Tag: hot wheels dc

ALERT ALERT! Very Weird Ares Discrepancy…Someone HELP!

This wasn’t exactly what I thought I’d be writing about at the moment, but I think it’s pretty damn important and I want to go ahead and get it all out on the table. I’ma try to bang this out quick, so stick with me.

I was absent-mindedly doing some searching on Google Images for possible upcoming character cars when I ran across something really strange: a picture of what appears to be Ares as a single from Target’s website.

Ares

Do you see what I see? Look at the rear quarter panel: it’s a vibrant amber color.

Now this don’t mean shit (necessarily) because Target posts pics of stuff way before release. Just recently we’ve been seeing singles of Ares over on eBay, but as we’d expect, they all look like this:

And that is what they should look like…right? Well of course. We were introduced to Ares a few weeks prior thanks to his debut in a Wonder Woman 2-pack. Typically speaking, and especially lately – though there have certainly been exceptions – 2-packs are designed to include one exclusive and the another car that can be picked up as a single.

On the Wonder Woman 2-pack, we’re clearly told that Wonder Woman is the exclusive. That, in turn, implies that Ares will be available in this same form as a single, at some point. And that’s pretty much what’s happened so far, right? The 2-pack was released, followed by an Ares single, and this single appears to be the same as that in the 2-pack.

All of that makes perfect sense…until Target’s weird ass site went and posted what they posted.

Is this just another one of those random things where small changes are made for seemingly no reason? If so, why are some Ares singles “normal” and other affected by this strange new piece of a paint job? Is it just a fucked up photo…? If you look at the other pics with the car by itself, it appears normal. The yellow-ish piece only appears on the packaged vehicle. Trick of the light? Maybe. But if you visit the actual page on Target’s website and use the zoom feature, it really doesn’t look like we’re seeing an optical illusion.

Man, let me know if you know anything about this thing. It’s weird to be sure. Definitely reach out to me should you see one of these variants for sale! Otherwise, anybody got any best guesses as to what the hell is going on?

DC Doomsday Character Car Revealed!

Alright, this’ll be quick but I wanted to go ahead and get it out there…

Big thanks to C. for finding this over at Target’s website. Occasionally posting items way way way ahead of their release date seems to be a somewhat common occurrence over at Target.com, so take the whole, “this shit ain’t neva gonna be available to you” assertions with a grain of salt:

Doomsday

Neat huh? Here’s the official link if you’re interested. Overall I think Doomsday will be a wonderfully badass entry in the series. Until then…

New and Upcoming Character Cars – MARVEL & DC

With a swath of new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cars coming out in various forms and availability, it may be a little shocking to know that Hot Wheels is already getting its feet wet with Marvel’s next film, Spider-man: Homecoming. We’ve got a brand new Spider-man Character Car currently available, as well as a slightly recolored version of Iron Man, in the newer Mark XLVI shape. Both of these come in their own “Spider-man: Homecoming” packaging, though neither of the backs offer any further insight. (Collectively, I think the backs include Punisher, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and maybe Green Goblin – regardless, no further “Homecoming” editions.)

Spidey: Homecoming
Iron Man: Homecoming

I screen-capped these from a guy on eBay, burningrubbertoycompany, the first vendor to show up with them. I’d highly recommend him/her for those of you on a quest for new character cars. The cars are almost always very fairly priced, and while the shipping may be a little high, he/she ships Priority 2-day so it gets to you quick.

Spidey: Homecoming
Iron Man: Homecoming

Doctor Octopus and Rhino have been re-released in new unnumbered “Character Car” packaging as well, a welcome development for those who missed out on Doc Ock’s oddly narrow window of availability a few months ago.

This is all we know so far – I think we all pretty much expected a new Spidey, but the inclusion of yet another Iron Man is underwhelming. Cross your damn fingers that Hot Wheels graces us with a Vulture and Shocker car in due time!

Ares - Single

On the DC front, Ares is now available singly. Judging from the picture, it’s the same as the car from the Wonder Woman vs. Ares 2-pack; plus, the Wonder Woman car was touted as the exclusive. I haven’t caught sight of the back of the Ares card yet, so no word on if anyone else new is on the horizon. I’m hoping for another car or two under the Wonder Woman banner, maybe Hippolyta and Steve Trevor cars, though I could also see how Hot Wheels may not deem them all that marketable. However, I think it’s important to note that they really branched out with Ares, because he’s the first and so far only non-Batman-centric villain in the DCU line!

And finally, we’ve got some very cool news courtesy of a reader and fellow character car aficionado. It looks like at some point this year DC has a few new characters slated for release: “Movie Version” Flash, Doomsday, and one I’m really excited about…SWAMP THING! Also, the cryptic “Justice League 2” is These might be a bit further out (July and August), but there is the possibility of a new Batman as early as June. The case is set to include a “Batman” and not necessarily the Armored Batman and Hot Rod Batman which have become so common. It’s possible that it could be a re-release of the plain ol’ Batman character car from way back, but our reader also provided me with a convincing picture as to what this new Batman might look like. With many of the characters getting updates, we think there’s a good chance that the Batman below is what we’ll be seeing shortly.

New Batman

There he is, all the way on the right…oddly enough not on the small clear platform. The rest of them have already been released, most recently the newest Wonder Woman.

New Batman

Man, I am hung up on that car. It actually looks like a cross between a character car and a modern sort of Batmobile without all the military tech.

Update: As I was putting the finishing touches on this piece, our well-informed reader from before dropped another fun tidbit my way. It looks like a Malaysian seller has put up an auction for an unspun prototype of Swamp Thing. How cool is that?! I mean, I’ve got no intention of buying the thing but it’s cool to get such an advanced look. I’ve got a couple of pics posted below, including the “proof” whereby SWAMP THING is printed on the chassis.

Swamp Thing Prototype
Swamp Thing Prototype

Not sure this is how I would’ve pictured Swamp Thing…I guess I was thinking of something more Groot-like…but I’m sure it’ll look better with some color!

If you wanna check out more pics or if you’re thinking about grabbing this for yourself, check out the official listing.

Thaz all I gots for now! I know I shoulda gotten this up like 2 days ago, but damn, this shit just takes me longer than I ever think it will! When I know more, so will you…and if you know more, tell me dammit! Shout out and big thanks to C. for his info on the DC front!

