Hollywood Die-Cast. Within this website you will find the most
definitive gallery of die-cast toys based on cars and vehicles from TV and
movies. The focus of this website is
1:64 scale, though there are some exceptions. My
collection is NOT for sale. The site is meant to be purely informational for
collectors like myself.
- That's Entertainment!
I don't know about you, but in my area
it's very difficult to find any of the recent waves of the Hot Wheels
Entertainment line. The same peg warmers (Magnum P.I., Miami Vice,
Italian Job) have been clogging the pegs for several months. So
whenever a new assortment is released, I have to get it online. The most
recent wave arrived at my doorstep and, once again, I have mixed feelings.
Let's start out with the best of the bunch: the Lotus
Esprit S1 Submarine from the 1977 James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved
Me. This new casting features incredible detail, including
moving fins and a screen-accurate license plate. It just
might rank as one of the best Hollywood die-cast vehicles ever made!
Bravo Mattel! My grade: A + + +
Mattel released The Homer as part of its basic line
earlier this year. It was very hard to find in my area, but when I
finally got one in the mail I was blown away by the detail. I
wondered how they would top it in the Entertainment line. Other
than some added paint and different wheels, it's not too different.
Still, this is a must-have for any fan of The Simpsons. A +
I'd be pretty excited about this Channel 4 News Van
from Anchorman if Greenlight hadn't already released it (and did
a better job, in my opinion.) The detail is great, but the van
itself just doesn't look quite right. My Grade: B
Here's another Greenlight rehash: the '67 Ford Bronco
from the 2001 comedy Zoolander. Personally, I don't see
what all the fuss is about. I didn't think it was a very funny
movie, but for some reason, both Greenlight and Mattel snagged the
license. The casting is fine, complete with screen-accurate
license plate, but I just don't get it. My grade: C
When this set arrived in the mail, for some reason
the Mustang from Beverly Hills 90210 was missing, so I had to
borrow some pics from eBay. But come on, this might rank among the
worst offerings in the entire line. 90210? Really?
Talk about your peg warmers. My grade: D
Hooray for Hollywood!
I wandered in to my local Meijer store
to find Greenlight's new Hollywood wave (Series 7) hanging on the pegs. It's
always exciting to find something new, but I have mixed feelings about this
Let's start off with the obvious star of this wave:
Eleanor from the 2000 remake of Gone in 60 Seconds. This is
the second time an officially licensed version of this car has been
produced (the first was included in a pricey Hot Wheels boxed set.)
This version is a STUNNER, right down to its movie-accurate license
plate. This is a MUST-HAVE! A+ + +
Greenlight decided to include a second car from the
2000 movie in this particular wave. The 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda is
a great looking car, but fairly obscure. Would anyone recognize it
as being from the movie if it was out of its packaging? I don't
think so. My grade: C
Out of its packaging, this is simply a Las Vegas
Police car, but in its packaging we have a car that was featured fairly
prominently in the 2009 movie The Hangover. It's great that
Greenlight was able to feature the four main actors on the packaging.
(I would've prefered the 1969 Mercedes-Benz.) My grade: B+
Okay, this is a bit of a stretch. I really love
Greenlight's VW Beetle casting, but I only vaguely remember this car in
the 1984 movie Gremlins. All the photos on IMCDB.org show
it covered in snow. Due to its obscurity, I have to give this one
This 1970 Dodge Charger is the second car released by
Greenlight under the Supernatural license (third, if you count an
earlier, incorrect version of the Impala.) I have to admit, I've
never seen an episode of this show. IMCDG.org gives this car
3-stars. I dunno: C+?
||Greenlight REALLY loves finding reasons to use its 1977
Dodge Royal Monaco casting, and this may be the strangest one yet.
The police car from the original Friday the 13th?
Oooookay. The timing on it is pretty good considering Halloween is
right around the corner, and a mini-figure of Mrs. Voorhees is a nice
touch, but this is such an odd choice. C+
- Holy 75 Years, Batman!
As Mattel continues to celebrate 75
years of Batman, they recently released another Walmart Exclusive 8-vehicle
set. I haven't seen it in stores yet, so I had to pick up a set online.
This release is similar to the set released in July of 2012, and includes
many of the same vehicles, but with different card art. However, for
those who enjoy minor variations, there are a few treats in this set.
01-08: New to this set is the Batman Live
Batmobile. This particular casting was originally released in September
of 2012 on the green-striped Imagination cards, however, this
re-releases differs slightly in that it has metallic rims instead of the
02-08: The Batcopter was included in the previous set
with yellow wings, with Batman Begins card art (although it never
appeared in the film.) This new version is black & grey with a blue
canopy and is the FIFTH variation of this particular bat-casting.
03-08: The Batmobile from The Batman animated
series was included in the previous set with similar card art, but the
car itself has minor variations. Previously, the Batmobile had red
stripes. This version has yellow stripes, similar to a version
that was included in a rare Joker's Last Laugh two-pack. By
my count, this is the SEVENTH variation of this casting.
04-08: The Batmobile from the classic TV series is by
far the best of the bunch. This time, Mattel included a clear
plastic canopy (as opposed to blue), with red pinstriping on the front
and rear of the car, and a more accurate bat-logo on the doors.
The addition of Batman (from the animated opening credits) on the card
makes this one an instant classic.
05-08: The biggest complaint I had about the
2012 set was the inclusion of the Hardnoze Batmobile to represent the
1989 Batman movie. Mattel had a chance to correct their
error, yet they included this silly version of the Batmobile AGAIN!
This time, however, it doesn't include those awful gray flames.
06-08: Another new addition to the set is The Bat
from The Dark Knight Rises. Introduced in the Hot Wheels basic
line in 2012, it's pretty much the same casting, but it sure looks great
on a card that features art from the movie.
07-08: The Batmobile from the Arkham Asylum video
game was also included in the previous set with similar card art,
however, this version features gray wheels and accents to make it the
third variation of this particular casting.
08-08: And finally, we have the Batmobile from
The Brave and the Bold animated series. It's the exact same
casting and paint scheme, with similar card art, only the base is
- Hot Wheels Entertainment Line in 2015
The awesome website T-Hunted.com posted
photos of a slide presentation that recently took place in Los Angeles.
