01/04 News Archive

1/31/04 - Collectors' Collections
TonyMoe sent me a photo of his new arrival.  He received Sun Star's 1:18 scale Checkered Cab, which makes a nice addition to his Robert De Niro collection.  Click on the thumbnail to check out the pic.  If you're looking for a 1:64 scale checkered cab to represent Taxi Driver or the Taxi TV series in your display, click on the thumbnail below.  It was made by Golden Wheel Die-Cast Company as part of their American Cruiser Line.

1/29/04 - Aston Martin Added to 1:18 Display
I added a new car to my 1:18 display case.  Sun Star's 1963 Aston Martin DB5 arrived via UPS today.  It's a beautiful car despite the fact it doesn't have the features AutoArt's version does.  But AutoArt's Goldfinger version regularly sells for $200 (and recently got as high as $400) on eBay.  I got Sun Star's version for under $30, INCLUDING shipping. 

1/27/04 - Johnny Lightning Boldly Goes...
Just announced by tinywheels at the Hobby Talk Bulletin Board: 

"Playing Mantis finally gets a piece of America’s Star Trek obsession into its Johnny Lightning lineup. Six spaceships (all new castings) will appear in November, from the Enterprise used in the first Star Trek feature film to the Galileo shuttle featured in the original television series. Each intricately molded and painted plastic model comes packaged with its own die-cast metal stand. Also included are PhotoCards with live-action stills on the front and Star Trek trivia (including ship statistics) on the back. We’ll introduce six more ships in spring 2005, including the original TV series Enterprise."

Enterprise A
Romulan Bird of Prey
Cardassian Ship

1/27/04 - Found HOW V Today
I found most of Johnny Lightning's Hollywood on Wheels V at Meijer today.  I picked up The Simpsons cars, but passed on the dirty versions of The Italian Job Mini-Coopers.  If I want my toy cars dirty, I'll go play in the mud.  Click HERE to see close-ups of The Simpsons cars.

1/26/04 - HW Batmobile Update
I spotted the HW Batman 2-Pack that includes the Riddler car at a local K-Mart and picked it up.  When I got home I compared the Batmobile to the HW First Edition #1/100 Batmobile.  There was a noticeable difference.  Click on the top left thumbnail to see the difference.  My curiosity got the better of me and I also picked up the HW Batman Blaster track.  I needed to find out if the exclusive Batmobile inside did indeed have red tinted windows as pictured on the box.  It does, and may I say, it looks pretty cool!  Click the top right thumbnail to see a pic.  These new photos have been included in the Batman:  Cartoons, Comics and Other Original Bat-Vehicles section of Hollywood Die-Cast.

1/26/04 - New 1:18 Scale Cars on eBay
Apparently, ERTL's new 1:18 scale offerings are beginning to appear on eBay, meaning you should be finding these at retail soon.  Greased Lightning looks absolutely spectacular and is being released under the company's Joyride Studios banner.  And judging by the photos, the vehicle from Ghostbusters does indeed seem to be the Ecto-1, and NOT the Ecto-1A from the sequel.  This is welcomed news!  I can't wait to add these to my 1:18 scale collection.

1/23/04 - Collectors' Collections
Pictured above is the collection of Ramiro Simões of São Paulo, Brazil.  He wrote in to say:

"I have been talking about your site with my collector friends in Brazil, who participate in the discussion groups, and as far as we know it has been the best site in the America."

The Best Site in America, huh?  I like the sound of that.

1/22/04 - Collectors' Collections
Submissions for Collectors' Collections continue to come in.  This time we feature the collection of Ray Ramdas of Bloomfield, NJ.  He says he only collects 1:64 scale cars that he has fond memories of.  Click on his name to see the photos he sent.

1/22/04 - JL 10th Anniversary Cars
A few TV & movie-related cars will be released as part of Johnny Lightning's plans to celebrate its 10th Anniversary.  The Ecto 1-A (March) , Speed Racer's Mach 5 (April), and a red Lincoln Futura, pictured above (November) will be randomly inserted into cases throughout 2004.  These chase cars will be identified by "Tenth Anniversary" printed on their wheels.  For those who may not know, not only was the Lincoln Futura transformed into the 1966 Barris Batmobile, but it was also featured in the 1959 film It Started with a Kiss, starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford.  Initially white, the car was painted red for the film.

1/21/04 - Aston Martin Unproduced Prototype
Almost a year ago, the folks at Johnny Lightning teased us with a photo of an unproduced prototype.  The picture (above) shows a transparent Aston Martin Vanquish in 1:64 scale from the James Bond film Die Another Day.  A JL rep told me these were produced just for fun and the car was never meant to go into production.  Well, some interesting photos have recently appeared on the website Lightning Lane.  The photos show the car unassembled.  You'll have to scroll down to see them.  What a great idea this would've been.  It's such a shame we will never see this car in production. 

