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Friday, May 26, 2017

Cars 3: Mash'ems Collection Review

disney pixar cars 3 mashems

Here we have my first introduction into the world of Mash'ems with these super fun new Cars 3 characters! "Mash'ems" (by the company Tech 4 Kids) is a series of small, rubber, squishy, stylized figures that can be squashed, stretched, twisted and, well, mashed. With characters/properties ranging from Paw Patrol to SpongeBob to Super Heroes, to Pixar of course (just to name a few), there are many fun Mash'ems out there to find and collect. Most Mash'ems have been released in plastic "blind canisters" (like the ones I have here), so you don't know who it is inside until you open it. They're about 1.5" in size and retail for approximately $2.88 each (which is the Walmart price).

These Cars 3 Mash'ems are dubbed "series 1", but I'm not sure if these are actually continuing in the future (I really doubt it). Six characters are available in this particular lineup: Smokey (a new character), Luigi, Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm (also new) and Cruz Ramirez (again, a new character).

Let's open them up shall we?

disney pixar cars 3 mashems


Lightning McQueen
disney pixar cars 3 mashems

Here's one example of how they look when you smush them, but there are so many other ways of mashing! They're a lot of fun to just sit there and squeeze away at (like a stress ball of sorts).

disney pixar cars 3 mashems


Mater
disney pixar cars 3 mashems

I hadn't noticed this right off the bat (I don't know how I missed it initially), but each Mash'em is actually filled with a little bit of water (see the water bubbles in the portion of Mater that I squeezed in the photo below). You can even hear the water swishing around when you squeeze them rapidly.

disney pixar cars 3 mashems


Luigi
disney pixar cars 3 mashems

Something I learned by going on the official Mash'ems website tonight is that each character has a different rarity to it (who knew?). Lightning McQueen, Luigi and Mater are "common", Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez are "rare" and Smokey is "extra rare." Honestly though, they're all about the same easiness to find.

Smokey
disney pixar cars 3 mashems


Jackson Storm
disney pixar cars 3 mashems


Cruz Ramirez
disney pixar cars 3 mashems

I actually enjoyed opening these up and checking them out much more than I thought I would. They're really quite cute and and I like their look/feel overall! Some of them did have some black specks on them upon unboxing (as well as some smudges), but I was able to easily pick those off. Plus, for toys like these, no one expects them to have extraordinary paint jobs. I also wanted to note that these figures are sticky (so they attract hair and fuzz), but they can easily be rinsed off with some water without ruining them.

I purchased my set at Walmart, but they can be found elsewhere as well (I've seen them at Target, Kohls, Toys R Us, etc.). Also— one last hint: there are little slits on the tops and bottoms of the canisters...just shine your flashlight into those and you can a least see some colors. The downside is that there are two yellow and two brown cars, so that makes it harder. Either way though, I had some good luck with that technique, so maybe that will work for you!



My favorites of the bunch are definitely Jackson Storm and Smokey (though Lightning is awesome too...man, it's hard to chose!). Who is your favorite? Have you collected these at all? If so, who did you get? Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments below and check out my unboxing video from yesterday above.

Feel free to like and subscribe! :)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Video: Cars 3 Mash'ems Collection Mystery Unboxing



 My newest YouTube video unboxing is live! Visit THIS LINK (or watch the embedded video above) to see the new Cars 3 Mash'ems collection in action. As you'll be able to tell, I had a lot of fun opening them up! My full blog post with my additional thoughts, photos and insights will be up tomorrow. Until then, enjoy.

Be sure to like and subscribe to stay up to date with future content!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

PAGE UPDATE- Finding Nemo Character Connection Limited Edition Mystery Pin Collection


Hey everyone! Today's post is both a page AND life update. I know it's been way too long and I feel awful about not getting to my daily posts...so I just wanted to give you a brief update with what's going on. The good news (and you might know this already if you follow me on Twitter) is that the reason I've been so busy is that my wife Brita and I just closed on our first house on May 11th! Since then we have been nonstop at work on it, getting our life organized and moved in over there. When I'm not working on the house until all hours of the night, I'm at my day job— so you can imagine why I've had zero time lately.

Speaking of that, I have to get to work now— but I'm really glad I had a couple of minutes open to write a quick post here for you guys. I have SO many amazing items right now that I'm dying to share with you, so I can't wait until my posts get more consistent again!

