So I Went to a Toy Show Last Weekend

From reading all this stuff you might think that going to a toy fair is no big deal for me. Well you’d be wrong. Despite having a lot of my free time revolve around arbitrarily valued pieces of plastic, I’m really not in with the whole community – I guess that’s what this still unnamed blog is about to an extent. I mean I shoot the shit with a few guys at the used toy store and their outlet at the flea market, but that’s about it. Being that I share most of this stuff with the kiddo, he’s pretty much my sidekick when it comes to this stuff. If I see an event pop up, I’m not all that likely to go on my own, but if it’s during a time I have him, we sometimes make it a point to go.

That being said, I remember one event in particular we went to; I even made special arrangements with the ex so that he could stay a little longer. I live in a smallish but rapidly growing town about 10 – 15 minutes north of the state’s capital (Raleigh). So we’re not right in the middle of the biggest hustle and bustle, but we are within driving distance, and we’re big enough to have our own little things pop up from time to time. Anyway, this little “mini Comic-Con” was being advertised a few months back. I shit you not, it was a drab little affair in some upstairs storage loft with about 8 fat guys dressed in Batsuits and Spidey suits of varying degrees of quality, awkwardly peddling the same ol’ over-priced Batman busts, Harley Quinn comics, and life-sized Deadpool figures. It was laughably pathetic and immeasurably disappointing.

Now I know I can’t let one crap show monopolize my opinion. I know even the best things have bad days. I guess one thing that turns me off from the get-go is that these things are almost too nerdy. I mean I know that’s the point of the whole thing – to nerd-out free of judgement and with like-minded folks – but it’s almost intimidating. I wish there was a slightly more casual side to these things where I didn’t feel like the guy I was talking to ate slept and breathed Wolverine…or Gwen Stacy…or Constantine…or who the hell ever. It’s kinda like Magic: The Gathering. I actually sortta like playing. If I had some friend who were into it I’d probably go out of my way to play regularly. But have you ever been to these “events” regarding Magic? They are so damn nerdy that some sort of foreign asexual wave overtakes me and instantly triggers several points of discomfort

Alright alright, I don’t want this to turn into a full blown rant, so let’s get back to the toy show in question. I actually hadn’t planned it out at all; my son wanted to go to the flea market the previous weekend but for one reason or another we had to put it off, so I said we’d be sure to go the next weekend, which turned out to be this past weekend. The flea market – well, I’m sure there are others in Raleigh (the other major one closed a year or two ago, but there are smaller soirees in muddy parking lots often called “flea markets”) – but the flea market is up at the Stat Fairgrounds. NC has a spectacular State Fair every year (it’s coming up in just a couple of weeks!!!) to celebrate agriculture and the harvest and yadda yadda. It’s pretty cool really, and from what I understand is one of the largest and most popular state fairs in the Southeast, if not a reasonable contender for one of the best in the country. Ok, I just did a cursory look at “best state fairs usa” and the NC State Fair clocked in at number 6 on one list and number 7 on another. Not bad, I’d say. There’s really something for everyone: loads of food, crazy rides, beautiful lights, a ton of folksy and traditional stuff if you get there during the daylight hours…it’s just a fun place to be.

Any-damn-way it looks a lot different when it functions as the flea market for the other 46 weekends of the year. (The fair itself spans 2 weekends, and the flea market is closed for 2 weeks before and after to allow for setup and dismantling.) There are several other buildings on the premises, and I have no idea what they’re for, but on the weekends various buildings function as interesting shows and exhibits. I never really think about it until we’re up there and see the signs, but they host all kinds of stuff like car shows, gun & knife shows, reptile shows, and naturally the occasional toy show.

Ticket

My real admission ticket!

Last Sunday happened to be one of those days! The spread was impressive, but pricey. About half the room was devoted the cards and the other half toys. We glanced through the area of cards quickly; I was hoping to see some of those old sets of comic cards or maybe some of those weird throwaway card games from the 90’s. We saw a few comic-ish cards, but they were mostly inconsequential and the majority of vendors were stocked up on baseball, football, and basketball.

