12/29/09 - The Year in
As the clock winds down on 2009, let's take a
look back at a fun and memorable year for die-cast collectors.
Mattel's Cars line stole the show, offering so much product it was
almost overwhelming (Blinky Eyes, Final Laps, and TOONS, OH MY!) Paul
Walker and Vin Diesel reunited on-screen, Kirk & Spock clashed, but
Transformers ruled at the box office and Hasbro's 1:64 scale RPMs proved
quite popular. New Batman product infiltrated collectors' collections
and exciting announcements make 2010 a year to REALLY look forward to!
Click HERE to take a look back
12/26/09 - The Top Car
Movies of 2009
Well, there's good news and bad news. The
good news is, with a domestic gross of over $400 million, a car movie
was the #1 movie of the year! The bad news: It was
Transfomers: Revenge of the Fallen, which was, in my opinion, the
worst movie of the year. The movie, however, did generate a line of
1:64 scale cars from Hasbro from both movies. Here are the rest:
5th highest grossing movie of 2009 is also the #1 R-Rated Comedy of all-time
with a domestic take of $277 million. The Hangover features a
group of buddies who travel to Las Vegas in a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280
SE Convertible and hi-jinks ensue. I only recently saw this movie on
DVD and my face still hurts from laughing. It's one of the funniest
movies I've ever seen.
6th highest grossing movie doesn't feature CARS per se (unless you count a
'65 Corvette Sting Ray) but does feature plenty of spaceships that spawned
plenty of toys. Star Trek raked in $257 million and, in my
opinion, was the most FUN movie of the year. The tired franchise was
reinvigorated and I'm looking forward to the sequels to come.
Origins: Wolverine cracked the year's top ten with a take of $179
million. Predictable, but fun, the movie did feature a thrilling
sequence as Wolverine eludes the military on a Harley-Davidson.
& Furious began its theatrical run, well, um, fast & furiously by
pulling in $70 million its opening weekend way back in April, thanks to the
reunion of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. It went on to out-gross all its
predecessors with a total haul of $155 million and its cliffhanger ending
hinted at a FIFTH installment. Sadly, a planned die-cast car line from
Johnny Lightning never panned out.
were vehicles and action GALORE in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, yet
producers had to count on the movie's foreign box office to recoup its
budget, taking in only $150 million domestically and ranking #16 for the
year. To be honest, I was so turned off by the movie's trailers, I
stayed away and haven't bothered to see it yet.
a production budget of only $25 million, Taken was released in
January and went on to become a surprise hit with $145 million taken in
domestically. I only got around to seeing this movie for the first
time on HBO recently, and I thought it was thrilling and intense, and
featured some pretty great car chases to boot! Liam Neeson was fantastic!
recouping its $200 million production budget when you factor in its
worldwide gross, you have to consider Terminator Salvation a
disappointment. The movie offered a fun chase sequence featuring a
couple of "Moto-Terminators" and had a few nice surprises, but overall the
movie was boring and forgettable.
30's-era vehicles were featured in what was one of my favorite movies of the
year. Unfortunately, Public Enemies wasn't embraced by the
movie-going audience and fell to 29 on the list of top-grossing movies of
2009 with a domestic tally of only $97 million. Maybe it'll find an
audience on DVD.
My thanks go out to
Box Office Mojo for the year-end totals and the
Internet Movie Car Database
for the above images.
12/26/09 - Who Ya Gonna
Mattel has announced it will release a 1:64
scale version of the Ecto-1 as part of its Hot Wheels line. This news
is almost as exciting as their announcement of a 1:64 '66 Batmobile back in
late 2006. Would you believe this is the first time the Ecto-1 will be
available in 1:64 scale? "What about Johnny Lightning's version?", you
ask. That version was based on Ecto-1A from the SECOND movie, with the
ghost holding up TWO fingers for no apparent reason. The Fuji Film
exclusive die-cast was also Ecto-1A. Check out the
Ghostbusters Gallery. The only
other version we've gotten of Ecto-1 was the 1:18 scale version from RC2,
which was spectacular. Pics of the Hot Wheels version can be found on
www.hotwheelscollectors.com website. It's not very detailed, since
it'll be part of the basic .99 cents line, but maybe we will get a more
detailed version down the road. Expect it to hit stores in
12/23/09 - Merry
I'll be out and about the next few days so I
wanted to wish everyone a very merry Christmas! When I get back we'll
take a look back at the year 2009. But before I go I
wanted to leave you with this cute little number by the group Mulberry Lane.
UPDATE: You can download
Christmas in the Car
12/20/09 - A Christmas
Story Road Trip
I finally got around to doing something I've
been wanting to do for the past few years. A few of my buddies hopped
into my car and took a 3-hour drive to Cleveland for the A Christmas
Story experience. It was such a great time. As we drove up
11th Street (referred to as Cleveland Street in the movie), the house came
into view and looked EXACTLY as it did in the movie:
The current owner, who purchased the house on eBay a few
years ago, has put a lot of time and money into restoring the house to
appear as it did in the film. Only the exteriors were used in the
finished film. Interiors were filmed on a set to accommodate cameras
and lights. However, the owner has furnished the house with
period-accurate furniture and decorations. Stepping inside the house
was like stepping inside the movie:
A museum, located across the street, housed actual props
from the film, including clothing and hats. I really enjoyed
seeing all the toys that were actually on display in the Higbee's Department
Store window in the opening moments of the movie. There was also a
1937 Oldsmobile on display that was used on screen, but I was disappointed
to find out it wasn't the family sedan. It was the same make and
Later, we drove into downtown Cleveland and found the actual
Higbee's Department Store seen in the film. Unfortunately, it has
closed its doors to the public. There was one window that had a
holiday display. We also found the monument that can be seen in the
background of the movie's parade scenes.
