Tony Stark's Toys
I added a few new pics to the
unofficial Iron Man gallery.
Pictured above, left, is Matchbox's Audi R8 with black "blade." I
haven't been able to find this Superfast version of the Audi R8 in stores,
so I had to go the eBay route. Pictured above, right, is a Saleen S7
from Motormax, although Tony Stark's car is more orange in color.
Speaking of which, the Saleen S7 featured in Iron Man was sold at the
Barrett-Jackson Auction for $375,000.
Go, Speed Racer, Go ... Again!
I picked up five more cars to add to
my Speed Racer collection. Pictured above, from left, are Thor-Axine,
Inc., Snake Oiler (Street Car), Race-Wrecked Mach 6, Ice Caves Mach 5 and
Desert Rally Mach 5. Thanks to eBay, I think that gets me all caught
up for now on the single-carded cars. I'm not concerned about the
variant accessories. The above pics have been added to the
Speed Racer Movie Gallery.
The 2009 Bandit Awards
After exchanging many e-mails with
Bill Spencer, soliciting nominations in the forum, and throwing in a heavy
dose of my opinion, I hereby announce the first annual Bandit Awards,
recognizing the best in the field of movie and TV cars in 2008. The
Bandit Awards are named in honor of the man I consider the Patron Saint of
car movies: Burt Reynolds. If I were handing out a Lifetime
Achievement Award, he would get the first one for his work in White
Lightning, Smokey & The Bandit, Hooper, Cannonball Run and Stroker
Ace, to name a few. There are five nominees in seven categories.
It's up to you to vote for the winner in each category: Best Car Movie
of 2008, Best Movie Chase/Race, Best Movie Car (stock/slightly modified),
Best Movie Car (custom/heavily modified), Best Actor, Best TV Car and Best
Die-Cast Line of 2008. Click HERE
to vote. The results will be announced around the time of the Academy
Be sure to cast your vote in each category separately. I noticed the
last category has more votes than the others, which tells me some people
marked the ballot, but only submitted their vote on the bottom one.
Cast your vote, submit it, then hit BACK to cast your vote in the next
Gran Torino: My Review
Well, I finally got around to seeing
Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino, a story about change, tolerance,
acceptance and sacrifice, told with humor and heart. Clint Eastwood
portrays Walt Kowalski, a gruff, bitter man who makes Archie Bunker look
like the model of tolerance. I have to say Eastwood's performance
ranks among the best of his career. As difficult as it is to hear him spew
racial epithets, it all serves a purpose. Having seen the movie, it's
shocking that Eastwood didn't receive a Best Actor nomination for an Academy
Award. Unfortunately, Eastwood is surrounded by actors who seem to
have little or no acting experience, and this may be the reason the movie
was snubbed by the Academy. But the movie is worth seeing for
Eastwood's performance alone.
Since the movie was filmed here in the
Metro Detroit area, it was great to see the streets I'm so familiar with on
the big screen. The homes and neighborhoods depicted in the movie were
very much like the ones I grew up in and walked through to and from school.
I even spotted a few familiar faces who snagged small roles as actors or
Although the story revolved around the
Gran Torino of the movie's title, Walt Kowalski's '72 Ford F-Series Pickup
Truck was featured more prominently throughout the film. I'm told the
truck is owned locally and I'm hoping to get in touch with the owner soon.
Below are some photos I took back in July of 2008, of scenes filmed at a
barbershop in Royal Oak, Michigan. These scenes provided some of the
biggest laughs in the movie.
To Boldly Go ...
Apparently, Mattel will boldly go
where ... well ... where others have gone before. Under the Hot Wheels
brand, Mattel will release five Star Trek ships in what they call
1:50 scale. Now, if they were truly 1:50 scale, they would be freakin'
HUGE! What they mean is, they will measure approximately 4" long.
They are expected to ship in May. Here's what's on tap:
USS Enterprise NCC-1701 Refit (The
Klingon Bird of Prey (as seen in Star Trek III)
USS Reliant NCC-1864 (Star Trek II)
USS Enterprise 1701 D (The Next Generation)
USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (TV series)
Have You Never Been Mellow?
I finally got caught up on my Mega
Size Cars when I popped into Toys R Us and found Dustin Mellows
hanging on the pegs. Lately, though, there has been a bit of a dry
spell as I wait for stores like WalMart and Target to replenish empty pegs.
Holy Blu-Ray, Batman
For those of you unaffected by the
state of the economy, where money is no object, here's another rarity to add
to your collection. George Barris is offering ten autographed blu-ray
Batmobiles through his website. The prices range from $300 to $750.
These Batmobiles were originally offered at the annual Dream Halloween
charity event, which benefits the Children Affected by Aids Foundation.
HERE for more information.
Faster & Furious-er
As you may or may not know, the fourth
installment in the The Fast & The Furious franchise arrives in
theaters on April 3. This one is called ... um ... Fast & Furious.
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return to reprise their respective roles from the
earlier films. As the tagline says: "New Model. Original
Parts." Wait! There's even MORE good news. Apparently, Johnny
Lightning will be releasing a line of Fast & Furious die-cast cars.
At one time RC2 offered a very successful line of cars from the earlier
movies (you can see my collection pictured below.) Now, RC2 owns
Johnny Lightning, so apparently, they will re-release some castings under
the Johnny Lightning brand, along with some castings from the newest film.
I'll post updates as they come.
