Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Good Dinosaur: TOMY Action Figures (Part Three- Extra Large) PAGE UPDATE

tomy the good dinosaur extra large nash figure

The Good Dinosaur TOMY Extra Large figure Nash has finally been released! Well, kind of. How was I able to obtain this extremely rare figure? Find out in my full page update to my original post HERE. Lots of more photos and details await!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Disney·Pixar Easter Basket Ideas 2016 (Finding Dory and The Good Dinosaur) PAGE UPDATE

Just posted a page update to my Good Dinosaur/Finding Dory Easter Basket ideas post! I got a few of the items mentioned for Easter and my nephew and I had fun opening them up.

Check out all the details in the original post HERE!

Finding Dory: Band-Aids

finding dory band-aids

The beginnings of Finding Dory merch began trickling out to stores back at the end of January and new items continue to be found seemingly every day. Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, the Disney Store and even pharmacys like Walgreens and CVS have gotten a plethora of small tie-in items such as swim gear/water toys, kites, beach towels, beach toys, bubble sets, play packs, tote bags, breakfast cereal, Mac & Cheese, yogurt, Easter basket items, baseball caps, swim diapers, bubble bath/body wash, and so on. Well, now you can add Finding Dory Band-Aids to the list (as expected)!

Similar to the Inside Out and the The Good Dinosaur Band-Aids released last year, this boxed set includes 20 Band-Aids (assorted sizes) with 12 unique designs. Unfortunately, there are no new characters featured in these designs however. Yup, there's just Dory, Nemo and Marlin. So these ultimately look more Finding Nemo themed than Finding Dory, but oh well! Just a heads up.

finding dory band-aids

Yet again, I really love how they've included two different image styles on these (much like what has been done before); most have a much more minimal design to them (those are the ones I'm really drawn to- really cute!), but a couple use the rendered versions of the characters from the film.

finding dory band-aids

 Check them all out a little closer below!

Larger Size
finding dory band-aids
finding dory band-aids

 Smaller Size
finding dory band-aids
finding dory band-aids

Be sure to your local stores for these if you're interested. If your little one(s) are already fans of Finding Nemo then these are a must! These will help them to "Just keep swimming" after getting a cut or scrape.

I found these at Walmart, but I'm sure you can find them at any of the other stores I mentioned as well. What do you think? Which one is your favorite design? Let me know if you have any questions or comments and thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Cars: 10th Anniversary 2016 Calendar

cars 2016 disney pixar calendar

It's crazy to think it's already almost been 10 years since Disney·Pixar's Cars was released in theaters. In another sense, it feels like our friends Lightning Mcqueen and Mater have been around for a life time (well, for those born in/after 2006, they have ;)! For me, Cars was an instant classic Pixar film filled with iconic characters and imagery. Though it's deemed as a "least favorite" by many fans and is often considered one of the "weakest" in Pixar's lineup, I can't help but love it. Personally, I've never understood the consistent hate towards the film. I've watched it more times than I could ever count and I still enjoy its story, characters, humor, world building, designs, music, animation and heart to this day.

And here's a little bit of Dan trivia- Seeing Cars at the theater was actually part of my very first date with my wife back in 2006 (we were both 16)! We've been together ever since, so I guess you could say Cars is special to me in that sense as well.

Anyway, in celebration of the film's 10th anniversary this year, I just wanted to share with you some of my brief thoughts on the film as well as this fun Disney·Pixar Cars 2016 [16 month] calendar by Day Dream (with bonus downloadable wallpaper)! I was recently looking for a Pixar themed calendar to hang near my desk, so I could write in my weekly Disney Store work schedule, and thought this one was perfect. Honestly, it hadn't even crossed my mind that this year was the 10th anniversary, so seeing this calendar was a great reminder.

cars 2016 disney pixar calendar cars 2016 disney pixar calendar
cars 2016 disney pixar calendar

