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Monday, February 17, 2020

Cars: Sally (2018 Movie Accurate Version)

Cars Sally (2018 Movie Accurate Version) diecast

Disney·Pixar "Cars Week" may be over, but my Mattel 1:55 scale diecast collection continues! I know this isn't a very exciting post, but I had to document this one here regardless. Tonight I'm taking a look at the 2018 version of Sally, which is Mattel's most movie accurate version yet (outside of the precision series)! There have been a lot of Sally diecast releases since 2006, but this is for sure the best one as it fixes several issues that were present for over a decade.

Again to be clear, this isn't just a mere re-release. This is literally a brand new version of Sally with:
  • A new expression (both eyes and mouth)
  • A more screen accurate paint job (lighter shade of blue)
  • FINALLY more realistic looking headlights (instead of the plain grey plastic)
  • FINALLY the screen accurate black outline around the windshield (never added until now)
For me, there were enough differences and improvements made with this new sculpt for me to justify getting it (even though I probably have more than enough Sally diecasts). These same improvements were made to the 2018 version of Sally with Tattoo as well (seen HERE).

Cars Sally (2018 Movie Accurate Version) diecast

This version of Sally also comes with a fun little Cozy Cone Motel "Bonus Collector Card" accessory.

Unfortunately you won't find this one on store shelves at this point, but if you're still looking to add this edition of Sally to your Cars collection, your best bet is checking out current eBay listings HERE.

Happy hunting!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Pixar Movie Marathon Coming to Boston, MA— With Advanced 'Onward' Screening (Feb. 29th)!

Pixar Movie Marathon Coming to Boston, MA— With Advanced 'Onward' Screening

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT! I have joined forces with Showcase Cinemas and will be Co-Hosting their epic Onward Pixar Movie Marathon at the Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place location in Boston, MA (Leap Day, February 29th 2020)!! 

Can you think of any better way to spend your extra day this year? Join us for this all-day event featuring six classic Pixar films (with select shorts), an advanced screening of Onward and so much more (giveaways, trivia, photo ops, exclusive merchandise, family friendly activities, etc.)... plus a chance to meet me and chat everything Pixar in person! The [over] 12-hour event starts at 9:00 AM; Onward screening will begin at 7:30 PM. View the complete schedule HERE.

Pixar Movie Marathon Coming to Boston, MA— With Advanced 'Onward' Screening

Here's the official press release:
The Marathon ticket includes a special “Onward” gift bag including an exclusive “Onward” blanket, a collectible marathon pin, a Showcase Cinema de Lux reusable beverage tumbler and more! Plus enjoy fun surprise giveaways throughout the marathon!

Marathon guests will be able to order select concessions items and have them delivered to their seats throughout the marathon. A special Onward Pixar Marathon kids menu will be available, and all marathon guests will receive a special Leap Day discount of $2.29 off a concessions combo (valid for combo options 1-8).

To celebrate the Onward Pixar Marathon and Leap Day, Showcase Cinema de Lux Legacy Place will host family-friendly lobby activities from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m..  All cinema guests are welcome to enjoy face painting, a special photo op and more while our DJ plays your favorite songs including the best of Pixar’s soundtracks. 

Pixar Movie Marathon Coming to Boston, MA— With Advanced 'Onward' Screening

Tickets are an amazing value price—$30 for adults and just $20 for children. Join us for the quest of a lifetime! This is sure to be a magical and memorable experience you and your family won’t soon forget. Tickets are now on sale right HERE!  

I should note that only 11 movie theaters nationwide are participating in this Pixar Marathon, so I feel extremely lucky to be near one and to be so involved. Are you in the Boston/New England area? Will you be attending this event? Let me know down in the comments. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

It's Disney·Pixar Cars Week! (February 8th-16th)

Disney·Pixar Cars Week (February 8th-16th) mattel

Attention all Disney·Pixar Cars fans! Did you know that this week (February 8th-16th) has been Disney·Pixar "Cars Week"? Ka-Chow— It's true! To help me celebrate some of my favorite Cars characters and movie moments, Mattel was gracious enough to send me some of their latest toys/products! And of course the celebration wouldn't have been complete without watching all three films. No shame to say they're some of my favorites!

