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.
5/20/13 - They're Selling
Fast & Furious!
"Fast & Furious" could describe the rate
at which the cars pictured above are disappearing from Walmart stores across
the country! Mattel has released 8 different cars from the Fast & Furious
franchise in a special collector's set that can only be found at Walmart
stores. I must've hit at least 6 different stores and managed to find
5 of the 6. The most difficult to find (some are calling it a Treasure
Hunt) is the '67 Ford Mustang (#4 of 8 in the set.) I finally had to
resort to eBay to complete the set. The cars can be found in a blue
cardboard "sidekick" display, although I've seen them hanging on the pegs
with other Hot Wheels, too. The good news is that they sell for 97
cents apiece, despite being a little more detailed than the regular main
line cars. The bad news is that they're practically IMPOSSIBLE to
I'm a little disappointed
that Mattel decided to make the Mustang from Tokyo Drift a chase car.
Those of us who want a complete set are forced to pay astronomical prices to
scalpers on eBay. I paid $18 for the Mustang and that is considered
CHEAP right now! All this does is generate frustration for the
collectors who try to support Mattel and Hot Wheels. I'd like to see
this series continue beyond the first 8 cars, but I hope they make them more
accessible to the collectors who want them.
5/15/13 - That's
I went to my closest Walmart store this
morning searching for new stuff and was pleasantly surprised to find they
had hung up the latest wave of the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment series,
fresh from the case. This is the third wave from this series and there
is good news and bad news. The good news is: 4 of the 5 cars are
brand new, never previously offered before. The bad news is: it's not
the most EXCITING lineup, for various reasons. Here is my car-by-car
The Back to the Future DeLorean has been
offered many times before, including several times by Mattel since they
got the license. This particular version appears to be painted a
flat gray, instead of the bare metal look of their online exclusive.
I wish Mattel would've used the same wheels that were used on the
Charawheels version. Overall, I'd have to grade this one: B-
When I heard that Mattel would include Axel Foley's
Nova from Beverly Hills Cop in this wave, I was pretty darned
excited. And actually, they did a pretty nice job giving it a
weathered look. The only flaw: they used a '68 Nova instead
of the '70 Nova that appeared in the film. This one may be my
favorite from this particular wave. My grade: A-
The Rockford Files Firebird Esprit has been on
my Wish List for quite a while, and I was giddy with excitement when
Mattel announced they had gotten the license. My heart sunk when I
saw photos of the finished product. NOTHING on this casting is
accurate. I don't even know where to start. This one really
deserved a brand new casting. My grade: D-
Here's another first: The Pontiac Fiero driven
by Ferris Bueller's sister, Jeanie. I give Mattel props for
producing this, although collectors weren't exactly screaming for this
casting. However, it will display nicely with Ferris' Ferrari
Spyder California when IT comes out later this year. My grade:
And finally, we have another brand new entry to the
Hollywood die-cast car world: The VW Beetle from Footloose.
Again, I applaud Mattel for producing something that's never been done
before, but c'mon, are collectors REALLY excited about the Bug from
Footloose? I haven't seen the movie in years. Maybe I'll
check it out again. My grade: B-
5/9/13 - "Get in the car."
The next Bat-related vehicle to hit
stores as part of the Hot Wheels Imagination line is the Batmobile from the
1989 Batman movie. I got this one on eBay and haven't seen it
in stores yet. We've gotten this casting before, but not exactly in
this color scheme. The closest was the Batmobile that was included in
the Mr. Freeze 2-pack in 2004. This new release, however, is gloss
black, with black wheels, and a blue windshield. THIS is the car that
should've been included in the Hot Wheels 8-car Batman set, NOT that silly
5/8/13 - R.I.P. Dean
Jeffries - 1933-2013
I just learned that legendary car
customizer Dean Jeffries passed away on Sunday at the age of 80. Among
the iconic cars he created were the Monkeemobile, Green Hornet's Black
Beauty and the Manta Ray. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeffries at
the Detroit Autorama in February of 2012. I had a lengthy conversation
with him about his career and found him to be warm and friendly. He
was a true artist. He will be missed.
