Tag: Hot Wheels Character Cars

Quick Update on INJUSTICE 2 Set of Hot Wheels Character Cars

Alright this is a quickie but I figured worth mentioning. Remember the new INJUSTICE 2 Character Cars? (Read about it here!) You might recall that we had no idea what the fifth car in the set was. Well I tracked ’em down on Amazon where a guy actually had photos of the backs posted. And guess what!? The backs just had some combination of the 4 we already know of! Sneaky bastards! So it looks like won’t know what that fifth character is just yet.

My short list would consist of Wonder Woman and…well…she’s really the only other person story-wise who’s on the same level as the other 4 (Superman, Batman, Supergirl, the Flash). I guess maybe Cyborg but putting anyone before Wonder Woman seems strange. Also seems a bit strange for Wonder Woman to be the big secret reveal as well. Now what would be super awesome bomb as hell would be for this fifth wheel to be none other than Brainiac, the central antagonist of Injustice 2 and our resident Dr. Octopus impersonator. Brainiac would also make sense as the belated reveal…then again, they pushed back the release of Flash with the Justice League subset.

Whatcha think? Know some shiz that I don’t? As always, leave all such pertinent info and even speculation in the comments below!!

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New Marvel BLACK PANTHER Character Cars Available!

Marvel is keeping their well-oiled machine going, and just as Ragnarok begins fading from consciousness, we’re suddenly inundated with all things Black Panther, due February 16th. I know next to nothing about Black Panther, so I can’t do much commenting on what cars shouldn’t and shouldn’t be made, but I’m glad to see these things start making their mark so early. So far it looks like 2 Character Cars will be released in conjunction with the film; take a look:

Black Panther (New)

Erik Killmonger

And there we go, special Black Panther packaging and everything! Black Panther is a new design. In fact, it looks pretty much like the new design given to the Black Panther Flip Fighter. (Click here, scroll down a bit, and you’ll see.)

Now here’s a fun fact: I can’t be 100% positive until I have a chance to get up close and personal with it, but Erik Killmonger appears to use the shape of the original Black Panther Character Car, coupled with gold accents in lieu of gray/silver. Yeah, it’s pretty weird, but if you start looking at all the Black Panther merchandise on shelves, you’ll at first think, “damn, that’s a lot of Black Panther,” and then realize that, “wow, only half of it is Black Panther…the rest is this ‘Killmonger’ dude.” It’s like imagine an Iron Man movie where the main villain wears an identical suit to Iron Man’s….only the red is a shade darker.

I dunno, I just think it’s weird that they’ll redesign an already great car like Spider-Man or release 2 body types and multiple color schemes for Iron Man yet here with Black Panther we’re already re-using a design from 2016.

I hunted down pics of both card backs and they only feature each other plus good ol’ Spidey and Tony, so no new info there. However, in the shots above we can plainly see a little pamphlet resting at the bottom so I’m excited to see what’s in store. What other MCU stuff is slated for 2018? Oh that’s right, friggin’ Infinity War! (And then Antman & Wasp is due out a couple months later.)

I lifted the above screenshots for eBay – Black Panther & Erik Killmonger are all over the place, which is probably a good thing, as we’re probably right on the cusp of seeing those prices drop from the $15ish mark to the $6 – $10. It also means they’re probably popping up everywhere in retail, so I’ma keep my eye on the shelves for a couple of weeks before venturing online.

Alrighty then – that’s another piece of news knocked out! So keep your dials locked and summon some patience – I got even more cool stuff coming up!

Here’s some more news in case you missed it!

2 New Character Car Offshoots – FLIP FIGHTERS (Marvel) & BATTLE ROLLERS (Star Wars)

I don’t know a whole helluva lot about these new toys yet, only what the shop.mattel.com has shown us, one thing being that we can currently find these at retail. I personally haven’t seen either series yet, but that don’t necessarily mean nothin’. I was going to split this into 2 articles, but once I realized that the bulk of info we have on these things is purely pics, I opted to throw ’em both into one piece and we can sort out the details once I get my hands on the stuff.