Fun Finds

I went out yesterday a few days ago (and then again on Sunday) intending to hit up maybe 3 stores, but when 5 o’clock started rearing its head, I decided to stay out in the city and hit up a few more stops rather than inching my way home in rush hour traffic. As usual, some stops were a total bust while others were a total surprise. You’ll probably see me go on about some of these items or groups a little more in depth later on, but for now, here a few quick pics and a general rundown of Friday’s “exciting” moments.

I should probably point out that this probably wasn’t 100% by accident. A lot of retailers restock – especially toys – late Thursday night or Friday to account for Saturdays and Sundays. Now I don’t have the stocking habits of all my surrounding stores down to a science, but Friday afternoons and evenings can be a sweet time for hitting miniature jackpots. Not all stores restock all items every week…for example, this Friday a Walmart might get in a few cases of Star Wars Character Cars but no Marvel. Next Friday, we might see the exact opposite and so on.

Walmart – Wake Forest

This is pretty much my go-to store. It’s close, it’s open all night, and they typically keep up with Hot Wheels pretty good. I’m probably not the only collector who hits it up regularly, because they often run out their neatest stuff by the end of the weekend. They didn’t have any new or exciting Character Cars, but they did have the Women of Marvel Pop Culture set! I’m not necessarily a die-hard fan of the Pop Culture sets – for instance I passed on the recent Beatles release and I totally skipped over all those Batmans and Supermans that filled shelves for a while. I kinda dug the theme though, so I picked up all 5.

The card backs are absolutely beautiful and it kinda makes me not want to open them. I am sortta confused why they went with van-like vehicles for the females though…Quick D-Livery and Combat Medic are a bit overused in my opinion. Hell, I think I have a Black Widow Combat Medic from the set that was out last spring/summer! I’m also a little bittersweet about the tribute to Scarlet Witch, mostly because I spent last summer and fall fucking convinced that she would be made into a character car any day…especially after Black Panther, Vision, and Winter Solider dropped, not to mention the Civil War-branded editions of Ant Man, Iron Man, Captain American, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. We had 12 main players in Civil War – 6 per team – and we have Character Cars of all of them sans Scarlet Witch. What the fuck!? She even had a more important part in the story than most, like actually being a member of the new iteration of The Avengers, unlike several characters who’s appearance was just a notch up from “cameo” (Spider-Man, Ant-Man, War Machine, etc.). I’m still pretty fucking pissed about the issue.

Anyway, let’s take a look at the gals and move along, before it takes me 3 days to write this.

  • Black WidowBread Box
  • Scarlet WitchCombat Medic
  • She-Hulk – Custom ’77 Dodge Van
  • Spider-WomanQuick D-Livery
  • Wasp – Volkswagen T1 Panel

Women of Marvel

K-mart – Raleigh (Six Forks)

K-marts can be weird places sometimes. Sometimes I can walk into one and feel like I’m back in 1990. I’m not sure if this was a nationwide occurrence or just a regional alteration, but it doesn’t help that they’ve whittled away their electronics sections down to almost nothing, removing video games and most higher-end devices in favor of budget-conscious appliances courtesy of Sears. A trip to K-mart used to be the bright spot of a kid’s day. You could grab a slice of Little Caesar’s and feel like a king eating it in that little dine-in area, grab an ICEE to wash it down with, find a contemporary toy in that $5 to $15 range to be perfectly satisfied with, and mom or dad could even milk a little something out of the trip by picking up a pack of Spider-Man briefs or some Batman sneakers that you were in such desperate need of at that age of wear and tear and growth.

Nowadays, K-marts are repositories for unwanted and outdated toys, not to mention the surplus of budget-friendly no-name break-in-a-heartbeat plastic masquerading as toys. The air is somehow yellow and…sad. Walmart employees may be unhelpful and tactless idiots, but the ones at K-mart just feel like hollow shells. Rows and rows of untouched merchandise gather dust within this time warp, and you instantly begin to realize why – a $5 towel is $2 at Walmart…a $4 greeting card is $1.50…a $10 candle is $4…it’s dollars and “sense.” It’s still a little sad though..remember Roses? K-mart is going that same direction, albeit a bit slower.

What’s so damn weird is that somehow they end up restocking with rare, interesting, and worthwhile stuff. For example, I’ve only ever seen 2 Sabin Wren Character Cars in the wild, and they were both at this K-mart. When the Carships line began, this was the first place to have ’em, beating out mainstream competitors by a week or so in the area. It was also a good place to pick up Super Mario Character Cars after their heyday had passed in order for me to flip ’em on eBay. And I swear they still get some regular mainline Hot Wheels in exclusive colors.

Anyway, before I prattle on too long (I ramble like this IRL as well, though most of the time my audience either thinks it’s entertaining or I’m able to read the room enough to know when to move on…I think there’s some borderline Asperger’s somewhere in there), the point of including this stop was to talk about this random pile of Hot Wheels Star Wars Starships K-mart had lying around. They weren’t on a shelf or neatly laid out or in any discernible order. I probably should mention that around the time Force Awakens merch became ubiquitous in retail, K-mart had this big island thingy devoted to it that was all nice and orderly. By the time Rogue One merch was in full swing, the island had shrunk a bit, but it still had distinct sections and remained relatively orderly. As the Rogue One scene began winding down, this area devolved into a heap of plastic lightsabers, so many K-mart-exclusive Black Series figures that it was almost pathetic, and a few little cars and ships on hangers. Well, last Friday, there was no Star Wars island. I don’t even know where the rest of that shit went, but apparently they took all the car-sized stuff and just dumped it under the regular Hot Wheels section.

The cool part is what I actually found though: a freakin’ N-1 Starfighter (I stumbled across 1 at the mall and my kid found another when he was out with my mom one day), a damn Vulture Droid (never seen these as a single – only in those giant packs at Target where I already have everything else), and wouldn’t you know it – TWO Imperial Cargo Shuttles – you know, the thing that the Rebels commandeered in Rogue One. They actually took off in one for the final mission and control was all like, “you can’t drive that shit” and Bodhi was like, “we Rogue One muthafucka!!!!” and they all took off Suicide Squad style.

