New JUSTICE LEAGUE Character Cars – Differences and Similarities Confirmed!

About a week ago we saw the all-new packaging associated with the upcoming Justice League film. So far we’ve got five characters: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, & Cyborg. At first it was only obvious that Batman was different. Then I saw some differences with Aquaman, and then suddenly I thought Superman might be different…anyway I ordered Superman and Aquaman and then found all 5 (albeit only in a single Target) the next day.

Justice League Character Cars

At any rate, it gave me a chance to definitively compare each of them. Clearly Batman is different, and as I already mentioned, the coloring on Aquaman is different as well. Otherwise though, we’ve seem ’em before. Wonder Woman is from her older BvS appearance, Superman borrows the BvS-era blue-wheeled Man of Steel look, and Cyborg is identical to his initial release not so long ago.

So there you go! Stick around for my next article because there is yet one more new Justice League Character Car on the table…

FINALLY Adding Skyward Sword Link to the Collection!

At long last, my amiibo collection is once again complete, not having been so since June 21st when “the three damn Links” were released as exclusives. I won’t go into much detail since I’ve done so plenty of other times, but I will take a moment outlining the sheer fucking horror of procuring Skyward Sword Link.

I got the NA version of Majora’s Mask from an American seller, and it got here like 3 or 4 days after being shipped. I bought a Japanese Twilight Princess from a Japanese seller and got it like 9 days or so after placing the order – not at all bad. I waited a few hours to see if anything on Amazon’s site would change, yet that same night (the 21st) I placed an order for Skyward Sword. This was another Japanese version coming from another Japanese seller. Generally I try to find Japanese versions from American sellers when I’m in a pinch like this, but with the floodgates open on such a day I was content to go by feedback ratings.

It was a few days later and I got a message from the SS seller saying that it had shipped and should arrive in 2 to 4 weeks. I did a little bit of a double take, but it didn’t really begin bothering me until TP got here so fast. So I waited and waited and waited until eBay’s cutoff date which I think was July 24th. Contacted the guy, of course he didn’t have any tracking put on the damn thing so he couldn’t tell me shit other than to wait until August 4th. Still kind of a long-ass wait but ehhh what you gonna do…?

Well I’ll fucking tell you what I did.

Skyward Sword Link amiibo

I got impatient, found an American seller of the Japanese version over on Amazon. Placed the order on a Friday night and had the package in my hands Tuesday morning. Of course my strategy here is somewhat no-fail: if the amiibo does get here by the 4th (which it fucking didn’t!) then I could resale it and at least recoup what I spent, or if it doesn’t get here, just go ahead and ask the original seller to push the refund through.

So that’s what I’ve done. I’m 100% the guy will be cool about it…he’s one of those nervous-y foreigner types who’s so fucking worried about losing any standing for any reason in the eBay world that he’ll do anything to avoid customer displeasure. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes you do have to stand your ground as a seller or you set yourself up to be taken advantage of. I mean none of that really applies here – bottom line is that the seller should not have entertained “economy shipping services” overseas and he definitely should’ve sprung for a tracking number. At least that way the responsibility doesn’t lie with him, even if I never get the package. eBay just chalks it up to some “act of God” shit and eats the cost themselves.

LINKS

Mario used to be the clear leader when it came to number of different amiibo, but with so many Links rolling out recently it’s time for another count.

Sooo thaz it. Looks like my amiibo family is whole again, although I haven’t yet ordered the Japanese-only “Cubby” or “Qbby” or whatever the fuck it is. Time to start gearing up…looks like we’re gonna see a steady trickle throughout Q4 and beginning in September. Stay alert! And for god sakes go and try to find that damn Metroid 2-pack to pre-order…if you still can….

GIANT Marvel Character Car – Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher

Welcome back grown-ups, in-betweens, children and lil’ babies…we’ve got an unlikely piece of plastic coming our way today.

Remember the Groot Hauler? Maybe not, because I never properly wrote about it (still plan to!), but what mustn’t be ignored about the large vehicle is that despite its resemblance to a semi-truck, it is in fact considered a bona fide Character Car by Hot Wheels. I know some folks won’t like this and have a hard time accepting these giant toys as part of the Character Cars-proper collection, but hey, if you don’t like ’em, don’t get ’em. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!