Flip Fighters

If you’ve been paying attention to the toy shelves for maybe the last week you’ll notice the influx of Black Panther merchandise rapidly encroaching on Ragnarok’s territory. I must admit that Black Panther isn’t a property that interests me much, even with Marvel’s flashy treatment. For one, Africa isn’t a locale that interests me…at least not in modern / post-colonial times where the continent is ravaged by civil war, controlled by warlords with varying degrees of psychopathy,and ultimately riddled with befuddling amounts of disease, filth, poverty, starvation, and outright ignorance to the simplest of things. I realize that conditions have improved in lot of places, but the whole damn continent just feels like one big, egregious human rights violation.

Beyond that I’ve never found African mysticism as interesting as say, that of the Japanese or Native Americans. I can definitely see a noble, honorable hero born form these depths, it’s just not something I find inherently interesting. I’m sure Marvel will make a fine (read: decent (read: watchable)) film, and I’ll probably see it at some point, but the MCU is getting a little too cluttered and dizzying and I find myself only truly gravitating towards the high points. (I will say that Guardians Vol. 2 was miles better than I expected.)

Anyway, why am I harping on and on about this? I don’t know. I’ve had to start and stop so many times…methinks I had some sort of segue in mind before I just kept going and going. What I was originally getting at was that with all the new Black Panther stuff on shelves, maybe Mattel’s website would give us some clues about what kind of new Character Cars we could expect. For a while there we were getting really steady 2-packs (Spider-Man, Guardians 2, Wonder Woman, and Justice League) but it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing any new Black Panther stuff just yet. Instead…

…It looks like we’re going to get a new off-shoot to the Character Car line not dissimilar to the All-Terrain Star Wars Character Cars (or whatever order those terms ought to go in). According to shop.mattel.com a few of these are already available in stores! They’re in 1:43 scale so they’re a bit bigger than usual and currently includes 4 characters: Black Panther, Iron Man, Hulk, & Spider-Man. All of them look pretty much like their “normal” Character Car counterparts except for Black Panther, who’s undergone a slightly more interesting revision.

I’m not really sure what these are for…except the “flipping”…the pictures show some kind of arm on the bottom that I guess locks in place and then rapidly disengages to flip the car. I’m not really into gimmicks like these, and if it weren’t for the “Character Car” label I probably wouldn’t bother, but we’ll see. If they do flip consistently I’ll be reasonably impressed – I just hope we get more redesigns if Hot Wheels chooses to continue with the line.

Here’s a few pics I snagged from Mattel’s site:

Black Panther

Black Panther

Spider-Man

Spider-Man

The Hulk

The Hulk

Iron Man

Iron Man


Battle Rollers

I’m still a little on the fence about these because they aren’t explicitly labeled as “character cars” like many of the other offshoots…and for good reason I suppose – they don’t have much do with the concept of a “character” at all. I only wanted to mention them because I saw them in the company of Character Cars.

Overall these have a heavy preschool feel to them – exaggerated, “cartoonized” versions of some well known characters riding in “ships” that evoke something more akin to bumper cars than galactic cruisers. These will probably be a hit with younger fans, but I question their long-term collectability so I’m just going over them quickly.

  • Luke w/ X-wing
  • Vader w/ Vader’s TIE
  • Boba Fett w/ Slave I
  • Rey w/ Millennium Falcon
  • Emperor w/ Imperial Shuttle
  • 2-pack with Rey and Exclusive TIE Pilot w/ Fighter
  • 2-pack with Vader and Exclusive Luke w/ X-wing (I’m not sure how this is supposed to be different than the single other than Luke’s holding a lightsaber…let the minutia begin!)

And a couple of pics for posterity:

Luke Battle Roller

Emperor Palpatine and Imperial Shttle


So as usual, what do you think of the new rollouts? Do you appreciate these branches or would you be happier if Hot Wheels just stuck to one thing – or at the very least didn’t conflate these new ideas wit the “Character Cars” line?

Even more new stuff is coming out soon: check it out!