1/20/04 - Collectors' Collections
The new Collectors' Collections feature continues with a submission by TonyMoe.  Click on the thumbnail above to see his nice display of TV & movie cars.  Tony is especially interested in all things Bat-related.  Be sure to visit his bat-forum:

If you would like to submit a photo of your collection to be featured on this site, just send me an e-mail and attach a nice digital pic.  Use the e-mail link at the bottom of the left column.

1/20/04 - Here is the Pic I Promised You.
Though it's a day late, I promised a photo of my new 1:18 scale Batmobile in my display case.  Here it is.  Now, I've gotten some requests to see some of the other cars in my 1:18 collection.  Please keep in mind I've only been collecting 1:18 scale cars for less than a year.  Click HERE to see all 16 cars in my collection.

1/18/04 - Yet ANOTHER HW Batmobile Variation!
For all you Hot Wheels Batmobile completionists out there, it seems there is another variation of the 1:64 Mattel Batmobile.  I spotted the Batman Blaster race track at Target which includes an exclusive Batmobile with red canopy (click on thumbnail top right).  For a complete checklist of all the HW Batmobiles done to date, click HERE.

1/18/04 - New Starsky & Hutch Trailer is Online!
Had to search the web quite a bit to come up with the trailer for the new Starsky & Hutch movie.  With Owen Wilson & Ben Stiller, I didn't think the film was going to take itself as seriously as the original TV show, and I was right.  The trailer is laugh-out-loud funny.  There are some great scenes with the Gran Torino as well.  To see the trailer (give it time to load), visit:

For tons of information and photos on the cars used in the TV show and new movie, visit:

1/16/04 - Found a 1:18 Scale Batmobile @ Toys R Us!
Coming home from work, I made a few stops along the way.  At Toys R Us, I stumbled across Mattel's 1:18 scale Batmobile.  It's a bit smaller than I imagined, but it's really sharp nonetheless.  I'll post a pic of it in my display case on Monday.

1/16/04 - Autorama Coming to Detroit!
The Autorama is coming to Detroit on February 27, 28 & 29.  Among the cars on display that weekend will be two cars from the film American Graffiti.  Paul LeMat, who played John Milner in the film will also be making an appearance.  The Autorama also features Toy-A-Rama, one of the largest die-cast car shows I've ever seen.  To see if the Autorama is coming to a town near you, click on the following link:

1/16/04 - Joe Dirt's '69 Charger Daytona
I'm not a fan of the film Joe Dirt, but I know people who love it.  If you're one of those people, then you'll love this website dedicated to the car featured in the film:

1/14/04 - ERTL Website Updated Again
ERTL has once again updated its website to include recent changes to its 1:18 American Muscle entertainment line.  Cars from the Austin Powers films have been added to the list and the Animal House Deathmobile release date has been pushed back a month. 

2004 Releases
Release Status
Austin Powers Shaguar February
Austin Powers Mini Cooper February
Animal House Deathmobile February
Grease Greased Lightning Released
The Car Modified Lincoln Released
Austin Powers Corvette Released
The Munsters Dragula Released

And there's more good news.  The entertainment category has re-appeared under the Racing Champions line!  Unfortunately, no new movie or TV properties have been listed, but I'll keep checking.

Update:  Actually, depending on where you click, the entertainment listing is either there or it isn't.  I think the link that lists the entertainment category hasn't been updated.  So, still no good news.

1/13/04 - JL Dioramas Canceled!
For those of you who have been wondering when The Simpsons and Scooby Doo Johnny Lightning dioramas will be hitting shelves, well, it seems they won't be.  According to a JL spokesperson:

"I do believe the Simpsons and Scooby dioramas have been cancelled. I'm about 98% certain of that. They may be done at a later time."

1/13/04 - To the Batcave!!!
Check out this awesome custom-made Batcave.  It was created by Owl, a member of the Hobby Talk Bulletin Board.  Click on the link to see more pics:

1/12/04 - Absolutely MINT Corgi Batmobile
Normally, I stay away from this scale and focus on 1:64 cars (and occasionally 1:18 cars) but I had to share this with you.  Upon visiting the Matchbox Collectors Community, I stumbled onto a post where Nigel Clarke shared photos of his MINT 1966 Corgi Batmobile.  It truly is a beautiful thing to behold.  You MUST click on the following link to check it out.  Have a tissue handy for the inevitable drool.

