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Friday, May 26, 2006

Big crowd expected for Hot Wheels Derby

Hot Wheels enthusiasts and collectors will be converging on Pauls Valley this weekend as the Toy and Action Figure Museum will host the first "Hot Wheels Double Dog Dare Derby" this Saturday. "We've been getting calls from people all over the nation," said Toy and Action Figure Museum curator Kevin Stark. "It looks like this will be a huge event for us."

The derby will feature only official Hot Wheels stock in elimination races to determine who is the Hot Wheels Derby champion. The races start at 1 p.m. this Saturday and positions are open to the first 128 people that sign up.

"Each contestant will receive a free Hot Wheels car with paid admission to the museum. With that car, or one of their own, they will get to race against other entries for the title of Hot Wheels Grand Champion," said museum director Della Wilson.

Elimination races will determine the bracket winners down to the "Sweet 16" and those races will be decided by a best two out of three. For the fierce competitors in the crowd, Wilson said a special race will be held that same afternoon which will reveal how much true confidence racers have in their cars.

"There will also be a 'pink slip' race held and all entrants may also enter that race," Wilson said. "In these races, if you race your car and lose, you have to give up your car to the winner," she noted with a sly grin on her face.

Mattel has donated several prizes and giveaways for the event and the grand champion of the derby will be awarded a 2004 Series Three Hot Wheels collectors edition valued at over $400, a free Hot Wheels Race Track set and a Grand Champion trophy.

For more information on the "Hot Wheels Double Dog Dare Derby" or details on the Toy & Action Figure Museum, call (405) 238-6300 or log on to the museum's website at

Christian Producer Making a Splash in Hollywood

I'm always gratified to hear or read of a Christian "making it big" in Tinsel Town. Movies are such an important part of our society today that they make a great venue for communicating information. Unfortunately, not all of that information is worth conveying, largely because of some of the disturbing world views held by many in the industry.

Ralph Winter is different. A committed follower of Christ with a passion for the movie industry, he has produced such big-budget movies as Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, Fantastic Four, X-Men 3 and more! CBN has a great interview with him about his career, how it started, where it's going (kind of), and what matters most.


Superman Family #173 [1975]/50 pgs. DC Comics

They were different. In general, comic books predating the 1980s were story rather than character driven, and were created for an audience of young readers around the age of ten. Indeed, Superman Family almost seems silly compared to today's character driven, hard-edged, and even grim titles. Reading an issue for the first time in thirty years was refreshing.

"Superman's pal" Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl, Lois Lane and Superdog are the featured cast. Inside, Jimmy becomes a superhero, Supergirl marries the man who destroyed her home planet, Suberdog saves Superboy, and Lois Lane becomes a series of super-bugs. No one is killed, no one is a drug addict, and life doesn't stink. No kidding.

Couldn't we get a few optimistic titles back on today's market? Pretty please!

Michael Vance

Graphic Classics: Rafael Sabatini/ 141 pgs. & $11.95 from Eureka Productions

Once a celebrated author, Rafael Sabatini is virtually unknown today. Even his tales of the pirate Captain Blood, 'immortalized' in motion pictures by actor Errol Flynn, are slipping into obscurity. If nothing else, Sabatini is proof positive that fame is fleeting.

The 13th volume in the Graphic Classics series of literature adapted into comics is proof that it shouldn't be fleeting. Sabatini wrote high adventure, supernatural, and other genres tales in novels, short stories, and poetry. They are deserving of praise.

My favorite art in this collection is by Gerry Alanguilan. The best story is every story; Sabatini was talented, and these terse adaptations of his work are entertaining and worth your attention.

The entire Graphic Classics series is strongly recommended.

Michael Vance