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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Cars 3: Taken by Storm/How to be a Great Racer (2 Books in 1!)

Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review

From Random House Publishing, here's a pretty fun Cars 3 book that I got back on its May 2nd release date...well, actually it's two books in one: Taken by Storm AND How to be a Great Racer! This review has been a long time coming. I got behind in my Cars 3 book reviews because I actually didn't even crack them open until I saw the film in late June; by then I had so many exciting things to post about and this was one of them that unintentionally got put on the back burner.

What you can expect with this book (or books) is a full-color, fully illustrated storybook that essentially goes through the main storyline of Cars 3. If you read it starting from the Taken by Storm side, you get the story mostly from Jackson Storm's perspective. Then if you flip it over and read it from the How to be a Great Racer side, you of course get it from Cruz Ramirez's perspective. If you remember the 2015 Inside Out inspired Joy's Greatest Joy book, it's the exact same concept.

Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review

Both books within this book are written by Bill Scollon, who does a great job summarizing the film's story with simple writing that young kids ages 3-7 can read/understand. The illustrations are great too, however there's no artist credited. It only states, like a lot of these types of books, that it's "illustrated by the Disney Storybook Art Team." I wonder why that happens with a lot of Disney books?

Take a look inside both books below to see if this is something you'll want to pick up for your collection! Combining both books, this is about 46 pages in length.

"Taken by Storm"
Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review
Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review
Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review
Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review


 "How to be a Great Racer"
Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review
Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review
Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review
Cars 3 Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer 2 Books in 1 review

I'm sure your little Cars fan will love to read/be read to the story of Cars 3 here with these books. And with all these fantastic illustrations, you really can't go wrong— especially as they wait for the home video release! Look for this wherever Cars 3 books are sold (Barnes & Noble being a safe choice) or grab it on Amazon using the direct link below.

What do you think of Taken by Storm / How to be a Great Racer?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cars 3: Cruz Ramirez as Frances Beltline

cars 3 Cruz Ramirez as Frances Beltline

Here's another Cars 3 Mattel 1:55 scale diecast that I was super excited to find recently...Cruz Ramirez as Frances Beltline! Or as Miss Fritter calls her, Lem-o-nade. Again, this one has been out for a little while now, but it has just hit my area. I found this Cruz at Target over the weekend, but it wasn't in the normal Cars section. I just happened to be be wandering around the store after checking the toy isles and stumbled upon a big stand alone fixture near the escalators (over by the kids' clothes)—not even close to the toy section! And there she was.

That was an unexpected and random surprise. I'm so happy to finally have this version of Cruz! My collection of Thunder Hollow Crazy 8 contenders was most definitely feeling her absence. I couldn't complete/recreate the classic scene without this one. Now she'll go perfect with all the others, especially my "Chester Wipplefilter"! 


Check her out! Like always, look at that amazing detail. The dirty tires and splats of mud are just perfect. The only thing I wish was different is her facial expression. She's smiling when she should have a scared or worried look about her (as shown in the screen shot above)! I don't think she ever smiles during that scene, but I think what Mattel did was just repaint the normal sculpt of Cruz to cut costs. Not a huge biggie, but a little nitpick for sure.

cars 3 Cruz Ramirez as Frances Beltline
cars 3 Cruz Ramirez as Frances Beltline

If you're a diehard Cars collector, then you know there is also a "Super Chase" out there called "Cruz Ramirez as Crazy 8 Frances Beltline." What's crazy is is that it's basically the same as this one, so I have no idea why it was made in the first place, let alone released as a Super Chase. Not even the expression is different! That would have made sense. See the comparison of the two on Take5aDay's site HERE.

Other than this single pack release, this same Cruz as Frances Beltline is also currently available in a Walmart exclusive "Thunder Hollow 5-Pack" (seen HERE), and a "Derby 3-Pack" (seen HERE). Best of luck finding her in stores, but if you're still having trouble, be sure to check current eBay listings using this direct link or Amazon using the link below.