The toys side was much more interesting, and a welcome refresher from the piecemeal, sunbleached, and often stained remnants of childhoods found at many flea market stalls. In fact, I was surprised at how much stuff was NIP and what wasn’t appeared to be in great condition. Now don’t get me wrong – this wasn’t creme de la creme material all nice and neat and boxed up – it was fairly modern stuff. Lots of Star Wars…and I mean LOTS. I think they really overdid it with The Black Series and what should’ve been a nice little collectible line turned into an oversaturated mess. Buyers must’ve felt this too, because there were loads of these things for sale at $15 to $20, when they generally retailed for $19.99. Remember those K-mart exclusives that were snatched up in droves? What a disaster.

Action figures were well-represented in general, including lots of discontinued stuff from movies in the MCU that have come and gone. Are they worth much? Who knows. The superhero market is pretty oversaturated as well, bringing me to both DC’s “Multiverse” line and Marvel’s “Legends” series, both comparable to The Black Series. The issue with these is that literally dozens, if not hundreds, of different figures were made, yet the same 8 or 10 are all that appear on shelves for a given time period. This leads to individual items that are actually worth a decent amount because they are in fact rare, but unfortunately they end up as part of a series that fans are generally disenchanted with overall. It’s kinda like spotting that Walmart-exclusive Diablo figure for $50 – “hey that’s not bad, I might actually buy that had I given a damn about the series in the first place and bought the other matching figures.”

Good ol’ TMNT had a few reps in da house, and by that I mean the original toy line that concluded back in the early 90’s and those insanely valuable toys that dropped at the end. There was a smattering of other stuff – overpriced LEGO figures, a few larger vehicles and playsets, and a few other bits and pieces that children of the 80’s and 90’s probably remember.

Hot Wheels were surprisingly well-represented as well. Now if you asked me, I would sortta condense things and say, “I collect Hot Wheels” but realistically my collection is a little more honed in and more geared towards my personal tastes rather than what’s actually deemed valuable. You can certainly find Character Cars amid the others; they’re great for a quick cash grab and people don’t mind dropping 4 or 5 times the price for 2 or 3 discontinued or hard-to-find cars that would complete their collection. I saw Looney Toons, Mario, Muppets, Marvel, DC, Spongebob, Despicable Me 3, and Star Wars cars at the event. (This only excludes Toy Story, Power Rangers, and DC Super Hero Girls subsets.)

But collecting Hot Wheels, really collecting them, is all about vintage specimens and grabbing up limited production, exclusive, and commemorative items. I had fun sifting through them nonetheless and so did the kiddo. Unfortunately I had limited cash on hand so I was trying to be frugal with my purchases…I hope to know what the hell is going on next time and show up and little more prepared!

Arkham Knight Back

Our final spoils were pretty small though. I went ahead and let my son pick out something he really wanted first of all. He made a good choice too: back when Arkham Knight was all the rage, there was a beautifully detailed yet woefully short-lived series of action figures based on the game. For $20, we snatched up the Arkham Knight himself. I have no idea where he put the toy in the week since our visit, so I took a quick shot of the back card!

We made a lot of cool find when it came to cars that were really hard to pass up, and though I can’t remember everything we were bombarded with, I trust we made the right decisions! He really digs the Twin Mill design, not to mention variants like the Twin Mill II, Twin Mill III, and the “Tooned” Twin Mill, and he made a great find: a ZAMAC Twin Mill III back from 2014!

Twin Mill III Zamac '14

At that same booth, I found a couple of cool things as well. One of them is Ecto-1, the iconic car driven by the Ghostbusters. Now I have a lot of versions of the Ecto-1, but this was unique as it came from one of those Walmart exclusive series’ that never made its way to any Walmart! (Around here, at least…) And then I got another Ecto-1; this one was released around Halloween with other Halloween-themed vehicles and its very own Halloween-themed paint job!

Ecto-1

I’ve got a lot of Ecto-1’s, but this might (I think) be my first run-of-the-mill, non-special, non-fancy Ecto-1.

Ghostbusters Collection

See now, this car was part of a set that should’ve eventually popped up en masse at Walmart…never saw one here or the other 6 to 10 Walmarts I visit frequently and semi-frequently.

Halloween Ecto-1

So cool!!!

Ghostbusters Halloween

Halloween 1966 Batmobile

My “big spender” item was yet another Hot Wheels. This one was also taken from a limited Halloween series (though it doesn’t appear to be the same series as the aforementioned Ecto-1) and is one of those things I’ve often oggled at online…a freakin’ purple & orange 1966 Classic TV Series Batmobile! Fucking cool. It was a little more than I would’ve liked, but a quick search on eBay told me that I’d be unlikely to ever snatch it up online for any less, especially with shipping included.

