Tag: Hot Wheels Character Cars

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

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

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

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

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

BIG ASS STAR WARS CARS!!!

All Terrain Character Cars

BB-8 and Stormtrooper

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Get ready for endless fun that knows no bounds!


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

All Terrain Character Cars

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

DOOMSDAY and SWAMP THING – Brand New DCU Character Cars!

Whoop whoop whoop!

Doomsday and Swamp Thing

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

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

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

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…

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!

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!