1/12/04 - Check Out Used Cars on DVD
Finally got around to picking up Used Cars on DVD when I found it on sale.  This 1980 comedy stars Kurt Russell as a used car salesman.  I haven't seen this film in at least 15 years so it was great to pop it in the ol' DVD player and watch it.  I have to tell you, I laughed HARD throughout the film.  I had forgotten how funny it was.  The film also features a "mile" of great cars, including an Edsel and an awesome '57 Chevy featured in one of the funniest scenes in the film.  It's a shame this movie didn't get the die-cast treatment.  If you love cars and comedies, then you'll love this film.  Just keep in mind that there's some adult content, so it's not for the little ones. 

UPDATE:  Watched it again, this time with the audio commentary turned on.  The commentary is provided by Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale and Kurt Russell.  I don't think I've ever heard commentary where the commentators LAUGHED throughout the whole thing.  I had tears in my eyes listening to these guys.  It was apparent they hadn't seen the film in years.  They also revealed some very interesting tidbits, including how close actor Gerrit Graham came to getting KILLED during one scene, and how they got Toby (the dog) to "play dead." 

1/8/04 - New Feature:  Collectors' Collections!
I had been thinking about inviting collectors to submit photos of their collections when I got an e-mail from Craig Mueller.  He had taken photos of his display cabinets and, may I say, my jaw hung open.  Craig has one of the most impressive die-cast car collections I've ever seen.  So, with his permission, I now kick off  the inaugural edition of Collectors' Collections featuring the cars of Craig Mueller.  Keep in mind, this is PART of his collection.  I only posted  photos showcasing his TV and movie cars.  If you would like photos of your collection showcased here at Hollywood Die-Cast, feel free to e-mail me by using the link at the bottom of the left column. 

1/6/04 - Yet ANOTHER Hot Wheels Batmobile!
Thanks to a tip from Craig Mueller, I've discovered yet ANOTHER Hot Wheels Batmobile, and this is the STRANGEST one so far!  This one is known as the 2004 First Editions #42/100 Hardnoze Batmobile.  Got that?  It looks like the Batmobile in a funhouse mirror!  To see all the Batmobiles Hot Wheels has done to date, click HERE.

1/5/04 - Hollywood on Wheels 5 Showing up on eBay
Apparently, Hollywood on Wheels 5 is showing up in stores judging by the number of auctions appearing on eBay.  The photo above shows the Love Bug as it appeared in Herbie Goes Bananas.  Click on the following link to see an auction for the entire series:

1/5/04 - TV & Movie Collection on eBay
Browsing eBay, I stumbled across an interesting auction.  Someone has decided to sell his entire 1:64 scale TV & movie collection.  There are 144 cars representing Johnny Lightning, Matchbox, Racing Champs and others.  The starting bid is $99.99.  What a great way to jumpstart your collection.

1/4/04 - Talking Cars in January
It is that time of the month to share some recent e-mails with you.  Topics include:  Ace Ventura, V, The Saint, Hot Wheels Batmobiles, Ghostbusters, "The Texas Widowmaker," and a so-called "rare" mail-away Lotus from The Spy Who Loved Me.  Click HERE and enjoy.

1/4/04 - Watched Gone in 60 Seconds 2 on DVD
I received Gone in 60 Seconds 2 on DVD for Christmas and finally got around to watching it last night.  For those of you who may not know, producer/director Toby Halicki died while filming the sequel to his successful 1974 film.  He had filmed the action scenes before being killed in a freak accident, so his estate was able to edit together the footage for this unique DVD release.  The edited footage produced a 30-minute film featuring mayhem and destruction.  The first half of the film has Halicki going on a rampage with a semi-truck and in the second half of the film he flips cars with The Slicer (pictured above).  Unfortunately, the film is a half-hour of meaningless mayhem.  The destruction is pointless and lacks the thrills of the first film.  Still, a 1:64 scale version of The Slicer would be pretty cool.  For more information on Toby Halicki's films visit:

1/2/04 - ERTL Updates Its Website!
ERTL has updated its website and there's good news and bad news.  The good news is they posted a pic of the upcoming 1:18 scale Grease car and they list the Austin Powers Mini-Cooper and Animal House Deathmobile.  All will be available in January.  Now here's the bad news.  If you click on Racing Champions, there is no "entertainment" category.  It's gone!  Vanished!  Hopefully it will return, but if not, it looks like we may not have any 1:64 scale TV or movie cars coming out in 2004!  (Well, except for The Fast & The Furious cars.)  I hope this isn't the case.  I'll keep you posted.

1/2/04 - New Hot Wheels 2-Packs Spotted on eBay
A couple of new 2-packs from Hot Wheels caught my eye.  They've been spotted on eBay and should be found in stores.  The first includes a jeep and motorcycle from the movie Tomb Raider (top left).  I'm not sure if these vehicles are movie-accurate.  The other 2-pack includes the #1/100 2004 FE Batmobile with a car that was apparently designed by The Riddler.  I've added pics to the gallery.