2012 News Archive
- Today's Finds!
Yesterday I got a voicemail from a
nearby hobby store telling me they had FINALLY received a shipment of
Mattel's 1:18 scale van from The A-Team. This version is half
the cost of the Elite version, but looks just as nice on display with my
other 1:18 scale TV cars. I feel a sense of relief that I can finally
add this iconic vehicle to my collection. Now if someone would just
give us The Black Beauty in 1:18 scale, I'll be a happy man.
Also, while out and about, I stopped at a Meijer store
that I just happened to be passing. In the die-cast aisle I noticed
the pegs were full of Mattel's 1:50 scale Bat-Vehicles. I searched
them all and to my surprise I found The Bat all the way in the back.
Last week I found the 1:50 scale 1980's Batmobile, so now I'm all caught up.
And finally, as a heads up, the Batmobile from Mattel's DC Universe line has
been re-released with new card art, featuring a more angry looking Batman!
- A Little Gift to Myself!
When Christmas shopping, I can't resist
buying one or two things for myself. I read in the Hot Wheels forums
that the website Milezone.com had received a shipment of the first wave of
the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line. I headed over there as
quickly as I could and managed to place an order for KITT, Ecto-1 and the
Batmobile. Unfortunately, the Mystery Machine was already sold out.
A package arrived at my doorstep today (Friday) and I couldn't wait to tear
it open! These toys are, by far, some of the BEST representations of
these particular cars I've ever seen! They are absolutely stunning and
I can't wait to see more from this line. Hopefully, I'll be able to
add the Mystery Machine to my collection soon. As of today, Milezone
is completely sold out, but they promise to get more shipments in. And
reports are coming in saying that Pep Boys stores have gotten the series in
before other major retailers. Good luck in your hunt!
- Holy Stocking Stuffer, Batman!
I had a great Christmas with family.
I got a lot of great Blu-Ray DVDs and the two die-cast cars you see above.
I was pleasantly surprised because I have not seen these in stores near me
yet, but somehow my sister found MULTIPLES! The Flintmobile is a new
casting, quite different from the version that Mattel released back in 1994.
The "stone cylinders" don't actually roll. There are wheels hidden
within the car. The '66 Batmobile is another variation on the same
casting we've seen before, except the canopy is clear instead of blue, and
there are a few more paint applications. I'm grateful I can now
add these to my collection and update the galleries here on this website.
- Merry Christmas!
The gifts are wrapped and it's time to
head out to spend the next two days with family. I wanted to take this
time to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas. I hope you
find some die-cast surprises under your tree. When I come back I'll
get to work on the Year in Review. We'll take a look back at 2012 and
all the amazing Hollywood car news that took place during the year.
- Yabba, Dabba, Do!
We've been talking about this over on
Facebook, but I've neglected to mention it on this site. Fred
Flinstone's Flintmobile is currently hitting stores as part of the Hot
Wheels Imagination line. (Look for the green stripe!) This is a brand
new casting and totally different than the version that Mattel released
years ago. Also look for yet another version of the 1966 Batmobile as
part of the same wave. This one has slightly more detail than the
version that came out in 2007. I haven't seen either one at any stores
near me yet, but I'm hoping to find them soon. Maybe you'll find them
in your Christmas stocking!
- "It's Morphin' Time!"
Okay, these aren't exactly my thing, but
if you have someone in your household that's a fan of the Power Rangers,
then you may want to pick these up. Mattel has released three vehicles
as part of their Hot Wheels line: Red Ranger Dragon Zord (above,
left), Blue Ranger Shark Zord (above, center) and Mega Strike Ranger 20th
Anniversary Vehicle (above, right.) I found these at a nearby Toys R
- "Live the Dream"
"Live the Dream" was the slogan used by
the DeLorean Motor Company in 1981, and this amazing offering from the Hot
Wheels Red Line Club is a dream come true! This particular model has a
metal body and base, chrome finish and Red Line Wheels, but what sends this
version over the top is opening gull wing doors! The Red Line Club
solicited orders earlier this year, and they just started hitting mailboxes
within the past few days. Mine arrived on Friday. I can
only hope they'll do a Back to the Future version like this one!
- It's "Muppetational!"
We've been getting so many re-releases
and rehashes of cars we've gotten in the past, it's nice to see something
that's never been done before. Showing up on eBay and on the Brazilian
we get a look at the Electric Mayhem bus from The Muppets, which will
be included in the Hot Wheels Retro series. I keep having to wipe the
drool from my chin in anticipation of this line. When will it hit
- Holy South of the Border, Batman!
I recently learned of these through a
Facebook friend. Apparently, those living in Brazil can put together a
set of Batmobiles by visiting their local Shell gas station. They're
not die-cast, but they're pretty cool and feature pull-pack action features.
I don't know what they retail for, but they're selling for quite a bit of
money on eBay right now. Maybe one of my Brazilian friends can help me
put together a set.
- Great Scott!
I somehow missed out on this when Mattel
offered it through their Redline Club earlier this year as an online
exclusive. Collectors began reporting that it was showing up in
mailboxes a week or so ago. I rushed to eBay and was able to snag one
for a fairly reasonable price, considering it originally cost $19.99 plus
shipping. It arrived in the mail on Friday and it is a thing of
beauty. Mr. Fusion makes this version really stand out and it will
display nicely with my previous RLC versions of the '66 Batmobile and Ecto-1
"Tenho pena do tolo!"
I don't know how he does it, but whoever is behind the Brazilian website
somehow able to get the scoop on the latest Hot Wheels news before everyone
else! He's been posting pics of the new Retro series and my jaw hung
open when I saw the pic at left. Check out this version of The
A-Team Van! Look at that detail! Look at those rims!
This is hands-down the best 1:64 scale version of this van we've ever
gotten! I can't wait for this to hit stores!
- Sale of the Century!
I never thought I'd see the day, but it
has been announced that George Barris will actually auction off the #1
Batmobile at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in January in Scottsdale, AZ.
This is the one, true Batmobile featured on the 1966 TV series and movie.
I got to see it up close and personal in March of 2011 during my last visit
to the L.A. area (that's me with the car, above.) I can't believe this
car may end up in the hands of a private collector. It's difficult to
predict what it may sell for, but since it's arguably the most famous car in
the world, I'm predicting it may sell for a million or more! The
auction will take place January 13-20, 2013. Cars of this magnitude
usually go across the auction block on Saturday. Traditionally, the
auction is televised live on the SPEED Channel. For more information
- It's New to Me!
Although this has been out for a little
while, I haven't had any luck finding this in stores in my area. But
thanks to a fellow collector, Patrick, I can now add this to my collection
after receiving it in the mail. Mattel has added a 1:64 scale Bat-Pod
to its Hot Wheels Motorcycles line. The Batman figure is even
removable (to make room for Anne Hathaway, perhaps?) Many thanks
Patrick. This is a great addition to my Batman collection.
- Holy Variant, Batman!
