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April '07 News Archive


4/30/07 - Death Proof Diorama
This idea popped into my head this morning when I stumbled onto this black Charger when I was cleaning out my closet.  Grabbing my JL Vanishing Point Challenger, and a little creative photography, I recreated the climactic chase scene from Death Proof.  I'm still hoping we'll get die-cast cars from this flick.  Until then, these will have to do.


4/25/07 - Back in a Flash!
Steven Yuen sent me an e-mail telling me of a discovery he came across at Big Lots.  He found three Flash Gordon die-cast vehicles made by Gearbox in 1:64 scale.  At $3 apiece, the vehicles are based on the comic strips and include a space rocket, a space car from The Doll Man, and a space car from Discovery.  Thanks for the heads-up Steven.  I'll look for a Big Lots store in my area.


4/23/07 - New Cars Arriving in Stores!
I've gotten confirmation that new Cars are arriving in stores.  Be on the lookout for Dinoco Chick Hicks, Ferrari F430, Hydraulic Ramone (red) and check out the Fabulous Hudson Hornet with red rims (right.)  Gentleman ... (and ladies) ... START YOUR SHOPPING!  Try to find them at retail before you cave in to the outrageous eBay prices.


4/15/07 - Sponsor News
Sponsor Pro-Models.com has informed me they have received the 1:18 scale '65 Aston Martin DB5 from Casino Royale.  The car made famous in Goldfinger made a cameo appearance in last year's Casino Royale.  Personally, I think it ranks pretty highly as one of the all-time greatest movie cars.  Click on the photo above to be taken to the website for ordering info.


4/11/07 - Cool Custom!
Check out the above pics sent to me by Trent Wolf.  Very cool custom work Twolf!  Let's hope a die-cast manufacturer goes after the license.  A Stuntman Mike figure will come out later this year, why not his car?

I was stunned when I heard that Grindhouse only grossed 11 million dollars over the Easter weekend.  WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE WAITING FOR?!  Go see this movie!  My friend Mike sent me this disturbing info:

Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is planning to re-release Grindhouse as two separate films - after the double-bill flopped at the box office. The film, a double-feature directed by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez made just $11.6 million in its opening weekend in the US. Producer Weinstein is disappointed - and thinks Tarantino's Death Proof, starring Kurt Russell, and Rodriguez' Planet Terror, with Rose McGowan, will perform better on their own. He tells PageSix.com, "I don't think people understood what we were doing. The audience didn't get the idea that it is two movies for the price of one. I don't understand the math, but I want to accommodate the audience."

Folks, go see this movie as it was intended to be seen, as a double-feature, with the fake trailers and "missing reels."  It was the most fun I've had in a movie theater in a long time.  I'll probably go see it again this weekend.  Visit the fun GRINDHOUSE website and check out the trailers if you're on the fence.   I've added Death Proof to my list of Top 10 Best Car Chases.  It debuts at #5 behind the original Gone in 60 Seconds, Smokey & The Bandit, The Blues Brothers and Bullitt


4/7/07 - Holy 2-Packs, Batman!
Walked into a Target yesterday and discovered two new 2-packs from The Batman animated series.  One I knew about, the other was a surprise.  Temblor Getaway (above left) includes an unusual Batmobile and Temblor's Hummer.  I was unaware of Mr. Freeze Escapes until I saw it on the pegs.  It includes a variation of the Batmobile with GREEN highlights and a suped-up van identified as Cool One.  I've read more of these 2-packs are coming our way.  These new pics have been added to both the Batman: Cartoons & Comics gallery and the Hot Wheels Batmobiles gallery.


4/6/07 - Grindhouse:  My Review
Saw Grindhouse tonight.  My first reaction to the film was a feeling of being transported back in time to my early teens, sitting in a little movie theatre called the Martha Washington, where I saw martial arts flicks and B-movies such as Squirm, Orca and The Town That Dreaded SundownGrindhouse was a lot of fun, with its scratchy, jittery images, awkward film splices, fake coming attractions (my favorite was Thanksgiving) and more.  For those of you who may not know, Grindhouse is a double-feature of sorts.  The first film is Planet Terror, directed by Robert Rodriguez.  It was your typical zombie flick, at times fun and silly, and at other times, a little too over-the-top for my tastes.  When I wasn't laughing out loud, I was looking away in disgust.  I found myself getting impatient waiting for Quentin Tarantino's Death Proof to start.  And when it did, I wasn't disappointed. 

Death Proof stars Kurt Russell as Stuntman Mike, who starts out as a very likable character.  Russell was at his best, with great lines and charisma I haven't seen since his action flicks of the 80's.  Well, it turns out Stuntman Mike has a dark side, and reveals that he has a thing against women.  He uses his '71 Chevy Nova SS as a weapon to carry out his vengeance. The Nova has been modified and reinforced for stunt work, and therefore "death proof."  Much of the film allows the female characters to perform the signature Tarantino dialogue, which we've come to expect after films like Pulp Fiction, and allows for some character development.  Death Proof really takes off, however, during the second half of the film.  I don't want to ruin the movie for you by revealing too much, but Death Proof features one of the greatest car chases I've ever seen.  I'm thinking of adding it to my Top Ten List, it was THAT GOOD.  It ranks among the greatest because it features a twist unlike anything I've ever seen.  I said, out loud, "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! NO WAY!!!"  For the first time in a LONG time, I found myself cringing, yelping, cheering and clapping in a movie theater.  You'll know what I mean when you see it.  And if you're a fan of car chase movies, you HAVE to see this film.

