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Friday, August 18, 2017

Fun Disney·Pixar Kleenex– Now Available!

disney pixar characters kleenex tissues

As part of their "Back to School" collection, Kleenex Brand has just released this super fun and colorful 3-Pack featuring Disney·Pixar inspired tissue boxes! Even though I don't currently have a cold (knock on wood), I couldn't help but snag these when I saw them at Walmart last week. Unfortunately, I'm sure they'll come in handy one of these days! Until then, I'll just appreciate these neat designs and not being sick. I'm a sucker for any product with Pixar characters grouped together like this. I like how many of my all time top favorite Pixar films (Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Monsters University and Up) are represented!

Inside this 3-pack you'll find one standard box of Kleenex and two Pixar boxes (both Pixar boxes are exactly the same —no variations). It's a tiny bit of a bummer I had to get so many boxes just to get this Pixar box design (I didn't see it sold individually), but hey, the pack was only around $5. Consider us stocked up on tissues for a while though!

If you have any little Pixar fans at your household, this might be a fun something to bring home for them! Maybe seeing all their favorite characters on the box will help brighten them up if they're down with a cold. Check out all the angles of the boxes in my photos below—

disney pixar characters kleenex tissues
disney pixar characters kleenex tissues
disney pixar characters kleenex tissues
disney pixar characters kleenex tissues

Head to your local Walmart (or possibly Target?) to pick these up today! Also be sure to check out my review of the Cars 3 Kleenex (which I looked at back in May) and let me know what you think in the comment section below.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cars 2: Clutch Foster

pixar cars mattel clutch foster

Wow, after all this time, I've finally reached the end of my 2017 pre-Cars 3 Mattel Cars 1:55 scale diecast reviews! Clutch Foster here (#2/8 of this year's "WGP Fans" sub-series) was the last one I needed to finish up my collection. Now I can move onto all the fun Cars 3 goodies I've accumulated over the past few months!

As far as where Clutch Foster appears in Cars 2, it's completely unknown. I couldn't find him anywhere in the WGP stands (and I'm good at finding obscure background characters for screen shots; this is one of maybe two I've never found). In fact, some even speculate that he was never in the film at all and that his design was either cut or made up by Mattel. Even the World of Cars wiki page for this character says he wasn't in the film, but if somehow you've spotted him, definitely let me know.

FUN FACT: His name is inspired by real life Pixar title/graphic designer, Craig Foster. In fact, Craig has another car named after him too: Craig Faster (seen HERE). Double the love!

pixar cars mattel clutch foster

This is actually a re-release of this character, but it's his first time being available as a carded single. He was originally only available as an "exclusive vehicle" in a 2013 Target exclusive Race Day Fan 4-pack. It just goes to show you that if you wait long enough, many of the exclusive pack-ins eventually become more widely available!

This car was released earlier this year in the 2017 Case B (one of the last cases before the transition into the Cars 3 line). I actually never found that case in stores (classic last wave syndrome), but was able to pick this one up on Amazon recently for a great price (right around $6). If you still need to track Clutch down for your collection, be sure to check out eBay HERE or Amazon using the direct link below.

Best of luck on the hunt!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cars 3: "Cruz to Victory" Cinch Sack & Hat (Disney Store 2017 Cast Member Exclusive)

cars 3 "Cruz to Victory" Cinch Sack & Hat Disney Store 2017 Cast Member Exclusive

Near the beginning of the summer, in correspondence with the release and hype of Cars 3 in theaters, the Disney Store presented an internal, store wide competition for cast members across the US. The campaign was called "Cruz to Victory" and and featured none other then Cruz Ramirez as the inspiration and mascot. The store in each market who won (for example, mine is one of a handful of stores located in the northeast market), received these fantastic Cars 3 inspired gifts! I was thrilled when I found out we were one of the winners, mainly since I knew all along what the prizes would be.

