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