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
Finally, let's have a look on the code 2 Ikarus Matchbox buses, distributed as promotional items:

In 1996 Matchbox went into an contractual agreement with a company called 'Advertising Specialities and Premiums' - ASAP for short. ASAP would be supplied blank models to produce short run production models. These models would be produced as "authorized by Matchbox" and therefore fit into the category of 'code 2'.
These short runs are very rare as Matchbox and ASAP do not supply any reference lists to what has been made. There are models made early on, collectors may have never heard about! These items come in white generic boxes clearly marked "Special Limited Edition! Matchbox".
Among the 23 models supplied to ASAP we can find the 'Ikarus coach'.
27. White promo-base
White body, white roof and white interior. Usually promotional items are based on such full-white models as this coach, and their livery, or decorations are altered, removed, or replaced by a third party with the full agreement of Matchbox.

28. MTA Los Angeles
It shouldn't be a big surprise, but many transportation companies have chosen a coach (the Ikarus) as promotional item.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA or MTA; branded as Metro) is the California state-chartered regional transportation planning agency (RTPA) and public transportation operating agency for the County of Los Angeles.
The fact that MTA is an Ikarus related NABI bus operator may have contributed to the decision to select this Ikarus coach as promotional item.

29. Georgia Transit Association
The Georgia Transit Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving public transportation in the state of Georgia.
The model is labelled only on the left side.

30. Greater Richmond Transit Company
And yes, for sure, again a transportation company.
The Greater Richmond Transit Company, known locally as GRTC Transit System, is a local government-owned public service company which operates an urban-suburban bus line based in Richmond, Virginia with a fleet of over 175 diesel-powered and CNG-powered transit buses.
Unfortunately there’s no evidence that they’ve ever operated Ikarus buses.

31. The Transit System
The small Glen Rose, Texas based company is serving Hood and Somervell Counties, provides taxi-like services and Dallas Fort Worth airport shuttle connections.
The model has the same logo printed on both sides.

32. Sovtransavto
Sovtransavto is a big transport and logistic holding company specializing in international and domestic road haulage. Founded more than 40 years ago int he Soviet Union, but today the Group consists of 10 logistic companies and 12 transport enterprises located in Russia , CIS and Europe.
Sovtransavto used to operate classic Ikarus 250 coaches with nearly the same white and red livery as seen on the ASAP model, which is not painted, but is decorated with waterslide decals.

33. Suburban Express
Suburban Express - based in Illinois - specializes in weekend transportation for college students. Standard promotional model, with red labels.

34. RTA (1)
Riverside Transit Agency (RTA) is a joint powers agency that provides public transportation in western Riverside County, California, United States. It operates more than 250 vehicles. RTA's 2,500-square-mile (6,500 km2) service area is the second-largest in the nation.
It's important to mention, that the most common vehicles in the fleet are NABI buses which have Hungarian origin.

35. RTA (2)
Second version of the RTA coach.

36. RTA (3)
Third version of the RTA coach.

37. Z Bus
Z Bus also gave Ikarus coaches to its business partners.
On both sides of the bus you can find the pink-green corporate logo, and the text 'Zanesville, Ohio'.

38. Eastern Airlines
Special Limited Edition Matchbox produced with Eastern Air Lines’ logo by Color Comp for Matchbox Usa. Only 40 made.

39. Memorial Health
Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) is an award-winning 610-bed academic medical center that serves a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina.
Their corporate logo can be seen on the left side of this Matchbox, and best wishes ’feel better’ on the right side.

40. Huguley Mobile Clinic
Texas Health Huguley opened in 1977 with the mission to further the healing ministry of Christ. The hospital’s unique Mobile Health Services Bus provides services to those unable to access healthcare due to a lack of transportation or adequate financial resources.
No wonder that they’ve chosen the MB Ikarus bus as promotional item for their 1998 annual fundraiser gala.

