Star Wars Hot Wheels: TIE Fighter and Imperial Shuttle by Mattel

Yup! More Star Wars! While it’s true I have a ton of Star Wars stuff I want to get caught up on before Rogue One hits in a few weeks (A FEW WEEKS!!!), the truth is I also needed something quick and easy to look at today because I’m insanely busy with work and probably will be for the rest of the year. I’m trying as hard as I can to not have to reduce the number of Features each week, but realistically, I may be cutting back to three updates a week in the near future. We’ll see. In the meantime, let’s check out a couple more Hot Wheels Starships from Star Wars!


This pair are new enough to feature the updated figure stands, but not the Rogue One branding, although they are re-issues and do feature shots of some of the Rogue One ships on the back of the cards. These packages are very attractive, show off the ships beautifully, and I’m still impressed that Mattel does individual card art for each ship. Honestly, it’s really tempting to just collect doubles of these, keep them mint on card, and hang them on my wall. Let’s look at the TIE Fighter first…


There aren’t many surprises here, but this is a beautiful little rendition of the iconic Imperial fighter. It’s also a completely new sculpt from the First Order TIE that I own. The body is die-cast and the panels are plastic, and the quality of sculpt and detail is just all around fantastic.



They also did a fabulous job painting the cockpit windows and framework, the black striping on the top, and the tiny red dots on the laser cannon. The rest of the coloring consists of the blue-gray hull and the black panels on the “wings.” My only question is, does anyone know if Mattel issued a white version, because I’d love to pick up one of those too.



Next up is the Imperial Shuttle, one of my favorite ship designs from The Original Trilogy. One of these days I need to get around to reviewing Hasbro’s re-issue of the Kenner 3 3/4-inch version of this ship! This one may be tiny, but it captures the look of the design perfectly in this scale. The body and central fin are all die-cast, with only the wings being plastic, and yes, the wings are articulated so you can display the ship landing or in flight.



The shuttle does not sport much in the way of paint. Mattel went for a very clean and new look here. You do get some gray panels on the wings and fin, blue paint on the rear thrusters, and black paint on the cockpit screen. There are also plenty of great little details and panel lines sculpted into the hull. I would have liked a bit of gray paint on the wing guns, but it’s still a nice looking ship.


If you’ve been collecting this line from the beginning, you’ll note the change in stand designs. Gone are the ones designed to go on your finger and in their place are these clear discs with the Imperial insignia sculpted in. I liked the old style well enough. They were fun and innovative, but I think these just look better. Unfortunately, the fact that the stands don’t match on all my little ships is making my OCD flare up.



While my attention to this line has been spotty at best here on FFZ, I continue to enjoy collecting these a lot. I picked up this pair for under five bucks a pop and I still think these are some of the best values in the toy aisles today. They’re fun, they look great, and I can amass a whole fleet of them without breaking the bank. I kind of think of these as the modern equivalent of those cheap rack toys I used to buy with my allowance at the corner drug store when I was a kid. The only difference being that these are a whole lot better quality.

Star Wars Hot Wheels (Rogue One) Tie Striker Vs X-Wing Fighter and Rebel U-Wing Fighter by Mattel

How’s about a little bonus Sunday content, folks? I started playing around with these new ships today and decided that since the week ahead is already packed, I’d slip in a quick look at these today. I started collecting the Hot Wheels ships last year, I was pretty happy with what I got, and I’ve been meaning to get back to them. The new Rogue One offerings seemed to be a good jumping back on point.



I like the packaging on these. The cards have been re-branded for Rogue One and you get unique card art depicting the ship that’s in the package. The two-pack consists of a Tie Striker and an X-Wing (Red Five to be specific) and the single pack is the new U-Wing design. I don’t want to nitpick but I would have thought that the Tie Striker and U-Wing would have made a better Versus Pack, since they are the two new ship designs that everyone seems to be focusing on. What? It’s just a marketing ploy to get me to buy the X-Wing again? Well, that makes sense. Anyway, let’s start with the U-Wing Fighter.



So, there’s a lot of speculation over what kind of ship this is. It’s called a “fighter” on the package, but in the trailer it looks like it doubles as some kind of drop-ship for troops. Either way, I really dig the design a lot and this little fella is a damn fine recreation of it. And yes, I’m in the camp that is getting a strong Buck Rogers vibe off this ship and that is not at all a bad thing.


