My Pop Culture Parking Lot…


By Shawn Robare

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about my love for tiny pop culture vehicles here at Branded so I decided to gather up all of my little die-cast beauties and go outside for a little photo-shoot this past weekend.  I can’t even begin to say how happy I am that companies like Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning are putting out so many 1:64 scale toys to feed my obsession with 80s era cars, trucks, and other rad modes of transportation from all the films and TV that I loved as a kid…

Pop Culture Parking Lot

I don’t have everything that I’d like to have in the collection, but it’s getting to the point where the tiny valets are having a hard time finding a place to park these babies!  I shared the handful of vehicles I managed to procure a couple years ago on the site a while back, like the Back to the Future DeLorean and Tron: Legacy Lightcycle in the picture above.  Since then I’ve managed to track down a bunch of new releases, as well as a couple of older pieces that I’m really excited about.  For instance, right behind the DeLorean you can spot Cooter’s Mustang from the Dukes of Hazzard.  Speaking of the DoH, I finally managed to track down an ERTL General Lee!

General Lee

That’s been a huge hole in my collection for years, but now I can start jumping over all sorts of 1:64 scale lakes and ravines.  Of course, what fun is having Bo & Luke’s sweet ride without Roscoe’s Sheriff Cruiser to chase it?

Roscoes Car DoH

I didn’t have that many little toy cars as a kid (though I distinctly remember playing with the yellow Incredible Hulk Hot Wheels Scene Machine), but I always wanted these Dukes of Hazzard cars.  I had a friend named Timmy who had a bunch of them as well as a large fold up plastic floor mat that had all of Hazzard county on it that he received for his birthday.  I have some vivid memories of laying down near that mat tracing the various roads with my finger while munching on some novelty bologna bubble gum slices that Timmy also got for his birthday…

One of the rad aspects of 80s era TV was all of the shows that either featured some cool cars or were dedicated to an awesome vehicle like Street Hawk, Riptide, Magnum P.I., Airwolf or the ridiculously awesome Knightrider!  Thanks to the recent Hot Wheels releases I now have K.I.T.T. and even K.A.R.R.!

KITT and KARR

I was just reading that there should be a third Knightrider release in the 2014 Retro Entertainment series from Hot Wheels, so I’m curious whether we’ll be getting one of the two cool Semis, either the Knight Foundations mobile command 16-wheeler or the evil Goliath!

Of course any collection of neat TV vehicles wouldn’t be complete without B.A. Baracus’ van and Face’s cool white Vette from the A-Team

BAB Van A-Team

Face Vett A-TEam

But not all of my favorite TV vehicles hail from the 80s as there were some other shows that I adored as a kid which I caught in reruns on Nickelodeon (either during weekdays or on Nick at Night.)  I was so excited when I realized that Johnny Lightning released the Monkees’ Monkee-Mobile back in 1998…

Monkees

Similarly Johnny Lightning put out the Munsters’ Koach in the early 2000s…

Munsters Koach

I decided that I wouldn’t limit my acquisitions to just real vehicles either and was super stoked when Hot Wheels started putting out cartoon-accurate stuff this past year as well.  I had to have the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine…

Mystery Machine

Hot Wheels has also begun releasing some other Hanna Barbera vehicles like the Flintstones family car and the Jetsons spaceship.  It’s kind of blurry in the background of that first parking lot photo, but if you squint you can make out the Flintstones car on the back right.  I decided not to feature it as there’s a better version hitting store shelves soon that has more accurate colors that I’d like to pick up.

Drawing from the 60s (and another show I caught in reruns) as well as the 80s are a couple of my favorite variations of the Batmobile…

Batmobiles 66 and 89

I used to have an ERTL Burton Batmobile, but lost it along the way over the years so I was really happy to replace it with the newer Hot Wheels release.  I was also happy to finally pick up the ’66 version from the old Adam West show recently as well.  Segueing into films, I wanted to share the first pop culture vehicle that sparked off this current trend in Hot Wheels retro cars, the 2010 release of the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters

Ecto-1

According to that 2014 release article I linked to above we’re in store for a second Ghostbusters vehicle release this year which I’m assuming is the Ecto-2 from the sequel (with the digital marquee and the checker tape siderunners.)  It would be kind of cool to get the beat-up original version of the hearse before it was pimped out by Ray though.

IMG_1608

Even though Hot Wheels has ramped up their production of these pop culture cars they’re still pretty difficult to find on store pegs.  I’m sure it’s a mix of scalpers snatching up all the product and the popularity of these coveted 1/64th scale cars, but it can be a real headache for collectors.  For instance I’ve been looking everywhere for the recent release of the Muppet’s converted school bus from the first flick.  I have yet to see one in the wild, but I was super lucky when gentleman and scholar CT over at Nerd Lunch very graciously gifted me with one this past Christmas!