New Starships

Maybe you’re not as impressed as I am, but that’s ok. The Cargo Shuttle was a big “whoa” because I’ve only seen that on the web. Still no word on the Hovertank though. Does anyone have any idea why some of these Starships were produced in such limited quantities? I mean its easier now (well maybe not since some stores are clearing stock, but in general) to grab stuff like the TIE Striker and the AT-ST and so on, but these new Starships have remained crazy elusive, and all most people get to see is dozens of Ghosts, various forms of TIE Fighters, Kylo’s Shuttle, etc. And you can tell the older ones – like N-1 and Vulture Droid – were re-released because the ones I just bought feature the flat base, which replaced the little finger-flight-navigator stand. I’m still missing 2 different versions of the Jedi Starfighter, Jabba’s Sail Barge or Khetanna as it’s now known, Jango’s “version” of the Slave I, the TIE Interceptor, and the Hovertank if and when it ever manifests. There are also some I already have that I’d like to have more of though, like I wouldn’t mind having a total of 4 ARC Fighters and 4 Vulture Droids.

I’m on the fence about keeping the second Imperial Cargo Shuttle. I mean I know I could make probably at least 5 or 6 times what I paid for it, but I’d really like to get in the midst of a trading community and use this stuff to get other stuff without all that money in between!

Holy shit, speaking of money I almost forgot the best part! When I got the register, the Starships weren’t ringing up right. Now Starships are usually $4.99; maybe Walmart has ’em at $3.99 occasionally, and honestly I wouldn’t have been shocked if they were $5.99 at K-mart. Anyway, the lady asked me if I knew how much they were, so I said, “$4.99” and she punched shit in or whatever. She told me my total but I already had my card in the machine and honestly didn’t pay much attention. I’d picked up a couple of Hot Wheels too, and as I walked out did some quick math – should be something like $23 – but I know she didn’t say that… I look down at the receipt and I’d spent a whopping $9.64! She got the 3 Hot Wheels alright, but then she rang up the Starships as an even $2.00 each, and then only rang up 3 of them! Schweet!

Walmart – Brier Creek

This one isn’t quite as personally exciting as the rest, but I did want to mention it since it’s the first time I’ve seen these in a store. Looks like these guys were the first in the area to get a hold of the very newest DC Character Cars – I spotted The Riddler, Harley Quinn (the “regular” Harley based on her comic book appearance), and Wonder Woman, the version with the Wonder Woman film logo on the card. Still no single Ares, though this shouldn’t be any different that what we got in the 2-pack recently.

New DC

If you are interested in turning a profit, take this advice for the next day or two – possibly the next week or two depending on how fast this assortment travels. Get that Harley car. Get as many as you can. Don’t take less than $20 for it and if someone is willing to go up to $35 go ahead and sell it and don’t push it further. Remember, this is good advice right now. As soon as these things break that supply/demand threshold, it’s hard to predict what will happen. I mean right now there are so many Character Cars coming out and a single store simply will not have all or even most of what’s out there. It’s a weird marketing strategy. What it leads to is some cars saturating the market – like Scarif Stormtrooper or that new Aquaman – and you’ll be lucky to sell it for $6, or it appears, drops it value, and then disappears – like poor Ezra! – only to shoot up in price (again).

Toys R Us – Raleigh (& Cary)

I’ll only touch on this briefly since I already wrote an entire article on it, but this is where I made a fun discovery. I just happened to be perusing and spotted a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Character Car 2-pack featuring Groot Go-Kart and an Exclusive Rocket Raccoon. The “exclusivity” comes from some slight wear and tear integrated into the paint job to give him a battle-damaged appearance. Yeah yeah, it ain’t like, totally different, but it’s something Hot Wheels does and likely will continue to do (Stormtrooper, First Order Flametrooper, Death Trooper, Ezra, Carships (U-Wing, Millennium Falcon, X-Wing, & TIE Fighter), Starships (X-Wing, TIE Striker, probably others), War Machine, Captain America…that MIGHT be everyone…).

Rocket and Groot 2-pack

Earlier today / yesterday I was at the Toys R Us in Cary and can confirm that they are also carrying multiple Rocket / Groot 2-packs.

Barnes & Noble – Cary

B&N isn’t really a good steady source for collecting unless you’re at the beginning of your hoard but they do contain occasional surprises. Technically this happened yesterday evening (Sunday) but I thought I’d include it anyway. There, on the end of an aisle somewhat detached from the proper toy area, were Guardians 2 related stuff, and to my surprise, an unmistakable Groot Hauler! Fortunately some other kid or collector will get the chance to enjoy this one – I got one a couple of months ago and it’s a little big with not enough margin for me to worry about flipping.

Groot Hauler

This thing is so cool…definitely planning on doing a piece dedicated to this one soon!

What I don’t understand is why scalpers on eBay were asking $40 to $60 for these things when they were all over Amazon for $25-ish. It’s amazing how little the 2 markets really know about each other, especially when they’re 2 of the most liquid (if not the 2 most liquid) markets in the world. Anyway, B&N had a $24.95 price tag on him and I paid something like $25.11 when all was said and done at Amazon. And I got dat 2-dei shippin’.

Roses – Cary

Tooned

ROSES…ahh…so much to say…but not today. I’ve been casually tracking down the TOONED subset of the Hot Wheels 2017 Mainline. Two or three weeks ago the green ’69 Camaro Z28 started showing up. I knew it had a companion from browsing the Hot Wheels site, and then there at Roses of all places, there’s not 1 but 2 yellow ’69 Camaro Z28’s! Yeah I know, not exactly the Holy Grail, but a cool find in an unlikely place nonetheless.

Target – Cary (Crossroads)

Imaginext Blind Bag Series 8

Also on a Sunday and the last find on today’s list. This might’ve been the most unexpected and neither my son nor myself were previously aware: Imaginext Blind Bag Series 8! Now don’t get these confused with the DC Super Friends bags. These are just random-ass Imaginext figures, though there’s usually some sort of pattern to the mix: there’s a “monster” (like horror classics – vampire, zombie, Frankenstein’s Monster, ghost, and so on), something with a sci-fi flavor (robot, alien, etc.), something with a fantasy or folkloric flavor (like a cyclops or a genie or a gnome), a player of some sport, a type of historical trope (ninja, knight, pirate, etc.), and maybe a contemporary city worker – construction worker, fireman, that kinda thing. None of them follow a set pattern mind you, but there are some similarities. You can probably expect on entry on these at some point soon too, but for right now, we’re missing one the figures!