The body is die-cast and the wings are plastic, but you get some nice cut panel lines on both. Some aspects of the ship, like the front guns are a tad chunky and the engines on the back are sculpted rather soft, but these are pretty small ships and overall I think they did a nice job with it. The paint features some yellow and blue markings, some of which shows some weathering. You get black paint on the canopy windows, and some gray on the engines and engines.



The wings are also articulated. I wasn’t certain that would be the case, so it was a nice surprise. I’ve seen the Hasbro 3.75-inch version of this ship with the wings positioned angled forward, but a lot of the concept shots I’ve seen have them angled back. This Hot Wheels version is capable of doing both. I really dig the swept back look. Moving on to the Versus Pack, let’s look at the Tie Striker!



Another new design from the upcoming film and one I like a lot. It’s basically an elongated Tie Fighter body with what looks like a Tie Interceptor wing cut in half and stuck on each side. Egads, that’s a terrible description, but the end result is quite cool looking. The Hot Wheels version sports a lot of sculpted detail and some nice texturing in the wing panels and this fighter features four laser ports under the canopy. You also get some very convincing looking weathering, which includes scorched black areas and some burns on the wings. The battle damage looks amazing, although it makes me wonder if there’s a single packed clean version.


Once again, the body of the ship is die-cast and the wings are plastic. And, as with the U-Wing, the Tie Striker’s wings are articulated and can be angled upward or downward. And that brings us to the X-Wing…



Probably the least exciting ship of the three, only because it has a sense of been there, done that. Truth be told, I don’t own the regular Hot Wheels X-Wing, just Poe’s from The Force Awakens, so I didn’t mind picking this one up. The X-Wing is a good looking ship with lots of cut panel lines and sculpted detail. The paint is mostly limited to the red and yellow markings and the black paint used for the canopy windows. The guns on the wings are a little chunky, but again, these are pretty small ships, so I’m willing to forgive a lot. Alas, this is the only ship of the three that does not have articulated wings. S-Foils are indeed locked in attack formation.



If you haven’t noticed, Mattel has also redesigned the stands for these ships. The old ones were designed so you can put them on your finger like a ring… or at least a kid could. These abandon that concept in favor of simple discs. The stands look a little misleading in the package. The connections are sculpted to look like they might be hinged, but they’re not. You can’t even swivel the arm in the stand or the ship on the arm. So, really, you’re not getting anything other than a more conventional stand with the ship’s faction on the base. They do work well, and the sockets are the same as the ones on the old ships, so I’ve been able to use either type of stand with any ship in my fleet.



I really like these little ships a lot and I’ll definitely be picking up some more and possibly even backtracking to get some of the ones I’ve missed. The U-Wing was $6.99 and the Versus Pack was $9.99, which overall feels like a decent deal for what you’re getting. In a world where action figures are getting more and more expensive, it’s great to have a cheap fix like these ships to collect. My one conflict here is whether or not to try out any of Hasbro’s Titaniums. I have yet to pick up any of those and I’d be real interested in hearing opinions from anyone who has had some experience with both lines.

Star Wars Hot Wheels: First Order TIE FIghter and Poe’s X-Wing Fighter by Mattel

I got some cool stuff here and there from people for Christmas, but it was the little thoughtful things that touched me the most. Today’s two Hot Wheels spaceships came from a co-worker and were exactly that. I think she bought them as partially a gag gift, because she was clearly taken aback by how delighted I was with them. A while back I featured some of the other Hot Wheels ships in this line and I’ve been meaning to get back and pick up some more. It’s Hot Wheels… Force Awakens style, baby!


The packaging is nothing outrageous, although I am totally impressed that Mattel prints individual card art for each of these vehicles and you get a very nice look at the ship through the bubble. I’ll confess, I’m rather confused by the whole wide array of tiny Star Wars ships on the market today. Hasbro’s got a couple of their own lines going on, Mattel has these, and I hear tell that Disney stores have their own as well. I’ve been quite happy with the Hot Wheels ships I’ve purchased so far, so I was very happy to get some more in the line. Let’s pop these open and we’ll start off with Poe Dameron’s X-Wing…