Happy hunting! 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Coco Merchandise NOW AVAILABLE— Mattel Toys & More!

pixar coco toys in store

It's finally here everyone! The merchandise for Coco has finally hit Toy R Us shelves in my area. Ever since this stuff hit in Mexico late last month, I knew it had to be almost time for the US release. I have gone searching for this almost every day this month and was thrilled today when I found a bunch of it. Not everything—but a good amount nonetheless.

Like I always do, I had to document what the merchandise looks like on store shelves as well as give you a sneak peak at what will end up being many blog posts to come! Most of what you see here (minus the book, art kit and Funkos) is from Mattel. You'll notice "Skullectibles" (mini figures/blind bags), mid-size standard poseable figures, motion/action figures, 12" figures and even a Pepita mask. Like I said, this isn't everything, but it's a decent start! I'll go back tomorrow to see if I can find more and update this post.

pixar coco toys in store
pixar coco toys in store
pixar coco toys in store

What a fantastic range of toys! So colorful and so unique. I cannot wait to dive deeper into all of this and more. Stay tuned and let me know your thoughts below!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Cars 3: Taco

cars 3 taco screenshot

After months of searching, I finally found the Mattel Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast of one of my favorite Thunder Hollow demolition derby contenders...Taco! Yup, that's his name (or at least what he goes by while at the crazy 8 race). Just "Taco." Hilariously named and brilliantly designed, this one just appeals to me for his pure wackiness. Who came up with this? I can't say I have any other cars like this, so it feels like a real unique addition to my collection.

I know this one came out months ago, but it's only just hitting my area here in CT now. I found him tonight at Target and was absolutely thrilled. I may have even said out loud, "it's about time."

mattel cars 3 taco

Once again, look at all that marvelous detail! Mattel really hit it out of the park with all these demolition derby cars. Check out that grime and mud splatter! With that said, something I did want to make a note of, is that only the front portion of Taco is diecast metal. The back truck bed part is actually plastic. That's really the only slight bummer, but it's not too noticeable when it comes down to it.

mattel cars 3 taco
mattel cars 3 taco

If you're still having trouble finding this car as well, all is not lost. If it's just showing up in my area now, there's hope for yours (especially if you're on the east coast)! Be sure to check your local Target or Walmart ASAP for availability and let me know if you have any questions. If you'd rather just pick him up online, check out current listings on eBay HERE or Amazon using the link below.

Happy hunting! What are your thoughts on Taco?

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cars 3: Arvy

"Hey, neither one of them has a single dent."
-Arvy

Hey everyone! I'm back for another Cars 3 Mattel 1:55 scale diecast review and this time I'm taking a look at Arvy Motorhome— one of the many awesome contenders seen during the Thunder Hollow demolition derby sequence! This one is a "Deluxe" size diecast measuring at about 3 1/2" long and 2" tall. 

The character design of this guy is already pretty fantastic and Mattel did a really great job capturing his look and all the dirty details (just look at all those smudges, scrapes and scratches). He feels decently heavy (an impressive amount of metal actually went into him, even though some plastic is still used as well) and is overall a really solid, very well made vehicle.

pixar cars mattel arvy diecast

For whatever reason, RV style Pixar Cars characters are some of my favorites to collect; so combine that with my other favorite category of diecasts to collect—the totally off the wall demolition derby cars—and we have ourselves a winner. Take a look at him out of the package below!

pixar cars mattel arvy diecast

And here's one of the coolest parts. Ready for a couple of Easter eggs? Check out the stickers on Arvy's spare tire. What to you see? That's right—the Monsters University "MU" logo AND the Wilderness Explorer logo from Up! Now that is some crazy detail.

pixar cars mattel arvy diecast
pixar cars mattel arvy diecast

I had the hardest time finding this one in stores. To this day, I still haven't spotted him at any Toys R Us, Walmart or Target in my area. Interestingly, I ended up finding Arvy here at Kohls (of all places) a few weeks back! If you're still searching for this character, be sure to check out all the aforementioned stores in your area or visit Amazon using the link below.