Just a Good Ol' Boy
Bo Duke himself, John Schneider, had a
little too much fun destroying ten 1:18 scale General Lees to create the
rarest of the rare General Lee collectible. Click
see John smash, crash, and dirty up these cars to recreate what actually
happened to the General after it completed a jump. Each car is
numbered and, of course, #01 is commanding TOP DOLLAR on
eBay. I would love to add one of these to my collection, but I
have a feeling they'll all leap well beyond my price range.
The auction for #01 closed with a winning bid of $910!!!
Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD!
The 2009 Barrett-Jackson auction winds
down in Scottsdale, Arizona today, with some notable cars having gone up on
the auction block. On Friday, a replica of the original KITT from
Knight Rider, made from a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, sold for
$44,000. A 2007 GMC Yukon from CSI: Vegas sold for a reasonable
$27,500. The big day came on Saturday. Here are some noteworthy
1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
"Bandit" Special Edition - $79,200
Batmobile Replica made from a '66
Chevy - $165,000
Eddie Van Halen's Pro Street Chevy 210
'62 Lincoln Continental used by
President Kennedy - $71,500
'84 Aston Martin Lagonda owned by Evel
Knievel - $71,500
'67 Pontiac GTO used in the film
xXx - $53,900
'94 Porsche 911 owned by Jerry
Seinfeld - $101,200
The first production Ford Thunderbird
sold for a whopping $660,000.
I happened to be watching the Speed
Channel when the highlight of the auction (for me, at least) took place.
One of three surviving '67 Shelby GT500 cars used in the movie Gone in 60
Seconds (2000) went up for auction and the winning bidder was able to
take Eleanor home for $216,700. I was salivating.
Click on the Barrett-Jackson logo
above to see pics, more results and the entire 2009 car list.
Go, Speed Racer, Go!
With Hot Wheels Speed Racer
stuff going on clearance and vanishing from toy aisles, I realized there
were a few late releases I'll probably never see in stores, so I went the
eBay route to add some cars to my collection. Arriving in the mail
today were (from above, left) Kellie "Gearbox" Kalinov, Delila, Sonic "Boom
Boom" Renaldi, and Taejo Togokahn. The first three I've never seen in
stores. Taejo Togokahn was found in Target-exclusive 3-Packs, but this
is the first time I've seen it on a single card. I'm glad to finally
be able to add these to the Speed Racer
Same Bat-Car, Different Bat-Rims
I've been hitting WalMart, Target &
Toys R Us on a fairly regular basis and having no luck finding the '09
version of the Hot Wheels '66 Batmobile ... UNTIL NOW. I found a lone
Batmobile hanging on a peg of a nearly-empty Hot Wheels section at Target.
The red pinstripe is a little off, but I grabbed it anyways. I don't
care much for the gold rims, but apparently, the wheels make the car FASTER
THAN EVER! The above pics have been added to the
Batman - 1966 Gallery.
The now-legendary "invisible" Vanquish by Johnny Lightning
The Hollywood Cars that Never Were!
Sitting at home, watching football,
avoiding the snow, I decided I'd work on an article I've been meaning to
create for some time now. Since this website was created, there have
been many announcements about TV and movie die-cast cars that never came to
fruition. Prototypes were produced, artwork created, but many, many
cars never reached toy stores. Click
HERE to take a look at the Hollywood
Cars that Never Were. If you have any photos or info that you would
like to contribute to this article, please send me an
Thanks to e-mails from contributors, a few additions have joined the list of
Hollywood Cars That Never Were!
Race to the Finish!
I popped into a local Target store and
found a few new things. There were several new 3-car gift sets.
Two of them just offered re-releases, but one of the sets includes what
could be one of my all-time favorite Cars castings. Finish Line
McQueen depicts Lightning as he struggles to finish the race against Chick
and The King. Mattel went as far as to remove his rear tires. This is
a great addition to my collection. I also saw the three new Haulers,
but I decided to pass on them. Lately, Target has been the #1 place to
find new Cars offerings.
Holy New Year's Resolution!
I hereby resolve to try to find the
above Batmobile to start out 2009. Matthew Vargo of Virginia sent me
an e-mail telling me he found this at WalMart this morning. I'm not a
fan of the gold rims, but hey, I gotta have it! Thanks for the info
Happy New Year!
First of all, Happy New Year to you
and yours! What a way to bring 2008 to a close. Just hours
before midnight on New Year's Eve, Hollywood Die-Cast received its official
2 MILLIONTH visitor according to SiteMeter.com. Of course, it's not
entirely accurate, since I didn't start tracking visitors until a few months
after this website launched, so I probably hit 2 million a few months ago,
but still, it's a tremendous milestone. I still remember the shock
when I found out that my site was receiving 1,000 visitors per day when I
first started keeping track in 2003. I thought that if this site
appealed to just a handful of people that would be great. Instead,
I've received e-mails from fans all over the world. At times, I even
had to run an e-mail through a translator so I could read it. Today,
this site averages 1,100 to 1,300 per day and has on occasion reached 7,000
or 8,000 in a day when it was mentioned on other, more popular websites.
I'm so lucky to be able to share my enthusiasm for this hobby with others
who have the same interests. Thanks to everyone who has helped make
Hollywood Die-Cast what it is today. I hope we all have a great 2009!
By the way, if you recognize all the
wheels pictured above, then consider yourself my brother from another