- Metal Heroes!
I saw the first reports today of die-cast metal
versions of Transformers RPMs hitting stores! As you may
remember, the RPMs (Robot Powered Machines) that hit stores in 2009 had
plastic bodies. Apparently, Hasbro decided to release a Metal Heroes
Series. I found the above photos on eBay and they include Optimus Prime,
Bumblebee, Ironhide, Barricade, Jetfire and Soundwave. Pictured at
left is a "NEST" version of Bumblebee, whatever that is.
1/31/10 - Hey, Hey, He's a
On Saturday night, Davy Jones was in Tecumseh,
Michigan for a concert performance. Mel, the owner of the Monkeemobile,
was asked to bring his car out for display. Mel got to meet Davy and
have him sign under the hood. He's the second Monkee to be reunited
with the car since Mel bought it at Barrett-Jackson in 2008. Micky was
the first. Thanks for the pics Mel. I wish I could've been
1/30/10 - Talking Cars!
As I sit here bored on a Saturday night (it's
13 degrees outside people!) I decided to go through some of the e-mails I've
received over the past few months. I can't believe how long it's been
since the last time I posted a Q&A session. I try to reply to e-mails
as quickly as I can (sorry, but sometimes I forget.) I also encourage
visitors to post in the Forum, where you can get responses from experts
other than myself. Topics in this edition of Talking Cars
include: Miami Vice, Torma Slot Cars, 1:18 scale Hot Wheels, The
Prisoner, The Rockford Files, Batman Beyond and MORE! Click on the
image above and enjoy.
1/29/10 - Holy
On Friday, during my lunch break, I got a tour
of Classic & Exotic Service, Inc. in Troy, Michigan and discussed the
possibility of doing a segment for my series Auto Focus. Alan
led me on a tour of the facility, showing me incredible rare cars in various
stages of restoration. My heart skipped a beat when we entered a room
where a Batmobile replica was being restored! Alan told me the owner
bought it about 6 months ago at a charity auction to add to his collection
of classic cars. It was cast from a mold of the original car and built
on a Lincoln chassis. The owner brought it in for some modifications
and the addition of some fun gadgets before it goes on display at a local
children's hospital for 6 months. I hope I get a chance to meet the
owner and convince him to bring it out for the Woodward Dream Cruise in
Below are some finished cars
waiting for their owners to pick them up. Among them, the
one-of-a-kind 1932 Bucciali TAV12, body by Soutchek (below, left.)
First shown at the 1932 Salon 'de Automobile in Paris.
- Another Movie Car from Mattel?
A keen-eyed collector spotted another
interesting entry on the list of new Hot Wheels from Mattel. Under the
heading of "All Stars" the list includes a '73 Ford Falcon XB. I dare
you to copy and paste that into the Google search above and see what comes
- The Brave & The Bold
As I was visiting the Hot Wheels Collectors
website, I noticed Mattel posted a list of upcoming mainline releases.
Of course, Ecto-1 was listed at #25, but as I continued down the list #42
caught my eye: Batmobile (The Brave & the Bold.) There's
also an image that shows all the cars, but it's so small you can barely make
them out. If you look closely, however, you can make out an image
similar to the toy pictured at left. I'm not sure of the release date
yet, but I'll let you know when I find out.
1/26/10 - As You Wish.
With the release of Ecto-1 in 1:64 scale, it's
time to update the Wish List. If you've seen the
Top 20 Wish List, you know that first ten cars
I personally would like to see produced someday (I'm selfish that way.)
The next ten were voted upon by visitors to this website. Ecto-1
received the most votes and ranked #11 overall on the list. Now it's
time to add a new car to the list. But instead of just moving
everything up one slot, I figured it's time to re-examine numbers 11 through
20. So, I'm going to create a new poll that includes the cars on the
list as well as 11 new nominees. The ten cars that receive the most
votes will rank #11 through #20, but I need your nominees. So either
send me an e-mail or post in
the forum the cars you would like to see in 1:64 scale that haven't been
produced yet. I'll post the poll in a week or so.
1/24/10 - Going Once,
Going Twice ... SOLD!
As the 2010 Barrett-Jackson Auction comes to an
end in Scottsdale, Arizona, I like to go back and take a look at what the
Hollywood cars sold for. Here are some of the notable cars sold over
the past few days:
On Friday, Ecto-1 from
Ghostbusters sold for $88,000. Based on a '59 Cadillac
Ambulance, this car is one of three original cars used in the 1984
movie. I thought it would've sold for far more.