Until then, enjoy this page update to my 2016 Finding Nemo Character Connection Mystery Puzzle Pins post. As seen above, I finally got Bruce! This Bruce pin was part of the loving Easter basket that Brita (and the Easter Bunny) made for me last month (it's crazy I'm just getting to it now). Visit the original post HERE for more on the entire collection— which includes this update and gives you a look at who I have and who I still need!

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Cars 3: Pepperidge Farm Goldfish & Campbell's Soup

disney pixar Cars 3 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish & Campbell's Soup

Ka-Chow! Pepperidge Farm and their parent company Campbell's Soup proudly present their brand new special edition Disney·Pixar Cars 3 inspired Goldfish crackers and condensed chicken soup— available now for you to own! This is the second year in a row of this particular partnership, following the success of last summer's similar Finding Dory Goldfish and soups.

Let's first take a look at the awesome Goldfish crackers. The packaging has a great design prominently featuring Lightning McQueen on the front with the Cars 3 logo and a "Race to the Winner's Circle" maze for kids on the back (which also adds newcomer Cruz Ramirez to the layout).

disney pixar Cars 3 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish
disney pixar Cars 3 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

Inside you'll find a fun mixture of three different cheddar cracker styles; this includes the traditional orange smiling goldfish (yup, the classic snack that smiles back), a yellow [Cruz Ramirez color inspired] goldfish and a red Lightning McQueen shaped goldfish—with no artificial colors I might add (only colors sourced by plants). Each bag retails for $2.49.

disney pixar Cars 3 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish
disney pixar Cars 3 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

I brought a bag over to my sister's house this morning to share with my nephew Noah (a HUGE Cars fan who can't wait for Cars 3) and he absolutely loved them! We had so much fun talking about them (he went on and on about the McQueen shape and how some were "yellow like Cruz Ramirez" and he even asked "where's Jackson Storm?") and he sat there enjoying them for a quite some time while watching Paw Patrol.☺️

disney pixar Cars 3 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish

Now onto the Cars 3 Campbell's "Healthy Kids & Charming Shapes Pasta with Chicken Soup" featuring intricate, die-cut pasta shapes of Lightning Mcqueen, Mater and Doc Hudson!

There are three unique special edition labels to collect: Dinoco Cruz Ramirez, Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm! Each one truly feels like a collector's item and, not gonna lie, I'm actually thinking about keeping and displaying them after the soup is eaten. :P Be sure to snag them all if you can! The trio looks super sweet together.

disney pixar Cars 3 campbell's soup

Check out the pasta shapes on the back of the cans below, as well as character bios that are unique to the character on the label. And remember— these soups contain no added MSG, artificial colors or artificial flavors. Each can retails for $1.60.

disney pixar Cars 3 campbell's soup
disney pixar Cars 3 campbell's soup

For young fans who can't get enough Cars and who are greatly anticipating the premiere of Cars 3 next month (like I am), I cannot recommend these enough. They'll absolutely love them!

Lastly (but certainly not least), a HUGE thanks to the very generous Pepperidge Farm and Campbell's Soup for sending me over these samples to review. Let me know your thoughts (or questions) in the comment section below!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Cars: J. Shoesteer

Cars J. Shoesteer

Finally, here we have the very last 2016 Mattel 1:55 scale Cars diecast that I needed for my collection— J. Shoesteer! Now I'm officially all caught up with last year's characters. For whatever reason, J. here (and his entire case for that matter) had an extremely limited distribution in the US (outside of Disney Parks, oddly enough) and I never found him in stores. A few week's back I finally caved and ordered him on Amazon for around $11. Totally worth it!

As shown in the screenshot above, J. Shoesteer is a rusty car seen in the front row of the Rust-eze sponsor tent after the film's opening race. Once again, Mattel outdid themselves with the rust/dirt paint application here. They've really mastered that!

mattel Cars J. Shoesteer

He is part of the 2016 "Rust-eze Racing" sub-series (#7/12). Let's take a closer look out of the package!

mattel Cars J. Shoesteer

J. in the movie, I'd say, is more of a pink color (this one leans more on the brown side), but that's the only little thing that could be considered a negative by diehard fans. Other than that, the detail and likeness is spot on and it's a fantastic diecast overall. It's cool to have another awesome never before released character.

mattel Cars J. Shoesteer

TRIVIA: J. Shoesteer is named after Jay Shuster, a Pixar Studios employee who works as a character/environment designer and sketch artist (he was also a concept artist on the first two Star Wars prequel films). He is one of many Pixarians who's name has been "carified" by Mattel.