And here they are: a very exclusive Cars 3 Cruz Ramirez cinch backpack/sack and this "Cruz to Victory" hat (with mesh backing)! I love any Pixar items that are elite, exclusive and/or limited and I'm excited to have the chance to document these here on the blog. 

cars 3 "Cruz to Victory" Cinch Sack & Hat Disney Store 2017 Cast Member Exclusive
cars 3 "Cruz to Victory" Cinch Sack & Hat Disney Store 2017 Cast Member Exclusive
cars 3 "Cruz to Victory" Cinch Sack & Hat Disney Store 2017 Cast Member Exclusive

I'm thinking these will be the perfect additions to my next Disney trip! The bag especially will come in handy since I don't have anything like it. I never wear a backpack there since they're too bulky for me, but this seems like it would be nice and light enough to wear around the parks (to keep my knick knacks in, instead of always using my wife Brita's bag;).

cars 3 "Cruz to Victory" Cinch Sack & Hat Disney Store 2017 Cast Member Exclusive

Congrats to my fellow cast members at store 906! It was a team effort. Congratulations also to all the other stores out there who won these super cool items as well. Let's keep makin' the magic happen.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below (with any questions you might have) and be sure to check back daily for more from my Pixar collection!

PIXAR NEWS: John Lasseter to be Honored by Walt Disney Family Museum at 2017 Gala

John Lasseter to be Honored by Walt Disney Family Museum at 2017 Gala

Big congratulations are in order to one of my all time favorite people (even though we've never met), John Lasseter (Chief Creative Officer at Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios). It has just been announced that The Walt Disney Family Museum will honor Lasseter this year at its third annual fundraising gala by presenting him with the Diane Miller Lifetime Achievement award. What an accomplishment! This prestigious award recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding impact in the field of arts, education, community involvement, and technological advancements. The gala will be taking place this fall on November 7.

It only makes sense that John Lasseter would receive this award given the impact he's made, not only in the animation industry, but the film industry as a whole. Lasseter's extraordinary leadership and innovative storytelling, which have been instrumental in elevating and distinguishing the world of animation, has certainly been an inspiration to many (including myself).

Below you can see Lasseter attending the 2016 gala, in which Neil Patrick Harris was the Master of Ceremonies (honoring the late Marty Skylar).

John Lasseter to be Honored by Walt Disney Family Museum at 2017 Gala

The gala is presented by the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Family Museum. Proceeds support the museum's programs and activities that nurture the next generation of creative talent. The gala will take place at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio of San Francisco, a short distance away from the museum. Attendance is limited to 180 guests.

When: Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | 6:00pm
Where: The Golden Gate Club135 Fisher Loop, The Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129
Seat and Table Sponsorships: To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact our team at 415.345.6818 or gala@wdfmuseum.org.


I'm going to be very jealous of those who get to attend this ceremony. If you're planning on going, let me know! If you attended and are reading this after the event, be sure to let me know your thoughts on it in the comments below. 

What do you think of John Lasseter receiving this award?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Cars: Misti Motorkrass (Rev 'N' Go)

Cars Misti MotorKrass (Rev 'N' Go)

After today, I'm just ONE car away from finishing my reviews of the pre-Cars 3 2017 mainline single Mattel 1:55 diecasts. It's been a long time coming! Then I can finally jump into all the Cars 3 stuff I've purchased over the last three months.

This time around I'm taking a look at Misti Motorkrass, or better known by her sponsor Rev 'N' Go No. 73 (yes, this is apparently a female car despite looking like she has a mustache 🤔). She is #3/11 out of this year's "Piston Cup" sub-series. This is the first ever [non-rubber tires] single carded release of this character and I'm thrilled to finally have this sought after racer as part of my collection!

Rev 'N' Go is briefly seen speeding by the camera in a couple quick shots in the film's opening Motor Speedway of the South Dinoco 400 race (in my screenshot above she's crashing since it was one of the only parts I could spot her in that wasn't just a blur). She is one of the 36 race cars competing for the Piston Cup, but seriously don't blink or you'll miss her.

Cars Misti MotorKrass (Rev 'N' Go)

Misti here has been released several times in the past, but it's been a LONG time—eight years to be exact. She first hit in the massive and incredibly rare 2008 Mattel Red Line Club exclusive Speedway of the South set (which included all 36 Piston Cup Racers). Then in 2009 she was available in three ways:
Again, this is her first single release without the rubber tires.