Man, I love this fighter and that’s mostly because of some of the great scenes it featured in. One of my favorite of those scenes was when Poe’s fighter came ripping over the water on the planet Takodana and inspired his squadron with the great line, “Don’t let these thugs scare you!” God, I loved that. That one line characterized Poe better than three movies worth of dialogue did for any Prequel character. Anyway… this is a really nice piece considering the scale. Yes, it’s a little chunky in the wings and wing cannons, but it’s nothing that really ruins the aesthetics of the tiny model. The body is die cast metal, giving it some nice heft, and the wings are plastic. The cannons aren’t at all bendy and they’re straight as an arrow, which is more than can be said about Hasbro’s bigger and far more expensive version of Poe’s X-Wing. There are plenty of panel lines and other details in the sculpt and the paint is pretty sharp. The wings are permanently fixed in the attack position and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Moving on to the TIE Fighter…



Yeah, if the X-Wing was really nice, this little TIE Fighter is downright fantastic! Like the X-Wing, the TIE Fighter features a die cast metal body and plastic wings, or in this case solar panels. Yeah, we see a little chunkiness in the antenna, but otherwise I’d say this ship is near perfect for the scale. I particularly like the texturing they did for the panels and the fact that they are really solid pieces without fear of warping. The paint here is also gorgeous. The silver trim on the cockpit window is sharp as is the red stripe. I gotta get me at least one more of these babies!


Both ships come with the same snazzy clear plastic stands, which double as little “Flight Navigators” for your index finger, providing it isn’t as old and large as mine.



I think the going rate for these are around five bucks and I think they’re well worth it. These lines do tend to irritate me sometimes with their lack of relative scale, but in this case the X-Wing and TIE Fighter display beautifully together and I’m now rather anxious to hunt down the Original Trilogy counterparts to these excellent little ships and maybe pick up a few of the other offerings. Nice job on these, Mattel!

Star Wars Hot Wheels: Millennium Falcon, Y-Wing, and Snowspeeder by Mattel

My love of miniature spaceships is probably rooted in growing up with FASA’s old tabletop Star Trek game. While I could only find a handful of people willing to play it I was able to keep myself more than entertained by pouring over all those great books full of ship statistics and collecting the tiny pewter ships from The Complete Strategist, a destination store in the local mall that specialized in RPG supplies. God, what I wouldn’t give to be able to go back to that now long defunct store with my adult monies and clean the place out. Anyway, I’m not here today to talk about FASA or Star Trek, but rather Mattel’s new line of little Star Wars ships branded under their Hot Wheels line.



And here they are in the package! It’s so weird seeing the Star Wars license on a Mattel package, but this isn’t an isolated incident. Mattel is also releasing a number of Star Wars themed Hot Wheels cars onto the pegs right now. The card deco keeps the spirit of the Hot Wheels brand, advertises the use of die-cast metal, and I’m rather impressed that the cards feature artwork specific to eachs hip, rather than a generic card and bubble insert.


I found these hanging not amongst the 10,000 pegs of proper Hot Wheels cars, but along with the rather dead pegs of the Star Wars action figure aisle. The Episode 7 stuff can’t come soon enough, because the only things hanging on the figure pegs now are are a bunch of 6-inch Han Solos and Obi-Wans and the shelves are creammed with that Deluxe Jabba that no one seems to want. Anywho… the initial case assortment of these vehicles includes The Millenium Falcon, Snowspeeder, Y-Wing, Slave-1, and The Ghost from the Rebels series. I left The Ghost and Slave-1 but one of these days I may pick them up. Let’s start off with The Millenium Falcon!



There’s some really impressive detail sculpted into this little ship. All the little bits and texturing on the hull is present, both top and bottom. It looks like the top half is the die-cast with the bottom half plastic. There’s definitely more detail sculpted into the die-cast, but that might just be because it’s what’s going to be most visible when the ship is on display. The top cannon is just molded in as part of the ship and as such isn’t terribly well defined, but the radar dish is, and while it is a tad oversized it does indeed rotate 360-degrees.


The paintwork on this little ship is rather sparing, but what’s here includes applications on the five black discs on the top as well as black paint on the cockpit windows. There are some maroon hull markings, and the thrusters are painted blue. I wish I still had my Hasbro Titanium Falcon to do a comparison, but just going from memory, I think I rather prefer this one.



