Originally posted on January 27th, 2017.
Ok gang, (do I have a gang? Probably not…) we’ve got a lot of big news to go over on 3 different fronts, so I’m dividing them into 3 separate posts. I apologize if this information isn’t as expedient as I’d planned; stupid ISP decides to conduct “maintenance” in the middle of the night which has so far resulted in about an hour of downtime. I’m a little more nervous than usual, because last time my connection stayed down for like 3 days and it was utter hell. At least I got this lil’ Tumblr window open a couple minutes before it crapped out.
Anyway, let’s get to it. First let’s quickly recap what DC has been up to lately. After what seemed like a major stall in Hot Wheels’ efforts to create/release character cars from the DCU (before all this I think the most recent one we got was the “BvS version” of Wonder Woman back around the beginning of the summer and the “really nice” (i.e. rubber wheels and an elaborate casing) convention-exclusive Harley Quinn based on her appearance in the Suicide Squad film) we had a flood of new vehicles hit us around the holiday season: 4 main series characters (Deadshot, Batgirl, Green Arrow, and Joker GT) plus a taste of the new DC Super Hero Girls line (Supergirl, a different version of Batgirl, and a third version of Wonder Woman), and then just earlier this week I spotted the “new” Aquaman and Katana for sale, not to mention a new version of Harley Quinn more akin to her appearance in Batman: The Animated Series that seemed to be confined to a single UK seller.
But that’s not all. Still with me, right? Right!?
I was just clicking around the night before last…and it happened…CYBORG. Pretty cool, right? A few months back I had found a few lists of alleged upcoming releases, but Cyborg wasn’t mentioned. But I also figured that Hot Wheels was gearing up for the new DC films, and the funny thing is I’d actually specifically searched for “hot wheels dc cyborg” about 12 hours prior!
The car itself is mildly underwhelming but hey, at least it exists. What’s the next move in the DCU? I haven’t a clue; my “upcoming list” was officially exhausted with the new Aquaman and weird British Harley that I found. However, I think there’s a more than reasonable chance that Flash may get an updated treatment.
Stick around though, I’ve got some “evidence” of upcoming DCU releases that is just WEIRD.
If you’re wanting to score some of these for yourself, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the first 4 – Deadshot, Green Arrow, Batgirl, and Joker GT are pretty easy to find on eBay and the prices are reasonable. And if you want, you can also snag Man of Steel and Armored Batman, neither of which differ from their original versions but they do come in new packaging. Best I can figure based on some recent TRU stock, these cases come with one of each of the new ones plus 2 Man of Steel and 2 Armored Batman.
The 3 DC Super Hero Girls are relatively easy to get too. Don’t dismiss Batgirl or Wonder Woman – though they retain the same shape as their counterparts they have unique paint jobs. Anyway, you can probably score these for less than 10 a piece. I think one guy on eBay is selling all 3 for $15.95…not sure about the shipping though. Better yet, head over to TRU. They’ve had several this past week or two.
When it comes to Katana and new Aquaman, it seems like the initial batch went pretty quick, but they’re popping up in greater number now. The really good news is that apparently a lot of people are getting their hands on these which is naturally driving the price down. I haven’t exactly figured out the case configuration yet, but alongside these 2 Hot Wheels has also re-released the Batman Hot Rod (it’s still blue, but I swear it’s a darker blue – more on this in a post yet to come) as well as the original Superman, which hasn’t been available for some time. Note that Armored Batman and Batman Hot Rod are 2 distinct cars (not to mention the plain ol’ Batman which has been M.I.A. for quite a while) and also Superman and Man of Steel are different. (There may be (or rather, “most probably is”) 2 versions of each of those…again, this is something I want to get to in a later post.)
If you want Cyborg though, good luck. The single listing I saw was a guy with 5 of them. I was mulling over whether or not to pounce on it. Eventually I fell asleep. About 3 hours later I refreshed my eBay page only to see that the Cyborg listing was down to “Last one” so obviously I got it. Crazy to think that 4 of them sold so early early in the morning. Keep at it though, these DC cars don’t seem to stay hidden for long (unlike a few of their Marvel and many of their Star Wars’ counterparts). So far, a number of other DCU cars have been re-released in new packaging. Besides the ones I already mentioned, I’ve seen Penguin, Hawkman, and Mr. Freeze.
Perhaps the most interesting of them is Robin – on previous packaging we appear to have some indistinct Dick Grayson / Tim Drake version of the Boy Wonder (or could be Jason Todd after dyeing his hair), though I tend to lead towards Drake since Robin has the staff. What’s odd is that this new release (re-release) is very obviously adorned with the Damien Wayne iteration of the sidekick. The cars themselves are identical, and the bio that accompanies the new packaging doesn’t seem to point to any one definitive Robin. Why the Damien Wayne artwork then? That’s not who most people associate with Robin (then again, neither is Tim Drake – but let’s not forget I’m only speculating that Drake is featured in the original) but I think there’s some merit in having different Robins…but of course then we wonder why the car is 100% identical… Like I said, it’s interesting, but I sure as hell don’t have any answers.
Before we get to the crazy shit (although I would consider this slightly crazy shit…), I also want to take a second to furrow my brow over the weird “British Harley Quinn.” So far, this has only been available from a single seller, who’s based in the UK. I just recently got mine in the mail; it is indeed the same shape as the “Suicide Squad Harley,” but with the color scheme of “classic Harley.” What’s really irking me about her though – besides the obviously bizarre availability – is that she is not in updated packaging. Where does this come from? The only clue we really have comes from some convention photos taken a few months ago…these are the same photos that showed us stuff like Joker GT, Carbonite Han (from Star Wars), the Rancor (also Star Wars), Jawa (Star Wars again), Imperial Royal Guard (yep, Star Wars), Green Arrow, Deadshot, and the Daffy Duck reveal. Strangely, we didn’t see (or the pictures didn’t cover) any new Marvel cars, the Super Hero Girls line, or the Batgirl released alongside Deadshot and the others.
