11/03 News Archive

11/22/03 - Help Restore Ecto-1A
I received another interesting e-mail the other day that I want to share here.  Reader Charles visited Universal Studios in Florida to find the Ecto-1A from the film Ghostbusters II deteriorating outdoors in the elements.  He writes:

First off wonderful site.  I visit every week! Now  I was wondering if U can help me. You see Ecto-1a is at Universal Studios in Orlando and its just rusting away. So can U post a news article?  Here's  what's wrong with the car:

1. All the chrome is shot
2. There's a hole in the driver's side window that they tape up with regular tape so no rain can get it
3. The driver's side vent window is open and rain can get in, it's killing the interior and the floorboard is rusty.
4. The roof rack is basically ruined. There are rust spots popping up everywhere.
I could go on forever but here are some pics of her I took: 

He's asking you to contact Universal Studios Orlando and ask them to give the Ecto-1A the treatment and care it deserves.  The e-mail address is:

Update:  Charles received a response from Universal Studios:

"We appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with us. As our
guest, your comments are very important.
The car that is used for the Ghostbusters show is owned by Sony. Because of
this we are only able to maintain the condition of the car and not alter it
in anyway. As you know, the car and characters of the Ghostbusters movie
are extremely popular. Unfortunately not all guests treat the car with the
same consideration as those who are fans and appreciate the value of the
vehicle. Due to this we only display or use the vehicle during peak seasons
or on special events. Please be assured that your comments will be shared
with our Entertainment management for their review.
Once again, thank you for sharing your remarks."


11/22/03 - HW Batmobile "Shields-Up" Arrives
The Hot Wheels Batmobile "Shields-Up" 2-Pack arrived at my local comic book store.  I picked it up on Thursday after ordering it through Diamond Distributors' Previews Catalog.  I was wondering if the shield was hollow and fit over the Batmobile, but to my surprise upon opening the package, the shield actually has a chrome base and rolling wheels.  Hot Wheels continues to impress.

11/20/03 - Barris' Supervan Being Restored
Check out this e-mail I received today:

Hi Joe,

My name is Theresa.  I am the retail sales and promotional manager for Vampire Performance, a subsidiary of the Guild of Automotive Restorers.  We are located in Ontario, Canada.  Recently, we’ve purchased the George Barris Super Van - its restoration is taking place in our facilities.  The process is being filmed with CCR TV., creating a series revealing the rebirth of this classic.

Obviously we would be interested in acquiring die cast models of Super Van and the Love Machine. I have checked out your cool website and thought you could help.

For more info on our project you can check out the Guild’s website

If you have die casts to sell or if you could point me the right direction, that would be great!!!

Thank you,

Theresa - Vampire Performance

Unfortunately, I don't own the Super Van in 1:64 yet.  I tried to bid on one on eBay and got outbid.  I'm always looking though.  That's what I would recommend to  you.  When it comes to finding vintage die-cast, eBay is your best bet.

11/19/03 - Corgi Jr. Magnum P.I. Ferrari
Just recently I discovered that Corgi Jr. produced a Magnum P.I. Ferrari in 1:64 scale.  Thanks to Bill Manzke at the Matchbox Collecting Community, I can add info and loose pics to the gallery.  Thanks Bill.  Click HERE to check it out.

11/18/03 - New Offerings from ERTL
ERTL has updated their website to include photos of two new products coming out soon.  Pictured top left is the Drag-U-La from The Munsters in 1:18 scale.  Interestingly, it appears to be modeled after a Dick Dean replica and NOT the car designed and built by George Barris (notice the skull on the front and mag tires).  Pictured top right is a 1:18 scale version of the Flintmobile from The Flintstones.  I didn't know ERTL was doing this one.  The tooling model is pictured.  Drag-U-La should be available in December.  The Flintmobile should be available in August 2004.  Visit the ERTL website for more information:

11/11/03 - Wow!  Check THIS Out!
I received yet another e-mail from Metro Privratsky alerting me to something I didn't know about!  Here is the info he included:

"1:64 LICENSED MODELS: Special models from 22 prime time Emmy TV shows are on the agenda for 2002 beginning in July with the Sopranos Chevy Suburban.  Later in 2002, there should be a model from the TV show Masters of the Universe. In total Matchbox has promised 22 of these special models. The price is set at US$4.00."

I'll try to provide more information as I get it.

UPDATE:  It appears the sample above is a prototype that never made it into production.  According to one source:  "My understanding is that the project was killed last year and the models in the series were never produced. Or maybe some samples were done and that is about it."

11/11/03 - Rare Matchbox Today Show Van
Courtesy of reader Metro Privratsky, I finally have a photo of the rare Today Show van from Matchbox.  I'll allow Metro to explain the origin of this van and why it's so rare:

"... I found a photo of a Today Show TV news truck that matchbox produced for a short segment for the 50th Anniversary special about Matchbox. Since the show's 50th anniversary was on Jan. 14, 2002 and Matchbox also celebrated their 50th birthday, it seemed a perfect match. A specially produced TV News Truck (limited quantity of 500) was distributed that morning to the people outside the studio."
Thanks, Metro P.

Metro also contributed a few photos of die-cast from an obscure 1982 film called Megaforce starring Barry Bostwick.  I've added the pics to the gallery.  Thanks again Metro.

11/11/03 - Q&A Now Known as Talking Cars
It's time for the monthly Q&A, but henceforth, it will be now known as Talking Cars.  Get it???  It has a DOUBLE meaning!  ..... ahem.   This month's topics include:  Hollywood on Wheels 5, Grandpa Munster's Merc, The Fifth Element, Forever Knight, Smokey & the Bandit and Scooby Doo.  If you'd like me to search for an answer to your questions, click on the e-mail link in the lower left column and let's talk cars!  In the meantime, click HERE to read some questions, comments and answers from the past month.

11/7/03 - 1:64 Scale Herbie Goes Bananas
This pic was posted by tinywheels on the Hobby Talk Bulletin Board.  It will be available in February as part of the HOW5 line from Johnny Lightning.  It's very similar to JL's upcoming 1:18 scale version due next summer.

11/1/03 - HOW5 Offered in Previews Catalog
Picked up the most recent edition of Diamond Distributors' Previews Catalog.  The only TV & movie-related item offered in its pages is Hollywood on Wheels 5 from Johnny Lightning.  HOW5 consists of re-decos of cars offered in HOW4.  There are no new castings.  Scheduled to ship in February of 2004 are repainted versions of The Simpsons vehicles, Herbie as seen in the film Herbie Goes Bananas, dirty versions of the Mini-Coopers from The Italian Job, a chrome-green version of The Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo, and The Mystery Machine featuring three different characters on the roof of the van.  Yawn.