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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Cars 3: Kleenex (2 Styles)

disney pixar cars 3 kleenex tissues
BOX A                               BOX B

In anticipation of Disney·Pixar's latest theatrical release (just three weeks away!), Kleenex brand has just released—not one—but TWO different style boxes of Cars 3 themed tissues! I was able to grab these at my local Target just a few days ago.

Let's take a detailed look at each box. For my purposes, I'm gonna call the design on the left "BOX A" and the one on the right "BOX B." Shout out your favorite in the comments below! Which one would you most likely pick up? Needless to say, I had to grab them both. 😋

disney pixar cars 3 kleenex tissues




 BOX A                                   BOX B

Newcomers to the franchise Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm, as well as everyone's favorite race car Lightning McQueen, are all heavily featured here in this fantastic box art. Such bold graphics and vibrant colors! Really neat stuff.

Each box contains 80 2-PLY tissues and sells for $1.77.

disney pixar cars 3 kleenex tissues
BOX A                               BOX B
disney pixar cars 3 kleenex tissues
BOX A                               BOX B
disney pixar cars 3 kleenex tissues
BOX A                               BOX B

Next time I get a bad cold and need lots of tissues, I'll be fully prepared (not hoping for that anytime soon though...hope I didn't jinx myself).

disney pixar cars 3 kleenex tissues
BOX A                               BOX B

I've only ever seen these at Target so far, but I'm sure they'll be available elsewhere soon as well (Walmart perhaps?). Pick up your box of Cars 3 Kleenex today!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Music of Pixar LIVE! Review (Featuring Cars 3 Score Sneak Peek)


"At Pixar, music is fundamental to our storytelling. It takes you on an emotional journey, bringing you into the world of a toy, a super hero, a race car, a fish, a monster, even an old man and his floating house." - John Lasseter

For those who've gotten to know me through my blog posts here, you may know how important Pixar scores (and all musical film scores for that matter) are to me. The instrumental themes, motifs and lyrical songs in each Pixar film hold a special place in my heart. To echo what John Lasseter masterfully said in the quote above, the music of Pixar is a fundamental part of each story and truly helps bring out that honest emotion in each and every one of their films. For example, you know those chills (and most likely tears) you get during the end scene of Toy Story 3? Much of that [perhaps subconsciously] has to do with the music.

The Music of Pixar LIVE! review

With that said, I'm sad that I won't be attending the new show "The Music of Pixar LIVE" at Disney's Hollywood Studios (which just began on Friday, May 26th, and will continue through the end of this summer), which features a live orchestra playing many memorable Pixar tracks. The good news is, thanks to The Dis YouTube channel, you and I and everyone throughout the world can still catch the FULL performance virtually! Here are my thoughts on it.

The Music of Pixar LIVE! review

The show lasts about 50 minutes and features many outstanding cues from Toy Story, Cars, Up, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. AND gives you a sneak peek at Randy Newman's brand new, never before heard score for Cars 3 (with new footage)!! Be sure to check it out in the embedded video above (the Cars 3 segment begins right at the 11 minute mark and runs to about the 12:50 mark).

Overall this show looks like a lot of fun. Live orchestra music is something everyone needs to experience, especially when it comes to the beautiful music of Pixar. It was also very cool to see how they incorporated a handful of costumed characters on stage, as well as behind the scenes clips of Pixar filmmakers discussing the scores for their films. I could listen to those guys talk all day. If I had one complaint, I would have loved to see them preform cues from Finding Dory and Monsters University (they're referenced and clips are shown, but no music from either of those films is actually played there live). Heck, I would have loved to see each film represented with a track or two (especially Inside Out and Ratatouille), but that's just me! Other than that, the song choices that ended up making the cut were really spot on. Solid selections.

The Music of Pixar LIVE! review

Back in 2013, I did have the opportunity to see a similar show, Pixar in Concert (check out my full post on that HERE) in Salt Lake City which was AMAZING. You can read up on all my thoughts regarding everything Pixar music related by clicking on the "soundtracks" label to the right of this page.

Have you watched The Music of Pixar LIVE? Did you see it in person there at Hollywood Studios? What did you think? Shout out all your thoughts in the comments below!

Note: See director Pete Docter introduce the performance during the May 25th preview night HERE.

Toy Story: Funko Pint Size Heroes (Disney Series 1)

funko pint size heroes disney toy story

Early last fall, Funko introduced yet another lineup into their large family of pop culture collectible vinyl characters... Pint Size Heroes! These are following in the footsteps of Funko's other successful lines such as their [insanely popular] "POP!" figures, Mystery Minis and Dorbz (to name just a few). Ultimately these are basically the same shape and style as Dorbz, just a few sizes smaller. Pint Size Heroes are SUPER tiny— about 1.5" in size (see them compared to my hand in the photo above).

This Disney series of "Pint Size Heroes" arrived just last month (right around mid April) and is currently available at Hot Topic stores, Walmart, etc. in blind bags. You can see the full set of 12 in the press image below:

toy story funko pint size heroes

Interestingly there are two villains in the series (Ursula and Zurg), so maybe it should have been called Pint Size Heroes & Villains? 🤔

Of course I was only interested in picking up Buzz, Zurg and the Pizza Planet Alien— the three Pixar characters! Let's take a closer look at this Toy Story trio below. They're super, super cute. I really dig the look of all three of these guys.

Note: The heads to turn a full 360°, so I guess you could say they have one point of articulation. 

Buzz Lightyear
toy story funko pint size heroes buzz
toy story funko pint size heroes buzz

Zurg
toy story funko pint size heroes zurg
toy story funko pint size heroes zurg

Alien
toy story funko pint size heroes alien
toy story funko pint size heroes alien

I ended up resorting to eBay for these, since my chances of successfully picking them out of a case of blind bags was extremely slim. That just made it easier for me...plus I got a good deal for all three together from one seller. Normal retail for each blind bag is between $3.99 and $5.90 (depending on where you get them).

If you're a fan of collectible Disney figures, blind bags and/or Funko products, then these (along with the rest of this series) just might be for you. As Funko says, they may be small, but they pack a punch of personality!

Have you picked up any of these Disney Pint Size Heroes? Which are your favorites? Sound off your thoughts in the comments below.

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.