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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Cars 3: Aaron Clocker

 

Welcome back Cars fans! Tonight I'm taking a quick look at yet another awesome Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast from Mattel...Aaron Clocker, the next-gen racer sponsored by Re-Volting (No. 48)! This single hit shelves back in April as part of this year's 2020 "Next-Gen Piston Cup Racers" sub-series and is the first ever release of this character.

In Cars 3 (as shown in the screen shot above), Aaron replaces the Re-Volting [stock car] racer T.G. Castlenut (who, in turn, had replaced Davey Apex from the original Cars) and competes in the climatic Florida 500 race. Once again, this is one cool looking next-gen racer and Mattel did an excellent job making this diecast as movie accurate as possible.

FUN FACT: Aaron is named after Pixar employee Aaron Conover.

You may still be able to find this one at Target or Walmart, so be sure to check there if you're looking to add Aaron to your collection. I actually just found him at Walmart a couple weeks back! I was so thrilled to finally find him since there are now only a couple characters I need in order to complete the 2020 lineup.

If you'd rather just pick him up online, check out current eBay listings HERE or Amazon using the link below. Good luck on the hunt!

 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Cars 3: Jonas Carvers

Welcome back to the blog! Tonight I'm taking a quick look at yet another awesome Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast from Mattel...Jonas Carvers, the next-gen racer sponsored by No Stall (No. 123)! This single hit shelves back in late winter/early spring as part of this year's 2020 "Next-Gen Piston Cup Racers" sub-series and is the first ever release of this character.

As shown in the screen shot above, Jonas can be seen during the film's climatic Florida 500 race. He replaces the No Stall racer [stock car] Todd Marcus (who also appeared in the original Cars). Once again, this is one cool looking next-gen racer and Mattel did an excellent job making this diecast as movie accurate as possible.

FUN FACT: Jonas is named after Cars 3 character modeling and articulation leader Jonas Jarvers.

You may still be able to find this one at Target or Walmart, so be sure to check there if you're looking to add Jonas to your collection. I actually just found him last week at my local Rite Aid pharmacy of all places! I was so thrilled to finally find him since there are now only a couple characters I need in order to complete the 2020 lineup.

If you'd rather just pick him up online, check out current eBay listings HERE or Amazon using the link below. Good luck on the hunt! (note: there is also a special metallic edition hitting now as well).

 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Cars 3: Vandon Kerr

 

If you're a Disney·Pixar Cars fan/collector, you're in the right place. Tonight I'm taking a quick look at another Mattel 1:55 scale diecast—Vandon Kerr from Cars 3! He was released last year and is a part of the 2019 "The Cotter Pin" sub-series. As shown in the screen shot above, Vandon is background character briefly seen talking to Bill Revs during the Cotter Pin Bar & Grill scene.

Fun Fact: Bill Revs is named after Pixar employee Brandon Kerr

I never found Vandon in stores last year, so I finally ended up just buying him on eBay last week for a decent price (around $12). If you're still looking for this diecast for your collection, you can out current eBay listings right here. Let me know your thoughts down below and happy hunting!

Monday, October 12, 2020

Cars 2: WGP Globie

Here's one of the most unique Disney·Pixar Cars diecasts Mattel has released over the past few years—WGP Globie from Cars 2! This 1:55 scale diecase was released last year as part of the 2019 "WGP" (which stands for World Grand Prix, of course) sub-series and is a deluxe sized "Super Chase". Super Chase cars are extremely difficult to find in-store as there are no more than 4,000 units produced of them worldwide. I ended up getting Globie on eBay recently and paid around $25.

What's so interesting about Globie is that this "character" is not a character at all, but rather the World Grand Prix mascot seen throughout the film on all the WGP publicity and marketing (essentially a car-ified globe). As shown in the screen shot above, Professor Z actually lands on a large inflatable Globie after his attempted escape from Holley Shiftwell out a second story window (which, I believe, is what this diecast is based on—but of course this little car isn't anywhere close to being in scale with that one).