I hope you're enjoying your Black
Friday. Reports have been coming in over the past several days from
collectors finding a gray variant of the Matchbox Batmobile. As you
may remember, Mattel released a blue version at the end of May as part of
their Matchbox line. The design comes from Mattel's Batman Power
Attack line of toys. I can't help but wonder how many color
variations we're going to get over the next year or so.
- Bats in Your Belfry
Reports are coming in that Mattel has
apparently released The Bat from The Dark Knight Rises as part of the
Matchbox line. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm going to
assume this is the same casting found as part of the Hot Wheels 2012 New
Models line. I don't know if the same casting has ever been released
under the Hot Wheels AND Matchbox brand. Someone drop me a line if you
know the answer.
I've gotten a bunch of e-mails on the topic and apparently the
Matchbox casting is significantly different than previous versions.
I'm told it's slightly smaller than Mattel's 1:50 scale version, and
slightly larger than the Hot Wheels version. Rob, from PA, provided a
visual comparison to the 1:50 version:
- Skyfall: My Review
When Casino Royale hit theaters
in 2006, the movie seemed to be sending a message that Daniel Craig's James
Bond is NOT your father's Bond. In a post Jason Bourne world, a James
Bond movie had to be grittier, more realistic, more cynical, to seem
relevant. It seemed like those involved with the production
deliberately tried to distance this new Bond from the Sean Connery and Roger
Moore portrayals. Shaken or stirred? Who cares? It worked, and
Casino Royale injected new life and energy into the franchise.
In that movie, Daniel Craig's Bond brought new vigor and energy to the role.
Now here we are six years later, and Daniel Craig's third outing as James
Bond has hit theaters. In Skyfall, Bond represents an aging
relic, struggling to keep up with the changing world around him. Bond
is starting to feel the effects of a lifetime of bullets and bruises.
He's not as sharp or steady as he once was. The movie suggests that
Bond is, well, human.
Interestingly, this time
around, those involved seemed to be EMBRACING the the most beloved aspects
of the 50 year old franchise. Skyfall starts out with an
incredible action sequence, reminding me of the Bond films from the Roger
Moore era. My theater seat was barely warm before I was already
squirming at the motorcycle chase sequence and fist fight on top of a moving
train. The sequence ends with what feels like a punch to the gut.
Cue the opening titles! The title sequence was like a beautiful work
of art, punctuated by Adele's beautiful, mournful vocals. What a way
to get this new Bond movie up and going! This latest installment of
the Bond franchise has all the elements a fan could hope for: riveting
action, beautiful women, and laugh-out-loud moments of humor. The
underlying theme of the movie was change. We're even introduced to a
new Q (Ben Wishaw) who is portrayed as a techno-computer-geek who suggests
that exploding pens are a thing of the past. But while the movie
emphasizes change, it also suggested that we must embrace our past.
And that point was emphasized when the beloved 1964 Aston Martin DB5 was
revealed to the sounds of John Barry's classic James Bond theme. I
swear to you, tears welled up in my eyes.
And, of course, there's the
Bond villain. Javier Bardem tackles the role of Bond's newest arch
enemy, Silva, but unlike previous Bond baddies, Silva isn't out to take over
the world or get rich with some convoluted maniacal plot. His goal is
simple: revenge. His target? MI6 and more specifically, M
(Judi Dench). One almost has to feel sympathy for this character, a
former agent, who feels he was betrayed and abandoned by M many years ago.
What makes this particular Bond story unique is that 007 isn't faced with
the task of saving the world, he's merely trying to defend MI6 and protect
M, and it gives this movie a more personal feel.
In summary, this 23rd
installment of the Bond movie franchise is one of the best. And it makes
important contributions to Bond lore by revealing things about our hero we
didn't know. I place it in my top five favorite Bond movies, behind
Goldfinger, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Casino Royale. It
somehow delivers a fresh take on what could easily have become a tired and
dated franchise. It welcomes change, while embracing this franchise's
rich history, and sets the stage for more Bond movies to come. And I,
for one, can't wait for the next installment.
- Cars 2: David Hobbscap!
I stopped into my nearby Target store
and broke out into a big smile when I spotted a new Target-exclusive
Tokyo Race Day 7-pack from Cars 2 on the shelf. Included in
the set for the first time is David Hobbscap, the announcer who joined Brent
Mustangburger and Darrell Cartrip in Pixar's Cars 2. Hobbscap
is based on David Hobbs, a British retired race car driver and current
commentator with the Speed channel. I met Hobbs in 2009 when he was
inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in Detroit (above, right.)
He has since returned several times to emcee the ceremony. He's a very
charming and very funny guy. I'm glad Mattel has FINALLY released the
toy based on his character in the movie.
- "Are you telling me that this sucker is NUCLEAR?"
Thanks to a heads-up from a fellow
collector, I learned that Mattel has included the Back to the Future
Time Machine in its Hot Wheels Light Speeders line. Using a mini
flashlight, you can create patterns on the car that fade in time. I
haven't seen these in stores yet, so I grabbed one on eBay fairly cheaply.
I've added this to the Back to the
- Happy Belated Cars K-Day!
This may be hard to believe, but for the
first time since 2008, I actually MISSED a Kmart Cars Collector
Event! I don't feel too bad, however, because I've really lost
interest in this line. I enjoyed Cars 2 when it came out in
2011, but the toys just don't seem to have the same following as the toys
from the first film. Toy aisles seem to be perpetually overflowing
with the same characters that have been hanging on the pegs since 2011.
Very rarely do I ever spot a new character, unless it's included in a
pricey, exclusive boxed set at one of the major retailers. On
Saturday, October 20th, Kmart hosted yet another Cars Collector
Event. Exclusives included four more racers with metallic finish
(yawn) plus two new characters (above): Alexander Hugo with Party Hat
and Mary Esgocar. Despite missing the event, I wandered into my local
Kmart store and found these hanging on the pegs. Correct me if I'm
wrong, but I believe this brings the total to 10 racers from Cars 2
with the metallic finish. To take a look at all the exclusives from
previous Kmart events, click HERE.
- It's a Mystery to Me!
I probably hit stores far more often
than the average collector. Because of this website, I'm constantly
trying to find a sample of that newest die-cast car to photograph and share
with my fellow collectors. On a weekly basis, I hit Walmart, Toys R
Us, Target, K-Mart, Meijer, etc. Therefore, I find it SHOCKING when I
just can't find something in stores! I first posted news of the Hot
Wheels Mystery Machine way back in February of 2012. Mattel offered an
exclusive Comic Con version in July before the main line version hit stores,
but the .99 cents car soon followed. It's now mid-October and I have
yet to see this at any of the stores I listed above. Why? Is it
hoarding? Poor distribution? Are stores waiting for old product
to sell through before putting out newer merchandise? I have no idea.
I thought Mattel is in the business to make money. So why not make an
effort to get these into the hands of every person who wants one? Why
force someone like me to resort to eBay to pay marked up prices?
That's how I got the the Mystery Machines you see above. When I visit
the various collectors forums, I see others complain about the same thing.
