- 2010: The Year in Review
Wow, it's hard to believe the seconds
are ticking away on 2010. What a great year it was for fans of
Hollywood cars and toy collectors. There was SO much Disney Cars
product I could hardly keep up. We got TEN, count 'em TEN new
Bat-Vehicles from Mattel. Johnny Lightning surprised us with several
official and UNOFFICIAL Hollywood cars. There were some great car
movies, and, ahem, some NOT-so-great car movies. And, oh yeah, I met a
couple of my childhood idols. Who? You ask. Well, sit
right back and you'll hear a tale....
HERE to take a stroll down
- Factory Direct!
Arriving in the mail today was a
complete set of 1:50 scale Black Beauty die-cast cars compliments of
Factory Entertainment. Factory has produced four versions of the
Black Beauty, two from The Green Hornet TV series and two from the
upcoming movie and these things are beautifully detailed. You can find
the Black Beauty with and without weapons deployed. Having these cars
in hand allows me to compare the TV version to the movie version for the
first time. The TV Black Beauty was a 1966 Chrysler Imperial Crown.
The movie version is a 1965 Chrysler Imperial. The front ends are
similar, but the rear ends are significantly different. Both cars have
different rims, and the TV version has the rear wheels covered, while the
movie version's are exposed. And finally, the movie version has two
HUGE guns that rise from the hood. You can see the Black Beauty in
action when The Green Hornet hits theaters on January 14, 2011.
Out of curiosity, I wanted to
compare Mattel's 1966 Batmobile to Factory's Black Beauty. I was
surprised to find out the Black Beauty is significantly larger. I
guess I forgot Mattel's Bat-Vehicles are closer to 1:55 scale.
- Chasing Cars
With just a few days left in the year,
I'm still finding new things at the stores. Hoping Toys R Us restocked
after the Christmas rush, I got lucky and found the latest Cars Chase
character: Mater with Hood. This makes the third Chase Mater
- Top Car Movies of 2010
As 2010 winds down, let's take a look at
the top car movies of the year. Using numbers provided by the website
Box Office Mojo, here's what I was able to come up with:
The top grossing movie of the year was Toy Story
3. Released in June, this movie appealed to kids and adults
alike. Although not a car movie (the Pizza Planet Truck did have
a cameo), which of us die-cast car collectors can't relate to the
Iron Man 2 came in at #3 for the year.
Personally, I was disappointed in this second effort, although there
were a few fun moments. Audi once again had significant product
placement, and Whiplash showed up at the Monaco Grand Prix.
In my opinion, The Other Guys was the worst
movie I saw this year. Audiences and critics disagreed with me.
The movie ranked 17th for the year. Samuel Jackson and The Rock
destroyed some classic Chevelles. Will Ferrell drove a Prius
I never got around to catching Angelina Jolie in
Salt, but it did fairly well at the box office. The trailer
features some amazing car chases, so I'll have to catch this one on
I couldn't find time to see The Expendables
at the theater but I recently watched it on DVD and I have to say it
was a lot of fun. It was great to see so many icons together on
the screen and Stallone's custom '55 Ford F-100 was bad-ass.
Steve Carell and Tina Fey teamed up in Date
Night to produce some big laughs along with some fun action
sequences. The duo ended up destroying Mark Wahlberg's Audi R8
in the process.
One movie that looked promising, but was plagued by
bad reviews, was the road trip movie Due Date. Released
in November, the movie still almost managed to crack the $100 million
Released in mid-December, Tron Legacy's box
office returns are still coming in, but it doesn't look like it's
shaping up to be the blockbuster I thought it would be.
Factoring in its foreign grosses, the movie will be lucky to break
even. It's budget was $170 million.
Although it had some flaws, I thought the movie
version of The A-Team was pretty darned entertaining.
Apparently, audiences disagreed with me. The movie didn't fare
very well at the box office. It was great to see the GMC van on
the big screen, but I was disappointed to see it destroyed.
Gosh, you would think the pairing up of Tom Cruise
and Cameron Diaz in an action flick would result in a box office
bonanza, but nope. Knight & Day tanked at the box office,
although it did do very well overseas. I didn't see it.
