July '08
News Archive




7/31/08 - The Ultimate Bat-Collection

The latest submission to the Collectors' Collections gallery comes from Dave van der Heeden of The Netherlands.  Dave has a Batman collection that ranks among the most incredible collections of Batman figures and die-cast Batmobiles I've ever seen.  Head on over for a bunch of pics.




7/29/08 - HO Scale Speed Racer

I saw this posted in the Hobby Talk Forums.  Apparently, Mattel is releasing die-cast Speed Racer cars in 1:87 scale (HO Scale for you train enthusiasts.)  The cars pictured above were found at Wal*Mart for $3.27 each.  It's encouraging to see the Mach 5 included, since Mattel has yet to include the Mach 5 in its 1:64 scale line of die-cast metal cars.  Maybe we'll see it soon.  Another post said to expect Speed Racer on DVD in September.



7/27/08 - Collectors' Collections

I've added two galleries to the Collectors' Collection section of this website.  Both have heavy Batman content.  Check them out and all the past submissions by clicking HERE.  If you'd like to submit photos of your collection, e-mail me clear, well-lit photos and I'll add them to the gallery for all the world to see.  Be sure to include your name, city and country.


7/29 UPDATE:  Two MORE galleries have been added!




7/25/08 - My Bat-Collection

I got a tip that fellow Bat-Enthusiast Bill over at is inviting collectors to submit photos of their Batmobile collections for a new Batmobile Collector Collections page.  I might as well submit some pics from my collection.  Above are three 1:18 scale Batmobiles.  Below, left, is my 1:64 scale collection.  Next is my display of Hot Wheels Batmobiles and Villains (and some Superman vehicles in the mix.)  Then we have the Hot Wheels 1:50 scale line together with a couple of Corgis.  And finally, just for fun, my collection of large scale Batman figures.  If you submit your photos before August 15th you'll be eligible to win a prize.  Click HERE for more info.





7/25/08 - Today's Finds

Heading back to work after lunch I was passing by a Target store and had a strong urge to pop in.  I'm glad I did.  I found the Cars Race and Chase Gift Pack featuring #84 Re-Volting.  Although I wasn't too excited to buy Lightning McQueen, The King and Chick Hicks AGAIN, I was happy to find something new.  I also spotted, for the first time, the Movie Moments 2-Pack featuring Leak Less & No Stall.  The package had been ripped open, but I bought it anyways (the cashier gave me a discount.) 


And finally, my Indiana Jones Titanium collection is finally complete (for now) with the discovery of the German Motorcycle from The Last Crusade. This is one of my favorite pieces in the line and a great addition to my collection.  Now I can sit back and wait to see what will be included in the next wave.




7/21/08 - The Dark Knight - An Unstoppable Force

I saw The Dark Knight a second time over the weekend, doing my part to help the movie shatter box office records with a $158 million opening weekend.  I liked it just as much the second time around, picking up on little things I missed the first time (see review below.)  So where does it rank among the list of my favorite films of all time?  Click HERE to find out.




7/18/08 - Clint Eastwood Made My Day!

Look who's in town doing a movie.  Thanks to incentives meant to bring Hollywood productions to Michigan, more and more movies are being filmed here.  Today, I visited the set of Gran Torino, a movie directed by and starring none other than Clint Eastwood.  In the photos above, Clint exits a barbershop and drives off in a white Ford pickup.  The movie is slated to arrive in theaters in December 2008. 


According to the IMDB:


Disgruntled Korean War vet Walt Kowalski (Eastwood) sets out to reform his neighbor, a young Hmong teenager, who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possesion: his 1972 Gran Torino.


I'm hoping to get permission from Warner Bros. to get some shots of the car mentioned in the title.  Stay tuned.




7/18/08 - Put Up Your Dukes!

Johnny Lightning's 5th wave of cars from their Dukes of Hazzard line arrived in the mail this week from my sponsor Movie Car Mania.  This line must be selling well because they just keep coming and coming.  The highlight of Release 5 is Cooter's Tow Truck.  JL went with the first version that appeared on the series, which makes this the very first time it's been available in die-cast form.  Next up is a dirty version of the General Lee.  It's similar to the online exclusive that was offered back in December, but with different rims.  Also included in this release is The Ghost of General Lee, from one of my favorite episodes.  It would've been cool if it glowed in the dark, but I don't even know if that's possible.  Instead, we get a unique "day-glow" paint job.  We also get the second car in the line to have the Carnival of Thrills deco.  This time it's a Ford Torino.  And from the episode The Great Hazzard Hijack, we get Rosco's camo cruiser.  And finally, we have the ... um ... General Lee ... um ... Monster Truck.  Ahem.  Alrighty then.  (cough cough)  Pics have been added to The Dukes of Hazzard gallery.