5/5/13 - Max Steel
While shopping at Target today (Sunday)
I stumbled across this Hot Wheels Motorcycle from the Disney CGI-animated
series Max Steel (a new casting for 2013.) Although I've never
seen an episode, I figured I'd pick it up. According to Wikipedia,
when Max McGrath joins forces with the alien Steel, he has enhanced
strength, speed, and the ability to fly.
5/3/13 - 2013 Comic Con
Mattel has revealed some of the die-cast
vehicles that will be offered exclusively at the San Diego Comic Con this
year. Pictured above, from left, are a vac-metal Colonial Viper and
Cylon Raider from the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, and a
muddy version of The A-Team Van. Pre-orders can be placed at
MattyCollector.com if you plan on attending Comic Con. We'll have
to wait and see if they will be offered to those of us who can't attend.
- To the Batcopter!
Once again, I had to resort to eBay to
add this to my collection, since I just can't seem to find new product in my
area. Mattel has re-released its unique Batcopter casting as part of
its Hot Wheels Imagination line. I believe this particular casting was
first introduced as one of four vehicles that made up the Batman Begins
line in 2005, although it never actually appeared in the movie. It's
been re-released several times and when I saw that it was to be included in
the HW Imagination line, I rolled my eyes. But being a Bat-Fan, I
wanted to add it to my collection anyway. Look for the Tim Burton
Batmobile to hit stores next.
- "I owe you a ten-second car."
I had to go the eBay route to add the HW
City '70 Dodge Charger to my Fast & Furious collection. I have
had ZERO luck finding ANY new Hot Wheels releases in my area. I'm glad
Mattel decided to release these two cars to kick off their Fast & Furious
license. Now you can use your Hot Wheels track sets to recreate the
most memorable scene from the FIRST The Fast & The Furious (2001)
- "It's the car, right? Chicks love the car."
Number FOUR in the 1:43 scale Batmobile
series from Eaglemoss has arrived at Comic Book stores and this time we have
the incredible Batmobile from the 1995 movie Batman Forever starring
Val Kilmer as Batman. It looks fantastic in front of the lenticular
backdrop, but it seems to be lacking the props that came with the first
three releases. Still, if you're a collector of movie Batmobiles, this
one is a MUST-HAVE. Of course, as with the others, it comes with a
magazine that details the history of this iconic car. Scroll down to
see the previous three releases.
- Hooray for Hollywood!
With GreenLight's 5th Series of
Hollywood cars slated to hit stores in June, it seems they're already hard
at work planning the SIXTH series. I received an e-mail depicting the
ten cars that will make up Series 6 (left,) and I must say, it's a little
UNDERwhelming. The only cars that catch my eye are the Mustang from
Fright Night (1985) and the Camaro Convertible from Bewitched.
All the rest are just ... MEH.
- Christmas in April?
Hallmark just published its 2013 Dream
Book and it looks like we'll have a couple of new Hollywood cars to hang on
our tree this year. I'm most excited about the Family Truckster from
National Lampoon's Vacation. It plays Holiday Road at
the push of a button. We'll also get KITT from Knight Rider,
although the wheels look a little funky in the image. I hope they're
more accurate when the car hits Hallmark stores later this year.
- Hot Wheels Goes Hollywood!
2013 is shaping up to be one of the (if
not THE) greatest years EVER for those of us who collect Hollywood die-cast
toys. Not only has Mattel given us the amazing Retro Entertainment
line, but they're giving us more to hunt for as part of their regular main
line. Hitting stores now, keep your eyes peeled for the USS Enterprise
NCC-1701 from Star Trek (above, left.) It's almost shocking
that Mattel decided to include this very detailed ship as part of their .99
cents HW Imagination line! It's pretty amazing. Also hitting
stores now is the Toyota Supra from the first The Fast & The Furious
movie. It's not as detailed as the version that will be included in
the 8-car set, but it's still pretty cool. And finally, Mattel
released this beautiful '58 Plymouth Belvedere as part of its Boulevard
series (above, right.) Now, although it's not OFFICIALLY licensed, it
sure bears a striking resemblance to a certain temperamental movie car we're
all familiar with. And although it's not a Plymouth Fury (as depicted
in the film) it's fairly common knowledge that many Belvederes were used in
the movie Christine.
In other Hot Wheels news,
the third wave of Retro Entertainment cars should be hitting stores near the
end of April. Scroll down to see the list of the next several waves.
I just recently found out that there is a new addition to the 7th wave.
