Tag: dc character cars

Three More Down – THE FLASH (Justice League) & Others

Three More Down – THE FLASH (Justice League) & Others

This all actually went down several days ago, I’m just now getting around to putting it to paper. I had a little hiccup during the week that caused me to have to drop everything and go to the State Fair (if I wanted to go at all and avoid weekend traffic). A good time was had by all and although I wish I had some fun “toy news” from the event, the State Fair isn’t exactly a toy place. It celebrates agriculture and the harvest and as such, pretty much the only toys you’ll find are the $$$ handmade, wooden, one-of-a-kind sorts of stuff, juxtaposed with the endless bits of worthless cloth and plastic that comprise the illustrious “prizes” given out by all the game booths.

Anyway, I’ve made a few fun discoveries/purchases along the way. Remember how the big wave of Justice League cars was conspicuously devoid of The Flash? A few weeks later a few Flashes began popping up, but these sold pretty quick and the one or two sellers with more than one were quick to adjust their prices. I shit you not, I watched one guy sell one for $20, the next for $25, then $30, and then $35. I know he had one priced at $40 after that, but I don’t know if it sold. By then I was getting antsy about what it would take to get my own Justice League Flash.

Justice League Flash

Well well what the hell – just then, the ever-vigilant C. stepped in to tell me of a Flash for sale on Amazon, although it would take it like 7 or 8 days to ship. I was still pretty satisfied with this because the vehicle was available for it’s regular retail, $3.99. The biggest kicker was that it was listed as an “add-on” item, a really shitty practice Amazon has started for god knows what reason. It goes like this: Amazon will offer up an item for $3.99 and call it an add-on item and tell you that you’ve got to get your cart up to $25 to actually purchase this item. The good news is that at least the $3.99 counts towards the $25 total. The bad news is that there is no other way to buy an “add on.” I could understand if $3.99 was the “special add-on price” and then you could buy it for like, I dunno, $5.99 or even $8.99 as a standalone, but the way it’s set up right now, it’s like some kind of arbitrary discrimination based on how much money one has spent. Amazon is a really great vendor to deal with in a lot of ways, but this add-on shit just feels shady.

Regardless, I snagged a couple of rarer vehicles from Blaze’s catalog (I’ll show you those a little later!) and patiently waited for The Flash. According to Amazon, the site would receive more on the 8th and ship them then. Continually outdoing themselves, I actually had the package on my porch on the afternoon of the 6th. Again, big thanks to C. for making me privy to the opportunity. The thing is, I had actually looked on Amazon before all this, but check it – it was listed fucking bizarrely – like “Justice League Vehicle 1” or something equally retarded and not including the word “flash” anywhere in it.

I am 1,000% appreciative of tips like this and I’m super glad to hear any information that any reader may have to pass on – thanks again for those that have helped and thanks in advance to those that are bound to. Also, please keep in mind that I’m open to trades or helping to track down goodies you may have a hard time finding.

Ticking off Justice League Flash means finishing off the DC pamphlet – cool I guess but now what’s coming!? I wish we could be hoping for Steppenwolf and Parademon Character Cars, but right now, things don’t look so good. We will be getting some kinda “exclusive deco Cyborg” on or around November 1st in the form of a 5-pack…along with 4 other cars that most of us will probably already have…

Overall I like the new Flash car. The old one looked sort of backwards. The new one skews a bit towards the more traditional car-shape, but the paint job does a decent job of representing the character’s beetle-like armor(?) we’ve been seeing in Justice League previews.

Interestingly, the shop.mattel.com site had both Deadpool and Loki listed (maybe Armored Hulk too?), with a special “Notify Me” button whereby the user would receive an email when the cars were available. Well, as of a few days ago, Loki had disappeared (along with the new Hulk, if it was ever there) and Deadpool was just all grayed-out with the typical out-of-stock “More Ways to Buy” button lit up. Where the fuck were my notifications, Mattel? Ugh. It’s confusing to me why in this day and age companies seem so disconnected from their products. Look at the highly automated systems that govern the nationwide inventory of places like Walmart, Amazon, Target – these systems are wildly impressive. Yet we aren’t at a point where I can’t type in some shit like “hot wheels deadpool character car” on an official Mattel site and in .0235 seconds get a list of exact locations where I can buy the damn thing within a 5, 10, 20, 50 mile radius of my zip code? Better yet, why doesn’t Mattel hold on to some of them and sell them via their site? I mean I know they do this with some of their stock, but fuck, look at all the shit that isn’t listed for sale – and then take a moment to look at how much of the shit that is listed is straight up out of stock (most likely permanently).

(shop.mattel.com actually has some pretty interesting stuff listed for their Star Wars stuff…more on that later – perhaps!)