 
Check it out all unboxed below! I absolutely love it and think it's such a fun, creative and well-executed idea for a diecast that mixes things up a little bit. There's never been anything like this in Mattel's Cars diecast line before.

 
If you're looking to add Globie to your Cars collection, your best bet is picking it up on Amazon using the affiliate link below or on eBay HERE. You'll find that prices are very reasonable for a Super Chase release. Let me know your thoughts and/or any questions you might have down in the comments! Do you think Globie is a must-have for Pixar Cars collectors?

Friday, October 9, 2020

Monsters, Inc. Inspired "Scream Team" Baby Onesie (A BoxLunch Exclusive)

 
 "You and I are a team. Nothing is more important than our friendship." -Mike Wazoswki, Monsters, Inc. 

ROOOOAAARRR! Check out this absolutely scare-riffic "Scream Team" baby onesie (or "infant bodysuite") inspired by Monsters, Inc.! I ordered this clear back in March from BoxLunch and have been looking forward to when Aidan could fit into it so I could share the cuteness with all of you. Monsters, Inc. is one of my wife's all-time favorite Pixar films (as is mine), so it wasn't hard to convince her that this was a must have for Aidan (who's just about 10 months old already—unbelievable). 

The onesie is navy blue with the classic Monsters, Inc. icon front and center. It's super simple, soft and feels cozy/well made (60% cotton; 40% polyester). And since Aidan has been known to do a bit of screaming these days, the "Scream Team" text is fitting for him at this stage. I absolutely love it! Aidan's my little scarer in training.

Original retail price was just $14.90, but it has unfortunately since sold out on the BoxLunch website. You never know what items might make a comeback soon though, so keep your eyes peeled on BoxLunch's website if you're interested in picking one of these up.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts and/or any questions you might have in the comment section down below!

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Toy Story Bucket O Soldiers (Disney Parks Exclusive w/ Injured Soldier)

Hey everyone and welcome—Tonight I'm taking a look at the Disney Parks exclusive Toy Story Bucket O Soldiers set (available in both Disneyland and Disney World, as well as the Downtown Disney/Disney Springs areas)! I had been eyeing this for years now for really one main reason: it comes with an exclusive "injured solider", directly from the moment in the original Toy Story when Andy's mom steps on one of them during the troops' birthday party reconnaissance mission. This is the only time a figure based on that injured soldier has ever been included in a Bucket O Soldiers set.

I had passed on getting this during our last few Disney trips, but when I remembered it recently, I decided to go for it before it's no longer available. Luckily it's still being sold at the parks and I'm grateful that my good (and very helpful) friend Paulina was willing and able to snag it for me! A huge thanks to her.

I've gotten several Bucket O Soldiers sets over the years, but this is certainly my favorite one yet and the most movie accurate out of the ones that I own. I have the the original 1995 version (which I honestly loved at the time as a kid, but looking back, the soldiers are a really dark green and don't resemble the movie's green army men character models much at all—they're almost too real looking in a sense) and the 2009 "Toy Story Collection" version (which leaned too heavily the other way and were a bit too cartoony/stylized, not to mention the big TOY STORY COLLECTION logo slapped on the front of the bucket which I never loved—that set also didn't include a Sarge). 

As an example, below you can see one of my 2009 "Toy Story Collection" army men (left) compared with one from this Disney Parks set (right). See what I mean about the TSC one being too stylized? It looks too chunky, while the Disney Parks version is much thinner and more angular—looking much more like the film version. I also like how this bucket doesn't have any added logos on it, which makes the packaging itself more film accurate as well. 

 
Note: Later versions of the "Toy Story Collection" Bucket O Soldiers, including the re-release just last year, did correct the overall look of the army men and ended up including Sarge and a more film accurate selection of poses/variations.
 
Anyway, enough talk of comparisons for now...let's get back to reviewing this excellent Disney Parks Bucket O Soldiers! Here are all the different army men variations that come with this set (75 soldiers total):

The eight standard poses... 