Star Wars Movies I Can Reenact Using Character Cars

Now I realize that if we were to accurately reenact each film using Character Cars we’d have to literally fill a parking deck with the likes of Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes and Jedi Master Shaak Ti. No no, I’m not talking that specific. As much as I like the guy, we don’t need a Nien Nunb for a complete Return of the Jedi. Nor do we need a Sandtrooper to tell the tale of A New Hope. We don’t even really need the likes of Sebulba or Shmi for The Phantom Menace, though I’d go so far as to call these “bonus points” that would ultimately yield a better narrative.

  1. Episode IV: A New Hope
    • We’ve got pretty much every major character we need here: Luke, Han, Leia, Chewy, Obi-Wan, 3PO, R2, Vader, Stormtroopers, and that’s pretty much it. Bonus points include Greedo, Jawas, Tusken Raiders, and I guess Biggs. We can even account for the insertion of Jabba back in the mid-90’s. Give us a Wedge, Grand Moff Tarkin, and Owen & Beru (I know, crazy unlikely) and we’d be close to replicating the flick scene-by-scene. (I know I know, we’d have to write off Mos Eisley but that’s ok.)
  2. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    • No Lando.
  3. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
    • No Lando!
  4. Episode I: The Phantom Menace
    • No Qui-Gon, no Padme, no Jar Jar, no Nute Gunray. Other pluses would be a Young Anakin, Young Obi-Wan, Mace Windu.
  5. Episode II: Attack of the Clones
    • No Padme, no Count Dooku. Other pluses would be Young Obi-Wan, Mace, Yellow/Orange Clone Trooper, those 3 creatures in the arena just for the hell of it.
  6. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
    • No Padme, no Dooku, no Commander Cody (or Yellow/Orange Clone Trooper). Pluses would include Mace, maybe a “Human” (Chancellor/Senator) Palpatine (I think his first name is Sheev…?), a few other recognizable Jedi from the council such as Kit Fisto (to tie into the implementation of Order 66).
  7. Episode VII: The Force Awakens
    • It took some time, but we’ve got pretty much what we need for this one: Finn, Rey, Poe, BB-8, Han, and Chewy rounding out the protagonists, with Kylo, Phasma, First Order Troopers, Flame Troopers as the bad guys. Bonus points for Maz, Sidon, Snoke, Luke (Ep.8). The only thing really missing is an older Leia…and maybe a slot for the Riot Control Trooper. “TRAITOR!” He was pretty cool. And possibly General Hux, who’s in a Tarkin-esque position where it seems like he may possibly outrank Kylo (at the very least, he doesn’t seem to be a subordinate to Kylo).
  8. Rogue One (A Star Wars Story)
    • No Bodhi. That’s it. I would’ve even said it was doable without Saw, but now we have a Saw, still no Bodhi. C’mon Hot Wheels. Stash him away in some obscure playset, I don’t care, just give us the Bodhi. It’s not even that I really care about Bodhi, but we’ve got every other necessary figure from Rogue One! I mean who else could we even add? Jyn’s father? Mon Mothma? (She wouldn’t be the worst…tertiary character to turn into a car…) But damn. I need the team. Jyn, K2, Cassian, Chirrut, Baze, and Bodhi. Let us not forget that Bodhi’s actions are essentially the catalyst for everything that happens in Rogue One. We focus a lot on Jyn’s father placing the intentional design flaw in the Death Star (a fucking spectacular retcon by the way – maybe the best ever) but it’s easy to overlook the fact that Bodhi was an Imperial pilot who defected to the Rebellion and actually brought them news of these plans! My hero. I wouldn’t be so bent out of shape if we were gonna see the guy again, but I think it’s pretty unlikely. I mean maybe in 10 or 15 years someone will be scraping the proverbial barrel and try to prequel or interquel Rogue One, but let’s face it – Rogue One was a one-off, it was always gonna be a one-off, and Disney made it pretty damn clear by the end of it that it was unambiguously a one-off. Mon Mothma is basically the only person who can ever really appreciate who this team was and what they did, and I sort of like the fact that this rag-tag team gave their lives for an immensely greater good without even giving a damn if anyone knew who they were.
  9. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
    • I may need to rewatch Last Jedi again before coming to a definite conclusion, but I think between the inclusive first wave of character cars and the lack of new characters means we have everyone we need. Good guy-wise we’ve got Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, and Chewy returning, along with the addition of “Old Luke” and the all-new Rose. Kylo returns as does Snoke with a much more prominent role, not to mention Captain Phasma, the typical First Order Troopers and variations like the Executioner and Praetorians, and the unforgettable BB-9E. Again, I think an older “General Leia” car is in order and perhaps a General Hux since Kylo did little to represent the First Order’s military interests. But that’s it really. You could even leave out the Executioners and BB-9E. (I seriously expected some type of epic yet comedic showdown between BB-8 and BB-9E.)

