Home » These Are The 5 Most Unwanted Star Wars Hot Wheels “Character Cars”

These Are The 5 Most Unwanted Star Wars Hot Wheels “Character Cars”

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It’s May 4th, globally understood to be Star Wars Day, and since David is still on his press trip I can get away with doing some Star Wars content without having to justify it to David, who I’m pretty sure thinks Shrek was in Star Wars. Remember, David grew up in Germany thinking that entertainment was watching wandering mimes perform scenes from Struwwelpeterso he doesn’t know jack about pop culture. But we do, and since it is Star Wars Day, I want to talk about a unique automotive-related thing that the Star Wars franchise boasts: the largest selection of toy cars based on actual characters in any media franchise. Let’s talk about those a bit, and then I’ll reveal the Star Wars characters least desired to be translated into Hot Wheels form, according to my research.

In case you’re unaware of the line of Hot Wheels cars based on Star Wars characters, it’s a really unusual phenomenon. Hot Wheels designers make cars not based on actual vehicles, but rather as automotive adaptations of characters from the movies, basing the look of the car on the character’s general look and personality traits.

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There’s a ton of these, too, ranging from popular, well-known characters like R2-D2 and Darth Vader:

 

…to more obscure characters like Nein Nunb and Maz Kanata:

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As you can see, Hot Wheels designers have gotten remarkably good at translating human and alien and droid features into toy automotive forms. That little Isetta-like car with the huge headlights does very much suggest that small, queso-colored alien Maz Kanata, and the flappy face features of Nein Numb weirdly translate well into a sporty-looking car.

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It’s a really specific skill to pull this off, and Hot Wheels designers have been doing it for a truly impressive number of characters, making me sort of wish this was a common practice for more media properties. Wouldn’t you like Hot Wheels versions of the cast of Succession? Or maybe Bridgerton? Of course you would.

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Anyway, the sheer number of these character cars made me start wondering exactly which characters they wouldn’t turn into cars? I mean, they made a freaking Jar-Jar Binks one:

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…which would lead you to think that, hey, anything goes. But that’s not quite the case. Using databases of Star Wars characters downloaded into the Autopian Mainframe (a Radio Shack Model 100 portable computer connected to 500cc of laminated chimpanzee brain material) and then cross-referenced with demographic datasets, composites of human psychological profiles, and a couple of scanned Chinese Zodiac placemats, we have come up with a list of the five least desired Star Wars character cars, and then had the Autopian Mainframe render images of them via wires from a serial port connected to the part of my brain that moves my hands, which then drew them based on the compiled data.

As you can see, this is extremely scientastic.

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Here’s the first one:

1. Ponda Baba

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Yes, that butt-mouthed alien from the original 1977 movie has a name, and it’s Ponda Baba. I suspect the reason this one is in so little demand is because the car would have to have a big butt right on the front. I guess that didn’t focus-group well. Also, Ponda was kind of a jerk.

2. GNK Power Droid

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This one kind of surprised me, because I always loved the clunky, slow, shuffling GNK (Gonk) power droids, thanklessly and slowly providing energy to whomever or whatever needed it. Maybe the whole slow and clunky thing was just too far from the whole point of Hot Wheels, fundamentally.

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3. Willrow Hood

In 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, there’s a scene in the Cloud City over the planet Bespin where a dude runs by in the background holding what appears to be an ice cream maker. This dude in the orange jumpsuit has a name: Willrow Hood. While I think his Hot Wheels character car captures his essence perfectly–it’s carrying an ice cream maker–I guess somehow this character wasn’t popular enough with fans? Some of whom may even love ice cream?

4. Muftak

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That four-eyed Yeti/moth alien hanging out with other various aliens and monsters at the Mos Eisley cantina is known as Muftak, and nobody wants him as a car, either. I bet it’s because of that creepy flesh-colored mouth-tube thing.

5. Akmena/Bea Arthur

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This character, Akmena, only appeared in the infamous 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, where she was the blousy bartender at Chalmun’s Spaceport Cantina on Tatooine, a planet that’s seemingly lousy with cantinas.

Our simulations suggested that this Hot Wheel version of the character could be the elusive and long-sought bridge between Star Wars, Golden Girlsand Hot Wheels fandoms, but our simulations also suggested that Bea Arthur’s estate would not have consented to have her automotive likeness made into a toy, as her estate has signed a contract with Stellantis to have her physical traits used for the design of the upcoming 2024 Chrysler Imperial EV.

 

 

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Drvn 2 Wn
Drvn 2 Wn
1 year ago

I have to wholeheartedly disagree – Muftak would make a great Hot Wheels. Something along the lines of a TVR Sagaris, but in a pre-war design (you can visualize it, I promise). The hair part even works well for inclusion of a double-bubble roofline.

Why, thinking more about it now, it’s almost a quad-headlight Bugatti 57SC Atlantic.

Konrad Posch
Konrad Posch
1 year ago
Reply to  Drvn 2 Wn

I 1000% agree. Muftak (and yes, I already knew the name of the Talz fron Alzoc 3 before Torchy wrote it) is legit my favorite background character. Maybe because he’s big, maybe because he’s fury, but for whatever reason when I played the Star Wars CCG I made it a point to have 24 copies of the Talz (no Muftak card, sadly).

