2015 Corgi James Bond Aston Martin DB5

While we were in Arizona during the year-end holidays, my son and I wandered into a Toys R Us. He was determined to find something for himself, and when we came across this Corgi James Bond Aston Martin DB5, I had a hard time arguing against it. The DB5 is a beautiful car in its own right and James Bond made it even cooler. Packed in a retro-styled box and loaded with great play features, this model is the 50th anniversary reissue of the Goldfinger DB5 that won Corgi the Toy of the Year Award in 1965.

IMG_7525 IMG_75262015 Corgi CC04204S | James Bond’s Aston Martin D.B.5 | silver birch | 1:43

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I came across a website dedicated to Corgi James Bond vehicles, and this page tells a pretty complete story of the DB5.

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Late 70s Star Wars Action Figures

When my son was younger, he was all about Star Wars. He watched the movies repeatedly, amassed a huge pile of action figures, several board games and a few costumes. Then, for whatever reason, he moved on. The last time I brought my old Star Wars action figures up out of the basement, he was barely interested.

But with the recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, his interest in the franchise has been reawakened. His latest obsession is an iPad game in which he is collecting and trading Star Wars cards online. (Who remembers when trading cards were a tangible thing?) So when I heard him say his favorite character was Greedo, I reminded him that I have one of the original Greedo action figures.

After that, it was all I heard about from him – “Dad, can we go look for Greedo?” – until I went down into the cold basement, pulled out my boxes of old toys, and dug through them to find my Star Wars action figures.

IMG_7496Luke Skywalker

In those days, they had an interesting design for the lightsabers, which could be extended by pushing them up through the character’s arm.

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Kenner was the toy company that had been licensed to produce toys for Star Wars, which hit theaters on Memorial Day weekend in 1977. Interestingly, Kenner didn’t even have the toys on the shelves until 1978.

IMG_7499Sand People (Tusken Raider)

IMG_7500Death Squad Commander

My Boba Fett was a mail-order figure. I remember it was advertised that his jet pack would fire a rocket, but by the time mine came in the mail, they had decided the firing rocket was a hazard and it was molded permanently into the jet pack. I understand the few that made it to market with the working rocket are fairly valuable.

IMG_7501Boba Fett IMG_7502

These first Star Wars figures are arguably the first modern action figures. By making the figures about 3 3/4″, Kenner was able to also produce ships and playsets to scale.

IMG_7517C-3POIMG_7503Princess Leia

And here’s Greedo.

IMG_7504Greedo

Although I have a nice Star Wars tin that I had offered my son to store the figures, he commented that the box I had them stored in was “cool”. I had to explain to him what a cassette tape was.IMG_7506

 

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2016 HW Camouflage 1968 Chevy Nova

My wife gives me a lot of grief about my collection, but I know she still loves me because she looks for cars for me. While out running errands with a friend the other day, she called me from WalMart.

“Hey, I found you a Nova,” she said.

“Great!,” I replied, “Which one?”

“I don’t know,” she answered, “But, it’s really ugly.”

She has an aversion to camouflage, so I knew right away which one she had found. The 2016 Hot Wheels Camouflage Series was released back in October, so I had all but given up on still finding one in the stores. Personally, I think it’s a fun series. And I’m always glad to have another variation of the ’68 Nova.

IMG_7490IMG_7494DFL85 | 2016 HW Camouflage Series | 1968 Chevy Nova | matte dark red with camouflage trim | black MC5

The other models available in the HW Camouflage Series are ’67 Shelby GT-500, ’79 Ford Pickup, ’12 Camaro ZL1 Concept, Rodger Dodger and Tail Dragger.

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Target Exclusive M2 Machines 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS

We walked into Target last night to buy some eggs and boy was I surprised what I found in the toy section. I was making my usual beeline to the Hot Wheels when I stopped about halfway down the aisle. The entire midsection was taken up by pegs full of M2 Machines, Auto World and even the new Johnny Lightning models! I’m glad to see Target is expanding their offerings. This line of M2s is even a Target exclusive, as you can see by the snipe on the front of the package. Apparently this line of M2 Machines is being introduced this month at 400 stores nationwide.