Look at the picture below. Can you find Joker GT? Go all the way to the right on that bottom row of cars and you’ll see the white car with the little green blob on top. Now look right above it. You can’t see shit car-wise, but you can see the artwork, which is exactly the artwork used on this “classic / British” Harley Quinn car. This was not an SDCC exclusive reveal like some of the others (then again, neither was Green Arrow, top row, all the way to the left) but clearly this is not a car that’s just floating around everywhere.
That’s pretty convincing, but after a few more minutes of looking, I found this:
BAM, right there between Joker GT and Deadshot you’ve got a damn clear view of this elusive Harley. And that’s exactly what this damned thing I’ve got from the UK looks like.
So many questions though…why does only this one seller over in the UK have these things? I mean I could understand if it was coming from Malaysia or Thailand or somewhere where Hot Wheels are made…but what’s with the random UK cache of Harley cars? I probably could even swallow the idea a little easier if they were in updated packaging…but they’re not – this is part of what spurred me to go ahead and spend money on this overseas item…it just doesn’t fit with any existing knowledge. The only reasonable conclusion is that it’ll come out here in the States at some point, but that still doesn’t explain how and why it is where it is now. Tell me what you think. And if you really want one of your own, get on eBay, search for “hot wheels dc harley,” be sure you scroll down to the “items available from international sellers” heading, and assuming they aren’t all gone, you’ll see the lonely listing. Let’s figure this shit out.
Ok, now for the crazy shit. Listen up.
While trying to think of specific terms to search for (with my “upcoming list” being exhausted), I moved away from the main DCU series and set my sights on the DC Super Hero Girls. After all, the “core” members seem to be Batgirl, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman (cars we have), and Bumblebee, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy (cars we don’t have (from a Super Hero Girls perspective)). Katana and then Starfire are featured as well, followed by Catwoman and Hawkgirl. A general search through Google Images revealed something really strange…
Bonus points if I don’t have to explain what we’re looking at here…it’s yet another Harley Quinn character car – same shape as “Suicide Squad Harley” and “British classic Harley,” but with the DC Super Hero Girls color scheme. And you know where this image came from? The official Hot Wheels website. Google also says it was uploaded (or maybe just updated…?) less than a week ago. If you actually go to the page, you’ll see pics from several angles, as well as the car resting on something that looks like it could be the school from the Super Hero Girls cartoon…perhaps even an actual trackset…?
Here’s where shit gets weird. I get that sometimes websites update themselves with products long before they’re available, but this one points to retailers with “.co.uk” extensions…that’s right, companies (or outlets) based in the UK, such as Amazon’s UK site. Even weirder is that if you browse categories, “DC Super Hero Girls” is clearly listed. But if you just go to the official Hot Wheels site and try to find it, it’s nowhere, like it hasn’t been linked up yet…or something.
As if that wasn’t enough of a mindfuck, you can look around on the page and see not only Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl, but this picture:
That’s right, it’s Katana. And although it may look like the same car just recently released alongside “new Aquaman,” if you look carefully you’ll notice some differences. First of all, the above version features a gray hood; the other does not. The above also features gray accents on the sword; the other is red. The above has 2 little diamonds on the sword’s grip; the other is just black. The wheels on the above are decorated in white; the wheels on the other use a darker, shiny red. Yes, it is definitely odd (and perhaps a little concerning) that the 2 cars aren’t more overtly dissimilar in decoration, but they are nonetheless different, leaving the newly-released Katana as part of the main DCU line and the above pictured Katana a constituent of the DC Super Hero Girls line of character cars.
What is going on?
This new Super Hero Girls Katana is in the same boat as the Super Hero Girls Harley…not accessible through the main site, advertised alongside UK retailers, and apparently unknown to everyone.
What complicates the issue even more for me is, “why Katana?” especially when we’ve got a Katana car fresh out the gate! Of course the same case could be made for Batgirl, so it may just be Hot Wheels extending the line by changing paint jobs instead of casting new cars. I dunno. I still can’t wrap my head around why anyone other than Harley, Poison Ivy, and Bumblebee would be featured for the next line of DC Super Hero Girls Character Cars.
Ugh, there are just so many questions right now that I assume only some hotshot over at Mattel can answer. Let’s run through them as concisely as possible for anyone out there who might be able to shed some light on the situation:
- Why is Cyborg part of an “orphaned batch”? Or is he just the tip of an upcoming 3rd wave?
- What are the release details behind the “classic” (red and black) version of Harley Quinn? Why is she (so far) only for sale in the UK? Why doesn’t she sport new packaging? Why is she in the convention photo looking like any ol’ regular car?
- What in the hell is going on with the “phantom appearances” of DC Super Hero Girls versions of Harley Quinn and Katana on the Hot Wheels website? Is there another “UK only” thing going on here?
- Can we expect cars of Bumblebee and Poison Ivy from the DC Super Hero Girls line?
- Who’s next?
Well, that’s all the news from the DCU camp…for now…but I suspect we’ll be revisiting this fast-growing line soon, if nothing else just for some clarity about what’s being released and where it’s being released. Unfortunately I doubt we’ll ever get much of a “why” for all the strangeness but that’s ok…just as long as we get some cars out of it sooner or later.
Stay tuned ladies and germs – this officially knocks out 1/3 of the news I’ve got in store, but if you’re a character car collecting nut like me, you will not want to miss what’s next!