Anyway, back when the Groot Hauler was first on my radar, I remember Hot Wheels advertising a couple of other “big ones” too. I hadn’t really thought about it much until the Spider-Man car caught my eye…I guess it was over at shop.mattel.com, but what I really noticed was the little web-car for some reason. I guess I stowed it away in my mind for some reason, because I immediately recognized it against a slew of other vehicularly-themed vehicles from Homecoming peppering the shelves of Toys R Us. TRU can be a confusing place because they organize their toys by both type and theme – sometimes both. So while all the other Spider-Man vehicle stuff is over there on the “Marvel aisle,” this Web-Launcher guy is over there with the Hot Wheels and most other character cars. Oddly enough, if you wanted that aberrant Rocket Raccoon / Baby Groot 2-pack of character cars, you’d find that on the Marvel aisle and nowhere near the Hot Wheels aisle where the other 90% of character cars are kept. Kinda makes me wonder how much stuff otherwise serious collectors miss…and not because I’m not character car-spotting savant, I just have a certain OCD-ness that compels me to look up and down the same aisles multiple times during a visit. Plus I have my kid with me at least 50% of the time and he spots lots of stuff before me just because of what’s at his eye-level versus mine.

Ok rant thwarted, let’s look at what is officially dubbed the Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher. It’s big. Really big!

Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher

Alright, honestly our Web-Car Launcher isn’t as…well…functional as the Groot Hauler. It’s listed as having 2 action features which turns out to be a) the launching of the Web-Car, and b) the “eyes changing shape” when the spoiler is pressed. Ok ok ok, this is misleading, because these 2 things happen when you push the spoiler down. So it’s not like you can activate one individually or anything – not that I give a damn necessarily – but the wording is a little tricky.

Big Spidey

I know that in the wake of SDCC 2017 that weird little dune buggy thing has emerged as the “Spider-Mobile,” but I think this would be even more appropriate! Something like this could become as recognizable as the Batmobile!

Now most of the time when you’re dealing with small cars and you’ve got that buzzword LAUNCH you usually think of some sort of spring-loaded mechanism, right? Like a little projectile or whatever; something that pushes a spring back, and then catches on a mechanism activated by some kind of trigger, thereby releasing the spring and flinging shit forth. Well they really threw caution to the wind here! Basically when you press the spoiler, this big, flat “foot” thrusts out and manually pushes the web-car out of the inner tunnel of the larger Spidey car. Spidey’s got this big long “barrel,” and as I pushed the web-car in I expected some resistance but nope, it just rolls on back, ready for that chunk of plastic to push it forward!

The set will be a bit underwhelming for youngsters interested in shooting cars across the room, though some may be able to appreciate the fact that any car that can physically fit down the “barrel” can be “launched;” it’s not specifically crafted/fitted for a single car.

As far as how the car looks and otherwise functions though, I can’t see any problems. In some regards I’m glad there are no springs or more moving parts than there are. Depending on how truly collectible these become, it’ll be nice not to deal with the aging parts. Springs rust and become “unsprung,” and they also place tension on the surrounding plastic which can become brittle with age. If nothing else, when taken care of, this car – and it’s ability to motherfucking LAUNCH LAUNCH – should last a great long while.

Web-Car

The one…the only…EXCLUSIVE WEB-CAR!

Spidey is very lightweight for his size and done in the style of his updated Homecoming Character Car. It’s basically a big red thing, though there are small sparkles in the paint. For whatever reason, it be dat Web-Car that’s really gotten my attention. It’s like any other 1:64 Hot Wheels, although according to the box it is not simply some re-used/re-painted casing, but rather an Exclusive Web-Car according to the box! I like it. Not so sure how it thematically jives with the rest of the character cars, but I’m nothing if not a sucker for these exclusives.

Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher

Is the Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher worth your time, effort, and money? It’s hard to say. For what it is I think the MSRP of $20 is a little high…something like $12.99 to $14.99 seems about right for something with no lights, or sounds, or automated movement. A lot of it will depend on whether or not you like loud, noisy toys, and I happen to not care for them so much so I’m OK with giant Spidey car and the super-cool exclusive!

New and Upcoming DC Character Cars REVEALED / CONFIRMED

Here’s another thing I wanted to get out like 2 days ago but just didn’t/couldn’t. At first I thought about combining this with a general rundown of the newest Justice League branded cars but instead I’m going to try to keep it as concise and on-topic as possible.

Technically this isn’t much new news but more like confirmation of what we already knew. You know how those recent Marvel releases came with their own little pamphlet, cluing us in to the likes of the Ragnarok cars, Deadpool, and the as-yet-unreleased Vulture? Well, Hot Wheels finally seems to be giving the DC camp equal treatment and has packed pamphlets with the new Justice League line as well.

