June '04 News
6/29/04 - 1:24 Kennedy
I received an e-mail from
CollectorsNetUSA promoting their latest offerings. One thing that
caught my eye is this beautiful 1:24 replica of 1961 Lincoln X-100, better
known as the Kennedy Presidential Limousine. Made by Yat Ming, this
car includes all the features found on this historic car. Curiously,
the limo was modified and continued to be used as the Presidential limo
after Kennedy's assassination in 1963. It was retired after serving
Jimmy Carter. Today it is on display at the
Henry Ford Museum in
Dearborn, Michigan (below).
6/29/04 - RC2 Sneak Peeks
Upon visiting RC2's website, I
stumbled across a new feature called Sneak Peeks. Among the products
featured are The Flintstones 1:18 Flintmobile (above) and James
Bond's Aston Martin DB5 (below). The image of the Flintmobile is the
first time I've seen it in full color. The DB5 is a tooling model.
Visit RC2's website for more info:
6/29/04 - Die-Cast Sites
For reviews of other die-cast
websites, click on the following link:
Full website reviews
6/25/04 - Konami Aliens
APC Arrived Today!
I won an eBay auction for Konami's
Aliens APC and it arrived in the mail today. I paid $7.99 plus $5
shipping from Hong Kong. I'm really happy with it. I was
surprised that it arrived needing some assembly (photo 2 above). Once
I added the wheels and turret, I was a little disappointed to discover the
wheels don't spin freely, but since I'll only display it, it doesn't really
matter. As you can see, though it's not to scale, it displays nicely
alongside my other 1:64 scale cars (photo 4 above).
6/23/04 - Wow, Website
Traffic Shatters Record!
I've only been keeping track of the
numbers for a month, but I was blown away on Tuesday. The number of
visitors who came to my site in one day broke the 1,000 mark for the first
time, surpassing the previous record by more than a hundred! I'm glad
so many people have found Hollywood Die-Cast to be a valuable resource.
Please e-mail me and let me
know what you think of the site. If there is anything I can do to
improve it, let me know. Thanks for visiting.
6/22/04 - New Poll
Many of you have probably looked at my
Top 10 Wish List. The list is comprised
of cars that haven't yet been officially rendered in 1:64 scale die-cast,
but would make excellent additions to my TV and movie car collection.
Well, now I'd like to know what you think. I've put together a poll
asking which cars you would like to see in 1:64 scale die-cast. You
can only vote once, so pick your favorite. I didn't include the 1966
Batmobile because we all know that's high on everyone's list. If the
car you would like to see most doesn't appear on the list, please send me an
e-mail. I'll call it a
write-in vote. Click HERE and
cast your vote.
6/21/04 - Fireball 500 in
Found this at a local hobby store.
Johnny Lightning has re-released the Fireball 500 as part of Hot Rod
Magazine - Release 6. For those of you who missed out when it was
released as part of the Show Rods line in 1999, here is your chance to pick
it up at retail. George Barris created the car from a '66 Plymouth
Barracuda and it was used in the 1966 film
Fireball 500, starring Frankie Avalon and
6/19/04 - Tomorrow's Car
According to a source at the Hobby
Talk Bulletin Board, a brown Tucker may be included in Johnny Lightning's
Classic Gold, Series 25. If you're looking for another movie car for
your collection, this would be one to pick up. A brown Tucker was
featured in the 1988 film Tucker: A Man and His Dream.
The image above was found at:
Update: Sneak Peek!!!!
6/18/04 - Holy Hot Wheels!
I found the Batman 2X Turbo Power
yesterday at K-Mart for $5.99 plus tax. I was pleasantly surprised,
because the exclusive Batmobile that is included recently sold for $13.51
LOOSE on eBay. I've added the photographs to the
Original Bat Vehicles section
of the Hollywood Die-Cast gallery. I'm still looking for the Killer
Croc 2-Pack and the Crooze Batmobile.
6/17/04 - Cool Customs
I received an e-mail from Shane
Barrett who wanted to share a couple of interesting custom jobs. The
red pickup truck (above left) is from the 1998 film Black Dog
starring Patrick Swayze. Shane explains how he made it:
"I used 2 Matchbox
Ford F-150 4x4 to make the custom. Made the brush guard from the Johnny
Lightning Walker Texas Dodge plus a paper clip. I also used paper
clips to make the side step. I added lights to the roll bar from a Zylmex
The blue pickup (above
right) is based on the truck used on the first season of The Simple Life.
"I used 2 Hot
Wheels Broncos. I cut and pasted the beds from both Broncos to make one
long bed. Added a tool box from a Hot Wheels Sam Walton pick-up."