Happy hunting!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Toy Story: Woody & Buzz Lightyear METALFIGS (by Jada Toys)

toy story metalfigs jada toys

Here's a couple of releases that I've been anticipating for a couple months now...the Woody and Buzz Lightyear "METALFIGS" by Jada Toys! I saw these revealed over the summer and absolutely fell in love with the look of them. I couldn't wait to be able to display them on my shelf and now that day has finally come. I'm happy to report that they look and feel as awesome as I hoped!

Last month I purchased and reviewed the Mike and Sulley METALFIGS (which are also amazing by the way—if you missed the post, check it out HERE). Those ones are only about 2 1/2" tall, while these Toy Story ones are quite a bit bigger! Buzz is about 4" tall and Woody is about 5" tall (and are overall proportioned bigger compared to Mike and Sulley). These retail for $9.99 each and are made up of mostly (said to be more than 50%) diecast metal. They have an amazing weight and quality to them! And again, the stylized designs of these are just fantastic to me. So cute.

toy story metalfigs jada toys

As seen on the back of the package, these are part of a new Disney series featuring a bunch of other classic Disney characters! I'm really hoping this line continues to gain popularity so that many more will be made in the future. Who would you like to see next?

toy story metalfigs jada toys

Take a look at these guys out of their boxes. The detail, the paint, the poses...it's all just stunning! I mean look at Woody's shiny metallic jeans and his lassoing action stance. Even "Andy" is written under both of their boots (plus Woody has a cool clear stand which gives him perfect balance). Way to go Jada Toys.

WOODY METALFIG
toy story woody metalfigs jada toys
toy story woody metalfigs jada toys
toy story woody metalfigs jada toys


BUZZ LIGHTYEAR METALFIG
toy story buzz metalfigs jada toys
toy story buzz metalfigs jada toys toy story buzz metalfigs jada toys
toy story buzz metalfigs jada toys

According to the official METALFIGS Instagram page, these should be showing up in stores now at Target, Walmart and Toys R Us. One user on Twitter who contacted me even found them at Hot Topic. I got them on Amazon for $14 each (as I've yet to find them in stores). I'll include the direct links below!

Toy Story fans (especially you adult collectors), these are must haves as far as I'm concerned. They're literally the perfect display pieces for your desk or shelf. Pick them up, enjoy and let me know what YOU think!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Disney Store "Tsum Tsum" Unicorn Collection—PIXAR (Feat. Rainbow Unicorn & Buttercup)

disney store unicorn tsum tsum collection pixar

Just yesterday, the Disney Store and ShopDisney.com released a brand new unicorn inspired Tsum Tsum set for Tsum Tsum Tuesday (cause you know, unicorns are quite trendy these days). Honestly, I normally wouldn't have paid much mind to something like this— but I paused, looked a little closer and realized, "No way! Two new unreleased Pixar characters!" Yup, the fan favorite Rainbow Unicorn from Inside Out and the lovable Buttercup from Toy Story 3 are both part of this set.

These being actual unicorn characters and all, it only makes sense that they were included here. The other four characters in this set (the ones I didn't feel the need to pick up) are technically not unicorns at all, but rather Daisy Duck, Minnie Mouse, Angel and Marie all dressed up in unicorn "costumes."

I knew right away that I needed to snag these two and add them to my Inside Out and Toy Story Tsum Tsum collections. They go perfectly with all the others! It's so fun to have a couple new characters represented from these films after all these years.

Let's take a closer look!

Rainbow Unicorn
pixar inside out rainbow unicorn tsum tsum
pixar inside out rainbow unicorn tsum tsum

Rainbow Unicorn might be my favorite of the two, just because her colors and details are so fantastic. I love the use of the shiny (almost glittery) fabric and they even remembered the pink heart on her side. 

pixar inside out rainbow unicorn tsum tsum

Both are so well done though! Check out Buttercup. He looks great. Love all the different fabrics/materials used and embroidered detailing on both these characters.

