12/03 News Archive

12/31/03 - Belated Christmas Gifts!
I got the Indiana Jones DVD Boxed Set, The Simpsons Season 3 DVD Boxed Set and some action figures, but no die-cast cars for Christmas.... at least not until my friend Dennis stopped by last night bearing gifts.  He gave me ERTL's 1:18 scale The Car (top left) and Johnny Lightning's 1:18 Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo.  They are really nice...and HEAVY too.  My 1:18 scale collection continues to grow!

Oh, and by the way, I hope everyone has a happy and prosperous new year.  Here's looking forward to all the great die-cast cars coming out in 2004!


12/27/03 - 1:64 Scale James Dean Porsche on eBay
If you saw my 1:64 James Dean Porsche and wished you could have one of your very own, well now you can.  Chris D'Alessandro, the same guy who made mine, has created a duplicate using Hot Wheels' 1:64 Porsche Spyder 550.  Click on the following link to see it:

Update:  The winning bid was $62.99!

12/26/03 - Items Shipping This Spring from Diamond
I just picked up the latest edition of Diamond Distributor's Previews Catalog.  There are only a few TV & movie-related die-cast vehicles offered within its pages.  The first is ERTL's 1:18 scale version of National Lampoon's Vacation Family Truckster.  It is scheduled to ship to stores in June of 2004. 

The only other movie property offered are 1:64 cars from the film Scooby Doo 2:  Monsters Unleashed.  Unfortunately, these don't appear to be vehicles featured in the film.  They're vehicles "emblazoned with graphics and designs based on the upcoming sequel."  Phooey!  Scheduled to ship in April.

12/26/03 - Interesting Auction on eBay
A so-called "rare" prototype is up for grabs on eBay and it can be yours for the low, low price of $8,530.  The seller claims it is a rare wooden prototype of Corgi's 1:43 scale Monkeemobile.  My instincts are SCREAMING buyer beware!!!  Check it out for yourself:

12/24/03 - Happy Holidays Everyone!
I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  May you all get the toys and die-cast cars you've been hoping for.  By the way, the picture above was taken around 1970.  That's me in the yellow, my brother and father.  We're playing with a vibrating metal race track.  As the track vibrated, the cars would move around the track.  I still remember it like it was yesterday.

12/23/03 - Lousy Movie, Great Custom!
Jeff Fleetwood over at the Hobby Talk Bulletin Board posted pics of a neat custom:  Joe Dirt's '69 Dodge Charger Daytona.  I have to admit, I saw the movie and I thought it was absolutely terrible, but I believe a die-cast version of his car would go over very well.  There are a LOT of Joe Dirt fans out there.  Click on the link for more info:

12/23/03 - A Dumb & Dumber Christmas Present
Reader Rob tipped me off to an interesting eBay auction.  It seems the Mutt Mobile is up for grabs from the film Dumb & Dumber starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels.  Would make an interesting Christmas present to say the least.  Check it out:

12/22/03 - Work in Progress
I wanted to show you my latest attempt at customizing.  I'm stunned that no one has ever done the Jurassic Park Ford Explorer in die-cast.  I decided to try to customize a 1:64 Ford Explorer from Realtoy.  Please keep in mind that it's a little rough, but I'm working out the bugs and I'm going to try it again.  I was pretty happy with the way the red stripes turned out.  I scanned the decals from the model kit, then reduced them and printed them on decal paper in 1:64 scale.  Trying to apply decals to a 1:64 car is nerve-wracking to say the least.  One tip:  don't drink caffeine while doing this.  I'm also planning to add lights on the roof and a winch on the front.  I just have to find die-cast vehicles that I can borrow these things from.

12/18/03 - My New Batmobile Display
My collection of 1:64 die-cast Batmobiles recently outgrew my JL Showcase, so I purchased a new display case on eBay.  It only cost about 20 bucks plus shipping.  I didn't realize until it arrived that the shelves are angled.  Unfortunately, the case didn't have any holes so that I could mount it on the wall, so I had to drill two holes with my Dremmel.  It looks great hanging on my wall.  From top left we have:    1) JL 40's Batmobile  2) Corgi Jr. 3) JL 60's Batmobile  4) ERTL's Batman Batmobile  5) Hasbro's Batman Forever Batmobile  6) Hasbro's The New Adventures of Batman  7) Hasbro's Batman & Robin  8) Hasbro's Batman:  The Animated Series  9) Batmobile from Hot Wheels' 3-Pack   10 & 11) Hot Wheels' "Shields Up" 2-Pack

12/17/03 - Supervan Arrives!!!
I wanted to hold off on announcing this until it arrived in the mail, but on November 29 I won an eBay auction for the Zee Toys Supervan.  Would you believe I got it for $7.33 plus shipping? It arrived in the mail today from Swampscott, MA.  The card wasn't in the greatest shape, but that's fine since I open my cars anyway.  The decals in the windows are a little askew, but that's okay.  I've never seen the movie, but I wanted to add this to my collection because it's yet another George Barris creation.  You can see loose pictures HERE.

