December '07 News
12/29/07 - The Year in
2007 may go down in history as one of
the greatest years for collectors of TV and movie die-cast cars. The
highs: 1966 Batmobile, The Dukes of Hazzard, and Cars, Cars
and more Cars! The lows: RC2 eliminates its Joy Ride &
Ertl brands and Sarge is RECALLED! Speaking of Cars, as I sat down to
create the article, I counted up the number of new Cars released in
2007. Here's the rundown: 30 new singles (including Blu-Ray
Mcqueen), 6 new 2-packs (7 if you include Flik & Flea, which were only
available overseas,) 4 Toys R Us Movie Doubles, 3 3-packs, 9 holiday-themed
Cars from Target and the Dinoco 400 Boxed set. That's
not including card variations and the strange little mini-line of Cars.
That's a LOT of Cars in 2007 and there seems to be no end in sight! Click
HERE to take a stroll down
memory lane and look back at the year 2007.
12/27/07 - Top Grossing
"Car Movies" of 2007
So what were the top grossing car
movies of 2007?
Box Office Mojo has the answers:
was the third-highest grossing film of 2007 with
Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third.
2) The Bourne
Ultimatum finished 6th for the year with
haven't seen it yet, but I heard the movie continues the precedent set in
the first two films by featuring a spectacular car chase sequence.
Readers of Entertainment Weekly voted The Bourne Ultimatum the
best movie of the year.
3) I'll include
The Simpsons Movie due to its road trip scenes and motorcyle stunts.
It finished 9th with a gross of $183,135,014.
4) Speaking of motorcycle stunts,
Wild Hogs grossed a surprising
$168,273,550 to make it the
10th highest grossing film of 2007. Wow.
5) Live Free or Die Hard
had some great action and car chases. It finished 14th with a gross of
6) Ghost Rider had some
interesting special effects, but lacked a linear storyline. However,
enough fans flocked to the theaters to earn it a respectable 23rd place
finish with $115,802,596.
7) Shockingly, one of my favorite
films of the year grossed a measley $25,037,897
to finish 86th for the year.
Grindhouse was one of the most unique movie experiences I've
had in years, and its second half, Death Proof, features one of
the greatest car chases I've ever seen. I sure hope people are
following my advice and checking out Death Proof on DVD.
12/27/07 - Dukes
Rodney over at Movie Car Mania sent me
an e-mail announcing the arrival of new The Dukes of Hazzard slot
cars from X-Traction. Pictured above are the dirty versions. He
said that there are also clean, white wheels and chrome versions of the cars
pictured above. Click on the link at the top of the right column to
visit Movie Car Mania today!
12/26/07 - Recent
On the way to visit family on
Christmas Eve I stopped at a Toys R Us. Surprisingly, it
wasn't crowded at all. There were quite a few new Cars on the
pegs, and I even looked through a case, but didn't see anything I didn't
already have. Just as I was ready to give up, I spotted a lightning
bolt. I picked it up and held in my hand the Cars 3-pack that
includes Lightning Ramone (above.)
Also, a special thanks
goes out to one of my sponsors Pro-Models for sending me Jada's 1:64 scale
'06 Camaro Concept. Although not officially licensed, this car
resembles Bumblebee from the Transformers movie. It seems
closer to 1:55 scale, but this is a nice addition to my collection.
12/24/07 - Merry Christmas
I hope everyone has a happy and safe
Christmas and Santa brings you everything you asked for. See you in a
few days when I bring you: 2007 - The Year in Review. And
what a year it was!
12/20/07 - A Dirty Little
Thanks goodness for the various forums
I visit, otherwise I would've never known about the little beauty pictured
here. What you see here is a dirty version of The General Lee.
Yeah, yeah, I know, a dirty General Lee was included in the first release of
Johnny Lightning's The Dukes of Hazzard line. Look closely at
this one. This one has a push bar and interior roll cage similar to
the new General Lee included in Release 3. This one, however, has
different wheels than the R3 General Lee. Also, this version is only
available online. I got mine from a seller on eBay for approximately
$7 plus shipping.
12/19/07 - To the
According to several sources, Mattel
will be releasing a line of Bat-Vehicles in 1:50 scale. The website
has revealed a pic of the Bat-Cycle (above) featured in the 1966
Batman movie. Other vehicles expected to be included are:
'66 Batmobile, Tumbler, Comic Book Batmobile and animated series Batmobile.
