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.
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:
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:
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!