Feeling a bit despondent about Loki but also a bit incensed at eBay’s prices, I was faced with that age-old question: do I get it now and revel in the fact that 4 weeks later I wasn’t forced to pay twice as much…? Or do I get it now and kick myself in the ass when it’s on shelves everywhere for 20% of what I paid for it in a week’s time…? It’s a hard thing to gauge. Like Guardians 2 – I only ever saw the first wave of those 4 times at 2 separate stores. As for the second wave, well, I saw Drax once and Gamora twice, both at Barnes & Noble, and I’ve yet to see Nebula or Mantis “in the wild.” But then Spider-man: Homecoming dropped and pretty much every Walmart and Target has kept a steady supply of the new Spidey and Iron Man along with Venom, Doc Ock, and Rhino.

So when considering Loki, I started thinking I should err towards the “rare” side since we still hadn’t seen any sign of Valkyrie or Armored Hulk. Does it actually mean shit when the “set” is divvied up across multiple cases released at different times? Fuck if I know, but I do notice that the more they seem to “trickle” out online, the less likely I am to just see 4-6 new Character Cars go “BAM” on the shelf 1 to 2 weeks later. At the moment in question, there was a single Loki up for sale, and judging from what the others had sold for, I decided it wasn’t awful and I saw that it certainly get worse. So I bit.

Loki

Loki is a fine looking car, and honestly it’s one I wish we’d gotten like 3 years ago or whatever. The horns are wacky and exaggerated just like Loki’s, and the matte, understated color scheme help to remind us of his time as a villain – even though I think he’s being played up as one of the protagonists in Ragnarok.

About a day later I decided to take stock of the Vulture situation…the fact that this one didn’t come out with the rest of the Homecoming stuff and was accompanied by no new pieces from Homecoming was a bit disconcerting. Looking at the “Sold” stuff surprised me even further – I didn’t expect so see just how few had made it over to eBay. Sellers caught on quick though – the first one sold for like $10, the last one was just over double that. So I carefully monitored the “Vulture situation” for the next 2 or 3 days…nothing popped up. Finally I got a hit – the guy was open to a Best Offer and free shipping and we came to an agreement. Yeah yeah, it was a little more than I wanted to pay, but a) the free shipping softened the blow a little, b) this is one of those cars that I could see potentially skyrocketing (as far as Character Cars go), and c) I bought it late Friday night, the guy shipped Saturday, and it was at my mailbox Monday morning. Can’t beat that. I’ve noticed that about 15-20% of the time, sellers with small items that they’re willing to ship for free are damn eager to knock off $0.35 wherever they can, and something that could’ve gotten here in 2 days for $2.48 ends up taking 6 days for the SUPER SAVING MEGA RATE of…$2.16 or some shit.

Vulture (Spider-man Homecoming)

Vulture is a good looking car, even if he was a less than stellar villain. I just wish we’d seen a frickin’ Shocker alongside it. Essentially the car reminds me of a more masculine, angular version of Wasp. He’s a bit on the plain side, but really, I can’t fault it too much when considering the source material. If you ask me, as dopey as the comic version was, he still had a bit more panache than this “more realistic” version conjured up for today’s movie-going audiences.

And that is that, my friends fiends friends. This still leaves Deadpool and Thor as far as cars that we know are out there. Honestly there are some pretty cheap Deadpools online, but the Thors seem to be in a similar boat to Loki, with slightly lower costs. I know Thor is just a repaint, but he be purty damn cool lookin’.

Now stay right there! Or at least resign yourself to check back very soon! I have some abso-smackin-frickin-lutely CRAZY NEW NEWS! And YES, I meant to get to it right about 24 FUCKING HOURS AGO but I couldn’t cuz my DAMN INTERNET was all UP AND DOWN like a vidja game! So sit tight young padwan. I got some bombs to drop.

Advertisements

New Justice League FLASH and Upcoming DC 5-Pack

This’ll be a quick one.

I know that the new Justice League Flash isn’t necessarily news at this point but hey, it’s out there. Or rather, it was out there. Looks like only a couple of sellers have gotten their hands on it, prices shot up as their popularity and scarcity became apparent, and supplies quickly sold out. I’m not sure why The Flash got shortended here, but he did. Prices were a little high to begin with, so I decided to wait for a drop in price..now of course they’ve disappeared.

Justice League Flash

The car is…ok looking I guess. Looks a lot like a “regular” car. Looks kinda like Wonder Woman. The cool thing about getting this guy is that it’ll finally mean that the DC pamphlet is complete!


