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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Coco: "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book Review

pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book

Today I'm giving you a detailed look at this Coco inspired "Friends Forever" activity book, featuring a bunch of fun coloring pages and over 50 stickers! This was released on October 10th last year.

What's really neat about this one is that it's jam-packed with different types of activities across three distinct sections: The first four pages are where you'll find all the vibrant stickers. The next section (11 pages) is a colorful retelling of the story of Coco with places to get creative and add those stickers to the pages (for example, you can decorate a papel picado banner, a sugar skull and Ernesto's guitar, as well complete Ernesto's "Live! In the Land of the Dead" poster). The third section (the final 32 pages) is completely made up of coloring pages (featuring scenes and characters from the film) and classic coloring book style activities.

pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book

Let's take a look inside...

Section 1—Stickers
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book

Section 2—"Friends Forever" The Story of Coco  
(fun with stickers)
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book

Section 3—Coloring/Activity Pages
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book
pixar Coco "Friends Forever" Coloring·Activity·Sticker Book

Young fans of Coco (I'd say kids around ages 3-7) will love this one. It seems tons of fun! I'll be putting it a way for my little guys to enjoy one day. In the mean time, I can highly recommend it to my readers here and think your kids will enjoy it as well. Pick it up on Amazon using the link below (retail price is $4.99) and be sure to share your thoughts in the comments!

Have a great Easter weekend everyone! I'll catch you all tomorrow with another post. 

Friday, March 30, 2018

Cars 3: Ponchy Wipeout (Bumper Save)

Cars 3: Ponchy Wipeout (Bumper Save)

Hello everyone! Hope you're all having a good holiday weekend. Tonight I'm taking a look at another Mattel Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast—Ponchy Wipeout (also known by his sponsor Bumper Save, No. 90)! This is another Piston Cup Racer who also appeared in the original Cars, but had a different look altogether (it still doesn't make much sense to me since they look like totally different characters, but I guess that's that). This one was released clear back on May 1st last year in the very first case of Cars 3 diecasts.

Again, this character is literally almost impossible to see racing on screen in the film (which is very frustrating). I personally couldn't spot him (and I went frame by frame on the Blu-Ray), so I had to get that blurry screenshot above from his World of Cars Wiki page. If you know where to see him, definitely be sure to comment the time stamp below. But seriously, it shouldn't be that hard.

In Cars 3, Ponchy eventually gets replaced by the next-gen racer Paul Conrev.

Cars 3: Ponchy Wipeout (Bumper Save) mattel diecast

This one is an interesting release since, first of all, he should not have black eyelids (they should be blue). Secondly, there are two versions out there: this one (with the black rims) and one with yellow rims (which is apparently the more movie accurate one, but I couldn't confirm that with my own eyes so I got who I found at the time). Which version did you pick up?

Cars 3: Ponchy Wipeout (Bumper Save) mattel diecast

Despite being released almost a full year ago, Ponchy here is still VERY easy to find in stores (guess he wasn't much of a hot seller). I can almost guarantee that you'll find him if you pop into one of your local Toys R Us, Walmart or Target stores; so if you missed snagging this one, it's not too late!

If you'd rather just pick him up online, here's a direct Amazon link for you. And as always, let me know if you have any comments or questions. Happy hunting!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Finding Dory: Collectible Figure "Blind Bags" Series 5

finding dory blind bags series 5

Wow guys—after almost two years, I've finally completed my Bandai Finding Dory "blind bag" collection! As you probably know, I've been an avid collector of these cute stylized figures ever since they launched back in May of 2016 (right before the release of Finding Dory in theaters). SERIES 5 here (which hit shelves briefly a year ago last spring) was the last series I needed— and boy was it a tough one to track down. I feel like the last wave or series in most collections is the hardest to find since it's usually because the line is dying out/under performing at that point and companies just ship the small quantities they have to select stores. So yes, this series was a much more limited release compared to the previous four and that's why you may have never even seen them (I actually think each series got increasingly more difficult to find).