Halloween 1966 Batmobile

Oh and I almost forgot: when we were up front getting our ticket, the woman let my kid pick out a toy for free from a small stash. He grabbed an Easter car from some time in the past and it’s pretty cool looking. I’da picked the same damn car.

Easter 2014

Sith Infiltrator

Oh OH and I almost forgot again as I sift through this little pile of stuff at my feet. A long time ago, like, when I was a kid, the most cost-effective way to build up a collection of starships from Star Wars (among other franchises) was via MicroMachines and those tiny little flimsy plastic things, albeit with exceptional detail. Well, we still have MicroMachines, but I’d argue they’re of a much, much lower quality than they used to be. Sometimes it looks like they’ve been painted by the blind. Sometimes a small appendage would break off while removing it from the packaging. The worst is seeing them there in their package, already contorted into hideous versions of themselves.

Thank the damn heavens that Hot Wheels began manufacturing high-quality diecast versions of said starships. Hasbro must’ve noticed the gap as well, because some time way way way back during the days of the prequel trilogy, they developed the Titanium Series. These are arguably more detailed than their Hot Wheels counterparts, often including moving parts! Anyway, I like both, and I wish I had more of the older ships from Titanium Series, if for no other reason than that they made lotsa ships that Hot Wheels hasn’t. And lo and behold, I stumbled across a Sith Infiltrator from Hasbro for a cool $5. I also happen to have a Sith Infiltrator courtesy of Hot Wheels’ Starships series and a lucky break on eBay (the card was ripped and the guy was letting it go for like $6 and a very reasonable shipping charge). Nowadays it looks like the Infiltrator is hella cheap, but if you go back about a year ago, it was at least a $12 – $20 item. At any rate, it’ll be fun to compare the 2, which is all I’d really intended to say about it!

Sith Infiltrator

Sooo there you have it. Like I said, not a huge haul, but I think we made some good picks. If you really want a lesson in poor money management, stick around for a few entries and I’ll get into what I bought not 30 minutes later at one of our favored stalls over in the flea market area….

We got LOTS of fun stuff comin’ yo way mah peeps: a couple of exclusive Walmart collections, the dumbass spending move I mentioned above, some new pieces in a couple of unexpected areas, some new puzzles I ran across…it’s nuts man! Nuts!

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Strange New STAR WARS Track Sets and Play Sets Popping Up (Mos Eisley Junction & Crait Assault Raceway)

We all know that Hot Wheels is known for their high quality, diecast vehicles. Most of us also know them for their elaborate tracksets and courses, though these are typically relegated to the “kids side” of things and don’t always make much of a splash in the collector’s arena. In fact, I’d be comfortable wagering that a lot of new and/or casual Character Car collectors are completely oblivious to tracksets that they “need” to own in order to have a complete collection of cars!

What I’ve written here is sort of a brief history of Star Wars tracksets. If you want to skip down directly to my newest finds, click here or just scroll down to the turquoise line.

To briefly recap, let’s go back – way back – to a time before Force Awakens. The promise of new Star Wars material was hot on everyone’s mind, but toy companies and retailers weren’t quite sure how to best profit off the hype, so we just saw a massive surge of Star Wars stuff. Character Cars were still a very common appearance, and I want to say we were somewhere near the end of the transition from “blue cards” to “black cards.” It’s entirely possible that you never even saw the relevant Star Wars tracksets had you not taken a second to look down at the shelving underneath the hanging racks of cars.

It was here that you could find the Throne Room Raceway and TIE Factory Takedown for at least 6 to 9 months. Both contained exclusive vehicles not found anywhere else: a Jedi Luke and Ezra Bridger respectively. Now Hot Wheels would go on to release a Jedi Luke / Rancor 2-pack, however this Luke sported a slight but noticeably different paint job. Ezra was released singly as well, but as a “battle damaged” version instead of the “clean” one in the trackset.

Not sure that you’d call these tracksets, but around the same time these Battle Blast Lightsaber Launchers could be found as well – I mostly saw them in Barnes & Noble. They were basically a launcher and short piece of track angled upward meant to propel the car into the air albeit in a somewhat controlled manner. Luke (in his pilot gear) and Vader were the first 2 out and were pretty easy to find. In the months surround Episode VII’s release, 2 more could be found, one with Kylo Ren and one with – surprisingly – the “clean” Ezra Bridger.