Collectors can't find KITT or The Bat. Personally, I've only found ONE
Bat so far, in a Kroger dump bin. The point of this rant is to BEG
Mattel to make more of an effort to get these cars into the hands of
collectors who want to pay money to own one!
- All I Want for Christmas...
Today I got a call from my local
Hallmark store telling me their second wave of 2012 ornaments have come in,
and there are some DOOZIES included. Pictured above, left, is the 1977
Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition. Now, this actually came out way back
in July, but it sold out quickly in my area, so I reserved one for myself
when they shipped again in October. It's not officially licensed as
the car from Smokey & The Bandit, but come on, we all know recognize
this beauty. A new offering in October is "Outatime", the DeLorean
Time Machine from Back to the Future. Both the Trans Am and the
DeLorean are made of die-cast metal and will look great on the tree with
some of Hallmark's previous Hollywood cars, such as Herbie the Love Bug,
Ecto-1 and the 1966 Batmobile. I also discovered a nice surprise while at
the Hallmark store. I noticed sitting on the counter near the register
were samples of this year's LIMITED ornaments. A sign read, "ONE per
customer." Among the ornaments was The Bat from The Dark Knight
Rises. I had NO IDEA this was being released as an ornament.
It's made of plastic, not die-cast metal, but it is incredibly detailed.
I'm glad to have grabbed one before they sell out! Head on over to
your local Hallmark store TODAY to add these to your Hollywood car
9/30/12 - Holy
A huge thanks goes out to my friend Tim
who found the new Hot Wheels Batman Live Batmobile at Walmart on
Sunday. This stylish version of the Batmobile is based on the live
arena show that's currently touring the country. This car is part of
the new Imagination line which is designated by the green stripe on the
card. People have mistaken the line for Treasure Hunts, which USED to
have a green stripe. This is a great addition to my Hot Wheels Batman
collection. I've updated the
Hot Wheels Batmobiles Timeline to include this latest version.
9/22/12 - Hooray
While driving from store to store on a
lazy, gray, Saturday afternoon, I found 5 of the 6 cars that make up
GreenLight's latest release from the Hollywood series. Pictured above,
from left is a 2009 Dodge Challenger from NCIS: Los Angeles (yawn),
2012 Ford Taurus SHO from Men in Black 3 (yawn, again), 1979 Pontiac
Firebird T/A from Joe Dirt (kinda cool, lousy movie), '67 Pontiac GTO
Convertible from I Dream of Jeannie (obscure car, great packaging),
and 2011 Rio Police Charger from Fast Five (the SECOND time this car
has been released in this series!) The only car I didn't find, and I
assume it's going to be the most popular of the bunch, is Joe Dirt's
'69 Dodge Charger Daytona. I wish GreenLight would focus on more
iconic cars from TV and films. Many of the obscure cars from the past
two series are STILL hanging on the pegs at the stores I visit. The
cars above were found at my local Meijer store.
9/21/12 - Hot Wheels Retro
revealed that Mattel will be releasing a Retro Series of die-cast cars that
will be comprised entirely of entertainment-related vehicles in 2013!
The site says the cars will have rubber tires, detailed paint job and metal
base and body. The list includes:
- Batman: '66
- American Grafitti: '32 Ford
Grafitti: '58 Edsel
- Scooby Doo: Mystery Machine
- Knight Rider: KITT
- Knight Rider: KARR
- Smokey and the Bandit: '77 Trans Am
- A-Team: A-Team Van
- Muppets: School Bus
This is incredible news!
I wonder if this also ties in to the announcement that Mattel will also
release cars from Magnum P.I., Grease, Miami Vice and The Rockford
Files, among others, as part of the Hot Wheels line. It was also
announced that the Nostalgia line will continue with series dedicated to
Looney Tunes and The Muppets. 2013 is shaping up to be an
amazing year for collectors!
9/30 UPDATE: The first wave will ship in November.
I'm told there are a planned SEVEN waves of the Retro Series. That's
9/15/12 - Happy K-Day!
I got up early this morning to head on
over to my local K-Mart for Hot Wheels Collectors Day. At 9am a small
crowd gathered as six inner cases were brought into view. Everyone had
their number called...except for me. I stood there as I watched the
others tear through the cases. At least there were several kids there
having a good time. All the Treasure Hunts were snatched up right
away. The only thing I managed to walk away with was an overlooked
Mars Rover Curiosity (pictured above.) I hope you had better luck than
9/13/12 - Batman Live!
As Batman Live begins its US
tour, reports are surfacing that attendees can buy an exclusive die-cast
version of the Batmobile. It comes in an acrylic case (pictured above,
left) and is a unique design. Several samples have shown up on eBay.
If, for some reason, you're not able to make it to the show, don't fret, old
chum. The exact same Batmobile will be offered as part of the Hot
Wheels 2013 Imagination line (pictured above, right.) I think it's a
great-looking Batmobile and I can't wait to add one to my collection.
Click HERE to learn
more about Batman Live!
9/13/12 - Strictly Kids
the past week, I noticed Target has been slowly putting out their Halloween
stuff. I stopped in today and found their exclusive Hot Wheels
Halloween 5-Pack. I gotta say I'm not very impressed. In the
past, Target offered repaints of the Halloween cars offered at Walmart.
Even though this year's cars were a Kroger exclusive, I was hoping for
variations on Ecto-1 and the Batmobile. Instead, we got some fairly
uninspired cars. Pictured above, from left, we have Shell Shock, with
what appears to be a dinosaur deco or something; Bone Shaker, which is
always a good idea for the Halloween set, but the colors are a little too
cheerful; Growler, which is a good idea but currently a peg warmer at every
store I visit; Skull Crusher, which is sufficiently creepy and my favorite
of the bunch; and Vampyre, which is appropriate, but again, a little too
cheerful for Halloween. Personally, my vote goes to the Kroger
exclusives as the better and spookier offerings this Halloween season.
The Target exclusives are strictly kids stuff!
9/11/12 - Trick or Treat?
I've been visiting my local Kroger store
a LOT lately, hoping they would put out their Halloween stuff. Today,
my heart started racing when I saw palettes of cardboard boxes ready to be
opened up. I snooped around and noticed someone had opened a long box
labeled Halloween Hot Wheels. I peered into the box and spotted some
cars. I reached in and pulled out a Batmobile! I looked around,
hoping some manager wouldn't come over and yell at me. I reached
deeper into the box and pulled out the cars you see above. From left,
we have Fangula, Hyper Mite, W-Oozie, Ecto-1 and the Batmobile with unique
Halloween decos. I was so afraid I wouldn't be able to assemble a set
of these. I predict they're going to sell out quickly! If you
have a Kroger store near you, get to it as quickly as you can. You
haven't a moment to LOSE!!! And as if things couldn't get any better,
I also found my first "The Bat" at retail in the Kroger dump bin.
Below are some loose photos for your scrutiny.
9/10/12 - All I need is a
red turtle shell!
I spotted these die-cast vehicles at a
nearby Target and thought they would be fun to add to my collection.