I originally found five of these Series 5 characters (out of eight) last April at my local Target (I remember somehow the case had already been picked over, even though I had just been there). When I went to pay, they weren't even in the store's system (so they had to make up a price—very strange). On our road trip to Florida a few weeks after that, I stopped by another Target and found one more I needed. The last two I had to wait for a seller to list them on eBay, which finally happened a couple weeks back. You know I SNAGGED them up like no other.

finding dory blind bags series 5

This series is fun because it was the first one to add some original Finding Nemo characters to the mix, as well as some new and improved designs of a few previously released characters. Once again, there are eight characters total: Dory (newly designed; originally in Series 1), Nemo (newly designed; originally in Series 2), Destiny (newly designed, originally in Series 3), Baily (newly designed; originally in Series 4), Bruce, Peach, Seagull and Gill.

finding dory blind bags series 5

Once again, while these are technically classified as "blind bags", each bag actually has a little window on the back so you can see who you're buying. I love that! I like that it gives you options; you can either live on the edge by feeling around and seeing who you get once you open it (like a traditional blind bag) or you can cheat (like me) to make sure you get them all.

I personally like the best of both worlds. I like to make sure I have them all there at the store (plus I hate getting repeats), but then I open each of them without looking once I get home (so there's still a little element of surprise).

Let's have a closer look at each figure! Each one is made from a hard, durable plastic (no articulation) and is about two inches in size. Original retail price was $2.99 each.

DORY 
This is a cute, brand new sculpt of Dory—this time with an excellent thinking/confused expression and a curved body.
 
finding dory blind bags series 5

NEMO 
I'm so glad that they decided to release Nemo again with a new sculpt. The original one from Series 2 always seemed a little off to me (with the mega stretched out eyes). This one is much cuter with better proportions (and ultimately captures the character better).
 
finding dory blind bags series 5

DESTINY
The original Destiny figure from Series 3 has always my absolute least favorite of all the series (which is a shame because I was really excited for that character). Despite being one of the largest characters in the movie, she was (and is) the smallest figure of them all and just not well sculpted. I am SO glad they revisited her for this series (I'm sure Bandai knew they got her wrong), giving her a brand new sculpt. Now this is exactly how I pictured her figure looking the first time around! The stylization is much more in line with the collection, her size is bigger and is cuter overall. Yay!

finding dory blind bags series 5

BAILEY 
As far a Bailey, I never had much of an issue with his original sculpt in Series 4. So while I didn't feel this one was needed, I'm actually really glad they included him here! This time we get Bailey in his signature "echolocation" pose, which is fun. Comparing the two, I do have to say I like this one better. "OoOoooOOoOoooooOOo...."

finding dory blind bags series 5

 BRUCE
Now we're getting into the Finding Nemo inspired characters! Who doesn't love Bruce? He's captured perfectly here. Super cute.

finding dory blind bags series 5

PEACH
Same goes for Peach. SO cute. My only tiny gripe with her is that she doesn't stand on her own (as you can see in my photo here, I had to lean her against a small piece of plastic). As far as her look though, it's a fantastic figure.

finding dory blind bags series 5

SEAGULL
MINE! MINE! MINE! Ok the fact that they made one of the seagulls into a figure is just awesome (in fact, I predicted/wished one would be included in a future series back in October 2016 in my Series 3 post). They're iconic! And how adorable is he? This one is absolutely perfect. I actually wish a had a few more of them.

finding dory blind bags series 5

GILL
Gill is one of my favorite characters from the first film (so full of mystery with brilliant voice acting by Willem Dafoe). It's so exciting he was included here and he looks great! I just wish the line continued beyond this series so that we could have gotten more Finding Nemo characters. Sadly I think this is the end.

finding dory blind bags series 5

There we have it folks, my fifth and final review of the fifth and final Finding Dory blind bag series. The end of an era. It's been super fun collecting these! What made this line so incredibly cool is the vast array of characters we got across five series (with so many of them being obscure; like ones I never thought would actually get made)—we're talking 43 unique characters/variations total! (That's including the three exclusive figures that came in the Target 14 pack).