I can’t pinpoint a timeframe real well, but I’d say sometime around the transition from 2015 to 2016 when the peak of Force Awakens hype was dying down, I suddenly became aware of the Starkiller Base trackset. Now I never saw this on the shelves of any store, and it wasn’t exactly the hottest selling item online either, but it came with someone very important: Finn! I guess it never really hit me before then, but suddenly I was like, “oh yeah, they haven’t made a Finn car despite all this other Ep. 7 stuff!”

Fast forward a month or two (maybe three) and the Rancor Rumble started popping up. For whatever reason – maybe because “Rancor” was in the title – this set gained a little more visibility than most others. It’s exclusive was a Gamorrean Guard, which would be a great addition if we could get some more of Jabba’s court in the mix (Bib Fortuna, the skiff guards, Weequay, that mean-ass droid, bikini-clad Leia…). Still kind of a cool, off-beat choice.

In the lull that follows the tracksets seem to concentrate solely on Carships. There’s the big Death Star Revolution thing (not sure if I got the name right) complete with battery power 2 exclusive Carships, which turn out to be battle-damaged versions of both the X-Wing and TIE Fighter cars. (Ships?) This set was pretty everywhere and can still be pretty easy to find. Next was something like “Imperial Assault” which included a battle-damaged Millennium Falcon. Never saw this in stores, but it’s all over the place online. Finally there was a set like “TIE Striker Takedown” or something, and it’s stayed pretty well hidden even online; it’s exclusive is a battle-damaged U-Wing.

Fast forward again to late 2016, on the eve of Rogue One, and it seems like these sets may be a thing of the pass. (Though to be fair, sometimes you do have to dig to find out about them.) During this period promotional shots of a Rathtar Escape set begin appearing, but of course this makes no sense because the Rathtars were from Episode 7 a whole freakin’ year ago and have absolutely no place or mention in Rogue One. The specifics of it completely befuddle me, but for whatever reason, this thing saw the light of day this past summer. (I wrote a whole article on it if you’re interested.) And what do we get for our wait? A barely perceptible battle-damaged BB-8. Can you hear me rolling my eyes yet…? I mean I’m ok with the clean vs. worn-and-torn versions to an extent, but to go to the trouble of calling it an “exclusive” and packaging it with another $20 – $50 worth of product just to paint a couple of scratches and scorch marks on it begins to feel a little like gimmickry to me, and I don’t like it. I suppose this is one reason I haven’t bothered to collect the damaged Carships, as much as it seriously bugs me not having them.

And then, as the world begins gearing up for The Last Jedi and the end of summer is in sight, the Millennium Falcon set pops up alongside the very first pieces of Episode 8 merchandise. It’s a nice big set with all sorts of sounds and an exclusive Chewbacca, though it just looks to be a darker version of the Chewbacca we’re already familiar with – no change in casting or decoration or detail, just some lighter browns and grays replaced with some darker ones. We can safely ascertain that this is the first of the new wave of tracksets because it features the new white packaging whereas the ol’ Rathtar Escape still sports a mostly black package. (I wrote a short piece on this trackset as well.)


And finally, in what I’m pretty damn sure are the days leading up to Force Friday II, I spotted 2 more as-yet-unknown sets online: Mos Eisley Junction and Crait Assault Raceway. For what it’s worth, the Mos Eisley set is subtitled with the “Character Cars” text while Crait Assault specifically identifies with the “Carships.” Through some clever usage of Amazon Prime, I got both of these for about $60 of what they would’ve cost individually plus they made it to my door about 13 hours later.

Mos Eisley Junction

Mos Eisley Junction

The Mos Eisley set is…well…weird. It functions more like a small (read: damn small) hub that’d be best suited to connect larger sets. Hot Wheels is always quick to advertise the fact that nearly all their sets are connectable, but what I feel like they blatantly ignore is that most sets rely on gravity to work, i.e. place the car up high, let it roll to a lower point. So yeah, we can connect them…but to what effect? Some kind of odd, mutant staircase? And where’s the convenience? I dunno. Maybe I’m not imaginative enough. Maybe I need to see others’ visions realized to understand the potential. Anyway, Mos Eisley Junction is rather small, so small that I wonder what kids are expected to do with it. But hey, that’s not why I bought it, right? I was after that exclusive. And right there on the box, it says, “Exclusive R2-D2 Character Car.” That was all I needed to see before buying it.