Mario Kart is one of my all-time favorite video games and I've spent
countless hours eliminating my competition with red shells, green shells,
mushrooms and banana peels. Pictured above, from left, are Mario,
Luigi, Toad, Donkey Kong and (my personal favorite) Yoshi.
9/5/12 - Be on the
Browsing eBay, I noticed that the latest
releases from Mattel's 1:50 Batman line seems to be hitting stores. Be
on the lookout for the 1980's Batmobile and the much-anticipated The Bat
from The Dark Knight Rises. If you find them, let me know
- Hit & Run: My Review
Hit & Run stars Dax Shepard, who
plays Charles Bronson (not his real name) a former getaway driver who is now
in the witness protection program. His girlfriend of one year, Annie
(played by real life girlfriend Kristen Bell,) has to get to L.A. for a job
interview. Throughout the 500 mile road trip, the couple is pursued by
Annie's ex-boyfriend, Charlie's former bank-robbing partners, and Tom
Arnold, among others. Along the way, Annie continues to learn things
about Charlie's sordid past, such as his real name: Yul Perkins. The
question posed is: Can you continue to love someone despite finding out
everything you know about them is a lie?
Although there were some
funny moments, and some genuine chemistry between the two leads, the story
seemed like an excuse to shoot some really cool car chases. The pacing
of the movie seemed uneven and choppy, and there were some uncomfortable
moments that I wish I could erase from my brain a'la Eternal Sunshine of
the Spotless Mind. You've probably seen the trailers that show
senior citizens in a motel room wearing nothing but underwear. Brace
yourself. They're not wearing ANYTHING in the movie, and they show
EVERYTHING. And it's not pretty.
The only reason I'd
recommend this movie is to see the three car chases, arguably the best of
which involves the '67 Lincoln Continental (pictured above) as Charlie tries
to evade Annie's former boyfriend. Otherwise, wait until it comes to
DVD so you can skip past the naked senior citizens.
- I Finally Netted a "Bat"
Well, as usual, I've had ZERO luck
finding this in stores in my area, so I had to go the eBay route.
Luckily for me prices have come WAY down on The Bat from the Hot Wheels
line. When this thing first started appearing on eBay, people were
shelling out $30 a pop for a .99 cents toy. I paid about $5 plus
shipping. I'm confident these will start appearing in my area, but so
far, nothing. But I'm glad I'm finally able to add this to my Batman
- Ya gotta be freakin' kidding me, right?
Look at that cast. Anyone who grew
up loving 80's action flicks have only dreamed of a day when most of those
names would be seen fighting side by side (or against each other) together
on screen. Well, that dream has come true. The first movie was pretty
great, but I felt slightly cheated. Expendables 2 improves on
its predecessor by giving the audience what they wanted to see in the first
film: Stallone, Statham, Li, Lundgren, Norris, Willis, Schwarzenegger
side by side, punching, kicking, stabbing, and shooting the bad guys.
And throw in Van Damme as the bad guy, and you have what amounts to the
near-perfect action flick. Within a minute or two into the movie the
goosebumps surfaced as three armored military vehicles storm into a heavily fortified
camp, guns ablazing, and carrying all of the heroes from the first film.
Within the first few minutes, there's more bullets and blood than most
action flicks show in 90 minutes. From that point on, the story is
simple: Stallone and his squad have to keep four tons of Plutonium
from falling into enemy hands. That's it. And that's a good
thing. Expendables 2 doesn't pretend to be something it's not.
There's no message. No complicated twists and turns. Basically,
the movie is a series of moments, vignettes, that are strung together to
showcase the talents and charisma of its individual stars, including
newcomer Nan Yu as Maggie. There are plenty of moments, and bullets
and blood and cheesy one-liners that, when strung together, make the
near-perfect action flick. I would rank this movie among my favorite
action flicks of all time. I just hope I didn't dream the whole thing.
- 2012 Woodward Dream Cruise
There are several holidays celebrated
here in the Metro Detroit area. Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving,
and, of course, Dream Cruise. Although people have been cruising all
week, today was the OFFICIAL 2012 Woodward Dream Cruise. I had a great
time hanging out with friends, talking about cars, and checking out all the
amazing vehicles that passed by. Of course, there was the annual
gathering of Star Cars, including the Monkeemobile (that's me behind the
wheel, top, left), General Lee, KITT, Herbie and the Bandit Trans-Am, among
others. I also heard reports of a '66 Batmobile and '89 Batmobile
being spotted. If you've never been, makes plans to get here next
year. It's a spectacle you have to experience to believe.
- More DC Heroes & Villains
Thanks to Phil Santo for sending me the
image you see at left. Apparently there's a new wave of DC Universe
vehicles to search for. Included in the photo are Supergirl, Riddler,
Batgirl, Darkseid, Plastic Man and Aquaman. I, for one, can't wait to
add Batgirl to my Hot Wheels Batman collection.
- Comic Con Loot
By now the 2012 San Diego Comic Con is a
faint, fond memory for those who were lucky enough to attend. Sadly, I
wasn't able to attend, although it's on my Bucket List of things to do
before I die. But, thanks to a friend in California, Nate Truman, I
was able to add some Comic Con loot to my collection. Pictured above
is the remarkable Comic Con edition of KITT from Knight Rider.
Made by Mattel as an exclusive, not only is it spot-on accurate, but it
comes in the most amazing packaging I've ever seen. As you open the
box, you'll hear the voice of William Daniels speak two lines as KITT.
You'll also hear the distinctive scanner sound as the base actually LIGHTS
UP! This piece is so amazing, it cracked my Top 10 Best List! (There's
also an extremely limited variant version of this piece with the voice of
Also, thanks to Nate, I'm able to add the Comic Con exclusive Mystery
Machine to my collection. Premiering at Comic Con before actually
hitting stores, this version of the Mystery Machine comes in this awesome
Scooby Snacks packaging. You can even hear the Scooby Snacks as
you shake the box. I can't thank Nate enough for scoring these two
exclusives for me. Who knows, maybe next year I'll be at Comic Con to
pick up the 2013 exclusives in person! Look for the regular mainline
version of the Mystery Machine to hit stores any day now.
- "Elvis has left the building."
August 16th marked the 35th anniversary
of Elvis' passing. I remember that day as if it were yesterday.
I was 10 years old. I grew up loving Elvis' music and movies.
Many Elvis-related die-cast cars have been released over the years, mostly
from Matchbox. My favorite is pictured above: Elvis' pink Caddy parked
in front of Graceland. In 2005, I took a road trip to Memphis, TN, to
visit Graceland and Sun Studios. Click
HERE to view photos from that trip.
Click HERE to see the Elvis die-cast gallery.
- "...it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses."
I haven't had any luck finding this in
stores so I resorted to eBay to add this to my collection. Luckily, I
didn't pay much more than what I would've paid at retail. What we have
here is Greenlight's awesome diorama from the 1980 movie The Blues
Brothers. The diorama includes the Bluesmobile sporting a
loudspeaker, along with an Illinois State Police trooper. I tip my hat
to Greenlight. This ranks among my favorites in my personal
collection. Click HERE to see all the 1:64 scale die-cast cars from
The Blues Brothers.