Ladies and gentleman, hold on to your cowboy hats, because Mattel has
officially announced we will be getting a 1:64 scale version of this...
- "Listen to the Band"
I finally achieved my goal of seeing all
of The Monkees in person when Michael Nesmith performed in the Detroit area
on Sunday. Before the concert, my friend Mel parked the Monkeemobile
in front of the Magic Bag in Ferndale, Michigan. At about 9pm, Mike
kicked off the set with Papa Gene's Blues, but didn't perform many
Monkees songs, opting instead to go with the music he created in the 1970's
and beyond. I really enjoyed the concert, hearing many of the songs
for the first time. By the way, that's Mike's daughter Jessica posing
in the Monkeemobile, above, right.
- Meet Joe Johnson
When my friend Kayla Brandon was asked
to create a documentary for her college film class, I was surprised and
honored that she asked me to be her subject. Of course, I agreed.
She delivered the finished video to me yesterday and I was very happy with
the results. I decided to post it here to give visitors a chance to
learn a little bit about the guy behind this website...ME.
"Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don't fail me now."
I came home today to find a package
waiting for me at my doorstep. Arriving from Milezone.com is
GreenLight's new Blues Brothers diorama, which includes the
Bluesmobile and FOUR Chicago PD cruisers. The package is quite a bit larger
than I imagined. The amazing thing about the cop cars is that each one
has a unique number and license plate. If you count the single-carded
Chicago PD Cruiser, that's FIVE total Chicago PD cruisers PLUS the Illinois
State Trooper found in GreenLight's first Blues Brothers diorama.
Great job GreenLight!
3/26/13 - Retro
Entertainment: What's Next?
The Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment
series just keeps getting better and better. The following list
has been confirmed by several sources.
Hot Bird: Rockford Files
Volkswagen Beetle: Footloose
Back to the Future Time Machine: Back to the Future
'84 Pontiac Fiero: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
'68 Chevy® Nova™: Beverly Hills Cop
'80s Corvette®: A-Team
Ferrari 308 GTS QV: Magnum P.I.
Ferrari F512 M: Miami Vice
'71 Plymouth Satellite: Brady Bunch
T-Bird Stocker: Stroker Ace
Island Hopper: Magnum P.I.
Colonial Viper: Battlestar Galactica
Morris Mini (Blue): The Italian Job
Volkswagen Sunagon: Magnum P.I.
Ferrari GTS Daytona Spyder: Miami Vice
Ferrari 250 California: Ferris Bueller's Day Off
'48 Ford: Grease
Morris Mini (Red): The Italian Job
1985 Chevrolet Camaro® IROC-Z: Simon & Simon
'58 Impala™: American Graffiti
Cylon Raider: Battlestar Galactica
'68 Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible: Beverly Hills Cop
'48 Ford (Greased Lightning): Grease
Morris Mini (White): The Italian Job
3/23/13 - "Does it
come in black?"
On Saturday I visited my local comic
book store to pick up #3 in the Batmobile series from Eaglemoss. This
time we have the Tumbler from Batman Begins in 1:43 scale. It's
beautifully detailed and makes a great addition to the first two in the
series, the '89 Batmobile and the '66 Batmobile. Coming up next:
the Batman Forever Batmobile, which should arrive in comic book
stores within the next week or two.
3/20/13 - "We're on a
mission from God."
GreenLight has released its second
diorama featuring cars from the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers.
This time the set includes the Bluesmobile (of course) alone with four,
count 'em FOUR, Chicago Police cruisers. I hope I can find this in
stores without having to resort to eBay prices + shipping. I never did
find GreenLight's first Blues Brothers diorama and had to purchase it
3/18/13 - Holy Gas Pump,
It's nice to have friends all over the
world, thanks to this website. After seeing my plea way back in
December of 2012, George in Brazil went to the trouble of assembling a full
set of Batmobiles available only at Shell gas stations in his country.
They arrived in the mail today and they're pretty great. They're
approximately 1:43 scale and although they're made of plastic, each one has
a unique pullback feature. The '66 Batmobile (above, left) has LED
lights. The Batman Returns Batmobile ejects its sides. The
Batman Forever Batmobile also has LED lights. And The Dark
Knight Batmobile has jumping action. Unfortunately, I can't bring
myself to rip open the packaging to try out these features! Thanks
again to George for getting these to me. They're a great addition to
my Batman collection.