Exclusive R2-D2

Go ahead and grab your R2 car. Can you tell any difference?

However, now that I’ve got it, I seriously cannot tell the difference between the car in the set and your everyday average R2 Character Car. I mean I have examined this shit up and down, had my kid inspect it, made my mom look at it…there’s nothing that appears to be any different. No painted on scorches, scratches, or smudges…no differences in color…design is exactly the same…I can’t figure it out. It is fucking weird. Did I get some kinda bum set? Doesn’t look like it. I am, for the time being, 100% bewildered.

Crait Assault Raceway

Moving on to more obvious pastures, we have Crait Assault Raceway, a more straightforward trackset. Basically 2 cars start off at the same point, and due to atmospheric variation or human error or an unlevel foundation or quantum fluctuations, one car either finishes before the other or they slam into each other in a spectacular crash. Yeah, this is just what I wanna do with my collectibles: slam ’em the hell into each other! At any rate, the exclusivity proclamation is cleverly if not confusingly worded on the package. In the window you’ll notice 2 Carships, and the text reads: “Exclusive Poe’s Ski Speeder Carship & First Order TIE Fighter Carship.” Ambiguous, ain’t it? Well I’ll go ahead and set the record straight. Neither of these is “battle damaged,” so I guess that’s good. The FO TIE is not an exclusive, as we saw a couple of weeks ago when it dropped with the other new carships. The FO TIE is definitely a new member of the Carship crew, but it is not an exclusive.

Exclusive Poe's Ski Speeder Carship

The actual exclusive is Poe’s Ski Speeder. Again, I like this better than the clean/damaged approached, but check it out: Poe’s Speeder uses the exact same casting as the regular Resistance Ski Speeder and simply replaces “Resistance Blue” with some red color that we’ve never associated with Poe. I mean I guess it’s cool to give one guy’s machine a different and recognizable look all it’s own, but remember all the love that Poe’s black-and-orange X-Wing got in Force Awakens?> Now, remember how much of it we actually saw? (In case your forgot, it was blown up: not in the sky in some glorious dogfight, but on the ground – and not after a movie of associating it with Poe becoming familiar with it – but in the first fucking scene!)

Crait Assault

Keeping up with Character Cars is hard enough: for every 6 or 8 released, there seems to be another 1 or 2 lurking a 2-pack somewhere. For everyone big wave or two there’s an oddly ill-publicized trackset to be found. Hot Wheels is obviously very committed to this line, but it’s just so strange how readily available some info is compared to how hidden away other chunks are. I’m sure other tracksets will pop up (give us one with bodhi bodhi bodhi dammit) and who knows – I might find out 2 days later or 2 months later! If you ever find out about one, let me know! I mean I like to think I’ve done my research, but honestly, I wouldn’t even be that shocked if some old-ass set came to my attention out of the middle of nowhere!

Nintendo’s Latest amiibo – SAMUS ARAN & METROID

Yeah yeah, here’s another piece I shoulda banged out 2 weeks ago…forgive me! I’ll make it quick though.

Basically, September 15th saw the release of the latest amiibo, the Samus Aran and Metroid 2-pack. Judging from what I saw online, it seems like many of these pre-orders sold out and remained difficult to find after release, despite not being an exclusive to any given store. I was able to pre-order one about 2 months ago via Walmart’s website, even though many of them do a pretty piss-poor job of keeping amiibo in stock. It’s funny, cuz when people start freaking out about GameStop and Best Buy and even Amazon being sold out of pre-orders, it seems like none of them bother to check Walmart’s site. Hell, I was able to order a Nintendo Switch from Walmart’s site like 5 or 6 weeks after launch, right when we were in the middle of massive Switch shortages.

Samus Aran and Metroidamiibo

If you’ve ever ordered anything from Walmart before, especially something like a pre-order, you’ll know it doesn’t always work like a “conventional” store where you just walk in with your slip of paper on release day or whatever. Instead, they give you 2 options: you can have it shipped to you, or you can go pick it up. While I appreciated the ability to pre-order it in the first place, both of these choices sort of bum me out. The item came out on a Friday, meaning they usually say it’ll arrive (if shipped) around Wednesday. Going in for a pick-up, which is what I did, it told me it’d be available the following Monday. Now obviously I kept this on the backburner, but when Friday rolled around, I set off for the local Target sometime during its opening hour and snatched one up quickly and easily.

