November 2010
News Archive

11/28/10 - Wingardium Leviosa!
This isn't exactly recent news, since this set was released in 2002, but I've been trying to add this car to my collection for several years with no luck.  In conjunction with the release of the second Harry Potter film, Mattel released this Spider Swarm playset that includes a 1:64 scale Ford Anglia, better known as the Weasly Flying Car.  I never saw it in stores and every time I tried to bid on one on eBay I would get outbid.  About a week ago I saw one on eBay and the seller was willing to consider a "Best Offer."   I contacted her to make an offer and surprisingly, she accepted.  It arrived in the mail today and I'm finally able to add this car to my collection.  According to the website IMDB, the Ford Anglia is the same make and color that author J.K. Rowling used to drive when she was younger. 

11/29/10 - 08 of 08:  Lockdown
While visiting a K-Mart store I've never visited before, I found the final entry in the Transformers Metal Heroes Series.  The bounty hunter Lockdown is numbered 08 of 08.  I've reorganized the Transformers Movie Gallery to clean things up a bit.

11/28/10 - Chasing Cars
Taking a break from football, I decided to take a short drive to my local Walmart.  I'm glad I did.  All the Black Friday merchandise that was sitting in the aisles was gone and replaced with green cubes of toys.  They must've been put out late Saturday or early Sunday.  One of the cubes had new Cars merchandise.  Searching the cube I found a new character, Duff Wrecks, with blinky eyes (above, left.)  I also found a new Chase version of Mater.  This time Mater has a glow-in-the-dark lantern (above, right.)

11/26/10 - Happy Black Friday!
I don't really get into this Black Friday thing.  I did, however, find myself at Walmart at 12:01 a.m. hoping to find some new die-cast cars.  Instead, I felt like I got caught up in a riot.  Shoppers acted like looters!  It was insanity! I had to force myself out of the store, empty handed, walking past the hundreds of shoppers standing out in the cold waiting to get in.  Later in the day, I ventured back out again.  At a Toys R Us store, I was surprised to find the newest wave of 1:50 scale Bat-Vehicles hanging on the pegs. I grabbed the Batman Forever Batmobile and Batman & Robin Batmobile (pictured above.)  Although it's great to finally add these to my 1:50 scale collection, I was a little disappointed with the Batman Forever Batmobile.  Most of the exterior is plastic and it looks pretty shabby next to its shiny counterparts.  These two Batmobiles are the last of the vehicles announced by Mattel to make up the 1:50 scale line.  We'll have to wait and see if Mattel makes any more announcements about the future of this line.  To date, 20 Bat-Vehicles have been released as singles, and Batgirl's cycle was released as part of a Comic-Con exclusive boxed set. 

11/22/10 - Unofficial Movie Car?
I got an e-mail a while back alerting me to a possible unofficial movie car.  I found the car at Walmart on Monday.  Pictured above is a still from Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.  Pictured at left is a Military Police '50 Oldsmobile 88 from Johnny Lightning.  Although the similarities are uncanny, I find it a little difficult to believe it was intentional.  If the car was featured more prominently in the movie, I might classify this one as officially unofficial, but it's just too darn obscure.

11/22/10 - Heavy Metal Thunder
Way back in mid-October I found a box set of characters from the Cars Toon short Heavy Metal Mater.  Now it seems singles are hitting stores.  While at Walmart I found Heavy Metal Lightning McQueen, Pittys Eddie & Rocky, and Dex (above, right) who seems to be a long lost relative of Tex.  Also pictured on the cardback is Rodney the Rocker, but I didn't see that one on the pegs. 


11/16/10 - Cars 2 - The Official Trailer
It's finally out!  The official trailer for the sequel to the Disney/Pixar smash hit Cars is circulating online.  I have to admit I'm totally blown away.  Imagine one of Mater's Tall Tales being stretched into a feature length film with a James Bond touch.  I can't wait until its release in 2011.

11/13/10 - Green Hornet:  Then & Now
I apologize for not posting this earlier.  Earlier in November I got an e-mail from Eric Primeau of Quebec, Canada who alerted me to some pretty cool news.  A company called Factory Entertainment will be releasing 1:50 scale die-cast versions of Green Hornet's Black Beauty from both the TV series (above, left) and upcoming movie. Two versions of each car will be offered, one with weapons deployed, one without.  These will display NICELY with Mattel's 1:50 scale Batman line.  Thanks for the info Eric!

11/12/10 - Toons, Toons & More Toons
I'm amazed at the rate new Cars Toon characters are hitting stores.  It seems like I've been finding new ones on a weekly basis.  On Friday, after work, I decided to pop in to a few stores.  While at Toys R Us, I found a couple of new characters.  Referee Pitty (with bell) is from the animated short Monster Truck Mater.  Also hanging on the pegs was Manji from Tokyo Mater.  Leaving TRU, I decided to swing by Target, and there I found two new Deluxe characters.  Chuy the Bulldozer is the first release from El Materdor.  I almost overlooked Rasta Mater thinking it was Rasta Carian.  Rasta Mater is Tormentor sporting dreadlocks from Monster Truck Mater.  Other characters currently shipping include Tokyo Mater (with Oil Stains), Tormentor's Biggest Fan and Teki & Paki (Pittys).  El Materdor can be found on eBay, but only in multi-language packaging from Canada.  Let the hunt continue!