Whether you like the films or not, the Cars franchise has without a doubt made a huge commercial impact and has been successful in many ways. Many people of all ages out there still love and support it! To wrap up this little anniversary tribute, lets take a look at some of what's been accomplished in the last 10 years... 
  • Cars was released theatrically June 9th, 2006 and on DVD November 7th, 2006
  • The DVD included the first Cars short film, Mater and the Ghost Light
  • There have been 15 "Cars Toons" since their television debut in 2008 (with more to come)
  • Cars 2 was announced in 2008 along with Up, Newt (which was cancelled) and Brave
  • Overall merchandise/media sales crossed $10 billion in the first five years alone
  • Cars 2 was released theatrically June 24th, 2011 and on DVD November 1st, 2011
  • The world of Cars was the inspiration for two Disney (NOT Pixar) spin off films: Planes and (its sequel) Planes: Fire & Rescue (released in 2013 and 2014, respectively) 
  • The giant 12-acre Cars Land was announced October 17th, 2007 and saw its grand opening at Disney's California Adventure on June 15th, 2012
  • Over 600+ Cars diecast characters have been released since 2006 (and the line is going strong)
  • Cars 3 was officially announced on March 18th, 2015 by Disney CEO Bob Iger
  • Cars 3 is Pixar's next theatrical film, set to be release on June 16th, 2017.
cars 2016 disney pixar calendar

What are your thoughts on Cars? Are you looking forward to future releases? Do these films bring about any special memories? I would love to hear some of what you're thinking in the comments below! And if you're interested in picking up this calendar for you wall, you can pick it up on Amazon for $14.99 using the link below:

Monday, March 28, 2016

Toy Story: Hatch 'n Heroes (Part 3- Buzz Lightyear Version 2 and Alien) PAGE UPDATE

toy story hatch n heroes alien

Today's post is a page update to my Toy Story Hatch 'n Heroes collection. I finally have the Pizza Planet Alien, thanks to my thoughtful wife who included this in my Easter basket yesterday! A huge thanks to her :)

Visit the original post HERE to check out the full write-up with more info and pictures. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cars: "Bud" (Super Chase)

pixar cars bud rv

Happy Easter!

From the original Cars, here we have the Mattel 1:55 Deluxe scale diecast of "Bud"! This is a brand new 2016 "Super Chase" (which basically just means he's an ultra rare release- no more than 4,000 units are produced). Super Chase cars are extremely difficult to spot in stores, so I was absolutely thrilled to have received this today as a gift!

As shown in the screen shot above, Bud is one of the RVs seen (only from the back) during the film's opening Dinoco 400 race.

pixar cars bud rv

What makes this character extra cool for fans is that he has one of the film's many "Easter eggs" (hidden references) right there on his back. Recognize the image? Yup, that's the Jackalope from Pixar's 2004 short film Boundin'! Trivia: This RV is named "Bud" after Bud Luckey, the director of Boundin'. Luckey also served as one of the character designers for Cars.

Check out some loose shots below!

pixar cars bud rv
pixar cars bud rv
pixar cars bud rv

I absolutely love this one! The size is spot on, the detail is fantastic and it has to be one of the heaviest Cars diecasts to date. And how awesome is it that a character with an actual Pixar "Easter egg" on it got produced as a toy? As soon as I saw that this one was even coming out, I was sold.

You can keep a lookout for Bud in stores now or find him online on eBay or Amazon using the direct link below.

Best of luck! 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Finding Pixar- At Historic Ellicott City, MD

After we were done with the Science Behind Pixar exhibit in Philadelphia, we continued driving south to visit my wife's family in Ellicott City, Maryland for a few days. During our time there, we were able to go to the historic downtown area, known as "Old Ellicott City", for an evening- one of our favorite things to do there every time we visit. We love to walk around and check out the local stores, antique shops, food places, etc.

Without fail, I'm always able to find old unique Pixar items around this area (for some funny reason). I've found the most random Pixar stuff in these random shops over the years! I never buy any of it, but it's become a goal of mine (almost a game) to see how many old Pixar related items I can find there every time I go. Check out some of the things I found this time around below!

These are really cool...Mr. Incredible and Randall statues from the [now retired] Walt Disney Classics Collection line! I would have snagged them if they weren't hundreds of dollars a piece.

This place had several dozen loose Disney·Pixar Mattel Cars (in plastic collector casing) available for just a couple bucks each. Too bad they didn't have some of the old ones I still don't have! It was cool to see them being sold like this nonetheless. Oh and can you spot a couple hidden Mr. Incredible figures?

This next antique shop had several "vintage" Pixar items!

I stumbled upon this old Toy Story Woody bank...