At the time I’d planned to go pick up the one from Walmart as well and possibly flip it for as much as $20 profit, but after one look at eBay and all the 2-packs they had up for sale, I decided the market was too saturated. Now I could probably hang on to it for while, but to be honest, I’ve almost run out of space! So I let my window expire and now I guess some lucky collector will find Samus & Metroid on a shelf somewhere…is that how it works…?

Samus amiibo

The original SSB Series Samus that came out forever ago during the very first wave has always been a standout piece with the shiny armor and stoic pose, and these new pieces appropriately recapture the awe. Samus herself assumes another classic position that Metroid fans will immediately recognize, while the horror of the Metroid is further accentuated by its active escape from its glass prison. The Metroid “creatures” can look a bit passive in some contexts – like a spore, or maybe dormant bacteria – but having it in the process of bursting forth from the glass jar was a brilliant idea, adding not only the suggestion of movement but also of menace.

Metroid amiibo

Hopefully you’ve already got your hands on these guys if you want ’em – if not, there’s almost always a subsequent release a few weeks later. And of course the aftermarket is abundant with them…if you’re willing to pay the price!

Promised MARVEL Character Cars Begin to Trickle Out

Sometime in the last couple of weeks ago, Hot Wheels has reminded us that all is alive and well on their Marvel and DC fronts with the releases of Deadpool and Justice League Flash. On the one hand, Deadpool seems to be more and more common as the days pass while Flash is still quite rare and fetching some unreasonably high prices. The site shop.mattel.com suggests that both Deadpool and some members of the Ragnarok collection will be available for purchase on the site itself. I definitely want to hold out and get a good deal if possible. I feel like such a chump when I buy these things for $10 – $15 and then 2 weeks later they’re everywhere for $3.99.

As of today or yesterday, 3 new Marvel Character Cars have appeared, all on eBay and all in the hands of only a couple of sellers, which is really driving prices up. At any rate, we can finally confirm the existence of Vulture – why this didn’t hit shelves a month or two ago is beyond me. We’re also getting a glimpse into the upcoming Ragnarok film with both a re-colored Thor and a highly unique Loki. No word on the others yet, though hopefully they won’t be too far behind!

Check out the new additions via these screen-caps. I really hope some adequate competition pops up soon and beats these prices back from the $15 – $20ish mark to the $7 or $8 mark.

Vulture

Thor
Loki

So whatcha think of the newcomers? Seen any around where you live yet? Anything I’ve missed? Feel like sendin’ me Justice League Flash!!?? Help me out yo!

New CARSHIPS from Star Wars: The Last Jedi

UGH, first of all, I should apologize for how long it’s taken me to write this. I know that info like this devalues quickly as time passes, so I really do want to bang these out. I start off the article with “last Friday,” by which I mean the 15th, nearly 2 weeks ago now. I know it ain’t optimal, but I’ma keep doing my best.

Last Friday – 2 weeks after Force Friday II – we finally saw the release of some of the new Carships we’ve seen pictured in conjunction with Episode VIII merchandise. Honestly it looks like most of the line is comprised of re-releases, and to my knowledge, we’ve got 3 all-new Carships this time around:

  • Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer
  • First Order TIE Fighter
  • Resistance Ski Speeder

New Carships

Carships have always been a bit of an oddity in the scheme of things, though they also fit in well with the idea of character cars. And guess what? Like the rest of Hot Wheels’ new releases in this vein, we get a pamphlet telling us about upcoming stuff!

As usual, here’s the front and back scanned by yours truly. Feel free to click on either for a full-sized version. The front specifically covers The Last Jedi while the back visits various other corners of the Star Wars Universe. The collection of Carships has always been small, but I often hoped we’d see it expand to a point where we’d get Carships from earlier films as well. Judging from the back of the insert, it looks like we might be off to a good start!

So not a whole lot to talk about when it comes to the Ep. 8 side. The only one of these we’ve yet to see is the Resistance A-Wing. Honestly, this is a beautiful translation of ship-to-car, and I’d have to hold it my hand to tell you for sure, but it could just be one of my favorite Carships!

On the other side we’ve got several exciting things to talk about. First of all, it’s interesting to note that throughout this entire pamphlet all Carships except for those exclusive to Episode VII correction, Rogue One (the U-Wing and TIE Striker) are included. Weird! Anyway, this is also a good chance to snag the Y-Wing if you missed out on it in the “40th Anniversary” packaging. It never was all that common, and this 40th Anniversary stuff will be completely phased out soon enough.