12/16/03 - Special Thanks to Craig Mueller
I have to acknowledge contributions by Craig Mueller.  Without submissions from readers like Craig, Metro Privratsky and others, this website wouldn't be as thorough as it is.  Thanks to photos from their personal collections, this site continues to be the definitive source for collectors of 1:64 TV & movie die-cast.  Just when I thought I had it pretty much covered, Craig demonstrates that there is SO MUCH MORE out there that I wasn't aware of.  He's been submitting pics over the last few days....SO MANY PICS, in fact, that my e-mail mailbox gets full and I have to clear it out so he can send more.  I'm still in the process of adding the pics to the gallery, but for now, check out some of the RARE items he has in his collection:

B.J. & The Bear
The Flintstones
The Rookies

I'll let you know when I add more.  Thanks Craig!

12/12/03 - Custom James Dean Porsche!!!
I discovered in the mail today the new JEWEL of my collection:  a custom 1:64 scale version of James Dean's "Little Bastard" Porsche Spyder 550.  Last week, I spotted an auction for a custom 1:18 James Dean Porsche on eBay.  I contacted the creator, Chris D'Alessandro, and asked if he could do the same for my 1:64 scale Hot Wheels Porsche Spyder 550.  He said he would and I boxed up the car and shipped it off to Florida.  In just a few short days, it came back to me and, well,  words fail me.  All I can say is look at the thumbnails above.  He painted the seats, the steering wheel, and even added Dean's license plate!  WOW!  The car almost brought a tear to my eye.  I asked Chris if he wanted me to post his contact information and he was enthusiastic about it.  So here goes:

Thanks again Chris! I may have some OTHER projects for you to tackle. 

12/11/03 - More HW Batmobile Variations
Browsing eBay, I stumbled across a couple of unusual Batmobile variations.  First up, an extremely rare version of the 100% Hot Wheels Batmobile.  Mattel created 200 of these for the 2003 Children Affected by AIDS Foundation (CAAF) Dream Halloween charity event.

Next up is a Zamac version of the HW 2004 FE #1/100 Batmobile.  What is Zamac you ask?  Well, I found out that Hot Wheels occasionally releases UNPAINTED editions of their die-cast cars.  According to sources, this is a Toys R Us exclusive numbering 1 of 10,000.  Happy hunting!

12/8/03 - Got a Couple Thousand to Spare?
Some of the most rare and valuable die-cast pieces come from Corgi Jr.'s James Bond line. 
Check out some of these auctions:

12/7/03 - Rare and Unusual Pieces Added to Gallery
I've been adding quite a few pics to the Hollywood Die-Cast Gallery, lately.  Many were provided by readers, some were discovered online.  But I want to direct your attention to two rare and unusual additions.

Thanks to Elliot Reid of England, I've added pics of the complete set of Wacky Races (above left).  11 plastic vehicles, approximately 4.5" in length, make up the set.  I'm told they were fast food premiums.  They're not die-cast, but they're pretty neat, nonetheless.  Click HERE to see them.

Pictured above right is the Johnny Lightning Batski.  BATSKI????  Yes, Batski.  According to dipstick at the Hobby Talk Bulletin Board:

"The FEST Bat Ski is the piece I personally designed and my company manufactured and gave away as a dinner BONUS at FEST with the Dinner WLs and such. Of the 160 made - first 10 were proto pieces, 120 were distributed at FEST Dinner with two being Whites, I still have a few copies in my possess for reference with the prototypes and the remaining pcs - like 27 were destroyed."

Thanks to the gang at the HTBB for the pics and info.

12/5/03 - Supervan Spotted in BTTF2
Eagle-eyed Metro Privratsky popped in his copy of Back to the Future 2 and was able to get some stills of George Barris' Supervan making a cameo in the film.  It has a green paint job, but it's definitely the Supervan.

12/5/03 - Check out this auction:
I stumbled across this auction while searching for a die-cast version of James Dean's Porsche Spyder 550.  It's a 1:18 scale Maisto with custom-made details.  The work that was done on this car is amazing.  Check it out for  yourself:

Update:  The final bid was $157.50.....WOW!!!

12/4/03 - December Talking Cars
It's that time again.  Time for another exciting edition of Talking Cars.  This month's topics include:  Back to the Future, Supervan, The Partridge Family, James Dean's Porsche Spyder 550, and Christine.  Click HERE and enjoy.

12/4/03 - The Simpsons from HOW5
Here is a nice, detailed photo of The Simpsons cars included in the upcoming Hollywood on Wheels 5 assortment.  Same castings with slightly different details. Homer's car, with the parking tickets on the windshield, is from the episode featuring the World Trade Center.   I understand that Johnny Lightning needs to reuse castings to get the best bang for the buck, but HOW5 sure is stirring up a lot of negative comments:

12/1/03 - Spotted on eBay
Prompted by a thread at the Hobby Talk forum, I did a search on eBay and found that yet ANOTHER version of the Batmobile is hitting stores.  Hot Wheels 2004 First Editions #31/100 seems to be based on the Batman/Batman Returns Batmobile, but has the typical cartoony Hot Wheels rims.  Apparently, the car can be found with a chrome base and a black base.