Mattel revealed plans for their Hot Wheels line in 2015 and presented photos
of what we can expect in the Entertainment line. Pictured above, from
left, are vehicles from Christine, Emergency!, 48 Hrs., Close Encounters
of the Third Kind, and Friday Night Lights. I'm excited
about some of them, scratching my head over some of the others, but I'm glad
the line will continue into 2015.
- 2014 Hallmark Ornaments - Round 2
On Saturday, Hallmark unveiled a new
wave of ornaments for the 2014 holiday season. Among the ornaments I
picked up are the 1989 Batmobile and the Back to the Future DeLorean
in flying mode. My collection of cool Hollywood car ornaments just
keeps growing and growing.
- New Hot Wheels Finds
Here are two new Hollywood cars found in
the Hot Wheels basic line now hitting stores. Pictured above, left, is
a new Batmobile based on the 1989 design, but with red pinstriping.
Apparently, it showed up in cases at the most recent K-Mart Hot Wheels
Collectors event, but I missed it! I had to resort to eBay to add one
to my collection. I'm fairly confident it will show up at other stores
in the near future. Pictured above, right, is the Lotus Esprit S1 from
the 1977 James Bond blockbuster The Spy Who Loved Me. With a
screen-accurate license plate and nice detail, this is a great addition to
the basic line. As cool as this is, I'm REALLY looking forward to the
submarine version that will be hitting stores soon as part of the Retro
- Herbie Rides Again!
On Friday I called one of the few
remaining hobby shops in my area that sells die-cast cars and asked if they
had received a shipment of Mattel's new 1:18 scale Herbie The Love Bug.
They told me they did, but they were selling quickly. I had them set
one aside from me and raced to the store to pick it up. Although it's
a little pricey at $120, this is a MUST-HAVE. The detail is
incredible. It looks EXACTLY like the car featured in the first movie.
I already had Johnny Lightning's 1:18 scale version in my collection, but it
pales in comparison to Mattel's Elite version. Take a look at the
side-by-side comparison above, right. I never quite understood how JL
could get Herbie's #53 SO WRONG! It always bothered me, but now this
new version will replace JL's version in my 1:18 scale collection. I
can't stop staring at it!
- Dirty Mary Crazy Larry Update
Auto World's Gregg Lacarte was kind enough to give me an
update on their upcoming 1:18 scale 1969 Charger from the cult film Dirty
Mary Crazy Larry. Gregg has teamed up with Dave Nicholson and John Rosa
to create the spectacular rendition you see pictured at left. Here is
a statement from Auto World:
"We bring you latest photos of the final pre-production
sample of this awesome new release coming from Auto World around Christmas
this year. If you haven't been dropping hints to your wife all year, now is
the time!! If you haven't already pre-ordered, you should seriously consider
it as this is gonna be a HUGE hit and fast seller. After countless eMails
and wishes and tweaks and corrections, the attached images are what we three
and the great guys at Auto World have finally approved for production in the
next 2 months. Beyond what is normally included on these beautiful
Authentics Charger releases, the DMCL car will include the following: Fully
licensed box art, Film-correct features include the custom paint, stripes
and engine call-outs, US INDY aluminum wheels and fat blackwall tires
(including a full-sized front spare in the trunk... in case yours happens to
hit a red pickup and gets a flat). Film-correct license plates (the rear
having proper California registration decals for 1972 and 1973 in the top
corners. Look really hard at those sticker- the detail is amazing!).
Film-correct gutter-mounted CB antenna. Tampo-printed AC vents in the center
of the dashboard. Deleted headrests. Custom blackened engine compartment
with a modified 440 big block wearing yellow wires, aluminum intake
manifold, chrome valve covers and a new open-element chrome air cleaner- a
totally 70s street machine look! All the delays and frustration with
exacting detail requirements have finally paid off. We all think it's simply
stunning (we're gushing like proud papas) and destined to be the centerpiece
of many collections- it certainly will be for mine! (It looks like it's
moving 100 mph even in these still shots!) We hope this end result is what
you hoped for, we're all beyond over-joyed with how it has turned out."
7/20/14 - Ghostbusters HQ!
During a recent trip to NYC I managed to
squeeze in a visit to Hook & Ladder 8, also known as Ghostbusters
Headquarters! I'm so glad I finally got to visit this iconic movie
location 30 years after the movie's premiere. Of course, I brought my Hot
Wheels Ecto-1. More photos below.
a side note, the reason I went to NYC was to sit in the audience for The
Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. On show #99 the guests were Martin
Lawrence, Jenny Slate and Aloe Blacc. Here's an image of me
interacting with Jimmy himself as the credits rolled!
8/4/14 - My Eaglemoss
Bat-Vehicle Collection Grows!
I've recently added two more
Bat-Vehicles to my 1:43 scale Eaglemoss collection. Pictured above,
left, is the Batmobile from the Arkham Asylum video game. I
found it at my local comic book store. Pictured above, right, is
Batgirl's bike from the classic 1966 TV series. I found it at Midtown
Comics in Times Square during my recent trip to New York City. That
brings my collection up to 13 vehicles from primarily the Batman
movies and TV series.
7/20/14 - RIP: James
My condolences go out to the friends and
family of James Garner, one of the coolest guys in Hollywood. Included
among his film credits are The Great Escape (1963) alongside Steve
McQueen, and, in my opinion, one of the greatest racing movies ever made,
Grand Prix in 1966. Of course, he became a household name while
starring in the TV series The Rockford Files that aired from 1974 to
1980. During the first four years of the series' run, Rockford drove a
new Firebird Esprit (1974-1978) painted "copper mist" which became one of
the most iconic cars in TV history. Garner was also an avid racer.
He will be missed.
- It's Christmas in July!
