Not the branded regular cars, I haven't seen those yet (except the Death Star track set) but the actual new sculpts that are inspired by the characters are hitting at TRUs and Walmarts, and Target has an exclusive 5-pack right now - details below. The cars retail for $4 each, Walmart has them for $3.47 each, and Target's exclusive pack is I think either $18 or $20 right now.
- Wave 1
- Wave 2
501st phase 2 Clone Trooper
- Target set
Stormtrooper with exclusive battle-damaged paint job
So, try as I might, I couldn't keep myself away from these. The packaging looks slick, the Star Wars logo is big and bold, the character art takes up the rest of the card, and the Hot Wheels logo is saved for an insert at the front of the blister; the cardback has a movie still and bio that focuses on how it's inspired by the character rather than being the character.
Each car has a general look that is inspired by the character and then lots of easter eggs sculpted into the design.
Luke X-wing looks like a sports car that was bashed out of his helmet and flight gear. The windshield is orange and lightly angled but the interior is cast in translucent blue so from some angles the windshield looks green. The car rides pretty high for a sporty number, but otherwise is solid and has lots of paint apps, all of which were well-applied on every sample I've seen so far. The chest box is making up the rear-mounted engine while the apron normally underneath is cowling on the hood; I don't really get the the radiator as homage on the front end, but it's something. The lightsabers as running boards look excellent, they light-pipe quite well. The portions of the car that are derived from the helmet enjoy a weathered paint scheme while the rest is clean. The outfit's leg straps make up the midline details. The wheels are double 5-spokes with orange chrome pinstripe. The undercarriage features a small sculpted Rebellion logo.
Vader looks like a very sleek custom car from the '60s in a modern expression, but it's actually pretty simple because it's just Vader's helmet stretched way out, the stand-in for the exposed part of the engine is a tampo of the chest box. It's very dark and smooth overall, mine has a couple small paint bubbles but nothing significant. The front of the car is the top of the helmet mouth, and the undercarriage continues that mouth as well as having bits that suggest the wrinkles of the suit, and a translucent Imperial logo partway back. It's so dark that at first the interior doesn't show and the lightsaber running boards are pitch black, but using a light you can see the interior is well-sculpted behind smoke windows, and the translucent Imp logo underneath is the light-pipe for the sabers - shine a light up in there and they light up with nothing else lighting up, it looks terrific and salvages some potential shortcomings. The wheels are 5-spokes with red chrome pinstripe. The car is a bit shrimpy next to the others I got, but still maintains presence.
R2 I didn't find at WM or I would have bought, but the extra 50 cents takes it down a peg, it's a small and somewhat simple design that's based on an early '60s bubble hot rod that Hot Wheels used to be famous for, there are plenty of R2 details but overall it doesn't quite have enough appeal to get my coin just yet. I suspect I will eventually buy it though.
Yoda I passed on, it's a small car with lightsabers and ears.
Chewie is great, he's a big hairy raised flatbed truck. They sculpted the hair considerably, but what carries it past the finish line is the paint. It's intense because they didn't leave it just one brown color, they weaved black and blonde throughout to really look authentic. The headlights are blue like Chewie's eyes, mine has the right slightly off the mark but it's not terrible, and honestly the windshield area is more visually engaging anyway. Chewie's bandolier makes up the trim on either side, and the bed has a raised Millennium Falcon in the middle followed by his bowcaster for the tail. The undercarriage features a small sculpted Rebellion logo.
The battle-damaged Stormtrooper looks a lot like a Porsche with one of those giant wings in the back. The sculpt is a little soft, and unfortunately the battle damage paint seems to cover up some other paint details, most notably the "mouth" which is already a tad sloppier than the single-pack car looks to be. I didn't get this set, will wait for the single version.
The 501st Trooper I didn't get either, it's a very simple design, a clean SUV with blue stripes. The windshield makes up the visor shape, but otherwise in-package it looked fairly uneventful. That said, studying it did show the spare cover is a big Republic logo, and the headlights are the mics on the helmet mouth. The undercarriage features a sculpted Republic logo. I doubt I'll get this one, too simple for my tastes.
The Tusken Raider is fantastic, a lifted sand-truck type vehicle. The "eyes" make up the headlights, the gaffi stick heads make up the running boards (and are sculpted into the undercarriage, which features no faction logo), the bandoliers make up the rear fenders, the spikes are part of the exhaust system, the rear of the vehicle is the wrapped design. It's very fun.
Overall, I'd say that if you get them for $3.50 they are worth it, they have a lot of sculpting and paint going on, very clever designs with good homages, and they look great packaged if you aren't interested in opening them up.