IMG_7510 IMG_75112016 Auto-Drivers TGS01 | 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS 15-34 | silver with orange stripe

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2016 Muscle Mania ’64 Chevy Impala

There is a new variation of the Hot Wheels ’64 Chevy Impala in the 2016 Muscle Mania 5-pack. Normally when I get one of these multi-packs, I open it up and take out the car that I’m after. But I like all of the other cars in this pack – a metalflake gold ’69 Ford Mustang, a metalflake sea green ’74 Dodge Charger, a metalflake dark orange ’55 Chevy Nomad, and a metalflake blue ’67 Pontiac Firebird 400 – so much that I decided to keep them together in the box. At least for now.

IMG_7491IMG_7492DJD16 | 2016 Muscle Mania 5-Pack | ’64 Chevy Impala | black with gold and beige trim | chrome PR5 wheels

I have several other Hot Wheels ’64 Impalas, including the 2013 Cool Classics version.

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2016 Muscle Mania ’63 Chevy II

Back in 2009 and 2010, Hot Wheels released a ’63 Nova in the Dragstrip Demons series (see below). I’ve often wondered why the ’63 Nova hasn’t shown up since, so I was happy to see the ’63 Chevy II in this year’s Muscle Mania series. Although, after comparing the two, I’m pretty convinced these are two different castings. Apart from minor differences in detail, the new car appears to be almost 1/8″ longer.

There is also a Target-only Snowflake Card version of the Chevy II, which I will be on the lookout for.

IMG_7352 IMG_7354DHP13 | 2016 Muscle Mania 8/10 | ’63 Chevy II | dark blue with white trim | 5SP

The Dragstrip Demons series was a tribute real-life Funny Cars, Top Fuel dragsters, factory experimentals, fuel altereds and super stock vehicles. The 2009 line had 30 different vehicles, while the following year had 25 more. I am missing the AWB ‘Snake Eyes’ ’63 Nova from 2010, but I do have this Wilshire Shaker Match Bash Nova from 2009.

IMG_7489 IMG_7495N8972 | 2009 Drag Strip Demons 13/30 | Wilshire Shaker Match Bash ’63 Nova | white and orange with Wilshire Shaker trim | RRPRF

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2016 Hot Wheels Pop Culture ’64 Chevy Nova Delivery

In 2013, Hot Wheels introduced the ’64 Chevy Nova Station Wagon. Last year, they removed the rear windows and created the “delivery” version, which opened up a world of decorating possibilities. The first delivery was in 2015’s Pop Culture Marvel Comics series, featuring Spider-Man packaging and trim. This model flew off the pegs so fast that I never even saw one in the store – and I’ve yet to have a chance to pick one up.

Fortunately, I did find the latest delivery – from the 2016 Pop Culture Nestle series – at a Toys R Us. Considering they elected to put the 100 Grand logo across the doors, I’m not sure the delivery version was necessary for this release. Still, it’s a sharp model, especially with the whitewall Real Riders on deep, gold five-spoke wheels.

IMG_7350IMG_7356DJG74 | 2016 Pop Culture Nestle | ’64 Chevy Nova Delivery | red with Nestle 100 Grand trim | chrome and goldenrod WLRR5SP

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2011 Johnny Lightning 1969 Chevy Impala SS White Lightning

While on a family vacation to the Phoenix area over the holidays, I checked out a little place called Cubbiehole Collectibles. Tucked inside the Postal Plus More in a strip mall off 19th Ave. and Northern, the store is a classic example of collecting as a sideline business. The proprietor answers questions about his inventory of diecast vehicles while simultaneously helping customers with their shipping needs. The store is fairly well organized (I spent most of my time in the Chevrolet section) and offers an array of brands from Hot Wheels and Matchbox to Johnny Lightning, M2 Machines, Greenlight and more. There are either “more than 15,000” or “more than 25,000” items, depending which page of the website you refer to.

I could have spent a lot more time combing through the pegs full of packaged cars and cases of loose items if my patient family wasn’t waiting on me. Also, I would suggest going in with a specific want list to help from becoming distracted or even overwhelmed by the far-ranging collection.