11/11/10 - The Hunt for Red Ferrari
Target stores in my area are finally getting the 2011 Hot Wheels wave, so I rifled through the pegs looking for the red Ferrari 308 GTS and BAM, I found one.  In my opinion, this is one of the best Hot Wheels cars I've ever seen.  Of course, for us Hollywood cars collectors, this car is a great representation of the Ferrari featured in Magnum P.I.  Now the Magnum Ferrari has been done before in 1:64 scale, by Kidco, Corgi Jr. and Matchbox.  I've had the Matchbox Star Cars version in my display for quite a few years now.  Will the Hot Wheels version replace it in my display?  Let's compare, shall we?

The Matchbox version has two obvious flaws.  First, Magnum P.I. is printed on the hood.  Although this signifies an OFFICIAL release, Thomas Magnum did NOT drive around in a Ferrari with his name emblazoned across the hood!  For me, accuracy is always important when it comes to die-cast Hollywood cars.  Second, the Matchbox Ferrari isn't a true convertible.  It's roof is painted to look like it could be removed, but it can't.  The Hot Wheels version is a true convertible.  One advantage the Matchbox version has is when you look at the cars from the rear, the back end of the Matchbox version is more accurate and detailed.  So, which one gets the nod?  Well, despite being officially licensed, the Matchbox version pales in comparison to the new Hot Wheels version, which sports tiny Ferrari logos.  Nice touch!  The stunning, red Hot Wheels Ferrari 308 GTS will replace the Matchbox version in my 1:64 scale Hollywood car display.  Well done, Mattel.  New pics have been added to the Magnum P.I. gallery.

11/10/10 - Merry Cars-mas!
The Halloween clearance stuff is gone and now retail stores are gearing up for the holiday season.  Target stores have been loading up their Christmas section and once again they're offering exclusive  Holiday-Themed Cars characters.  Unfortunately, there's nothing too exciting about this year's offererings.  Pictured above, from left, are Lightning McQueen, Mater, The King and Doc Hudson; four characters we've seen time and time again.  The only thing unique is the Christmas gift packaging.  These might make cute stocking stuffers for the very young ones new to Cars, but I was hoping Mattel would've thrown in one or two new or unique characters.  Ho-ho-hum.

In other Cars news, I found another Toon character at Toys R Us.  This time it's Dr. Mater with mask up from the animated short Rescue Squad Mater.  I hear there are all kinds of new Toon characters hitting stores now, so I'll keep searching the usual places on a regular basis.  To see all the Toon characters released to date, click HERE.

11/4/10 - More Toons!
I found two more Deluxe Cars Toon vehicles at Toys R Us today.  This time we have Corporal Kim and Captain Munier from the animated short Unidentified Flying Mater.   The Captain sports the number 51 (as in Area 51, shhhhh.)  I'm sure we'll see more military vehicles since I imagine these would have crossover appeal for kids.  Cool stuff.

11/3/10 - "If I'm lyin' I'm cryin'."
I finally got a chance to sit down and watch Mater's Tall Tales on Blu-Ray after picking it up at WalMart on Tuesday.  I can't get over how incredibly good these shorts are.  I was blown away by the two new shorts, Moon Mater and Mater Private Eye.  This DVD should wrangle a whole new generation of fans.  I can only hope Mattel will deliver more characters from these new shorts.  Pick up this DVD today!

11/3/10 - Cars Toon-Up
Hitting several stores yesterday, I found some new additions to my Cars Toon collection.  I finally got around to picking up the Monster Truck Mater 3-pack seen above, left.  It includes my favorite "wrestler" from the short, I-Screamer.  While at Toys R Us I also found Komodo from Tokyo Mater and Big Fan from Mater the Greater.  Later, while at WalMart, I stumbled onto a new Blu-Ray DVD that collects all the Mater's Tall Tales shorts and also includes two new ones.  I'm hoping to sit back and watch them tonight.

11/3/10 - Great Balls of Fire!
I found this at Toys R Us on Election Day.  Johnny Lightning has released Fireball Tim's "The Bad Mood" 1976 Corvette.  Fireball Tim is "Hollywood's Secret Design Weapon."  The Movie Car Designer and TV Host has been enlisted by Hollywood's elite to envision over 350 entertainment and design projects in film, TV and commercials.  Visit Fireball Tim's website by clicking HERE.

11/3/10 - Be on the Lookout!
I got an e-mail from Tim Kievet with some great news.  It seems Tim was browsing through the toy aisle when he spotted a RED Ferrari 308 GTS with a TAN interior!  Looks like Mattel has been listening to collectors and gave us a Hot Wheels version of Magnum P.I.'s ride!  I can't wait to find this one in stores!

11/3/10 - Dynamic Duo
Reports are coming in that two long-awaited Batmobiles are finally hitting stores.  Patrick Malette sent me the pic seen at left of the Batmobiles from Batman & Robin and Batman Forever.  These are the latest additions to Mattel's 1:50 scale line.  With the release of these two, that pretty much completes all the announced releases.  What's the future of this line?  We'll have to wait and see.