January '06 News Archive

1/28/06 - Great timing!
I happen to be in the area of my favorite die-cast store and decided to pay a visit.  My timing couldn't have been better,  It turns out the store will be moving and everything was 50% OFF!!!  I almost hyperventilated!  Here's what I picked up:

I could not BELIEVE my eyes when I saw RC2's brand new 1:18 Lotus Esprit sitting on a shelf.  I grabbed the last one.  It's a thing of beauty!  I can't wait to open it up and really check it out.  My cost:  $16!

I also grabbed Hot Wheels' Limited Edition 2-Pack from Batman Begins.  The 1:64 scale cars included in this 2-Pack are incredibly detailed.  They really put their single-carded counterparts to shame.  Plus, they're more accurate in scale as well.  These are an excellent addition to my Batmobile collection.  My cost:  $10!

So what else did I pick up?  Well, I picked up a 1:18 scale.... oh... wait.  This is a surprise.  You'll have to come back on February 1st for a special announcement. 

1/26/06 - "I have you now!"
While bouncing from store to store, I decided to pick up a few of the vehicles from Hasbro's Star Wars Titanium series.  It's nice to see these are now in wide release, as opposed to a Wal*Mart exclusive.  Unfortunately, out of necessity, the scale on these vehicles is all over the place, but the speeder bike (below left) is fairly close to 1:64 scale, as is the Landspeeder.  I also found the supposed "rare" white TIE Fighter (below right).  Actually, they're shipping one per case, which puts them in the "scarce" category.  I like the white TIE Fighter because it reminds me of my old Kenner TIE Fighter.  Dennis (aka friscoballa101) was kind enough to let me use his pics of the entire 2006 series in the Star Wars section of Hollywood Die-Cast.  Thanks Dennis.

UPDATE:  I saw this today (1/28/06) for the first time and decided to pick it up.  It's the Republic Gunship as it appears in the Clone Wars animated series.  Too cool to pass up.

1/26/06 - Elvis Lives!
I hit some stores today and found Johnny Lightning's Elvis Presley series at a hobby store.  I looked at each one up close and, sorry to say, I wasn't too impressed.  I did walk away with one, though.  The '65 Shelby 427 Cobra resembles the car from the movie Spinout (which Matchbox did a few years ago).  Visit the Elvis page to see the whole set.

Movie Car Mania
 Weekly Trivia Challenge

1/25/06 - Sponsor News
I recently got an e-mail from Rodney at Movie Car Mania.  He writes:

Hey Joe,
    I just wanted to drop you a quick e-mail to let you know about a new feature that I added to the Movie Car Mania site.  I have added a new Movie and TV car Trivia page.  Each week I will be updating the trivia page with 3 - 4 new questions.  I have compiled these questions after many hours of watching my favorite car movies and shows.  I hope to continue to compile these questions and hopefully will have a movie and TV car trivia book released in 2006. 

Now why didn't I think of that?  Check it out and see how you do.

1/24/06 - Case Closed
More than two years ago, I discovered an amazing website dedicated to James Bond collectibles.  While browsing through it, I spotted something I had never seen before.  A white Lotus Esprit on a Corgi cardback featuring The Spy Who Loved Me artwork and text.  I immediately e-mailed the webmaster, Nick,  to find out about this rarity.  He kindly replied to my e-mail, insisting it was genuine.  I turned to Corgi expert Bill Manzke, who insisted is was NOT genuine.  Well, it's finally settled.  Nick just sent me this e-mail:

Sometime ago someone from your site was emailing with me about the Lotus 007 spy car with wheels Corgi Jr MOC.  As a follow up to that I can now report it is a fake. I  inspected it very carefully and found unusual wear marks on the card inside the blister behind the car. These marks could only have been caused by the regular underwater version with the fins. Other than that someone has done a fantastic job as I cannot see where the blister has been restuck and I am a toy dealer!  I paid 200 for this and bought it from a friend who swears that he bought it from a charity store for 50p. Well the jury is out on the story but not on the toy.  I did get my refund however.
Hope this helps, I have a fake marker on the website

So now we can all rest assured that, although an interesting piece, no such officially-licensed Corgi toy exists.  Buyer beware!

