June 2009
News Archive



Diecast model cars, slot cars and auto art


6/29/09 - The Vault is Open

Rodney from Movie Car Mania has announced he has selected items from his personal collection to put up for sale on his website.  Many rare and hard-to-find items are available to the TV and movie car collector.  Click on the image above to see what Rodney has pulled from his vault!  He'll be adding more items over the next few days.




6/29/09 - Used Car for Sale!

1959 Cadillac, low mileage, previous owners:  GHOSTBUSTERS!  Currently up for sale on eBay is the Ecto-1 from the original Ghostbusters (1984.)  The seller explains that it's not the vehicle featured in the movie, but a duplicate created by Columbia for promotional purposes.  Not only did the owner fully restore the exterior, but also added some gizmos to the interior.  Since the URL is too long to link to, just copy and paste this item # when you visit eBay:  110401442804



6/27/09 - Chasing Cars

As I was out and about on this beautiful summer Saturday, I stopped into a Toys R Us and spotted the pegs full of the new eye-changing Cars.  I half-heartedly looked through them without spotting either of the chase cars.  I wandered around the store a bit, but was drawn back to the die-cast car aisle.  I looked through the pegs again and this time I spotted Saluting Sarge.  It was nice to see ol' Sarge back on the pegs after such a long absence following the lead paint panic.  I kept searching and found the Chase Package Ferrari.  I really hope this is the LAST chase package car Mattel throws at us.  This may get my vote as the lamest release in the Cars line so far, closely followed by Chase Package Chuki.




6/25/09 - R.I.P. Farrah Fawcett

It's a sad day in the entertainment world.  Both Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett have passed away on the same day.  I wanted to take a moment to share my memories of Farrah. 


Of course, we were all introduced to Farrah when Charlie's Angels premiered on television in 1976.  I was 10 years old and my family gathered around the TV set to see the girls in action.  All three women were beautiful, but there was something about Farrah as Jill Munroe that made her stand out.  That same year, Farrah reached the level of icon when that famous poster found its way onto the bedroom walls of practically every teenage boy in America, including mine.  That smile was like a ray of sunshine.  That golden mane of hair ... wow.  At the time, she ranked among the most beautiful women in the world. 


In 1981, she appeared in what would become one of my all-time favorite movies, Cannonball Run.  I'll never forget that moment when Burt spots her across the bar.  In my opinion, she had never looked lovelier.  She was so soft-spoken and so sweet in that role and stunningly beautiful.  I choose to remember Farrah at her peak, when she set the standard for beauty and sweetness.  Let's remember Farrah by enjoying this trailer for Cannonball Run I found on YouTube:






6/25/09 - Chasing Cars

I stopped into my local K-Mart just to see if anything was left over from the Cars Collector Event.  There were still a few cars still hanging on the pegs, but to my surprise, the newest gift sets were on display, as well.  I snatched up the Chick Fans Gift Pack (above, left) and the Spare-O-Mint Gift Pack (above, right.)





6/25/09 - Transformers:  Revenge of the Fallen

Okay, so two years have passed since the first live-action Transformers movie.  Since then the Autobots, lead by Optimus Prime, have been working side-by-side with the US military defending the world against the Decepticons which have scattered across the continents of the world.  As this sequel gets underway, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is heading off to college.  Sam's girlfriend Mikaela (Megan Fox) returns as quite possibly the most achingly-beautiful actress to grace the silver screen in quite a long time.  Then, as the ... um...story unfolds... there explosions... and yelling... and well actually, most of the time, I had absolutely no idea what was happening on the screen.  If you thought the movie's trailers were disorienting, well, stretch that out into two and a half excruciating hours of the movie's runtime.  Transformers 2 is a long, loud, confusing, mess of a movie.  At times, it moved from scene to scene so jarringly, it made me wonder if the projectionist in the theater had misplaced some of the reels, or had mistakenly played them out of order.  This movie is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with the movie industry today.  Instead of having a bunch of computer geeks sitting around a computer muttering, "Wouldn't it be cool is we did THIS?"  One person needs needs to fire up his computer, launch Microsoft Word, and bang out a freakin' STORY!   I needed subtitles to explain what was going on, and even that probably wouldn't have  helped. 


The few cool elements that existed in the film were sadly wasted.  When will the creators realize that the story needs to revolve around their coolest character:  Optimus Prime?  He was almost a secondary character in the first film, and SORELY underutilized in this film.  Just as we get a tantalizing glimpse of Optimus kicking some robot BUTT, he, let's just say he's written out of the movie for the next hour or so. 


I was hoping this sequel would've taken the best elements of the first film, Optimus & Bumblebee, and given us a story that revolved around their relationship with Sam.  Instead, we get more yelling, more explosions and farting robots.  Transformers:  Revenge of the Fallen is an awful movie.



6/23/09 - "That's Frank."