I would 100% buy him and the Gonk car. Torchy, put the mainframe to work licensing from Disney execs and get us some Autopian swag!

Chronoso
Chronoso
1 year ago

I was not previously aware of that Nien Nunb car, but now I need it. Very Mitsuoka.

Urambo Tauro
Urambo Tauro
1 year ago

The Pontiac Solstice would be a great starting point for a Ponda Baba car

Cyko9
Cyko9
1 year ago

Another vote for actually seeing the GNK, Wilrow Hood & Akmena. I’ve ended up with a few character cars, because they translate well as a vehicle, but happily passed on ones that did not.

James Mitchell
James Mitchell
1 year ago

Shouldn’t the Ponda Baba car be missing its right front axle and wheel?

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

“Wouldn’t you like Hot Wheels versions of the cast of Succession? Or maybe Bridgerton? Of course you would.”

We would! Please make this a recurring thing!

Max Perrella
Max Perrella
1 year ago

Someone seriously needs to make a Darth Vader Chevy Cheetah kit body. Money is just sitting there waiting for someone to do it.

Jay Vette
Jay Vette
1 year ago

Glad to see they made a toy Yoda

MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
1 year ago

Torch, as I’m sure you are aware, in the world of Star Wars collectibles, “most undesired” translates to insanely sought after.

BTW, if you need extra cash to pump into The Autopian, you should have no problem moonlighting as a Hot Wheels designer.

Not THAT Florida Man
Not THAT Florida Man
1 year ago

This would make a great slideshow! /s

Turbo1BDP
Turbo1BDP
1 year ago

Generate those looks, yo!

Tom Pyle
Tom Pyle
1 year ago

I bet if you made a kickstarter for these, it would be fully funded nearly instantly.

Andrew Bugenis
Andrew Bugenis
1 year ago

I would 100% buy a Willrow Hood car and probably also a what’s-the-character’s-nam-screw-it-Bea-Arthur car too.

Andrew Bugenis
Andrew Bugenis
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Bugenis

Also Ponda Baba should be missing a wheel.

10001010
10001010
1 year ago

See this? THIS is exactly the sort of shit I’m expecting the whole 5 weeks David is down unda on Wrenchabout!

Segador
Segador
1 year ago

Can “Hot Wheels Cars No One Asked For” become a regular feature?

Also, would 100% buy that Wilrow Hood car.

Len
Len
1 year ago
Reply to  Segador

How about a Captain Kirk car? It’s a convertible but the roof fits badly, and keeps stalling whenever you “drive” it. And it secretly shares a garage with the Yeoman Rand car.

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
1 year ago

No love for R5D4 yet again. Was it the bad motivator? Nobody wants a car that’s prone to blowing motivators.

Not THAT Florida Man
Not THAT Florida Man
1 year ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

Manufactured by Lucas?

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
1 year ago

I see what you did there…

Fatbutt
Fatbutt
1 year ago

Wasn’t ponda originally ‘walrus face’? I think I had the action figure, back when you bought them to play with them

Matt Sexton
Matt Sexton
1 year ago
Reply to  Fatbutt

The original action figure – which I had – was called Walrus Man.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
1 year ago
Reply to  Fatbutt

I’m pretty sure most of the characters in the original trilogy were just called ‘extra #12’ or ‘furry alien’ and then when they wanted more sweet merchandizing money the nerds in charge went back and invented names and back stories for all of them. In my very nerdy youth, I read a lot of the SW expanded universe books. They wrote stories about even the most minor characters.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
1 year ago

Nien Nunb was the inspiration for the Mitsuoka Orochi. I wonder what the legendary Glupp Shitto’s car would look like?

Steven Chabot
Steven Chabot
1 year ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

We need the Glup Shitto car, Torch!

gettstoney
gettstoney
1 year ago

I don’t even understand half of what this article is about (I guess I have partial-onset DT), but this is by far my favorite article you have written on here yet, Torch.

It’s stupid and funny. For that, I give you 4 out of 4 Changs on the absurdly random scale. Congrats!

gettstoney
gettstoney
1 year ago
Reply to  gettstoney

Crap, no edit! I meant to say 5.4 out of 6.1 on the Absurdly Random Scale. I am leaving room for when DT leaves the hemisphere.

DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
DubblewhopperInDubblejeopardy
1 year ago

Maz Kanata was a worthless character, like borderline creeper Finn, friendzoned to death.

Ben
Ben
1 year ago

There were a number of worthless characters in the new movies. I assume they were there just to provide fodder for fan fic and expanded universe stuff. So based on the existence of this article, mission accomplished, I guess. 🙂

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 year ago

Torch, you must not know many Star Wars fanatics. Because the ones I know… the REAL fanatics, the ones that belong to the 501st and dress up in costumes and obsess about every detail and name thier dogs Chewie and celebrate May 4th like it’s fucking Christmas or something and defend that flaming pile of trash of a movie called The Rise of Skywalker until they’re as blue in the face as the milk Luke had for breakfast …

… for those people, these character cars would be the MOST sought after of all.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Can confirm. I would definitely buy all of these.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

But I would not defend Rise of Skywalker, and am not in the 501st. I just do things like play the X-Wing miniatures game and have actually watched the Holiday Special in its entirety.