3/8/13 - "I live my life a
quarter mile at a time."
continues to prove it's the go-to source for the latest Hot Wheels news.
The site recently posted a photo of the BACK of a Hot Wheels Fast &
Furious card which shows all eight releases. There's a lot of
muscle mixed in there with a few Tuners, representing several different
movies from the franchise. T-Hunted.com also revealed that at least
some of these cars will be included in the Hot Wheels main line, although
with far less detail. I can't wait for these to hit stores! I
just hope the series continues beyond the first eight releases.
- Hot Wheels in 2013
Mattel is releasing a lot of cool stuff
in 2013 as part of their Hot Wheels line. In addition to the Retro
T-Hunted.com has reported that we will see cars from The Fast & The
Furious movies (example at left.) Fast & Furious 6 will hit
theaters on May 24th. Also in May we will be treated to the newest
Star Trek film and Mattel has announced a series of spaceships from the
Star Trek universe, including the USS Enterprise NC-1701. And
finally, Mattel released their list of Hot Wheels for 2013 and a
green-striped Batman series will be found at toy stores, although I think
most of them (if not all) are re-releases.
3/2/13 - Retro
Entertainment: What's Next?
Although I hit all the major retail
stores multiple times per week, I haven't had much luck finding the second
series of the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line. The only one I
found hanging on a peg was the Edsel from American Graffiti.
The rest I had to buy on eBay. Now that I have all five in hand (10
total), I can say there's the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let's start
with The A-Team van. Not only is it the BEST version of the van
ever made, I rank it as one of the best Hollywood die-cast vehicles of all
time! The Muppets School Bus isn't exactly the correct make &
model, but the incredible detail more than makes up for it. Plus, it's
the first time EVER it's been made in die-cast form, so bonus points for
that. KARR is a nice addition to the lineup, joining KITT. Its
only flaw is a red scanner instead of the correct amber scanner. The
'58 Edsel from American Graffiti is a head-scratcher. It's a
nice piece, but is it necessary? This one may be a peg-warmer.
And finally, the '77 Firebird from Smokey & The Bandit is
a half-hearted and disappointing attempt (see below.)
So, what can we expect from this line in the
coming months? According to online resources, Wave 3 will include a
1985 Chevy Camaro IROC-Z (perhaps from Simon & Simon?), '84 Pontiac
Fiero (Ferris Bueller's Day Off), Hot Bird (The Rockford Files),
Volkswagen Bug (confirmed to be from Footloose), and a 1968
Chevy Nova (confirmed to be from Beverly Hills Cop.)
Wave 4 will include a 1971 Plymouth Satellite
(possibly from The Dukes of Hazzard), Ferrari 308 GTS (Magnum P.I.),
T-Bird Stocker (confirmed to be from Stroker Ace), Ferrari 512 M
(unknown, possibly Le Mans?), and the DeLorean Time Machine.
It's been confirmed there should be at least
seven total waves over the course of the year. Expect cars from
Miami Vice, Grease and spaceships from Battlestar Galactica in
- Eastbound and Down
Although I STILL haven't had any luck
finding the second series of the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line in
stores, I finally added the final piece by buying one car at a time on eBay.
The Retro version of the '77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from Smokey & The
Bandit is the latest incarnation of this iconic car. So how
does it stack up against all the other previous releases? Not too
well. Read on...
The first version of Bandit's Trans Am was released
by Ertl in 1981. There are so many things wrong with this car, it
only vaguely resembles the car from the movie. The interior is
wrong. The hood emblem is wrong. It's not a T-Top. The
wheels are generic. I'm forced to give this one a failing grade
Next up, Matchbox takes a stab at the car when it was
included in its Star Car line in 1998. It's not terrible. It
has a black interior and a T-Top and the hood emblem is fairly accurate.
The biggest drawbacks are the generic wheels and the cheesy tampo pasted
right on the doors. My grade: C
Ertl fared much better in 2001 when it released
Bandit's Trans Am as part of its Racing Champions line. They
pretty much got everything right on this attempt, EXCEPT the interior.