Many scenes, including the school and infamous flagpole
scene, were filmed in Toronto, Canada, as was the Chinese Restaurant scene
(Bo Ling's) but we did grab some Chinese food at, I kid you not, a
restaurant called Bo Loong's. We then made the long trek back to the
Metro Detroit area, just in time to catch A Christmas Story playing
on the big screen at the Redford Theatre.
- Customs Galore!
In what has become an annual tradition,
frequent contributor to this website and forum, Spencer1984, has created six
new 1:64 scale custom cars. The cars are available as a set in an eBay
auction, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting a New York charity. Who
wouldn't want to grab the '69 Charger from Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry;
Cobra's 1950 Mercury or the sinister '74 Charger from Wheels of
HERE to bid.
12/17/09 - "Punch me,
Guido! Punch me in the face!"
I popped into a bustling Toys R Us and found
this 3-Car Gift Pack of the Ferraris featured in Cars. It's a
great-looking set, but I just have to say I'm NOT a fan of the lenticular
eyes. As you can see on Costanzo Della Corsa (who is exclusive to this
set) at any given moment he looks like he has FOUR pupils. I wish
Mattel would abandon this poorly-conceived concept.
UPDATE: Apparently, my statement that Costanzo is
"exclusive" to this boxed set isn't entirely accurate. Today at Target
I found Costanzo Della Corsa on a Final Lap Collection card and WITHOUT
lenticular eyes. Costanzo has been added to the
12/16/09 - A Stocking
I've been busy the past few days updating the
Hollywood Die-Cast Checklist/Price Guide for 2010. The Checklist now
includes all die-cast cars from TV and movies released in 2009 (in 1:64 &
1:55 scale) including new Cars releases, Hasbro's Transformers
RPMs and MORE! It's 41 pages of die-cast goodness! Click
HERE to begin the process of
purchasing one using your PayPal account. At the end of transaction,
you should be able to download the document to your computer.
Please help support this website and in return, you'll receive this unique
Checklist & Price Guide that can only be found RIGHT HERE! After
receiving the document, feel free to bring to my attention any omissions or
glaring errors, including price suggestions. I've tried my best to
come up with accurate values based on recently completed online auctions,
but I'm willing to consider your input.
- On a Roll!
I have been ON A ROLL when it comes to finding
new Cars product. Today, at Target, I came across Dexter Hoover
with Checkered Flag and Antonio Veloce Eccellente. If Dexter Hoover
looks familiar, that's because he was released on World of Cars
packaging in 2008 with a yellow caution flag (left.) With these finds
I'm almost current on Cars releases, with the exception of the
Ferrari boxed set.
- "Hey! No cameras!"
Today I drove out to WalMart to see if I could
find anything new. I was stunned to find Richard Clayton Kensington in
Mega Size packaging. Why was I stunned? Well, do you see the
artwork at the left? That was originally posted on my site in November
2007! That's right! Collectors have been waiting for this
release for over TWO YEARS now! Strangely, the item wasn't in their
system when I tried to scan it so the cashier rang it up at $4.97, which I
believe is below what Mega Size vehicles normally ring up as. What a
12/11/09 - A Festivus
I heard about the new Cars Story Tellers
releases quite a while ago and feared they may have come and gone in my area
and I somehow missed out. Today, however, I popped into a local Target
at lunchtime and to my surprise, THERE THEY WERE! Here's what I
Sheila, Rhonda & Laverne traveled the country with Flo as
the Motorama Girls until a fateful visit to Radiator Springs. Flo fell
in love with Ramone and the rest, as they say, is history.
Did you know Mater has three cousins? Yep, Cousins
Jud, Buford & Cletus. They liked to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon
together fishing. Bubba was a big, bad bully who liked to pick on poor
ol' Mater. So what happened when Bubba challenged Mater to a race?
Well, you'll just have to read the World of Cars storybook to find
12/9/09 - Just a Good Ol'
Herbie owner Jason sent me some pics from a car
show that took place on December 6 in Woodland Hills, California. He
had a chance to meet Bo Duke himself John Schneider and had him sign his
car. Check out what he wrote above. John also signed the Striped
Tomato that belongs to Lou & Linda. Here's an interesting little
tidbit. The Dukes of Hazzard premiered as Starsky & Hutch's
run was ending. In the Season 1 episode entitled One-Armed Bandits,
Cooter drives a replica of the famous Gran Torino. Some speculate that
it was an in-joke signifying the passing of the torch from one iconic TV car
to another: The General Lee.
12/7/09 - Elite Version of
the '89 Batmobile
DonJuan posted in the forum that Mattel has
released an Elite version of the '89 Batmobile in 1:18 scale. I did a
quick search on eBay and sure enough, they're starting to show up. The
pics above are from one such auction. In the case of the '66 Batmobile,
the Elite version had more detail and parts, so I'm assuming that's the case
with the '89 Batmobile. It would make a nice Christmas present for
that Bat-Fan in your family. Hint. Hint.