Today marks the official launch of
Hallmark's 2014 Ornaments at its stores across the country. I stopped
into a local store and found some really cool stuff to hang on my tree this
year, including the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard. The
car is approximately 1:43 scale and is made of plastic and, sadly, Hallmark
went to great lengths to conceal the Dixie flag on the car's roof. The
wheels don't spin and there are no sound effects, but it will still look
great hanging on the tree with the other cars that have been released over
the past several years. Look for the '89 Batmobile and flying DeLorean
Time Machine to arrive in stores in October.
- Oh, Canada!
My gratitude goes out to my friend from
the north, Eric Primeau, who went out of his way to send me the '72 Ford
Gran Torino Sport and '69 Dodge Charger Daytona from Mattel's second release
of its Hot Wheels Fast & Furious set. At the time of this post,
this particular release was only hitting stores in Canada, although I'm told
they should eventually make their way to Walmart stores in the U.S.
Eight cars make up the 2014 set, but six of the cars are re-releases.
Only the two pictured above are new to this set. Thanks again Eric and
I hope I can return the favor.
- Transformers 4: My Review
The reviews for Transformers: Age of
Extinction have been brutal. So bad, I almost passed on seeing it.
But then I remembered my obligation to you, the reader, to see and review
car movies, good or bad. So I forced myself to sit down and catch a
Sunday matinee with Coke and popcorn in hand. And you know what?
I'm glad I did. The movie isn't THAT bad! It's actually a lot of
Transformers 4 picks
up where the previous movie ended, with the United States reeling from the
epic battle in Chicago. A secret organization has vowed to hunt down
Transformers on behalf of the US government. They claim to only hunt
Decepticons, but in reality, all Transformers are fair game. The
Autobots have gone into hiding and have been reduced to a small band of
warriors. This secret organization is capturing Transformers to study
and replicate the technology that makes their abilities possible. The
goal is to weaponize what's referred to as "Transformium" for military,
Enter Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) who stumbles onto a heavily damaged
Optimus Prime and nurses him back to health, putting himself and his
daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) in danger. Wahlberg seems to be having
an absolute blast in the movie, as does his supporting cast. In
addition to incredible action and car chases, there are plenty of
laugh-out-loud moments throughout the movie's 160-minute run time. The
special effects are eye-popping and even thrilling in 3D. The cars are
a collection of some of the most beautiful vehicles you will ever see on a
movie screen, in a rainbow of colors (as you can see in the above photo.)
Yes, the movie feels a little bloated. I started to get a little
impatient at the 2-hour mark, and the whole Dinobots storyline seemed tacked
on as a treat for the little ones, but honestly, I didn't mind. I kept
thinking about how this would be a fun experience for the whole family.
So don't listen to the critics (except me, of course.) If you were a
fan of the previous trilogy, you will enjoy this movie that kicks off the
NEXT trilogy. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.
- Dirty Mary Crazy Larry AW Prototype
AutoWorld's 1:18 scale version of the
'69 Charger from 1974 cult movie Dirty Mary Crazy Larry seems to be
coming along nicely. AW's
Gregg Lacarte sent me this photo of the prototype
(above.) He also shared a Photoshopped version of the image to give
you an idea of what the final project will look like:
I think it's going to be a big hit with collectors and I'm excited to see
AutoWorld producing new, never-before-seen Hollywood cars. Keep 'em
- "I must be dreaming."
James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from
Goldfinger is currently hitting stores as part of the Hot Wheels basic
line. Mine arrived in the mail today, and I expect it to be a tough
find on the pegs. Not only does this car rank among the greatest of
all screen cars, but Mattel did an amazing job on this, even adding a
screen-accurate rear license plate. I can't imagine how Mattel will
top this when the pricier version hits stores later this year as part of the
Entertainment line, but I can't wait to find out.
I arrived home from work to find a
package sitting at my doorstep. It's the latest wave of the Hot Wheels
Entertainment series, or "D Case." Read on for my review...
As for my favorite of this wave, it's a toss-up, but
ya gotta love a car from a James Bond movie that's never been done
before in 1:64 scale. Pictured at left is the Aston Martin DBS
from Daniel Craig's first outing as James Bond: Casino Royale.
Although it wasn't featured very prominently in the movie (it was
wrecked in a spectacular crash), it's still a significant Bond car and
I'm surprised it was never produced before in this scale. And the
detail is fantastic, right down to the rear license plate. My
Next up, we have the '67 Plymouth Belvedere GTX from
one of my all-time favorite comedies: Tommy Boy. This
car has been done once before (in Malibu's Reel Rides line) but
it was terribly out of scale (oh, and Johnny Lightning did an unofficial
version.) On the plus side: it's an awesome car featured
prominently in a hilarious road trip movie! On the negative side,
the wheels are kind of generic, and the convertible top is just painted
black. Bonus points, though, for the accurate plates on the front
and rear. My grade: A
This one came as a bit of a surprise. Did
anyone really expect Mattel to offer a "Super Pursuit Mode" version of
KITT from Knight Rider? Personally, I always thought the
SPM version of KITT, introduced during the 1985 season, was sort of
silly-looking. But I have to give credit to Mattel for pulling
this off. This one will definitely be popular with fans of the
show. My grade: A
In the 1984 version of The Karate Kid,
apparently Miyagi (Pat Morita) drove a '48 Ford Super De Luxe.
It's been a while since I last watched the film, so I don't really
remember the car. IMCDB.org gives the car a 3-star rating, and
looking at the photos, the car is pretty spot-on, with the exception of
the wheels. Factoring in the car's obscurity, my final grade is:
And finally, we have the '70 Dodge Charger R/T from
the Fast & Furious franchise. Judging by its flat black
finish, I'm assuming this car is meant to represent the version featured
in the 4th installment of the series. There's nothing to criticize
here, other than to say that I would've preferred to get a car that
hasn't been done yet. I'm sure it will be popular with fans of the
movie franchise. My grade: B
- Max Steel Motorcycle Variants
While visiting Walmart I spotted a
Max Steel Motorcycle that looked a little different than the ones that
have already been released by Mattel as part of the Hot Wheels line.
Sure enough, when I got home and compared it to the others, I discovered it
was the FOURTH variant (pictured above, right) released since last year.
Mattel seems to be getting their money's worth with this particular casting.
- "The Force is strong with this one."