I disassembled the one I own, painted the interior black, and put it
back together, and it looks pretty dang good. Even the rims,
although not entirely accurate, come the closest of any release to
resembling the honeycombed rims of the movie car. My grade:
In 2004, Johnny Lightning released a
drop-dead-gorgeous version of Bandit's Trans Am as part of its Hollywood
on Wheels line (Release 6.) Everything is correct on this car and
the wheels are so darn close. To date, I feel this is the best
version of this car ever released, but I'm still waiting for someone to
get the rims right. My grade: A-
In 2007, Malibu International released a '77 Pontiac
Firebird as part of its Reel Rides line. Unfortunately, what was
supposed to be 1:64 scale was actually closer to 1:55 scale. They
also released a 1:87 scale version for model train enthusiasts.
Despite the scale issues, the car looked pretty good, except for the
odd-looking copper rims. My grade: B-
When GreenLight snagged the Smokey & The Bandit
license, they released Bandit's '77 Pontiac T/A as part of its Hollywood
series in 2011. This is a pretty nice attempt, but unfortunately,
the rims are completely wrong, giving this car a generic look. My
And finally, we have the most recent attempt at this
iconic car. Mattel has included the '77 Pontiac Firebird as part
of its Retro Entertainment series in 2013. Unfortunately, this is
a step backwards. Not since the Racing Champions version in 2001
has the interior been an incorrect beige instead of black. And the
wheels? Not even close. Although not the WORST version ever
made, it's a rare misstep in the incredible Retro Entertainment line.
My grade: D
- "Atomic batteries to power. Turbines to speed."
I paid another visit to my local comic
book store to pick up #2 in the Batmobile series from Eaglemoss. This
time we have the 1966 Batmobile from the TV series in 1:43 scale.
Overall, the car looks amazing displayed in its Batcave diorama, but
surprisingly there are a few areas where the paint was applied a little
sloppily. Still, it looks great alongside the '89 Batmobile.
Next up: The Tumbler from Batman Begins!
- "I love it when a plan comes together."
I was able to get The A-Team Van
from the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line after snagging one on eBay for
$6 plus shipping. It arrived in the mail today. So how does it measure
up to all of the previous releases? Let's take a look:
The first incarnation of The A-Team Van was
released in 1983 by Ertl. Although not awful, there are a few
problems. The stripe is an obvious sticker, with the words "The
A-Team" printed below the stripe, and B.A. on the doors. The
wheels are generic Ertl wheels from that era. With a wheel swap,
this version of the van was almost presentable. Almost. I'll
give this one a grade of: C-
Two decades later, in 2002, Ertl re-released the van
as part of its Racing Champions line. This time the stripe is
painted, and goes across the front of the van, as well. It's far
more detailed than the 1983 version. The wheels were red, but
still not quite accurate. Overall, it was a very nice attempt.
Interestingly, that same year Ertl followed up the
previous release with a new variation. This time, instead of all
black, the area of the van above the stripe was a metallic gray.
At first I was confused, but after closely looking at stills from the TV
series, I realized that the van was INDEED partly gray. I had
remembered the van being all black. Unfortunately, the gray part
was a little TOO metallic. The shade of gray on the van in the TV
series was quite a bit darker. Still, I applaud Ertl for the
effort. Grade: B+
Then, in 2011, Mattel continued the trend of
including Hollywood cars in its Hot Wheels line when it released The
A-Team Van. Collectors rejoiced! The deco was pretty
simple, with a red stripe on an all-black body. And although the
wheels were red, they were pretty generic. Still, for 99 cents it
was a very nice effort. Grade: B
That brings us to present day. At the end of
2012, Mattel announced they would release an all Hollywood line called
Retro Entertainment. The first four releases: Ecto-1, the
'66 Batmobile, KITT and The Mystery Machine set the bar VERY high.
They were outstanding quality! Could The A-Team Van live up
to expectations when it hit stores in February of 2013? A
RESOUNDING YES! My God! Everything about this version of the
van is PERFECT, from the accurate rims to the correct shade of gray.
This is the definitive version of this iconic van. Grade: A+
There have been several versions of The A-Team Van released in other
countries. To see the complete gallery, visit
The A-Team Gallery, which includes other vehicles from the TV
- "Where does he get those wonderful toys?"