- Cars 2 News
It's not often I get to report new finds
from Cars 2. Mattel hasn't really flooded the market with new product
since the initial releases that came out in 2011. That's why Mel
Dorado (pictured above) jumped out at me when I spotted it. Mel just
may be the only character in the Cars universe sporting glasses.
On the back of Mel's card is another new character, Carlo Maserati, but I
haven't seen that one in stores yet.
- 50 Years ago we lost a legend.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the
date Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her home. Arguably, the most
famous and most beautiful woman that ever lived has grown even more popular
after her death, and has since been recognized as a gifted actress and
entertainer, with a flair for comedy. I've been a huge fan of MM for
many years and whenever I visit the LA area I make sure to visit some key
locations, seen above, including her final home, her star on the Walk of
Fame, her hand and foot prints at Grauman's and, of course, her final
resting place. In 2002, Johnny Lightning released three die-cast cars
depicted artwork from some of her films. There was supposed to be a
total of six cars, but as far as I know, only three have been released, seen
- Recent Bat-Finds
I popped into a nearby Walmart while
running errands on Friday and was pleasantly surprised to find out they had
freshly restocked the pegs with new Hot Wheels Batmobiles. There are 8
vehicles that make up the series, but I only picked up my favorites. I
just love the fact that Mattel re-released these Batmobiles in packaging
that features artwork from their respective source material. Above,
left, we have two animated Batmobiles with colorful artwork. My
favorite (above, center) is a re-release of the '66 Batmobile in packaging
that features the logo from the TV series. That is a must-have.
Next, we have Batmobile Affinity, which is Mattel's unique Batmobile
featuring a red canopy. This particular version had only been offered
previously in the Batman Blaster track set, released in January of
2004. And finally, the Arkham Asylum Batmobile looks great in
packaging featuring artwork from the videogame. I passed on the
Batcopter, Crooze Batmobile and the Hardnoze Batmobile. I wish Mattel
would've stuck to the movie versions of the car. Why not give us the
Tumbler from Batman Begins, instead of the cheesy Batcopter, which
never appeared in the film? Why did Mattel include the silly Hardnoze
Batmobile, instead of Tim Burton's Batmobile, in packaging from the 1989
Batman movie? Strange decisions, but I'll probably end up buying
the missing three just to complete the set.
Also, pictured below, is the
Bat Cycle from the Speed Cycles line. I normally don't go for this
kind of thing. It's made of plastic and is approximately 1:43 scale.
But c'mon, how cool is the Batman figure riding it?
- The Darkest "Knight"
As I write this review, it's nearing
4am, having just seen the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises.
The movie picks up eight years after the events of The Dark Knight.
All the major characters, as well as recluse Bruce Wayne, contemplate and
question the need for The Batman, since all seems right in Gotham City.
But then along comes Bane (Tom Hardy,) a terrorist whose motives are
revealed late in the film. An aging and battered Bruce Wayne
(Christian Bale) finds the motivation to suit up once again to come to the
defense of Gotham City, only to discover it's not so easy this time around.
As a secondary storyline, Bruce Wayne crosses paths with Selina Kyle (Anne
Hathaway,) a talented cat burglar, who is never actually referred to as
Catwoman in the movie. Whenever Anne Hathaway appeared on the screen,
especially in her sexy skin tight catsuit, the movie really crackled.
The chemistry between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, playing a game of cat and
mouse (cat & bat?) really drew me in. Unfortunately, I was more
interested in the secondary storyline than the primary storyline in which
Bane threatens to destroy Gotham City with a nuclear device. It seemed
so James-Bond-like, to have a villain threaten to detonate a nuclear bomb.
I was hoping, and expecting, something a little more unique and shocking.
It felt all too familiar, and not quite what I expected from a trilogy that
gave us two of the greatest comic book movies ever made.
And I was underwhelmed by Bane, who was difficult to understand at times and
occasionally sounded like Dark Helmet from Spaceballs. As the
credits rolled, I found myself satisfied, appreciating the threads of
betrayal and sacrifice, and all the twists and turns along the way, but when
compared to the previous two Bat-movies, this third and final entry was my
least favorite of the trilogy. Of all three movies, this one was the
most somber and darkest, and as a result, the least fun.
Familiar vehicles returned
for this installment, and one incredible new vehicle referred to as "The
Bat" (pictured above) allowed Batman to take flight. Although a fleet
of Tumblers were featured prominently in the film, none of them were ever
driven by Batman, and that was a little disappointing. The Bat-Pod was
used in several thrilling scenes, but it was The Bat that stole the show,
with its hovering capabilities and arsenal of firepower. Toy
collectors (myself included) will be scrambling to add it to their fleet of
- A Bat, A Cat, and Bane
I'm sure it's no coincidence that
Mattel's latest wave of DC Universe Hot Wheels vehicles include the three
main characters from The Dark Knight Rises. Batman includes a
unique Batmobile never seen in die-cast form before. Catwoman and Bane
sport features based on their respective characters. These are a
welcome addition to my Hot Wheels Batman collection.
- "Welcome to Fright Night...for real."
Johnny Lightning just keeps on making me
smile. Inserted into Forever 64 - Series 22 are two hidden Hollywood
cars. Pictured above, left, is JL's Project in Progress 1965
Ford Mustang. Most people wouldn't give it a second glance, unless
you're a fan of the 1985 horror film Fright Night (which happens to
be one of my all-time favorite movies.) Compare the die-cast Mustang
to a still image from the movie (above, right.) The Bondo areas on the
cars match up exactly. This is such a cool hidden gem for fans of the
movie. Now, pictured below, right, is JL's new "Galactic Cruiser."
When placed next to Rachael's Spinner from the 1982 film Blade Runner,
you'll notice that it's the exact same casting! Somebody must've been
digging through Ertl's basement and found some old dies. Will JL give
us more vehicles from Blade Runner? Only time will tell.
For now, just enjoy the fact the JL continues to give us more Hollywood on
Wheels. Thanks to my friend Tim who found these at an out-of-the-way
- New Bat-Find
While shopping at a nearby Meijer store,
I found the new 1940's Batmobile in 1:50 scale. It's based on the Batmobile
as it appeared in the pages of Detective Comics. They also had
two versions of the Tumbler and the Batmobile from Batman Forever.
- Comic Con 2012
The San Diego Comic Con is taking place
this weekend (I wish I could be there) and among the many toy exclusives are
two fantastic die-cast cars from Mattel. Pictured above, left, is the
debut of the Hot Wheels Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. This
may be the first time Mattel has premiered a new entertainment vehicle at
Comic Con BEFORE it hits stores. Pictured above, right, is a beautiful
version of KITT from Knight Rider, with accurate wheels, and
displayed as if its airborne. The base also plays phrases from
the TV series. I sure hope I can get this one for a reasonable price.
If anyone out there can help me out, please send me an e-mail at
7/14/12 - Shields Up!