Snowspeeder Carship

Another fun find is the Rebel Snowspeeder, a throwback to Empire Strikes Back. Here we have another great looking ship-to-car translation, and believe it or not, I actually knew about this before seeing this insert because of none other – Target’s website. That’s right, right there in the middle of all those damn products, the Snowspeeder Carship, 100% unavailable as hell!

Next up we see Obi Wan’s Jedi Starfighter and the Naboo N-1 Starfighter, both being pulled directly from the prequel trilogy! Not sure that I find either of these visually striking or terribly unique, but it is very very very cool to see the prequel trilogy getting a bit of attention.

The biggest mystery is the Imperial Shuttle, or if you’re around my age, you may simply remember the vessel as Tydirium. This was always one of my favorites of the “early” Star Wars universe, very simple and elegant with its near tri-symmetry. If done correctly, this could be one of the coolest looking Carships of them all!

Alright, so yeah, sorry again about being so late to the table on this one. I’ve got some other stuff I’m dying to talk about as well, but being of a less timely nature, it shouldn’t be as big of a deal! Obviously Hot Wheels will be rolling out at least one more wave of Character Cars, Starships, and Carships, so we’ll just be keeping our eyes open until then! Be sure to stay tuned for my next piece regarding some strange Star Wars Tracksets I found lurking just under the surface…

ROSE Character Car (from The Last Jedi) Revealed!

Big thanks to C. for dropping this in a comment a few days ago – it’s basically a tweet from Hot Wheels pumping Force Friday. What’s interesting is that the accompanying image includes a shot of the upcoming Rose Character Car from The Last Jedi. And why is this interesting? Well, because with all the material that was released on FF2, Rose’s car is just a blacked out silhouette.

Hot Wheels Tweet

The original image accompanying the tweet. Click to see full sized version in a new tab.

Rose

Rose herself!

Again, big thanks to C. for bringing this to my attention! Now stick around – I got a whole truckload of stuff to get around to regarding all new Carships! Don’t miss it!

DEADPOOL Character Car Appears, Marvel’s Ragnarok Cars On Deck

Things at the Marvel camp have been relatively quiet lately, and I am seriously baffled as to why scores of fans aren’t in full-blown revolt mode over Hot Wheels’ lack of impetus to produce Marvel villains. How hard is it? Why have we yet to see Vulture? Why wasn’t Shocker even a contender? Did we see any baddies from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in Character Car form? And what of the upcoming Ragnarok? Judging from the pamphlet, it doesn’t seem like they plan to include any of Ragnarok’s antagonists!

Alright, that was just me getting a little pissed; even with the trickle we’re seeing right now, the bad dudes seem to be a foregone conclusion.

Deadpool has been appearing on eBay for about $20 but don’t let your impatience get to you. I can almost guarantee this will drop down to a reasonable price fairly quickly. What’s worth noting is that Deadpool just recently(ish) appeared over at shop.mattel.com alongside other newcomers Armored Hulk and Loki, both hailing from the forthcoming Ragnarok film. Strangely enough, an image is only provided for Deadpool and it appears that at least a few people have access to him in order to sell the car (obviously). New Loki and Hulk are nowhere to be found.

Deadpool

Now here’s where it gets a little interesting. The way the site has their entries for these 3 worded implies that they had all 3 in stock and are now just waiting for more to arrive. I don’t buy it, because even if quantities were very limited, we’d be seeing some Hulks and Lokis. Also, it just doesn’t seem like enough Deadpools have been up for sale for an entire production run to have been sold. The good news is that it doesn’t just brush you off like it normally does with out of stock item. It gives you the choice to receive an email when what you want does come back.

My conclusion: I think the site just uses some general language to keep the customer vested and feeling like they’re looking at the next hot thing. I can’t really explain why Deadpool has “leaked,” but ultimately I’m thinking that all 3 cars will magically be “in-stock” around the same time. Hopefully Mattel will throw some of the other Ragnarok cars our way as well!

And that’ll cover the extent of my Marvel knowledge up to this point! I know there’s a bit of speculation in there but I think those Ragnarok cars will be coming in quicker than I might’ve originally thought, especially with how fast other Ragnarok toys have dropped and how hard all the Justice League stuff has filled up shelves. As always, lemme know if you’ve got something to add to the story that I don’t!