It was recently announced that Mattel
would have another exclusive at this year's San Diego Comic Con.
Mattel will kick off its Hot Wheels Star Wars line by offering Darth
Vader in a beautiful lightsaber package. If you plan on attending
Comic Con, you have to pre-order at MattyCollector.com. If you can't
attend, some quantities will be sold through HotWheelsCollectors.com.
- "Good Grief!"
I know this hit stores a while ago, but
I just found it for the first time at my local Meijer yesterday. We
have Snoopy sitting atop his souped up doghouse. Notice in the picture
at left Snoopy is on a short card. Oddly, every single Hot Wheels car
on the pegs was on a short card at my local Meijer store. I've never
seen that before. Snoopy has been added to the
- Comic Con Exclusives
Mattel has announced two Hot Wheels
exclusives for the 2014 San Diego Comic Con. Pictured above is James
Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger with a metallic finish and
special packaging ($20). At left is "The Homer" from The Simpsons
with a metallic finish and special packaging ($30). If you can't make it to
Comic Con, a limited supply will be available through the Hot Wheels
Collectors website at a later date. SDCC will take place July 24-27.
- The Midas Touch
Apparently, Mattel has included James
Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger in its basic line which
should be hitting stores very soon. The image above was found on eBay
from a seller in Malaysia. I have a feeling collectors will treat
these like GOLD, even though Mattel will be including a more detailed
version in its Hollywood line. I can't wait to get a few of these in
- Hooray for Hollywood?
GreenLight has revealed the 7th wave of
its Hollywood series and, once again, some odd choices were made. The
best of the bunch is Eleanor from the remake of Gone in 60 Seconds
(2000). This will be the first time Eleanor has been officially
licensed from the Nicholas Cage classic and I'll be buying MULTIPLES to put
away. The rest are head-scratchers. I'll post my review when I
have the set in-hand.
- Fast & Furious Hot Wheels: The Sequel
Here's another scoop from T-Hunted.com:
Apparently, Mattel is releasing a second round of Hot Wheels based on cars
from the Fast & Furious franchise. One year ago, an 8-car set
began showing up at Walmart stores across the country. They were VERY
popular and were tough to find in stores. T-Hunted.com reports that a
new wave has been recently found in Brazil. There's good news and bad
news. The good news is that there are TWO new cars in the set,
pictured above left and center. The BAD news is that all the other
cars in the set were available in LAST YEAR'S set. Now that might be
GOOD news for those of us who had a tough time finding the Mustang from
Tokyo Drift (above,right.) Hopefully, these cars will appear in
U.S. stores in the near future.
- T-Hunted.com Sneak Peek
Once again, T-Hunted.com scoops everyone
with carded pics of the next wave from the Hot Wheels Entertainment series.
Pictured above, from left, are the '70 Charger from The Fast & The
Furious, '57 Plymouth Belvedere GTX from the 1995 comedy Tommy Boy,
KITT in Super Pursuit Mode, '48 Ford from 1984's The Karate Kid, and
James Bond's Aston Martin DBS from Casino Royale. Hopefully,
we'll see these in stores within the next few weeks. I'll post my
review when I have them in-hand.
- A Little Help from my "Friends"
While browsing online for new die-cast
cars I discovered this and ordered it. The 1:43 scale 1977 Checker
Taxi from Friends arrived in the mail yesterday. Apparently, it
was featured in several episodes of the beloved TV series, although I don't
recall ever seeing it. This is such an odd license for GreenLight to
pursue. I think a taxi from the Robert De Niro film Taxi Driver,
or a Sunshine Cab from the TV series Taxi would have been MUCH more
popular. It remains to be seen if fans of the Friends TV series
will snatch this one up. It retails for $15.00.
- Motor City Comic Con 2014
The Motor City Comic Con comes to an end
today. I spent some time there on Friday and Saturday shooting video,
meeting great people, and having a ton of fun. Celebrating its 25th
anniversary, this year's Con was quite possibly the best ever. It
expanded to more floor space, which was nice, and offered an incredible
array of comics, toys, art, and, of course, celebs. I managed to add
three more signatures to my "Auto-Graphs"
collection. Picture below, from left, are Lee Majors, Chris Sarandon
(who signed my Mustang from Fright Night), and William Shatner!
Hot Wheels Entertainment: Mix C - My Review
It's been nearly THREE long months since
the last Hot Wheels Entertainment wave shipped. That's brutal!
But when I arrived home tonight I found a package waiting at my doorstep.
The newest assortment is finally here! Let's take a look:
Let's start with the most eagerly anticipated release
of the bunch: Marty's 1987 Toyota Pickup from Back to the
Future. Although we only get brief glimpses of the truck in
the movie, it's exciting that we collectors can add another BTTF
vehicle to our collection BESIDES the DeLorean Time Machine. Some
collectors are complaining that this model isn't exactly movie-accurate.
Notice the 1987 model year, and Back to the Future takes place in
1985. But it's such a minor vehicle, I'll let it slide.
My grade: B
Next up we have the '71 Mustang Mach 1 from
Diamonds Are Forever. I think it's awesome that Mattel has the
rights to do James Bond vehicles and I'm looking forward to what they
have in store for the future. This release is nice except for one
minor flaw. The car in the movie didn't have a rear spoiler.
I'm experiencing Deja Vu. We went through this exact same issue
when Johnny Lightning first released ITS version of the same car back in
1998. Eventually, JL corrected the problem, but I doubt Mattel
will do the same. My grade: B
|Corgi released a '57 Chevy Bel Air Convertible from
Simon & Simon way back in 1982. That version PALES in
comparison to this new release. It is really stunning. I was
only vaguely aware of the show when it was on the air, but according to
IMCDB.org, this car rates 4 stars. It should display nicely with
the the two other vehicles released in 2013. My grade: A
Need for Speed was released in March of this
year and to-date has only grossed $42 million dollars ($66 million
budget) domestically. However, it HAS grossed over $143 million
overseas. I don't think anyone is calling this movie a HIT, but it
did turn a profit. The 2014 Custom Mustang was the car star of the
movie and Mattel did a really great job of rendering this 1:64 scale
version. Will it sell or clog the pegs? It's difficult to
say. It'll be a hit with Mustang collectors and hardcore car guys,
but I think casual collectors will pass. Personally, I really like
it. My grade: A
|The Koenigsegg Agera R was also featured prominently in
the movie Need for Speed. It was driven by the villain
earlier in the film, then appeared again during the final race driven by
the hero (Aaron Paul.) The accuracy of this casting is spot on.
