Tag: hot wheels marvel

New Marvel BLACK PANTHER Character Cars Available!

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

Black Panther (New)

Erik Killmonger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Flip Fighters

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

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

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

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

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

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

Black Panther

Black Panther

Spider-Man

Spider-Man

The Hulk

The Hulk

Iron Man

Iron Man


Battle Rollers

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

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

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

And a couple of pics for posterity:

Luke Battle Roller

Emperor Palpatine and Imperial Shttle


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

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

Rounding Out Marvel’s Roster (Character Cars)

This happened a few days ago, but damn, Thanksgiving has been more of a whirlwind than I’d thought!

I was quietly pining over Gladiator Hulk and Valkyrie which were topping out at ~$20+ each, trying to exercise some patience. I swung by my local Walmart late Tuesday / very early Wednesday and WOW the shelves were full of new Marvel cars, including the 2 aforementioned.

Ragnarok Character Cars

Ragnarok Character Cars

Deadpool
Vulture
Deadpool
Vulture

And with those 2 plus the rest of the elusive-ish new Marvels (Thor (Ragnarok), Vulture, Deadpool, & Loki), we’ve officially closed the book on what we know of upcoming Marvel Character Cars! Next in line is Black Panther slated for February 2018…I don’t doubt that we’ll see a new, reworked Black Panther car, but honestly I think the Black Panther mythos is too far removed from public consciousness for it to have much of an impact on any upcoming Character Cars. I mean I guess it could blow up as all things that are popular must start off as non-popular. (I know the word there probably ought to be unpopular, but the un- feels more like an active disregard for popularity, but what I mean is more like a lack of popularity.)

Deadpool vs. Dune-a-Soar

Check it out: Deadpool looks a lot like this newcomer to the 2018 Mainline, Dune-a-Soar. Yeah…there’s no real point to this observation…just an observation!

And after that we get the ultimate MCU banger, Infinity War. I’m sure we’ll get a Thanos out of it but beyond that…I have no idea what the future of Marvel Character Cars has in store! So things ought to get interesting…or maybe not. It’s no secret that occasionally Hot Wheels will stick one of their “Big 3” on the backburner and focus a little more heavily on the other two. Whatever happens, the cars obviously aren’t obligated to follow what’s happening on film, and it looks like Infinity War is gonna be a crazy convergence of damn near all the heroes thus far. It’d be really nice if Hot Wheels would take a moment to “take a look back” and acknowledge some of Phase 1 thru 3’s villains. Hot Wheels, if you’re listening:

  • AbominationThe Incredible Hulk
  • WhiplashIron Man 2
  • Red SkullCaptain America
  • CrossbonesCaptain America: The Winter Soldier
  • MalekithThor: The Dark World
  • RonanGuardians of the Galaxy
  • Yellow JacketAnt-Man
  • ShockerSpider-Man: Homecoming
  • HelaThor: Ragnarok
  • DormammuDoctor Strange

Also, although I’m not terribly familiar with Marvel’s TV presence, I think they could probably churn out a few cars in this vein to keep people’s attention: Coulson, Jones, Cage, and others that may not be so immediately obvious.

And I reckon that ’bout sums it up! I’ll really dig into the cars more at some point, but for now I just wanted to show ’em off real quick and point towards an unknown future! As always, if you know something I don’t, drop me a line – leave me a comment – do something! Or we could play a fun game of “Who’s Next”…I could see Hot Wheels pulling some randoms out: Namor? Mojo? Galactus? Colossus?

‘Til next time!

Three More Down – THE FLASH (Justice League) & Others

Three More Down – THE FLASH (Justice League) & Others

This all actually went down several days ago, I’m just now getting around to putting it to paper. I had a little hiccup during the week that caused me to have to drop everything and go to the State Fair (if I wanted to go at all and avoid weekend traffic). A good time was had by all and although I wish I had some fun “toy news” from the event, the State Fair isn’t exactly a toy place. It celebrates agriculture and the harvest and as such, pretty much the only toys you’ll find are the $$$ handmade, wooden, one-of-a-kind sorts of stuff, juxtaposed with the endless bits of worthless cloth and plastic that comprise the illustrious “prizes” given out by all the game booths.

Anyway, I’ve made a few fun discoveries/purchases along the way. Remember how the big wave of Justice League cars was conspicuously devoid of The Flash? A few weeks later a few Flashes began popping up, but these sold pretty quick and the one or two sellers with more than one were quick to adjust their prices. I shit you not, I watched one guy sell one for $20, the next for $25, then $30, and then $35. I know he had one priced at $40 after that, but I don’t know if it sold. By then I was getting antsy about what it would take to get my own Justice League Flash.