Moving on, next up we have the Gold Leader Y-Wing. I’ve been playing a lot of the Enhanced Edition of the X-Wing PC game on Steam and thus spending a fair amount inside the cockpit of one of these babies. This has always been one of my favorite smaller ships of the Star Wars universe and oddly enough one that I never owned as a 3 3/4″ scale toy. In fact, this may be my very first toy version of the Y-Wing ever. Crazy! At this point, i should also point out the obvious that these ships are not in scale with one another. The Y-Wing is a much simpler sculpt than the Falcon. It does feature a lot of great detail molded into the hull, but it doesn’t look as detailed as the Falcon. I suppose that could be an issue of size, where the Falcon is in much smaller scale so the detail is packed in a lot tighter. Either way, it’s not to say this isn’t a great little recreation of the Koensayr wishbone bomber. I particularly like the use of clear plastic for the skeletal engine pylons and the pronounced front guns.


The paint on this one is again sparse, but well placed. The cockpit is painted a light grey with black painted windows and there are yellow hull markings denoting this as the Gold Leader Y-Wing. No doubt Mattel has plans to double dip on these molds via the wonderful world of repaints and I’m just the scruffy-looking nerfherder that will probably be first to open my wallet when I see them.



Last, but not least, we have the Snowspeeder and this one is perhaps my favorite of this trio. I’m a little biased because I love the design of these things so much, but I really think that while all three ships are solid, the Snowspeeder is just particularly spot on. This ship just looks fantastic and is such a huge improvement over Hasbro’s Titanium version. The guns are really well defined as are the panel lines and the rear grill complete with the little area where the harpoon detatches.


Following the trend of the other two ships, the Snowspeeder gets by with minimal paint hits, and yet it has all that it needs. The rear grill is painted dark gray, the cockpit windows are black, and you get some maroon hull markings, including the “ZZ” on the rear of the cockpit. While the paint is solid on all three ships, the Snowspeeder just seems a bit sharper and more impressively done. I love this little guy!


All three of these ships include a rather clever clear plastic stand that plugs securely into the bottom of the ship. The stands are embossed with the Hot Wheels and Star Wars logos. These plastic bases support the ships very well and also have a ring so you can put it on your finger and fly your ships around the room. How cool is that!!!



It’s the sad truth that I don’t have all that many cheap toy lines to collect any more. Part of that is probably due to the nature of the industry and a lot is due to my changing tastes. But that makes it all the more refreshing when I can pull a $5 toy off the peg and be genuinely impressed with it. Sure, I’ll concede that the first wave of five ships only got me to pony up for three of them, but I am still genuinely excited to collect this line and I can think of so many ships that I want to see from the obvious X-Wing and Tie Fighter, to admitted long shots like the Ebon Hawk or the Moldy Crow maybe???

Star Trek: Hot Wheels Enterprise-D by Mattel

I’ve had this ship sitting on my desk for a little while now. It was back when I was hunting the pegs at Toys R Us for something or other and came up empty handed that I decided to pick up this ship rather than call it a wasted trip. Well, I’ve been on a Star Trek kick lately, rewatching episodes from all across the Trek continuum, but mostly some of my favorite Next Generations, so I decided it was time to take a look at this nifty little ship.

A while back I looked at the Hot Wheels Enterprise and Reliant from The Wrath of Khan. In that article I went through some of the other various attempts by toy companies to market collectible Star Trek ships from Micro Machines to Johnny Lightning. I won’t go through all that again, but I’m pretty sure that even back then I predicted this Hot Wheels line didn’t have any staying power, and sadly I was right. Mattel produced the initial assortment of the two Enteprises and the Reliant. A later revision saw the release of a Klingon Bird of Prey and the 2009 movie Enterprise, but that was it.

I don’t have the packaging anymore, but these ships came in a window box that showed off the model pretty well. The packaging was functional, but nothing spectacular.

The ship itself is a mix of plastic and diecast metal, with the stardrive section being diecast and the warp nacelles and saucer section plastic. The sculpting on this little guy is excellent. On my other Hot Wheels ships, there was a big contrast between the crispness of the details on the diecast and platic parts, but on Enterprise-D they both look quite good. The paint apps are also very nice on this one, albeit consisting mostly of the blues and reds of the nacelles and the deflector dish. The phaser arrays are all painted and the registry information is very precisely detailed.

While the other Starships I have are just static models, the Enterprise-D does have a detachable saucer section, which is a pretty neat little touch. It also comes with the same display stand as the other ships in this line. The display stand is plastic and has a ball joint that connects to the socket in the bottom of the ship and lets you position it in various ways. It’s a nice idea, but with a model this small, I’m not sure it’s really necessary.

