December '07 News Archive

12/29/07 - The Year in Review
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:

1) Transformers was the third-highest grossing film of 2007 with $319,071,806, behind Spider-Man 3 and Shrek the Third.

2) The Bourne Ultimatum finished 6th for the year with $227,471,070.  I 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 $134,529,403.

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 Slot Cars
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 Acquisitions
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.  Thanks!

12/24/07 - Merry Christmas to all!
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 Secret!
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 Bat-Cycle!
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 loose.

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 Christmas!
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 Display Case
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, GO!
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 - Release 3
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.

Molly Hargrove's 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.

Finchburg County 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 Cars
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 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.  Click 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 each car:

- 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. 

Sheriff Little's 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 release. 

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 Bruce.

12/5/07 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 on eBay.

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.