Tag: marvel character cars

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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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.

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!

GIANT Marvel Character Car – Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher

Welcome back grown-ups, in-betweens, children and lil’ babies…we’ve got an unlikely piece of plastic coming our way today.

Remember the Groot Hauler? Maybe not, because I never properly wrote about it (still plan to!), but what mustn’t be ignored about the large vehicle is that despite its resemblance to a semi-truck, it is in fact considered a bona fide Character Car by Hot Wheels. I know some folks won’t like this and have a hard time accepting these giant toys as part of the Character Cars-proper collection, but hey, if you don’t like ’em, don’t get ’em. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!

Anyway, back when the Groot Hauler was first on my radar, I remember Hot Wheels advertising a couple of other “big ones” too. I hadn’t really thought about it much until the Spider-Man car caught my eye…I guess it was over at shop.mattel.com, but what I really noticed was the little web-car for some reason. I guess I stowed it away in my mind for some reason, because I immediately recognized it against a slew of other vehicularly-themed vehicles from Homecoming peppering the shelves of Toys R Us. TRU can be a confusing place because they organize their toys by both type and theme – sometimes both. So while all the other Spider-Man vehicle stuff is over there on the “Marvel aisle,” this Web-Launcher guy is over there with the Hot Wheels and most other character cars. Oddly enough, if you wanted that aberrant Rocket Raccoon / Baby Groot 2-pack of character cars, you’d find that on the Marvel aisle and nowhere near the Hot Wheels aisle where the other 90% of character cars are kept. Kinda makes me wonder how much stuff otherwise serious collectors miss…and not because I’m not character car-spotting savant, I just have a certain OCD-ness that compels me to look up and down the same aisles multiple times during a visit. Plus I have my kid with me at least 50% of the time and he spots lots of stuff before me just because of what’s at his eye-level versus mine.

Ok rant thwarted, let’s look at what is officially dubbed the Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher. It’s big. Really big!

Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher

Alright, honestly our Web-Car Launcher isn’t as…well…functional as the Groot Hauler. It’s listed as having 2 action features which turns out to be a) the launching of the Web-Car, and b) the “eyes changing shape” when the spoiler is pressed. Ok ok ok, this is misleading, because these 2 things happen when you push the spoiler down. So it’s not like you can activate one individually or anything – not that I give a damn necessarily – but the wording is a little tricky.

Big Spidey

I know that in the wake of SDCC 2017 that weird little dune buggy thing has emerged as the “Spider-Mobile,” but I think this would be even more appropriate! Something like this could become as recognizable as the Batmobile!

Now most of the time when you’re dealing with small cars and you’ve got that buzzword LAUNCH you usually think of some sort of spring-loaded mechanism, right? Like a little projectile or whatever; something that pushes a spring back, and then catches on a mechanism activated by some kind of trigger, thereby releasing the spring and flinging shit forth. Well they really threw caution to the wind here! Basically when you press the spoiler, this big, flat “foot” thrusts out and manually pushes the web-car out of the inner tunnel of the larger Spidey car. Spidey’s got this big long “barrel,” and as I pushed the web-car in I expected some resistance but nope, it just rolls on back, ready for that chunk of plastic to push it forward!

The set will be a bit underwhelming for youngsters interested in shooting cars across the room, though some may be able to appreciate the fact that any car that can physically fit down the “barrel” can be “launched;” it’s not specifically crafted/fitted for a single car.

As far as how the car looks and otherwise functions though, I can’t see any problems. In some regards I’m glad there are no springs or more moving parts than there are. Depending on how truly collectible these become, it’ll be nice not to deal with the aging parts. Springs rust and become “unsprung,” and they also place tension on the surrounding plastic which can become brittle with age. If nothing else, when taken care of, this car – and it’s ability to motherfucking LAUNCH LAUNCH – should last a great long while.

Web-Car

The one…the only…EXCLUSIVE WEB-CAR!

Spidey is very lightweight for his size and done in the style of his updated Homecoming Character Car. It’s basically a big red thing, though there are small sparkles in the paint. For whatever reason, it be dat Web-Car that’s really gotten my attention. It’s like any other 1:64 Hot Wheels, although according to the box it is not simply some re-used/re-painted casing, but rather an Exclusive Web-Car according to the box! I like it. Not so sure how it thematically jives with the rest of the character cars, but I’m nothing if not a sucker for these exclusives.

Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher

Is the Spider-Man Web-Car Launcher worth your time, effort, and money? It’s hard to say. For what it is I think the MSRP of $20 is a little high…something like $12.99 to $14.99 seems about right for something with no lights, or sounds, or automated movement. A lot of it will depend on whether or not you like loud, noisy toys, and I happen to not care for them so much so I’m OK with giant Spidey car and the super-cool exclusive!

Remember This? (Nice Iron Man & Hulkbuster Set)

Remember this fun little gem I brought up a while back?

Iron Man and Hulkbuster RLC

Even before I posted the article, I’d had the set for 2 or 3 months and up until a couple of days ago remained genuinely clueless about where it came from. And how did lil’ ol’ me run across something so obscure? It’s pretty simple really; one of my highly secretive techniques for finding shit is to do blanket searches on eBay like hot wheels marvel or hot wheels dc. You can further qualify the search with things like “character car(s)” but sometimes this can limit what shows up, especially from people who don’t exactly know what they have. (To be fair, I almost always have to use an extra term with Star Wars stuff, as hot wheels star wars will bring up all character cars, starships, carships, and whatever other odds and ends.) Anyway, if you do searches like this maybe a couple times per day, sort by Newly Listed, and browse through at least the first page of results, very little will slip past your radar.

At the time, I snagged the set for either $19.99 or $29.99; I can’t remember which, and you’re about to see why. Doing a search for sold listings, only one came up, and it’d gone for $29.99. In the month or two that followed, I saw it listed one more time, this time for $19.99. And that’s why I’m not 100% sure what I dropped on it. Aside from those sightings though, this thing didn’t appear to exist…until just a couple of weeks ago.

Or I’m guessing it was a couple of weeks – coulda been a little more or a little less – but the point is I started seeing these things all over the place. Judging from the description, it sounds like these are (were?) a special Hot Wheels Red Line Club (RLC) offering, not too dissimilar from the white Captain America Character Car from last year. What’s so incredible is that most sellers are asking anywhere from $45 to $70 for the sets! Based just on that, I’d say either the $20 or $30 I paid was at the low end of the retail price. So, um, hell yeah!

Now normally I’d tell you not to sweat if you wanted one…that demand would steadily wane and prices would drop (have you seen how cheap those 2015 SDCC Secret Wars sets go for?) and that pretty soon people would be content just to make a few bucks off of it. In this instance though I’d hesitate to give you this advice – or any advice – because this set is a limited edition of only 4000. With small numbers like this predictions are tough to make, though it’s almost certain that in the long haul it’ll gain value.

Each set is supposed to individually numbered. On the bottom you can see a little white area where the text is embossed, which is where I presume the number is. (I outlined it in green!)

Back

Ok, can’t really see anything there, but if we zoom in a little and angle the flash some…

Back

What I see is 3 2 8 6 E A A which I guess makes sense if we’re talking 4,000 sets total…I just don’t get the “E A A” part. “3286” may not be the super-low and valuable production number we could’ve hoped for, thought I’d still count myself as lucky for owning one at all. Note: If this is not the product number, let me know!

That’s it for now, but keep checking back furiously – I gots so much stuff I need to write about!