If you're wondering whether or not you
should pick up the new 1:50 scale Armored Batmobile from Batman Returns,
well it is slightly different than the version released in 2010. The
newer version has an open canopy (above, left) versus the closed canopy
(above, right.) Also, if you're wondering what's in store for the
future of Mattel's 1:50 scale Batman line, some new vehicles were on display
at Comic Con 2012. A "comic book Batmobile" has been unveiled, as well
as "The Bat" from the new The Dark Knight Rises movie. Click
HERE to see some photos.
Apparently, the canopy opens on the first release, as well, so it's not
truly a variant.
- Cars Take Flight!
It's always nice to see new Cars
product in the stores. It seems that ever since the release of the
initial wave of Cars 2 product, Mattel hasn't really introduced many
new characters into its Cars line. So I was a little suprised
to walk into a local Toys R Us and see some new stuff. Pictured above
are Lightning McQueen and Mater as seen in the animated short Moon Mater.
You can also find Stu Bop the Jet and Rescue Chopper.
- Monumental Hot Wheels News!
Better late than never. I only recently
discovered this bit of news, although it was announced a month or so ago.
This has got to be the most exciting news in a long time for collectors of
Hollywood cars! Mattel recently announced their plans for their
entertainment line. During a presentation, they showed THIS slide (pictured
above.) It looks like we can expect die-cast vehicles from The Rockford
Files, Grease, classic Battlestar Galactica, Miame Vice, Magnum P.I.
and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Now, Mattel has already given us
cars from Miami Vice, Magnum P.I. and Ferris Bueller in 1:18
scale. Does the recent announcement mean we can expect them as part of the
main line? We can only hope. The Pontiac Esprit from The Rockford Files
has been on my Wish List for quite some time. I'm excited to get this car
in ANY scale. And I can hardly contain my enthusiasm at the though of
die-cast cars from Grease (one of my all-time favorite movies as a
kid.) If these all come to fruition, 2013 is going to be an AMAZING year
- The Latest Bat-News
Be on the lookout for two new
Bat-vehicles from Mattel. Reports are coming in that a 1940's Batmobile has
been found in stores as part of the Hot Wheels 1:50 scale Batman line. This
vehicle is very similar to the Corgi version that was released years ago.
Also, and this is exciting news, collectors have been finding "The Bat" from
the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises film. If you've seen the
trailers, it seems to be some sort of hover jet vehicle. Look for it on a
Hot Wheels main line card numbered #27/50.
- Hollywood Series 4
If you haven't joined the Hollywood
Die-Cast community on Facebook, what are you waiting for??? The gang over
there have really been helpful, announcing all sorts of new finds and news.
For example, Stan Lunn posted the first look at Greenlight's next Hollywood
series, which will include, from top left: I Dream of Jeannie '67
Pontiac GTO, Joe Dirt '69 Daytona, Rocky 2 '79 Firebird,
NCIS Los Angeles '09 Challenger, Fast Five Rio Police Charger and
Men in Black 3 Ford Taurus SHO. Okay, so most of these cars aren't
exactly ICONIC, but I know people are going to snatch up that Joe Dirt
Also, James Simpsons posted
pics of the GL Blues Brothers diorama he found at Toys R Us. This version
of the Bluesmobile sports a loudspeaker on top. Very cool! Can't wait to
find this one.
- Batmobiles Galore!
While sitting around bored, browsing on
eBay, I was shocked to stumble across an auction featuring the collection of
Batmobiles pictured above, left. Apparently, Mattel has decided to
re-release numerous Batmobiles offered previously, but in new dramatic
packaging! Wow! I haven't seen these in my area yet, but I'm hoping to
pick up at least a few to display in the packaging. And Mattel is also
continuing its DC Universe line, which includes a new, unique Batmobile
pictured above, right. Let the hunt begin!
Happy Cars K-Day!
On Saturday, June 16th, K-Mart hosted
yet another Cars Collector Event. There really wasn't much to get
excited about. Six World Grand Prix racers were released in a special
silver metallic finish. You can see an example above in the form of
Lightning McQueen. Other racers included: Francesco, Raoul CaRoule, Jeff
Gorvette, Carla Valoso and Shu Todoroki. Also available in the cases were
two more characters. Acer with Torch (below, left) and Celine Dephare
(Chase) who is seen in Cars 2 with eyes on her HEADLIGHTS!
- "Hand down the shark-repellant Bat Spray!"
Well, this is a dream come true.
Mattel's 1:50 scale Bat-Vehicles have been awesome, but I never thought I'd
see the day when I would be able to hold the 1966 Batcopter in my hands!
The Batcopter was prominently featured in the 1966 Batman movie and
now joins the Batmobile, Batboat, and Batcycle in die-cast form. I found the
latest wave at my nearby Target store on the end cap. I also found The
Penguin Duck from Batman Returns. I don't know what the future
holds for this line, but I have seen a "1940's Batmobile" included in a
future assortment. This line just keeps getting better and better.
- Get Along Little Doggie
While picking up a few things at an
out-of-the-way drugstore, I was surprised to stumble upon two new entries to
the Hot Wheels Toy Story line. Pictured above are Dasch N Dog and
Bulls Eye MHP. This brings the total to 16 different characters! Click
HERE to see all
- Batman is Climbing the Walls!
On June 5th, I spotted this at a local
Toys R Us. It's the first Hot Wheels product I've seen sporting the title
The Dark Knight Rises. Although it's pretty cool, it was a little
pricey and not worth picking up since I already have the Batmobile
included. The Dark Knight Rises will be in theaters on July 20, 2012.
- Holy Matchbox, Batman!
On May 31st, the first carded samples of
the new Matchbox Batmobile began appearing on eBay. Since both Matchbox and
Hot Wheels are owned by Mattel, it's no surprise a Batmobile would enter the
Matchbox world eventually. The car is striking with its blue exterior and
red wheels. I haven't seen them in stores yet, so I bought a couple on eBay,
one to keep in package and one to display with my other Hot Wheels
Batmobiles (above, right.)
- "It's a good looking vehicle, ain't it?"
On May 21st, I sold my Hallmark
Christmas Vacation RV ornament on eBay for $240. It's one of, if not
THE, most valuable Hallmark ornaments out there. I hated to part with it,
but I needed the cash.
- "You're a wonder, Wonder Woman"
On May 1st, my buddy Tim posted on
Facebook that he found some new Hot Wheels vehicles from the DC Universe
line, including this Wonder Woman vehicle. For some strange reason, I have
NOT been able to find this in stores. I've seen all the others. I'm not
sure if this is short-packed or not, but I'm getting frustrated. Word on
the street is a Wonder Woman movie is going into pre-production and
will lead into the long-awaited Justice League movie.
- Hooray for Hollywood!
While visiting Toys R Us, I found
GreenLight's 3rd release from their Hollywood Series. Nothing to get TOO
excited about here, since most are re-releases, but I have to admit I LOVE
the single carded vehicles from Bullitt.
- Hot Wheels Gets Animated
Mattel's latest assortment from the Hot
Wheels Nostalgia line is a set of six vehicles representing popular Hanna-Barbera
cartoons. I've seen them in stores, but not really interested in picking
them up. I'll wait until Scooby Doo's Mystery Machine arrives in stores.
