

4. City Line - Tourist (2)
This 'Tourist' is almost the same as seen above, only the tinted windows make a difference.

This dark grey coloured window version was available in Japan in a special 'Airport set'. The box contains beside the Ikarus coach two aeroplanes, a fire truck and a big airport playmat.

5. Espana
Produced from 1992 until 1997. White body, white roof, 'Espana' text on the side.

6. I love Canary Island
Serial production. Labelled on both sides 'I love Canary Island'. It was launched in the UK.

7. Gibraltar
Same design as the very first sample in the series - the 'Voyager' - but the colour of the roof was changed to red, and the text to 'Gibraltar'. It was distributed in Spain. According to Charlie Mack's Encyclopedia this model was also produced with tinted windows.

8. City Life
A happy sun, or a nowadays popular smiley? This pattern appeared in the 'City Life' 5 pack in 1996.

In 1996 one could also find a Ford refuse truck (MB 36), a Chevrolet breakdown van (MB 21-E), a Vauxhall Astra (MB 08-G) and a Ford Escort RS Cosworth (MB 52-F) in the pack, but in 1997 the Chevrolet van was replaced by a GMC wrecker and the Ford Escort was also available with two different wheels.

9. Airport Limousine
This orange-white painted model was distributed in Japan. The text below the MB-21 marking states: coach for long distances.

10. Airport Shuttle
Purple body and purple interior. The Shuttle bus was sold from 1999 in 'Airport' 5 Pack.

11. Sunset Beach
A yellow-white exemplar of 1998, decorated with palm trees and sunset on the beach. Still easily available.

12. World Cup
In 1998 Matchbox released to salute the football world championship - held in France that year - a 5 pack called World Cup. This Ikarus is a member of that family.
This model features red roof, blue windows, on the both sides the 'World Cup Tour Bus' text and the logo of the tournament.

13. Chinese bus
Very rare green and white model, with Chinese text on both sides, stating: Shanghai Friendship Transportation Company. There is also a round decal on the windshield.
There is one more extraordinary thing about this exemplar, namely it was accidentally packed in a Peugeot Quasar's (MB-49) blister, which increases its value by collectors.

14. Blues Friends
Silver painting, blue windows, rare yellow chassis and funny illustrations describe this coach. It was released in the 'Blue's Clues' 5 Pack in 2003. Blue's Clues was an American children's television show airing on the Nickelodeon TV channel.

15. Marti Reisen (Swiss Collection)
Member of a limited - 23 model - series available only in Switzerland in 2003. The brand 'Ikarus' doesn't appear on the blister, Matchbox refers to this item only as 'coach'.
The model was painted in the beige-brown livery of the Swiss tour operator Marti Reisen AG.

16. Across America - New Jesey
Matchbox Across America - 50th birthday series. Ikarus coach is the third member of the collection representing New Jersey, the third state to join the Union.

17. Coca Cola Football Town
Among the nine piece-miniseries made for Coca Cola in 2004 we can also find an Ikarus coach.
Elegant silver-black painting with a 'COCA COLA FOOTBALL TOWN' shield on both sides, and labels saying 'TOTAL TAILGATE' and 'YOU MAKE THE GAME'.
  • MB releases
  • Unique models
  • Promotional items
  • Explaining the MB 'Code'-system
  • History of Ikarus and the 300 series
  • Scale model shops




    1/3 Introduction & MB releases 2/3 Unique models 3/3 Promotional items