Where Did This Set Come From? (Iron Man / Hulkbuster)

Yeah ok, should be doing something off my “to fucking write about” list, but I’ve had this set on my mind lately and I just can’t seem to find out anything about it! And part of that is because I don’t really know what to call it, like officially…Hot Wheels Iron Man & Hulkbuster Character Cars…? This doesn’t even really set it apart from the standard releases, at least from the perspective of plugging in search terms.

Character Car Set

Character Car Set

Here it is: a nice box set featuring Iron Man & Hulkbuster. Pretty cool, right? We get some artwork, the “Real Riders” and “Metal/Metal” logos, and, oh wait, what’s that, the “Character Cars” stamp? Well hang on a minute, that means this can’t be all that old, right? Hot Wheels ushered out this new packaging right around the end of 2016. The only reason I even thought to bring this up was because the Hulkbuster suit has only been featured in Avengers: Age of Ultron and not in anything even remotely recent like, say, Civil War. I mean it’s not a crime to break out the box – I wish the Marvel/Hot Wheels wing would do it more actually – but it is unusual to create this very display-worthy set without it referencing something very current and visible.

Now let’s take a peek inside!

Iron Man & Hulkbuster

Iron Man & Hulkbuster

Wow, it is tough to beat that lustrous, metallic, shiny red and gold. These aren’t new castings, but they’re not just repainted versions of their previous counterparts either. There are some minute aesthetic changes in detail and decoration; I don’t really have the vocabulary to describe the parts of these vehicles, but if you compare them to earlier versions, you can easily see the added flourishes and highlights.

Iron Man & Hulkbuster

I quickly crammed together a shot of the “shiny one” with a “regular” one, the first version of the Iron Man “Rocketcar” to be specific. The differences are minor but visible.

So Cubes, have a good time showing off…? No! I mean yeah! But no wait! That’s not the point! What I want to know is where in the hell did these things come from? I found them quite a while back – 2 or 3 months at least, maybe a little more – when I was doing blanket searches for anything new popping up for hot wheels marvel. I dug around for Sold Listings of the same, and it looked like one other had been sold about a week or so prior. Since then, I only remember seeing one or two of these sets up for sale, though it’s definitely possible that there are more considering I haven’t specifically looked for the set in quite some time.

It can’t be all that old because of the “Character Cars” logo. Based on the listings I’ve seen and the prices it’s sold for, it doesn’t seem to be anything as special or as limited as a convention exclusive. Maybe some kind of special order internet thing…? I dunno, I can’t figure it out. Whatever it is is dedicated to the collector’s market…then again we don’t get anything nearly as elaborate as Secret Wars or Daredevil vs. Punisher or even the Harley / Suicide Squad thing from the DCU side of things. It’s nice and classy and worthy of display, but it’s also about as simple as you can get.

If these things were just sitting on a shelf in a store somewhere I guess I could understand, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Are they super limited edition!? I don’t see anything regarding production numbers anywhere.

So fellas, enlighten me: where in the hell did this come from? Do you have one? Where’d you get yours? Have you seen lots of these for sale lately? Or ever? If you 100% absolutely know what’s up that’s great, but even if you don’t, I’m curious about your thoughts and speculation and any experiences you’ve had with the set!

Stick around after this folks, cuz I’ve got some really cool shit to tune you into. I was gonna preempt this article with the news but I’ve only got a few pics left to take and we’rd good to go. Anyway, you don’t wanna miss my next piece…and of course all of my other articles!

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