Author: Count Cubes

Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer CARSHIP – New Stuff from Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Star Wars!)

This’ll be a quickie and no, it is not a part of that big series of articles I wanted to bang out, but it is a pretty exciting piece of news. Now that Disney has the Star Wars franchise by the balls, we’re lucky enough to nerd out to this shit almost year-round since the franchise never really has time to stall out or stagnate. Retailers have spent the last month or two liquidating remaining Rogue One (and some Force Awakens) stuff by the boatload but BOOM, guess what? The Episode VIII merchandising machine will probably be off to a pretty healthy start by ear October at the very least.

TIE Silencer

We got a small glimpse into The Last Jedi at SDCC this year: a Hot Wheels Starship exclusive of the TIE Silencer, apparently Kylo’s personal dogfighter similar to Vader’s Advanced X1 Prototype (or “Vader’s TIE”). So far it looks a lot like a TIE Interceptor but a closer look wouldn’t hurt. To the right is the Starship as it was packaged at SDCC. I’ll definitely snag one when prices start to fall a bit.

And then a few days ago, something pretty cool appeared: a picture of a new carship based off of Kylo’s TIE Silencer! We’ve even got new packaging similar to that of the new All Terrain Character Cars. Check it!

All Terain Cars

Right now I don’t know much else about the release or distribution of this latest carship, but hey, it’s hella cool seeing the new Episode VIII stuff starting to hit shelves!

Strange and New STAR WARS Character Cars – “ALL TERRAIN”

If you’ve been keeping up with things, you’ll likely remember that I just got back from a week long vacation. I went to the beach with my son and mom for a week…we stayed in one of those nice high-rise condos…oceanfront balcony, 3 outdoor and 1 indoor pool plus a jacuzzi, and it’s August so the water has had a couple of months to get warm. Now of course the point of going to the beach is to enjoy the sand and the waves…the breeze…the seafood…maybe a little bit of sightseeing, but being the fucking hunter that I am, you can’t drop me 3 hours away from home and not expect me to be at least mildly interested in the retail scene. I mean I know, it’s the beach, and not exactly a hotbed of retail activity, but I did have a pretty positive experience overall.

The closest real shopping centers to the condo were about 30 minutes away, and the only things of note were a Walmart and Kmart. The Walmart was pretty standard, but didn’t have anything eye-catching. The Kmart, well, it was just as sad as you’d expect – a fucking time machine back to 1994. We did make one cool find there: a Hot Wheels Starships Inquisitor’s TIE, which is pretty rare. Hasbro’s Titanium Series of the V1 TIE was everywhere but not that Hot Wheels version! But yeah that was it. Doesn’t look like this Kmart will be hanging around very much longer.

That was Sunday or Monday. I promised the kid we’d visit again near the end of the week since so much new stuff has been dropping, and when went back Friday, it was like night and day. The semi-annual “shelf-flip” had taken place! I’m not sure if this happens in other departments, but in the Toys section of retailers like Walmart and Target, every six months or so, they’ll “flip” their entire toy department. What was the “last” boy aisle becomes the first, and not only that, the stuff facing either other swaps. Walmarts, at least some of them, take it step further by actually flip-flopping the girls’ and boys’ sections. It’s a crazy time to visit a store, but not only does moving everything around give it a fresher, newer feel, it also allows them to more easily remove older production runs and make way for new ones.

Despite the rather dismal run we’d had earlier in the week, the shelves were chock full of new stuff. One particular thing that caught my eye was the familiar “Character Cars” label from Hot Wheels – what I spotted it on was even stranger…


All Terrain Character Cars

BB-8 and Stormtrooper

Check it out – these might be one of the first toys branded with the, “From the New Star Wars film” label…look just above the upper right corner of the bubble.

What are these? Well I may just be as confused as you. Dunno how or why these came about, but nonetheless, we’ve got 4 “new” vehicles, dubbed by Hot Wheels as “All Terrain Character Cars.” So far these seem to be the only 4 so far in existence: Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, BB-8, and First Order Stormtrooper. Since I first saw these I’ve been in a few other Walmarts, and what’s interesting is that, in the Walmarts that have carried them, they have these 4 and only these 4 (i.e. no duplicates) so it could conceivably be tough to get a hold of these…if indeed anyone is interested. (Taking a second to look over on eBay, there are a lot of these listed and the price range is pretty wild! This is because they’re new…if you really want these, just wait a little bit and the craziness will die down. There are dozens of listings up and these guys aren’t all going to be able to offload them for what they’re asking.)