And there we have it. I guess it would make sense that the newer films are more complete than the older ones, though it still bothers me that we get a slightly darker Chewbacca or hell even someone like Bossk or Ackbar and yet we are missing massive staples like Lando and Padme. Don’t get it twisted: I don’t want Hot Wheels to sift through the Prequel Trilogy (or even the Original Trilogy) and unearth each and every “Sidon Ithano” to make a character car out of, but it’s just ludicrous that some of the series’ biggest heavyweights have still been ignored after 3 or 4 years of steady releases (and re-releases for that matter).

I’m aware that I haven’t mentioned either of the canonical animated TV shows…I don’t watch them so I know next to nothing about them. From what I understand though, Rebels has been fairly well represented over time while The Clone Wars has basically been ignored up until the new Ahsoka Tano car. Being that these are TV shows I’m sure they deal with lots of one-off characters so I guess I can understand why we’ve only really been given a single villain (The Inquisitor).

I was gonna go ahead and wrap this up but you know what I’d really like to see!? I’d like to see Disney get off their butts and re-canonize Shadows of the Empire. What a great story. Hell, just give me a Prince Xizor car and I’ll be happy. Honest!

Alright I guess that’ll do it for me for now…don’t wanna get too crazy over Shadows (although I think it’s fucking stupid of Disney to discount it!)….maybe we’ll do a more thorough rundown another time. I know I’ve got like half a dozen other vaguely time sensitive things I need to be writing about instead but I had to take a little “fun break.” For a while now I’ve toyed with the idea of doing some sort of crude, stop-motion recreation of one or two films using the Character Cars as well as either the Carships or Starships. So I took the opportunity to “officially” take stock of who’s available and who needs to be available… I hope it was at least an interesting read.

Stay tuned because I’m gonna try to work on a few more pieces today, including the 2017 Holiday Hot Rods, a couple of strange new offshoots from the “Character Car” line, some shit about Batman, some Spidey cars, this other article I should’ve finished a hella long time ago, some LEGO stuff, some Milano stuff, oh man. Just stick with me! I’ma tryin’!

Possible BLUE Wonder Woman Variant?

Sometimes browsing rather vague and broad terms on Google Images can lead to new and exciting discoveries. I’m not sure what I was searching for when I found this – in fact I had a problem re-finding it when I wanted to find it and save the pic – but it’s a curiosity that I’d love to have an answer to.

Now I know that colors, graphics, and even the luster of the finish can vary on diecast vehicles between the time promo and/or packaging photos are taken and when the product is released. Take the Star-Lord re-release for Guardians Vol. 2: if you look at all the artwork (at least I’m pretty sure it’s all art) the main body is primarily blue instead of gray/silver as with the release coinciding with the first Guardians film. However, every single Vol. 2 Star-Lord I’ve seen, be it in stores or online, has had the same silver/gray body despite the blue artwork.

Star-Lord

Here’s what Star-Lord looks like, both with the release of the first film and the sequel.

"Blue" Star-Lord Art

And here is the “blue version” of Star-Lord that accompanies every Vol. 2 release.

There’s also another good example with the Ares vehicle. Early promo shots on Target’s website showed a yellow-ish section that ended up being a sort of translucent brown on most of the final products. Lo and behold, I finally located one of these “yellow variants” on a shelf one day, right their amid “typical” versions of the car.

Ares - 2 Versions

Look above the rear wheel (the cars are placed hood-to-hood) and notice that big yellow piece on the left Ares. The same area on the right Ares is much more subdued – it’s a damn different color of paint!

