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December '08
News Archive

 


 

 

12/31/08 - The Year in Review

For those of you who may not know, Hollywood Die-Cast originates from the Metro Detroit area, and I gotta tell you, it's been a pretty rough year for Metro Detroiters.  In 2008 we saw the Mayor of Detroit resign from office and is now serving time as a convicted felon.  No state has been hit harder than Michigan in this recession we're experiencing as we witnessed the automobile industry teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.  And of course, my beloved Detroit Lions produced the first 0-16 season in the history of the NFL.  Sigh.  Also, in 2008, we lost some legends from the entertainment world, like Paul Newman, Jerry Reed, Roy Scheider and car customizer Dick Dean.

 

Luckily for me, this little hobby of mine provided a distraction during the tough times.  Finding that Cars chase car at the store, getting packages in the mail, seeing that midnight screening of The Dark Knight or Quantum of Solace with my friends, meeting Danica Patrick in person, these are the things I'll remember about 2008.  And I can only hope my little website provided some fun and entertainment for those of you out there who underwent tough times, too.  Let's look back at some of things that took place in the world of Hollywood cars in 2008:  The Year in Review.

 


 

 

12/27/08 - Car Movies in '08

It's hard to believe 2008 is coming to an end.  For those of us who love car movies, it was a memorable year with a lot of ups and downs and plenty to choose from.  So how did car movies fare at the box office in '08?  Let's take a look at the numbers courtesy of Box Office Mojo.

 

Of course, the biggest movie of the year was The Dark Knight.  It easily topped the charts pulling in $530 million domestically and, in my opinion, was the best movie of the year by far.  It was great to the see the Tumbler back on the big screen and we were introduced to the Bat-Pod (above, left.)

 

Iron Man ranked second for the year with a domestic take of $318 million.  Although not a "car movie" it did feature some great cars, including Tony Stark's Audi R8. 

 

Although Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull finished third for the year with a take of $317 million, in my opinion, it was the biggest disappointment of the year.  The awful CGI effects and absurd sci-fi plot made this entry unworthy of the Indiana Jones series.  I won't be adding this one to my DVD collection.

 

Quantum of Solace cracked the top 10 with $162 million placing it at #8 for the year.  The latest James Bond flick didn't quite measure up to Daniel Craig's first foray as Bond, but it was entertaining.

 

Maxwell Smart's red '65 Sunbeam Tiger had a cameo in the 2008 film version of Get Smart.  Steve Carell continues to do well at the box office as this movie pulled in an impressive $130 million domestically.

 

Disney's College Road Trip came and went without me ever seeing a trailer, let alone the movie.  Despite my lack of knowledge, the movie, starring Martin Lawrence and Raven Simone netted $45 million.

 

The year's most critically panned movie and notorious box office dud, Speed Racer, stalled with a $43 million domestic take.  Even if you factor in the foreign totals, the movie still fell well short of its $120 million production budget.  Honestly, in my opinion, the movie wasn't THAT BAD!  Yeah, the racing scenes were cheesy and fake, but I thought it was a colorful, entertaining movie suitable for the whole family.  But it doesn't look like we'll be seeing a sequel any time soon.

 

If you combine all three of Jason Statham's releases this year:  Death Race, Transporter 3 and The Bank Job, he stilled failed to crack the $100 million mark domestically.  Nevertheless, I thought Statham starred in three of the most entertaining movies of the year. 

 

And finally, barely making a blip on the radar, Sex Drive recouped only $8.4 million of its $19 million dollar budget.  Although not as high-profile, it would beat Speed Racer as one of the biggest duds of the year.

 


 

 

12/24/08 - Happy Holidays!

Well, I'm getting ready to head out and spend a few days with family.  I hope everyone has a great holiday and may your stocking overflow with goodies.  When I get back, we'll take a look at the ups and downs of 2008 and try to peek into the future.  Merry Christmas & Happy Chanukah!

 


 

12/24/08 - Chasing Cars

While Christmas shopping yesterday, I found two new additions to my Cars collection. Pictured above, left, is White Walls McQueen.  Above, right, is the Chase Car Impound Snot Rod.  I almost missed Snot Rod, because you really have to be paying attention to know it's a Chase Car.  His "boot" is on the front right wheel instead of the front left wheel like the others.  Both were found at Target.  The above pics have been added to the Cars Gallery.

 

 

12/29 UPDATE

I popped into Target and found what could be one of my favorite Cars releases so far.  Greta has a beautiful flame paint job with a metallic purple finish.  I'm now caught up on the new releases in Case D.  Now I need to find Case E, which includes Easy Idle Pitty, Halloween Hank Murphy, and the chase car Impound DJ. 

 


 

 

12/18/08 - Spider-Man 3

Okay, here's an obscure one for you.  Back in November, Jason sent me a link to an eBay auction for the actual armored truck used during the filming of Spider-Man 3.  (It sold for only $2,000.)  Included in the auction was a die-cast replica of the same truck.  I was amazed at the similarities between the toy and the real thing.  I did a search on eBay and sure enough I found several auctions for the truck made by MGA Entertainment.  So I bid on one and won it for .99 cents plus shipping. As you can see, the tampos are a little off, but it's not a bad likeness.   I've created a Spider-Man 3 Gallery.