If you had trouble finding this one in stores too, you can always browse current eBay listings via THIS LINK or shop on Amazon using the direct link below. Happy hunting to all my fellow collectors! Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. Were you able to find J. at a store near you?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cars 3: "Lead the Way" Book Review

disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review

Lead the Way, written by Ace Landers, was the very first Cars 3 inspired book to be released. It officially arrived just last month (April 4) on Amazon and wherever Disney·Pixar books are sold. The version I have here is a Barnes & Noble exclusive which features four tear out inspirational cards in the back! This is a gorgeous hardcover book with uniquely beautiful sketch style illustrations and life lessons anyone of any age can take away. 

What makes the art in this book special (other than the style itself) is that it was illustrated by Pixar's very own sketch artist Garrett Taylor (who began his work at Pixar in 2010 as an intern before being offered a full time position in 2011). Garrett has since worked on many of the studio's feature films, but most recently as a character and environment designer for Cars 3. He's seriously livin' the dream!

disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review

This book was first revealed by Garrett himself (March 24) during a YouTube LIVE "How to draw Cruz Ramirez" broadcast on Disney·Pixar's official channel. You can watch the archived video HERE if you missed it.

Here's a peek under the slip cover which showcases more amazing pencil art and shimmery blue text: "Believe the Impossible." 

disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review

Ultimately this book celebrates the teachers, mentors and/or anyone who is a guiding light in your life. It's about passing the torch (knowledge, wisdom, skills, etc.) to a new generation— all themes which will be also present in the actual Cars 3 film.

disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review

Now let's preview a few of the 40 pages you'll find upon opening...just to give you a flavor of what to expect! Don't worry, what I'm about to show won't have any spoilers (in fact, the whole book is virtually spoiler free)— however if you're avoiding anything and everything about Cars 3 for now, you might want to check the rest out next month after you've seen the film.

disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Reviewdisney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Reviewdisney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review
disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Reviewdisney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review
disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review
disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review

Here are a couple of the exclusive collectible cards found at the end of the book.

disney pixar Cars 3 "Lead the Way" Book Review

If I could compare this to any recent Pixar book, it's very reminiscent of the Finding Dory inspired Three Little Words. If you liked that one, you'll for sure enjoy Lead the Way as both are inspirational and elegantly illustrated. I love it!

Pick this up at your local Barnes & Noble soon (visit their online store HERE for a special price) or purchase the standard edition on Amazon using the direct link below.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Events: Cars 3 Merch Release Roundup (Toys, Games & Books)

pixar cars 3 toys release 2017

Hello everyone!! We are officially back safe and sound from our lengthy vacation/road trip down to Maryland and Florida. We had a blast visiting family, going to Disney World and attending my cousin's wedding. It was quite the whirlwind! I'm excited to share with you all the details in future posts very soon.

While I was away, a pretty big release day happened and I wanted to document it right here: mainline Cars 3 merchandise (including toys, books, games and more) officially hit shelves beginning on May 1st! A HUGE assortment of products from Mattel, Just Play Toys, Hasbro, Lego, Thinkway Toys, Disney Publishing and more are currently dominating Target, Walmart and Toys R Us shelves.

I was able to pick up everything I hoped to get and am looking forward to reviewing many of these products in more detail over the next few months. Until then, below is my roundup (by store) of just about everything that has been available during this past launch week! Take a look...


TARGET
pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 target
pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 target
pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 target

As far as the look/size of the overall display and sheer amount of products in one store, Toys R Us definitely takes the cake. Every store I've been to though looks very good and everything seems to be well stocked with no sign of shortage for any product.



TOYS R US
pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 toys r us pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 toys r us pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 toys r us
 pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 toys r us pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 toys r us
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 toys r us



WALMART
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 walmartpixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 walmart
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 walmart
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 walmart



BARNES & NOBLE
pixar cars 3 toys merchandise release 2017 books

If anything in the photos above stands out, don't hesitate to reach out with any comments or questions you might have. What's your favorite item so far? Which things have you picked for your collection (or plan to)? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Don't miss out on anything by waiting too long. Head to your local stores soon to start your Cars 3 collection!

Note: You can also visit my posts on the Disney Store Cars 3 merch HERE (for swim) and HERE (for toys).