These new vehicles are…interesting? I’m still not 100% sure what I’m looking at here. A cash grab from Hot Wheels / Mattel? Maybe, but Jesus, can’t I get a fucking Lando Calrissian car or maybe a 5-pack (or 3) from the damn prequel trilogy!?! I fucking hate Jar Jar as much as the next guy, but DAYUM we’ve got Biggs and Dirty R2 and Carbonite freakin’ Han Solo…and we can’t get a Bodhi or Mace or Qui Gon or someone friggin’ important!!?? Alright alright ok, this is a rant I’ve been on before so I’ma cool it, but I think it’s a reasonable point to make: why must we now “worry about” collecting these big ass All Terrain Character Cars when the core line has so many pivotal characters left to acknowledge? I get that there’s some strategy and monetary maneuvering to consider when planning releases, but c’mon, Rogue One is basically over and done with, and one of our main characters – Bodhi – is conspicuously excluded. And remember Finn? His poor ass was relegated to an almost unknown trackset that still remains relatively obscure and unknown to the larger and more casual Character Car fanbase.

Yeah I’m gettin’ a little bitchy – sorry. I’m just not sure I fathom what niche these All Terrain guys fill. The packages advertise “working suspension” replete with a little hole in the blister that allows you to push down on the vehicle and feel the give. They kinda remind me of the Monster Jam series which has almost seemed to flirt with the idea of “Character Trucks” from time to time. I guess what’s weird about them is that there’s nowhere for them to really fit in the existing schema of Star Wars Character Cars…not dissimilar from the Web-Launcher Spider-Man and Groot Hauler (even though ol’ Groot does kinda serve some sortta weird in-universe purpose…sortta). I guess Hot Wheels wants to appeal to larger crowd, and that’s cool, I just feel like there’s so (read: sooooooo) much more they could do with their regular ol’ 1:50 scale Character Cars. With so much ground to cover, from the X-Men to even more Spidey villains to even more Batman villains to the Fantastic 4 to the Captain Marvel family and just on and on and on and fucking on…

But ok. If we get down to brass tacks, these aren’t bad looking cars. I appreciate the diversity, and I guess it does as good of a job as it can of representing the series with 4 characters. Vader is especially impressive with his 6 wheels, and his larger size makes him rightfully imposing. The detail is sufficient, albeit a little on the cartoonish side. In fact, they remind me a lot of the Disney Racers line of Star Wars vehicles. You know, those special “character-ish” cars that Disney sells exclusively at their theme parks, whereby the car is a reflection of a certain character. They’ve actually covered some commendable ground that Hot Wheels hasn’t, but being that they’re only available at the parks, they’re a little pricey on the aftermarket. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just Google something like disney racers star wars and you’ll see.

Anyway, here’s a little flavor text from the back of the All Terrain Character Cars. So far it’s all the same for all 4 cars, and each card lists the other 3, meaning that these 4 are probably all we’ve got for the time being.

Your favorite Star Wars Character Cars are taking it from the streets to any terrain in the galaxy. With an active suspension and larger tires, these reimagined vehicles are designed for off-road domination.

Navigating the sandy dunes of Tatooine while on a high-speed chase is no issue for these awesome racers. Encountering the enemy on the snowy fields of Hoth becomes an afterthought as you plow your way through a nasty blizzard.

Get ready for endless fun that knows no bounds!

Before finishing up I decided to quickly relieve them of their packaging and give ’em a quick roll. Not a lot to say here; of course the cars, er trucks, er whatever are of expected Hot Wheels quality. After handling them for a few minutes they definitely remind me of the Monster Jam series and Blaze and the Monster Machines to an extent. Overall they’re sturdy and well-made..and I guess if you like trucks that’s a plus?

All Terrain Character Cars

Well that’s about it for now. What do you think of these new All Terrain Character Cars? Does it feel like it came outta left field? Does it seem “fair” that these are hitting shelves when we can’t get heavyweights like Padme and Lando? As far as I’m concerned, the jury’s still out.

DOOMSDAY and SWAMP THING – Brand New DCU Character Cars!

Whoop whoop whoop!

Doomsday and Swamp Thing

What else can I say? They’re out! I got ’em! Awesome! (But seriously where the hell is our VULTURE car!!??)