One of the reasons it was so exciting to see Series 8 is because the previous series’ have had such erratic releases. I don’t ever remember seeing 1 or 2 on shelves; most of those we had to order online. I remember Series 3 being on shelves and I remember Series 4 following it an acceptable amount of time later. After that though, it was like BAM 5 BAM 6 and BAM 7. And then what, a year goes by? Imaginext has such weird time tables, but at least they aren’t as bad as Hasbro’s PlaySkool, which are similarly sized and articulated figures. (Imaginext covers DC, while PlaySkool has Marvel and Star Wars, and although the figures aren’t 100% identical across brands, they are damn close.) I won’t harp on too much, but it wasn’t until like, last Easter before you could find Kylo and Finn and Rey (Episode 7 stuff) reliably on shelves (even longer for vehicles like First Order Snowspeeder and Poe’s X-Wing) – made a killing off that shit on eBay for a while. They did a few more pairs recently, like BB-8 and Poe, and Boba and Han-in-Carbonite, but these disappeared fast. In the last 6 or 8 months they’ve done squat except for 2 Star Wars guys and 2 Marvel guys with this weird arm-swap mechanic that looks a lot cooler than it actually is. Doesn’t look like we’ll be getting any Rogue One stuff from PlaySkool. Lotsa Rogue One merch is already entering clearance status and we’ll start seeing Episode VIII stuff in 3 or 4 months; certainly the first wave will be underway by Halloween.


And that does it! Just a few of my most memorable sights and purchases over the past few days! I’d definitely love to do this kinda thing on a regular basis but I’ma have to figure out to do it faster!

New Character Cars from WONDER WOMAN Film

Ok, damn, I am sofa king behind on what I want to write about it’s insane…trying to balance the little stuff with the lengthier stuff with the timely stuff…nevermind the more permanent fixtures I’d like to incorporate into the blog – buying guides, collection constituent lists, etc. Time to stow away my whining for the moment though, because I really should’ve gotten this entry out a good 4 or 5 days ago. I didn’t want to abandoned my previous piece though; once these things get left behind I have a bad habit of not picking them back up.

Most of us are probably aware of the DCEU’s forthcoming fourth installment – Wonder Woman. Hell, you don’t even have to be particularly in-tune with comics or DC. Wonder Woman is one of those gals we’ve all heard of but have a hard time placing. Adults will likely have varying degrees of memory of the Linda Carter series from the 70s, and some children of the 70s and 80s may remember seeing her alongside other members of the Justice League in cartoon form. She’s been around almost as long as Batman and Superman, first appearing back in 1941. Now, after just over three-quarters of a century, she gets her first live action film.

Hot Wheels is right in the middle of a collectible goldmine with their series of Character Cars, and evidently, the enterprise must be getting increasingly lucrative. We’re starting to see more specialized packaging, more variations, and more characters in general in the time before and after theatrical releases. 2016’s Suicide Squad is a very notable exception – all we got was a pricey special edition of Harley.

And so, Hot Wheels + new Wonder Woman film = specialized line of cars.

A few articles back I reported on the existence – or impending existence – of an Ares Character Car. Yep, the exclusive Riddler form the Batman Rogue’s Gallery 5-pack was released as a standalone, and there was Ares on the back. Around this same time, we had another Wonder Woman car pop up, similar to the Batman v Superman version, but with coloration differences and new Wonder Woman movie packaging. However, this card did not feature anything new on the card back. From then on, I was searching eBay for “hot wheel dc ares” several times a day, and then eventually, a single listing popped up: a Wonder Woman vs. Ares 2-Pack featuring an exclusive Wonder Woman car!

I immediately bought it. The next day, I went to a Toys R Us a couple towns over, and found several. These don’t seem to be totally widespread yet, but I have found them at the Cary and Durham TRUs, though not the one in Raleigh. Anyway, there is is – Ares and our fifth iteration of Wonder Woman! Besides being excited about Ares and a more casually “dressed” Wonder Woman, does the 2-pack imply anything else? In my opinion, yes.

See, Hot Wheels is damn tricky with their 2-packs. What they like to do is release the pack with one exclusive (whether explicitly stated or not) and then another car which is (or becomes) available singly. We’re already told that the Wonder Woman car is the exclusive, to this must mean that Ares is getting a standalone release as well – which would make sense based on what the back of the Riddler said. All of that adds up to at least 3 Wonder Woman Film-branded character car packs: new Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman vs Ares pack, and an upcoming Ares. Might this mean we get more character cars under the Wonder Woman Film banner…? The back mentions Zeus – a god like Ares – in the flavor text, and Mattel (Hot Wheels’ parent company) has put out a first wave of Wonder Woman Film dolls including both Queen Hippolyta and Steve Trevor. And get this: one of the new DC Multiverse figures (the $20 ones that each come with a piece of another figure) is Menalippe, Wonder Woman’s aunt.

I don’t know any more about the upcoming film than anyone else, possibly even less, and furthermore I’m not wildly familiar with Wonder Woman’s mythos either, so I’m straight up dropping these characters’ names based on when and where they’re mentioned with regards to merchandise. Basically I’m building up to this: does this mean the Wonder Woman Film branding will extend to other characters introduced to us from the movie? It would seem a little weird for this packaging to exist only for 3 items, though it’s worth mentioning that Ant-Man got his own packaging (as well as a Civil War card) and so did Doctor Strange; neither branding persisted any further than the titular characters. The Batman v Superman packaging only lasted 3 vehicles as well: Armored Batman, Man of Steel, and then the BvS Wonder Woman released last summer and way, way after the other 2.

So what do you think? Is the DCU arm of Hot Wheels’ Character Cars ready to put Batman on the backburner and start digging into the nooks and crannies of DC’s vast multiverse? Should they venture into such territory so soon after skipping over heavyweights like Lex Luthor and Doomsday who would’ve been perfect following Batman v Superman? I get that you gotta start somewhere, but if we get a Hippolyta before a Lex Luthor…I just…I dunno. What I really hope is that they don’t get as messy as Marvel…random stuff like Red Hulk and Nova while superstars like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men are ignored.