Select retailers are even having some great deals on Cars merch this week, like Target's 3 for $10 diecast singles sale and 40% off select Cars items. At Walmart, select Cars items are 25% off. Who doesn't love a good sale?

Disney·Pixar Cars Week (February 8th-16th) mattel

I wanted to share the Cars love this week with two of my nephews who enjoy the Cars franchise *maybe* as much as I do. I couldn't keep all this epicness to myself, so today I stopped by with all these awesome Cars surprises! It was the perfect way to spend a cozy day inside away from the cold and we had an absolute blast opening, assembling and playing with these fantastic new toys. Check out all our playtime adventures down below...

Cars 12" Lightning McQueen Kids' Backpack
Made in the shape of Lightning McQueen, this sweet backpack will have kids racing all the way to school like the Piston Cup champ they are. It's perfect for their favorite books, snacks, toys… and more toys. This colorful Cars backpack is a delight from hood to trunk. Available at Target (online HERE) for $14.99.

Cars 12" Lightning McQueen Kids' Backpack

Cars Piston Cup Race 5-Pack
Check out this brand new "Piston Cup Race" diecast 5-Pack from Mattel! As usual, these are 1:55 scale diecast characters (all have been previously released). This set includes: Wilmar Flattz, Race Official Tom, Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks and the King.

Cars Piston Cup Race 5-PackCars Piston Cup Race 5-Pack

Cars 3 Mini Racers "Derby Racers Series 10-Pack" 
I was extra excited to receive this "Derby Racers Series 10-Pack" set from Mattel's "Mini Racers" line! I collected a bunch of of the Cars 3 minis blind bags a couple years back, so these will make fantastic additions. Best part? It includes an exclusive "First Look" Golden Miss Fritter! I'll include a direct Amazon link at the bottom of this post to purchase. Retail price is $19.99

Cars 3 Mini Racers "Derby Racers Series 10-Pack" Cars 3 Mini Racers "Derby Racers Series 10-Pack"
Cars 3 Mini Racers "Derby Racers Series 10-Pack"

Cars XRS Rocket Racing Super Loop 
This XRS Rocket Racing Super Loop track set delivers extreme Cars competition thrills! I haven't collected any of the XRS series cars/playsets, but now I might have to. This thing is EPIC in size (over 3 feet long) and in fun! The kick-back launcher propels your vehicle at super speed—compete on a straight track or flip the diverter and launch into crazy stunts! My nephews literally couldn't get enough of this one. No kidding when I say it's already provided hours of entertainment. Comes with a 1:55 scale plastic XRS Rocket Racer Lightning McQueen (with spinning flames).

Pick this up at Target (in-store or online HERE) for $19.99. I'll be including a direct Amazon link at the bottom of this post.

Cars XRS Rocket Racing Super Loop
Cars XRS Rocket Racing Super Loop
Cars XRS Rocket Racing Super Loop
Cars XRS Rocket Racing Super Loop
Cars XRS Rocket Racing Super Loop

Cars 3 Rust-Eze Tune-Up Center
With the Rust-eze Tune-Up Center plasyet, kids can get all their diecast cars in race-ready condition in one convenient stop. Ride the lift, gas up at the pump, drive down the ramp and stop by the car wash to put on a sparkling shine for that winners’ circle photo! Kids will love to recreate scenes from the Cars movies and make up their own stories of race prep with this multi-function playset. Connects to the XRS Racing Loop track set above and all other modern Cars play/track sets.

You can also pick this set up at Target for $14.99 (in-store or online HERE). I'll include an Amazon link below for this one as well.

Cars 3 Rust-Eze Tune-Up Center
Cars 3 Rust-Eze Tune-Up Center
Cars 3 Rust-Eze Tune-Up Center
Cars 3 Rust-Eze Tune-Up Center
Cars 3 Rust-Eze Tune-Up Center
Cars 3 Rust-Eze Tune-Up Center

If you're little one is Cars obsessed like we are, then they will LOVE any of these new toys from Mattel! This entire collection is so well-made and so incredibly fun. Consider each item Dan the Pixar Fan (and nephews) tested and approved!

How have you celebrated Cars week? Which is your favorite Cars film? Let me know all your Cars related thoughts down in the comments and don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have.

Happy collecting! Again, a HUGE thanks to Mattel for these super amazing gifts.

Disney·Pixar Cars Week (February 8th-16th) mattel

Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day— Brita & Dan's Engagement Story!