Whatever, let’s geek out about these for a sec. I stumbled across these maybe…Wednesday or Thursday evening I guess…? When I got home Sunday afternoon there they were, waiting for me!

Doomsday would’ve been more appropriate back in Spring/Summer of 2016 (when lots of non-comics people were getting their first dose of him via Batman v Superman) and I’m not really sure where the hell Swamp Thing is coming from (obviously DC is planning to do something with this property at some point (“Justice League Dark”) but it seems a little premature) but honestly I’m not complaining and I’m glad DC is branching out. I won’t quite be 100% cool with Hot Wheels + DCU until I’m holding a) a Lex Luthor Character Car and b) a General Zod Character Car, but for now, this’ll do.



I must say that these are some nice looking vehicles to add to the collection. The cartoon artwork in the recent pamphlets hardly does either of them justice. Fortunately we knew pretty much exactly what Doomsday was going to look like thanks to the weird Target leak. We also had that prototype version of Swamp Thing to whet our whistle, but honestly, after looking at that and then looking at the finished product…well…let’s just say that prototype didn’t do Swampy justice at all. (Check it out here if you missed it.)

Swamp Thing

Swamp Thing

Again, both of these cars are great looking and I’m glad to have ’em. They were a little pricey but I expect them to drop as more and more sellers get their hands on them, so if you need to wait a couple of weeks, don’t sweat it. Oh and this is kinda cool – once Hot Wheels drops the new Justice League Flash car, the DC pamphlet will be officially completed! Who’s next? More Super Hero Girls maybe? Maybe some other well-known archvillains like Manta Ray, Reverse Flash, Captain Cold, etc.? I guess we’ll see! Q4 should be pretty damn interesting…

NEW DC Super Hero Girls LEGOS – Check Out Harley Quinn’s Room

NEW DC Super Hero Girls LEGOS – Check Out Harley Quinn’s Room

The DC Super Hero Girls have exploded into various toy formats and today (well ok, about a week ago if I’d gotten to this when I really wanted to) we’re treated to the second wave of LEGO sets devoted to the young cadre of heroes and future villains.

It looks like we have 4 new sets total, and they’re all a bit on the pricey side: Harley’s Room ($19.99), Batgirl’s Bunker ($44.99), Lena’s Kryptomite Factory ($59.99), and Eclipso’s Castle ($99.99). (I think those prices are right – or at least pretty close.) Yikes! This is kinda starting to remind me of all those LEGO Batman Movie LEGOS – tons and tons and tons of freaking sets, with many (most?) at the $50+ mark. I hope the SHG line doesn’t go this way, but it may take me a while to get ’em all. (Plus I really want that “Ultimate Batmobile” thing from the movie that’s like $150 or so.) Besides some alternate outfits, we get a few new villains in this series, like Eclipso and Mad Harriet. And the Flash. Random.

But hey, LEGOs are always cool, and if there’s one instance where bigger truly is better, it’s gotta be LEGOs. Harley’s Room isn’t huge, but it does have some fun pieces. I dig the whole bed/window setup and the fact that the bed flips up to act as a gaudy vanity. The resident Kryptomite is of course causing mischief on the scooter, and even comes with an optional party hat. (WTF?) Also included is a fun little “strong man” type of carnival game that actually works, well, except for the “bell” actually dinging. It’s still a cool contraption though, and an especially clever usage of LEGOs. Lastly we’ve got a little couch, complete with popcorn and a whoopie cushion. This piece flips similar to the bed, exposing what I assume to be a small mirror and lights. Check out a few snapshots:

Harley's Room Lego

Harley with the “Selfie Stick,” the bed, the Kryptomite on the loose (replete with scooter and lipstick, and “strong man” piece.

Harley's Room Lego

Bed folded up to show vanity, Kryptomite, scooter, and Harley with her signature mallet at the “strong man” game.

Harley's Room Lego

Bed, “strong man,” and couch.

Harley's Room Lego

Couch and bed with vanity exposed.

Overall it’s not a bad little set for 20 bucks: 1 biggish component (bed), 2 smaller ones (couch and game), 1 small one (the scooter), the tiny little Kryptomite, and a figure – Harley Quinn of course, and in this case dressed closer to her comics appearance with the half red, half black.

I’ve got to admit, that fucking selfie stick does make me cringe a little. A clever interpretation from EGO, but damn. Damn.