So where does this discrepancy come from? I’m sure anyone who’s worked in a toy factory can give us a quick and easy explanation. I do think it’s interesting that this isn’t a one-off error. First of all we have the ol’ Target pic (which was of an Ares single) and then the one I found, which was part of the 2-pack with Wonder Woman.

So yeah, we know glitches happen, we know things change, life goes on. So this is probably nothing, but I wanted to put it out there anyway, because if this thing exists, I want it!

Wonder Woman has seen a ton of variations over her life as a Character Car. Initially she was portrayed somewhat “cartoony,” with bright red and blue and a nice big clear area representative of her invisible jet. Then we saw the DC Super Hero Girls version; same shape, same general color scheme, except the completely clear area was now a clear red. Next came the belated BvS version with a new design, mostly red with gold accents, and a gray trunk area. Then came the Wonder Woman version with as shineir paint job and black in lieu of gray. There was also an exclusive Wonder Woman released as part of a 2-pack with Ares, where she’s dressed in white much like the other women on Themyscira. (I wish they’d just call the “white version” Hippolyta or something.) Most recently we’ve seen the “Justice League Version,” which is exactly the same version we saw following the Batman v Superman version (gray rear, matte finish).

But then I stumbled across this picture. And I can’t find out anything about it, though it kinda looks like it’s being displayed at a convention or toy fair or something of that ilk. Just take a look at it for a moment.

Blue Wonder Woman

Now doesn’t that rear portion appear to be colored a deep, dark blue? I guess it’s a little tough to tell because of the angle of the light, however this car definitely has a lustrous finish, not the matte finish that the retail version of Justice League Wonder Woman was eventually given. You can tell that this is a photo of some kind of display though. The car is on a platform and then covered in a plastic box, and it looks like the box’s upper edge is riveted to something resembling a backing card.

I like this car. I want this car! Anyone know where it came from? I would assume it was event promoting the Justice League cars some few months in advance of the film. Are there any other pictures of other cars from this event? So many questions! I can’t seem to find and reference to or mention of this anywhere!

If you know anything at all about this piece please please please fill me in!!!

Remaining STAR WARS Character Cars Now Available! (Wampa, IG-88, Saw, Ahsoka)

Well, it looks like by some means or another, all of the remaining known Star Wars Character Cars are now available! Recently images of IG-88 and Wampa appeared over at shop.mattel.com and images of carded Ahsoka Tano and Saw Gerrera were appearing on a couple of sites also.

At first I could only find IG-88 and Wampa up on eBay, but as of a couple of days ago I spotted all 4 up for sale, albeit at relatively high prices. With the 4 of these out, only one thing is left on the recent-ish Star Wars pamphlet: the Imperial Shuttle (or Tydirium as us older fans might call it) carship. Once we have that, the Star Wars pamphlet will be complete! And as we all know, the Justice League releases finished off the DCU insert, and Ragnarok wrapped up Marvel’s upcoming roster. We’re about to plunge into unknown territory again!

So far I’ve been lucky enough to find the Wampa along with other “new” stuff like a Luke (Ep. VIII Version) single. (He’s been available since Force Friday II, but only alongside Rey, Jedi Training in a 2-pack.)

Here’s a shot of the Wampa and Luke that I picked up. The others are screencapped.

Wampa and Luke Character Cars

IG-88 Character Car

Ahsoka Tano Character Car
Saw Gerrera Character Car

So what do you think of these last few? It looks like we might being going into Star Wars hibernation a little early this year, just judging from how flooded the shelves were throughout Force Awakens and Rogue One. From what I can tell, the new cars are great. I love that the Wampa looks like a distant cousin of the Rancor. IG-88 seems to be matched to the bounty hunter well, with its slender, tubular, spindly appearance. I don’t know much about Ahsoka but I’m diggin’ the colors, and then Saw brings up the rear in what looks to be some kinda tank contraption that looks like it’s ready to kill fucking everything!

New STAR WARS Character Cars: Rose, Scout Trooper, All-Terrain Kylo Ren, & All-Terrain Rey

I first noticed Rose and the Scout Trooper a couple weeks back in a single location, but since then they seemed to have proliferated…somewhat. It appears as though Targets and Walmarts are getting different cases. Lots of Targets have 2 Roses on hand along with many others that we’ve already seen, whereas Walmart seems to getting a case including 2 Rose, one Scout Trooper, Jango, Yoda, Flametrooper, Boba, and maybe a Rey? That’s just an approximation, but I don’t think it’s too far off from what’s happening around these parts.

