Of course, it all started with the 1969 movie. Hippy dippy psychedelia graphics that still hold up today: of their time yet still timely.
The movie had a good soundtrack (left) sporting six Beatles tunes on side one and the George Martin Orchestra's instrumental music on side two. The movie featured many more Beatles songs not on the album until reimagined in 1999 as the "Yellow Submarine Songtrack" (right). Note the yellow sub is the sole graphic on the reissue. An iconic image.
The first popular diecast version was by Corgi. Very cool and it nicely captures the overall spirit but it's a bit long - perhaps stretched to enable the pop-up Beatles. As it rolls the periscopes turn. Corgis were 1/43 scale and the sub, while not likely to any particular scale, is approximately 5-inches long. Corgi's Yellow Submarine has been reissued over the years due to its popularity.
In the '60s and '70s Corgi was well-known for their licensed vehicles: '66 TV Batmobile, James Bond 007's Aston Martin, Man From UNCLE, Monkee Mobile, etc.
Along comes Mattel in the 2000's going after those licenses and others. We now have numerous 007-related vehicles (Aston Martin DB7, Lotus Esprit,etc.) and Batmobiles, Scooby Doo's Mystery Van, K.I.T.T. and even Star Trek Enterprise.
I was very pleasantly surprised late last year when I saw a Hot Wheels preview list of 2016 vehicles indicating "The Beatles Yellow Submarine". Wow! Could it be?!
Yes!! Let's start with the stunning packaging that sports all four Beatles in their glorious cartoon images positioned so they're standing behind the toy with the cartoon sub behind them. The package makes for perfect display. To date I have found only one of these and I can't bring myself to open it. Hard to find, no doubt, due to the huge Beatles fan base wanting these, too.
The vehicle is gorgeous with accurate proportions, colors and details especially impressive for a dollar toy. It's almost three inches long which is impressive. It sports four tiny wheels on the bottom to enable it to roll - it is a Hot Wheels after-all.
Concurrently, Mattel released a premium line of Yellow Submarine themed automotive vehicles with movie-related graphics. Nice but they pale in comparison to the sub.
In a cosmic way I just found this comic in today's paper. A reminder of the timelessness of the Yellow Submarine franchise.
I challenge you to stop humming this tune for the rest of the day.
All together now...