Collecting Posts

1 Deora, 2 Deora, 3 Deora… Counting Hot Wheels Remakes and Sequels

Hot Wheels Deora Original, II, and III

Deora Original, II, and III

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

An interesting new Hot Wheels vehicle hit the pegs recently, a swoopy, cab-forward pickup truck with a surfboard and an E-bike riding in the back. While the design is eye-catching, the name is what got my attention… Deora III. Looking at the profile, it sure looks like it could be descended from the Dodge Deora concept that became one of the original 16, and was then re-interpreted ’90s Style a couple decades later.

As it turns out, several Hot Wheels cars have been the subject of modern interpretations years after the original. Mind you, we’re not talking about models of new versions of real cars, such as the original Custom Corvette and subsequent Corvette models. Also not mentioned are slightly modified castings or renamed versions of the same basic casting. And we’re leaving out the Tooned, Oozed, Droptopped variants as well. These are strictly modern retakes/remakes/sequels of the originals.

Hot Wheels Silhouette Original and II

Silhouette Original and II

Original 16, ’90s Style

As mentioned before, The Deora II was created in 1990, and was popular enough that it remains in regular use today (It was even made into a full-size running show truck). Three other Original 16 cars got similar updates: The Slhouette, the Splittin’ Image, and the Twin Mill. Each of the new castings really captured the design ethic of the early ’90s while unmistakably carrying on the distinct characteristics of the earlier models. Kids of that era may have preferred the new designs, but for the most part, but it’s probably safe to say the originals are still the overwhelming favorites. Like the Deora, the Twin Mill got another sequel, the appropriately named Twin Mill III. The Splittin’ Image also got a Part III for Premium releases.

Hot Wheels Splittin' Image Original, II and II Premium

Splittin’ Image Original, II and III Premium

 

Hot Wheels Twin Mill Original, II, and III

Twin Mill Original, II, and III

Other Redlines For Other Times

There have been numerous other early Redline cars that have been updated over the years as well. The Whip Creamer was a strange design with a sliding canopy and turbine that spun when air hit it as it went down the track. An updated version carried similar traits. The Cockney Cab was a hot rodded but plausible London Cab, while the Cockney Cab II was more of a funny car caricature.

Hot Wheels Whip Creamer Original and II

Whip Creamer Original and II

 

Hot Wheels Cockney Cab Original and II

Cockney Cab Original and II

It’s easy to see the lineage between the Bye Focal and Bye Focal II, while the Sweet 16 and its updated version share mostly the long 1930s proportions and 16 cylinder engine.

Hot Wheels Bye Focal Original and II

Bye Focal Original and II

 

How Wheels Sweet Sixteen Original and II

Sweet Sixteen Original and II

The Jet Threat went from a rocket dragster to the Jet Threat II, which was… well, pretty much the same casting. But there was a Jet Threat 3.0, a much sleeker, lower design, and even a Jet Threat 4.0, also very much fighter-plane-inspired.

Hot Wheels Jet Threat Original/II, 3.0, 4.0

Jet Threat Original/II, 3.0, 4.0

Hot Wheels Show Hoss II

Oops, the Show Hoss II is the original.

By the way, has anyone ever seen the Show Hoss II and wondered about the original? It’s actually a funny car based on the Mustang II, (hence the name) but there was never an original first version from Mattel. So nope, not a sequel in this sense.

Even Newer Originals

Nostalgia doesn’t wait as long as it used to. Ignoring the arbitrary but traditional 20-year buffer before something can be considered “retro,” several newer Hot Wheels castings have received the update treatment. The Semi Fast was a sleek, futuristic COE semi tractor, while version II is an older looking dragster with a ginormous engine. The Sting Rod first appeared in the late ’80s as a Fiero-by-way-of-Mad-Max… the recent update keeps the same idea but with a newer, unlicensed body.