Also on Friday, a replica
'89 Batmobile sold for only $66,000. Built on a '95 Caprice
Classic frame, this car is street legal and has rotating machine guns
and a flamethrower.
On Sunday, some lucky
bidder went home with a beautiful replica of the 1966 Batcycle.
Based on a '66 Yamaha just like the original, the cycle and sidecar sold
for only $6,600.
On Saturday, I watched on
the Speed Channel as John Dillinger's getaway car went up for bids.
The 1930 Ford Model A actually has a bullet hole from a gun battle.
The car was also driven by Johnny Depp in the 2009 movie Public
Enemies. The hammer price was $165,000.
A '67 Shelby GT500E identical to the car used in 2000's
Gone in 60 Seconds sold for $110,000 on Saturday. Last
year, one of three surviving cars from the movie sold for over $200,000.
Sonny & Cher's pair of '66 Mustang Convertibles were
sold together as one lot. Customized by the legendary George
Barris, the set sold for $75,000. They're a striking pair and I
hope they end up in a museum.
A replica of a '55 Porsche Spyder 550 sold for $36,000
on Sunday. As you may know, this car is similar to James Dean's
final ride. He was killed driving it on his way to a race.
This '53 Ford Woody Wagon was owned by Jay North, also
known as Dennis the Menace on television. The car sold for
finally, this 1926 Hudson has an interesting history. It was once
used in the 1940 movie The Grapes of Wrath, starring Henry Fonda.
It fell into a state of disrepair over the decades. When
discovered, it was too cost prohibitive to restore to its movie
incarnation, so it was converted into the race car you see at left.
The car sold for $55,000 on Saturday.
1/22/10 - Who Ya Gonna
During my lunch break today, I drove out to a
Target store with one thing in mind ... TO FIND ECTO-1, DARN IT! It
looked like they restocked the Hot Wheels pegs and I nervously rifled
through them, to find nothing. I started to walk away when I noticed a
few Hot Wheels hanging on an end cap. And THERE, among the few cars
was ol' #25 - Ecto-1. Upon close inspection I noticed the roof piece
wasn't quite sitting on the car correctly, so I knew this would be an
opener. After getting home, I took a few pics then ripped into it and
fixed the roof. After taking a few loose pics, Ecto-1 made its way
into my display (below, right.)
1/21/10 - Holy Mall
Enjoying a rare night off, I swung by my local
mall. (Yeah, that's my idea of fun.) After a bite to eat I decided to
do a lap around the mall. I stumbled across a Toy R Us Express that
wasn't there the last time I was at the mall. The cashier told me the
store had only been in that location for a week. Wandering around the
spotted a peg full of Mattel's 1:50 Bat-Vehicles, INCLUDING the Batwing and
Bat-Pod, which I haven't seen in stores before. I also snagged the
battle-damaged version of the Batmobile from The Animated Series. Then I spun around and saw a full display of
1:87 scale Hot Wheels. Poking around I found the 1:87 scale '66
Batmobile (right.) It was only the second time I've seen it in a
store. Pretty lucky for a random stop.
I got an e-mail from sponsor
Movie Car Mania telling me he's received a case of 1:50 scale
Bat-Vehicles, INCLUDING the newly-released Bat-Missile!
1/19/10 - "Wait'll they
get a load of ME!"
Coming from sponsor
Movie Car Mania is Mattel's Elite version of the '89 movie Batmobile in
1:18 scale. It's a beautiful piece, but seeing it in person I have
mixed feelings about it. Comparing it to the regular version
(right) you can see the Elite version is considerably more gray. The
interior is slightly more detailed than the regular version, but other than
that, there aren't many more differences. I think I actually prefer
1/19/10 - "Your move,
Thanks to sponsor
Movie Car Mania I'm able to add the Motor Max Reel Rides diorama from
the 1987 movie Robocop. The diorama includes Robocop, his 1986
Ford Taurus, and a perp. I don't normally collect 1:43 scale vehicles,
but this is the first time EVER this car has been offered to collectors, so
I had to add it to my collection.
1/15/10 - Chasing Cars
While hitting a couple of Target stores looking
for Ecto-1 I came across something else. I found the two newest
additions to the Cars Final Lap Collection: Pit Crew Member
Sarge (without blinky eyes) and Muddy Lightning McQueen. The above
pics have been added to the Cars Gallery.