Originally, these ships retailed at $14.99 a piece. I think I paid under five bucks for this one on clearance. I’m not going to say the original price was a rip off, afterall I know working with diecast can be expensive, but I have no doubt that the price tag was part of the reason this line of ships didn’t make it. Any way you slice it, fifteen bucks is a lot of money to pay for something this small that just sits there. The fact that it bore the Hot Wheels moniker, a brand synonymous with a line of collectible cars that typically sell for under a dollar, probably didn’t help either.

Still, if you’re like me and you unloaded your old Playmates Enterprise-D years ago on Ebay, and you don’t have the funds or the extra display space for the Diamond Select version, the Hot Wheels Starship is a pretty decent substitute.

Star Trek: Hot Wheels USS Enterprise and USS Reliant by Mattel

I’ve always been a fan of the starship designs in the various Star Trek series, but the original films were always my favorites. Designs like the Motion Picture Enterprise, The Reliant, The Excellcior were all just so cool. Its obvious that the various toy companies who have held the Trek license over the years have had different ideas on how to market these massive vehicles and I can appreciate the problem. When they make them really big (like Playmates or Diamond Select has), they become pricey as well as difficult to collect and display, and apart from the lights and sounds, these ships don’t really do anything to make them exciting toys. Its not like they have any moving parts or firing missile launchers and there’s no way to make them in scale to interact with figures. On the flipside, in the 90s Micro Machines tried to shrink them and make them highly collectible, but in turn they lost a lot of their detail. Not to mention the bendy plastic meant storing them often resulting in the bad kind of warping. It was like Star Trek meets MUSCLE figures. There was the Johnny Lightning line, too, which was a pretty good size, but poor distribution made them almost impossible to find.

Well, here comes Hot Wheels, of all brands, to try their luck at the franchise with a small selection of collectible plastic and diecast metal ships. Hey, if Matchbox could make Voltron toys back in the day, why not Hot Wheels and Star Trek? The initial waves include the Original Motion Picture Enterprise as seen in the first three Trek movies, The Reliant, as seen in Wrath of Khan, the Enterprise-D, as seen in The Next Generation, and a Klingon Bird of Prey as seen in just about every film that had the Klingons in it. They are supposedly releasing one of the 2009 Movie Enterprise, and while I’ve yet to actually see it in stores, it has been up for sale at a few online retailers. The Romulan ship from the new movie is also scheduled as Coming Soon, but I’ll gladly buy anyone reading this an icy cold Coke if that ever happens. There’s simply no way that mess of a ship design could be rendered in plastic and diecast on this scale. It just wouldn’t work.So far, I’ve picked up both the Reliant and the Enterprise.


All in all, I think the scale on these is about perfect. The Enterprise measures about five or six inches long, making them almost twice the size of the Johnny Lightning Starships. They’re just big enough to show off the finer details. The Enterprise’s primary hull is diecast and the rest is plastic, while the Reliant’s saucer section is diecast and the rest is plastic. The diecast is just enough to give these models some heft and the plastic used is quite good and sturdy and not cheap and bendy.


There aren’t a lot of paint apps on these, but that’s because both ships are pretty uniform in color. The Enterprise does have some greyish blue near the deflector dish and where the nacelle struts enter the primary hull. I’m not a big fan of this two-tone as its not screen accurate, but it doesn’t look bad, either. Both ships have some paintwork on their warp and impulse engines and shuttle bays. The lettering and numbering on the hulls is inked directly on and it is clear and crisp.

The Enterprise and the Reliant are both in scale with each other, but that’s not the case with all the ships. The Bird of Prey seems a bit oversized, although to be fair, there were supposed to be various versions of that exact same design. The Enterprise-D, on the other hand is way out of scale with these two. It should be much bigger. This was a big deciding factor in me not picking up either of those ships.

All the ships come with plastic black stands with a Starfleet insignia. The stands connect with the ship with a ball and socket so that the ship can be positioned in a number of directions. Its a nice touch, but I’m not sure it was really necessary with ships this small, since you can easily pick them up, take them off the stand, or just move them around.

Ultimately, the only downside on these models is the price… $14.99 is just really, really steep. I realize diecast is expensive, and these are pretty nice models, but I just can’t equate one of these being worth fifteen bucks, and I think that sentiment will sink this line before it gets too big. In fact, I honestly doubt we’ll see any more of these released past the new movie Enterprise, as it seems like a lot of retailers are clearancing these out. I can’t say as I’d be devastated, since I’ve been picky in the ones I’ve purchased thus far, but it would be cool to see The Excelcior or the Constitution Class Enterprise released before the line dies.