Hitting several stores this afternoon, I discovered a lone Mega Size Frank at a local WalMart store.  With the discovery of Frank, I'm getting closer to getting caught up.  Still waiting for the newest Pit Race-Off cars to hit my area, and I haven't seen Saluting Sarge yet.



6/23/09 - "You ever been in a chickie-run?"

M2 Machines continues to put out high-quality die-cast cars.  I stumbled onto this beautiful black 1949 Mercury, identical to the car James Dean's character drove in Rebel Without a Cause.  I'll file this one under the unofficial category. 




6/20/09 - Happy K-Day!

The second Cars Collector Event at K-Mart was a huge success.  It was another well-organized, fun, friendly event.  At 11am, 20 people (about half of them were little kids) waited for their numbered ticket to be called.  I brought my buddy Marv with me to double my chances, but as luck would have it, neither one of us had our number called.  12 cases were handed out and those who had their numbers called rifled through the boxes first, each pulling out 5 cars.  After 5 minutes, those of us who didn't have our numbers called were allowed to pick through what was left.  After searching several cases, I managed to find everything I was looking for.  Pictured above, from left to right, are Retread, Mood Springs, Lil' Torquey, Easy Idle and Clutch Aid.  With the release of these 5 race cars, that brings the total to 32 of the 36 cars that made up the Speedway of the South set (that have been released individually in some form, including gift sets, launchers and mail-ins.)  Click HERE to see pics of every race car released so far.  Please let me know if I'm missing any.


As an added bonus, the cases also included Mini, Vitoline Pitty, and Mario Andretti with the CORRECT red rims (FINALLY!)  It was a good day and it was great to see so many kids getting first crack at new Cars stuff.  A pat on the back goes out to the staff at my local K-Mart.





6/20/09 - Up in Smoke

Over the past week or so I've been having my own little Cheech & Chong film festival.  I hadn't seen their movies in years so I decided to pick them up on DVD and enjoy them all over again.  I had forgotten how funny they were.  All of them had classic, laugh-out-loud moments, but the first film, Up in Smoke, was the best of the bunch.  After watching the film, I searched eBay to see if there were any die-cast versions of Cheech's 1964 Chevy Impala.  The best version I could find comes from Racing Champions (above right) in 1:64 scale.  With some minor paint modifications, I think I'll attempt a custom version of "The Love Machine."   Click HERE for more reference photos of the 1964 Impala from Up in Smoke.




6/14/09 - Countdown to K-Day

On Saturday, June 20th at 11am K-Mart will be hosting its second Cars Collectors Event.  Pictured above are the cars they will be offering at the event, all with synthetic rubber tires.  Last time I took part in this event, we were all limited to 5 cars.  Since some of those pictured above are re-releases, I'm going to focus on the cars I don't have.  No Stall has been released several times.  Tow Cap was released in a 2-Pack with Gasprin.  Bumper Save has been released with a transporter.  And Shifty Drug was released in Pit Race-Off packaging.  That leaves Clutch Aid, Lil' Torquey, Easy Idle, Retread and Mood Springs as cars I don't have yet.  For those of you who haven't taken part in a K-Days event, you'll get a numbered ticket when you arrive.  At 11am, they'll start calling out numbers and if your number is called, you'll be handed an unopened case.  You can then open the case and pull out 5 cars before passing the case over to someone else.  At least that's how they do it at my local K-Mart.  Hope to see you there!




6/11/09 - Gran Torino on DVD

Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino was released on DVD this week.  The bonus features are slim, but include interviews with the cast and crew who talk about the bond between men and cars.  To my surprise, the shorts include footage shot at the Woodward Dream Cruise, which takes place here in the Metro Detroit area every summer.  Since the movie was filmed here, it was a nice touch to include footage from this local event.  In celebration of the DVD release, here is a piece I put together about the vehicles from Gran Torino:






6/7/09 - Them There Eyes

Stopping into a WalMart, I spotted the newest wave of Cars characters, this time with lenticular eyes.  I only picked up the three you see above, but I also saw Doc Hudson, Sheriff, Filmore, Chick Hicks and The King.  As you wiggle the car around, its eyes appear to open and close.  Hardly worth picking up all the main characters again. 




6/7/09 - Star Car Central Wants YOU!

Nate Truman's Star Car Central and Jason aka Hollywood Star Car Detective are on the hunt for new Original/Replica Hollywood Cars.
"We are a Hollywood based TV and Movie car group of owners/builders of famous vehicles that we drive in the CA and LA Area.  No hiding behind velvet ropes.  We are all about street legal dream machines! Check out our current line up.  Visit the many links to learn more about the originals and replicas and join us at our next star car event!  Most importantly, if you own or know where any star car that DRIVES is hiding, let us know! Itīs gotta be on the STREET to compete!"  Visit for more information.