I just wish Mattel would've pushed this one back to a later wave,
instead of giving us two cars from the same movie in the same wave.
But MAN it's a great looking car. My grade: A
- Vengeance is Mine!
I know this is old news, but its been
very difficult finding anything new in my area lately. The U.S.S.
Vengeance was released quite a while ago as part of the basic HW City line,
but I haven't seen one in stores, so I resorted to eBay to add one to my
collection. As you probably know, the U.S.S. Vengeance was featured in
2013's Star Trek Into Darkness and although not in scale, it joins
the U.S.S. Enterprise (and its battle damaged version) in the HW City line.
"Got anything faster?"
Apparently, this hit stores about a
month ago, but somehow it slipped under my radar. Mattel has included
this Lamborghini Sesto Elemento from the movie Need for Speed in its
basic line. This is the car driven by the villain Dino Brewster in the
film's final race. Expect two more cars from the movie to hit stores
soon as part of Mattel's Hot Wheels Entertainment line: 2014 Custom
Mustang and Koenigsegg Agera.
- Captain America: The Winter Solder
When I saw the first Captain America
movie in 2011, it instantly became one of my all-time favorite movies.
I loved how it was set during WWII, which made it okay to cheer for the red,
white & blue. It was chock-full of fun and humor and at times made me
want to stand up and cheer. Captain America: The Winter Solder
feels like the polar OPPOSITE of its predecessor, yet I can't get this movie
out of my head after seeing it in 3D IMAX during a Saturday matinee.
Winter Solder is a dark movie, perhaps the darkest movie in the
entire Marvel series to-date. Its darkness reflects that mood that
prevails in this post 9/11 era. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) comes from
a time when patriotism ran rampant, and is now having trouble adapting to a
modern society where distrust reigns and certain freedoms are compromised in
the name of security. As the events unfold throughout the movie, the
results will have a ripple effect on the entire Marvel universe, which makes
this movie an absolute MUST-SEE if you are a Marvel movie fan. What
this installment lacks in fun and humor, it makes up for in political
intrigue and adrenaline-pumping action, highlighted by a thrilling high
speed police pursuit (pictured above) involving Nick Fury (Samuel L.
Jackson.) If you haven't seen the first movie, you may want to get
caught up because the sequel makes numerous references to it. Then
fasten your seatbelt and enjoy this newest chapter in the Marvel universe,
which I rank among my top five favorites, behind The Avengers, the
first Iron Man movie, and the first Captain America movie.
- A Hollywood Die-Cast Exclusive Scoop!
Great news from a reliable source at
Auto World. Pictured above are photos of the tooling sample of a 1:18
scale version of the 1969 Charger from the 1974 movie Dirty Mary Crazy
Larry, starring Peter Fonda and Susan George. I'm told we can
expect to find it in stores in December of 2014. I'm excited that
we're seeing something brand new in 1:18 scale from AutoWorld's Silver
Screen Machines line. I'll try to bring you updates throughout the
- Kind of a Big Deal.
While out and about today I stopped into
my local Toys R Us store. I saw Greenlight's previous Hollywood
releases on the pegs, but as I dug deeper I spotted this re-release of the
Channel 4 News Van from Anchorman. Later, I swung into Meijer
and found it there, too. GL added a microwave dish, roof platform, and
a ladder on the back of the van. It's SUCH an improvement over the
previous release. I absolutely LOVE this thing.
- 75 Years of Batman
We're not even into April yet and Mattel
has already released all five Bat-Vehicles planned for its Hot Wheels basic
line in 2014. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Batman Mattel
released The Batman Batmobile (61/250) way back in November of 2013
on the blue-striped HW City cardback. Next up was a blue variation of
the "Affinity" Batmobile (62/250), followed by the Camouflage Tumbler
(63/250) and the Bat-Pod (64/250) from The Dark Knight Rises, all
hitting stores before the year's end. To complete the announced
releases for 2014, a funky version of the TV Batmobile (65/250) is now
hitting stores (above, right.) We'll have to wait and see what Mattel
has planned for 2015.
3/28/14 - That's
The website T-Hunted.com revealed the
list of cars slated to be released as part of the Hot Wheels Entertainment
line throughout the rest of 2014. There are some pretty exciting
entries on this list, and a few head-scratchers.
• Karate Kid - '48 Ford Super Deluxe
• Knight Rider - KITT Super Pursuit Mode
• Fast and Furious - '70 Dodge Charger R / T
• James Bond - Aston Martin DBS
• Tommy Boy - '67 Plymouth Belvedere GTX
• Zoolander - '67 Ford Bronco
• James Bond - 1976 Lotus Esprit - Submarine
• Simpsons - The Homer
• Beverly Hills, 90210 - '65 Mustang
• Anchorman - Custom '77 Dodge Van
• BJ & The Bear - Thunder Roller
• James Bond - Aston Martin DB5
• Ghostbusters II - Ecto-1A
• Back To The Future - '48 Ford
• Batman Returns - Batmobile
- "The Lamborghini, then?"
Quite a while ago I learned that Mattel
would be including this Lamborghini Murcielago in its Hot Wheels Color
Shifters line. I kept waiting for it to show up in stores, but months
passed with no sign of it. I couldn't even find a single auction on
eBay. Then, within the past month or so, auctions started to pop up,
but all seemed to come from Canada. Needless to say, I'm a little
confused. I don't know if this a Canadian exclusive or if it will find
its way to the U.S. in the near future, but I purchased one on eBay from a
Canadian seller. This Lamborghini is part of a set that includes cars
representing The Joker and Bane. For the record, variations of the
Murcielago appeared in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight,
while the Aventador appeared in The Dark Knight Rises. I just
thought it would be a cool piece to add to my Batman Hot Wheels collection.