Frodo
Frodo
1 year ago
Reply to  Drew

Where can i find the holiday special? I’ve never seen it and want to.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
1 year ago
Reply to  Frodo

Bootleg VHS and DVD copies are sold at most Comicon type events, but don’t expect to find an official version (George Lucas once said that if he had enough time and a hammer, he’d smash every copy in existence.)… although now that Disney has purchased the property, it’s possible that they’ll do something with it (They’ve already hosted “Life Day” (the holiday that the wookies are celebrating in the holiday special) events in the parks).

It’s probably easiest to just find a copy that somebody has uploaded to YouTube, though (as with any copyrighted material, new uploads pop up as quickly as they are taken down). And, depending upon your level of fandom of all things Star Wars, you might enjoy one of the many commentaries on it that are out there better than just watching the special straight up. If you like RedLetterMedia and their schtick, they have a good one — if you’re unfamiliar with them or don’t like their style, though, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Frodo

YouTube almost always has it, but it requires a fresh search every time, since it gets pulled.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
1 year ago
Reply to  Frodo

Several years back during a Christmas gift exchange game I expertly maneuvered myself into a bootleg DVD of the Holiday Special with a well-timed late steal. I had always heard it was awful, and wanted a copy for myself.

It’s bad. Irredeemably bad. Not bad like Plan 9 from Outer Space or an Ed Wood movie where the badness cycles all the way back around to hilarious awesomeness, just awful to the point where the best parts of the bootleg are the vintage commercials (and some of those fall into the so bad they’re entertaining category like the one where GM extols the ability of their robots to build cars better than humans – a huge middle finger to the UAW).

The plot is indecipherable, the selection of guest stars is like someone threw at a dart board to select celebrities that only old people would care about such as Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman, there is a weirdly sexualized scene with dancing girls (I think it was a pervy uncle having a dream or something), and there’s a featured song from Jefferson Starship – not the cool and groundbreaking Surrealistic Pillow days of Jefferson Airplane featuring Grace Slick and Paul Kantner, but when Grace was struggling with alcoholism and things were about to fall apart, eventually leading to the Mickey Thomas and Starship debacle. I mean, all that should be entertaining in a horrifying way but trust me, it’s not.

It’s something one must watch, ONCE, for the sake of completeness and I’m not sorry I sat through it, but it’s unlikely I’ll ever watch it again unless it’s for the express purpose of laughing at the reactions of my unsuspecting victim that I roped into it.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
1 year ago
Reply to  OrigamiSensei

Oops – looks like Grace had already left the group at the time the Holiday Special single was recorded. Nonetheless, bad days for Jefferson Starship at the time and only getting worse.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  OrigamiSensei

“there is a weirdly sexualized scene with dancing girls (I think it was a pervy uncle having a dream or something)” Chewy’s father, Itchy, was given a VR chair for Life Day and was utilizing it in THE MIDDLE OF THE LIVING ROOM, where he CLEARLY had an orgasm.
It cannot be emphasized enough how bad this whole thing was.

Quackbang
Quackbang
1 year ago
Reply to  Frodo

Rifftrax also has it, original commercials and all, from an east coast (NY?) feed.

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
1 year ago

The Gonk kinda works for me.

Ponda Baba is for people who want truck nuts, but on the front.

Jason Douglas
Jason Douglas
1 year ago
Reply to  Philip Dunlop

Truck butts?

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
1 year ago
Reply to  Jason Douglas
Stephen Kozielski
Stephen Kozielski
1 year ago

Nice. The GNK droid car looks like it legitimately belongs in Star Wars.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
1 year ago

Poor Ponda Baba, he’s not a bad guy – just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And his coworker Evazan is a douche.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otFbSbCUO_k

Jason Douglas
Jason Douglas
1 year ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

I know what that link is without clicking on it. One of RC’s funniest SW bits.

Goppenheim
Goppenheim
1 year ago

That’s not a butt on Ponda Baba’s face.

Max Perrella
Max Perrella
1 year ago
Reply to  Goppenheim

Those are SUPPOSED to hang from the trailer hitch.

Root
Root
1 year ago

I love the running gag you guys have going with DT and how he doesn’t get even basic pop culture references. He reminds me of that slightly weird kid in school whose parents didn’t own a TV.

Great obscure Star Wars characters. I’d collect these and leave them in their original packaging to preserve the value.

Tommy Helios
Tommy Helios
1 year ago
Reply to  Root

As someone who grew up without cable in the 80s/90s I feel like I never knew the latest pop culture growing up so I feel for DT.
But at least my parents were better about movies so I have watch the original trilogy more times than I can count.
May the 4th be with you all.

Justin Short
Justin Short
1 year ago
Reply to  Root

Running gag? Lol, if only it were.

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