Justice League Flash

Well well what the hell – just then, the ever-vigilant C. stepped in to tell me of a Flash for sale on Amazon, although it would take it like 7 or 8 days to ship. I was still pretty satisfied with this because the vehicle was available for it’s regular retail, $3.99. The biggest kicker was that it was listed as an “add-on” item, a really shitty practice Amazon has started for god knows what reason. It goes like this: Amazon will offer up an item for $3.99 and call it an add-on item and tell you that you’ve got to get your cart up to $25 to actually purchase this item. The good news is that at least the $3.99 counts towards the $25 total. The bad news is that there is no other way to buy an “add on.” I could understand if $3.99 was the “special add-on price” and then you could buy it for like, I dunno, $5.99 or even $8.99 as a standalone, but the way it’s set up right now, it’s like some kind of arbitrary discrimination based on how much money one has spent. Amazon is a really great vendor to deal with in a lot of ways, but this add-on shit just feels shady.

Regardless, I snagged a couple of rarer vehicles from Blaze’s catalog (I’ll show you those a little later!) and patiently waited for The Flash. According to Amazon, the site would receive more on the 8th and ship them then. Continually outdoing themselves, I actually had the package on my porch on the afternoon of the 6th. Again, big thanks to C. for making me privy to the opportunity. The thing is, I had actually looked on Amazon before all this, but check it – it was listed fucking bizarrely – like “Justice League Vehicle 1” or something equally retarded and not including the word “flash” anywhere in it.

I am 1,000% appreciative of tips like this and I’m super glad to hear any information that any reader may have to pass on – thanks again for those that have helped and thanks in advance to those that are bound to. Also, please keep in mind that I’m open to trades or helping to track down goodies you may have a hard time finding.

Ticking off Justice League Flash means finishing off the DC pamphlet – cool I guess but now what’s coming!? I wish we could be hoping for Steppenwolf and Parademon Character Cars, but right now, things don’t look so good. We will be getting some kinda “exclusive deco Cyborg” on or around November 1st in the form of a 5-pack…along with 4 other cars that most of us will probably already have…

Overall I like the new Flash car. The old one looked sort of backwards. The new one skews a bit towards the more traditional car-shape, but the paint job does a decent job of representing the character’s beetle-like armor(?) we’ve been seeing in Justice League previews.

Interestingly, the shop.mattel.com site had both Deadpool and Loki listed (maybe Armored Hulk too?), with a special “Notify Me” button whereby the user would receive an email when the cars were available. Well, as of a few days ago, Loki had disappeared (along with the new Hulk, if it was ever there) and Deadpool was just all grayed-out with the typical out-of-stock “More Ways to Buy” button lit up. Where the fuck were my notifications, Mattel? Ugh. It’s confusing to me why in this day and age companies seem so disconnected from their products. Look at the highly automated systems that govern the nationwide inventory of places like Walmart, Amazon, Target – these systems are wildly impressive. Yet we aren’t at a point where I can’t type in some shit like “hot wheels deadpool character car” on an official Mattel site and in .0235 seconds get a list of exact locations where I can buy the damn thing within a 5, 10, 20, 50 mile radius of my zip code? Better yet, why doesn’t Mattel hold on to some of them and sell them via their site? I mean I know they do this with some of their stock, but fuck, look at all the shit that isn’t listed for sale – and then take a moment to look at how much of the shit that is listed is straight up out of stock (most likely permanently).

(shop.mattel.com actually has some pretty interesting stuff listed for their Star Wars stuff…more on that later – perhaps!)

Feeling a bit despondent about Loki but also a bit incensed at eBay’s prices, I was faced with that age-old question: do I get it now and revel in the fact that 4 weeks later I wasn’t forced to pay twice as much…? Or do I get it now and kick myself in the ass when it’s on shelves everywhere for 20% of what I paid for it in a week’s time…? It’s a hard thing to gauge. Like Guardians 2 – I only ever saw the first wave of those 4 times at 2 separate stores. As for the second wave, well, I saw Drax once and Gamora twice, both at Barnes & Noble, and I’ve yet to see Nebula or Mantis “in the wild.” But then Spider-man: Homecoming dropped and pretty much every Walmart and Target has kept a steady supply of the new Spidey and Iron Man along with Venom, Doc Ock, and Rhino.

So when considering Loki, I started thinking I should err towards the “rare” side since we still hadn’t seen any sign of Valkyrie or Armored Hulk. Does it actually mean shit when the “set” is divvied up across multiple cases released at different times? Fuck if I know, but I do notice that the more they seem to “trickle” out online, the less likely I am to just see 4-6 new Character Cars go “BAM” on the shelf 1 to 2 weeks later. At the moment in question, there was a single Loki up for sale, and judging from what the others had sold for, I decided it wasn’t awful and I saw that it certainly get worse. So I bit.