Cars Misti MotorKrass (Rev 'N' Go)

Since this release of Misti Motorkrass was in one of the last cases before the Cars 3 merch hit, she proved very difficult for me (and many) to find; a perfect example of "last wave syndrome." I ended up finding her at a local grocery store not too long ago, of all places.

If you're still looking to track this one down for your collection, be sure to check out THIS DIRECT LINK to current eBay listings or Amazon using the link below (unfortunately her secondhand prices are a tad high).

Best of luck on the hunt!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Cars 3: Mattel "Mini Racers" Blind Bag Collection (Your Definitive Guide)

cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide case Ccars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide case C

Following my YouTube unbagging video I posted this past weekend, today I'm diving back into the Mattel Cars 3 blind bag "Mini Racers" diecast collection with my full thoughts and rundown! If you're interested in this series, my hope here is to provide you with all the info you might need to get started.

WHAT?
So what are are these? These are very tiny (about 1.5" in size), stylized diecast metal cars based on characters from Cars 3. They're super fun looking, surprisingly very detailed and even have real rolling wheels. Even though I already collect the Mattel 1:55 scale Cars diecasts, these ones were impossible for me to pass up due to their chubby cuteness. Plus, like a lot of you out there, I enjoy the chase and excitement of blind bags/boxes.

WHERE?
To really start things off, it's important to know where these cars are sold since they have such a sporadic distribution. So far, the main stores you can find these at are Walgreens, Best Buy (of all places, right?), Kolhs, Wegmans and Kmart (among some other random grocery stores that may carry them as well). Don't expect to find these at Walmart, Target or Toys R Us (the premiere stores for toy hunters), at least right now. Best Buy surprisingly has the best price (go figure) at $1.99 each, which is a steal of a deal (it's where I bought all of mine). Other stores sell them upwards closer to $3.

cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide

HOW?
"How can I find the characters I'm looking for?" is something you might ask yourself. The next thing you'll need to know is that the distribution of the characters found within each new case has been very odd (and can get a little complex, so stay with me).

The good news is (and this is just how I like it), each bag has a number/code on the back that corresponds with a specific character (for example, 01 is always Lightning McQueen). That makes it very easy to get who who want as long as you know which number is which character (this post will help with that). However, the original checklist found within each blind bag showed 12 characters to collect (and this is where it gets weird), but the original case (CASE A), which released clear back in May, only included characters 1-8.

CASE B was released internationally and then sporadically at US Kmart stores (as well as others I'm sure) a little while later. The contents of CASE B stayed mostly the same as CASE A (even the look of the case/box display was identical), but cars 9-12 were added. Strange right? CASE B proved to be harder to find compared to the first case.

cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide checklist
checklist provided in each blind bag
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide checklist
checklist provided in each blind bag — reverse side

That leads us to the most recent case, CASE C (the one shown in my photo at the very top of this post, which I found at my local Best Buy this past week). CASE C again looks very similar to the first two cases (the contents stayed mostly the same as well, featuring characters 1-12), but this time only two cars are added: numbers 13 and 14. Within the entire case, only the new characters (13 and 14) have a new bag design (which makes them really stand out; seen below). They also got a new version of the checklist in which the "question mark characters" from the first list are now colored in and revealed.

cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide guide
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide checklist

I know that was all a bit complicated, but hopefully I was able to express it in a way that makes some sense to you. Leave it to Mattel to release these in such a convoluted way, right?

Anyway, now with all that housekeeping out of the way, let's take a look at all the characters released so far (#s 1-14)! Below you can see how awesome each one is. Don't forget to pay attention to their corresponding blind bag numbers, which should help you in your hunt.