I had no idea Tarantino was such a movie car buff.  Death Proof was chock-full of references to movies like Vanishing Point, Gone in 60 Seconds and even Cannonball Run.  And see if you can spot the nod to the movie Convoy.  Mr. Tarantino, if you're reading this, please, please, PLEASE work out a deal with some die-cast car manufacturer to give us cars from Death Proof.  Give us Stuntman Mike's Nova and '69 Dodge Charger as well as the yellow Mustang driven by the girls.  Johnny Lightning has already given us the white '70 Dodge Challenger (wink, wink.) 


4/5/07 - Today's Finds
Hitting stores before work, I came across two shocking finds.  First, while perusing the Hot Wheels pegs at Target with a fellow collector, I spotted the number 15 on the yellow stripe.  I couldn't believe my eyes, but reached in and actually found my first, EVER Hot Wheels Batmobile.  More than two months have passed since the first auction for a HW Batmobile appeared on eBay.  I began to wonder if I ever would find one in stores.  It really made my day.  After Target, I swung by Wal*Mart and my jaw hung open when I saw SEVERAL Cruisin' McQueens hanging on the pegs.  These haven't been in stores since Christmas, and have recently passed the hundred dollar mark on eBay.  Well, unfortunately for those who shelled out big bucks for this car, it looks like Mattel is including them in current shipments.  It just goes to show: PATIENCE is a virtue. 


4/4/07 - CMT DUKESFEST RETURNS TO NASHVILLE
NASHVILLE, TN (April 4, 2007)
CMT DukesFest 2007 returns to Nashville’s Music City Motorplex on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 for what event promoters say is “the biggest gathering of Hazzard Nation ever.”Singing  Last year the event drew more than 70,000 folks during two days,” says Ben “Cooter” Jones. “And it looks like we might top that this time.”

Once again the entire cast of “The Dukes of Hazzard” will be on hand for the festivities. CMT DukesFest presents two days of personal appearances, country music concerts, car action, and children’s activities.

Jones, whose character “Cooter” was the sidekick to “Bo and Luke Duke,” produces the get-together along with his wife Alma Viator.  “We are especially excited that this year’s profits will go to the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital,” says Viator. “Kids love "The Dukes of Hazzard," and the cast of the “Dukes” loves kids. This way everyone can have a great time for a great cause!”

According to Jones, “last year’s event was the largest gathering of fans for any TV show ever. And, we were told it was the biggest single fan event ever in Nashville. I think that reflects the respect and loyalty we’ve gained with America’s families since 1979. Did I just say 1979? That proves that time flies when you are having fun.”

In addition to Jones, there will be appearances by John Schneider (Bo Duke), Tom Wopat (Luke Duke), Catherine Bach (Daisy Duke), James Best (Rosco P. Coltrane), Sonny Shroyer (Deputy Enos) and Rick Hurst (Deputy Cletus).

General Lee There will also be appearances and a stunt show featuring The Original Dukes Stunt Team. “We always end the weekend with a General Lee Jump on Sunday afternoon,” says Jones. “Last year the General cleared 200 feet!”

Also attending will be approximately 150 “General Lees,” the 1969 orange Dodge Charger, which has been voted “the most popular car in the history of television and film.”

A special tribute is planned for the show’s narrator, the late country legend Waylon Jennings. Performing will be members of the Waylors, the Waymore Blues Band, and Tommy Jennings. “Waylon’s Army,” his unofficial fan club, will be in attendance as well.

“CMT DukesFest 2007 is a family event honoring America’s favorite family show,” says “Cooter”. “It is affordable fun. Last year we drew folks from every state in the union and from more than twenty foreign countries. And, we are delighted to be bringing this great shindig back to Music City.”

CMT DukesFest is Saturday, June 2, and Sunday, June 3. The gates open at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Advance sale tickets for the two-day event are $35, and one-day passes are $25. Children 10 and under are free, and military service men and women are free with proper ID. Weekend passes are $40 at the gate and $30 for the day.  Advance tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets in the Nashville area. Customers can charge by phone by calling Ticketmaster at (615) 255-9600. Tickets are also available on line at www.cootersplace.com, at Cooter's Place stores in Nashville and Gatlinburg, at The Music City Motorplex or by calling Cooter's Place at (615) 872-8358.


4/3/07 - A Bigger, Better Batmobile!
This photo is circulating online, including our own forum, of what is described as a 1:24 scale Batmobile from Hot Wheels.  Is this the 1:18 scale Batmobile?  Or another release entirely?  We'll have to wait and see.  But check out the amazing detail!