Electric Mayhem Muppets

In fact that’s also how I managed to procure the Knightrider K.A.R.R. above, when the super cool William Bruce West sent me one he found.  I’ve been trying to spread the tiny car karma around whenever I find stuff that are hard to track down (like the Kroger grocery store Halloween Hot Wheels exclusive Slimer redeco Ecto-1 above…)

The most recent car I’ve tracked down for my collection isn’t an official pop culture car release, but close enough for me, this 1958 Plymouth Fury, AKA Christine from the Stephen King novel and John Carpenter movie…

Christine

Even though my pop culture parking lot is getting pretty full there are still some wishlist items that I’d love to hunt down, both releases I know are coming and some that I’m hopeful for (but not holding my breath.  So I’ll end this with my wishlist, but I’m curious, what vehicles do you have in your collection and what are you looking to procure?

Branded 1:64 scale vehicle wishlist….

1). Airwolf (Released by ETRL in the 80s, but also a Japanese Hot Wheels exclusive)

2). 1948 yellow Ford Super DeLuxe Club convertible from Karate Kid (potentially this year!)

3). 250 GT California model Ferrari from Ferris Bueller (Available from Hot Wheels)

4). Ecto-2 from Ghostbusters II (There is a Johnny Lightning release)

5). Buckaroo Banzai Jetcar (no chance in hell, sigh)

6). Porkchop Express from Big Trouble in Little China

7). Mad Max’s Interceptor (maybe with the new flick?)

8). Street Hawk motorcycle

9). Megaforce Dune Buggy & Motorcycle (Hot Wheels 80s)

10). Flight of the Navigator Spaceship

11). Thunder Road from the Explorers

12). Dracula’s Hearse from The Monster Squad

13). Mama Fatelli’s 4×4 from The Goonies

14). Light up VW Bug from The Money Pit

15). Harry’s Mutt Cutts Van from Dumb & Dumber

16). Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon’s Vacation

  • http://aeiouwhy.blogspot.com/ Dex

    Sounds like it might be time for you to pick up a Hot Wheels case :) Just last year I had to expand to a second one for my Halloween Garage. But that’s also no fun because they’re not out on display.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Might be a good suggestion still because dusting these little guys is a headache and a half!

  • JesseThomp

    What are the odds we’ll see the drunk clown’s mouse car from Uncle Buck?

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Ha! That would be rad. You know, the Hot Wheels Retro Entertainment line is putting out some rather obscure stuff (like the Stripes Winnebago and Cameron’s car – not his dad’s, his pile of junk – from Ferris Bueller), so it’s not entirely off the table… :p Along those lines, I totally need Harry’s Mutt Cutts van from Dumb & Dumber!

      • JesseThomp

        Nice pick! The sequel’s out this year, so there’s hope!

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          Good point!

      • The Sewer Den

        They NEED to make this. That’d be an awesome collectible.

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          I know!

  • http://crookedninja.com/ Cody Mix

    Ooh Flight of the Navigator, good pick!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      It’s a longshot, but weirder things have happened!

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  • http://www.rediscoverthe80s.com/ Jason G

    I’ve seen a Matt Trakker camaro hot wheels size on eBay. Not sure who released it. I had to buy the red 85 camaro that hot wheels released I think in 2012 to pretend it was his.

    T.C. ‘ chopper and the two Miami vice Ferraris are some of my favorites from the retro hot wheels collection.

    I would love to see a FOTN spaceship on the shelf.

    How about Lane’s Camaro from Better Off Dead? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_20F6T6EEw

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Whoa! Die-Cast M.A.S.K.? I need to research those. Yeah, I was contemplating a line of 1:64 scale Transformers that are in alt mode. I could use a yellow VW Bug with an autobot sticker on it for sure.

      Also YES to Lane’s Camaro!

      • http://www.rediscoverthe80s.com/ Jason G

        Here is what I’ve seen…
        http://worthopedia.s3.amazonaws.com/images/thumbnails/1/1010/29/1_2272d4635c6d79d607825491cb22453b.jpg

        Haven’t seen anything other diecast but Thunder Hawk

        • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

          HOLY Crap! Just bought one on ebay!

          • http://www.rediscoverthe80s.com/ Jason G

            Nice! I hour it’s legit. You’d think this diehard M.A.S.K. fan would know more and own one myself!

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            I’ll be sure to take pictures and post about it when it comes in. Weird, it has open-able doors, but they aren’t gull wing!

          • http://www.rediscoverthe80s.com/ Jason G

            True but the purple grid design decals should help to offset that.

            I don’t remember any 1:64 scale cars having gullwing doors back then.

          • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

            Agreed

  • DUSTINDUSTRIES

    I purchased one of these Kentucky Fried Chicken scale models a few months back as I have fond memories of long car trips back in the day then stopping at a KFC with the big bucket. I am also customizing the stickers with the 80s font I remember as this is the earlier 70s font. I plan to park some 80s movie/TV show cars in the parking lot, I would have preferred an assembled model as gluing things together is not my strong point.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRR6Y7hJVio

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Cool, that’s a pretty rad idea. If I had the room it would be cool to make a little town with to scale fast food places and maybe a Grocery store I remember fondly from my youth…

  • Chris Ferreira

    A Street Hawk motorcycle actually exists, if you don’t mind buying repainted and poorly casted ex-GI Joe figures made by Funskool (Indian Hasbro). You can find them on Ebay sometimes for $40-50.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, been wanting that one for awhile. Kicking myself for not picking it up for $10 in the late 90s…

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