finding dory blind bag figures series 5

And here they all are!

finding dory blind bag figures complete set

If you're looking to add this series (or really any of them at this point) to your collection, the only way to go is eBay (check out THIS DIRECT LINK TO CURRENT LISTINGS). Best of luck and be sure to let me know your final thoughts/any fond memories you might have regarding this line in the comment section below!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Cars 3: Chip Gearings (Combustr)

Cars 3: Chip Gearings (Combustr) diecast review

Tonight I'm documenting another Cars 3 Mattel 1:55 scale diecast from my collection...this time around, it's Piston Cup racer Chip Gearings (also known by his sponsor, Combustr; No. 11)! I've had this one for almost a whole year and I'm only getting to this review now. Phew! He was released on May 1st last year and was part of the initial launch of Cars 3 toys by Mattel.

Combustr (who's slogan is "The Power of Online Baking") is a brand new sponsor created just for Cars 3 and was not featured on any racers in any of the previous Cars films or shorts. Chip can be seen in Cars 3 very, very briefly (essentially just a quick blur) during some of the opening racing shots of the film. I really wish the camera lingered on some of these racers longer (kind of like in the first Cars), so that you could see all these awesome characters better! 

Cars 3: Chip Gearings (Combustr) diecast review

There's a next-gen Combustr racer coming out this year as well, so I'll be posting that as soon as I find him (don't worry, it won't take me a year this time). Not too much to say about this one though! Just another basic and somewhat generic (yet solidly done) racer who uses the made mold as many of the others diecasts.

Cars 3: Chip Gearings (Combustr) diecast review

Believe it or not, Chip can still be found on store shelves to this day. It's crazy! However, if you're looking to add him to your collection and he's not available in your area anymore, you can always visit my direct link to Amazon below.

Let me know your thoughts or any questions you might have. Happy hunting!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Cars 3: Tailgate & Cigalert 2-Pack

Cars 3: Tailgate & Cigalert 2-Pack

Hello and welcome Disney·Pixar Cars fans to another Mattel Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast review! Tonight I'm taking a quick look at one of last year's "movie moments" 2-packs featuring two Thunder Hollow Crazy 8 contenders— Tailgate and Cigalert!

Obviously, as mentioned and shown in the screen shot above, these two can be seen during the film's iconic demolition derby race. Tailgate gets a pretty good close up during the scene, but Cigalert is only ever in the distant background. In fact, she was actually very hard for me to spot—she's literally just on screen for a couple split seconds. And yes, "she" is right. These are actually both female car characters (who knew?).

Cars 3: Tailgate & Cigalert 2-Pack

Though I was never able to find this one at any of my local stores (my area just never got this case I guess...typical), I was able to find this at the Pixar Studio Store when I visited there last fall! And I'm glad I did since this 2-pack proved to be very hard to find for most collectors.

Cigalert was also released last year on a single card, while Tailgate has a single release hitting stores right now as part of the 2018 mainline. That should be helpful to those who missed this pack!

Here's a look at both characters out of the package. They look great! They have all the fantastic detail and vibrant colors I've come to expect from Mattel's demolition derby cars. You know they've been my favorite to collect!

CIGALERT (No. 22)
Cars 3: Tailgate & Cigalert 2-Pack

"Take it!" is written on Cigalert's hood. "Bring the Pain" and "The Greasy Grille BBQ" (which seems to be her sponsor) are written on the back of Tailgate. Nice little details.

TAILGATE (No. 88)
Cars 3: Tailgate & Cigalert 2-Pack
Cars 3: Tailgate & Cigalert 2-Pack

I'm getting that much closer to wrapping up all my reviews of the 2017 Cars 3 diecasts! Stay tuned for more soon. In the mean time, check out the direct link to Amazon below if you're still looking to track this 2-pack down for your collection.

Happy hunting!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Coco: DK Ultimate Sticker Book

pixar coco ultimate sticker book inside review

You can't go wrong with a good old fashion sticker/activity book—that's why I always go for them with each new Pixar film! They're inexpensive, they're fun, they're simple and will be perfect for my kids to enjoy one day. This Coco edition of DK Publishing's "Ultimate Sticker Book" series (released October 10th last year) is the latest one to hit shelves and I wasn't going to miss it!

