I got 2 new packages in the mail yesterday – regrettably one of them was not the Skyward Sword Link amiibo – but they were a couple of items I’d spotted Sunday night perusing eBay, so kudos to these fellas for getting these in the mail and over to me quickly! (Back when I started this, like Tuesday…)
You know the Hot Wheels boxes with the “Mystery Models” in them? I did a piece on one not too long ago, a Gold Tumbler. And you know, as proud as I was to find one, and then two, and then 5, and then a few more to stockpile for some easy $5 sales on eBay over time, these boxes began to appear everywhere. There’d be 3 or 4 down with the hanging Hot Wheels, and then I’d glance up at the top shelf used partially for storage and notice anywhere from 4 to 10 more boxes! That’s a lot of Gold Tumblers. So when I saw this brand new Gold Arkham Asylum Batmobile as the new Mystery Model, my mind immediately began thinking about just how long it’d take all those Tumbler boxes to clear out. Thinking about all those boxes and simultaneously finding a new Batmobile for less than $5 with shipping included, I decided to go ahead and snag one of ’em off eBay rather than holding out for a release in my area.
And the good news is that if I do happen to stumble across half a dozen of these tomorrow, well, I can easily sell ’em. The Arkham Asylum Batmobile isn’t terribly common in the world of Hot Wheels, so I was glad to add this golden one to my collection alongside my recent acquisition of the red-windowed one from the latest Batman 5-pack.
It’s funny how many different versions of “gold” there are. Somehow they’ve given the Arkham Asylum Batmobile its own special finish, a worthy step up from the strange “yellow” of the Tumbler. Just for comparison, I’ve thrown in a couple of of other cars with gold and metal-flake; the Gas Monkey and Evil Twin. Then there’s the outright mirror finish that can be seen on stuff like Super Chromes – the golden Millennium Falcon.
Cue some majestic, triumphant music. Something with trumpets and those bassy tribal-like drums. Cymbals crashing like waves. Some mysterious, suspenseful chimes, leading into an unmistakably glorious melody brought about by a crescendo of tubular bells and some choral “oohs and aahhs.” The release comes and brass gives way to the string section as reality sets in and soothes us after the initial orgiastic expression….
Yeah that’s right.
Black Batman Hot Rod with the Gold Base
If you did not totally nerd the fuck out with me just then I strongly recommend brushing up on you Character Car-ography, specifically the “vintage” DC sub-area.
Lemme back that shit up for ya’ll no-hip-hoppers. Ok that’s a line from a Missy song but if we could replace “hip-hoppers” with something relevant it would’ve totally worked.
To the best of my knowledge, the DCU series of Character Cars kicked off in 2012 with those packages with the little blue border. Most of these have been re-released, and those that haven’t are evidently common enough to find but will occasionally cost a little more than their counterparts – the original Wonder Woman and Bane come to mind. The older Catwoman and the first Superman probably ought to be in this batch, because the first edition of Superman was painted with metalflake which was absent from subsequent releases and the older Catwoman is noticeably more purple and less pink/red than the newer, magenta/rose version. I fully intend on going into detail about all this minutia one day. And just in case you were wondering there’s been a total of 3 releases: the oldest blue border, followed by the black border, and then the newest ones with the words “Character Cars” on the blister insert, debuting early 2017, possibly late 2016, I’m not 100% sure when they kicked in.
Anyway, 2014 saw the first DC 5-pack, labeled as the Justice League, but it strangely didn’t include any exclusives. In 2015 another Justice League 5-pack was released, recognizable by its black packaging. This pack would (does?) include what is probably the most difficult and most costly DC Character Car to acquire. It’s the same shape as the Batman Hot Rod, only the body is colored black and the frame/chassis is gold. It may not seem like a big deal – and it really isn’t – it’s just that this is only way to procure this particular “configuration” of colors when it comes to the Batman Hot Rod. Note that additionally, Hot Wheels made a “regular” Batman Character Car some time ago, until the blue Batman Hot Rod became the preferred single. A few months ago, a black Batman Hot Rod was released as an exclusive with a Batcave trackset…I wrote an article on the topic, and you can watch me get excited about owning the Black Batman Hot Rod, until I realize – while adding in the pictures that very night – that this new black version had a silver chassis and the coveted old one sported a gold chassis. Yeah, it burst my bubble a little, but at the same time I can appreciate Hot Wheels’ integrity regarding their label of exclusive: both the original black-&-gold remained exclusive while the new black-&-silver could rightly be called exclusive as well.
So like, what, half of you are still rolling your eyes about why I’m nerd-gasming all over the place about it. You might’ve even noticed that a lot of times these 5-packs are available on eBay for significantly cheaper. Not this one. Out of the 3 existing DC/Batman 5-packs, 4 Marvel 5-packs (and one 4-pack), and 4 Star Wars 5-packs, this one labeled “Justice League” with the black background will nearly always be priced at a jaw-dropping amount. They steadily appear on eBay for $100+, and there’s a guy over on Amazon who periodically sells “near mint” packages for $70 to $80 and “package will be damaged” for $60 to $70. It’s weird…it’s always the same guy, he seems to have a few for sale for a while, then they’ll disappear, and then a week, 2 weeks, maybe even a month later he’ll pop up with “near mint” and “acceptable” versions once again, +/- $5.
I’d long considered emailing the guy to make sure that the cars within the damaged packages were in good shape but I never quite brought myself to pull the trigger. I can probably make a little bit of money back on the loose Wonder Woman, but the other 3 are very common and I’d be lucky to get $3 or $4 for them loose.
Not surprisingly, these things aren’t all that common on eBay, though it seems like there’s always one for same at the $100+ mark. I scrolled back through sold versions sometimes and would see auctions top out around $50, maybe $40. I took a look just now and found nothing though I’m sortta confused because I know I saw one up the other day for something like $86. The one I purchased isn’t showing up in search results because get this (I just caught it) – the listing reads “Justice Leagure.”
Alright alright, to begin winding this rather long story down I’ll go ahead and get down to brass tacks – I got my very own 5-pack with moderate wear and tear to the packaging for $40.99 plus another $5 for shipping. Great? Probably not. Good? Definitely. Better deals than this will probably roll through, but then again this is a coveted set that will only gain more value through time…that is unless or until Hot Wheels releases a Batman Hot Rod with these colors…
(If you don’t believe me, check out the very first Star Wars 5-pack which included a Battle Damaged Stormtrooper. This thing was at least $35 all day long…and then that 2-pack with the Battle Damaged Death Trooper and Battle Damaged Stormtrooper 2-pack and snap, it dropped down to $15 or $16 practically overnight.)
Of course other DCU character cars will come and go, but the acquisition of this Black Batman Hot Rod with Gold Frame is a milestone of its own; not only do I have it, but it also brings me up to speed with the DCU collection. So far, I’ve got all the DC Character Cars that have been released! Now we can look forward to newcomers like that cool Batman car, Swamp Thing, “movie” Flash, and Doomsday!
I’ve got some more Batman stuff to show you, but first, lets take a few minutes to dig into the world of the DC Super Hero Girls and all that’s been happening on that front. Stick around – or at the very least check back once a day – as I bring you a whole buncha stuff from the pinker end of the toy section!