January '08 News Archive

1/30/08 - Pretty in Pink
In May of last year, Huw Eastwood of Wales shared images of his work-in-progress as he crafted a die-cast Pink Panther custom car from scratch.  Huw recently sent me an e-mail with an update.  Check out the pics above.  Wow, very impressive!  Here is what Huw had to say:

"The basic model is a solid casting with applied vinyl stickers for the windows and just basic engine-top detail cast insitu. The one with the opening/closing side door is a one-off version of the solid casting, on which I machined the back out and fabricated the door in brass- The tiny door hinge pins are 1.2mm diameter !!!! It's also got a recessed engine bay with brass engine -top detail. This extra work on the super-spec version took about 100 hours on top of casting the basic 'solid' model."
"If I could get Cragar style wheels in a smaller 9mm size I would fit all the cars with them, but unfortunately they are always over 10mm diameter and Johnny Lightning cars are very limited in the UK. Most JLs are rubber tyred so the diameter cannot be reduced at all, so the solid plastic ones I used on the 'super-spec' car with the opening door were a very lucky find, and I managed to turn them down to 9mm diameter to a snug fit on the Panthermobile."

1/30/08 - Congratulations!
Congratulations go out to legendary custom car builder/designer/collector Jay Ohrberg who was inducted into the Grand National Roadster Show Hall of Fame on January 26th.  Jay has designed and built many custom cars throughout his distinguished career, including many cars that have been featured in films and on television.  Visit his WEBSITE to learn more about this legend.

1/27/08 - Trade Bait
I got these cars pictured above in the mail on Saturday after completing my first trade in the Cars the Toys Forum.  I found some extra Dinoco Mia & Tia sets at Target and traded with a very nice woman from Illinois.  I'm hoping to get two more cars (Tow & Not Chuck) this week in another trade.  If that trade goes through without a hitch, all I'll need to complete my collection is Flik & P.T. Flea Movie Moments and the three-pack with gold Mia & Tia.

1/30 UPDATE:  I got the cars from my second trade this week.  This sure is better than driving store to store.  These pics have been added to the Cars gallery. 

1/26/08 - Sneak Peek
I spotted these photos online.  Here's a nice little sneak peek of some of the vehicles to expect throughout the year in Mattel's Cars line.  Pictured at left is Dudley Spare, which is Octain Gain's "pitty."  From what I've seen, it looks like all of the pitty characters will be based on Not Chuck, with that same angry look on his face, even though the photo on the card looks completely different.  I found these photos HERE.

1/23/08 - Today's Finds
Once upon a time (May 2006 to be exact) Mattel released four playsets in conjunction with the first wave of die-cast Cars.  Flo's V8 Cafe was the largest and arguably the most popular.  The other three, The Curio Shop, Casa Della Tires and Ramone's House of Body Art were fun, but languished on toy store shelves for awhile before they eventually disappeared.  Not too long after vanishing, I noticed prices for the playsets began to soar on eBay.  Flo's consistently reached well over $100 with the Curio Shop close behind.  Luckily for me I had picked up Flo's to photograph for my website, but I regretted having never picked up the other three sets.  Well, Toys R Us surprised collectors in August of 2007 by releasing Flo's V8 Cafe as an exclusive.  They must've sold well, because TRU decided to offer all four playsets.  Today, while making my usual toy rounds, I found two of the exclusives for the first time in my area.  This time, I decided I wasn't going to pass them up.  Now I just need to find the TRU exclusive version of Ramone's.

1/22/08 - Go Speed Racer!
Mattel has the license to produce toys based on the upcoming Speed Racer film, including die-cast cars as part of the Hot Wheels line.  The Mach 5 is pictured above.  Visit Toy News International for more pics of upcoming Mattel toys from the movie.

1/20/08 - Added to My Collection...
Having never seen these in stores, I decided to go the eBay route to add the Hogwarts Express to my collection.  Made by Corgi it's 1:100 scale.  Corgi also made Mr. Weasley's Ford Anglia and The Knight Bus, but I feel the Hogwarts Express is the most iconic vehicle in the Harry Potter films.  All three have been added to the Harry Potter gallery, however.

1/16/08 - Going Once, Going Twice...
I happen to catch some of the Barrett-Jackson car auction on the Speed Channel.  The auction takes place January 12-20 in Scottsdale, Arizona and features some of the most beautiful cars in the world.  What I'm really looking forward to are the auctions for a replica of the 1966 Batmobile (above), The Monkeemobile, The Beverly Hillbillies truck, the Thunderbird convertible from Thelma & Louise, and John Schneider's General Lee, the same car that was auctioned off on eBay last year and ended up in a hoax when the winning bidder didn't come through with his several-million-dollar bid. Click HERE for more info.

1/18/08 UPDATE:  The Batmobile replica sold for a whopping $185,000 on Friday night!

1/20/08 UPDATE:  The truck from The Beverly Hillbillies sold for $125,000.  The Thelma & Louise Thunderbird sold for $65,000.  The Monkeemobile sold for $360,000!!!  The Miami Vice Movie Boat sold for $175,000.  John Schneider's General Lee went for $450,000!!!  Those are some pretty amazing figures!  Check out this video on YouTube.