New 1:50 Hot Wheels Batmobile – JUSTICE LEAGUE Batmobile

A pretty quick story here but a fucking cool find nonetheless!

I guess it was a couple of weeks back at this point, but I was browsing through the Hot Wheels stuff as usual. I’ve been noticing over the last month or two a resurgence in those 1:50 scale Hot Wheels Batmobiles – you know, those nice ones I like to collect that have gone through several “series.” Of course my mind starts to grind and I’m wondering why these are reappearing in large numbers…obviously the impending Justice League film has something to do with it, but usually we don’t see stuff like this without some new stuff lurking nearby.

And because of this lurking suspicion, I’ve been flipping through these more lately….and the other day, it fucking payed off. What did I spot…? A Penguin Duck straight outta Batman Returns! I already have one of these, but the important thing here is that the Duck wasn’t released in this latest series. Near it I found The Bat from Dark Knight Rises; again, we’ve seen it before, but not as a part of this most recent series.

Ok ok I know you’re dying to know what I was dying to know at that point….what’s on the back!!!??? After all, we’ve re-releases of old stuff…shouldn’t that mean something new? Well it does:

Justice League Batmobile

Justice League Batmobile

Ta-da! Ain’t it cool? A full-fledged Justice League Batmobile! Basically this is like the BvS Batmobile with a giant extra gun. One thing I was – and still am – a little confused about is the SDCC “Justice League Batmobile” that comes in the little “Flying Fox” box. Granted I don’t know what scale this is, and although I’d like to have one, it’s still a little pricey for my tastes. However, I would expect something in that 1:50 scale range. So how much of an exclusive is it really? I’m not discrediting the SDCC-exclusivity of it, just wanna know how strongly I should pine after it.

SDCC Batmobile

This is the SDCC Exclusive Batmobile with the “Flying Fox” box. For the record, I do not own one of these (yet).

Now I was frickin’ determined to find this thing. All I came across (again, this was like a week to 2 weeks back) was a single item on eBay up for auction. I went on kind of a crazy mad dash over the next few days. I only even found the Duck and the Bat at one other store, and then, against all odds, I ended up finding the Justice League Batmobile at the very Target where I first spotted the other two!

Justice League Batmobile

Pretty cool eh? I’m pumped to have a new addition to the 1:50 line, especially after going through the time and expense to grab the Batgirl Cycle and Batblade. I haven’t seen another one since, but if you want one, I wouldn’t sweat it – they’ll be everywhere soon enough, especially once the old stock dries up. What I really hope is that we see a couple more new things! (Though I have no idea what they’d be.)

New Releases

SO MUCH New Stuff to Share – Bear with Me!

Alright, I know that to the naked eye it probably looks like I sortta fell off the map again so I do want to quickly touch base. To try and keep this as short as possible so we can get to the good stuff, basically a week ago I knew I was going out of town for a week! Call me old fashioned, but I wasn’t exactly keen on throwing up a post that said, “no worries if you don’t hear from me for a week, I’ll be gone!” no matter how few people read the blog.

I had a “genius plan:” take a few pics of my new shit and then bang out a couple of blog posts throughout the week and stay up to date. Well not only did I not get any of that done, but I was hit with this whole swath of new shit while I was gone! In some ways this motivated me but in others it overwhelmed me…now I’m home and DAMN I’ve got some catching up to do!

So hang on, mmmkay? Let’s see if we can get through this is…24 hours? Yeah. Maybe. It’s some cool shit though, and even though we’re rushed, I want to give each item (or set) it’s own post for posterity and so that nothing gets downplayed or lost in the shuffle.

In the immortal words of Mario, “here we go!”


Right on the heels of the new Justice League Character Cars, we’ve got a brand new 2-pack with its own exclusive: Tactical Suit Batman!

Tactical Suit Batman

It’s just the new Batman with a few little adjustments to the paint job, but it looks like this “tactical suit” may play a major role in Justice League, perhaps akin to his armor in Batman v Superman. Also of note is the “new” version of Aquaman in the 2-pack. If you’ve kept up to date with your character cars thus far, you can actually make the most of these releases and snatch up these new Justice League cars without any duplicates. First, grab a single Batman, then grab this 2-pack. Since Wonder Woman, Superman, and Cyborg are repeats, you won’t need them, and this slightly different Aquaman is packed with an exclusive!

Justice League 2-pack

Stick around folks, I don’t know exactly when it’s coming, but I got a couple of really cool things to show you…