This book includes over 100 colorful Coco inspired stickers and is 11 pages in length (seven pages for placing stickers and five pages for the stickers themselves). If you've used these books before, you know how it goes; kids simply place the stickers onto the silhouettes that match each one's shape and description. It's a great, hands on way to learn more about the characters and locations in the film! There are lots of extra stickers too. I mean, who doesn't love a good batch of stickers

pixar coco ultimate sticker book inside review

Well how about this—instead of explaining it, I'll just show you exactly what to expect inside! Here's your exclusive peek at some of the pages...

pixar coco ultimate sticker book inside review
pixar coco ultimate sticker book inside review
pixar coco ultimate sticker book inside review
pixar coco ultimate sticker book inside review
pixar coco ultimate sticker book inside review

This book follows the same formula as all the others in this ongoing series, so don't expect it to mix anything up. It's brief, colorful and fun—and like usual, it's geared towards young kids who I'm sure will have a blast deciphering what all the shapes are and matching them to the stickers. You can't go wrong here! I can recommend this to any little fan of the film. And heck, adults might like this just to get a bunch of stickers to decorate their belongings with.

Pick this up wherever Coco books are sold or follow the direct link to it on Amazon below. Retail price is $6.99 (though you can usually find it on sale).

Happy sticking!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Coco: The Essential Guide Book Review

look inside the pixar coco essential guide book

Holá! I'm back with another Disney·Pixar Coco book review, this time giving you a detailed inside look at DK Publishing's "The Essential Guide"! You know I love this ongoing series of books, having collected all of them from every Pixar film over the years. This one was written by Glen Dakin and was released on October 10th last year.

If you're familiar with these books, then you know exactly what to expect. If you're not, here's a brief rundown. Basically this book covers everything you need or might want to know about Coco. It includes insights into the characters/story, "True or False" and "Have you Heard?" fun facts, details about props and locations, memorable quotes and tons of screen caps and illustrations. What makes this guide a little different though, compared to the others, is that it's also informative on many of the real life Dia de los Muertos traditions presented in the film. This book and the movie itself are great tools to help those of of different cultures (kids and adults alike) understand some of the bare bone (😉) basics of these actual Mexican traditions and what the holiday really means.

look inside the pixar coco essential guide book

Love the colors and design of the book's front and back endpapers.

look inside the pixar coco essential guide book

And here's your peek inside so you know exactly what to expect! The book is hardcover and 61 pages long.

look inside the pixar coco essential guide book
look inside the pixar coco essential guide book
look inside the pixar coco essential guide book
look inside the pixar coco essential guide book
look inside the pixar coco essential guide book look inside the pixar coco essential guide book
look inside the pixar coco essential guide book

My favorite part of this guide (and I was hoping it would include this) is that features Miguel's family tree! It's so cool seeing how everyone in Miguel's life are related (since it doesn't fully go over all the relationships in the film). As seen below, it's presented in a very simple and easy to understand diagram across two pages. Did you know Papa Julio is Mama Coco's husband— the one who's mentioned in the film's intro? I had wondered that and this gave me my answer!

look inside the pixar coco essential guide book

Though this book is geared towards a younger audience, it's still very insightful for anyone. As I mentioned, I learned quite a bit about Miguel's family (among some other things) and now my expedience is enhanced when watching the film. That's exactly what these books should do for readers and this one does so fantastically. It's really a great companion piece!

Check out my "Books" label to the right of this page to explore my growing collection of Pixar books, including the many other Essential Guides that I own. Note: You can find an Essential Guide book for every Pixar film except for A Bug's Life.

If you're a fan of Coco, I definitely recommend picking this up. You can currently find it easily in stores (like Barnes & Noble) or on Amazon using the direct link below. Retail price is $12.99 (though it's usually on sale).

Enjoy! Let me know any thoughts or questions you might have.