- Great Odin's Raven!
It was announced that Greenlight will be
re-releasing the Channel 4 News Van from 2004's Anchorman, but as you
can see in the photo above, they will be fixing a few things. This
time they'll be adding the microwave dish and platform to the roof of the
van, and a ladder on the rear of the van. This is fantastic news, even
though it's a little frustrating for those of us who bought MULTIPLES of the
original release. I don't know when the release date is, but since
photos of the van in packaging have surfaced, it should only be a matter of
weeks before it shows up in stores.
- Hot Wheels Entertainment: Mix C
The website T-Hunted.com posted the
first pic of the HW Entertainment Mix C assortment, and I have mixed
feelings about this batch. There are TWO, count 'em, TWO cars from the
new movie Need for Speed. At least these two cars, the 2014
Mustang and Koenigsegg Agera, are featured prominently in the film (unlike
the previously released Pontiac GTO, which had a MINOR role in the movie.)
The popularity of these cars will depend on how well the movie does at the
box office. Marty's Toyota pickup from Back to the Future is
kind of cool, but let's face it, it was BARELY featured in the movie.
Personally, I'd be more excited about Biff's Ford or even the Libyan's VW
Bus. When I have the full set in my hands, I'll post a more detailed
- Need for Speed: My Review
When a movie boasts that it's based on a
video game, one has to lower his expectations. So, heading into the
movie theater with tempered expectations, I have to say I came out of the
theater entertained. Need for Speed is what it is: a
movie for car lovers, made by car lovers. There are no surprises in
this movie. Take a little bit of The Fast & The Furious, Smokey &
The Bandit, The Cannonball Run, and Vanishing Point, throw
them into a blender, and you get Need for Speed. Sprinkle in a
few winks to movies like Bullitt and American Graffiti to add
some flavor. What elevates this movie beyond a forgettable car chase
flick is the performance of Aaron Paul, in his first major post-Breaking
Bad appearance, as Tobey Marshall. Aaron Paul is such a fine
actor, you want to ride shotgun with him.
Need for Speed starts
off with a street race that borrows a page from the early Fast & Furious
movies, but featuring classic American muscle. Marshall is behind
the wheel of a stunning blue Ford Gran Torino. To earn money to keep
his garage afloat, he enters into a deal with his rival, Dino Brewster
(Dominic Cooper) to finish building a Shelby modified Ford Mustang.
Once the deal is done, the payment for the job is put on the line in a race
featuring three jaw-dropping Koenigseggs. Let's just say things go
horribly wrong. Two years later, Marshall plots his revenge by
entering a high-stakes race called The DeLeon, with a chance to face off
against his rival once again. Marshall manages to secure the Shelby
Mustang for the race, but the car comes with the lovely Julia Maddon (Imogen
Poots.) The two take off on a cross-country trek, not yet knowing if
they'll be invited to race in The DeLeon. Along the way, they stop off
in Detroit (my hometown) to pick up a team member. A police chase
ensues, with the streets of Detroit as the backdrop (pictured above.)
It was thrilling to see streets and landmarks that I've grown up with
featured so prominently in a major motion picture!
Believe it or not, at least
an HOUR goes by before the start of the DeLeon race! Once it starts,
it's like a brand new movie begins. I won't mention any spoilers,
other than to say it's, once again, a HIGH STAKES RACE!
In conclusion, Need for
Speed could easily be mistaken for another chapter in the Fast &
Furious franchise. It has the ethnically diverse cast, stunning
cars, and thrilling races and chases to qualify, although the Fast &
Furious movies are much more fun. Aaron Paul proves that he has
what it takes to be an action star, but with his acting talent, will add
weight to any project he chooses. Go see Need for Speed.
- Christine Comparison
Christine hit movie theaters in
1983. Directed by John Carpenter, the movie ranks among the best adaptations
of a Stephen King novel. Oddly, it took almost 15 years for collectors
to be able to add Christine to their die-cast car collection.
Unfortunately, the first official attempt, well, disappointed...
In 1997, Johnny Lightning released the first
officially licensed Christine as part of its Fright'ning
Lightning series. As you can see in the photo at left, it was
a half-hearted attempt. The car lacked any detail and looked as if
it was dunked in a can of red paint. Sadly, this version acted as
a placeholder until something better came along.
In 2003, I discovered this incredible '58 Belvedere
included in Ertl's American Muscle - Early Muscle 3-car boxed set.
Now, although the car in the movie is described as a Plymouth Fury, I'm
told that the Fury was never produced in red, and that, in fact,
Plymouth Belvederes were used during production. It was THIS
incredibly detailed car that represented Christine in my
collection for YEARS...although I still hoped someone would come along
and make a new officially licensed version.
In 2009, M2 Machines produced this stunning '58
Plymouth Belvedere as part of its Auto-Thentics line. It
was a very nice piece, but it's red lined wheels weren't exactly
movie-accurate, and let's face it, it still wasn't the officially
licensed car we were hoping for.
Here's an interesting tidbit: the first time a
'58 Plymouth Fury was ever released in red, in 1:64 scale, was THIS
offering pictured at left. Mattel released this beauty as part of
its Hot Wheels line, BUT, it was released as a Treasure Hunt.
Luckily for collectors, it can easily be purchased online for $5 or
less. Close...but no cigar.
Then, in 2013, a collective GASP could be heard
around the world when Mattel released this absolutely stunning '58
Plymouth Belvedere as part of its Boulevard line. With its popular
Retro Entertainment line hitting stores, could an officially licensed
Christine be in the works? Well, since Mattel
didn't have the license, we wouldn't see it in the Entertainment
...Auto World announced THEY had snagged the
Christine license, and after releasing her in 1:18 scale and a 1:43
resin model, we FINALLY were treated to the definitive version of
Christine in 1:64 scale in 2014. As part of the Silver
Screen Machines line, this red '58 Plymouth Fury has blacked out
windows AND a screen-accurate license plate. We can finally take
her off our wish list! She has arrived and she's BAD TO THE BONE!
- "She was born in Detroit..."