But hey, there will always be shit to complain about. In the end we got ourselves an Ares Character Car, and that’s pretty fuckin’ cool. Let’s do it up:


Wonder Woman vs Ares 2-pack

Wonder Woman vs Ares

“WONDER WOMAN is the daughter of Zeus. ARES is the God of War. Now, these sworn enemies square off as fierce fighting vehicles in a battle of mythic proportions.”

“The stunning Amazon strength and beauty of WONDER WOMAN shines forth in thies V-8 sports car with wrist guard fender shields and WW insignia emblazoned over the front grille. ARES is a massive tactical vehicle with heavily armored chest plates and a skull-shaped turret that allow him to always be prepared for combat.”

“With a score to settle almost as old as Time itself, sparks are sure to fly when these two go hood-to-hood.”

Overall, I think this is a great 2-pack. It’s fully centered on the new Wonder Woman film and it gives us, for the first time in DCU’s character cars, a 100% non-Batman villain! It does make me lament the fact that there wasn’t more done with Batman v Superman or Suicide Squad, but maybe we can hope that wfro this point forward each film will get some respectable level of attention.

New Wonder Woman

Do we need 5 Wonder Woman cars…? Probably not. But honestly, the one before this one – the one that looks very similar to the BvS version – seems to be the most unnecessary. This newest one, touted as the 2-pack’s exclusive, retains the same body shape but with a vastly different color scheme meant to represent Wonder Woman in her more relaxed, casual wear, i.e. not her elaborate and showy “Wonder Woman” outfit. It actually looks quite similar to the 12″ Queen Hippolyta doll recently released with its sortta tan-gold thing going on…what do you even call that color? It’s like…metallic beige or something…

Ares

Now look at dis mofo. Is it cool? Is it not? I’m not even sure. But it is one of the most unique and original Character Cars we’ve ever seen, and for that, it deserves a lot of credit…even if it does come off as a bit abstract. Earlier I mentioned that my knowledge of Wonder Woman mythos is limited – really all I “know” about Ares comes from the Injustice: Gods Among Us fighting game released a couple years back. The car doesn’t quite hit the whole “black-knight-meets-Satan” thing that the game gives us, though it’s definitely got an old world, pagan-esque feel to it…maybe even a bit “occult-adjacent” with the weird emblem thing on top coupled with the red tires and bestial face created at the front.

I can’t say I’ve ever really appreciated Hot Wheels’ tactic of releasing 2-packs with only ONE exclusive in them; however, I do prefer it done this way – the non-exclusive released before its single counterpart. Overall this is a really cool set and I’m glad to see Wonder Woman (the upcoming film) getting some competent (and timely!) love from the Character Car department. It makes me a little sad for all the chances missed in previous films, but at the same time, it’s a promising start for perhaps a new, more comprehensive era of Character Car releases. Will we ever backtrack to Man of Steel for a General Zod or rewind to Suicide Squad for a reasonable collection of relative nobodies like Diablo, Enchantress, Captain Boomerang, or Rick Flagg? (Or Incubus or (I’m having to stifle my laughter) Slipknot or…) The answer is probably not – but I’m trying to stay positive, and like I said, starting with Wonder Woman is better than leaving the new film behind like the others. Really this could be a good chance for the DC side of Hot Wheels to regroup and create a complete and respectable collection as opposed to the random sprawl of Marvel (hooray for no fucking villains! (barely)) and the uneven distribution of Star Wars (why do we have fuckers like Sidon and Biggs and Battle-Damaged Flametrooper before a damn Lando Calrissian!!!??? Why has the prequel trilogy been ignored save for largely fodder like Battle Droid and 501st Clone Trooper? Hey, I’m all for a Carbonite Han or Bossk, but not ahead of (I love railing these off) Qui-Gon, Padme, Mace, Dooku, Jar Jar (I know, I know), and maybe even the likes of Nute Gunray, a younger Obi-Wan, and Commander Cody.) Whatever. Whatever!


Blahph, another entry that took me way too long to type! Anyway, hope you enjoyed a closer look at Wonder Woman #5 and the supercool Ares. I’ve got some more cool shit that I’ma start working on right now so stick around! I’ve got all kindsa shit to talk about – LEGOs, Batman, amiibo, more cars, more and more cars, and man, lots of good stuff.

NEW Character Cars CONFIRMED! – Part 1: DC Universe

Well it didn’t take long, did it!? As usual, I was doing my relentless searching. It’s tough to tell exactly what is what at this point, so I’ll just go over what I found.

The Riddler
Huh? “The Riddler”? Doesn’t he already exist? Well…yes, he does. The Riddler was featured as the exclusive in the Batman’s Rogue Gallery 5-pack that’s been sitting in stores for well over a year now. However, the fact that it suddenly pops up as a single shouldn’t be construed as insignificant. Hot Wheels has generally been pretty good about preserving the exclusivity of similar items, but what I really want to pay attention to is the back of the card… Update: I bought one of these and received it in the mail much much quicker than I thought…I can honestly say there is no difference between this standalone Riddler and the “exclusive” within the Batman 5-pack.

The Riddler

Harley Quinn (Classic / Comics Appearance)
Following the course of this version of Harley has been a strange journey. This classic, red-and-black version of Harley had been rumored for some time, and I finally saw it pop up from a single seller…over in the UK. I bought it, and obviously the packaging was tailored for a UK audience (with words like “colours” and overall a larger text-to-artwork ratio). I saw her pop up again a few weeks later – also from the UK – but this time the total was like $11.30 plus free shipping. (I paid almost $50 total for the first one.) Just for the hell of it, I got it. What was odd is that this was definitely in US packaging….of course what makes all this super strange is that for a while now, we’ve had the new “Character Cars” branded packaging, neither of which these Harley’s had. However, as of earlier this week, it seems that we finally have a US version of the Classic Harley and part of the same wave as the Riddler. Still doesn’t explain where these old Harley’s came from but wtf ever. Like The Riddler, we don’t want to ignore Harley’s back either…

Harley Quinn

Notice that we finally have a US version of Harley!

???