  • Saluting with binoculars (Sarge)— x7 
  • Bazooka— x10
  • Gun up— x10
  • Laying down— x10
  • Pistol out— x7 
  • Holding gun standing— x7
  • Rocket launcher—x10
  • Holding gun kneeling— x10

One injured soldier...

*Again, the main reason I got this set. It's essentially a perfect replica!

And three paratroopers (notice all three soldiers are slightly different—great touch!).

Literally the only things that this set is missing is more of the metal detector soldiers (there's just one here, which is the injured one) and the medic trooper (who's never been made). If those were included, I would have given this entire set a 10/10 for movie accuracy! Even the paratroopers are exactly how they should look (not the case with the Toy Story Collection version I have). As you can see below in my recreated shot, all the poses seen during the army man sequence in Toy Story are here. I absolutely love that!

If you're a diehard Toy Story collector looking for the most movie accurate Bucket O Soldiers set, I'd say this is it. It includes close to everything I ever wanted in one of these and the army men themselves look incredibly spot on! Retail price for this set is $17.95. 

What are you thoughts? Which Bucket O Soldiers set is your favorite from over the years? Which do you believe is the most screen accurate? I'd love to hear from all you fellow Toy Story fans/collectors and get a conversation going down below!

Follow me on Instagram @danthepixarfan

Friday, October 2, 2020

The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible & Syndrome 7" Action Figure "Nemesis Pack" (by Mattel)

"Am I good enough NOW?! Who's super NOW?! I'm Syndrome, your nemesis and— oh brilliant."

At the start of the year, Mattel began expanding their Disney·Pixar 7" Action Figure Collection (which began in 2019 with Toy Story 4) to other Pixar films—such as Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Wall·E, Onward and more. This The Incredibles inspired "Nemesis Pack" is the latest in the line to be released and includes an exclusive Syndrome figure!

Mr. Incredible is just a reissue of of the single pack release (no differences at all), but Syndrome is brand new and can only be found in this set. Both figures are posable and feature pretty solid articulation. Their sculpts/character likenesses are incredibly well done—just about perfection!

Note: I noticed some confusion online and wanted to clear it up. These are not the same figures as the Mr. Incredible and Syndrome figures from back in 2014. Those were by Thinkway Toys—but yes, these do look pretty similar.

Mattel's team also did a super great job on the packaging design (both front and back of the box), as usual. It's so fun, detailed and includes some clever nods for us fans! Take a closer look at the figures as well; again, SO well done.

I'm not sure if this set will also be available in-store at Target and/or Walmart, but you can pick it up online right now on either Amazon using the affiliate link below or Walmart.com HERE. Retail price is $19.97, so don't pay the current high third-party seller Amazon price. A big thank you to my friend "abusadventure" on Instagram for letting me know it was also on Walmart's website!

Be sure to share your thoughts down in the comments. Will you be picking this up for your collection? What other Pixar characters would you like to see Mattel give the 7" figure treatment to? Merida, Elastigirl, Jack-Jack, Dash and Miguel/Dante are hitting now, so look for them on Amazon and hopefully on store shelves soon. I would love to see characters from A Bug's Life, Ratatouille and Up


Sunday, September 27, 2020

D23 Expo 2019 Exclusive Cars Lithogragh (Art by Bob Pauley)

This Disney·Pixar Cars lithograph was available last year at the 2019 D23 Expo and is so stunningly cute! As a big fan of the franchise, this was a must-get. The art is done by Pixar's very own Bob Pauley, who was also one of the production designers/supervising animators on the original Cars. I love how all three Cars films are represented here, including some more obscure characters like Shannon Spokes, Tomber, Wingo and Todd the Pizza Planet Truck. I also have to note that it's honestly so nice to see Cars 2 get some love!

