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.
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
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.
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!
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
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
- 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.
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.
Cars Gallery and the Speed
Racer Movie Gallery have been updated.
'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.
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
- 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.
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.
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
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
15) View Zeen
16) Transberry Juice
17) Sputter Stop
18) Shiny Wax
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.
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.