UPDATE: I got all kinds of messed up with regards to the Superman vehicle I talk about here. Be sure to read my correction after finishing this article!
It was just several hours ago that I found DCU Character Cars with new “Justice League” packaging and that we got an “official” glimpse of a new Batman Character Car. Welp, we can all count on adding one more to the collection! Not long after spotting Cyborg and Aquaman in the new Justice League packaging, I ran across Superman, Wonder Woman, and you guessed it, a brand new Batman!
I absolutely love the look of the new Batman, what else can I say? It’s sleek, sporty, and stealthy, and it really begins to hit some sweet spot between “Batman-as-a-car” and a bona fide Batmobile. In fact, this is easily the best Batman Character Car we’ve been treated to. Although I love the first one from way back, it feels more like a straight up comic book interpretation and lacks a little of Batman’s grime and grit. We’d then see 4 versions of the Batman Hot Rod (yes 4) and I’m sorry but a car shaped like Batman’s cowl just ain’t enough to impress me. …And then we got Armored Batman, which, while not a travesty, certainly wasn’t Hot Wheels’ most inspired moment. These things were just beginning to pop up everywhere back when I was getting serious about collecting Character Cars and no lie – it took weeks of glossing over this guy before realizing it was actually supposed to be a damn character!
So yeah, I’m pretty damn psyched about owning this guy. I’ve already ordered mine from one of those 3 or 4 guys (or girls) on eBay who stays on top of these newcomers. Hopefully I’ll have it in my hands by the end of the week. Oh oh – and judging from a couple of the photos on eBay, it looks like the new DCU releases are being packaged with a pamphlet as well, just like they did with Marvel, so we can get a better look at what the future holds! Note that Flash is noticeably absent from all this new Justice League packaging even though a “movie Flash” seems to be imminent…
If you’ve otherwise kept up with character car releases, you shouldn’t need to worry about Superman or Wonder Woman. (Or Aquaman or Cyborg, as I mention in the previous entry.) This “new” Justice League Superman car appears to be identical to the first version of the Man of Steel character car. Hot Wheels has been tricky with these Man of Steel releases (and still, I promise, we are going to dig into all this bullshit minutia someday soon-ish!) and has produced 2 different versions that I’m aware of. (And don’t forget that these are different from the proper Superman character car of years past.)
The main difference and the easiest to spot is the color of the wheels: one has gray wheels, the other has blue. Also, the blue paint on the body is darker on the blue-wheel version, and the small graphic details in the blue paint are different between the two. Now it’d be easy if Hot Wheels just did Gray Wheel for a while and then switched gears to Blue Wheel….but that’s not the case. The first Man of Steel cars were Gray Wheel. Then, when Batman v Superman was released, a new BvS card was used and the Blue Wheel was introduced. There are also 2-packs of Armored Batman and Man of Steel featuring the BvS packaging and Blue Wheels. Now remember back to all those re-releases (and new cars) that flooded the market around the new year? This was when the packaging actually started sporting the words “Character Cars” and Hot Wheels re-released the Batman Hot Rod, Superman, Armored Batman, and Man of Steel. This time they flipped back to Gray Wheels, and I guess that’s what we’re sticking with – I supposed it’s probably best to think of Gray Wheels as “original” Man of Steel and Blue Wheels as BvS Man of Steel.
As mildly confusing as this possibly is, it kinda looks like they’ve done the damn opposite with Wonder Woman! The “new” Justice League Wonder Woman has a gray-ish back end like the Batman v Superman-branded release instead of the black back end featured in the newer Wonder Woman (the 2017 film) packaging.
Bleh! That was a fucking mouthful. And again keep in mind that I don’t yet own these, so if you spot something, let me know!