The print is 11 x 17 in size and I'm so excited to finally get it framed up soon for my home office. I really appreciate what Pauley did with this piece—from the vibrant colors, to the balanced layout, to the minimal designs, to the overall stylization...it's all too good! If you're interested in this art for your Disney·Pixar Cars collection, be sure to check out current eBay listings HERE.

Let me know your thoughts down below! 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Toy Story: Sarge & Helicopter "Minis" Vehicle Set (by Mattel)

 
The Toy Story "Minis" line from Mattel continues with a fun new vehicle set release—Sarge & Helicopter! Once again (just like the "Buddy Packs" tank vehicle I reviewed recently), this helicopter never appears in any of the Toy Story films or shorts. It's a design that was completely made up by Mattel, but regardless, I thought it was a fun addition to the line and had to pick it up! I haven't spotted this in-store yet, but I know it has been found at Kroger/Smith's stores in the US and has been available in Mexico for a while now. I grabbed mine on eBay for around $10. UPDATE: It's also now available on Walmart's website HERE for $10.99

The "Minis" vehicle sets were first introduced in 2017 (see post HERE) and then continued in 2019 with the release of Toy Story 4 (see post HERE). This has been the only new Toy Story vehicle release in 2020, as the others (seen on the back of the package) are repacks of previously released vehicles.
 
 
Check it all out in more detail below! The Sarge figure is a repack of the original blind bag release, but the helicopter is brand new. Both blades on the vehicle can rotate and Sarge can stand securely in the cockpit. The helicopter measures roughly 3.5" long and just under 2.5" tall. 
 

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments! Have you spotted this at the store or did you have to resort to eBay like I did? Any other Toy Story or other Pixar related vehicles you'd like to see get the "Minis" treatment?

Monday, September 21, 2020

Toy Story: Andy's Toy Chest Gift Set—7" Scale Action Figure Collection (by Mattel)

andy's toy chest figures mattel review
 
Here we have another fantastic addition to my Mattel Toy Story 7" scale action figure collection—this "Andy's Toy Chest" gift set/4-pack featuring Woody, Slinky, Buzz and an exclusive Lenny! This was released at Target clear back in January this year, but I didn't end up getting it until May (for my birthday). Now it's September and I'm finally getting to my long overdue review. So, in other words, I know I'm late to the game here. ;) 

Of course I got this whole set just for Lenny, even though I already have the Woody, Slinky and Buzz figures. He's a must-have character and I was so happy to see him join the 7" collection! That leads me to my first and only complaint though (the same one you've heard a million times), which is I wish you didn't have to get so many repeated characters all the time just to get just one new/exclusive character. I get if they wanted to pack Woody in, but then maybe add two other new ones (in addition to Lenny) like Rocky and Shark? Then, sure, you would still have to get another Woody, but at least you would be getting three new characters instead of just one. I know that change would make me and so many other collectors happy. There, end of rant. 

andy's toy chest figures mattel review
 
Other than the exclusive Lenny, the next coolest part of this set is no doubt the packaging! I absolutely love how it's designed after Andy's iconic toy chest and think it's brilliant how the window portion of the box is as if the toys are opening the chest slightly to peek out—well done! My only question: is this set based on the original Toy Story? You would think so, since Lenny is a part of it. However, the chest is the Toy Story 3 design (with the stickers all over it) and at that point in the trilogy, Lenny was not in Andy's room any more. Interesting! 
 
andy's toy chest figures mattel review

Since I already took a closer look at the Woody, Buzz and Slinky last year, this post will mainly only focus in on Lenny. He's a great looking figure and looks absolutely perfect with the rest of line! Remember, this Lenny is to scale with the 7" action figure line and is not a full scale replica. He's roughly 3" wide x 2.5" tall in size. The only articulation he has is his wind-up key spins, but this is not a real wind-up toy. It should also be obvious that he is not a real working pair of binoculars either. 

andy's toy chest figures mattel review
andy's toy chest figures mattel review

Here's the full gang out of the box! I appreciate (and was honestly surprised by) the fact that Woody can hold Lenny up the way I have him posed below. Impressive!

andy's toy chest figures mattel review

After all these months, you can still easily find this set at your local Target (or online HERE) for $29.99. If you haven't gotten any of these characters and are just starting to collect this figure line, this might actually be a good "starter set" set for you! Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below. Did you pick this up for your collection?