For my part, I zeroed in on this white Johnny Lightning 1969 Impala SS. Information that I’m finding online tells me that the rare (2% of the production run) White Lightning version of Release 13 has a white engine and chassis. This is the only White Lightning I have in my collection of quite a few JLs.

IMG_7351 IMG_7355 IMG_735753717MP | 2011 Editions R13 | 1969 Chevy Impala SS | white with white top, base and interior (White Lightning)

I also picked up a loose orange Hot Wheels Corvette Stingray from 1980. I already had one of these, but you can never have too many Stingrays.

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M2 Machines Chevy 60 Years of Turbo-Fire V8

Chevrolet introduced its innovative Turbo-Fire V8 engine in 1955. 60 years later, the small-block Chevy V-8 has found its way into just about every kind of vehicle – from race cars to off-road trucks to boats – and has become one of the most common and longest-produced domestic engines.

This fun, Walmart exclusive series from M2 Machines celebrates this amazing engine with 6 different models, including a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air 265, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, a 1958 Chevrolet Apache Cameo, a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette 327, a 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS 283 and a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 RS. As much as I like them all, I limited my purchase to the 1967 Nova SS 283.

IMG_66312015 WMTS01 | 1967 Chevrolet Nova SS 283 | bright gold with Turbo-Fire V8 60 year graphics

A companion series of Auto-Haulers – also Walmart exclusive – includes variations of the 1958 Chevrolet LCF hauling a 1966 Corvette, 1969 Camaro Z/28 and this 1958 Chevrolet Impala.

IMG_6871 IMG_6872 IMG_6873 IMG_68742015 Auto-Haulers S15 | 1959 Chevrolet LCF & 1958 Chevrolet Impala | bright gold with Turbo-Fire V8 60 year graphics

I also have a different variation of the Nova SS 283 in my collection and a similar Auto-Hauler combo from the previous 100 Years of Chevrolet series.

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Hot Wheels Speedometry Classroom Kit

I’m not sure how many collectors are aware of the Hot Wheels Speedometry Classroom Kit, so I thought it would be fun to highlight what I think is a pretty cool program. I became aware of the program because my wife works in an elementary school. This also gave me access to the kit so I could take some photos for this post.

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The following description is taken directly from a FAQ on the Hot Wheels website:


 

Speedometry is a free-to-use curriculum, designed for fourth grade students, that utilizes Hot Wheels toys to teach the FUNdamentals of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Speedometry is the result of collaboration between the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and the Mattel Children’s Foundation.

The curriculum is comprised of 2 units, intended to provide over 10 hours of instruction to students. Unit 1: Speed Ramps explores potential and kinetic energy and Unit 2: Mini Collision Course explores the relationship between energy and force. Fourteen professional development videos are available on the Speedometry website to assist you with teaching both units to your students.


 
classroom_kit_instructions_frontclassroom_kit_instructions_backThe kit includes 40 cars and enough track parts to set up 16 separate 7′ courses, each with its own desk clamp and a single loop. The Speedometry page of the Hot Wheels website offers downloadable Grade 4-level lesson plans and supporting videos, as well as suggested learning activities for families to use the kit at home.

Unfortunately as of this writing, a note on the site says that – due to very high demand – the kit is temporarily unavailable.

In the kit that I looked at, I found it interesting that most of the cars included were 2014 HW Mystery Models. There are 5 different models, with 8-car bundles of each model. Each car is individually sealed in clear plastic.

IMG_6888 IMG_6889X6999 | 2015 HW Various Multipacks | La Fasta | metalflake black with white, red & black trim | PR5

IMG_6886 IMG_6887BDL15 | 2014 HW Mystery Models #05/12 | Bedlam | blue with white, yellow & lt. green trim | chrome orange PR5

IMG_6882 IMG_6883BDL15 | 2014 HW Mystery Models #09/12 | CCM Country Club Muscle | green with white, blue & black trim | 10SP

IMG_6890 IMG_6891BDL15 | 2014 HW Mystery Models #10/12 | Ultra Rage | bright red with yellow & white trim | white OH5SP

IMG_6884 IMG_6885BDL15 | 2014 HW Mystery Models #12/12 | Power Pro | yellow with white, red, black & silver trim | PR5

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