June 2003 Archive

6/27/03 - Saw Charlie's Angels:  Full Throttle today.
I was looking forward to seeing Full Throttle today since I'm such a huge fan of the film that came out in 2000.  Overall, I'd have to say I was thoroughly entertained, though the film has quite a few flaws.  On the plus side, Full Throttle was funnier and far more sexy than the first.  The trio looked great and seemed to be having a lot of fun.  Demi Moore looked fantastic and it was fun spotting all the celebrity cameos.  The action scenes were highlighted by a pretty cool dirt bike race (see photo above).  I have to admit, though, that some of the action sequences were so over-the-top, you'd think these three were living in the Matrix.
On the negative side, the pacing seemed awkward, which had a lot to do with the film makers trying to explain how Bernie Mac and Bill Murray were brothers.  Speaking of Bill Murray, he was sorely missed in the sequel.  Bernie Mac was funny, but Bill Murray is....well.... Bill Murray. 
There were a lot of cool cars in this film.  Johnny Lightning currently holds the Charlie's Angels license (even though ERTL is releasing the custom van).  Let's hope JL releases a few 1:64 cars from both films.

6/25/03 - Lightning Strikes TWICE in one day!!!
I had the most amazing luck today.  I stopped in at Wal*Mart near work to get a pretzel and a frozen Coke, and a James Bond car of course.  Well, the woman behind the counter said I could have a car without buying anything.   I decided to press my luck and asked her if I could purchase additional cars.  She shrugged her shoulders, thought about it, then told me I could buy additional cars at .69 cents apiece.  So I bought 10 additional cars, not knowing what was in each box.   I went out to my car and started opening up the boxes.  My jaw hung open when I found I had the rare White Lightning Lotus.  I continued to open up the remaining boxes, and to my amazement,  ANOTHER white Lotus.   I couldn't believe my luck.  I never thought I'd have one without purchasing it on eBay.  But to get TWO in one shot... well, let's just say I had a good day.  My James Bond Radio Grille set is now complete.  Here is a pic of my two new acquisitions:

6/24/03 - Johnny Lightning Batmobile!!! (Well, sort of)
Hobby Talk Bulletin Board member Itfalcon has finished transforming Johnny Lightning's 1955 Futura into the 1966 Barris Batmobile.  I have to say, it almost brought a tear to my eye.  Click on the following link for more pics:

6/24/03 - Elvis Spotted on eBay
I've recently spotted a few new Elvis items popping up on eBay.  Matchbox has produced Elvis themed "transporters" which are basically semi-trucks with Elvis graphics on them.  They've also released a set of 2 planes that are replicas of Elvis' own private jets:  the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II.  I've added pics to the Elvis section of Hollywood Die-Cast.

6/23/03 - Hollywood Die-Cast Kicks Off Q&A
Since launching Hollywood Die-Cast earlier this year, more and more people discover this website every day.  E-Mails have been pouring in with compliments and questions.  I try to respond to each e-mail personally, but I've decided to post some of the questions for the benefit of others who may have similar questions.  Please feel free to e-mail me with questions, but keep in mind that my specialty is 1:64 scale.  If I don't know the answer, I'll do my best to scour the internet to bring you the answer.  I'll try to post a new Q&A each month.  To see our inaugural Q&A, click HERE.

6/16/03 - Radio Grille Bond Cars Added to Gallery
All of the Wal*Mart Radio Grille exclusive Bond cars have been added to the Hollywood Die-Cast gallery, including the rare White Lightning Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me.   The Radio Grille cars have different wheels compared to their carded counterparts.  Here's a pic comparing the Dr. No Sunbeam wheels:

The Radio Grille car is on the right.

6/13/03 - 1:18 Scale Batmobile from Mattel
Check out this AMAZING 1:18 scale replica of the Batmobile from the Batman films.  In an e-mail from Mark Sanders, he said that Mattel may be doing all the movie Batmobiles in 1:18 scale.  You can pre-order this car at: or

6/13/03 - Saturday Night Live Die-Cast from MB
I've recently spotted Matchbox's Saturday Night Live vehicles on eBay.  I haven't seen them in stores yet.  There are four in the set.  Click here to see them.

