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July '05 News Archive


7/25/05 - This is a TOY Viper....right?
Thanks to a tip from Craig Mueller, I've been following an eBay auction for a few days.  The auction was for a unreleased Matchbox prototype silver "morphed" Viper from the 1994 TV series Viper.  Well, the auction came to an end on the 24th.  The winning bid?  $263!!!!!  Holy Shnikees!  To be honest, I don't understand why this car never went into production.  The show wasn't a HUGE success, but you have to admit, this car is pretty sweet!

Prototypes seem to be HOT, HOT, HOT lately.  My buddy Dennis recently won an auction for an unreleased Matchbox prototype school bus from Welcome Back, Kotter (below).  He nabbed it for the Buy-It-Now price of $200!  When I expressed my envy, he simply said, "Up your nose wid a rubber hose."


7/23/05 - A Few Minor Changes
Don't be alarmed!  I've made some minor changes to the site.  First, I've moved the links that were in the right column to the left column so they're all together.  I've also made a permanent link to the 2005 Checklist/Price Guide (top left of column).  The right column is now reserved for sponsor links.  Please help support Hollywood Die-Cast by visiting a sponsor or downloading the Checklist today!   If you're interested in becoming a Hollywood Die-Cast sponsor, please send me an E-MAIL.

UPDATE:  I've also added a mini-biography to the site.  Click on the photo in the top left corner if you'd like to know a little bit more about me.


7/23/05 - Latest Acquisitions
Here are a few new things I've picked up recently.  First up, I bought the Herbie Fully Loaded 5-Pack on eBay for about $10 plus shipping.  Check out Herbie and his new girlfriend (top left).  I turned to eBay because I couldn't find this Wal*Mart exclusive at any store near me.  Secondly, I couldn't pass up the White Lightning Chrome Herbie that came with this set.  It's pretty sweet!  I know I gave Herbie Fully Loaded a less-than-favorable review, but I'll always be a fan of #53.

I also picked up via eBay a set of 4 vehicles from the 1998 film Small Soldiers for about a buck and a half plus shipping.  I've added the new pics to the gallery.  Click HERE to see them.


7/20/05 - Hollywood Die-Cast Checklist/Price Guide!
Exciting news!  After years of research as I put together my own 1:64 scale TV and movie die-cast car collection, I'm ready to announce the Hollywood Die-Cast 2005 Checklist/Price Guide!  My site has grown tremendously popular over the last few years, and I've always wanted to create something that you could hold in your hands.  So what I did was come up with a Checklist/Price Guide (see sample above) that you can download and print for $5!  While researching the list, I discovered all kinds of new die-cast cars, photos of which have been added to the site.  I'd like to thank my friends Dennis Pietrowski and Metro Privratsky for their input in putting this list together.  For all the details, click HERE!  Should you experience any problems, don't hesitate to e-mail me.


7/19/05 - Christmas in July!
After discovering that Hallmark released their '05 Christmas ornaments last Saturday, I swung by my nearest Hallmark store to check 'em out.  It's a pretty impressive lineup.  There are quite a few I'll be adding to my Christmas tree this year, including a few you might be interested in.  Pictured above are some of the awesome vehicles and spaceships offered among this year's line.  The Bat-Cycle is made of plastic and is 4.5" long.  Buzz Lightyear clings onto his RC Racer in one of my favorites of this year's offerings.  It's also plastic and 3" long.  Herbie got miniaturized this year.  Made of die-cast metal, "Amazing No. 53" measures only 1.5" long and has rolling wheels!  The Mystery Machine measures 3" and comes with a battery-operated Scooby voice.  There are two new Star Wars ships too.  Darth Vader's TIE Fighter and the Millennium Falcon come packaged together and measure approx. 1" each.  To see a complete list of this year's ornaments (and those of years past) click on the following link:

http://www.mxtx.com/hallmark/f/2005.htm


7/18/05 - Charawheels:  A Complete List
A few years ago, in my search for TV and movie cars, I discovered Charawheels, Hot Wheels' Japanese line.  Charawheels offers some of the most detailed and accurate 1:64 scale cars I've ever seen, including the Fab 1 from Thunderbirds, the Mach 5 from Speed Racer, the Delorean from Back to the Future, KITT from Knight Rider, and more!  These were all MUST-HAVES for my collection, despite paying a little bit more to get them from Japan.  My buddy Dennis and I did our best to try to come up with a complete list of Charawheels.  Well, I finally found the definitive resource.  A site called Japanese Hot Wheels offers a complete gallery of Charawheels.  Do yourself a favor and check out the colorful line of die-cast vehicles featuring Japanese and American TV and movie vehicles. 

http://home.att.ne.jp/iota/j-hotwheels/goodcharawheelpage.html

The only one that seems to be missing on both of our lists is CW37.  If anyone has any info on what this vehicle might be, please let me know.