Back by popular demand, it's Brita here today with another guest post! Since today is Valentine's Day, I wanted to make this about love. While it's not specifically Pixar, it is Disney related and so I wanted to share the story of how Dan and I got engaged!

Dan and I started dating when we were both 16 (2006) and dated exclusively all through high school. We went to college together (2008) and continued to only date each other. We both knew that we wanted to get married, so we never felt the need to date anyone else. In 2011, I picked out what style engagement ring I wanted and then Dan worked with a jeweler to have it created. In November 2011, we were going on a vacation with his family to Disney World during Thanksgiving break and I had a suspicion Dan would propose during this trip. We had booked most of our meals with his family, but on Friday night, just the two of us were going to have dinner at Les Chefs de France in Epcot. I imagined that he would propose during dessert by having the waiter bring out my engagement ring along with our creme brûlée! 



I arrived late Wednesday night (I wasn’t able to be there for the full week because of school) and then Thursday we had a fabulous day in the Magic Kingdom. We went to dinner at Whispering Canyon Cafe and then rushed back to watch the "Wishes!" firework show on the beach of the Polynesian Resort where we were staying. We quickly stopped by our room and I changed into my pajama bottoms to be more comfortable...if only I knew what was coming!


We enjoyed watching the firework show together (since it’s no longer there, in case you haven’t seen it, the whole theme is about wishes coming true). During the finale, Dan said to me “I wish we were married”, but we said that kind of thing to each other often so I didn't think anything of it. I replied, “I wish that too." Then I looked at him and he was on one knee opening a little box as he said “will you make my wish come true? Will you marry me?” Of course I said “yes!!!” and he slid the very sparkly ring on my finger. I was so excited to see it for the first time in person and it was stunning! I was also totally caught off guard since I wasn’t expecting him to propose until Friday night. I love that it wasn’t what I imagined it was even better!


I also have to mention that as we were leaving the beach, this older couple who saw the proposal called out to us “we’ve been married for 50 yearsmake it last!”

And we will! Dan, I love you to infinity and beyond! I'm so excited that the next time we go to Disney World, it will be Aidan's first trip. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Cars 3: Chris Roamin'

Cars 3 Chris Roamin' diecast review

Welcome back Cars fans! Tonight I'm taking a quick look at yet another awesome Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast from Mattel...Chris Roamin, the next-gen Combustr (No. 11)! This single was released a couple years back as part of the 2018 "Next-Gen Piston Cup Racers" sub-series.

As shown in the screen shot above, Chris can be seen before and during the film's climatic Florida 500 race. He replaces the Combustr sponsored racer [stock car] Chip Gearings. Once again, this is one cool looking next-gen racer and Mattel did an excellent job making this diecast as movie accurate as possible.

Cars 3 Chris Roamin' diecast review

Unfortunately you won't find this one on store shelves at this point, but if you're still looking to add Chris Roamin' to your Cars collection, I'll include an Amazon link down below for your convenience. You can also check out current eBay listings HERE. Happy hunting!

And don't forget, it's Disney·Pixar Cars week! All week long (February 8th-16th), select Mattel Cars items are on sale at Target for 40% off— plus a 3 for $10 sale on diecast singles. Look for some of those items right here soon.


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Toy Story: "Disney Baby" Soft Book (by Kids Preferred)

toy story disney baby soft book

Howdy, partners! Tonight I'm giving you a detailed look at (with an exclusive peek inside) this absolutely adorable Toy Story inspired "Disney Baby" Soft Book from Kids Preferred. You can imagine how excited I was last year when this was released around the same time baby Aidan was born! You know this went right on my (I mean "his") Christmas list. A big thanks to my mother in-law who included this in his stocking.

This really is the perfect baby book, especially for us Toy Story fans who grew up with the films and now have kids of our own. Getting to introduce my baby boy to these characters is something I've been dreaming of for a long time now and I couldn't imagine a better way to do so until he's old enough to watch the actual movies. Aidan is exactly two months old tomorrow and he's just started to really love and interact with this book!

toy story disney baby soft book

This lightweight, soft fabric book is the perfect size for little hands, measuring just over 5" wide x about 7" tall (that's including the handle).

toy story disney baby soft book

It comes loaded with interactive features and colorful illustrations to help stimulate the senses and keep your baby engaged! First of all, each page crinkles, which makes for great sensory play alone (babies love those sounds as it takes very little effort for them to make the noises happen).