 


 

 

12/16/08 - Today's Finds

Stopped into a Target store on the way into work.  Heading into the Cars section, the first thing I spotted was Lightning McQueen and his little tumbleweed hairdo.  I snatched it up and kept searching the pegs, pulling out Trunk Fresh Pitty.  I almost stopped there, but then noticed a Damaged King hiding in the back.  Not a bad haul. 

 

Then, as I began to leave the aisle, a flash of red caught my eye in the Speed Racer section.  There were two 3-Packs in the familiar Target-Exclusive Grand Prix packaging, but these were new.  One of the 3-Packs, Fuji Helexicon, included the elusive 3 Roses car (below, left.)  Another 3-Pack, Casa Cristo 5000, included the Taejo Togokahn car (below, right.)  These were an unexpected surprise and only cost $4.99 each.

 

 

Both the Cars Gallery and the Speed Racer Movie Gallery have been updated.

 


 

 

12/13/08 - 'Tis the Season

Wow. Christmas is less than two weeks away.  I was wandering around at the mall last night and stopped into a Hallmark Store out of curiosity.  There was an incredible selection of ornaments, including some from the world of TV and movie cars.  Pictured above, from left, is the Flintmobile, Mach 5, Luigi & Guido from Cars and an Imperial Shuttle that lights up, plays the Imperial March, and has wings that fold up and down.  I'll definitely be adding a few of those to my tree this year.

 


 

 

12/10/08 - Holy Blu-Ray, Batman!

The biggest movie of the year, The Dark Knight, finally arrived on DVD on Tuesday.  The sequel to Batman Begins earned over $530 MILLION dollars domestically (second only to Titanic) and netted another $465 million overseas for a total worldwide gross of almost ONE BILLION DOLLARS!  While visiting Target today, this little item caught my eye.  Packaged with the Blu-Ray disc was a replica of the Bat-Pod.  As you can see below, the vehicle looks fairly close to 1:18 scale and displays nicely with the Tumbler from Hot Wheels.  Unfortunately, it's made of plastic and not die-cast metal, but it's still a great display piece.  (The DVDs are stored in the backdrop.)

 

 


 

12/9/08 - Chasing Cars

Popped into a local Toys R Us and found the Cars section to be fairly picked over, but I persisted and searched every peg.  The persistence paid off as I scored a Chase Impound Boost (left.)  Lately, I've had better luck at TRU than WalMart, which has had NADA.

 


 

 

12/7/08 - Checklist/Price Guide Updated for 2009!

How would you like an inexpensive stocking stuffer for the die-cast collector in  your family?  I've just finished updating the Hollywood Die-Cast Checklist/Price Guide for 2009.  There are over 200 new entries (all highlighted in purple) including new releases from The Dukes of Hazzard line, the latest Batman releases from Hot Wheels, the Indiana Jones Titanium series and all the Cars characters released on Race-O-Rama packaging so far.  Now at a whopping 38 pages, the checklist is only $5.  You need a PayPal account and upon purchasing, you will be able to download the .PDF file to save or print.  Please help support Hollywood Die-Cast and CLICK HERE to download the 2009 Checklist/Price Guide TODAY!  If you experience any technical difficulties, contact me and I will e-mail you the document.

 


 

 

12/2/08 - Chasing Cars

I hit a few stores today hoping to get an early start on some Christmas shopping, but of course I found a few things for ME.  First, popping into a local WalMart, I spotted the new Cars Mack Transporter that includes Nitroade, Bob Cutlass (?) and a new release:  #90 Bumper Save!  Then, later in the day, I hit a nearby Toys R Us and was surprised to see new Cars product on the pegs.  I snagged Chief RPM and Tank Coat Pitty, but didn't see the Chase car Impound Boost. 

 

With the release of Bumper Save, that brings the number of race cars that were originally released in the Speedway of the South set to 21 (of 36 cars that made up the set) with more on the way.  I looked at my Cars Gallery and came up with this list so far: 

 

1) Lightning McQueen
2) Chick Hicks
3) The King
4) Leak Less
5) Nitroade
6) RPM #64
7) Vinyl Toupee (Target Exclusive Gift Set)
8) Octane Gain
9) No Stall
10) Dale, Jr.
11) Trunk Fresh (Pit Row Race-Off)
12) Gasprin (Movie Moments 2-pack)
13) Tow Cap (Movie Moments 2-pack)

14) Re-Volting (Target Exclusive Gift Set)
15) View Zeen

16) Transberry Juice
17) Sputter Stop
18) Shiny Wax
19) Sparemint
20) Sidewall Shine (TRU Exclusive Mail-In)
21) Bumper Save (Mack Transporter)

 

N20 Cola  is the current TRU Exclusive Mail-In offer and you have until the end of December to get the order form and receipts in the mail.  So hopefully, it'll be just a matter of time before we're able to complete the entire Speedway of the South set one piece at a time.

 


 

 

12/1/08 - It's the Holiday Season

Wow, it's so hard to believe the holiday season is upon us.  Where has the year gone?  I know, in this tough economy, that people have been cutting back on frivolous purchases like, well, die-cast cars.  But with Christmas quickly approaching, I strongly urge you to visit the the sponsors who help make this website possible. Movie Car Mania, Pro-Models and RPM Die-Cast have a great variety of die-cast cars and remote control vehicles that would make great presents for the young ones (or young-at-heart) in your family.  Click on the links in the right column of this page and who knows, maybe you'll find that PERFECT gift you've been searching for.  I hope everyone has a GREAT holiday season.