1/14/08 - Holy Hot Wheels, Batman!
Thanks goes out to Chris Davies who passed along the photo at left of Mattel's upcoming line of 1:50 scale Bat-Vehicles.  I cannot WAIT to add these to my collection.  According to the website Entertainment Earth, these are expected to ship in May at $54.99 for the set.

1/13/08 - Reel Rides - Act 2
I just saw the first report of the second series of Reel Rides cars hitting Wal*Mart stores.  "Rozy51" posted pics (above) in the Hobby Talk forum.  Pictured above are:  '81 Cadillac from Casino and blue and red Mini Coopers from The Italian Job in 1:87 scale.  According to a report released in May of '07 the other cars scheduled to be included in this release are the Delorean from Back to the Future, The Bluesmobile and KITT from Knight Rider.  I'll start looking for them this week and let you know what I find.

1/12/08 - Dukes - Release 4
A big thanks goes out to Erik McCartney who discovered the above pic of Johnny Lightning's fourth release of cars from The Dukes of Hazzard.  Pictured above are:  Uncle Jesse's Black Tilllie II ('67 Mustang), State Police Car, General Lee (from the straight-to-DVD The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning), Bo Duke's #44 Buick Grand National Race Car, Carnival of Thrills Chevy Vega and Daisy's Plymouth Roadrunner Zinger.

1/15/08 UPDATE:  Erik also sent me some info on Release 6 & 7.  Release 6 may contain General Lee (of course), County Police Car, Cooter's Plymouth (above, left) and Rosco's Patrol Car Zinger.  Release 7 may contain Dirty General Lee, Dukes Monster Truck, Lucifer (above, center) and Cooter's Pickup (above, right.)  The above pics were found at

1/12/08 - "I'm going after that truck."
Here's an exciting bit of news.  Hasbro is planning all sorts of toys and figures to coincide with the May 2008 release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (whew, that's a mouthful.)  The toys will reflect characters and moments from all four Indiana Jones movies.  I discovered online that Hasbro's Titanium line will include die-cast vehicles from the films as well.  If that's not good enough for ya, how about a 1:64 scale die-cast adventure PLAYSET???  I am really excited about this.  Hopefully, we'll get some pics from Toy Fair 2008 revealing which vehicles will make up the first wave.

1/11/08 - Today's Find
I had the day off today, so I ran some errands.  While I was out running around I visited the hobby store I had some luck at a month or so ago.  My luck continued as I found a lone Dinoco Mia & Tia Movie Moments 2-pack hanging on a peg.  I still haven't had any luck finding Race Official Tom or Pit Crew Guido yet.

1/08/08 - Camaro:  Then & Now
I saw this photo posted in the HobbyTalk Forum by  Apparently, Jada is going one step further, not only offering a Concept Camaro that resembles Bumblebee from Transformers, but now offering a vintage Camaro that resembles Bumblebee before  Even though the Camaro pictured above is an '81 Camaro and Bumblebee was a '77 Camaro.

1/06/08 - Fun with the Camera
I picked up some HO scale cactus (cacti?) on eBay to display alongside my Cars collection.  After painting the bases, they started to look pretty cool, so I took some diorama pics for fun.  I made the Route 66 sign from scratch.  Cactus McQueen, Sheriff and Doc Hudson are from the Dirt Track 3-car gift pack.

1/12/08 UPDATE:  I just completed this billboard, which was one of the most frustrating and difficult things I've ever done.  Everything was so tiny and fragile.  I bought the kit on eBay and had to paint it, assemble it, and print the sign, but I think it turned out pretty nice:

1/03/08 - For you slot car fans...
Making my usual toy rounds, I spotted this at a local Toys R Us.  Since there hasn't been much die-cast from the Transformers movie, this is the next best thing.  Barricade takes on Bumblebee in this 1:64 scale slot car set.  It was a little out of my price range, but it sure was tempting.  Visit the Toys R Us website for more info.

1/1/07 - Happy New Year!
I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and I'm looking forward to a great 2008. Would you believe this website will be celebrating its FIFTH anniversary in February?  In the world of die-cast, there are some exciting things to look forward to.  Mattel's 1:18 scale '66 Batmobile should be arriving early in the year as will RC2's General Lee as part of its 1:18 scale Authentics Line.  Speaking of General Lee, at least two more waves of 1:64 scale cars from The Dukes of Hazzard have already been announced by Johnny Lightning and I'm sure more are to follow.  Click HERE to get an idea of what to expect from Mattel's Cars line in 2008.  It's fairly overwhelming.  You may want to consider taking out a second mortgage on your home.  Also in 2008, Knight Rider returns to the small screen.  On the big screen we'll have The Dark Knight and Speed Racer.  And one my current favorite actors, Jason Statham, is in production on Death Race.  I don't know if it will spawn any die-cast cars, but who's not looking forward to the new Indiana Jones movie coming out in 2008?  Again, I have a feeling it's going to be a great year!