I was going to show you the back of the new Harley Quinn card here…but it has disappeared! I don’t know what happened to it…2 days later and it is absolutely no where…

Wonder Woman (2017)
Part of what’s on these backs is a version of Wonder Woman not totally unlike the BvS version that came out last summer. Now we know from experience we can’t 100% rely on the artwork used on the back of the cards, but it can be useful. This “new” Wonder Woman looks like the BvS model with blue hindquarters instead of the original gray. One or two posts back I mention stumbling across a new Wonder Woman with the logo from the upcoming film on the package…is this the new Wonder Woman or by some crazy chance another new Wonder Woman? Well I can’t answer that question for you just yet, but my “new Wonder Woman” did just get here. She is most definitely shiny (unlike the matte finish of BvS version) and the rear portion is straight up black instead of the original gray. Blue? Anyone see any blue!? No…and this is what confuses me. On the one hand, why the hell would Hot Wheels bang out 2 separate Wonder Womans so close together? On the other hand, would it perhaps make some sense to put out a “2017 movie Wonder Woman” (the one I just got with the black) and a sort of “regular DCU edition” as well…?

Wonder Woman

Ares
Alright, did you cheat and look at the back(s) yet? We’ve got an Ares on the way!!! This is character/car that would’ve easily gone on any “DC want list” by virtue of being one of Wonder Woman’s coolest enemies, but damn, I am surprised we’re seeing it so soon! The artwork can be hit or miss when it comes to these vehicles, and it’s hard to tell exactly what the Ares car is going for. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite exist just yet…but so far Hot Wheels hasn’t left us dangling, so I don’t see why this wouldn’t drop sometime in the near future.

Ares

The artwork leaves something to be desired in this indistinct, tank-like ride, but I’m still very excited to see the finished product in the flesh!


Yeah, that was kinda confusing I guess…for some reason I just felt like going through my thought process and discovery. Here’s what we’re left with at the end of the day:

  • Aresconfirmed via back of card; not out yet
  • Wonder Woman 2017 Movie Versionconfirmed, I’ve got one of these in my possession
  • Harley Quinn – Red & Black Comics/Classic Versionconfirmed – yes, we’ve known about this for a while, but we finally have proof that a US version in new US packaging exists. It’s also made its way onto the back of other cards.
  • The Riddlerconfirmed as a single, standalone release; for better or worse, it is exactly the same thing found in the Batman Rogue’s Gallery 5-pack

Stick around for a quick Part 2 where we look at some upcoming releases from another camp!

Why Hasn’t _____ Been Made into a Character Car Yet??

A long time ago when I was banging out shit on Tumblr (yes, I do like WordPress better, but there are simply too many freedoms I want for a free account…it’s funny, back in the day, if you knew how to hard-code you had a major advantage; if you didn’t know shit, you had to pay for all the features. Nowadays it’s like I have to pay to have the freedom to hard-code my own stuff. Ahh…anyone ever remember coding up sites on Notepad and them FTPing them to the server…?) I made several lists of Character Cars that I felt we “needed.” (You can view that post here!) This post is a little different…not so much me saying “we need him and him and her and that would be cool!” but more like, “why in the hell have they not made him and her and him yet!?” Of all the characters I listed in the previous entry, Hot Wheels did actually turn one of them into a car – Cyborg, who I was very emphatic about!

Marvel Universe

For some reason, the Hot Wheels subcommittee on Marvel Character Cars (I just made that shit up) has decided to release Marvel characters at a hero to villain ratio of 753:1. Including all the Marvel cars released, we have I think 9 villains, and 2 of them are quite recent. And three of them are like the same thing: Ultron, Ultron Prime, and Ultimate Ultron. Spidey has the best representation with Venom, Rhino, Green Goblin, and Doc Ock. There’s also Red Skull and the random-ass Red Hulk. So yeah Marvel, or Hot Wheels, like, wtf dudes…

Oh and I want to quickly point out that although Thanos certainly belongs on this list, I don’t want to jump ahead too far. It’s obvious that he’ll be playing a large role in the near future of the MCU, so we’ll worry about him when the time comes.

Loki – Can anyone find a good reason why Loki hasn’t been given the Character Car treatment yet? I mean he’s been pretty much the toughest, most fleshed-out villain that the Avengers have had thus far. His weird-ass long-horn helmet is the perfect design element to build from, and his regal background could be construed as anything from a high-tech military vehicle to a slick supercar. I definitely consider this to be the biggest oversight (blunder?) in the Marvel camp.

Loki

Deadpool – Ever since Ryan Reynolds donned the uniform of wanna-be-Wolverine, Deathstroke-rip-off, Spidey-tactical-suit, anti-hero Deadpool, the world fell the fuck in love…hard. Fucking hard. People are still losing their damn minds over this movie. Mad props to being the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time though; that’s a major achievement in this last 15 years or so where hardly any R-rated films are released theatrically. I liked the movie…it was entertaining and competently made…but I dunno that it hit “masterpiece” status with me. But that doesn’t really matter – what does matter is that it was a HUGE hit despite its promotion and release existing sort of on the fringe of other X-Men properties, and you’d think that this success would be honored with a car!

Deadpool

Nick Fury – For Hot Wheels to have dug so deep into the Avengers mythos and Fury’s endless appearances in those earlier Avengers and Avengers-adjacent films, you think he’d get his own car. I guess he is a little mundane when it comes to powers and skills, but freakin’ Hawkeye and Black Widow got cars… In the end, he definitely seems like a big enough part of the popular perception of Marvel to be more than worthy of a character car.

Nick Fury

Ronan – We need Marvel villains, right? No one knows who the hell Ronan is…until they saw Guardians of the Galaxy of course! I have serious trouble remembering this movie – let alone what Ronan did or didn’t do – but he does have a bad-ass look that’s more than unique enough to base a character car off of. Besides, all 5 Guardians got their own car, would it kill us to get at least one villain out of it!?

Ronan

Whiplash – I’ve read plenty about how badly the MCU has butchered Iron Man’s villains. Honestly I don’t know enough ’bout Whiplash one way or the other, but he does have a pretty bad-ass scene where he tears up those moving race cars. Surely there’s an awesome character car wrapped up somewhere in the concept of plasma-cutter-whip-things. Right…?