Hot Wheels Semi Fast Original and II

Semi Fast Original and II

 

Hot Wheels Sting Rod Original and II

Sting Rod Original and II

Nature Finds a Way

The Street Beasts name has been used several times over the years to mean different things… In the most recent incarnation, it has included a range of animal-based cars, using old castings for the most part. But at least two of these got serious makeovers. The Speed-a-Saurus, perhaps the cuddliest Hot Wheels car of all, featured a rubber stegosaurus riding on a dragster chassis. The new Motosaurus incorporates the dinosaur in a more cybernetic way. Different name, same idea. The SharKruiser, which still finds its way into production on occasion, got a similar update with the more aggressive Shark Bite for this series. You can change the name, but the DNA is still there.

 

About Those Tooned cars…

Okay, we do have to consider one Tooned version, which takes us back to where this all started. The original Deora was given cartoonish proportions when that series came out, and looked pretty awesome. The Deora II wasn’t part of that series, but did get similar treatment as a pullback car in the Micro Speed Demons series. Evolution works in strange ways sometimes.

Do you know of any other Hot Wheels remakes along these lines? Let us know in the comments below!

Hard Rock Pin Catalog Finds New Location at hobbyDB.com

hard rock cafe pinEven with the word “cafe” in the name, many people see Hard Rock Cafe as more of a museum of music and pop culture. With unique memorabilia in each restaurant, casino or hotel worldwide, it’s worth a trip any time you’re in a city that has one. And while there, it’s always fun to look at the collectibles that are also unique to each one. About that one of a kind, not-for-sale memorabilia… Hardrock.com has a channel called RPM that features articles and videos about the collection, a virtual museum tour if you can’t be there in person. 

hard rock cafe pinThe website is something more than a museum with additional stories of concert reviews, music history, upcoming concert listings and more. Each location tailors its collection to the music that rocked from that town (though they display a wide variety of other influence as well). Detroit has a heavy Motown influence to their items, while San Francisco caters heavily towards psychedelic rock, while Denver features a smashed typewriter from local gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (which is more than a little bit rock n’ roll).

hard rock cafe pin pink caddyhobbyDB.com is working hard to add the entire gamut of Hard Rock Cafe collectibles to the database, starting with the Hard Rock Pin Catalog. Since 2001, the Catalog has documented over 84,000 pins. Eighty. Four. Thousand.

This massive undertaking is a joint effort between the tireless Data Team at hobbyDB and an organization known as the Pin Masters. Each volunteer is responsible for staying current on one of the over 250 Hard Rock global locations. And there’s a Pin Master Advisory Board to monitor and organize their efforts.

While there are countless other Hard Rock collectibles, the pins are easily one of the most popular. For now, the Pin Catalog only documents those items. But hobbyDB is expanding on that theme with shot glasses, magnets, stuffed characters, T-Shirts and anything else available.

hobbyDB also cross-references each collectible with other relevant items… people, bands, cities, themes, and other collectibles beyond the Hard Rock empire. So if you’re into  Elvis Presley for example, any relevant item including pins or toy cars will show up. 

And hobbyDB is also a marketplace to buy or sell these items or anything collectible. Sellers might have a few items or tens of thousands, either way it is easy to set up shop as you only have to find your item in the catalog and click on the sell-one-of-these button.

Hey, if your a collector you can help us! Anyone from novice collectors to hard rock… er, hardcore enthusiasts can contribute to the effort either by adding items to hobbyDB’s database or by working with the HRC Catalog.

hard rock cafe elvis stuffy

Limited Licensed Promo Hot Wheels – Collect Them All If You Can Find Them!

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Anyone interested in collecting Hot Wheels can find a pretty much complete list of every variant of every model ever made, as well as accurate lists of upcoming offerings.

There is an exception to that rule, however, when it come to limited licensed promo Hot Wheels models. A company such as Supreme, makers of skate-related fashion, might offer a vehicle (or a matching set in this case) with their logo plastered all over it.

hot wheels supreme bmwWhat makes these rare for completist collectors is that since they are distributed by the company who licensed them, many of them do not end up on the official Mattel release schedules, so diecast collectors might not know about them until they sell out at stores, online, or via mail-in promotions. Eventually they might show up on the secondary market. In fact, the target market for these items would likely not include traditional diecast collectors, but fans of the brand, so some of these might not ever get resold.

hot wheels twizzlers van

This is actually not a promo car.