I’ll show you full scans of both sides in a moment, but first I’ll go ahead and hit at the obvious stuff. With this new Justice League line we’re treated to 5 cars…conspicuously missing is undoubtedly what we knew as “movie Flash,” instead labeled “Flash – Justice League” just like the others (even those that bear no differences from their earlier counterparts). Check him out:

Movie Flash

Looks a lot like Wonder Woman’s car to me but hey, sometimes these cartoonish renditions don’t do them justice.

Finally we’re treated to 2 more characters largely outside of Batman’s sphere of influence, Doomsday and Swamp Thing. Hopefully this is just further proof that we’ll be seeing Doomsday sooner rather than later; if you remember, our friend C. tracked down a real live screen shot of Doomsday tucked away on Target’s website. However we do get a bit of a better idea as to what Swamp Thing will look like since all we’ve seen so far is the prototype.

Swamp Thing and Doomsday

And just so you can check it out for yourself, here are both sides of the pamphlet, straight from my scanner. I’ve rendered them pretty small for the page, but just click on either of them and you’ll get the full-sized versions opened in a new tab.

DC Pamphlet (1)
DC Pamphlet (2)

Alright guys and gals, ruminate on that for a while and I’ll be back before too long with…something newish. I’m not sure exactly what yet because I still feel like I’ve got a million things to blog about..we’ll see soon enough!

Very Quick Amiibo Update

I know I talked about posting an article about the slew of upcoming amiibo and I still plan on doing stuff but UGH there is just so much stuff that I feel like I need to get out and I can’t seem to do so on time. I had spent a lot of time working on that piece on the DC Super Hero Girls that I’d kept going on and on about, and then just yesterday I decided to sort of scrap it because it was becoming more of a collector’s guide rather than a rundown of the piece I owned. I guess I was trying too hard to explain both what I have and didn’t/don’t have…and I dunno. Right now it’s about 2/3’c complete but it’s basically just one list after another of me trying to make sense of the multiple DC SHG formats.

Ok, so on to the topic of amiibo. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that right about the 3rd week of June Nintendo dropped 3 Links on us, but they were all exclusives and damn near impossible to snag. By that evening I’d ordered all 3 – just for the record, Skyward Sword still hasn’t gotten here and I’m getting a big pissed…

Fast forward about 5 weeks later and we have what could be considered a pretty massive drop: 9 amiibo, 3 of which are exclusives. And then a week later (yesterday) comes another one, bringing us up to the crazy total of 13 amiibo in less than 2 months. That’s pretty intense, even considering Nintendo’s previous releases, though I can certainly understand how the collection might seem underwhelming with more generic Splatoon figures, 3 “Player 2” variants (still questioning the necessity of that, especially when we don’t get female Robyn, the “Alph” alternate of Olimar, the Koopalings, etc.), and even more fucking Links.

Echoing the Link situation, this swath had 3 exclusives as well and also at Best Buy, GameStop, and Amazon. However, I had no problem placing preorders with GameStop and Best Buy, even though it was impossible to do so with the Links. Go figure.

So last Friday I scooted up to GameStop and grabbed Cloud Player 2.

DLC

Splatoon 2

Then it was off to Best Buy to pick up almost everyone else, including Inkling Girl (3), Inkling Boy (3), Inkling Squid (3), Cloud, Corrin, Bayonetta, and Best Buy’s own exlcusive, Bayonetta Player 2.

Now there was just the matter of the Amazon exclusive, Female Corrin / Corrin Player 2. Unlike other sites, Amazon had never put anything up for pre-order. This exact thing happened a month earlier with the Skyward Sword Link, with users eventually reporting that, if you held a Prime membership, Skyward Sword was available for a short time. I spent the day checking the page diligently, but I dunno, I guess I waited too long somewhere in there. With the alternate Corrin, I had the page opened on my phone and 2 computers and I checked every 45 minutes. I guess it was sometime between noon and 1pm, and boom, I refreshed on my phone and it looked like a normal ol’ order page. Got it.

That was on the 21st. I got free 2-day shipping, but as sometimes happens with new stuff on Amazon, it encountered an “extended” processing period. I mean it got here on the 26th so it wasn’t that big of a deal; what I thought was really interesting was that pretty soon the Corrin Player 2 page had gone back to “Currently Unavailable” (I was checking it for shits and giggles) and then several hours later it reappears…but now it’s quoting a damn usually ships within 1 to 2 months message rather than the 2 or 3 days I’d been quoted. Crazy!

Player 2

So yeah, Corrin Player 2 showed up on my front porch back on Wednesday.

And then late Thursday night I get my confirmation email from Best Buy; run up there the next morning and grab Pikmin amiibo!

Pikmin

And that’s it! I mean there are quite a few more coming but for now, that’s it! Keep your fingers crossed for me that Skyward Sword Link gets here soon!!