Release dates TBD.
12/18/07 - Some Minor
Updates to the Site
With the addition of Dale Jr. my
Cars collection is up to date for now (well, with the exception of Race
Official Tom and Pit Crew Guido.) If you visit the
My Collection section of the site, I added
a pic of my new full Cars display case. Although I have all the
current releases, I've selected just 42 of my favorite characters to display
Also, there's a new
entry at #3 on the Top 10 Best list. Click
HERE to see it. Agree? Disagree?
Let me know by sending me an e-mail or posting a message in the forum.
12/17/07 - Merry Car-istmas!
Bruce and his son Alexander responded
to my request for pics of car-related ornaments. The Batmobile (above
right) was made by Bruce (using, I believe, the PVC Batmobile that came with
a Robin/Riddler figure 2-pack.) Thanks for sharing guys! If
anyone else would like to show off their ornaments, send well-lit, clear
pics attached to an e-mail.
Here are pics of a few
ornaments of my own:
12/17/07 - It's a Blu
I got my Blu-Ray McQueen in the mail
today! In other Cars news, Pit Crew Guido and Race Official Tom
have hit stores. Good luck finding them before Christmas.
12/15/07 - Beautiful
Would you be interested in a display
case like the one pictured above? It's lovingly hand-crafted, made of
wood with a sliding glass cover. It holds 42 of my favorite Cars
characters, but any 1:64 scale die-cast cars will display nicely. Let
me know if you're interested. Stay tuned for more information.
12/14/07 - Go Speed Racer,
Check out this cool Speed Racer
ornament I found at American Greetings. Does anyone else hang TV and
movie cars on their tree? Send me pics if you do. Speaking of
Speed Racer, if you haven't seen it yet, the trailer for the upcoming
live-action movie has surfaced online. To be honest, I'm not sure what
to make of it. The dialogue seems a bit corny, and what's the deal
with the Hot Wheels race track stuff? It seems like a weird dream.
I think I would've preferred they took a more realistic approach.
Here's a link to see the trailer:
12/13/07 - Dukes -
My thanks goes out to the folks at RC2
for sending me the third release from The Dukes of Hazzard series.
This is a great-looking set of cars. Here are my comments on each car,
starting from top left:
The General Lee
- This is the version of The General we've all been waiting for. FINALLY, we
have the front end push bar. The interior roll cage is a bonus.
The wheels are close, but not perfect. Still, this is the absolute,
hands-down best incarnation of The General Lee we've gotten to-date. I
applaud the crew at RC2 and Johnny Lightning for their effort on this one.
Uncle Jesse's Chevy
Pickup - I have mixed feelings about this one. I'm excited because
this is the FIRST TIME EVER Uncle Jesse's pickup has been done in 1:64 scale
die-cast. (Some think ERTL released it, but that was actually Cooter's
pickup.) The problem is that Uncle Jesse drove FORD pickups, not Chevy
pickups. Only hardcore fans would spot the difference, but if Johnny
Lightning ever creates the correct Ford casting, I would hope they'd take
another stab at this one.
Plymouth Road Runner - In the episode Birds Gotta Fly, Molly
Hargrove convinces Daisy to try the NASCAR circuit in this beautiful car.
It's a little obscure, but a nice addition to the line.
Enos' Race Car
- Enos converted a patrol car into this race car in the episode Luke's
Love Story. Technically, the car in the episode was a Plymouth
Fury, but eh, close enough. It looks great.
Sheriff - Johnny Lightning sure has gotten its money's worth from this
Dodge Monaco casting. Featured in the episode Baa Baa White Sheep,
this is a colorful, yet obscure addition to the line.
Double Zero Mustang
- I have to admit, this was a pleasant surprise when I heard it would be
included in Release 3. I hadn't heard it would be included until
fairly recently. Buzz Kilroy's 00 Mustang was featured in the 1997
special The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! This is a great-looking
car and I'd love to see JL give us more cars to race against The General.
In summary, this is a
GREAT release with a nice mix of obscure cars and must-haves. One car
I DIDN'T receive from RC2 is this white version of The General Lee (right)
that Rodney over at Movie Car Mania told me he got in two of the six cases
he received. Rodney referred to it as The Ghost of General Lee, but
I'm going to assume this is a White Lightning and will be HIGHLY sought
after by collectors.