Davis Sprague is an avid collector who has added quite a few items to the hobbyDB database. He happens to specialize in really odd variants such as these promo vehicles. “I prefer to focus on collecting variations, international releases, and anything that most collectors wouldn’t typically see every day at their local flea markets,” he said.

On a side note, Hot Wheels occasionally offers cross-branded cars as part of the Mainline series. Since these are widely available in most stores, these aren’t what we’re talking about here. Also, convention and event cars are not quite the same thing. Instead, let’s focus on models that were distributed well outside the usual collector channels. Many of these were released well before the internet became the instant toy news machine it is today, so finding out about them back then was hit-or-miss.

Davis was kind enough to send us a pretty comprehensive list of his favorite promos.

hot wheels promo cars

hot wheels fish o sour

Fat Fendered ’40 (2001 Chuck E Cheese’s Game Prize)
This one was fun to get… it was a prize to be earned at Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant/arcades. There’s no shame in playing kids games to get something this awesome, right?

C. Rex Mobile Nissan Hardbody (1994 Kraft Mail-In Promotional)
Speaking of cheesy mascots, this pickup was only available by mailing in mac and cheese proofs. In some cases, promotions like this may have been mentioned in TV ads, but most likely, you just had to spot it on the shelf at the grocery store.

Fish-O-Saurs VW Drag Bus (1998 Van de Kamp’s mail-in promo)
Do you like fish sticks? Good, because there were several vehicles available in this promotion (and one the year before) that required sending in proof of purchase seals.

hot wheels promo carsFatlace Volkswagen T1 Panel Van (Fatlace Promo)
Speaking of VW Buses, Fatlace, a “dope, ill, lifestyle” brand, made this T1 Panel Bus available only through them. It includes the slogan “Collect Everything” on the door, so what are you waiting for?

Second Wind (1983 Spontex promotional)
If this looks like Speed Racer’s Mach 5 with a sticker on the hood, well, yeah, it kind of is. The Second Wind was intended to be a Mach 5, but Mattel didn’t secure the licensing, so they modified it slightly and renamed it. As for the sticker, Spontex is a French cleaning supply company, and even though it’s just a sticker, it does come in a sealed blister, so finding one intact can be a challenge.

hot wheels promo carsAdidas High Voltage (2005 Adidas Shoes Promotion)
There was a chance collectors may have known about this one, as it came with a pair of kids Adidas Hot Wheels shoes. Which you bought for your kid, not for yourself, right?

Ecolab Ford Bronco 4-Wheeler (1994/1997 Ecolab Promo)
Maybe not the hippest brand on the planet, Ecolab (a clean water and hygiene services company) did this promo that resembles their service trucks. They are very sought after by collectors because of the popular casting and several wheel variations.

Since these don’t show up in more traditional outlets, these can be hard to keep track of, especially if you want to acquire them new. If you know of other recent or current promo vehicles from Hot Wheels, or especially from other diecast brands, let us know in the comments. Also, do you enjoy chasing these models from the source, or would you rather get them afterwards (such as on hobbyDB?)

Goodbye Movin’ Marvin: The Collectible That Got Away

Ron Ruelle

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

I’ve been thinking about a toy from my childhood lately. A toy from my grown-up collection, as well. His name is Movin’ Marvin.

Marvin would be at home with the Hot Wheels Farbs, who were also humans attached to wheels and motors in various degrees of discomfort. Marvin rides on a small cart, and if you flip him over, there is a vestigial chassis-like apparatus. But he’s still kinda weird lookin’.

ssp movin marvinssp movin marvin comicMovin’ Marvin was part of the Kenner SSP (Super Sonic Power) series of gyro-powered vehicles from the 1970s. They were immensely popular toys in the first half of the decade. Most of the cars were about 1:24 scale, but Marvin was much bigger, while taking up the same amount of shelf space.