Loki

Loki is a fine looking car, and honestly it’s one I wish we’d gotten like 3 years ago or whatever. The horns are wacky and exaggerated just like Loki’s, and the matte, understated color scheme help to remind us of his time as a villain – even though I think he’s being played up as one of the protagonists in Ragnarok.

About a day later I decided to take stock of the Vulture situation…the fact that this one didn’t come out with the rest of the Homecoming stuff and was accompanied by no new pieces from Homecoming was a bit disconcerting. Looking at the “Sold” stuff surprised me even further – I didn’t expect so see just how few had made it over to eBay. Sellers caught on quick though – the first one sold for like $10, the last one was just over double that. So I carefully monitored the “Vulture situation” for the next 2 or 3 days…nothing popped up. Finally I got a hit – the guy was open to a Best Offer and free shipping and we came to an agreement. Yeah yeah, it was a little more than I wanted to pay, but a) the free shipping softened the blow a little, b) this is one of those cars that I could see potentially skyrocketing (as far as Character Cars go), and c) I bought it late Friday night, the guy shipped Saturday, and it was at my mailbox Monday morning. Can’t beat that. I’ve noticed that about 15-20% of the time, sellers with small items that they’re willing to ship for free are damn eager to knock off $0.35 wherever they can, and something that could’ve gotten here in 2 days for $2.48 ends up taking 6 days for the SUPER SAVING MEGA RATE of…$2.16 or some shit.

Vulture (Spider-man Homecoming)

Vulture is a good looking car, even if he was a less than stellar villain. I just wish we’d seen a frickin’ Shocker alongside it. Essentially the car reminds me of a more masculine, angular version of Wasp. He’s a bit on the plain side, but really, I can’t fault it too much when considering the source material. If you ask me, as dopey as the comic version was, he still had a bit more panache than this “more realistic” version conjured up for today’s movie-going audiences.

And that is that, my friends fiends friends. This still leaves Deadpool and Thor as far as cars that we know are out there. Honestly there are some pretty cheap Deadpools online, but the Thors seem to be in a similar boat to Loki, with slightly lower costs. I know Thor is just a repaint, but he be purty damn cool lookin’.

Now stay right there! Or at least resign yourself to check back very soon! I have some abso-smackin-frickin-lutely CRAZY NEW NEWS! And YES, I meant to get to it right about 24 FUCKING HOURS AGO but I couldn’t cuz my DAMN INTERNET was all UP AND DOWN like a vidja game! So sit tight young padwan. I got some bombs to drop.

Hot Wheels THOR RAGNAROK 5-Pack

No, this is not the splendifurous update that I’d hoped for, where I announce the ubiquitous distribution of Thor: Ragnarok Character Cars for all. I sincerely hope that day is coming, but after seeing the craziness on eBay for the last couple of weeks, I’m not so sure what is up with these cars.

Thor Ragnarok Pack

For now though, I guess we get the next best thing: 5-packs! Hot Wheels loves putting these out – essentially they are collections of cars, mostly Hot Wheels Originals, with decor and graphics that pay homage to certain heroes, villains, and the like. (If you’re new here, I tend to call these things “fake” characters cars for lack of better term. It was just some simple verbiage that my kid and I developed to talk about them; if you have a better term please let me know!) I have a soft spot for these simple but detailed tributes. Although not as enthralling or immersive as character cars, the unique graphics and careful usage of color give them a unique appeal.

Thor is embodied in the Aristorat, a design I’m not typically fond of – there’s something about that “rat rod” look that I just don’t care for. Now this may not crack my “Top 5” but the shiny gray gives it some curves and cuts down on the general clunkiness. The pops of red bring it to life and I love the graphics.

Thor - Aristorat

Night Shifter is presented to us as Valkyrie, who should be getting her own Character Car soon enough! The Night Shifter has always had a speedy, futuristic feel to it, though the effect can sometimes come off as “Frankenstein-ish” or mish-mashed. Fortunately Hot Wheels landed on a color scheme that basically defines “electric,” with a dark, metallic blue and chrome accents. This car looks positively charged with power, and the “Valkyrie” text and graphics give it an appropriately futuristic appeal.

Valkyrie - Night Shifter

Ah yes, and here we are at good ol’ Rodger Dodger, one of the few cars I think actually looks kinda cool with that big-ass blower sticking up. It’s got a nice mix of muscle and curves, and while usually “friendly” looking, the matte black gives it a stealthy, ominous quality befitting a super-villain, in this case Hela (who I know fuck-all about).

