What do you get if you cross one of the most evil empires the universe has ever seen, with a fictional character from Star Wars? The answer is this; the Hot Wheels Darth Vader Car. I kid of course, Mattel isn’t all that bad, it’s been a full seven years since they accidentally tried to poison children with outsourced Chinese-made toys coated in paint which contained 180 times the acceptable limit of lead.
The timing of the release of the Darth Vader Car, along with more Hot Wheels Star Wars vehicles and playsets isn’t just random either. They arrive ahead of the new Star Wars movie which is due out in 2015. But what makes the Darth Vader car the stand-out vehicle of the bunch is the fact that as well as the 1:64 scale model – which comes with its own lightsaber-inspired collectors care and commemorative box – Hot Wheels actually built a full-size fully functional version of the car.
Unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con, the Hot Wheels Darth Vader Car is based on a C5 Corvette and powered by a V8 engine producing 526 horsepower driving the rear wheels. It features a back-lit side-exit exhaust, blatantly obvious Darth Vader helmet inspired styling, custom wheels and carbon fiber bodywork. Access to the interior of the car is via the rear-hinged clamshell roof.
Interestingly Hot Wheels also say the car features “heavy breathing sounds from the Sith Lord himself”. Which makes it sound more like he has asthma than anything else.
The limited edition model costs $40. It is only officially available from the Mattel stand at the San Diego Comic-Con. The life-size version was probably a little more expensive – although it’ll probably still be cheaper than the models which will go up on eBay in the next few days.