- KITT X3
Well, I FINALLY found KITT at Toys R Us
(3 actually, pictured above.) These have not been easy to find in my area.
It's a great-looking car, but I wish the wheels were more accurate.
Davy Jones signing the Monkeemobile in January 2010
2/29/12 - R.I.P. Davy
Jones: 1945 - 2012
My heart sunk when I heard the
news today that Davy Jones passed away today at the age of 66.
Although I was just a newborn when The Monkees originally aired on
TV, I grew up watching the show in reruns. And who can forget Davy's
memorable appearance on The Brady Bunch as Marcia's prom date?
I saw Davy perform twice in person, once on August 5, 1986 during the 20th
Anniversary World Tour, and a second time when he performed solo as part of
the Teen Idols tour. I was pretty excited when the Monkeemobile
arrived here in Michigan, but I was disappointed when I missed a chance to
see Davy autograph the car in 2010 (above.) I was stunned and saddened
to learn of his death, but we will always have his music and TV episodes to
remember him by. My condolences go out to his friends and family.
He will be missed.
- Hollywood - Pt. 3
Where would Hollywood be without
sequels? Pictured above are the cars that will make up the third wave
of GreenLight's Hollywood series. From left we have the '68 Ford
Mustang and '68 Dodge Charger R/T from the 1968 film Bullitt.
GreenLight has already released them in dioramas, but now you can have them
individually packaged. Next, we have Dom's 1970 Charger from The
Fast and The Furious, followed by the 1959 Corvette from Animal House,
this time with its top down. And finally, a gold 1970 Corvette from
Apollo 13 rounds out this wave. Looks for Series 3 to hit stores
within the next few weeks. Two new dioramas will be hitting store
shelves, as well. Pictured below, left, are the Bluesmobile and
Illinois State Police car from The Blues Brothers. Below right
are two cars from the TV series NCIS. Thanks to "Fresno Bob"
for providing the pics you see.
- Zoiks, Scoob!
A low-res image of the 2012 Hot Wheels
poster has surfaced online. Quickly scanning it for Hollywood cars, I
made an interesting discovery. Apparently, the Mystery Machine from
Scooby Doo will appear in the 2012 New Models line! Very cool!
- The Envelope Please!
The votes have been cast. The
public has spoken. It's time to announce the winners of the 2012
Bandit Awards! There were a couple of blow-outs, and there were a few
very tight races. And for the first time, I decided NOT to have a TV
car category because I felt there weren't enough worthy candidates.
We've come a long way since the days of Knight Rider, The A-Team, The
Dukes of Hazzard and Magnum P.I. I sure hope we see a few
cool cars on television in 2012. Now, on to the results. The
The Bandit Award for Best Car Movie of 2011 goes
Fast Five - With the exception of
Tokyo Drift, the Fast & Furious movies seem to get more and
more popular with the movie-going audience. Dwayne
Johnson joined the cast of actors from all four previous films to make
the fifth entry the highest grossing installment of the franchise. With
30% of the vote, Fast Five was named Best Movie of 2011.
Cars 2 did surprisingly well, coming in second with 22% of the vote.
The Bandit Award for Best Actor goes to...
Vin Diesel - After stepping away from the
franchise for two movies (sort of) Vin Diesel has come to embrace his
role in the Fast & Furious franchise (lucky for us.) He's a
big part of the reason these movies do as well as they do. As
usual, he was terrific in Fast Five and his fight with Dwayne
Johnson was a great movie moment. Voters named Vin Diesel the Best
Actor of 2011 with 22% of the vote. Jay Chou came in second with
The Bandit Award for Best Movie Car in 2011 goes
The Black Beauty - Ah, car lovers appreciate
the classics, and there was no car more classic and iconic than The
Black Beauty in The Green Hornet. Although the movie was
largely forgettable, it was a thrill to see The Black Beauty deploy its
arsenal of weaponry on the big screen. In a landslide, voters
named The Black Beauty the Best Movie Car of 2011 with 36% of the vote.
The Bandit Award for Best Car Chase in 2011 goes
Fast Five - The sixth-highest grossing
movie of 2011 continues its domination of the Bandit Awards by giving us
the Best Car Chase of 2011, as determined by a whopping 40% of the vote.
Instead of a high speed adrenaline rush, Fast Five opted for
utter mayhem and destruction as two modern Dodge Chargers drag a bank
vault down the streets of Rio!
The Bandit Award for Best Die-Cast Line in 2011
GreenLight - Hollywood - In the closest race
of the awards, GreenLight's Hollywood line edged out Mattel's Hot Wheels
2011 New Models line by one measly vote! The Hollywood line
premiered in 2011 and gave us two series of popular and obscure cars.
The Hot Wheels New Models line gave us the Back to the Future
Time Machine and The A-Team van. It was close, but
GreenLight came away with 26% of the vote, versus 25% for the Hot Wheels
line to be named the best die-cast line of 2011. Wow.
And the Bandit Award for Single Best Die-Cast Car
in 2011 goes to...
Hot Wheels Ecto-1 - And finally, voters named
Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters the single best die-cast car of 2011.
This is the version that was offered through the Hot Wheels Collectors
website early in 2011, and arrived in mailboxes right around
Christmastime. With its retro-style packaging, detailed paint
scheme, and Redline wheels, this was a thing of beauty. With 26%
of the vote, it barely eked out a win over The A-Team Van (23%)
Thanks to all of you who voted in the 2012 Bandit Awards!
2/24/12 - 2012 Detroit
I spent some time at the Detroit
Autorama today and had the pleasure of meeting the legendary Dean Jeffries
for the first time. Jeffries brought along with him the award-winning
Manta Ray (pictured above,) but he is also the man who created the
Monkeemobile and The Black Beauty, among other cars. We talked for a
good fifteen minutes about his career and the origins of his most famous
creations. Our conversation was recorded and I'll post the video in a
few days. He also signed a Johnny Lightning Monkeemobile for me.
His signature is the latest addition to my "Auto-Graph"
collection (above, right.) The Autorama continues through the weekend.
- Just Monkee-ing Around
While out and about today, I stopped
into one of the last hobby stores in my area that sells die-cast cars and
was surprised to find their shelves stocked with new die-cast goodness.
One of the things that caught my eye was the newly-released 1:18 scale
Monkeemobile by AutoWorld. This one is based on Monkeemobile #2 (which
resides here in Michigan) as you can see by the door graphics.
Unfortunately, it's slightly inaccurate. The interior and roof on the
actual car are more beige in color instead of white, but hey, I'm
nitpicking. At $65 I wasn't able to buy it today, but I'll eventually
add it to my collection. The store had also opened up a brand new case
of 1:18 scale Ecto-1s from Ghostbusters, but again, at $100 a pop, I
had to pass for now.
- The Dark Knight Returns!