Hela - Rodger Dodger

Next up is the terribly mundane Rockster, supposedly acting as some sort of amalgamation of Thor & Hulk. I can at least appreciate the half-and-half artwork though. Appropriately coloring the front and rear rims is a standout effect, and I think it’d be great if they’d do the same for the windows!

Thor and Hulk - Rockster

Last up is the Hulk himself, his essence imbued within Hot Wheels’ hot-rodding ice-cream truck thingy, Cool One. It’s just kinda big and weird, but it leaves a nice bit of blank real estate on its sides for artwork and graphics. It’s a bit boxy and pudgy for my tastes, but the big, gladiatorial-esque Hulk-head painted on the sides is appreciable.

Hulk - Cool One

And there it be, the Thor Ragnarok 5-pack of “fake” character cars…maybe we could call them tribute cars? Like "Character Tribute Cars"? Hell if I know…anyway, a nicely decorated set of cars – Valkyrie and Hela are among my favorites of this whole style.

Promised MARVEL Character Cars Begin to Trickle Out

Sometime in the last couple of weeks ago, Hot Wheels has reminded us that all is alive and well on their Marvel and DC fronts with the releases of Deadpool and Justice League Flash. On the one hand, Deadpool seems to be more and more common as the days pass while Flash is still quite rare and fetching some unreasonably high prices. The site shop.mattel.com suggests that both Deadpool and some members of the Ragnarok collection will be available for purchase on the site itself. I definitely want to hold out and get a good deal if possible. I feel like such a chump when I buy these things for $10 – $15 and then 2 weeks later they’re everywhere for $3.99.

As of today or yesterday, 3 new Marvel Character Cars have appeared, all on eBay and all in the hands of only a couple of sellers, which is really driving prices up. At any rate, we can finally confirm the existence of Vulture – why this didn’t hit shelves a month or two ago is beyond me. We’re also getting a glimpse into the upcoming Ragnarok film with both a re-colored Thor and a highly unique Loki. No word on the others yet, though hopefully they won’t be too far behind!

Check out the new additions via these screen-caps. I really hope some adequate competition pops up soon and beats these prices back from the $15 – $20ish mark to the $7 or $8 mark.

Vulture

Thor
Loki

So whatcha think of the newcomers? Seen any around where you live yet? Anything I’ve missed? Feel like sendin’ me Justice League Flash!!?? Help me out yo!

DEADPOOL Character Car Appears, Marvel’s Ragnarok Cars On Deck

Things at the Marvel camp have been relatively quiet lately, and I am seriously baffled as to why scores of fans aren’t in full-blown revolt mode over Hot Wheels’ lack of impetus to produce Marvel villains. How hard is it? Why have we yet to see Vulture? Why wasn’t Shocker even a contender? Did we see any baddies from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in Character Car form? And what of the upcoming Ragnarok? Judging from the pamphlet, it doesn’t seem like they plan to include any of Ragnarok’s antagonists!

Alright, that was just me getting a little pissed; even with the trickle we’re seeing right now, the bad dudes seem to be a foregone conclusion.

Deadpool has been appearing on eBay for about $20 but don’t let your impatience get to you. I can almost guarantee this will drop down to a reasonable price fairly quickly. What’s worth noting is that Deadpool just recently(ish) appeared over at shop.mattel.com alongside other newcomers Armored Hulk and Loki, both hailing from the forthcoming Ragnarok film. Strangely enough, an image is only provided for Deadpool and it appears that at least a few people have access to him in order to sell the car (obviously). New Loki and Hulk are nowhere to be found.

Deadpool

Now here’s where it gets a little interesting. The way the site has their entries for these 3 worded implies that they had all 3 in stock and are now just waiting for more to arrive. I don’t buy it, because even if quantities were very limited, we’d be seeing some Hulks and Lokis. Also, it just doesn’t seem like enough Deadpools have been up for sale for an entire production run to have been sold. The good news is that it doesn’t just brush you off like it normally does with out of stock item. It gives you the choice to receive an email when what you want does come back.

My conclusion: I think the site just uses some general language to keep the customer vested and feeling like they’re looking at the next hot thing. I can’t really explain why Deadpool has “leaked,” but ultimately I’m thinking that all 3 cars will magically be “in-stock” around the same time. Hopefully Mattel will throw some of the other Ragnarok cars our way as well!

And that’ll cover the extent of my Marvel knowledge up to this point! I know there’s a bit of speculation in there but I think those Ragnarok cars will be coming in quicker than I might’ve originally thought, especially with how fast other Ragnarok toys have dropped and how hard all the Justice League stuff has filled up shelves. As always, lemme know if you’ve got something to add to the story that I don’t!