As I was out looking for new toys I
stopped in at a local comic book store and found the 1:43 scale movie
Batmobile from Eaglemoss. The Batmobile from the 1989 Batman
movie is the first in a subscription series and I thought it would only be
exclusive to the U.K. But, apparently, they're being made available
through Diamond Distributors, which ships to comic book stores in the U.S.
At $20, it was hard to pass up. The highly detailed car comes in an
acrylic display case, complete with diorama, AND a very thorough magazine
detailing the history of this particular version of the Batmobile. The
second offering, featuring the 1966 Batmobile, will be arriving at comic
book stores next week and I already have one reserved for myself.
Practically every Batmobile ever imagined will be included in this series,
but I'll probably just focus on the iconic cars from film and television.
Click HERE to
learn more about this incredible series.
- A Good Day to Die Hard: My Review A Good Day to Die Hard is a
heartwarming tale of an estranged father and son learning to bond again ...
um ... while killing a lot of people and causing utter mayhem and
destruction! None of the Die Hard sequels have managed to
recapture the magic of the original, but since 1988 Bruce Willis has become
an action icon and it's always fun to see him step into the role of John
McClane. In the FIFTH outing of this franchise, McClane travels to
Moscow after discovering his estranged son (Jai Courtney) is in serious
trouble with the law. Soon he begins to discover that all is not what
it seems. Within minutes of arriving in Moscow, McLane finds himself
behind the wheel of a military vehicle while trying to come to the aid of
his son, and thus begins the most thrilling vehicle chase ever seen in a
Bruce Willis movie. The bad guys chase the son, Jack McClane, in a
truck (pictured above) that tears through cars like they're made of tin
foil, while Dad gives chase from behind. It's a fantastic sequence
(that seems to last 10-15 minutes) that sets the tone for the rest of this
high octane action flick that offers summer popcorn fun in mid-February!
The story (full of unexpected twists and turns) about a Russian madman
trying to get his hands on nuclear material to build atomic weapons takes a
back seat to the story of a father trying to reconnect with his son.
Sure, the effects are obvious, and the action cartoony, but if you bought
your ticket to see Willis crack wise (even delivering his now-famous line)
and escape from impossible situations, you won't be disappointed. A
Good Day to Die Hard delivers action, fun, and Bruce Willis doing what
he does best.
- Hooray for Hollywood!
I was disappointed when I found out that
GreenLight's plans for 2013 was to RE-RELEASE their entire Hollywood series
in new packaging. But then I was told there there are plans for at
least one more NEW series of Hollywood cars. Here is the make up of
Ghost (1990) - 1987 Ford
Mustang Old School (2003) - 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Rocky II (1979) - 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Twilight (2008) - 2008 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor Forks,
Washington Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) - Channel 4 KVWN San
Diego Dodge Van CSI: NY (2003-12 TV Series) – 2008 Ford Crown Victoria Police
Interceptor New York
Looks like an interesting lineup, but the one I'm most excited about is the
Channel 4 News Van from the movie Anchorman. I can't wait to
add that one to my collection, and display one on my desk at work!
"NEWS TEAM - ASSEMBLE!"
- Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment
Reports are coming in that the next
series of Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment vehicles is currently hitting major
retail stores, including Walmart and Toys R Us. This current series
offers five new vehicles on top of the five previously released vehicles.
The new offerings include: The Muppets bus, KARR, The A-Team
Van, Smokey & The Bandit Trans-Am and American Graffiti Edsel.
I, for one, cannot WAIT to get The A-Team van in my hands. It's
the best version I've ever seen in 1:64 scale. The photo above is
courtesy of the website
- You Must Be Joking!
Johnny Lightning continues to give
collectors a reason to smile by inserting Hollywood cars into their regular
main line. The most recent offering can be found in JL's Forever 64
- Release 27. It's a '77 Dodge Monaco painted up in neon green and
purple. What makes this release unique? This car is a dead
ringer for one of Joker's Goon cars from the 1989 movie Batman.
Now, according to the website IMCDB.ORG the car should be a '72 Dodge 3700
GT, but that's nit-picking. JL's version just LOOKS the part and
that's good enough for me. I picked up a few after finding it on eBay
for $2 per car plus shipping. As you can see, it displays nicely with
the Hot Wheels Batmobile (above, right.)
- 10th Anniversary!