Remember This? (Nice Iron Man & Hulkbuster Set)

Remember this fun little gem I brought up a while back?

Iron Man and Hulkbuster RLC

Even before I posted the article, I’d had the set for 2 or 3 months and up until a couple of days ago remained genuinely clueless about where it came from. And how did lil’ ol’ me run across something so obscure? It’s pretty simple really; one of my highly secretive techniques for finding shit is to do blanket searches on eBay like hot wheels marvel or hot wheels dc. You can further qualify the search with things like “character car(s)” but sometimes this can limit what shows up, especially from people who don’t exactly know what they have. (To be fair, I almost always have to use an extra term with Star Wars stuff, as hot wheels star wars will bring up all character cars, starships, carships, and whatever other odds and ends.) Anyway, if you do searches like this maybe a couple times per day, sort by Newly Listed, and browse through at least the first page of results, very little will slip past your radar.

At the time, I snagged the set for either $19.99 or $29.99; I can’t remember which, and you’re about to see why. Doing a search for sold listings, only one came up, and it’d gone for $29.99. In the month or two that followed, I saw it listed one more time, this time for $19.99. And that’s why I’m not 100% sure what I dropped on it. Aside from those sightings though, this thing didn’t appear to exist…until just a couple of weeks ago.

Or I’m guessing it was a couple of weeks – coulda been a little more or a little less – but the point is I started seeing these things all over the place. Judging from the description, it sounds like these are (were?) a special Hot Wheels Red Line Club (RLC) offering, not too dissimilar from the white Captain America Character Car from last year. What’s so incredible is that most sellers are asking anywhere from $45 to $70 for the sets! Based just on that, I’d say either the $20 or $30 I paid was at the low end of the retail price. So, um, hell yeah!

Now normally I’d tell you not to sweat if you wanted one…that demand would steadily wane and prices would drop (have you seen how cheap those 2015 SDCC Secret Wars sets go for?) and that pretty soon people would be content just to make a few bucks off of it. In this instance though I’d hesitate to give you this advice – or any advice – because this set is a limited edition of only 4000. With small numbers like this predictions are tough to make, though it’s almost certain that in the long haul it’ll gain value.

Each set is supposed to individually numbered. On the bottom you can see a little white area where the text is embossed, which is where I presume the number is. (I outlined it in green!)

Back

Ok, can’t really see anything there, but if we zoom in a little and angle the flash some…

Back

What I see is 3 2 8 6 E A A which I guess makes sense if we’re talking 4,000 sets total…I just don’t get the “E A A” part. “3286” may not be the super-low and valuable production number we could’ve hoped for, thought I’d still count myself as lucky for owning one at all. Note: If this is not the product number, let me know!

That’s it for now, but keep checking back furiously – I gots so much stuff I need to write about!

Correction / Addendum to Previous Entries Re: “Justice League” Character Cars

Ladies und gentleman: I have made a grievous and wholly embarrassing error in my recent and cursory “analysis” of these new character cars. (In regards to this piece and this piece.)

First of all, Aquaman in the new Justice League packaging is in fact different than the recent Aquaman. The earlier model has both gold and gray on the body/cockpit area, whereas the new Aquaman is totally gold, without the gray. It’s not huge, but it’s noticeable, and it’s something I didn’t catch until I inspected a higher quality image of the new Aquaman.

This of course got me nervous about my other assertions; I check and rechecked the best I could, and I’m still convinced that Cyborg is the same and that Wonder Woman is the same Wonder Woman in the BvS packaging. Then I moved on to the tricky matter of the Man of Steel / Superman stuff. …Was I on crack when I wrote that..? I mean all the stuff about the color differences is true, but it’s like I just fucking stopped and called the new Superman “Gray Wheels” when right below it I was inserting a picture of “Blue Wheels!” I do remember getting it a little tangled in my head about when the switches occurred…but dayum.

So yeah, first of all there’s that: I proclaimed the new Superman car to simply be an old gray-wheeled Man of Steel, when it fact it is the blue-wheeled Man of Steel. Then I started comparing the 2 more carefully, and to be honest, for the time being I’m calling it “inconclusive.” There’s some potential for noticeable differences in shading and luster, but at this point I just can’t tell.

I’m not going to bother posting up a bunch of comparison photos right now. As soon as I recognized my folly I immediately ordered both characters in new packaging; in a couple of days I’ll be able to show you a side-by-side of the Aquaman’s and we’ll look at Superman a little more closely. Until then, feel free to share your thoughts on any differences, including Cyborg and Wonder Woman.