I had the day off today so I decided to
drive around from store to store looking for new things. I didn't find
much, but I did find this awesome Hot Wheels 5-Pack from The Dark Knight
at K-Mart. What really makes this set stand out is the special
Joker edition of Bone Shaker (above, second from left.) If you look
closely, you'll see the chrome skull has been replaced by the Joker's
smiling mug. The set also includes the Batcopter, Batmobile, Ford
Fusion Patrol Car and Armored Truck. I'm sure we can expect more
Bat-Stuff in stores with The Dark Knight Rises slated to hit theaters
on July 20, 2012.
- Holy 4-Pack, Batman!
My thanks goes out to "Skinnybird"
Steve, who e-mailed me with a tip a couple of weeks ago. He told me
that if I visited
www.walmart.com, I could buy the elusive DC Comics boxed set for $10 and
have it shipped to a nearby Walmart for NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE! So I did
just that and I picked it up today. Unfortunately, it looks like it's
sold out online. It's a great-looking set and will stay in its
packaging. The only thing that has me scratching my head is why Mattel
would go with a pickup truck to represent Batman. I would think a
pickup truck would be the LAST thing Bruce Wayne would be seen in driving
around Gotham City!
- Cool New Find!
I stopped into a Toys R Us today and
found a cool little item hanging on a peg. Apparently, Mattel has
produced a nicely detailed 1:64 scale replica of the 1955 Lincoln Futura
concept car as part of its Hot Wheels Boulevard line. (Johnny
Lightning released the Futura way back in 2003.) As you may or may not
know, the one-of-a-kind Lincoln Futura is the car George Barris used to
create the Batmobile for the 1966 TV series and movie. I thought you
Batmobile fans may want to add this one to your collection. I know I
- A New 1:18 Scale Era?
For those of you who collect 1:18 scale
Hollywood cars, 2008 was the end of an era. After producing some
awesome cars over the course of several years, RC2 ended its 1:18 scale
entertainment line in 2008, with the Authentics version of the General Lee
being the last to hit stores in early 2008. Mattel's 1:18 scale '66
Batmobile also arrived in stores in early 2008. Since then, there
really hasn't been a lot to report on in the world of 1:18 scale. But
that all seems to be changing. Mattel is ushering in a new era of
amazing 1:18 scale cars. Over the past few months, collectors have
been able to add some iconic cars to their collection. Mattel has
released The A-Team van in 1:18 scale for the first time EVER.
And those who have Ecto-1 in their hands say it's a vast improvement over
the version that RC2 released in 2004. (Ecto-1A from Ghostbusters 2
is also in the works.) A prototype of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider was
unveiled recently, and rumor has it a Back to the Future Time Machine
will hit stores soon.
In addition to all this
goodness from Mattel, I'm told by Gregg Lacarte of Canada, that a new,
incredibly detailed version of General Lee will be released soon by a
company called Auto World (using RC2's Authentics casting) and will use the
same casting to create the '69 Charger from the 1974 movie Dirty Mary,
Crazy Larry. It's slated to be released in late 2012 or early
The only downside to all of
this is the price. Mattel's Elite version of these vehicles retail
well over $100 and I'm sure Auto World will follow suit. But if you're
willing to pay the price, 2012 is shaping up to be a great year for
collectors to build up their 1:18 scale collection.
My thanks goes out to Gregg
Lacarte for providing the info and the photos you see above. Click
HERE to see my collection of 1:18
scale Hollywood cars. I'm hoping to add The A-Team van in the
very near future.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Thanks to a tip from a fellow collector,
I discovered that BMW has released a 1:64 scale die-cast version of their
futuristic Vision Efficient Dynamics concept vehicle i8. This car is
an amazing work of art. The car was featured in the fourth installment
of the Mission Impossible franchise: Ghost Protocol
(pictured above, right.) I snagged mine on eBay.
- Holy Boneshaker, Batman!
This just in! Keep an eye out for
a new Hot Wheels Batman 5-pack. What makes this particular set special
is the unique Boneshaker casting, pictured above, right. The skull
grill has been replaced by the Joker's smiling mug. That is pretty
awesome! I hit three different Toys R Us stores with no luck.
But since these are so new, I don't expect them in my area for another week
or two. If you find one, let me know where you found it.
- JL is at it again!
I saw a post on Facebook from Johnny
Lightning announcing its JL 2.0 Release 13 wave (above, left.) One
particular casting caught my eye. Look at the '69 Dodge Daytona
pictured in the bottom, left corner of the image above. Does it look
familiar? It sure looks like the Dodge Daytona from the 2001 movie
Joe Dirt (above, right.) This one is going to be VERY popular with
collectors. I've gotten plenty of e-mails in the past regarding this
particular car and I know it was on a lot of wish lists. This is great
news for Hollywood car collectors!
- Super, Man!
I haven't had much luck finding Mattel's
line of DC Comics cars that are part of the Hot Wheels Nostalgia line.
While shopping at a Meijer store, I thought I found some, only to realize
these are different. The cardbacks are different, the castings are
different, and there are only three of them (so far): Superman, Joker
and Green Lantern. My favorite is the Joker car. Check out that
grill. Have you ever seen a more appropriate grill to represent the
Joker's sinister smile? Although these are a cool find, the hunt
continues for the Nostalgia DC Comics cars in my area.
- Barrett-Jackson 2012
Barrett-Jackson's 2012 auction in
Scottsdale, AZ took place over the weekend (Jan.20-22). For me, the
highlight of the weekend was seeing the very first General Lee (named Lee1)
go up for auction. This is the car that can be seen jumping (82 feet)
over Rosco's police cruiser in the opening credits of every episode of
The Dukes of Hazzard. As the story goes, when the car landed
(above, right) it was totaled and never used again. It sat in a
junkyard for 23 years before it was rescued and restored (above, left.)
It even has its original windshield, which was cracked in the jump.
Shockingly, when the hammer fell, the car sold for only $120,000, which is a
STEAL. Apparently, golfer Bubba Watson came away with the car.
only other significant Hollywood car that went up on the auction block was
this beautiful replica of The Monkeemobile. It sold for a shockingly
low price of $40,000. It's a bargain considering one of the original
Monkeemobiles sold for $360,000 in 2008. That car currently resides in
- Holy Moly!
This has to be one of my all-time
favorite offerings from Mattel's Cars line. As part of the
Deluxe Cars 2 line, Mattel has produced Pope Pinion IV, along with
his Popemobile, which I think is awesome! Maybe I'm partial to this
one because I actually DID see Pope John Paul II as he drove past me in his
Popemobile in 1987! Check out the photo at right.
- Who ya gonna call?
Kevin Clark got his hands on the new
1:18 & 1:43 scale Hot Wheels Ecto-1 and sent me the pic at left comparing
several different versions of the famous ride from Ghostbusters.
Starting at the bottom left and going clockwise we have the 1:50 scale
Hallmark ornament, the 1:25 Polar Lights model, 1:18 scale Hot Wheels
Ecto-1, 1:21 Joy Ride Ecto-1 and, finally, the 1:43 scale version from Hot
Wheels. Thanks for the pic, Kevin.