7/18/08 - Hello Trunk Fresh!

Once again, my Cars collection has expanded thanks to a trade in the Cars the Toys Forum.  Pit Race-Off Trunk Fresh arrived in the mail today thanks to a fellow Cars collector.  Trunk Fresh has been added to the Cars gallery.




7/18/08 - The Dark Knight:  My Review

I just got back from seeing the midnight showing of The Dark Knight, and although it's nearing 4am as I write this, I feel compelled to tell the visitors to this website that not only have I just seen what I feel is the greatest comic book movie of all time, but quite possibly one of the best films I've ever seen ... period.  From the opening scenes to the moments just prior to the closing credits, this movie is a carefully crafted masterpiece, unpredictable and at times even shocking.  Yes, it had amazing action.  Yes, it had terrible violence.  But more importantly, this movie had more emotion than all the comic book movies that have preceded it COMBINED.  Director Christopher Nolan deliberately created a sense of uneasiness and discomfort throughout the film with the cinematography, frantic editing pace and the performances of the actors, forcing the audience to try to decipher who was good and bad and even which way was up or down.  Nothing is black and white in this movie, only varying levels of gray.


What can I say about Heath Ledger's performance in this film that hasn't already been said?  He was brilliant.  But unlike the 1989 film Batman, where Jack Nicholson's Joker almost overshadowed Michael Keaton's Batman, The Dark Knight very carefully depicted the Joker and Batman as two sides of the same coin.  Speaking of which, the storyline involving Harvey Dent, which could've easily cluttered things up, only contributed to this tale of ambiguous morality. 


Although most media will be writing about Ledger's performance, I can't overlook Christian Bale's portrayal of Batman in this film.  Bale brought to this performance a sense of fury and intensity unlike any other portrayal of Batman before this, including his own work in Batman Begins.


Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, I was blown away by this film and I highly recommend it, although it may be a bit too intense and too long for the little ones.  But for me, The Dark Knight almost restores my faith in Hollywood.  I'm glad to see a comic book movie can actually have more substance than a video game.  In the future, I hope similar movies of this genre can aspire to achieve what The Dark Knight has achieved. 




7/15/08 - Iron Man Audi R8

This falls under the category of "unofficial" movie die-cast cars, but longtime visitor and contributor A-Spidey_Fan sent me an e-mail alerting me to Matchbox's Audi R8.  I found one at K-Mart for a buck.  It's the closest thing we currently have to Tony Stark's Audi R8 featured in Iron Man in 1:64 scale.  For whatever reason, Matchbox skimped on the black detail behind the doors, but I fixed that with a little black electrical tape (below, left.)  Browsing eBay, I discovered a few other castings that can help you assemble an unofficial Tony Stark Collection.  Click HERE.





7/14/08 - Three's Company

I got home to find several e-mails in my inbox alerting me to new pics that have been revealed of the San Diego Comic Con Exclusive Batman 3-pack from Hot Wheels.  It takes my breath away.  I met a contact through the Hot Wheels forums who has offered to pick up one of these for me, so I'm hoping I'll have this in my hands by the end of the month.



Dick Dean:  1933 - 2008


7/11/08 - R.I.P. Dick Dean

I just found out that legendary car customizer Dick Dean passed away on July 10.  Born right here in Michigan, Dick Dean went on to fame among the custom car circuit by working with George Barris and Dean Jeffries, collaborating on cars such as Manta Ray, the Monkeemobile, Green Hornet's Black Beauty, the Batmobile, The Munsters Koach and Dragula, among others.  My condolences go out to his family and friends.  I wish I would've had the chance to meet him in person.  Click HERE for a nice article on the career of Dick Dean.




7/9/08 - Indiana Jones Titanium Line Found!

Today I found wave one of Hasbro's Indiana Jones Titanium line.  Pictured below from left to right are:  Cargo Truck and German Flying Wing from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Vogel's Mark VII Tank and Biplane from The Last Crusade, Hangar 51 Rocket Sled and Jungle Cutter from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  I still need to pick up both motorcycles from wave 2.  My favorite of the bunch is the Cargo Truck, dragging Indy behind.  It's an iconic image from Raiders.  I'm really looking forward to future waves.



7/12 UPDATE:  I found Mutt's Custom Motorcycle today.  Now all I need is the German motorcycle with sidecar.  A look at 1994's Micro Machines set might give you an idea of what to expect in future waves (below right.)