December '04 News Archive

12/24/04 - Happy Holidays!
Happy Holidays to you and your family!  Send me pics of any cool die-cast cars you get in your stocking.

12/23/04 - Shipping in May
Picked up the latest edition of Previews Catalog from Diamond Distributors.  Looks like we can expect a SLEW of product from Batman Begins this spring.  Among the items solicited in the catalog are:

Hot Wheels Batman Begins Die-Cast Vehicles & Figures
Collectors will love these authentic 1:64 scale vehicles and figures inspired by the blockbuster movie Batman Begins!  There are six different vehicles with figures including Batman and other characters from the movie:  Batmobile, Batmobile w/camo deco, Bat-Bike, Bat-Copter, and Bat-Blade.  Collect them all!  Blister card packaging.  Scheduled to ship in May 2005.  SRP:  $2.99

12/21/04 - Klingon Battle Cruiser Spotted - Shields Up!!!
Just wanted to let you know that if you're interested in the Johnny Lightning Star Trek series, I spotted them at a local Meijer store.  I only picked up the Enterprise NCC-1701 and the Klingon Battlecruiser, but they had all 6, including the Enterprise NX-01, Romulan Bird of Prey, Galileo Shuttlecraft, and USS Reliant.  I have mixed feelings on these.  I think they'd be nicer if they were made of die-cast metal instead of plastic.  But I guess if you're a fan of the series, these will look cool on your desk.  Look for Series 2 ... Coming Soon!

12/21/04 - Special Thanks ... or should I say Tanks?
A special thanks goes out to Laurence, Nathaniel & Dustin Freeman for providing more than 100 pics of ERTL's Thomas the Tank Engine collection.  I had no idea there were that many pieces in that line of die-cast vehicles.  I had been putting off adding Thomas to my site, because I just didn't know that much about the TV series (which debuted in 1984) or ERTL's series.  Thanks, again, to the Freeman family for helping to make Hollywood the most thorough reference for collectors of entertainment die-cast vehicles.  Happy Holidays too!  Click HERE to view the pics.  Now I need to get to work on that Theodore Tugboat section!  Anyone care to help?

UPDATE:  The Freeman family was nice enough to also send photos of their Theodore Tugboat collection.  They also added:

All of my research has led to the fact that we have a complete collection and that ERTL will no longer be producing these die-cast in this is what I have been reading:

"Important message:  ERTL will no longer be producing the
Thomas the Tank Engine & FriendsTM Die-Cast line.  Each and every die-cast character, accessory and set is being discontinued.  COLLECT THEM ALL NOW before stock runs out!  ERTL trains are die-cast metal.  They do not have a magnet and are not compatible with the wooden track."

Thomas & Friends Die Cast product manufactured by Racing Champions/ERTL has been discontinued and we will no longer offer this product.  The Die-Cast product has been replaced by a new manufacturer, RC2, and the new line is called Take Along Thomas."

I heard similar things back in 2002, but I have been able to continue collecting the new releases since then thru some UK stores....but now, even they are stating the demise of the Thomas line and that production is now being discontinued:

"Note: Items listed in red are sold out.  The range is to be relaunched entirely with new specifications, wheels, magnetic couplings etc and in new packaging starting January 2005.  If you wish to complete your collection of this current series, please hurry as products are now selling out on a weekly basis - we are updating this list as this happens." (This is a reference to the new Take Along Thomas which will be available in the UK starting next year)

12/20/04 - She was born in Detroit......
... on an automobile assembly line.  But she is no ordinary automobile.  Deep within her lives an unholy presence.  She is CHRISTINE.

I received another package via UPS today from RC2.  This time, submitted for my review, is Joy Ride's 1:18 version of Christine!   This has been on my wish list for quite some time, and it's finally here.  RC2 has really gone over the top on this one.  Check out the real working headlights!  (above ... That's not a movie still, that's the 1:18 car!)  I love the black tinted windows.  The red "vinyl" interior is a nice touch.  This car is a MUST-HAVE for any entertainment die-cast collector.  I do want to share this little tidbit with you, however.  When I removed Christine from her packaging to photograph her, I noticed the antenna was gone.  I panicked, thinking it had fallen off or that it might've shipped without it.  But after searching the package again, I found the antenna fastened securely to the back wall of the package.  So, before you fire off an e-mail to RC2, look for the antenna before throwing away the packaging.  Once again, my thanks to the people at RC2 for providing me with a car that instantly becomes one of my favorite pieces in my collection.  You can view my entire 1:18 collection by clicking HERE.


