2016 Batman Series

I couldn’t resist the Hot Wheels 2016 Batman Series. When I found a bin full of them at a Walmart, I picked up one of each.

My favorite Batmobile is the 1960s TV series version, which was designed by the recently departed George Barris. I have the Hot Wheels first release from 2007 and another variation from 2009, as well as a Playart version that I’ve had since childhood. I especially like the comic-book inspired illustration on the package of this latest model.

IMG_6644IMG_6636DFK71 | Batman: Classic TV Series Batmobile | 2016 Batman Series 1/6 | Matte Black, with red & silver trim, clear windows, black Thailand base | 5SP

The next Batmobile in the series first came out in 2004 as the Hardnoze Batmobile.

IMG_6643IMG_6637DFK70 | Batmobile | 2016 Batman Series 2/6 | Black with yellow tint windows, chrome Thailand base | 5SP

Next, we have the Batman Begins Batmobile, otherwise known as the Tumbler, which made its Hot Wheels debut as a 2005 Comic-Con exclusive.

IMG_6646IMG_6634DFK73 | Batman Begins Batmobile | 2016 Batman Series 3/6 | Black with blue tint windows, matte black Thailand base | Chrome/BlackOR6SP / chrome/blackMC5’s

This is only the fourth variation of the Hot Wheels Bat-Pod (so far), the first being released in 2008.

IMG_6642IMG_6638DFK75 | Bat-Pod | 2016 Batman Series 4/6 | anodized silver with anodized silver Thailand base | wideMC’s

The Bat has only been around since 2012 and this third variation wears metalflake black paint.

IMG_6641IMG_6640DFK74 | The Bat | 2016 Batman Series 5/6 | metalflake black with blue tint windows, black Thailand base

And finally, we round out the series with the second Hot Wheels variation of the Arkham Knight Batmobile, which just came out in 2015.

IMG_6645IMG_6635DFK72 | Batman: Arkham Knight Batmobile | 2016 Batman Series 6/6 | metalflake midnight blue with chrome windows, black Thailand base | grey/blackOR6SP’s

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1998 Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary Auction Finds

In addition to the 1998 Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary cars that I found at a resale shop in July, I also scored a bunch more at the recent die cast auction I attended.

The selection on the table included the VW Drag Bus, and I was quickly outbid by someone who obviously wanted that relatively valuable model. Fortunately, the bidder left the rest of the items on the table, so I was able to bid again and pick up one of each.

The car that I really wanted was the replica of the 1976 Corvette Stingray, the first ever release of this popular model. I still have the original Stingray that I’ve had since I was a child, wearing the identical red enamel paint, blue, yellow and white tampo, and redline tires. As you can imagine, my childhood Stingray is a little play-worn, so it’s nice to be able to see what it would have looked like before it was even out of the blister.

IMG_6272IMG_628218865 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Corvette Stingray (1976) | red | redlines

The original lead-based Spectraflame paint colors were discontinued in 1973 due to new safety standards for toys. When Hot Wheels tried to recreate the look of Spectraflame in this series 30 years later, it seem their paint formula was a bit sub-par. As you can see, the 1968 Deora and 1969 Ford Vicky are suffering a serious case of flecking paint.

IMG_6276IMG_627918857 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Deora (1968) | green | redlines

IMG_6277IMG_627818858 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Ford Vicky (1969) | red | redlines

The ’40’s Woodie made its debut in 1980 as one of the Hi-Rakers – cars with  adjustable-height rear wheels. I also have a yellow version which is not a Hi-Raker.

IMG_6271IMG_628318869 | 1998 30th Anniversary | ’40’s Woodie (1980) | orange | blackwalls

The 3-wheeled XT-3 is a replica of the first-release from 1985.

IMG_6273IMG_628118874 | 1998 30th Anniversary | XT-3 (1985) | black | blackwalls

Path Beater was actually released first in 1983 as Beach Patrol, but this replica of the 1986 model wears the white-hub Real Rider tires which added a more realistic flair to this casting.