Hollywood Die-Cast launched on this date
10 years ago! The time has gone by in the blink of an eye. It
all started out with a collection of 24 die-cast cars that were displayed in
a little wooden display case. When I saw cars like the Monkeemobile
and the Back to the Future DeLorean in stores (JL was still producing
Hollywood on Wheels at the time,) I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to
have a display of my favorite cars from TV and movies?" So I set out
to fill up the display case. It's hard to imagine the only Batmobile
available at that time was made by Corgi in the 70's. Eventually, I
filled up that display case with cars from The Dukes of Hazzard, The
A-Team, The Munsters, and of course, the James Bond movies. As
people came over to visit, the display always attracted their attention.
They couldn't help but try to name them all and would smile as they thought
about the TV shows and movies they grew up with. When my buddy Dennis
saw my collection, he decided to put one together of his own. But
instead of just buying what he liked, he started searching for EVERY
Hollywood car ever made in die-cast form. Together, we began to
discover an entire world of die-cast Hollywood cars, from the popular to the
very obscure. Once our collections numbered in the thousands, we
decided to photograph each piece. I bought website editing software, a
host and a domain name, and Hollywood-Diecast.com was born. Almost
immediately I started getting e-mails from all over the world, some had to
be translated. I realized I had tapped into something big. I
discovered that my site received 1000 visitors per day, which was pretty
exciting, 3.5 million total since I started keeping track.
It's funny, but many people
assume I live in Hollywood. (Many times I wish I did.) But actually, I
live in the Detroit area, the Motor City, the car capital of the world!
Since launching my website, I've had so many fun and amazing experiences.
Just weeks after launching my site I met the legendary George Barris for the
first time at the Detroit Autorama. A year or so later, I was featured
on a TV program called TV's Greatest Cars that aired in the UK (and
in the US on BBC.) I guess I was an expert now! Over the years
my collection grew, I met more and more people, either in person or through
the internet. I've met many of my heroes, including the entire cast of
The Dukes of Hazzard. I witnessed many milestones, such as when
Mattel announced that they FINALLY secured the rights to produce the iconic
1966 Batmobile in 2006. I could go on an on, but I just want to thank
everyone who helped make this website what it is today. It's become
such a huge part of my life I can't imagine what life would be WITHOUT IT!
Here's to 10 more fun years!
- "Where were you in '62?"
I just recently got the latest release
from the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line in the mail: the '32 Ford
from American Graffiti. There have been a lot of complaints
about the inaccuracies of this particular model and after finally having it
in hand, I have to agree. So, how does it compare with all the other
releases from the past few decades? I've decided to compare them all
and give each a grade, starting with the worst:
Sadly, of the 6 versions of this car that have been
released in 1:64 scale to-date, the new Retro Entertainment version
ranks as the worst, and that's pretty shocking. Where do we
start? First of all, the car pictured above is a 5-window model,
has long side-exhausts, has yellow fenders, headlights, and front and
rear license plates that read THX 138. The model pictured at
left is missing ALL of those things, with the exception of the correct
rear license plate. I have to give this one a grade of a: D-
Normally, Matchbox's Star Car line is bottom of the
barrel, but their American Graffiti Ford isn't a total
embarrassment. Even though there's plenty wrong. First of
all, it's a '33 Ford instead of a '32. It's a 3-window, not a
5-window and is missing fenders. It DOES have headlights, but
the grill is all wrong. I like the long side exhausts and it
does have the correct rear license plate, but I have to deduct points
for printing American Graffiti on the rear of the car! So
although it got some things right, I have to give it a grade of:
Next up, we have Johnny Lightning's attempt as part
of its impressive American Graffiti line of cars. On the
plus side, it has 5-windows, not 3, and it has headlights, and the
correct rear license plate. Points are deducted for lacking
fenders, the too-long side exhausts and the too-tiny front wheels.
Not a bad attempt, but not great either. My grade: B-
Back in 1998, Mattel released this beautiful
diorama to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the movie.
Packaged with the '55 Chevy, this set makes a great display piece.
The '32 Ford has the correct 5-window body and headlights, but is
lacking fenders. It has the nice side exhaust pipes, and
although it has a rear license plate that reads THX 138, the colors
are reversed. If you're wondering why this tooling wasn't used
for the Retro series, I'm told the tools were DESTROYED many years ago
for various reasons. What a shame. My grade: B+
Oh, this one is SO close. In this surprising
entry from Motor Max, this '32 Ford Coupe is displayed in front of
Mel's Diner and includes figures. What a great touch!