Lightning McQueen (#01)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide mcqueen

Chick Hicks (#02)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide chick hicks

Doc Hudson (#03)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide doc hudson

Cruz Ramirez (#04)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide cruz ramirez

Mater (#05)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide mater

Cal Weathers (#06)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide cal weathers

Sheriff (#07)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide sheriff

Luigi (#08)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide luigi

Murray Clutchburn / AKA Sputter Stop (#09)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide sputter stop

Jackson Storm (#10)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide jackson storm

Ramone (#11)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide ramone

Natalie Certain (#12)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide natalie certain

Florida Ramone (#13)
cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide florida ramone

Fabulous Lightning McQueen (#14)
mattel cars 3 mini racers blind bags Fabulous Lightning McQueen

I really like the characters chosen so far. It's a good mix of the classic Radiator Springs "townies" and new Cars 3 characters! I think my top three favorites would have to be Fabulous Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm and Florida Ramone (with an honorable mention to Doc Hudson). What about you? What are your thoughts on this series?

According to the checklist found within the newest cars, there are still 10 mini racer characters to be released this fall: Danny Swervez, Sarge, River Scott, Dr. Damage, Dinoco Cruz Ramirez, Smokey, Arvy, Tim Treadless, Louise Nash and Dirt Track Fabulous Hudson Hornet. What a fantastic lineup still to come! Honestly, the next bunch seems to be even cooler than this group. Who are you most excited for? Hopefully they're all released in one final case (CASE D) instead of having it be so broken up 🙄. Stay tuned right here for more details soon!

cars 3 mattel mini racers blind bags guide
follow me on Instagram @danthepixarfan

And once again, here is my blind bag opening video if you want to see more of each car and what I have to say about them!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cars: Charlie Cargo

pixar mattel cars 2017 charlie cargo

After this post, I'm only two cars away from finishing my reviews of the early 2017 Mattel Disney·Pixar Cars diecasts. After that, I can finally feel good about jumping into ALL the new Cars 3 diecasts and track sets that I've accumulated the last three months. Get ready for that!

Today I'm taking a look at the deluxe size 1:55 scale Charlie Cargo from this year's "Boot Camp" sub-series (#2/2). He was in one of the last cases before the transition into Mattel's Cars 3 collection, so he proved pretty hard to find overall. Though I almost resorted to eBay, I finally ended up finding him a few weeks back at one of my local grocery stores of all places!

As shown in the screenshot above, Charlie is seen during the end credits of the original Cars (during the Sarge's Boot Camp snippet). He appears next to T.J. Hummer (who I have; seen HERE), Frank Pinkerton and Murphy.

pixar mattel cars 2017 charlie cargo

This is Charlie's first ever release on a single card. Up until now, he was only ever available in the 2009 "World of Cars" Toys R Us exclusive "Sarge's Boot Camp" 5-pack featuring Sarge and the other three aforementioned attendees. I wasn't lucky enough to get that set back in the day, so I awaited and hoped for a re-release.

Well, I kinda got what I hoped for here with this re-release of Charlie (who is a welcomed addition to my collection), but I don't know why they didn't just re-release all of the cars from that scene. Why only have Sarge and Charlie (just TWO characters) in the entire sub-series? Hopefully this means though that Frank Pinkerton and Murphy will be on their way sometime in the relatively near future.

pixar mattel cars 2017 charlie cargo

This is a really cool, brightly colored and unique looking diecast. I love it! If you missed getting this character back in the day (or even if you got him in the 2009 5-pack), you may want to track him down if you're an avid Cars collector. I know for me personally, this was a must have!

If you never found him in stores (and at this point it's highly unlikely that you will), you can always check out current eBay listings HERE or Amazon using the link below (Whoa—only $5.99 right now! Act fast).

Happy hunting!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Video: Mattel Cars 3 "Mini Racers" Blind Bag opening (Characters #1-14)



Hey everyone! Sorry for missing a post on here yesterday. I started a video undertaking last night after work that I thought I could finish and it just got too late. At around 1 a.m. I literally started falling asleep in my computer chair :P. It's up now though and I'm excited to share with you my video "unbagging" of the first 14 Mattel Cars 3 "Mini Racers" blind bag characters!

Check it out in the embedded video above or on YouTube HERE. Be sure to like, comment, subscribe, share and ring that bell...you know, all that good YouTube stuff! ;)

A full blog post with my additional [more collected] thoughts will be up in the coming days. Stay tuned! 



Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Bug's Life: Big Top Bugs Figure Gift Set

a bug's life gypsy big top bugs figures

In yesterday's post, I looked forward to the future of Pixar merchandise as I gave you a look at my first ever piece of Coco merch and shared with you my excitement for the film. Today, for "Throwback Thursday", I'm going back in time to 1998 and taking a look at a classic Mattel A Bug's Life figure set called "Big Top Bugs"!

When A Bug's Life toys from Mattel hit store shelves back in the day, there were essentially four styles of figures you could collect. First, there was the regular "main line" action figures with accessories and action features (roughly 6" in size). Secondly, and as seen on the back of this package below, there was a collection of soft, poseable figures called "Bend-eez" (which were a tad smaller than the main action figures). For more on both of those collections, check out my post from years ago HERE.

Thirdly, there was an assortment of "bug size" tiny figures and pop open playsets in the same vein as micro machines or Polly Pockets (I didn't collect those, but you can few an example HERE). Lastly, there was this figure pack called "Big Top Bugs" featuring eight PVC plastic, non-poseable characters with bases (comparable to cake toppers); about 2-4" in size. Interestingly, this series/ style of figures never expanded past this gift set. No single packs, no additional characters, no nothin'.

a bug's life gypsy big top bugs figures

I never had this set growing up, but I had to track it down on eBay recently for two reasons: Gypsy and Francis with cast! Other than her inclusion in the tiny micro collection I mentioned, there are no other Gypsy related toys, plush, figures or collectibles out there (from what I could find). This is literally one of only two items ever produced of this character. Where's the love? I'm so happy I finally have her represented in my collection.

Francis with cast is another cool and unique figure. I didn't have anything like that, so that was a bonus with this set for me. The other figures (Flik, Tuck, Roll, PT Flea, Princess Atta and Dot) are no doubt cool and will look great on display, but they are characters I have in other forms. Though now that I think of it, I actually don't have any A Bug's Life figures quite like this.

a bug's life gypsy big top bugs figures

This is honestly a pretty rare gift pack and is decently hard to track down. It does pop up on eBay once in a while though and I was lucky to grab it a couple weeks back. Keep checking periodically if you're interested! I paid $35, which isn't bad considering I've seen Gypsy alone [loose] go for even more than that.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this set. Did you purchase this set back when it came out? Maybe seeing this set even brings back some childhood memories. What do you think of the lack of Gypsy merchandise out there? Do you know of anything out there of her that I didn't mention?

Let me know what you're thinking in the comments below! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Coco: D23 Expo 2017 Exclusive Promotional Guitar Pick

pixar coco guitar pick d23 expo

Hola a todos! With just over three months to go until Disney·Pixar's brand new original film Coco hits theaters, excitement certainly continues to build daily. I cannot wait to see what director Lee Unkrich and his team has created and, of course, I'm looking forward to all the colorful merchandise that will inevitably be available this fall.

I feel very lucky that my Coco collection has already begun as I just acquired this fantastic promotional guitar pick (by Cordoba Guitars) featuring the film's vibrant logo! Though it's small and simple, this is an extremely special item. Firstly because it's (as mentioned) the very first piece of Coco merch I own (and I believe the first out there in general?). Secondly, this was only available exclusively at this year's D23 Expo in Anaheim, CA during the weekend of July 14th-16th. It was given out [for free] spontaneously to select guests visiting the Pixar pavilion on the show floor.

pixar coco guitar pick d23 expo

I'm not a guitar player by any stretch of the imagination, but having this pick to display in my Pixar collection was a must. As announced, the music in the film will play such a pivotal role— with guitars specifically providing some major story points. This piece of merch only makes sense and it's a fun one to start things off!

A HUGE thanks once again to my friend Paulina ("HeartDisney" on Instagram & Twitter) who surprised me with this in a recent care package! She was there at the expo (I wasn't able to attend this year) and happened to be in the right place at the right time. It was very thoughtful of her to think of me and snag me one amidst all the convention chaos.

If you're interested in grabbing one of these Coco picks for yourself, check out current eBay listings using this direct link. There are a few currently up for sale.

What do you think? Are you excited for Coco? Let me know your thoughts on it in the comment section below!