IMG_6274IMG_628018875 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Path Beater (1986) | black | GYW

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2004 Zamac 1968 Nova

My family and I have had a long history with this generation of Novas, so the 1968 Nova Hot Wheels casting was a pretty big deal for me when it made its debut in 2004. But, even though I have a couple of packaging variations of the metalflake steel blue first release, it was only recently that I became aware there was a less-common zamac variation.

Zamac, of course, refers to the metallic luster of the unpainted zinc, aluminum, magnesium and copper alloy that the car is cast from.

The zamac car is worth 15 times what the blue version is worth (according to the South Texas Diecast Collectors Guide). However, it’s important to note that the blue version is only worth a dollar.IMG_6647

IMG_6633B3532 | 2004 First Editions #5 Zamac Limited Ed. | Nova 1968 | unpainted with white trim | 5SP

I’ve bought a lot of cars on eBay over the years and have rarely had any issues. But I had an interesting incident with this car. I found a zamac Nova that was priced pretty low. I should have known something was up, as the seller advertised more than 10 available at this “buy it now” price. Almost immediately after I bought one – and well before it had shipped – I sent the seller a message to confirm the color. But I got no reply, and when the car arrived in the mail it was the metalflake blue version rather than the zamac model that was pictured on the eBay listing. Fortunately, the seller did agree to a return, paying for the return shipping and reimbursing the initial purchase. But, as of this writing, I’ve noticed the seller still has the same listing up with the same misleading photo.

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Hot Wheels Action Packs

I went to my first Hot Wheels auction a few weeks ago. The auction site was a warehouse full of hundreds of items and it was a nice opportunity to bid on some things that I don’t often see. These three Hot Wheels Action Packs were among my prizes for the evening.

Action Packs were first offered in 1997 and again in 1999. There were about two dozen varieties, some with the themes you might expect like firefighting, construction and police, and others based on popular TV shows or movies. I went after the space-themed packs as a nice addition to some of my other NASA vehicles.

The John Glenn, Great American Hero Action Pack was issued to commemorate the famous pilot, astronaut and senator’s return to space after 36 years. Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth aboard the Friendship 7 as part of the Mercury Space program in 1962. In 1998, Glenn returned to space at the age of 77 as a Payload Specialist – a test subject for geriatric studies – on the Space Shuttle Discovery. This Action Pack includes the Friendship 7 capsule and the Space Shuttle Discovery, along with molded figures representing John Glenn the Mercury astronaut, John Glenn the Space Shuttle astronaut and even John Glenn the Senator.


IMG_626120868 | 1999 John Glenn | Mercury Friendship 7, Space Shuttle Discovery

The Apollo program, which ran from 1963 until 1972, was launched with a goal of putting a man on the moon. The Apollo Mission Action Pack was released in 1999 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, which was the first to achieve the program’s goal. Five subsequent Apollo missions also landed on the moon. This Action Pack represents Apollo 15, which was the first mission to utilize the Lunar Rover. In addition to the Rover, the pack also includes the Lunar Landing Module, two astronaut figures (presumably Commander David Scott and Lunar Module Pilot James Irwin) and the U.S. flag.


IMG_626018738 | 1999 Apollo Mission | Lunar Rover, Lunar Module

The Mars Rover Sojourner was landed on the red planet in 1997 by the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft in a mission that was directed by the the California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL). This was the first of a series of Mars missions that successfully deployed rovers. The JPL Sojourner Mars Rover Action Pack includes the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft, the Mars lander, and the Sojourner Mars Rover.

IMG_6258 IMG_625916145 | 1997 JPL Sojourner Mars Rover | Mars lander, Sojourner Mars Rover, Mars Pathfinder

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Wichita Blacktop Nationals

Die cast cars are great, but sometimes you just have to get out and see the real thing. My friend Wade and I took our boys to the Blacktop Nationals last night. I’m just going to let my photos speak for themselves.