Friday, September 18, 2020

Disney Parks Pixar Ball MagicBand 2


For years I had considered mixing things up and getting a fun, premium MagicBand for me to wear during one of our Walt Disney World vacations; but when it came down to it, I never really wanted to fork out the extra $25 since we already have so many of the complimentary ones you get when you book a trip. When I saw this Pixar ball design earlier this year though, I couldn't help but go for it! I actually received it as a birthday gift from my parents back in May, so a big thanks to them for hookin' me up.

As of now (things could change with how the world is), we're planing on going back to Disney World next fall. Aidan will be almost two and we thought it would be the perfect time for his very first visit! I'm looking forward to wearing this during the trip, along with some other Pixar ball items I'll be showing right here soon.

Note: "Premium" MagicBands function no differently then regular/complimentary MagicBands. The only difference is that premium bands offer lots of fun different designs to choose from like this one. If you're unfamiliar with MagicBands and how they work in general, visit the official Disney World site HERE.


You can view all the MagicBand designs currently available on ShopDisney HERE and/or purchase this Pixar ball design HERE for $24.99. Let me know your thoughts down below! Have you purchased any neat MagicBands for your collection?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Cars 3: Jae

pixar cars jae

Hey Disney·Pixar Cars fans—Tonight I'm back with another brand new Mattel Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast release...Jae! This character started hitting shelves pretty recently as part of this year's "Rust-eze Racing Center" sub-series and is available in the 2020 singles case H. I found him at Walmart a few days ago, which was exciting for me since I haven't found a new Cars release in almost two months!

In Cars 3, as shown in the screen shot above, Jae (No. 094) is one of the many next-gen rookie racers ("trainees") training at the Rust-eze Racing Center. Jae can be seen briefly next to fellow trainee Sudeep (who was released last year, but only in Europe so far), where they are both testing out the new virtual reality tech. Once again, his name and look are pretty generic, but I kind of like all the different color trainees Mattel has released over the last couple of years. It's fun to build out the Cars world through diecasts, even when sometimes that means getting a generic background character.

pixar cars jae diecast review

As noted, Jae here is pretty much brand new, so you should be able to still find him in stores at your nearest Walmart or Target. Have fun out there, stay safe and happy hunting! Let me know your thoughts or any questions you might have down in the comments.

Stay tuned for more from my Pixar collection right here daily! 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Loungefly Pixar Ball Keychain (BoxLunch Exclusive)

pixar ball loungefly boxlunch keychain

You know me— if it's Pixar ball related, I buy it (for the most part)! Well, I saw this Loungefly Pixar ball keychain recently at BoxLunch (it's one of their exclusives) and couldn't resist it; especially since it was on sale for a great price. I'm so happy I went for it! You might remember that I already got a Disney Parks Luxo ball keychain earlier this year from the Disneyland, but that one was made of rubber and unfortunately broke not long after I bought it. Loungefly always makes quality accessories and I can tell this metal/enamel keychain is made to last.

This gold-tone keychain is approx. 1 3/4" diameter in size and retails for just $8.90 (right now there's even a code for 25% off). I just put it on my keyring yesterday and man does it look cool. I can highly recommend this to any fan who wants to add some serious Pixar flair to their keyring as well! You can pick it up on BoxLunch's site HERE.

pixar ball loungefly boxlunch keychain
pixar ball loungefly boxlunch keychain

Let me know your thoughts down below and be sure to stay tuned right here soon for more from my personal Pixar collection! 