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on
this site to keep an eye out for Auto World's 1:64 scale version of
Christine. About a week later, I was told the car was being sold
on the website Milezone.com. I quickly ordered three of them at $8
apiece plus shipping. As it turned out, I was lucky to get them,
because they quickly sold out! The car arrived in the mail today
and it is indescribably beautiful! Check out this description on the
back of the card:
"Christine is finally
replicated for the first time in true 1:64 scale! We take scale
seriously at Auto World. When we say true 1:64 scale, we mean it!
Every detail of the car is scaled a perfect 1:64 scale - even the correct
wheels and tires featured in the movie. But, be careful!
Her evil is still full scale!"
This is actually the second
time Christine has been officially licensed in 1:64 scale, but the
first attempt by Johnny Lightning in 1997 was so terrible, it ended up on my
all-time WORST list. The Auto World version is absolutely stunning
with its blacked out windows, accurate license plate, and overall attention
to detail. This is a MUST-HAVE for any Hollywood die-cast collector!
- Amazing ROAK!
Occasionally, I receive really cool
gifts in the mail, or what I like to refer to as "Random Acts of Kindness."
I really appreciate everything that is sent to me, but it's hard to top when
something is made by hand. Recently, I received a message from "Optimus
Prime" through my Facebook page asking for my mailing address. A
mysterious package arrived today and when I opened it, I was blown away.
Pictured above are two custom-made Hot Wheels cars depicting Knight 4000 (in
red & black) from the 1991 TV movie Knight Rider 2000. The back
of the card says "Commissioned by Mr. Optimus Prime, Created by Mr. Keith
Smith." It looks like the base car is the Pontiac Banshee, which is
pretty accurate when compared to a still from the TV movie pictured below.
The TV movie was supposed to act as a pilot for an ongoing TV series, but
the series never panned out. I can't tell you how grateful I am to be able
to add these to my collection. A huge thank you goes out to Mr.
- The King and I
I've met dozens of legendary racecar
drivers, but somehow Richard Petty always eluded me...UNTIL TODAY!
Richard and Kyle Petty made an appearance at the 2014 Detroit Autorama
today. I had to stand in line for over 2 1/2 hours, but it was worth
it. Not only did I get a photograph with The King, but I've added two
new additions to my "Auto-Graphs" collection. It was a great night!
- Coming Soon!
The above photo was posted on Facebook
by Dave Nicholson. AutoWorld has the license to produce Christine
in various forms. To date, they've released a 1:18 scale version and a
1:43 resin model. Arriving in stores within the next month or so is an
official 1:64 scale version, and it looks spectacular. The last time we got
an officially licensed version of Christine it was produced by Johnny
Lightning as part of their Fright'ning Lightning series, and it was pretty
terrible (see below.) Ertl, Mattel and even M2 Machines have all
produced cars that resembled Christine, but I'm excited we'll FINALLY
be getting an officially licensed, screen accurate '58 Plymouth Fury!
- "Holy Sardine!"
I stopped into my local comic book store
and picked up the newest addition to my Eaglemoss 1:43 scale Batman
collection. The Bat Boat was featured in the 1966 Batman movie
and several episodes of the TV series. Of course, it comes along with
a magazine that tells the story of the boat and shows all it's hidden
weapons and features. At $20, this is a MUST-HAVE for any Bat-Fan!
also picked up the February issue of Previews and noticed that it was
soliciting orders for Batgirl's motorcycle (pictured at left,) also from the
1966 TV series. I had no idea this was on the Eaglemoss to-do list.
It should be shipping within the next month or so. Hopefully, the
Bat-Cycle (with sidecar) and the Bat-Copter won't be too far behind.
- "I owe you a ten-second car."
Two of the newest entries in
GreenLight's 1:43 scale Fast & Furious line was delivered today.
Pictured above, from left to right, are Brian's 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse and
1995 Toyota Supra MK IV. Both cars were driven by the late Paul Walker
in the first movie from the blockbuster franchise. I can't help but
feel a tinge of sadness when I look at these cars, knowing that we lost Paul
far too soon, but I know his spirit will always live on when we watch these
- "Remember where you parked?"
As Mattel continues to celebrate 75
years of Batman, another version of the Batmobile is currently hitting toy
aisles as part of the HW City line. This time we have the Camouflage
Version of The Tumbler from The Dark Knight Rises. I've never
been fond of this particular casting since it's such a drastic departure
from the vehicle featured in the Batman movies, but hey, I'll add it to my
- "Yabba, Dabba, Doo!"
I first learned of this variation of the
Flintmobile back in December, around the same the the HW Retro Entertainment
version hit stores. I found this gray & brown version today while at a
flea market. I haven't seen it in retail stores yet. Why gray &
brown? I have to assume Mattel wanted to produce a version that
resembled the car from The Flintstones movie from 1994. Wow,
has it been 20 years already?
- "Homer, The Car Built for Homer."
I came home today to find yet another
package on my doorstep. This time, we have "The Homer" from the Hot
Wheels basic line. I am absolutely stunned that Mattel decided to
create this casting. It is so detailed, I would expect to see
something like this in the Retro Entertainment line, but not the basic line.
This car was featured on The Simpsons (Season 2, Episode 15 - Oh
Brother, Where Art Thou?) Homer Simpson is invited to design his
dream car: "Powerful like a gorilla, yet soft and yielding like
a Nerf ball." The result is "The Homer" and it forces his
half-brother into bankruptcy. If Mattel can create THIS, then they can
create just about ANYTHING. I can't wait to see what surprises Mattel
has for its Hot Wheels line in the future.
- "Holy Ripoff, Batman!"
I have good news and I have bad news.
First the good news: Mattel has released a cool new variation of their
Batman Power Attack Batmobile. This is the third variation of
this particular casting, and this one, in my opinion, is the best.
Check out that flat black body with blue accents (above, right) and silver
bat eyes. Now here's the bad news: You can only get it in a
9-car Matchbox Gift Set. The Batmobile is pictured on the box, but the
other 8 cars in the set have NO connection to Batman or even Gotham City.