Whiplash

Carnage – Alright, this may lean a little more towards “want” territory, but as long as Hot Wheels is plucking up some of Spidey’s biggest villains anyway, why not Carnage? Just think of all the possibilities inherent to Carnage’s bloody, shape-shifting composition. Hell, Carnage is one of the most awesome Marvel villains in existence (and he’s not tangled up in a bunch of uber-cosmic shit) and the film studios have slept on this unique adversary far too long.

Carnage

Abomination – Yeah I know, too many people be like “who dis” and it’s an utter failure…unless he’d been released back when Hulk was in people’s consciousness. (“Character Cars” may not even be that old…) Anyway, so yeah, no one knows or gives a shit about Abomination, but we’d get a Hulk villain out of it and a what should be a great looking car.

Abomination

Crossbones – Although perhaps one of the weaker candidates for inclusion, fans of the MCU at least know who he is, and like I’ve been saying all along – we need more villains! Honestly I’d be pleased with pretty much any villain that Hot Wheels deemed “worthy”…there’s too few to be picky at this point.

Crossbones

Scarlet Witch – I am freakin’ appalled that this lovely lady has thus far been excluded. See, back when the cars were numbered, Civil War was around the peak of its popularity. I still remember the night we found Vision and Winter Soldier – I think they were numbers 31 and 30. Number 33 – brown and yellow Wolverine – had already been out for some time. With the release of Vision and Winter Soldier, that meant that all 12 principal heroes involved in Civil War could be accounted for…except for one: Scarlet Witch. Extrapolating what we could, my son and I were all but convinced that the upcoming #32 would have to be Scarlet Witch. It wasn’t. A few weeks later Punisher dropped, and that was pretty much the end of our immediate hopes for Scarlet Witch. I get that cars, traditionally a boy’s toy, don’t sell as well when fashioned after “girl things,” but I feel like this is an unnecessary letdown. Why not stick her in a multi-pack or something? Maybe we’ll get one when the next ensemble film rolls around…

Scarlet Witch

Yellowjacket – Seriously, this suit is cool as shit. And isn’t he basically just an upgraded version of Ant-Man with an added metric fuckload of offensive capabilities? C’mon! Yellowjacket is practically screaming for a chance to join the inner Character Car circle!

Yellowjacket

Iron Patriot – Oh come on, why the hell not? It just has to be a repaint of Iron Man…er…another repaint of Iron Man. For the record though, War Machine’s Character Car should’ve definitely included a feature analogous to War Machine’s shoulder cannons.

Iron Patriot

DC Universe

It felt like the DCU line had stalled up until recently, when it received a welcome burst of new characters. Although it doesn’t suffer from a lack of villains like Marvel, DC has its own problems, namely that it’s Batman-centric with some Justice League characters on the periphery. I guess the advantage here is that the group is a little more tight-knit and cohesive than the sprawling world of Marvel. Note that I will be talking about the DC Super Hero Girls as essentially a separate series.

Doomsday – This is my foremost candidate for next DCU character car, if nothing else because of his prominent role in the third act of last year’s Batman v Superman. Such a monster could make for an awesome vehicle with lots of room for creativity.

Doomsday

Lex Luthor – Although I was both confused and put-off by the latest live-action iteration of Lex Luthor – that’d be Eisenberg’s abysmal portrayal – he is one of the most iconic villains in DC’s repertoire. I’m sure they’d want to put him into some sort of super-suit to at least withstand Superman’s power but I can dig it.

Lex Luthor

General Zod – Superman has what I would consider a strangely unmemorable rogue’s gallery, probably because the only believable threats to Superman are mega-powerful beings who can both withstand Superman’s attacks and wield enough power to somehow hurt him. Zod pretty much fits this definition to a tee but it’s not through a bunch of contrived plot lines, it’s because Zod “receives” his powers in exactly the same way that Superman does – Sup’s familiarity and experience with these powers is pitted against Zod’s flawless military adaptability. Honestly I wouldn’t have all this to say about General Zod if not for Man of Steel. Zod was the very antithesis for Superman, and if that doesn’t warrant a character car, I don’t know what does!

General Zod

Darkseid – This one could be leaning a little more towards my “want” column, but I feel like we need someone massive and galactic in scope and supremely evil. And when it comes to vehicle designs for something so big, bad, and otherworldly, the possibilities are virtually endless!

Darkseid

Deathstroke – Deadshot may be getting all the attention these days via Will Smith and Suicide Squad, but ask any real DC fan who the universe’s greatest assassin really is, and Deathstroke is the only answer! He’d make a great addition to the cast in some kinda stealth-enabled, suped-up, tactical military kinda thing.

Deathstroke

Nightwing – I know one of my issues is that the DCU line has perhaps rested too heavily on the Bat-family, but regardless, I think Nightwing deserves a car. They could give him just enough of that “Bat-flavor” to make him recognizable, but enough of his own edge to set him apart….does that kinda make sense…?

Nightwing

Azrael – Yeah yeah, more honing in on the Bat-family, but I can’t help but think about what an awesome car Azrael could inspire – a darker, more medieval, more macabre version of Batman himself!

Azrael

DC Super Hero Girls

This list is pretty simple – I guess I just want to see everyone who’s appeared thus far in Super Hero Girls. There’s the remaining “core 6,” a few new-ish ones, and 2 villains who I only even know thanks to the LEGO sets. There are some male characters floating around, but I’m not sure how “essential” I’d consider them just yet. A little more time will help us determine who’s truly needed and who could stand to wait on the sidelines. Anyway, subtract out the 5 Super Hero Girls Character Cars we already have, and we’re left with:

  • Bumblebee
  • Poison Ivy
  • Starfire
  • Hawkgirl
  • Catwoman
  • Frost
  • Lashina
  • Lena Luthor
DC Girls

Star Wars

This is a tough realm to get into, mostly because the official Star Wars canon is currently split into 2 animated series, the original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, Episode VII, and Rogue One. To be fair, I haven’t followed either of the animated series, and I think that, for now at least, Hot Wheels is ignoring the earlier TV show The Clone War yet seems to be giving Rebels ample attention. I can understand it being a lot of work to keep up with so many avenues, yet it seems like it would make the most sense to concentrate on certain movies or eras. The erratic nature of releases makes it really confusing and difficult to look forward to anything.