12/6/07 - Playing with
Gregg Lacarte sent me a link to a very
cool website. Joe Kelly, Jr. is a collector of 1:18 scale die-cast
cars, and on his website
www.thecarroom.com Joe does a video review of RC2's upcoming 1:18 scale
General Lee from their Authentics line (pictured above.) Joe got his
hands on a pre-production model and does a great job going over all the
details on this beautiful die-cast car. Originally due to hit stores
at the end of this year, it looks like it'll arrive in early 2008.
HERE for Joe's well-produced video segment called Playing with Cars.
12/4/07 - The Dukes of
Hazzard - R2
Having never seen Release 2 in stores,
I decided to get a set through one of my sponsors, Movie Car Mania.
They arrived in the mail today via UPS. Here are my comments about
- The General Lee:
Knowing that the ultimate General Lee will be coming out in Release 3, this
re-release is a little underwhelming.
- Daisy's Jeep CJ-5:
Although this is supposed to be the "dirty" version, the dirt is barely
noticeable. I would've liked to see heavier application, along the
lines of the dirty version of the General Lee from Release 1.
- Gray Ghost Jr.:
From the episode Days of Shine and Roses, this is a nice addition to
the Dukes line. And Boss Hogg's Camaro will be able to race against
Uncle Jessie's Black Tillie II when it comes out in Release 4.
Hughie Hogg's VW
Beetle: This is a nice casting, but noticeably absent are the bull
horns on the front of the car. This seems like a glaring oversight and
hopefully will be corrected down the road.
Patrol Car: According to the website
Sheriff Little's Patrol Car was a Plymouth Fury and not a Dodge Monaco.
However, this is a colorful and welcomed addition to the Dukes line.
The front bumper guards are a nice touch.
General Lee (black):
From the episode Happy Birthday General Lee, this is how the General
looked when Bo & Luke salvaged it from a junkyard for a race. This is
a nice use of the '69 Charger casting.
Enos' Patrol Car:
Enos' Dodge Monaco is almost identical to Rosco's Patrol Car from Release 1
with a few minor differences.
General Lee Zinger:
I'm not a huge fan of Zingers, although I'm sure kids love them. I
rolled my eyes when I heard JL would be releasing the General in Zinger
form. But now having seen it up close, I'm sure this will be popular
with collectors and kids alike.
In summary, this is a
nice release with some logical cars included, but I have to admit I'm more
excited about the announced upcoming releases. But Johnny Lightning,
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE consider releasing Boss Hogg's Caddy in a future
12/3/07 - "Coo...Coo... I
love it. I love it."
Bruce sent me this itty bitty pic of
Johnny Lightning's third release from The Dukes of Hazzard line.
Pictured above are General Lee (with push bar and roll cage), Uncle Jesse's
Pickup (LONG overdue), Molly Hargrove's Race Car (yellow), Eno's Race Car
(red, white & blue), Finchburg County Sheriff (red & white) and Double Zero
Mustang. Bruce says these should be hitting stores by mid-December.
This is a great release. I can't wait to get these. Thanks
UPDATE: Bruce sent me a larger photo. Click the
thumbnail above to view. Wow, what a nice-looking set.
Apparently, these are hitting some stores now, judging by their appearance
12/2/07 - Cars to
look for in 2008
Check out these pics of upcoming
Cars 3-packs found online. New offerings include gold Mia & Tia,
Lightning Ramone and Dirt Track Doc Hudson (which is just Doc Hudson with
red rims.) Notice Piston Cup Pace Car actually has a name:
Charlie Checker. I also saw a pic of Dinoco Mia & Tia. We should
see these hit the States in 2008.
12/1/07 - Cool Customs
If you haven't visited the Forum
recently, check it out. There have been some very cool customs
unveiled over the past few weeks. Above are 1:64 customs made by
Spencer1984. It's shocking that some die-cast company hasn't done the
Deathmobile, the Mirthmobile or The Rockford Files Firebird yet.
Below are cars customized by Hollywood Detective. Imagine a Grease
2-pack. I actually contacted Johnny Lightning about the possibility of
releasing Giselle (the blue #7 below) as part of their Herbie line, but was
told the company didn't have and wasn't interested in producing a Lancia
Scorpion casting. Too bad. To visit the Forum, click on the link
in the left column.