Thanks for sharing
Shane. Very nice work. If anyone else would like to share their
custom TV and movie cars, please send digital photos via e-mail:
6/16/04 - Hollywood
In an effort to gather information
about those who visit this site, I'm inviting you to take part in occasional
polls. In the future, look for polls asking which cars you would like
to see made, your favorite car TV shows and movies, and what you would like
to see on this website. Let's begin with a poll to find out how often
you visit Hollywood Die-Cast.com. Click HERE to
cast your vote. Thank you for taking the time to take part in the
6/13/04 - Check THESE Out!
I was excited to find out that the
Armored Personnel Carrier is included in Volume 2 of Konami's Alien
PVC figures. It's not die-cast, but it'll make a great addition to
your movie car collection. It's not quite to scale, but should display
nicely alongside your other cars. The series also includes the Drop
Ship and the "rare" USS Sulaco:
6/11/04 - Batmobile News
I recently discovered there is yet
another variation on the HW #1/100 FE Batmobile. Included in the Hot
Wheels 2X Turbo Power assortment is a flat black version with black wheels
(above). This brings the total number of variations on this particular
casting to 7 (not counting cardback variations):
1) 2004 #1 of 100
First Edition (purple, black or chrome base).
2) HW 3-Pack (gloss black).
3) Toys R Us Zamac Version (unpainted bare metal).
4) Riddler 2-Pack (gloss plum color).
5) Batman Blaster Exclusive (gloss black with red canopy).
6) Killer Croc 2-Pack (blue with black wheels).
7) 2X Turbo Power (flat black with black wheels).
In other Batmobile
news, I popped into a local hobby shop and found all four versions of the
Johnny Lightning Thunderjet Batmobile. It seems the gold and silver
versions aren't as scarce as I thought. The store had all four
versions (black, blue, silver, gold) in equal numbers. I decided to
pick up the blue version (below):
6/11/04 - Sponsors Wanted
Hollywood Die-Cast is looking for
sponsors and advertisers to help support this website. On May 27, I
installed a device provided by
to monitor the traffic at my site. I discovered this website averages
almost 900 visitors per day, over 6,000 per week, and is predicted to
average close to 30,000 visitors per month from all over the world.
I'm also hoping to
turn Hollywood Die-Cast into an annual resource/price guide magazine.
I am looking for advertisers who could help cover the cost of printing
40,000 copies. If you own a business that would benefit from the
exposure generated by Hollywood Die-Cast, please send me an e-mail at
6/8/04 - RC2 Acquires
Following a period of rumors
and speculation, it's been officially announced that RC2 has acquired
Playing Mantis (including Johnny Lightning). Here are some excerpts
from a press release sent to me by RC2:
RC2 Acquiring The First Years and
The First Years Solidifies RC2's Presence in the Infant Market;
Playing Mantis Adds Depth to RC2's Collectibles Segment
Oak Brook, IL - June 7, 2004 - RC2
Corporation, a leading producer and marketer of innovative adult
collectibles and children's and infant's toys, today announced it has signed
definitive purchase agreements to acquire two independent companies -- The
First Years, Inc. and privately-held Playing Mantis, Inc.
Playing Mantis, based in Mishawaka,
Indiana, designs and markets collectible vehicle replicas under the Johnny
Lightning and Polar Lights brands and collectible figures under the Memory
Lane brand. In 2003, Playing Mantis' net sales were $28.5 million.
Tom Lowe, founder, President and sole shareholder of Playing Mantis, will
remain as an executive officer with RC2 and will receive all of the stock
Curt Stoelting, CEO of RC2, said,
"Playing Mantis' Johnny Lightning and other collectible brands are very
complementary to RC2's existing collectible vehicle and figure product lines
and should allow us to further leverage and cross-utilize our combined
licensing portfolio, tooling library, product sourcing capabilities and
multiple channels of distribution. Tom Lowe and his team at Playing
Mantis have developed a strong reputation with collectors and with retailers
as subject matter experts who consistently deliver high-quality, authentic
"We are extremely please that key
management and personnel from both The First Years and Playing Mantis will
be joining our team, bringing tremendous industry experience and an
entrepreneurial spirit consistent with RC2's culture."
Let's Compare, Shall We?
After receiving the HW
Batmobile 2-Pack, I decided to do a side-by-side comparison. How did
the cars measure up? Let's take a look:
HW (Shields Up 2-Pack): Great casting. Fits in a standard
display case. Color skews toward the blue, though, with silver
highlights. Cockpit canopy tends to fall off.