Admittedly, Hot Wheels has scrubbed over Force Awakens pretty well. Rogue One is close behind, although Krennic and Bodhi have been suspiciously left behind; there’s still time though. Hell, we got Sidon and Maz from Force Awakens, so would it be a stretch to think that smaller Rogue One characters like Saw or Moroff might make the cut?

The original trilogy has been fairly well-covered, though there are a couple of glaring holes I could point to. Still, these things continue to steadily trickle out, so all hope is not lost. What I have a real problem with is how crappily the prequel trilogy has been handled. Yeah yeah, it ain’t everyone’s favorite, but it’s a very, very big reason why Star Wars has remained in the public consciousness. Hot Wheels has cherry-picked some of the more important characters, yet randomly left out others who are just as important. I really want Hot Wheels to focus on these prequel gaps, and then we can look forward to new installments and/or character cars of more obscure or lesser known entities.

Oh, and apologies for the lack of pictures. I was damn tired at this point; inserting a dozen images nor splicing a dozen together sounded very appealing at this point!

The Prequel Trilogy

  • Qui-Gon Jinn – Seriously, important Jedi alert, why the hell has he been forgotten?
  • Padme / Princess Amidala – Luke and Leia’s mother, the fire of Anakin’s loins, and massively important in all 3 prequel flicks. Plus all those ornate outfits could make for an amazing character car!
  • Mace Windu – Although he was more of a supporting character, he’s definitely one of the most distinctive recurring characters in the prequel trilogy. It’s Samuel L. Jackson as a Jedi! With a purple lightsaber! I mean even if you didn’t give a shit, it’s hard not to at least notice him. And he did have a few pivotal seconds there with the Emperor when the shit went down. As for the car itself? Two words: purple lightsaber.
  • Jar Jar Binks – Don’t worry, Jar Jar Binks makes me just as nauseous as he does everyone else…but c’mon, as bad as he is, that doesn’t negate his “importance” in the prequel trilogy, particularly the first movie. (If nothing else, he’s one of the bumbling morons responsible for pushing Palpatine into his position of supreme authority.) He’s definitely annoying, though he does play into the somewhat child-like atmosphere of Anakin and even Padme during their early years. He also helps mobilize the Gungans, which is a pretty significant piece of Naboo’s resistance against the Trade Federation. I think the right designer could make a very cool looking car based on Jar Jar’s looks.
  • Count Dooku – Arguably the least important of the Dark Lords of the Sith that we meet throughout the saga, Dooku’s status gets kinda shoved under the rug since he looks normal. The prequel trilogy implies a lot more about Dooku’s activities than it actually shows, but if you stare closely enough at this political mess aimed at pre-pubescents, you’ll realize that Dooku actually does a lot more to further Palpatine’s ends whereas Darth Maul is little more than Sith muscle. Even if Hot Wheels struggles with making Dooku into a great looking car, I at least wish they’d acknowledge his existence!
  • Viceroy Nute Gunray – This may be a little bit of stretch – wait, actually, against the likes of Bossk and Sidon and Jango and a fucking Shock Trooper this really isn’t a stretch – but I feel like this is the closest thing we have to an identifiable villain in Phantom Menace. The whole thing is convoluted and the political stuff isn’t intricate enough for hardcore adults and yet way way way over the heads of pre-teen, but I guess I can at least appreciate what Lucas was trying to accomplish. The whole trilogy is a reasonably competent attempt at explaining Palpatine’s rise through power right under everyone’s noses (it also, whether expertly or accidentally, undermines the effectiveness of the Jedi) and Gunray is an all-important first cog in the machine of Palpatine’s ascension.
  • Commander Cody / Orange/Yellow Clone Trooper – Now I don’t really give a damn about Commander Cody or the Orange/Yellow Troopers themselves, but what’s weird is that we have a car of the 501st Clone Trooper (Blue) and the Clone Shock Trooper (Red), but nothing in the way of the most common clone troopers we see, those yellow (or orange) guys. Whether they just want to do a simple repaint and call it a 212 Attack Battalion Clone Trooper or do a slightly more fanciful version and call it Commander Cody doesn’t matter – let’s just get the most visible of the Clone Troopers some damn representation!
  • Others – I would consider the above to be more or less critical as it pertains to the prequel trilogy, though there are several lesser characters that I think would be acceptable as well, including: Padwan Obi-Wan, Master Obi-Wan, “Ani” Anakin, Kit Fisto, Sebulba, Senator/Chancellor Palpatine, Destroyer Droids, and…maybe that’s it? I think so.

The Original Trilogy

  • Lando Calrissian – I mean damn why don’t we have a Lando car? Yeah yeah, I realize there’s an illustration of what looks to be a Lando car in the works, but it has been a really really long time sans Lando.
  • Bib Fortuna – Alright…not the biggest or brightest star from Return of the Jedi but his look is totally memorable. Plus we need a few more critters from Jabba’s camp, and who better than Bib? Maybe the skiff guards, Weequay, Nikto, Barada…that would be pretty cool.

I guess that’s about it. Everyone else I think of I feel like I have to dig down a further tier. What I’d really like is some damn Shadows of the Empire Character Cars: remember Prince Xizor, Dash Rendar, Guri…I think also the bounty hunters from Empire Strikes Back play a large role, some of them at least. Ah yes, if only they’d bring Shadows back…but unfortunately Disney threw it in the non-canon corner with everything else back when they decided to remake A New Hope and call it “Episode VII.”

Whew, that was long as hell, and I think that sums it up! Hopefully we’ll see some of these…I mean Marvel and DC are essentially up in the air, probably owing somewhat to what’s popular in the cinematic and TV spheres, especially in Marvel’s case. But when it comes to Star Wars, well, we’re dealing with a much more finite amount of material. I’ll tell you what though, nothing short of seeing a car is gonna get me to cool off about all the Episodes 1 through 3 bullshit and I will be sorely disappointed if Krennic doesn’t live on in car-form.

Let me know your thoughts! Are you as peeved as me about the prequel trilogy? Or are you the type that would rather see every obscure background character plucked out of the original trilogy first? And what about the animated series? Is Rebels fairly represented? Why no love for The Clone Wars? Stick around, ‘cuz once I’m done here I’ve got just a bit of actual news to share!