Lift the flap of Andy's toy chest on the front cover to reveal Andy's toys and "Property of Andy" writing! I adore the designs of these characters here and really wish I knew who illustrated this. If you happen to know, please let me know down in the comments. 

toy story disney baby soft book

The bright red handle is not only a textured teether, but doubles as a way to hang this on a car seat or stroller.

See the whole gang on the back of the book below.

toy story disney baby soft book

Let's take a peek inside! The first page features everyone's favorite Cowgirl, Jessie, and some ribbons to touch for some different textures.

The second page includes Rex, Woody, Bullseye and even the iconic Pixar ball! Squeeze the ball to hear it SQUEAK.

toy story disney baby soft book

Buzz Lightyear is on the next page, with a Pizza Planet Alien that can be moved up and down the ribbon! OoooOOoooOo...

And who's that on the last page? It's Bo Peep of course and she's lost her sheep! Can baby help her find them? Lift the flap to reveal a mirror (and BABY) as well as Bo's sheep.

toy story disney baby soft book

My only wish is that this was a page or two longer, but I understand that it would have gotten too heavy and bulky at that point. I just love it so much that I wish it could have kept going! If you're a Toy Story fan with a new baby (or baby on the way), I cannot recommend this book enough. Like I said, Aidan is just starting to really get into it and it melts my heart how excited he gets when we take it out to read and play.

I spotted this at Kohl's recently (and I'm sure it's available at other stores as well), but you can easily just pick it up on Amazon for around $12 (direct link below). Please be sure to leave your thoughts down in the comments and let me know if you have any questions.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Onward: Wizard Staff (by Mattel) REVIEW

Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review

Disney·Pixar's upcoming film, Onward, hits theaters in less than a month (March 6th) and I'm getting more and more excited to finally see what this "suburban fantasy" adventure has to offer! To help pass the time while I wait in eager anticipation, Mattel was generous enough to send over one of their brand new products tied to the film...the Onward Lights & Sounds Wizard Staff!

In the film, our main characters (elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot) are given this staff on Ian's 16th birthday— a gift from their dad who passed away years prior. Wrapped with the staff are instructions for a "Visitation Spell" that will bring their dad back for one whole day. What magic will unfold? Will Ian and Barley successfully bring their dad back to life to enjoy a few brief moments with him? We'll have to wait and see! In the meantime, you can create your own magic spells using this wizard staff role-play replica (with included/removable Phoenix Gem).

Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review

Before getting into the staff itself, I want to mention that the packaging for Mattel's entire Onward line is fantastic. The signature Onward purple/royal blue color scheme really stands out and feels very unique to this film. And if you didn't know, Mattel is releasing many more products this year surrounding other Pixar movies/characters, so I find it awesome that it's all streamlined under one big "Pixar" banner.

Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review
Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review
Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review

Press the button on the front of the staff to activate the spinning Phoenix Gem, as well as lights and magical spell sounds! Press the button on the upper back of the staff to remove the gem (easily snaps right back into place). The staff and the gem are both plastic and both feel sturdy and well made.

The staff requires 3 x AG13 batteries, included. Age recommendation is 4+.

Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review
Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review

Let's take this thing out and get it all put together, shall we? Once assembled, the staff measures 36" tall. It's a pretty decent size!

My nephew Nathan and I had a blast photographing the staff out in the "mystical woods" near his home. I think our quest to capture some epic photos was a success! Check out our adventure down below...and this isn't even half of it!

Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review
Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review
Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review
Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review
Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review
Pixar Onward Wizard Staff Toy by Mattel Review

Later that night, I brought this staff to my family's big weekly Sunday dinner and all my other nieces and nephews had so much fun with it. It was a hit! I think young fans of Onward (and even some older fans who want a sweet wizard staff to display) will certainly want one of these after seeing the film. This is without a doubt a successful toy and I can highly recommend it.

You can pick this staff up for your collection at your nearest Disney Store or ShopDisney.com HERE (and probably soon on Amazon and at Target). Retail price is $24.99. Once again, a huge thank you to Mattel for sending this my way!

Be sure to let me know your thoughts and any questions you might have in the comment section below. Are you excited for Onward?