 Buttercup
toy story 3 buttercup tsum tsum
toy story 3 buttercup tsum tsum

If you're looking to add these to your Tsum Tsum collection, be sure to pick these up at your local Disney Store or ShopDisney.com soon before they're gone! Highly reccomended for any serious Pixar and/or Tsum Tsum collector.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Disney·Pixar Coco Books— NOW AVAILABLE!

disney pixar coco books

In case you missed it, I wanted to share the news/reminder that Coco books officially hit store shelves and online today! I had fun going to Barnes & Noble this morning to see everything they had available thus far (as seen in my pic above). This isn't everything that came out today of course, but it's what my local store had in stock. Be sure to check out Amazon.com HERE for the full gamut of titles! Standouts for me include Miguel and the Grand Harmony, the Little Golden Book, the Big Golden Book, the "Art of" book, The Essential Guide, I Love My Family: A Book of Memories and Miguel and the Amazing Alebrijes. I look forward to reviewing all those and more in the coming weeks and months! Stay tuned.

Note: Remember, if you're avoiding any spoilers or plot points not seen in the trailers, avoid opening these at all cost (even director Lee Unkrich has warned about this a few times on Twitter). If you don't care about spoiling the story, go ahead and have fun reading these now. I for one will be waiting until after I see the film so I can go in as fresh as possible. I don't want any twists or turns ruined!

Also (unrelated to the books), I just wanted to share this fantastic giant 3D Coco movie theater standee that I saw today as well. I had seen pics of this circulating online, but it was cool to see it in person! I had to document it.

disney pixar coco movie theater display standee

What are your thoughts on the new Coco books? Will you be reading them before the film? Which ones have you purchased/plan to purchase? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Cars Land "Cutest Little Town in Carburetor County" (Art by Jerrod Maruyama)

Cars Land "Cutest Little Town in Carburetor County" Art by Jerrod Maruyama

Hey everyone! For those who were waiting for yesterday's blog post, sorry about that! Our internet was down, but it's back up and running and I'm ready to tackle today's post. Thanks for hanging tight.

Today I'm wrapping up my posts on all the Cars Land 5th anniversary art (5"x7" postcard size prints) that I've been reviewing over the past couple months. Last, but certainly not least, here we have "Cutest Little Town in Carburetor County" by my friend and popular Disney freelance artist, Jerrod Maruyama! I know I've mentioned this countless times, but Jerrod is one of my all time favorite Disney artists (not to mention one of the nicest guys). If you're unfamiliar with his work, be sure to check out his blog HERE. If you like what you see (how could you not), you can also follow him on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Dribbble and Twitter. As you can see, Jerrod specializes in all things cute and is quite the master.

Cars Land "Cutest Little Town in Carburetor County" Art by Jerrod Maruyama

As a dedicated fan of the Cars franchise and Cars Land, I absolutely adore this print and was so thrilled to see it was coming! I couldn't wait to get my hands on it and it doesn't disappoint. It's 100% Jerrod's signature style that I know and love, done in the same vein as his "world of..." series of prints (which are some of my favorites). Retail is $4.95 for this postcard size.

Jerrod's cute stylization of the classic Radiator Springs townsfolk is amazing, not to mention all the nods to iconic Cars props, shop signs, logos and other designs that he threw in surrounding the characters as well. The details in this print are stunning as usual (and the title is brilliant, utilizing a perfectly suited quote from the original film). My hat goes off to Jerrod for all the thought and work that I know went into creating this piece.

As shown in my photo below (taken during our trip to California Adventure this past July), you can pick up this print at the Ramone's House of Body Art gift shop (it should also available at the WonderGround Gallery at Disney Springs/Downtown Disney). And what's cool is that this design is also available on a T-shirt, a mug, a magnet set and on a bigger deluxe size matted print! If I had the space in my luggage, I probably would have gotten it all— it's just that good.  


A huge thanks to Jerrod for sending me this signed copy of the print. It meant so much to me to get it in a surprise package he sent me a little while back! And, since I love it so much, this is a print I will also have to get in the bigger matted size for my Pixar office wall.

Final Note—If you missed them, check out the other Cars Land 5th anniversary art pieces I reviewed over the past few weeks: "New Wheels", "Race Around Radiator Springs", "Cozy Cone Arrival" and "Cruisin' to Ka-Chow." It's so fun to see how each artist captures the feeling of Cars in their own unique way!