Making my usual rounds today I found a Chase DJ in Ransburg blue (below,
left.) I was surprised to find it so soon after finding a Chase
Darrell Cartrip about a week ago. I also discovered that the Muddy
McQueen I found on Friday is an error. Compare the pic above to the
pic below. Notice the version below has mud above the eyes. That
area is unpainted in the pic above.
- "Needs some suspension work and shocks."
Browsing eBay, I noticed Ecto-1 has started
hitting stores. eBay auctions began to spring up on Monday. The hunt
begins. I got one report it was found at Target, so I'll start there.
I hope I have an easier time finding this than the Hot Wheels Batmobile.
It took me more than two months to find my first Batmobile after it was
initially released. I'm really looking forward to adding this version
of Ecto-1 to my collection!
1/12/10 - "I love it when
a plan comes together."
In case you haven't seen it, the official
trailer for upcoming movie version of The A-Team has shown up online.
I have mixed feelings about it, but it looks like it could be fun and I'll
definitely be there when it hits theaters on June 11, 2010. If
anything, hopefully we'll finally get a 1:18 scale version of The A-Team
Van! That would be sweet.
1/9/10 - The Year of the
Mattel announced that it will release SEVEN new
castings as part of its 1:50 Batman line in 2010. Most (if not all of
them) were seen at San Diego Comic Con. The lineup will include: Batmobiles from Batman Forever and Batman & Robin, The Penguin
Batmobile, Batblade (Batgirl's cycle from B&R), Shields-Up Batmobile,
Bat Boat and Bat Missile (from Batman Returns.) Pics of all the
die-cast vehicles can be seen
HERE. Strangely, I've never seen the last two releases in stores,
the Bat Wing and the Bat-Pod. Hopefully, they're still shipping.
I'm really going to have to buy a display case for all these awesome
1/7/10 - Chasing Cars
New Cars product continues to flood
shelves after Christmas. Stopping into a Target store at lunchtime I
was looking through the blinky eyes stuff when the word CHASE jumped out at
me. I grabbed it and discovered a shiny new metallic Darrell Cartrip.
Very cool. I also got a good look at the Color Changing Cars
and was disappointed. They're made of plastic, and pretty cheaply I
might add. And finally, on the way home on snow-covered roads, I
stopped into my local K-Mart and found the Mater the Greater 4-Pack that
includes Daredevil Lightning McQueen, Lug, Props McGee and Mater the
Aviator. That's THREE new characters in one package!
1/5/10 - It's the Pits!
My first new Cars find of 2010 is this
3-Car Gift Set I found at WalMart. This set includes Pit Crew Sarge,
available for the first time, but unfortunately, it's the blinky eyes
version. But hey, it's always nice to find something new.
1/2/10 - Avatar: My
Happy New Year everyone! I began 2010 by
sitting in a movie theater with family to catch Avatar in 3-D.
Avatar is a breathtaking technical achievement. I've never had
an experience in a movie theater quite like the one I experienced on January
1. It was the best 3-D effects I've ever seen. The lush
landscapes and forests were so realistic I felt like swatting at the bugs
fluttering in front of my eyes. When jellyfish-like seeds drifted into
my field of vision, I felt as if I could hold out my hand and let one land
in my palm. The movie is a marvelous work of art.
The story, however, felt
familiar. A US soldier infiltrates the "enemy" only to learn their ways and culture and begins to sympathize with them. The US military
is then portrayed as the villain and the indigenous race as the victims.
That same description could also be used to describe 1990's Dances with
Wolves. The story also seemed familiar because we've been watching
it on TV newscasts over the past decade or two. Avatar is a
political statement about going to war over a commodity. In real life:
oil. In the movie: "unobtainium." At times the movie came
across as a bit preachy, although I completely understand the point James
Cameron was trying to make.
And finally, although I found
the movie thoroughly entertaining, I never completely bought into the blue
CGI creatures as living, breathing entities. The characters never
seemed to rise above the video-game-feel that made me wary when I saw the
movie's trailers. Don't get me wrong, these are probably the BEST CGI
characters ever to appear on a movie screen, but CGI humanoids always seem
to come across as soulless and artificial to me. However, if there
EVER was a movie that you absolutely have to see in a movie theater,
Avatar is that movie. Go see Avatar in 3-D for a
movie-going experience unlike anything you've experienced before.