Tiny car realization and a CONTEST!


By Shawn Robare

So apparently I collect die-cast vehicles.  If someone had asked me a week ago if I collected Hot Wheels I could have easily said “no” without any hesitation.  There’s no malice in that statement either; it’s not that I dislike these little die-cast metal vehicles.  I just never thought of myself as a connoisseur of the medium I guess.  I know that I had a handful of cars as a kid, but by and large I was an action figure guy and whenever I found myself in a toy store, I was never drawn to that aisle.  I’m not even sure where I came across the handful of cars and trucks I did have, though if I had to bet I’d say they were most likely stocking stuffers.

Over the past couple of years I’ve found myself picking up a Hot Wheels car here and there, mostly due to some awesome pop culture vehicles popping up unexpectedly on the pegs.  I happened to see an Ecto-1 Ghostbusters ambulance one day in Toys ‘R Us and thought to myself, “Neat, wouldn’t it be cool if a few more die-cast cars like this started showing up?!?”  Within six months I was alerted to the fact that the Back to the Future DeLorean was released, and then shortly after the A-Team van.  At that point I was downright craving more miniature pop culture rides, and even though I found myself gravitating to the Hot Wheels section more and more it always seemed like a pretty fruitless endeavor.  There just weren’t enough of these to really keep my interest in continuing the search…

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But then here and there I’d find something that caught my eye.  Whether it was some of the Tron Legacy vehicles, or a retro Hot Wheels Hot Ones release (like Spoiler Sport) that reminded me of a very similar Incredible Hulk-themed version of the car I had as a kid, I couldn’t help myself and before I knew it I was checking out at the register with two or three cars…

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Shortly after Halloween was over last year I stumbled upon a set of Monster Cereal branded cars, which I felt obligated to own as I don’t have any MC merch and this was a fine way of keeping that Halloween-y feeling alive for another week or so.  Honestly though, even at this point I didn’t consider myself a collector of little toy cars.  But after picking up a slightly expensive new Hot Wheels K.I.T.T. (I didn’t want to wait the eternity it seems for this little guy to hit the pegs), and splurging on a few more of the retro Hot Ones cars last week I think I now have to reconsider my stance on collecting.

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I think the final nail in the coffin is that I found myself scouring Hot Wheels wikis and eBay looking for specific cars I had as a kid.  After placing a bid on one of them (keeping my fingers crossed) I think it’s pretty clear that I’ve passed a line of demarcation.  I apparently collect Hot Wheels.

So, in honor of this realization, I thought it would be fun to do a giveaway of some of the extra Hot Wheels pop culture cars I’ve picked up over the last year.  I have two sets to give away, one featuring the 2010 Ecto-1, the 2011 Back to the Future Time Machine, and the 2011 A-Team van, and a second with just has the A-Team van and the BTTF Time Machine.  So what do you have to do to win one of these sets?  Well, you can send me an e-mail with the subject line “Pop Culture Hot Wheels” and list your favorite Hot Wheels toy or experience.  Be sure to include your name and mailing address.  I’ll be picking the winners at Midnight on Thursday, May 31st, 2012.  Good luck!

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**UPDATE**  Consider the giveaway pot sweetened!  I found two 2012 Knight Rider K.I.T.T. Hot Wheels today, so I’m adding one to each prize pack!

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Now, I’m just going to sit back and hope that there will be a Hot Wheels release of some of my other favorite vehicles soon (including the General Lee, Airwolf, and Street Hawk)…

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

    Mike – Yup, Megaforce was indeed awesome (and also Hot Wheels.) I just saw that movie the other day and it was mind-numbing-ly amazing. Just the right amount of insanity and awesome action mixed with goofy costumes. Felt like a live action G.I. Joe movie I would have loved had I seen it as a kid…

  • Mike

    let’s not forget the MEGAFORCE line, but i dont think they were matchbox or hot wheels, but fun nonetheless. also there was a really cool nasty 70′s green hover ferry type thing that occuppied my time

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

    Tommy – Oh wow! I’d love to see some pictures from that.

  • http://tophatsasquatch.com/ Tommy

    The children’s museum here in Indy is having a Hot Wheels exhibit soon featuring some real-life Hot Wheels. I’ll have to go check it out and report back!

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

    Roger – Yup, got your e-mail and dug your story!

  • http://bertonatorsblog.blogspot.com/ Roger J. Berton

    I sent in an e-mail to you. Hope you like my little story, these vehicles would make a nice addition to my collection!

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

    Joseph – Thank god I’m not more of a cereal freak or I would have gone broke picking up the rest of the general mills cars. With Cookie Crisp, I’d really want a paddy wagon with the CC thief on the side. As far as the Batmobile goes, that seems like a rabbit hole that I dare not fall into. Don’t know if I could limit myself to just the ’66 version…

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

    Paxton – Yeah, I just found out about all the Johnny Lightning TV and movie cars. Many I want the Monkees dragster now…

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

    Christopher – Yeah, those pop culture cars have been sneaking up on me too. I see a random tweet here and there and it sends me to the store hunting through the pegs. I’ve been looking for the Knight Rider K.I.T.T.s to show up on the pegs so that I could add them to the contest loot, but no dice…

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

    Dex – It really is. After picking up some of the Retro Hot Ones, I decided I’d post about them on the site. Then before I left the house that morning I started looking for some of my other cars to pad the post and the next thing I knew my bag was full. I’ve even found an Oscar Meyer Weiner mobile, a ’71 Mach 1 Mustang and a VW Bug that I forgot I have. What the hell! I think this might actually be a secret marketing plan by Mattel to secretly get people to collect. I also caved and picked up that Fangula that I think you posted about recently. Then I found two more versions of the car with sinister paint jobs and figured what the hell. I’m collecting, might as well collect…

  • http://aeiouwhy.blogspot.com/ Dex (@Dex1138)

    Funny how this stuff creeps up on you ain’t it? I limit myself to Halloween themed cars. Even if they’re not “offical” Halloween releases, as long as I feel they fit in, they’re goin in the Halloween garage. I picked up the Boo Berry and Chocula cars when I found them. I had to track down Frank online after passing on him at TRU because their prices were too high. I’m always checking out the cars when I hit toy aisles and am always tempted to pick up a stray one or two because I like the design. So far, I’ve managed to hold out.

  • http://www.ctupa.com/ Christoper Tupa

    Awesome! I didn’t know they had an A-Team or Kitt HotWheels! Dang it, I’ve never seen either one. I had the Delorean and Ecto-1.I also have a General Lee. Great post, you have some nice cars. I too pick up one or two now and then and now have a small box full!

  • http://www.cavalcadeofawesome.net/ Paxton Holley

    I know how you feel, Shawn. I don’t really collect little die cast cars, except every once in a blue moon I grab a pop culture Movie/TV themed car. I got rid of a bunch of them a few years ago, the only ones I have left are an Ertl Dukes of Hazard General Lee and a Johnny Lightning Back to the Future Delorean. They are sitting on my desk at work next to a Rubik’s Cube and figures of Blade and The Shadow. I would love to re-acquire KITT or the A-Team van. They’re small and display nicely on the shelf. Cripes, is there anything we won’t collect.

  • http://www.comicbookrehab.blogspot.com/ Joseph Adorno

    I remember seeing the display for the monster cereal cars. They also had cars for all the other cartoon cereals in the General Mills line, even Cinnamon Toast Crunch – but no Cookie Crisp! I thought that was odd. Maybe it’s because in some countries Chip the Wolf’s design is replaced with a lookalike panther… I notice you’re missing one car in that collection: a replica of the 1966 Batman Batmobile from the tv show.

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