If you want to be sure to remember, mark down November 1st on your calendars. This is when the Justice League 5-Pack will be released, consisting of recent “Justice League” versions of Batman, Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and then one more – a supposedly exclusive version of Cyborg. The Amazon.com page where I first found the pre-order describes Cyborg as having “power-up deco.” Huh? At a glance he doesn’t look any different. I guess I’ll trust Hot Wheels’ DC department or whatever, but more and more it looks like their DC stock is going the way of their Marvel releases – re-release upon re-release with all sorts of exclusivity that result in minute variations.

Justice League 5-Pack

And conspicuously missing from the 5 pack is JL Flash, so it looks like I’m still stuck hunting him down. (Why didn’t I just eat that fucking $15 last week and get him…)


That’s alls I got when it comes to the DC side of things. I really hope they make a Steppenwolf in light of the upcoming Justice League film but if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that villains are never a sure thing when it comes to Character Cars, particularly in the DC and Marvel arenas. A Parademon would be nice too… The good news is that if you’re still in need of Swamp Thing and/or Doomsday they’re finally starting to fall in price a little and become a little more widely available. I’m still kinda shocked that most of them are clocking in around the $16 mark though.

Know anything else DC-related? Drop me a comment as always!

ARES (Character Car) Variation Confirmed!?

Having the internet means having a vast array of tools to see into the future…if you know where to look at least. Our world is planned out far in advance – fashions, trends, technology, entertainment – and metered out to us based on careful formulas designed to maximize profit and steer us towards the next big thing. With a little bit of smarts and a little bit of luck, you can at least get a glimpse of what’s to come, even if you can’t physically hold it in your hands yet. Melodramatic much? Maybe! Of course I’m talkin’ ’bout toys, cuz that’s what I talk about! And one of the weirdest ways I’ve found to glimpse into the future of “toys” is the fucking Target website. Yeah, go figure. It’s not a 100% foolproof method, but you can see real-life, high quality photos of items that may not “exist” for months to come.

Remember Wonder Woman (the movie, that’s what the italics mean) from a few months back? Of course you do. You’ll probably also remember that just prior to its release we saw a character car 2-pack featuring Ares and the exclusive Wonder Woman (who we have no official name for…in my opinion they shoulda just called this car “Queen Hippolyta,” added an extra character to the roster, and be done with it…my kid pretends it’s Hippolyta anyway). Following Character Car release logic, this means we should see a single of Ares at some point. These would eventually surface (although who the fuck cares – everyone who gave a shit already had him via the 2-pack) but before they did, Target had a sort of dummy page devoted to the release, with pictures and everything. So just what in the hell am I getting at? Check out this post or just stick with me.

You see, Target’s Ares looked like this:

Ares

This is the photo lifted directly from Target’s website. Other pictures on the site confirm the bizarre yellow coloration of the quarter panels – i.e. it’s not some “trick of the light.”

And just for clarification, here’s what every other Ares looked like:

Ares

At first I thought maybe the single release of Ares had this yellow color, but as the picture above proves, these single releases were colored exactly the same as those in the 2-pack.

So what’s up with the Target listing? Just a fluke? An early paint job that was changed somewhere between taking promo photos and the actual release? A flat-out mistake that just happened to occur on the item that the Target photographers were given? Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that it’s a bit weird, right? Well I’m ’bout to drop another weird bomb on dat ass.

Toys R Us has their Character Cars spread out all over the place nowadays, so I pay attention to each of them closely to make sure I haven’t missed anything. Now I have yet to see a single Ares of any color out in the wild, but the 2-packs are pretty common. Here’s exactly what I found!

Ares

Ares

Ain’t it cool? Now just to prove this isn’t some bullshit having to do with reflections or the flash or some other anomaly, I put my personal “yellow Ares” and original Ares nose-to-nose:

Ares

Proof, right? I mean, when coupled with the weird Target thing, this pretty much proves that there are at least 2 variations (errors?) of Ares out there, i.e. the yellow-ish quarter panels were not some type of one-time misprint. It’s not unusual to see changes in colors between releases, such as the first Black Widow having gold accents and the Civil War release with silver. Whatever happened to Ares happened in the midst of a production run, not between them (which is far more understandable).

So whatcha think? A legit variation? Kinda reminds me of the Yondu variations from earlier this year (rear smooth wheels vs. rear all-terrain wheels) or the Slave I carship where grays and greens were swapped. It’s hard to say they’re intentional when there’s no official acknowledgment or in-universe reason for the changes, but then again it’s hard to believe that multiple errors rolled out of the factory and made it to market. I mean I get the occasional missing wheel or incorrect paint job slipping under the radar, but a whole population of mistakes just seems weird!