6/11/03 - Holy Conversion Batman!!!
Hobby Talk Bulletin Board member Itfalcon has posted pics showing his work-in-progress transforming Johnny Lightning's Lincoln Futura into the Barris Batmobile.  I have to admit, I doubted it could be done well, but this guy has proven me wrong.  Click on the following link to see the pics:

6/10/03 - Pre-order Your Supercar Set Now!
I saw this posted at today:

Exclusive SUPERCAR Promos now available for pre-order!

Here's the link:
They should ship out in early July or before, depending on how slow the boat from China is sailing.

6/10/03 - Well, Whaddya Know? 
I just found out today that I have a Radio Grille Restaurant in the Wal*Mart near work.  I had no idea.  Popped in, ordered a pretzel and a frozen Coke, and got my first Johnny Lightning Bond car.  It turned out to be the Lotus Esprit Turbo from For Your Eyes Only.  I guess I'll be popping in on a regular basis until they run out of cars.   I scanned the side of the box so you can see the complete list of cars:

6/7/03 - The Cars are the Stars in 2 Fast 2 Furious
I saw 2 Fast 2 Furious today.  Overall, I would say I enjoyed it, though the film featured some of the worst acting I've seen in a long time.  There were a lot of pretty faces, but not a lot of talent.  The film sorely needed the presence of Vin Diesel to surpass the original.  If  it's the cars you came to see, then you won't be disappointed.  There are some fantastic racing scenes, culminating with a chase that results in many totaled police cars.  I'm not sure if  I'm sold on the computer generated racing scenes though.  We get some neat effects, like having the camera move from the exterior of the car to a close up of the driver, but it all has a video game feel to it.  In summary, the action scenes were worth the $6 matinee price, but I don't think I'll be picking this one up on DVD.

Following up its successful line of die-cast cars from The Fast & The Furious, ERTL has cars from the sequel already in stores.  I saw the Challenger from the sequel in 1:18 scale at Toys R Us today.  And believe me, there will be PLENTY of cars to choose from.  The movie features dozens and dozens of tuner cars and American muscle cars in a rainbow of colors.  Check out the official movie site:

6/7/03 - Shipping in September from Diamond.
Here are the latest TV & movie-related die-cast offered in the Previews Catalogue:

- Johnny Lightning The Simpsons Die-Casts Release 1 including 1:64 versions Homer's Car, Marge's Car, Wiggum's Police Cruiser, and the Springfield Elementary School Bus.

- Johnny Lightning Ghostbusters Ecto-1 Die-Cast

- Johnny Lightning Back to the Future Delorean Die-Cast.  I'm guessing this may be re-released on new packaging.  I'll try to get more info.

- Racing Champions Entertainment Die-Casts.  For 1:18 scale collectors, this assortment includes the Corvette from Animal House, Racer X's Shooting Star from Speed Racer and the car from the film The Car.


The following info comes straight from Johnny Lightning's Jeff Koch:

"Same old BTTF car, a new run, not repacked, but in newly-printed old-style packaging."

"Ecto-1 should be Ecto-1A, we've added some paint detail and better wheels but otherwise the casting is the same."


6/1/03 - The Italian Job is Fun Entertainment
I saw The Italian Job today.  Very entertaining film.  Great ensemble cast and Marky Mark looks more and more like a movie star every time I see him.  The car chase involving the trio of Mini-Coopers was fun, but the appeal of this movie is the anticipation of what will happen next.  There are just enough twists and turns to keep you interested, without going overboard.  And, as he has done in Austin Powers, Seth Green provides comic relief with some very funny moments.  If you liked the remake of Ocean's 11, then you'll like this movie as well.  It has a very similar style and feel.  I highly recommend it and look forward to Johnny Lightning's 1:64 scale Mini-Cooper 3-car set based on the film (due in June).  Check out Paramount's official website at  A bit of trivia is revealed at the site:  32 Minis were used during the filming of the movie!!!!