I don’t think I’m the only Star Wars collector that has been aching for a great new line of die-cast. When you consider the Vintage die-cast mini vehicles, Micro Machines, all the way to the Titanium line, we’ve had some pretty good runs in die-cast.
The Prequels landed us some really nice die-cast in the forms of NASCAR and INDY cars. Although, I don’t think anyone was willing to send their $20 limited edition Jeff Gordon 1/64th down the staircase to see how many flips it could do and still land on the wheels.
At SDCC in 2005 there was hope for Star Wars die-cast cars. Hasbro’s Titanium line was at the peak and red-hot. Hoping to expand the line, Hasbro had two samples from what was called the “Titanium Die-Cast Cars”. (Sorry about the horrible picture, but you can almost make out Vader and Yoda). Sadly, the line was never produced.
Hearts were broken (or just mine, unless you knew about them too) until Disney got us covered, even a few years before the Lucasfilm deal. For a while now they have had the Disney Racers, which are character shaped die-cast cars, which I love. The RC versions were a nice addition to the Racers. In 2013 they made Star Wars versions of the CARS characters, which I also love. While both of these are great they are not really available to everyone unless they are Disney Passholders, or willing to pay a bit more on eBay for them.
Then in 2014 it happened. Mattel announced a full line of Star Wars themed cars. Mattel and Hasbro both have a Star Wars license? I digress because this could only be awesome. Last year at the San Diego Comic Con I was blown away to know there was going to a real Darth Vader Hot Wheel built on a Corvette chassis. I couldn’t wait to see it and hopefully get one of the exclusive light-up lightsaber-cased versions of the 1/64th scaled Vader cars. Well, at least I got to see the real car. I may not have been lucky enough to get one of the exclusives, but I did get to see the entire line-up and start my checklist a few months early. I noticed myself getting really excited as a collector again. I was finally getting pure Star Wars Hot Wheels!!!
Speaking of childhood, how many of you know someone or were the kid that “had a cases full of Hot Wheels with a box full of miles of track”? I think the track came from a Garage Sale, but I was still “that” kid. I didn’t use my track for sword fights, hoping to poke out an eye with the connector piece. I had elaborate contraptions running down my staircase and would race cars all day long. Seeing those Hot Wheels at Comic Con really took me back to that place.
When I see something at Comic Con I know it will be a few months before it hits the shelves. I started “doing the rounds” around the end of fall last year. I wasn’t finding anything and getting kind of bummed. Finally I found the Target Exclusive 5 pack on their app. It has Vader, R2-D2, Luke X-Wing Pilot, Yoda, and the exclusive Battle Damaged Stormtrooper. They also had free ship to store, so no brainer – in the “cart”! I asked Santa for the Death Star Battle Blast track set for Christmas. Lo and behold, Santa came through like always. That set came with a launcher and an exclusive car – RD-01. It has still been really hard out here to find the regular cars on the pegs. CWK’s own Jedi Melinda sent me a carded Vader for Christmas. That one stays packaged. I was able to find the 501st Trooper, Tusken Raider, and Darth Maul on my own. I resorted to Amazon to get the R2-D2/C-3PO and Han/Chewie 2-packs that are well worth it if you find them. To stoke the fire even more, for only 98 cents each, you can get eight Wal-Mart Exclusive poster carded vehicles. They are pre-existing, trippy concept cars with SW paint jobs. The cards are the movie posters including a card for Clone Wars and for Rebels. I jumped the gun and got my set on amazon for more than 98 cents each, but I don’t regret it. If I see those “in the wild” I’ll pick up a set to open. As for the rest, they have been opened. The cars themselves are just amazingly detailed and sure to make any Star Wars fan or Hot Wheels collector happy. Details like Vader’s lightsaber side exhaust, Darth Maul’s Double Bladed tail light, Stormtrooper’s blasters for mufflers, and C-3PO’s three gold rims and one silver rim are the little things that appeal to people like us. I have added a standard loop set and a jump set. These have seen airtime, small crashes (paint is still perfect), and have kept me mesmerized for a few hours a couple of nights. Needless to say, the Boy and the Box are Striking Back!
Well my fellow Coffee lovers, I hope your 2015 is off to a great start. I don’t know about you (although I do), but I’m in countdown mode for a few key events this year. Between Celebration, Cons, and a certain movie coming out (or AWAKENING) in December, we as fans have a lot to excited about nowadays. OK, that feeling never really goes away – does it? Maybe it’s a little intensified…
Thanks for checking out my blog and stay tuned to Coffee with Kenobi – “The Podcast You’ve Been Looking For” for the latest in Star Wars news and views!
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