Rose and Scout Trooper Character Cars

Rose Character CarRose is a fairly generic looking car, and I’m assuming this is why they waited until the week or so directly before the premiere to release her – she’d be too unrecognizable for kids and casual fans. I haven’t seen the film yet so I’ll reserve judgement. Overall the car is kinda dainty and the paint job is kinda screaming generic. But that’s ok. No hate on being normal, and props to Hot Wheels for giving us something very mundane in order to maintain the integrity of the story.

“Despie not being on the frontlines, this tenacious off-road buggy serves an integral part in the fight against the First Order. As a member of the Starfighter support crew, Rose’s laser-like focus makes her the ultimate asset to the team. This tough and self-reliant vehicle knows no bounds and can easily handle whatever off-road terrain comes her way.”

“Outfitted in the signature support crew suit, Rose’s accessories can be found along the sides, front and rear of the vehicle’s body. After spending her childhood dreaming of the day she can take on the First Order, the time has finally come!

Scout Trooper Character Car

And again, the Scout Trooper is about what you’d expect! It’s essentially a buggy-like vehicle fashioned out of the Scout Trooper’s helmet. However, I think it’s one of the better looking Stormtrooper-derivative Character Cars thus far. My favorite detail is the small holster on the side where the trooper’s tiny blaster rests. My kid and I have this thing that whenever a “soldier-y” car comes out we try to get 4 of them. We wanted multiples to give staged scenes some oomph.; 2 seemed like too few to make a statement and 3 seemed like it’d cause problems with odd numbers and all. We’ve done good though. I think we have 4 of all of ’em: Stormtroopers, Damaged Stormtroopers, First Order Stormtroopers, Death Troopers, Damaged Death Troopers, Flametroopers, Damaged Flametroopers, Battle Droids, 501st Clones, Shock Clones, Praetorian Guards, Imperial Guards, Tusken Raiders, Jawas…and I think that’s it! Note that we did not get 4 “Ewoks” because officially the car is labeled as Wicket and just “an Ewok.” We only have 2 Gamorrean Guards, and this because I couldn’t justify buying 4 tracksets just to tear the car out…I did buy 2 though…what would the world be without <strongLat least 2 Gamorreans! Finally, I bought 4 of the First Order Executioners. According to the back, it wasn’t clear if the “Executioners” were a specific MP-type unit of Stormtroopers or just a single trooper with a highly specialized job? Do’t tell me! I’ll be seeing it for myself relatively soon. As for the Scout Trooper, well, currently I only have 2. But I’m staying optimistic.

“Like a Scout Trooper patrolling the forests of Endor, this high-performance hot rod turns with the amazing agility of a 74-Z Speeder Bike.”

“This mean machine’s amped-up design replicates the scout’s helmet and armor – with an aggressive raked stance, air inlets for the powerful engine, and blaster pistol on the side. Designed for superior stealth and mobility, this Imperial fighter is ready to race for a showdown!”

All-Terrain - Kylo and Rey

Right on the heels of these 2 – maybe a week later – 2 new All-Terrain Character Cars showed up on shelves. Both of these are big and bulky like their predecessors and with “real working suspension!”

Kylo Ren’s vehicle takes on a militaristic look. It’s kinda like a battering ram on wheels. The design makes good use of Kylo’s face “plate” and I dig the rear-facing lightsabers along the sides.

All-Terrain Character Car - Kylo Ren

Rey is a little less interesting. Despite the new film, All-Terrain Rey is pretty much just the classic Force Awakens Rey beefed up and stuck on some big ass tires. I really, really have to question it’s inclusion…it’s not so old as to be classic, so it ends up feeling straight-up outdated. I will say that I appreciate the good to bad ratio so far though, I just hope Hot Wheels gets a little more creative and inventive with this line if they plan to keep up with it.

All-Terrain Character Car - Rey

It looks like we do have a few new interesting things on the horizon though…stay tuned!