For what it’s worth, eBayers seem to catch on to this mistakes quickly, rapidly bundling both “variations” into one easy-to-own purchase. Hell, my kid noticed the Yondu wheel differences almost immediately just from browsing the thumbnails in the listings! Anyway, this yellow Ares variation seems to be much less widespread. I’ve yet to see a “yellow one” on eBay and the one I’ve got is the only one I’ve seen in a store.

So let me know, are these kinds of difference worth your time and money? I don’t know that I would’ve ever hunted down this yellow variant, but I definitely couldn’t pass it up when it was right in front of me! And what do you think happened to cause this issue…? If I knew more about how these things were painted it’d be easier to figure out just how widespread this issue is. i.e. does it happen once or twice per batch or is the kind of thing that affects an entire batch? I think it’s pretty cool, but I would like to put it into some sort of manufacturing context. For the time being at least, “yellow Ares” has earned a slot in my Hot Wheels DC case.

Exclusive DC Character Car – Included in the Batman Transforming Flying Fox

Woah woah woah whoa! Stop the car!

Do you know why I stopped the car?

Do I know why you stopped the car?

I forgot to close the door…

You forgot to close the door!

Remember when I was tellin’ you all about that Walmart down a the beach doing its big flip-flop and bringing out all types of new ill shit!? This is where I found those Star Wars All Terrain Character Cars. On that same trip, my kid made an awesome discovery when he spotted the “Character Car” text/logo on a random box. What’s in the box? Nope, not a head!

Transforming Flying Fox

It’s the Justice League: Batman Transforming Flying Fox. You know that boxy looking thing that’s been popping up, like with the SDCC Batmobile? Apparently it’s called the Flying Fox and from what I can tell acts as a sort of drop-ship to get the Batmobile in and out of certain areas quickly. It’s not exactly a trackset but it does open up and you can roll the cars around – I’ll get to that stuff more in minute. What really got my attention here is naturally the exclusive character car!!!

Exclusive Batman Car (Flying Fox)

Unfortunately, we don’t get a real name for this character car, which is a real shame for “official purposes.” At any rate, we get the new Justice League Batman but in this iteration the body is completely black and glossy, with a spoiler in the shape of a bat and colored silver. Big deal? Not particularly, but if you’re a completist like me, you won’t want to let this fall under your radar. Kinda funny that we now have 3 different versions of this new Batman car though!

Flying Fox Batman Car

The playset itself leaves a little to be desired…it’s got a lot of connection points for other pieces of track, so if you’re creative and have lots of Hot Wheels track lying around, you might be able to fashion something truly unique. As it stands, it’s basically an elevator at the bottom of which you can choose for cars to go different directions to exit the set. When “folded up” however, the Flying Fox is comparable in size to the other “giants” in the Character Car catalog, including the Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher and Groot Hauler. It even fires a couple of disc-shaped projectiles!

Transforming Flying Fox

To my somewhat surprise, there were quite a few decals to apply, not to mention the awkward positions I had to get my hands into to put them on properly. There’s also a neat little “escape hatch” in the back that I previously looked over, and according to the instructions, the Flying Fox also doubles as a small storage container for at least 6 vehicles. As I said though, to make the most of this as an actual track, you’ll definitely want to start connecting stuff to all the little exit points. Maybe there’s a clever way to hook it up to the Batcave? I dunno…to be perfectly honest, these tracksets that I end up with end up sortta tangled in a pile in my kid’s room. Admittedly though we do use the Star Wars Throne Room Raceway to hold “contests” between cars. I’ll let you know if I come across any cool uses or setups. Until then…

Transforming Flying Fox

I guess that’s about it for the Transforming Flying Fox. It’s a bit of a hit-or-miss in my book…I question its use as an independent trackset but then again it does make for a sufficiently large version of the new Flying Fox. Still though, how many Batwing toys did we see in the midst of Batman v Superman merchandising? A lot. And how much of that Batwing did we see in the movie? Very little. Even in the shots where the Batwing was clearly discernible there was a lot of jumpy action and the vehicle never took center stage. Hell, even the time we spent with the brand-new Batmobile itself felt a little brief and unnecessary, and honestly, it would’ve made more sense for the film to focus longer on Batman’s attempts to curtail Superman’s strength with his own technology. I mean it is Batman’s ingenuity and engineering skills that win him the battle, but man, it would’ve been great to watch Superman get the upper hand early on by routinely smashing Batman’s stuff like it was nothing – some of the same machines that we associate with Batman’s near-invulnerability at times.

I’ve still got a lot more to cover before I can comfortably slow down, so please keep tuning in, even if it does take me a day or two to get something new up!

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.

Doomsday

Doomsday

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 Character Car – TACTICAL SUIT BATMAN

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…

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…