12/20/04 - Latest Acquisitions!
Added a few new cars to my collection today.  While out Christmas shopping, I finally stumbled upon the elusive Hot Wheels Batman 5-Pack, featuring the blue with flames Keaton style Batmobile ($4.47 at Wal*Mart).  It's a very sharp-looking car and a welcome addition to my Hot Wheels Batmobile collection (above right).  Hot Wheels has produced so much Batman product, I decided to create a separate Hot Wheels Batmobile page. 

Also, I recently won a Johnny Lightning 10th Anniversary Lincoln Futura on eBay for about $6 plus shipping (below left.)  Wow, this thing is nice.  What makes this car significant is not only was the Lincoln Futura the basis for the '66 Barris Batmobile, but this red version was featured in the 1959 film It Started with a Kiss starring Debbie Reynolds and Glenn Ford.  Also pictured below is the Futura with custom wheels (customized by Craig Mueller.)


12/16/04 - HW Bruce Wayne Collection
Apparently, the limited edition Hot Wheels Bruce Wayne Collection has been showing up on eBay, but in different form than the original photo suggested.  Instead of the round packaging, they're appearing in a rectangular box, and instead of a red Ferrari Dino, a black one is included.  Still, despite its limited nature, unless someone can convince me these cars are based on the comic books, movies, or TV shows, I'm going to have to pass on these.  Personally, I think it's a lousy way for Hot Wheels to use the Batman license to sell cars. 

In other Batman news, I stumbled onto an eBay auction (by seller zero-f) for a set of 4 vehicles from the 1989 film offered by Hot Wheels' Japanese line:  Charawheels.  The set (pictured below) includes the Batmobile with and without shields, the Bat Wing (with display stand) and the Joker's car.  I don't understand why Hot Wheels offers its superb Charawheels line exclusively in Japan, but I wouldn't mind picking up this set, if only for the Joker car.

12/14/04 - Cool Display
Saw this photo posted by THE--DUDE3 on The Monkeemobile website.  It's a really cool way to display the Monkeemobile in all its scales.  For those of you who don't know, the Monkeemobile was the winner of our POLL for favorite TV car. 

12/13/04 - Batman Updates
Thanks to the great gang over on the Hollywood Die-Cast Forum, I have some Batman updates for you.  Apparently, the second wave of Corgi Batman Vehicles has been unveiled (click on the above thumbnail to view).   Also, if you're trying to collect all the Hot Wheels Batmobile variants out there (like I am) then you'll want to pick up the set of 4 Avon Exclusive Park N Plates Batman vehicles (below), which includes a variant HardNoze Batmobile.  You can currently find these on eBay.

UPDATE:  I received a tip that this Avon set can be purchased online at:

12/8/04 - Collectors' Collections
I've added new photos to the Collectors' Collections section of the website.  Christian Llamas e-mailed me a few pics of his modest but growing collection.  It's an interesting mix of entertainment and non-entertainment vehicles, with a few customs thrown in.  It's always fun to see what others collect and how they display their collection.  Click HERE to view all the submissions so far, or you can use the link to the right.  If you'd like to submit pics of your own collection, e-mail me at .

12/7/04 - Yabba Dabba Doooooo!
I received a totally unexpected surprise in the mail today, via UPS.  I was notified a package had arrived when I wasn't home, so I made arrangements to pick it up at the local UPS office.  I had no idea what it was until I picked up the package.  The slip said it was from RC2 Brand.  I hadn't ordered anything, so I was a little confused.  Well, upon opening it up, I discovered it was Joy Ride's 1:18 die-cast Flintmobile (see pics above.)  It seems RC2 sent it to me as a product sample for my review.  What a fantastic surprise!  I wasn't sure if I wanted to pick this one up, based on the photos I've seen, but now that I've held it in my hands, I am really impressed with it.  The figures are great, and even includes Dino.  After removing it from its base, I discovered the stone wheels (which feel like they're ACTUALLY made of stone) roll with ease.  This is a great piece, and one I'll proudly display alongside the other 1:18 cars in my collection.  My thanks to the people at RC2 who are responsible for sending the car to me.  The Flintmobile is in stores now.  It'll make a great Christmas present for a loved one.