IMG_6290 IMG_6291 IMG_6300 IMG_6301 IMG_6302 IMG_6303 IMG_6305 IMG_6319 IMG_6321 IMG_6322 IMG_6323 IMG_6327 IMG_6328 IMG_6331 IMG_6335 IMG_6336 IMG_6338 IMG_6341

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Husky Guy Warrior Coal Truck

I don’t often come across Husky cars, so I was happy to find this Guy Warrior Coal Truck in a thrift store recently. Husky cars were made starting in 1964 and sold exclusively at Woolworths stores. By 1970, when the exclusive contract expired, the Husky line was rebranded as Corgi Junior.

Guy Motors was a manufacturer of cars, lorries and buses based in Wolverhampton, UK, from 1914 until 1982. The Warrior chassis was developed in the mid-1950s and was used on a variety of trucks and buses.

This Husky Guy Warrior Coal Truck would have originally included a molded plastic load of coal. The casting was also released as the #13 Guy Warrior Sand Truck, which was painted blue and included a load of sand.

IMG_6224 IMG_6225Husky | #10 Guy Warrior Coal Truck | dark red

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2014 Greelight Hitch & Tow ’67 Impala and Airstream

As summer draws to an end (already!), I find myself thinking about family vacations from my youth. I’m pretty sure my family camped next to this Impala and Airstream combo one summer many years ago in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My family’s trailer wasn’t a slick Airstream, but our ’66 Pontiac Catalina wagon would’ve given the Impala some stiff competition on the highway.

Somehow I missed this package when it was in the stores last year, so I had to chase this one down on eBay. It has all of the nice detailing typical of Greenlight models and I look forward to seeing what they come up with next in the Hitch & Tow series.
IMG_6262 IMG_6264 IMG_62652014 | Greenlight Hitch & Tow Series 1 | 1967 Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan and Airstream 16′ Bambi | blue

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1998 Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary Spoilers Set

I found this Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary Set a few years back when I stumbled across the garage sale of a pretty serious collector. The set from 1998 includes replicas of four of the Spoilers, a series first introduced in 1970 that included supercharged engines and spoilers on each car. These 30th Anniversary versions have even larger engines than were put on the originals. I bought the set mostly because it includes the Heavy Chevy, which was a favorite car from my childhood.

IMG_6237 IMG_6238 IMG_623919322 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Nitty Gritty Kitty, Heavy Chevy, King Cuda, Light My Firebird


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1998 Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary Replicas

I haven’t had much luck at garage sales this summer, though I’ve been to quite a few. Instead, I’ve been scoring my finds at resale shops. I found these Hot Wheels 30th Anniversary replicas at one of those stores that specializes in pre-owned children’s clothing and toys. The outer boxes are a little beat up, but the unopened blister packs inside are in good shape.

In 1998, celebrating 30 years of production, Mattel created these replicas of the cars in their original packages which were said to “represent  collectors’ favorite models” – one from each year of Hot Wheels history. Below you can find a scan of the back of the outer box, which lists each casting that was chosen to represent each year.

Prior to 1998, Sweet 16 had only been released once – in 1973. Finding an original in mint condition can set you back a few hundred dollars. This retool, of course, is worth considerably less, but still a fun find.

IMG_6202IMG_620518862 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Sweet 16 (1973) | red | redlines

Large Charge is nowhere near as rare. After its first release in 1975, it was produced in more than 30 variations (sometimes called Silver Bullet or Aeroflash) up until as recently as 2011.

IMG_6203IMG_620618864 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Large Charge (1975) | green | redlines

Auburn 852 is another popular casting which first appeared in 1979. I have one of the original first casting, as well as a few other variations.

IMG_6201IMG_620418868 | 1998 30th Anniversary | Auburn 852 (1979) | red | blackwalls



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M2 Machines 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS

Castline has been cranking out their M2 Machines ’67 Novas for years. I have over 20 variations going back to at lease 2009. They are nice models, but it’s nice to see them switching things up a little bit. For Release 29, they cut a hole in the hood and gave each version a different engine. I found both variations of R29 at Walmart, my favorite of which has the black stripe and the stacks.

IMG_6162 IMG_6159 2014 Auto-Drivers R29 | 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS 14-17 | metallic gold

2014 Auto-Drivers R29 | 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS 14-16 | metallic gold with black stripe

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