Box Office Bombs
The Rock must like 70's era Chevy Chevelles.
He drove them in The Other Guys and in the box office dud
Faster. The trailers looked pretty good, but audiences
stayed away. I'll check it out on DVD.
||The biggest dud in 2010 (and in recent
memory) was MacGruber, prompting reviews like "MacGruber
himself couldn't defuse THIS bomb!" Ouch. Honestly, I
liked it, but the movie fizzled after raking in only $8 million
domestically. Ouch again.
- "Run for it, Marty!"
Years ago, Johnny Lightning produced an
awesome diorama that included the Back to the Future DeLorean and Doc
Brown's van (below, right.) I had always hoped someone would produce a
diorama that included the blue & white VW bus driven by the Libyans.
Well, Matchbox has allowed us to create our own diorama, sort of.
Hitting stores now is a blue '70 VW T2 Classic Bus by Matchbox. It's
not an exact match, but it's close enough for now. The bus featured in
the movie was a '74 model and had a different headlight configuration.
Someone with a steady hand and skill might be open to cut open the top and
have a Libyan with a grenade launcher poking out of the top. I'll file
this one under "unofficial."
- Merry Cars-Mas to You!
After wrapping the presents I'll be
heading out to visit family for the next couple of days, so I wanted to wish
everyone Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas! May your stockings
overflow with toy car goodness. When I get back we'll stroll down
memory lane and take a look back at the car movies, car TV shows and, of
course, the car toys of 2010.
- Merry Cars-Mas...to ME!
I was out doing some last-minute
shopping on Christmas Eve-Eve and, of course, I had to pick up a few things
for myself. First, while at Toys R Us, I finally stumbled across three
of the new Toys R Us Exclusive Mater Saves Christmas characters.
Pictured above, from left, are Whee-Hoo Winter Mater, Snowplow McQueen and
(green) Holiday Spirit Sheriff. I didn't see Decked Out Doc Hudson,
but I do believe he's just a re-release of the 2009 version. To see
all the holiday releases from years past, click
Also, while out and about I
found three new characters from the Tokyo Mater short. Pictured
below are Yojimbo, Tabinu and Van-San. I'm only missing a couple of
Toons, including the Teki & Paki 2-Pack. Click
HERE to see all the
Toon releases I've found so far.
UPDATE: I found a couple more Cars Toon characters.
Below, left, is the Teki & Paki 2-Pack from Tokyo Mater. Below,
right, is Rodney the Rocker from Heavy Metal Mater.
- Cars 2 Sneak Peeks
If you'd like to see some sneak peeks of
next year's Cars 2 line, click on the pic above, which will take you
to a thread on the Cars the Toys Forum. Many of the characters
we've seen in the official trailer can be seen in toy form in the thread.
I'm particularly excited about Finn McMissile, the Aston Martin pictured
- "This Model is Fully Loaded"
The official trailer for the fifth
installment of The Fast & The Furious franchise has been unleashed
and it looks action-packed! Apparently, characters from all the
previous installments will appear in Fast Five, scheduled to arrive
in theaters on April 29, 2011. And, to top it off, they will be joined
by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and, oh yeah, some pretty spectacular cars. You
better believe I'll be there on opening day. Click on the image above
to view the official trailer.
- New Final Lap Cars
I stopped into a Target store and boy,
I'm glad I did. I found six, count 'em, SIX new Final Lap
characters from the Cars line! Pictured above, from left, are Duff
Wrecks, Marilyn, Milo, Timothy Timezone Truecoat (check out those awesome
fins), Valerie Veate, and Jonathan Wrenchworths. As nice as it is to
find something new, c'mon, you have to admit these characters are all pretty
obscure. Once again proof that the Cars line is running out of
gas. I've added the above pics to the
Final Lap Gallery.
- "Call me ... The Punisher."
I got an e-mail from Tom Z. at Johnny
Lightning showing me a photo of a 1969 Pontiac GTO that's scheduled to be
released as part of of the Forever 64 line, Release 12. Look familiar?