This 1999 Bullseye Roll n Go (which I looked up on eBay and apparently it's pretty rare. Maybe I should have picked it up?)...

And this Hamm bank (Unfortunately though, I wasn't able to spot who it was made by or where it originally came from. It's different than the 1995 Thinkway version I have).

Do you recognize any of these items? Maybe you even had a few of them back in the day. Shout it out in the comments below if anything here brings back some memories!

Anyway, thought this would be a fun little post to mix things up a bit. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a more traditional item from my ever expanding Pixar collection! Stay tuned. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Events: Visiting The Science Behind Pixar (Franklin Institute in Philadelphia) PART 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our Science Behind Pixar visit! Get all caught up by checking out Part 1 if you haven't already.

OK, now lets jump right back to where we left off... here we are playing with Jessie's facial movements. It was amazing to see the amount of controls that Pixar characters have in their faces; you could give her some very extreme looking expressions! To put it in perspective, us humans only have about 43 muscles in our faces; Pixar's animated characters have about 700 rig controls in their faces! I mean, look at what you can do with the eyebrow alone.

After finishing up the first floor, we headed up the ramp to the next level of activities. I had no idea it was this big! Up we go...

The second floor mainly summarized everything learned thus far about the Pixar production pipeline process, tying it all together! It introduced some new concepts as well.

I loved the circle in the middle of the room that was formed by visual examples and descriptions of the nine step production process (using a scene from Inside Out). It was so cool to see the same scene play out in the different stages of development- from the beginning story & art phase through the final rendering!

We loved visiting with Edna Mode to learn about acting through animation. Remember, luck favors the prepared.

...and NO CAPES!

This was an awesome area where you could make your own little stop motion video using the iconic Luxo lamp! At this point however, things were getting pretty crowded there and we didn't want to hold up the line that was forming; so we just ended up making one really quick. You can get the idea of what it's like though in our brief video below!

If you can make it to this activity while things are still slow, I'd recommend that. Looking back, I would have spent more time with this to make something really fun. I saw some people were getting super creative with the lamp's movements!

 More areas of fun!

This was another one of the favorite interactive stations. At this one, you learn about how distant objects/characters in animation (like the far away cars in the stands below) do not have to be fully detailed models. Since they aren't shown close up, there's no sense of putting all the man hours and rendering time into detail that will never be seen. Knowing when to limit the complexity of a model helps save a ton of time and cuts unnecessary costs.

Of course all good things come to an end...but not before a visit to the fantastic Pixar gift shop near the exit! I felt right at home ;)

In the end, we were there for just a little under three hours- but I could have spent at least an hour or two more. There were a lot of areas/stations that I wasn't able to spend adequate time at and several audio and video clips that I had to bypass. It's funny, when we asked how long it would take to walk through, they said about an hour. As you can see, that is most definitely not the case. Each guest varies of course (depending on levels of interest, attention spans, etc.), but I would plan plenty of time if you're a big Pixar/animation fan!

It was an absolute blast. We all had a great experience! The only slight downside (for us) was the big crowds near the end (which was mostly made up of rowdy teenagers who were more interested in just touching all the stuff than the actual content or learning), but that was no one's fault. The exhibit itself is so well done! I especially love how everything is at your own pace and on your own time. You could wander around there all day if you wanted to.

If you're interested visiting The Science Behind Pixar, pick up your tickets online HERE ($29.95 for adults and $24.95 for children). Don't delay too long! The exhibit runs only for a limited time from now until September 5th.

Last but not least- remember the Reading Terminal Market I mentioned in Part 1? Well, yah...we went back for lunch. It's just too good to pass up! I love the atmosphere there (the hustle and bustle of the city) and all the eating options. Take a look at some of the craziness below-

reading terminal market
reading terminal market
reading terminal market
reading terminal market

By the way, if you want a fantastic roast beef or pork sandwich, I highly recommend Tommy Dinic's there.  

Tommy Dinic's roast beef sandwich

 Yup, a dozen more doughnuts and it wasn't nearly enough. That is all.

reading terminal market doughnuts donuts

So what did you think? Have you visited the exhibit? What was your favorite part? Do you love the food in Philly as much as me? I would love to hear any of your thoughts and/or questions in the comments below!