That's pretty lame, forcing a collector to buy a 9-car set to get one
exclusive Batmobile. If you think the Batmobile pictured above is
worth the $10 price tag, then have at it!
"That's the fact, JACK!"
I came home from work today with a
package sitting at my doorstep. It's the latest wave (Assortment B)
from Mattel's Hot Wheels Entertainment line. How does this wave rate?
Let's take a look...
I never thought in a MILLION YEARS we would ever see
the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle in die-cast form. I am absolutely
blown away. I'm such a huge fan of the 1981 movie Stripes
and this just might rank among my all-time favorite pieces in my
collection. The casting that Mattel used, the GMC Motorhome, is
surprisingly accurate when compared to photos from the movie. And
I'm told that the side of the vehicle we can't see actually has
bullet-proof covers over the windows. Fantastic! My Grade:
Next up, we have the Capsule Car from The Jetsons
animated series. This version is a HUGE improvement over the
mainline version that includes clear wheels. This version is
spot-on, and includes a blue plastic base to support it. I really
applaud Mattel for giving collectors a screen-accurate version of this
iconic car. My Grade: A+
Hart to Hart (1979-1984) was one of those TV series
that I was aware of, but never really got into. What can I say?
I was a teenager at the time. I don't recall this particular
Ferrari, but according to IMCDB.ORG, the car rates three stars, and
judging by the photos, this die-cast version is fairly accurate.
I'll give it high marks for accuracy, but deduct a few points for being
so obscure. My Grade: B+
I've seen Old School (2003) a couple of times.
I thought it was funny, but I wouldn't describe it as a classic.
If someone was to ask me to name a vehicle from the film, Frank the
Tank's Red Dragon Pontiac Firebird would be the first one to spring to
mind. I only have a vague recollection of this Dodge Van.
IMCDB.ORG rates this van three stars and when comparing the die-cast to
photos, it's close, but no cigar. The teardrop window is a nice
touch, but the van in the movie had a rear spoiler. Eh, I'm not
blown away. My Grade: C
It's difficult to judge this '67 Pontiac GTO because
the movie Need for Speed hasn't even arrived at theaters yet!
IMCDB.ORG doesn't even have a good photo of the car yet and I have no
idea if the car is prominently featured in the film. All I can
tell you is that the movie stars Aaron Paul (of Breaking Bad
fame) and features a cross country race. It arrives in theaters in
March. It sounds promising, and since the Pontiac GTO is such an
awesome car, I'll grade this one a B+...and maybe I'll adjust it after
seeing the movie.
Happy Birthday Dukes!
Today marks the 35th anniversary of the
premiere of The Dukes of Hazzard on network television. I was
just a teenager at the time and I remember gathering around the TV with the family to
enjoy some good 'ol fashioned fun. Sure the episodes were cheesy, but
they were harmless and fun. And, of course, I loved seeing the General
Lee racing along the dirt roads of Hazzard County. I never would have imagined then
that I would eventually meet most of the cast in my lifetime. I first
met James "Rosco" Best at the Detroit Autorama in 1981 and still have that
autograph. I've attended two Dukesfest events (2004 & 2006) in
Nashville, TN, where I met Catherine Bach, Sonny Shroyer and others. I
met and interviewed John Schneider at the Motor City Comic Con in 2009 (see
video below) and I finally got to meet Tom Wopat just a few weeks ago in
Monroe, MI. Over the years Ertl and Johnny Lightning held the license
to produce die-cast cars from the show, with JL producing a series
(2007-'08) that included some very obscure cars. General Lee is
represented in my 1:18 scale collection by RC2's "Authentics" version,
although AutoWorld has since created what many consider to be the DEFINITIVE
version of the beloved car. It's hard to believe the impact The
Dukes of Hazzard has had on my life over the past 35 years, and on this
anniversary, it makes me long for the days of mindless fun and cool car
chases on TV.
See my 2009 interview with John Schneider:
- "Holy Grail, Batman!"
When it comes to die-cast car
collecting, I define the term "Holy Grail" as an item that constantly eludes
you. It rarely, if ever, appears on eBay, and when it does, it's
priced beyond your budget. Well, I can say that I've added one of my
Holy Grails to my collection, thanks to a fellow collector. Pictured
above is a RARE variant of the Hot Wheels Joker's Last Laugh set that
came out in 2006. I believe it was a Canadian variant, but someone
please correct me if I'm wrong. The Cyclops vehicle is green, instead
of the more common purple, and the Batmobile has yellow stripes and blue
chrome accents. Since I first learned about this, I've had a "saved
search" on eBay hoping to get an alert when one came up for sale. It
never has...UNTIL NOW! I finally got that alert a few days ago
and contacted the seller, who, to my surprise, is a fan of my website!
He allowed me to make an offer, which he accepted, and it arrived in the
mail today! What a relief to FINALLY add this piece to my Batman
collection. Now on to the NEXT Holy Grail...!
- Just a Good Ol' Boy
On Saturday evening I had the pleasure
of catching a concert performance from Tom Wopat at the River Raisin Centre
for the Arts in Monroe, MI. As my buddy Dennis and I entered the
lobby, I was startled to see Tom sitting at a table, greeting fans as they
arrived. He graciously signed autographs and posed for photos. I
asked him to sign Johnny Lightning's online-exclusive "dirty" version of the
General Lee to add to my Auto-Graph
collection. During the concert, Tom performed many standards, jazz
tunes and some original songs. He took an intermission, where he
continued to sign autographs in the lobby. Following the second half
of the concert, he then RETURNED to the lobby for photos and autographs.
It was a very enjoyable and intimate experience, for not only myself, but
for the many Dukes of Hazzard fans in the audience. What a
- "A car for all the Homer Simpsons out there."
T-Hunted.com has once again posted an
awesome scoop! As you can see in the photos above, Mattel will be
offering "The Homer" as part of its mainline (and I assume its Entertainment
line) later this year. "The Homer" was featured in the Season 2
episode "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" from The Simpsons. This
has got to be one of the COOLEST things I've ever seen in the world of
die-cast cars. I never expected to see this car in die-cast
form. This will be a hot commodity when it hits shelves.