7/18/05 - Everyone Loves a List
Following a tip from my buddy Denver, I visited a site called www.forbesautos.com to check out two of their Top 10 Lists:  The Most Famous Bondmobiles and TV's Most Famous Car Stars.  Writer Bonnie McGeer provides some entertaining reading.  Click on the following link and enjoy:

http://www.forbesautos.com/advice/toptens/

Speaking of lists, Movies' Greatest Cars is less than 10 days away from airing in the UK on Sky One!


7/15/05 - Star Wars Titanium Series - Wave 4
Hasbro has unveiled their next wave of die-cast Star Wars Titanium ships at Comic-Con.  Wave 4 will include the Royal Starship, Anakin's green Starfighter, the Millennium Falcon, and a Wookiee Helicopter.  They are also releasing a 5-pack (above).  Once again, these will be a Wal*Mart exclusive, though personally, I've never seen ANY of the Titanium series at a Wal*Mart store near me.  Head on over to Rebelscum.com for more info and pics.


7/10/05 - Unofficial TV & Movie Die-Cast Cars
Y'know, I was thinking.  I just picked up the Hot Wheels Manta Ray, which I recently learned appeared in the 1964 film Bikini Beach.  Though it's not officially sold as a movie car, compare it to a still from the movie (above right).  That got me wondering.  I have several die-cast cars in my collection that aren't officially licensed TV or movie cars, but are dead-ringers for cars that appeared on screen.  Click HERE for a short list of those cars in my collection, then send me an e-mail if you can come up with any more.  Try to limit your suggestions to cars that got some major screen time, and not just background cars, and would need little or no customizing work to resemble its real life counterpart.


7/10/05 - Look!  Up in the sky!  It's a......
Thanks to a tip from Scott Gordon, I found this pic on eBay of the new Hot Wheels Superman VS Lex Luthor 2-pack (above left), done in the same style as the Batman 2-packs.  The Superman vehicle looks like a colorful repaint of the vehicle that was included in the Avon Batman/Superman sets (above right).  Pretty sweet.  Thanks for the heads-up Scott.


7/7/05 - Talking Cars in July!
I hope everyone had a fun and safe holiday.  The summer is FLYING by and it's time to get to the July edition of Talking Cars already!  This month's Q&A features topics that include:  Knight Rider, The A-Team, Thunderbirds, Herbie Fully Loaded, Jurassic Park, Homicide: Life on the Street, Stroker Ace and police cars.  Click HERE and enjoy!


7/5/05 - Does it come in........ CHROME?
I just spotted this in the latest edition of Lee's Toy Review.  Apparently, a chrome version of the Tumbler from Batman Begins will be available at comic cons this summer and it will be limited to 3000 pieces!  Ugh ... like the limited HW Zamac Batmobile, here is another Batmobile I'll probably never own. 


7/3/05 - Herbie Fully Loaded Review
Well, after months of eager anticipation of seeing Herbie back on the big screen, I finally got a chance to see Herbie Fully Loaded today, and, well, there is good and bad to report.  First the good: 

The timing of the film couldn't be better.  In an era when Danica Patrick is generating excitement and making history, Disney made a wise move in casting Lindsay Lohan as the heroine of this film.  If you have a daughter or niece 12 years old or younger, take her to see this film.  She'll come away from this film feeling inspired and empowered.  Unfortunately .....

...... young girls will probably be the only ones to come away from this film entertained.  I went into the theater with an open mind.  I REALLY wanted to like this film!  I liked the opening montage that included footage of the classic Herbie movies.  I grinned when I heard the familiar Herbie theme music.  But when Herbie started blinking his "eyes" and "smiling" with his bumper, I thought, "Uh oh."  In the classic Herbie movies, the car somehow expressed his emotions without the aid of special effects.  It was totally unnecessary to try to enhance Herbie's personality with effects and.....ugh.... CGI!.  A little side note to Hollywood regarding CGI....... ENOUGH!!!!    CGI is fine when creating dinosaurs, mystic lands or amazing creatures like Gollum or Yoda, but Herbie is a VOLKSWAGEN BUG!  Do you really need to CGI a VW Bug????

Every time I thought I would try to relax and enjoy the movie, something would happen to cause me to roll my eyes, or just flat-out cringe.  The demolition derby scene practically made me want to shout, "OH COME ON!!!"   As for the NASCAR race finale, well, you'll just have to see it to believe it, and you won't believe it. 

As for the cast, Lindsay Lohan was adequate, Justin Long (hilarious in Dodgeball) was likable as her love interest, and Matt Dillon is always at his best when he's playing the villain.  I was excited to find out Michael Keaton plays a major role in the film, but after seeing it, I felt he was unusually restrained and his talents were sorely underused.  I thought he would provide more comic relief. 

In summary, there were moments I enjoyed, though they were few and far between.  I don't think this movie will do much to create a new generation of Herbie lovers.  If you're a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, gather up the little ones and introduce them to the original The Love Bug or Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (my personal favorites), available on DVD.