Check out the bullet holes. Thomas Jane drove a '69 Pontiac GTO in the
2004 movie The Punisher. Way back in 2004 it was announced the
GTO would be part of Hollywood on Wheels 6, but due to licensing issues, it
was canceled. Unfortunately, every photo I've seen shows the movie car
without a rear spoiler, but I guess that can be easily remedied. It's
very cool that the car will finally find its way to toy store pegs.
- Merry Cars-Mas...Again!
Popping into a nearby Target I saw a
fairly large supply of the Target-Exclusive Mater Saves Christmas
boxed set that includes Ramone, McQueen, Guido, Luigi and Fillmore decked
out in holiday colors. Apparently, there are some single-carded
Christmas characters out there, as well, including Snow Shovel McQueen and a
green Sheriff. I have yet to find those. While we're on the
topic of Cars, I finally found something I've been looking for for a
long time. The Target-Exclusive Team Octane Gain Crew has finally
shown up in my area (below) and to my surprise, it was on clearance for
$9.98. Interestingly, I've since seen it at other Target stores, but
the clearance price is over $13, so I guess I got lucky with mine.
- You Be the Judge
The 1971 movie two-lane blacktop
has never really gotten a decent die-cast car treatment. Yes, Racing
Champions did a line of cars years ago, but neither of the cars pictured
above were included in the line. The '55 Chevy was produced in 1:18
scale by Ertl, but the 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge has been largely ignored,
Currently hitting stores is this beautiful '70 Pontiac
GTO Judge from Mattel's 2011 Hot Wheels line. As you can see, it bears
uncanny similarities to the movie car. Who knows? Maybe someone
at Mattel is a fan of the movie. All I know is it's a great time to be
a Hollywood car collector with both Mattel and Johnny Lightning releasing
official and unofficial Hollywood cars. Now if we can only get the '55
Chevy in 1:64 scale.
Wow, I've gotten quite a few e-mails since I made the post above.
Leigh "Snowowl" Fahel sent me the pic you see below, left. Apparently,
Matchbox released a 1970 Pontiac GTO quite a few years ago. Also in
the pic (and in the center pic) is a 1970 Pontiac GTO from Greenlight that
was released last year. And finally, Tim Uyttebroeck sent me an e-mail
telling me a company called GMP has made a limited edition 1:18 scale
version of the car (below, right) they call "Double Lane GTO." So
there you have it. Thanks for the info.
- Looking Forward to 2011
Fernando da Nobrega Ubarana sent me an
e-mail alerting me to some exciting announcements from Mattel for 2011.
Of course, we're already aware of the Back to the Future DeLorean
scheduled for next year, but Fernando sent me the pics above of a loose
sample. If you look closely you can see the OUTATIME license plate.
Very cool. Mattel has officially announced its Hot Wheels lineup for
2011 and there are some VERY interesting items listed. Hitting stores
now is a 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge, which some say is a dead-ringer for the car
from the movie Two-Lane Blacktop. The Batmobile is listed as
#24/50 of New Models. There's speculation it may be a re-release of
the Batmobile that was included in the Arkham Asylum playset.
Also listed under New Models is Knight Rider Pontiac Firebird as
#39/50. That's not a typo! KITT will be joining the list of
official Hot Wheels Hollywood cars! How cool is THAT???
- Aye Carumba!
Thanks to Jeff Franchi for an e-mail
that directed me to this info on
Bat-Blog.com about these Bat-Exclusives offered at the Hot Wheels
Convention in Mexico:
"Here are a few brand-new items for Batman "Batmobile Collectors" to keep an
eye out for. Recently, in Mexico, they had a major Hot Wheels Car Collector
Convention. Now the cool thing for this event was that Mattel made a few
special cars that were EXCLUSIVE to the show. They made a few new versions
of the 1966 George Barris Batmobile. By "versions", I mean, different
colors. Shown here are: Red, Blue, White, & even Chrome. Now I'm not sure if
they made even more than that but after doing some research these were the
only ones I heard about. If anyone knows about another variation then please
let us know. Most of these were sold on a "Blisterpack Card" but the "White
Batmobile" came inside a bag with a header card.Now, I'm not sure how many
of each they made but these are usually very limited."