ERTL: Great casting. Quite a bit larger than the HW version,
which makes its scale more accurate, but more difficult to include in an
acrylic display case. All black, NICE. Cheesy Bat-Logo on the
This is a close one, but I
think ERTL's version has a slight edge with its movie accuracy and gloss
HW: Flawless casting. So much detail. Exterior is cut away
revealing the chrome beneath. Clear windshield. Chrome rims.
Hasbro: It was a great casting for its time, but doesn't match up to
the Hot Wheels version. The "ribs" are painted on instead of cut away.
Even the windshield and rims are painted.
WINNER: HW Batmobile by FAR.
Batman & Robin
HW: Again, flawless casting. Detail is amazing. Black &
chrome design looks great.
Hasbro: Enormous compared to the HW version. I like the red
highlights. It adds color to my Batmobile display, but I don't think
the design is movie-accurate.
WINNER: Both cars lose points for representing such a crappy movie.
But for accuracy and sheer coolness, HW Batmobile takes the prize.
New HW Batmobile 2-Pack Arrived Today!
Okay, I caved and bought the
new HW Batmobile 2-pack on eBay. It arrived in the mail today and, may
I say, I'm blown away. Included in the 2-pack are the Batmobiles from
Batman Forever and
Batman & Robin. In my opinion,
Hot Wheels getting the Batman license is one of the best things that
could've happened to entertainment die-cast collectors. Click on the
thumbnails above or visit the Batman galleries to
see pics of the new 2-pack. Within a day or two, I'll do side-by-side
comparisons of HW Batmobiles VS. ERTL/Kenner Batmobiles.
TonyMoe sent me pics of one of
the most amazing customs I've ever seen. Check out the 1:64 scale
version of Mad Max's Interceptor! What a great job! Tony told me
it was made by Gunn, a member of the HobbyTalk Bulletin Board. It was
completed after about 80 hours of work. Wow! Thanks for
sharing! I'm told The Road Warrior version is next on the to-do
Talking Cars in June
It's time, once again, for
another exciting edition of Talking Cars. I just posted my Top
10 Car Tunes list yesterday, and I've already gotten mail about it.
Also, it seems another unofficial die-cast version of Blue Thunder
has surfaced. Other topics include Corvette Summer, The A-Team,
Dukes of Hazzard, Rain Man, and the possibility of a Hollywood Die-Cast
Membership Club. Click HERE to read
It's summertime and it's time
to burn some mix CDs for the beach. Yesterday, I decided to create a
CD I called Car Tunes. I was able to squeeze 36 songs from TV
shows and movies featuring cars. I decided to add a feature to
Hollywood Die-Cast called Top 10 Car Tunes, a list of songs no
car-themed mix CD should be without. Just click on the new link in the
left column to view, and as always, your input is welcome. Feel free
to e-mail me with your suggestions for the list.
Crooze Batmobile FINALLY Shipping
Hot Wheels First Edition #69 of
100, better known as the Crooze Batmobile, has started appearing on eBay,
meaning they are finally hitting the pegs. As you can see, it's
different than the artist rendition (left), but it's still pretty cool.
I'll be out hitting toy stores in search of this one to add to my growing
Batmobile collection, which includes Hot Wheels' Monster Jam Batmobile:
Shipping this Fall from Diamond
I picked up the most recent
issue of Previews, the catalog that tells you what will be shipping from
Diamond Distributors. Quite a bit of entertainment-related die-cast is
shown in its pages this month:
Jokermobile 1950 - This was the ride used by the Clown Prince of Crime way
back in the 50's. Scheduled to ship in October at an SRP of $.99
Monster Movies Die-Cast - New JL die-casts with monster themes based on
classic retro horror movies. 60's Cadillac Hearse (Dracula),
'90 Mustang (Revenge of the Creature), Frankenstude (Frankenstein),
'57 Studebaker Hawk (Bride of Frankenstein), WC 54 Ambulance (King
Kong), Haulin' Hearse (The Mummy), '40 Ford Pickup (War of the
Worlds), '65 VW Beetle (The Invisible Man), '49 Barris Mercury (Dr.
Jekyll & Mr. Hyde), '00 Honda Accord (Godzilla), and more.
Scheduled to ship in September at an SRP of $4.99 ea.
35th Anniversary Die-Casts - The Mach 5 ($37.99) and Racer X Edition Mach 5
($37.99) are 1:18 scale and the Mini Shooting Star R/C is 1:64 scale
($12.99). Scheduled to ship in September.
Series 1 Action Figures - Starbuck, Cylon Raider, and Colonial Fighter
are scheduled to ship from RC2 in October at a SRP of $13.99 ea.
Pick up a copy of
Previews at your local comic book store or hobby shop.