Almost everything is right on this car: body style, fenders,
exhausts. Although American Graffiti is printed on the
side, it's very subtle. The only drawback: INCORRECT
LICENSE PLATES! Ooooh. Other than that, it's a fantastic
piece. My grade: A-
And finally, I give you the best of the best.
Revell released 3 cars from the movie in 2000. Among them, this
perfect rendition of the '32 Ford Deuce Coupe. They got
everything right, INCLUDING correct front and rear license plates.
If I had to choose ONE car to represent this car from American
Graffiti, it would be this one. Bravo Revell. My
"It's a psychopath in a Batmobile."
- The Last Stand: My Review
I love a good, old fashioned Western.
And that pretty much describes The Last Stand, which contains
elements of many a John Wayne flick (like Rio Bravo or El Dorado)
but instead of heroes and villains on horseback, they have horsepower.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is Sheriff Ray Owens who, after a career of witnessing
too much bloodshed, chooses to spend his autumn years in a sleepy small town
near the Mexican border. The Sheriff's day off doesn't go as planned
when he's notified that an escaped drug kingpin will be passing through his
town on his way into Mexico. The Sheriff gathers up a team of misfits
as the final line of defense.
The movie starts off a little sluggish, with some bad
acting, thick accents, and cheesy laughs. But then the movie shifts
into overdrive with the appearance of the 2011 Corvette ZR1 (or the OH-ONE,
as it's called in the movie.) With the help of a small army of thugs, the
villain Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega) races toward the border at speeds
of almost 200 MPH with 1000 horsepower under the hood. When Cortez
finally reaches the town, he blows right through it due to an unfortunate
series of circumstances, and this leads to the highlight of the film.
Schwarzenegger gives chase in a red 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1. The chase
culminates in a fun game of cat & mouse in a cornfield (above.)
In summary, The Last Stand is a fun distraction if
you know what you're getting yourself into heading into the theater.
C'mon, it's an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie! And even though he's
showing his age, he's still an icon and fun to watch on the big screen.
And if you're a fan of Westerns and car chase movies (like I am) then you're
getting TWO for the price of ONE!
- Going Once, Going Twice...SOLD!
Well, the #1 Batmobile went up on the
block at the Barrett-Jackson Auction and when the hammer fell, the car sold
for an astounding $4.2 million! I am blown away! And a little
jealous of the buyer who, according to George Barris, is Rick Champagne
(left) of Arizona. I'm curious to find out what his plans are
for this iconic car. Will it go on display? Will it sit in his
garage? Will he drive it to the store to get milk? We can only
wait and see. Congratulations Rick!!!
- HW Retro = Comic Con Exclusives?
I was finally able to add the 4th member
of the initial wave of the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line (The Mystery
Machine) when something dawned on me: Each one of these had been
offered previously as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, and they're pretty
much IDENTICAL to their SDCC counterpart! The '66 Batmobile was
offered in 2007. Ecto-1 was available in 2010, and KITT and The
Mystery Machine were 2012 exclusives. So if you shelled out big bucks
(like I did) to get the Comic Con exclusives, well, at least you have the
nice packaging to go with it. If you waited, well, congratulations,
because if you can find them, the Retro versions of these cars only cost
other HW Retro Entertainment news, the '32 Ford Coupe from American
Graffiti is apparently shipping in cases that are now hitting stores.
Unfortunately, collectors are complaining that it's not entirely accurate.
The car in the movie was a five-window model, and the car in the Retro line
is a three-window model. Strange, because Mattel released the correct
version of this car in an American Graffiti diorama in 1998.
- Happy New Year!
Well, 2012 has come and gone. It
was a GREAT year for collectors of Hollywood die-cast cars, especially if
you're a fan of a certain Caped Crusader! In addition to all the new
Batman stuff, GreenLight gave us several new Hollywood series, and Mattel
was able to get the first wave of the all-Hollywood Retro Entertainment line
in stores just before the year's end! Okay, enough with the chit-chat.
Let's take a stroll down memory lane and look back at all the major stories
that took place during the past year:
2012 - The Year in Review!