41. Celebration on the Hill (purple)
Unique model, which was not painted, but got decorated with waterslide decals. Celebration on the Hill 2006 was an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network event celebrating cancer survivorship and empowering survivors and others to advocate for laws that will help fight the disease.

42. Celebration on the Hill (blue)
Another version of the previous Celebration on the Hill coach, but fitted with blue decals instead of purple.

43. Sovereign Bank
Sovereign Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Spanish Santander Group. Based in Boston, Massachusetts. Sovereign offers an array of financial services and products including retail banking, mortgages, corporate banking, cash management, capital markets, trust and wealth management, and insurance. On both sides of the bus you can find the red corporate logo.

44. HR
The model is labelled with Jim Collins' now famous quote from his management book Good to Great. "Get the right people on the bus" is the right slogan for a HR (Human Resources) company.

45. North American Title Company
Promotional item of North American Title Company, one of the largest real estate settlement services organizations in the United States handling both residential and commercial transactions.
The promotional white Ikarus is tampo painted. Left side: 'On The Road from GOOD to GREAT' . Right side: the company's name and their slogan 'Like clockwork'.

46. Opta
OPTA are the world's leading sports data company. Opta analyses, stores and distributes live sports data on a wide variety of sports across the world. Opta data is used in the betting industry, the print and online media, sponsorship, broadcasting and professional performance analysis.
The promotional Ikarus Matchbox is not complicated, it has the company’s logo on both sides.

47. Seminole County
Would you promote a county with a toy coach? Seminole County (located in Florida) did so.
On the port-side their logo and the slogan 'Florida's Natural Choice' is visible, on the starboard side a web address can be found.

48. Wackenhut Corrections
G4S  - former called as Wackenhut Corporation - is the world's leading international security solutions group.
The livery of their promo model is not very complicated, blue label on white background.

Aflac Incorporated is the largest provider of supplemental insurance in the United States. Their corporate logo can be seen on the left side of this Matchbox.

50. Alameda Power & Telecom
Again a gift distributed by an American company. Alameda Municipal Power (formerly Alameda Power & Telecom) is a municipal utility serving the City of Alameda, California.
It doesn't belong to our topic, but it's important to notice, that this utility is known as being "The Greenest Little Utility in America". Over 80% of Alameda Municipal Power's portfolio consists of renewable resources, including geothermal, hydroelectric, landfill gas, wind, and solar facilities.

51. Citrix
Promo model for Citrix Systems, which is an American multinational corporation that provides server and desktop virtualization, networking, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud computing technologies for more than 230,000 organizations worldwide.
In an unusual way the logo is on the roof atop the windshield.

52. Ferris State Univerity
White coach decorated with Ferris State University's logo.

53. PM Bus
The Power Management Bus (PMBus) is a variant of the System Management Bus (SMBus) which is targeted at digital management of power supplies.
The PMBus name and logo are trademarks of the System Management Interface Forum (SMIF) Inc., which supports the rapid advancement of an efficient and compatible technology base that promotes power management and systems technology implementations.
We love the worldplay, the ingenious choice to use a bus to advertise a bus.

54. Court TV
Court TV (renamed TruTV in 2008) is an American cable television network owned by Turner Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Time Warner. Its programming has traditionally consisted of reality legal programming and legal dramas, such as legal-based news shows, legal-based talk shows, live homicide trial coverage, court shows, police force shows, and other criminal justice programming.
This coach was not painted, but got decorated with green waterslide decals on both sides and on the rear bumper.

55. Pace
Unidentified company. White model, both sides blue-printed: 'PACE Safety Comes First'!

56. Pace (2)
Unidentified company. White model, both sides blue-printed: 'PACE'! Second version.

57. Southfork Asset Management Corp.
It seems this American company doesn't have a website, so if this model didn't exist, we didn't know about them... What do you know about 'Southfork Asset Management Corp.'?

58. 2002 Mystery Tour
  • 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