Unlike most SSP cars, I never even saw an actual Movin’ Marvin figure/car when I was a kid. He appeared in crude, cartoonish illustration form in some ads, and only as a “collect them all” afterthought (at right, near the bottom).

Some time in the late 1990s, I did begin to collect them all, to the tune of over 75 different SSP models and accessories on my shelf today. And about ten years ago, I found Marvin in an antique store. He was $125, which might seem like a lot to the uninitiated, but having never actually confirmed that this toy even existed up to that point in my life, the price was a bargain to me. He was missing the velocity stack assembly at the top of the engine, but was otherwise in great shape. So I took him home.

Collecting a particular vintage toy line can be tricky… Since SSP cars are no longer in production, there is a finite number of variants out there, but still in the hundreds. How much of a completist do I want to be? Do I need every model in every color? Or just the ones based on real production cars? Or maybe limit my collection to the Smash-Up Derby models? Marvin was part of a series called “The Stunt Men” along with Herk (who looks Roman) and Knight Rider (who does not look like David Hasselhoff). Marvin was kind of an oddball, by far the largest-scaled model in the entire SSP line, and one of the heaviest. He didn’t totally fit int, but he was still part of the family.

kenner ssp movin marvin boxTurns out Marvin is indeed as rare as suspected. One turns up for sale online maybe once a year, and they tend to go for a lot more than I paid. Some lucky duck even found one mint in a not-so-mint package recently. Holy grail stuff right there. But I was happy with mine, even missing that engine piece.

A few years back, I was between jobs (this was juuuuust before hobbyDB launched our marketplace), so I decided to thin out my collection a bit. I had a mint Plymouth Superbird model in ultra rare orange that someone snagged off my shelf for $500. (I kept a less perfect, less valuable green example in its place.) And then someone contacted me about Marvin. “Would you take $600 for it?” he asked… “How about $750?” At that point, these two toys could just about pay my mortgage for a month, so I had to go for it. The guy even made generous offers on a couple other models I had duplicates of.

kenner ssp movin marvin

I just now realized Movin’ Marvin kind of looks like Pete Rose!

I was sad shipping those toys off, but here’s a way to look at it: Would I have paid $750 for a Marvin that day? Probably not. But by turning down that money, in effect, I would have been doing so, if that makes sense. Or look at this this way: Would I rather have $750, or Marvin? More abstractly, would I rather have half a house payment, or a toy that I didn’t even have when I was a kid?

Now that things are better financially, I’ve kind of been looking for a replacement Marvin. Obviously, I would like to find one cheap again, so I have to be patient. I found a really nice one for about $300 recently, but still more than I can bite off. But an interesting realization hit me…

See, for many of us, the hunt is part of the thrill of collecting. I had kind of reached a point where I owned pretty much all the cars I wanted, so I wasn’t on the prowl anymore. I kind of missed it. So by letting go of a couple of real rarities, my interest in these toys is back. And that makes them fun again.

kenner ssp movin marvinDo you have a favorite toy or collectible you regret letting go? Let us know in the comments (with photos if you have them!)

hobbyDB recognized as the most reliable Funko pricing resource

As many of you know, pricing is at the core of what we do. Providing trending values to people who collect all sorts of items from different fandoms is a passion of ours, as we know how important it is to understand the value of one’s collection. It is for that very reason that we are very excited to announce that Funko has recognized hobbyDB as the most trusted resource when it comes to providing estimated values to their community.

 

Through their all-new app experience, you’ll notice that all value estimates are provided by our Funko-focused brand, Pop Price Guide (or in short PPG).

The hobbyDB team will continue to make estimated values a top priority and are excited to announce more collectible brand partnerships in the coming months (stay tuned to our blog for announcements). Please read the Official Release about the Funko app here and about our approach to building the best price guide possible here.