STAY ON TARGET
The Fast & Furious franchise is back in our lives this week with Hobbs and Shaw, and we couldn’t be happier. Sometimes you just want to watch a bunch of cool vehicles do flips and smash into each other with a wisecrack or two in between. Cars have been intertwined with geek culture for quite some time, and we decided to do a rundown of the sweetest toy rides on the market so you can build up your garage and run some wacky races.
Hot Toys Movie Masterpiece Batmobile Tumbler
Each generation’s Batman media gives them a Batmobile that reflects the spirit of the times, from the TV show’s tricked-out hot rod to Christopher Nolan’s heavily militarized Tumbler tank, taken from Frank Miller’s apocalyptic future designs. The Tumbler is one of the most terrifying gadgets ever deployed by the Dark Knight, an armored juggernaut designed to take the worst that crime has to offer and throw it back in their face. This Hot Toys replica is built at 1/6 scale (so it works with their foot tall Batman figure) and features tons of moving parts and light-up elements.
Funko Pop Michael Knight With K.I.T.T.
One of our first geek culture car crushes was on the heavily modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am co-star of Knight Rider. Speaking with the voice of William Daniels, K.I.T.T. (which stood for Knight Industries Two Thousand) was a sleek black road hog equipped with a panoply of weapons and gadgets. This Funko rendition sacrifices a little bit of realism in the Hasslehoff driver but doesn’t skimp on the car itself, which is super detailed. The wheels don’t move but you wouldn’t want it driving away on its own so that’s probably OK.
The converted hearse that the Ghostbusters speed into action in is one of the most iconic vehicles in movie history, and now you can build your own in LEGO form. The Ecto-1 kit comes with minifigures of the four original paranormal investigators, proton packs and traps at the ready. The car itself was one of the most requested sets from LEGO Ideas, the program that lets superfans vote on licenses they want the company to acquire. Removable roof, logo panels, tracking computer and more make this a reasonably challenging build that measures over seven inches long when it’s finished.
Okay, we might be pushing the definition of “car” beyond the limits here, but the Catbus from Studio Ghibli’s classic My Neighbor Totoro is technically a vehicle that runs on roads and carries passengers, so it qualifies. This rendition of the spirit vehicle that carries Totoros from place to place (and helps Satsuki find Mei in the film’s climax) measures ten inches long and comes with a door in the side so you can put the included stuffed Totoro inside for long trips to dreamland.
Diamond Select DeLorean Time Machine
John DeLorean’s venture into the auto manufacturing world was doomed for failure almost from the beginning, but at least it gave us the iconic ride featured in the Back to the Future trilogy. The DeLorean’s unique gull-wing doors and chrome body made it the perfect platform to throw a bunch of tech on and travel through time. This Diamond Select movie replica has a ton of cool features, including wheels that pivot down from their wells and multiple light and sound features for added realism. Measures a little over fourteen inches long and accommodates 3 3/4 scale action figures.
Remote Controlled Party Van
Where exactly the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kept their vehicles parked is one of the franchise’s most enduring mysteries — anybody who has ever been cursed with a car in New York City knows that alternate side parking is no joke, and it’s not like they can just drive the Party Van into the sewers. Maybe you can, though, with this remote controlled replica of the martial arts quartet’s most recognizable ride. The Party Van was introduced in the cartoon series in 1987 and has been a steady presence ever since. This rendition has a range of over 100 feet for all your Foot Clan smashing needs.
Warthog With Master Chief
It’s fair to say that the addition of vehicles was the cherry on top of the original Halo, taking Bungie’s whip-tight console shooting and incorporating an element of chaos as the balloon-tired Warthogs bounced across the landscape. In the intervening years it’s become one of the most recognizable FPS rides in video game history, and if you want to own one for yourself now’s your chance. This massive toy measures almost two feet long from end to end and comes with a Master Chief that fits behind the wheel — or behind the chaingun if you’re feeling frisky.
The Spy Who Loved Me Lotus Esprit Model
James Bond is a dude who is well-known for having a garage full of marvelous toys, and while some may prefer the iconic Aston Martin, we have a soft spot for the amphibious Lotus Esprit he drove in The Spy Who Loved Me. When Bond and KGB agent Major Anya Amasova are making their escape from Stromberg’s base in Sardinia, the bad guys give chase until 007 flips a switch and takes the wheels off to plunge the Lotus into the ocean – and then shoots a missile at the pursuing helicopter. This die-cast metal model of the sweet Q-built ride in aquatic mode is durable and detailed.
Breaking Bad Pontiac Aztek Reproduction
Truly great fiction writers know that the devil is in the details, and sometimes a single prop can tell you more about a character than a dozen lines of dialogue. Case in point: the 2004 Pontiac Aztek driven by Walter White in Breaking Bad. The short-lived crossover vehicle was a flop on the market, and despite having some great features never found its niche. This replica from Greenlight mimics the series’ prop expertly, including having one wheel different from the others and blue tape around the windshield after one of many replacements.
1/18 Scale Dom’s Dodge Charger
There are a bunch of memorable vehicles in the Fast and Furious franchise, but if we had to pick one — and we did — our money’s always on the classic American muscle car. Dom Toretto’s trusty black 1970 Dodge Charger was built by the driver and his dad and hit the quarter mile at the Los Angeles County Raceway in nine seconds flat. Although he wrecks it at the end of the first movie, it makes a triumphant comeback a few films later. This is an incredible die-cast rendition of the car with doors that open and tons of chrome detailing where it counts.
Mad Max Interceptor Kit
One of our only complaints about Fury Road (aside from the fact that we haven’t seen a sequel yet, although George Miller promises that one is coming) is that Max didn’t get to spend a lot of time behind the wheel of his Pursuit Special Interceptor. In fact, we only see the car briefly in the final chase, where it’s seemingly crushed between two of Immortan Joe’s fleet. Hope springs eternal that Max and his mechanics can build it again, but if they can’t you can with this model kit from Aoshima. The sculpt contains tons of cool details, including the extra fuel tanks and seat for the dog added by Max.
Ertl Mach 5
One of the first car-centric geek properties of all time, Speed Racer helped pave the way for anime on American airwaves (as well as a totally bananas Wachowskis live-action movie). Many toy companies have released renditions of the show’s streamlined Mach 5 racecar, but true heads know that Ertl’s die-cast one is the top of the line. There are so many moving parts on this metal vehicle, from hood and doors that open to a pair of retractable whirling saw blades that jut out from the front bumper. It even comes with a little plastic sculpt of Speed’s monkey companion Chim-Chim. A car and a monkey — what more could a boy ask for?