1/22/06 - Holy Comic-Con, Batman!
Since Hollywood Die-Cast comes to you from the Detroit area, I want to mention the exciting news that the Motor City Comic Con will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Batman TV series with appearances by Adam West, Burt Ward, Yvonne Craig, Julie Newmar and Lee Meriwether.  You'll also be able to see the Batmobile, Batcycle and Bat-Computer.  The Comic Con runs May 19-21 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Michigan.  Click HERE for the exciting guest list.

1/22/06 - Collectors' Collections
I've finally gotten around to posting pics of Lars Groeneveld's Knight Rider collection.  Visit the Collectors' Collections section to see pics of Lars' collection and all past submissions.  If you would like to have photos of your collection posted on my site, feel free to e-mail me well-lit pics.  I really enjoy seeing other collections.

1/14/06 - Nobody Does It Better!
Imranbecks has posted pics in the forum of RC2's new 1:18 James Bond Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me.  He says he has the car in hand and not only is it beautiful, it actually TRANSFORMS from car to SUBMARINE!  Once again, RC2 has outdone themselves with this one.  I can't wait to have this one in-hand.  Visit the Hollywood Die-Cast forum (at left) to see more pics and info.

1/8/06 - That's One Big Herbie!
I know this gets away from the focus of this website, but I still wanted to report it to you.  I stopped into a Wal*Mart on Saturday, disappointed that their toy aisles were almost barren.  But looking up I spotted this amazing 1:6 scale radio-controlled Classic Herbie from Herbie Fully Loaded.  My jaw hung open.  Unfortunately, it retails for close to $100.  I tell you, this thing is HUGE.  Wal*Mart also offers a 1:6 scale version of the Tumbler from Batman Begins, which last time I looked, was on sale for around $75. 

1/4/06 - Johnny Lightning's 2006 Lineup!
JL's 2006 lineup was posted on HobbyTalk.  Skimming it quickly, I spotted the assortment for the third series of Star Trek ships, slated for release this month.  Included are:

USS Enterprise 1701-D
Borg Cube
USS Voyager
Romulan Bird of Prey
Future Enterprise
ISS Enterprise NX-01

The only other entertainment-related series I spotted was a set of Rock Art cars that includes Elvis Presley artwork.  Being the Elvis fan that I am, I might hunt these down when I spot them.  They'll display nicely alongside my Marilyn Monroe cars.

UPDATE:  Here is JL's set of Star Trek Series 3: Uncharted Territories carded:

Visit on February 2 for a chance to win a prototype of JL's U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D

1/2/06 - The Year in Review
Happy New Year!  Despite a fairly uneventful end of 2005, looking back, it really was a pretty interesting year for collectors of TV and movie die-cast cars.  The most exciting thing to happen in '05 was the release of Johnny Lightning's Hollywood on Wheels Series 6, including much-anticipated versions of cars from The Dukes of Hazzard, Smokey & the Bandit, and Vanishing Point, among others.  The Love Bug was included in the series, followed by an entire line devoted to Herbie Fully Loaded in June.

Johnny Lightning also continued their Star Trek series, releasing Battle Damaged versions of many of the ships.  RC2's Joy Ride line offered cars from The Dukes of Hazzard movie, although inferior when compared to Johnny Lightning's cars. 

Personally, I had fun chasing down the seemingly endless variations of Hot Wheels' Batmobiles.  Found individually carded, or in 2-packs, it always made my day to discover a new variation in stores.  It's a shame no new releases have been announced since last spring's Batman VS Scarecrow 2-Pack.

Hot Wheels also capitalized on the success of the phenomenal Batman Begins by releasing a set of four vehicles.  Although not exactly movie-accurate, they sold well everywhere.  A chrome "Tumbler" was a comic con exclusive.  Later in the year, a more movie-accurate Tumbler was released in "oil-can" packaging.

In 1:18 scale news, there were some exciting offerings in 2005.  Joy Ride gave us beautiful renditions of the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider and the Bluesmobile from The Blues Brothers.  And, of course, Hot Wheels offered up the beautifully detailed Tumbler from Batman Begins.

In hindsight, we had some fun car chase movies in 2005 that spawned some cool die-cast cars.  Unfortunately for collectors, things were a little slow from August onward, with not much new product hitting the store shelves.  There were a few exciting announcements later in the year that will, hopefully, pan out in 2006.   Here's hoping 2006 will be a fun and exciting year for collectors.