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Mattel Toy Story Minis Blind Bags (2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box")

Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

When attending New York Toy Fair earlier this year, one of the best reveals for me was at Mattel—the continuation of their popular Toy Story "Minis" collection! I was absolutely thrilled about and surprised by some of the cool and unique new characters that would be coming out in 2020; like Transitron from Toy Story of Terror, Sid's mutant toy Janie Doll from the original Toy Story, Captain Suds from Partysaurus Rex, Karen Beverly from Toy Story 4 and SO many more. I've been collecting the Toy Story minis since they began in 2016, so I'm very happy to see the line continue to expand all these years later.

Last year, when the minis returned after a little hiatus, the line was branded and centered around Toy Story 4 and its characters (there was "series 1", "series 2" and "series 3" in 2019). This year, the series are unnumbered and are themed around the individual films. For example, this first series of 2020 (known as "Andy's Toy Box" due to its in-store display seen below) is focused solely on the original Toy Story. The next series will be Toy Story 2 centered, the one after that will be Toy Story 3 and so on.


This first 2020 series began hitting stores clear back in February. However, it never ended up hitting the mainstream stores (Target & Walmart) and was only ever found throughout the U.S. at Dollar Tree, Kroger/Smith's and Rite Aid stores of all places. Well, I don't have Kroger stores near me and they never arrived at any of my local Dollar Tree or Rite Aid stores, so that made the hunt for these minis very frustrating. Come August (after searching high and low for six months), I almost gave up on finding them in-store and thought about paying crazy scalper prices on eBay. I'm SO glad I didn't! Thankfully, someone on Instagram reached out to me just a few days ago and let me know that Five Below stores were now getting this series in. I went immediately to check it out and, well, the rest is history! I was so incredibly excited to finally see this series on the shelf after all this time (and for only $1.99 each).

Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

With that long story out of the way, let's take a look at packaging. I'm so impressed with it—it's seriously perfect for us Toy Story fans/collectors! I love the way it utilizes Andy's iconic cloud wallpaper design.

This series is a mix of new and previously released characters (so of course I only got the few that I didn't have). Below is the full list, as well as the blind bag codes, to help you find exactly who you're looking for (the blind bag code/letter is printed on the back of each package):
  • A- Black & White Woody (technically NEW—it's an updated version/repaint of the 2016 Black & White Woody; this new one has slightly different coloring and more of a shiny finish)
  • B- Translucent Glitter Alien (NEW)
  • C- Rocky (NEW)
  • D- Babyface (NEW to blind bags; originally only available in THIS 2018 ShopDisney exclusive 10-Pack)
  • E- Hamm (REPACK)
  • F- RC (REPACK)
  • G- Buzz with The Big One rocket (technically NEW—it uses the same sculpt as the 2017 version, but now with an updated face)
  • H- Bo Peep's Sheep (REPACK)
  • I- Lenny (NEW)
  • J- Janie Doll (NEW)
  • K- Bo Peep (REPACK)
  • L- Roaring Rex (NEW)
  • N- Woody (REPACK)
*there is no letter M in this series

Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"


Check out the seven minis I picked up in more detail below! I'm grateful I was able to find exactly who I needed.

Black & White Woody (2020 version; Shiny Finish)
*only one per case
Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

Translucent Glitter Alien 
Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

Rocky
Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

Babyface
Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

Buzz with THE BIG ONE rocket

Lenny
Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

Janie Doll
Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

Roaring Rex
Mattel Toy Story Minis 2020 Series 1—"Andy's Toy Box"

The coolest characters here, to me, are definitely Sid's mutant toys. I think this is the only piece of merch I own of Sid's Janie Doll and anything Babyface is very scarce and always welcome. They all look seriously amazing though! What are your thoughts? Who are your favorites? I'd love to hear what you have to say down below. Are you an avid collector of the Toy Story Mattel Minis like I am?

Now the hunt begins for the next series (Toy Story 2), which seems to just be hitting some locations now. Hopefully it won't take me six months this time, right? Stay tuned to my social media pages for up-to-date findings/coverage and best of luck on the hunt!