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June '05 News Archive


6/30/05 - "Holy Replica, Batman!"
Check out this eBay auction.  I sure wish I had 10 grand lying around:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7527171189

UPDATE:  The auction has been canceled.

In other Batman news, I finally got my hands on the Hot Wheels Batman VS Scarecrow 2-pack.  I couldn't find it in stores, so I caved and bought it on eBay for 10 bucks plus shipping.  I've included it in the Hot Wheels Batmobiles gallery.

UPDATE:  It figures.  After receiving the 2-pack in the mail, I walked into a Kaybee Toy Store and there they were, 3 for $10.


6/26/05 - "Them Dukes!  Them Dukes!"
Long-time Hollywood Die-Cast follower Metro Privratsky sent me a pic of Joy Ride's (RC2) new Dukes of Hazzard die-cast cars.  Although cast members from the new film appear on the packaging (above left), it's the same ol' ERTL castings and wheels.  Metro said these can be found at www.actionfarmtoys.com.  Thanks for the heads-up Metro.


Aston Martin DB5 from 'Goldfinger'

6/22/05 - Movies' Greatest Cars!
For those of you who live in the UK, I've just found out  that Movies' Greatest Cars will premiere on Sky One on July 27th.  Dennis and I traveled to Hollywood back in March to videotape our segments for this program.  Here's what the Brian Waddell Productions website says about it:

Movies’ Greatest Cars is a follow-up to TV’s Greatest Cars, which was screened on Sky shortly before Christmas 2004.  

Replica of the 'Bullitt' carThis time around, some spectacular movie motoring moments will reflect the viewers’ vote, which began immediately after the Christmas show.  Tune in for the car chases from Bullitt and Ronin,  Goldfinger’s, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Mini Coopers from the original Italian Job, Thelma and Louise’s Thunderbird, Austin Powers’ Jaguar ... on and on they roar.

The programme was commissioned for Sky One by Jamie Roberts, who is also executive producer.  For the company, the executive producer is David Cumming, producer is Nicola Waddell and the director is Nigel Simpkiss.

The programme will be presented by Jason Barlow, editor of ‘Car’ magazine and a former ‘Top Gear’ presenter, who was also the frontman on ‘TV’s Greatest Cars’.


6/19/05 - Batman Begins is Outstanding!
I finally found some time to see Batman Begins and I have to say I came out of the theatre THOROUGHLY entertained.  I thought it was a great idea to wipe the slate clean and start fresh after the debacle known as Batman & Robin (despite being such a huge Batman fan, or maybe BECAUSE of that fact, 1997's Batman & Robin ranks, in my opinion, as one of the WORST movies ever made.) 

I found myself caught up in the story and didn't mind the long wait to see our hero appear in costume.  I enjoyed how the movie revealed all the elements that led up to Bruce Wayne becoming Batman:  the fear, the guilt, the training.  I also enjoyed the origin of the Bat-Costume and the Bat-Toys.

I have to admit, I was one of those who raised my eyebrows when the "Tumbler" was first revealed to the public.  I thought it looked like a cross between a Humvee and a lawnmower.  But slowly, the movie trailers began to win me over, and when I finally got to see the "Batmobile" do its thing on the big screen, I found myself grinning like a kid.  I'm looking forward to Mattel's 1:18 scale die-cast Tumbler, which will be far more movie-accurate than its 1:64 release (and I don't think I'm ruining anything by saying that Hot Wheels' Bat-Cycle and Bat-Copter are nowhere to be found in this film.)

My only criticism of the film is in regard to the fight scenes.  I've noticed that Hollywood has developed the habit of shooting and editing fight scenes in flurries of tight close-ups.  I find this method totally disorienting and confusing.  I found the fight scenes in the 1989 Batman film FAR more satisfying. 

In conclusion, I rank Batman Begins right up there with Tim Burton's Batman.  It's not better and it's not worse.  It was enormously entertaining, funny at times, and thrilling.  And the ending has me already excited about the sequel. 

By the way, for those of you who haven't seen my 5-minute long short film The Big Game, click on the new link in the left column to check it out.  Let me know what you think.


6/16/05 - Better Late than Never
About a month ago, I shot video at the Motor City Comic Con in Novi, Michigan.  Only now am I getting around to putting the program together to air on local cable TV.  I wanted to share a few stills from the video I shot.

Among the comics, figures and collectibles were numerous celebrities signing autographs and posing for photos.  Pictured above are Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Robert Beltran (Star Trek: Voyager), Tom Braidwood (The X-Files) and Dirk Benedict & Dwight Schultz (The A-Team).  Also in attendance were Catherine Bach (The Dukes of Hazzard), Joyce DeWitt & Priscilla Barnes (Three's Company) and Mark Goddard (Lost in Space), among others. 

It was a pleasure to talk to Antonio "Huggy Bear" Fargas (Starsky & Hutch) who was kind enough to give us a great interview.  It was an interesting coincidence to meet him because Antonio and I both appeared in the same segment for the UK's TV's Greatest Cars.  There were several replicas of famous cars on display as well, including the Gran Torino (above), The General Lee, K.I.T.T. and The A-Team van.

The highlight of my day was meeting Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi of Star Trek: The Next Generation).  She gave us a few moments of her time when her line of adoring fans died down a bit.  Not only was she pleasant and sweet, but I couldn't get over how beautiful she is in person.  It was an absolute pleasure to meet her.

Thanks goes out to Motor City Conventions for allowing us to come in with our video equipment.  It was a memorable day and I'm looking forward to putting together the TV program. 


6/12/05 - Herbie:  Fully Loaded
According to several sources, die-cast cars from the new film Herbie:  Fully Loaded are hitting stores, specifically, Wal*Mart.  This has been verified by the fact that they're hitting eBay as well.  Cars can be found in 5-car sets or individually carded (above).  There are also "pull back" cars and Herbie has been re-released in 1:18 scale with new packaging.  Radio Shack is also offering a mini radio-controlled Herbie.  Good luck in your search.  I hope the movie is entertaining.


6/5/05 - Talking Cars in June!
My apologies for not having a Q&A column in May.  I was pretty sick at the beginning of the month, and by the time I started to feel better, I figured too much time had passed, so I just waited until June.  Now I have TWO months of e-mails to sort through to bring you this month's edition of Talking Cars.  The wide variety of topics include:  Thunderbirds, CHiPs, The Beach Boys, The Great Race, Convoy, Top Gun, Vanishing Point, Knight Rider, James Dean and entertainment-related TRUCKS.  Whew!  Click HERE and enjoy.

By the way, I feel I need to mention AGAIN, that NOTHING on my site is for sale.  About HALF of the e-mails I receive are from people asking me if they can purchase items shown on this site.  It says in bold red letters above that nothing is for sale.  Please try eBay or other online die-cast vendors to buy the things you need.  I'm just here to provide info.  Thanks.


6/1/05 - Bluesmobile Unveiled
Upon visiting the RC2 website, I discovered that they've posted a pic of the finished 1:18 scale Bluesmobile from The Blues Brothers.  I have to admit, the speaker mounted to the roof is a nice touch.  According to the site, it should be in stores next month.