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Saturday, February 27, 2021

Cars 3: Ducky Fauntleroy

Hey all! Tonight I'm taking a look at yet another one of Mattel's newest Cars 3 1:55 scale diescast releases...Ducky Fauntleroy (racing no. 42)! Ducky just hit shelves just recently as part of the 2021 singles Case D and is the first ever release of this character. Gotta love these 1950's era Piston Cup racers; like I mentioned yesterday, I can't get enough of them!

As shown in the screen shot above, Ducky can be spotted very briefly (essentially only from the side/back) in the old Fireball Beach race video of Doc crashing (the one McQueen watches in his garage after his own crash). He was sponsored mainly by Cheerio Old Toots, Blowie Belsoms Safety Horns with additional side sponsoring by Catmull Oil, Dinoco and Southern Gold Gasoline. I love the design and overall color scheme of this guy! 

Ducky is currently brand new, so you should be able to find him in stores at your nearest Target or Walmart. If not, no worries! You can purchase him online by searching eBay HERE or by searching Amazon in the coming weeks (he's not on there as of this post).

See you again right here real soon for another Cars diecast review! Have fun out there and happy hunting.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Cars 3: Heyday Leroy Heming & Heyday Junior Moon 2-Pack

Hey Disney·Pixar Cars fans—I'm back with another Mattel 1:55 scale Cars 3 diecast review! Tonight I'm taking a quick look at this newly released 2-pack featuring Heyday Junior Moon and Heyday Leroy Heming. Both of these characters have been released previously, but I missed them both when they were available so this 2-pack works out great for me. This set just hit Target shelves a few weeks back and I was able to snag it in-store. 

Heyday Junior Moon has an interesting history. He was originally available in—according to the name on the package— THIS 2017 "Racing Legends 4-Pack"; however, that was not truly Heyday Junior Moon included. It's essentially just a slightly different variant of the regular old standard Junior Moon. Mattel corrected this two years later in 2019 when they released an accurate representation of Heyday Junior Moon in THIS 2-Pack with Eli Turnpike (which I was never able to find). Now the correct version of Heyday Junior Moon has been released once more in this 2-Pack with Leroy Heming. 

Now speaking of Leroy Heming, he was first available in late 2018 as a single (seen HERE), but I unfortunately never found him either. He was really hard to find in my area and ended up being kind of pricey on eBay. So yah, I'm super happy Mattel brought him back this year. I'm not sure why they call him "Heyday" Leroy Hemming here though, since that's the only way we ever see the character in the film. This is the same exact diecast as the single carded release, so don't let the name here through you off.

 
As shown in the screen shot above, both Junior Moon (in his prime, or "heyday") and Leroy Heming were seen during a Thomasville Speedway race flashback sequence towards the end of the film's second act. Smokey and all the Thomasville "legends" gather with Cruz and Lightning at the Cotton Pin Bar & Grill for drinks, while also sharing some stories about Doc and the glory days. Junior is briefly shown racing side by side with the Hudson Hornet, Louise Nash, River Scott and many other neat looking 1950's era Piston Cup racers. Leroy is "the rookie" that Doc goes up against and ultimately defeats in the race after being slammed into the wall. 
 
These are both excellent looking cars. I'll take any retro style character Mattel gives us—love them! Be sure to check out your nearest Target for availability or eBay HERE if you'd rather just order online. I've also included an Amazon affiliate link below. Be sure to let me know your thoughts down in the comments and best of luck on the hunt!
 

Monday, February 22, 2021

Mattel Pixar Collection 7" Scale Posable Action Figures—WAVE 2!

The collection continues! Today I'm thrilled to finally have the time to review Mattel's second wave of Pixar 7" action figures. At the start of last year, Mattel began expanding their phenomenal Disney·Pixar 7" scale figure collection (which began in 2019 with Toy Story 4) to other Pixar films—such as Monsters Inc., The Incredibles and Wall·E in the first wave—and now adds some more Incredibles to the line as well as Coco and Brave in this second wave! Onward and Soul characters were also created in this scale last year as well. 


I saw these figures in person for the first time clear back in February last year at the 2020 New York Toy Fair (exactly a year ago today actually) and I was looking forward to them even back then. So happy to finally have them in my collection! Their in-store release got delayed quite a bit (some of these are only starting to hit Target stores now), but they've been available on Amazon in this Amazon exclusive closed-box style packaging since last September. Though I prefer the in-store standard open-blister packaging, I wasn't going to wait much longer to try in find them at the store. In the end, I ended up getting all four of these from Amazon for Christmas.

In this wave there are four brand new figures (well technically eight, since several of these are multi-packs): Elastigirl & Jack-Jack from The Incredibles, Miguel & Dante from Coco, Merida from Brave and Dash with Goo Jack-Jack & Monster Jack-Jack from The Incredibles. Take a closer look down below! These retail for $12.99 on Amazon and $9.99 at Target.

ELASTIGIRL & JACK-JACK

While these aren't the most exciting or most unique characters (since there have been several Elastigirl & Jack-Jack figures over the years, even as recently as 2018 with Incredibles 2), this is the first time they've been released in Mattel's signature  7" scale. Honestly though, they're probably my favorite versions of these characters to date and feel they have the most play value in [what I consider] the perfect figure size (easy to grip, pose and display—not to mention their sculpts are spot on). And with Violet coming later this year, we'll have the whole Parr family in this line! (UPDATE: Violet is now available; full blog post HERE)

MIGUEL & DANTE

Again, not the most thrilling (since Mattel just released these characters in 2017 in a smaller, but similar, 5"/6" scale), but I really like the updated designs here and the new larger 7" scale. I would say both sculpts are improvements on the originals and I'm ultimately happy that these characters are part of this assortment. Miguel's look is especially well done—even down to his "dimple, no dimple" smile. My only slight criticism here is I feel the paint job for Miguel's skin leans a little too heavy on the orange. Dante's floppy, rubbery tongue (as it was with the original) is great!

 
MERIDA

Now THIS is an exciting and unique release since this is the first ever action figure of Merida from Brave ever! Sure there have been some smaller scale figures and plenty of dolls, but never anything like this. Even though Brave isn't a top-fave Pixar film for me and Merida isn't a favorite character of mine, I still love having her in this collection. She looks fantastic! Such a solid sculpt—and that hair. She's easy to stand and looks excellent holding her bow accessory. Very impressed!

 
 
DASH, GOO JACK-JACK & MONSTER JACK-JACK


Again, Incredibles figures just hit a few years ago (so I wasn't clamoring for these), but boy do these ones look fantastic. I will honestly say that I do prefer these new Mattel ones over the 2018 Jakks Pacific 4" figures for Incredibles 2. A couple of things I wanted to note: first, they call this "Goo Jack-Jack" here on the box, but I would say this is most certainly inspired by water Jack-Jack (his power as seen briefly HERE in the Auntie Edna short film). Secondly, I do wish they included Jack-Jack's mask on the monster Jack-Jack figure (as seen on the original prototype), but it's not a big issue. Jack-Jack is seen in his monster form without his mask as well, so this does work.

I really, really hope this line continues for a long time—but unfortunately it already seems to be fading. There are some exciting Toy Story characters still slated to come out this year (as well as a fun Monsters Inc. "Getting to Know Boo" gift set, Retro Suit Mr. Incredible, Violet Parr and characters from Pixar's summer 2021 film Luca), but I'm just crossing my fingers that they don't get cancelled like so many things do these days. I would love to see Mattel tackle some A Bug's Life characters again for the first time since 1998 (Flik and Hopper would be amazing to see as modern figures) and some Up characters. It would be interesting to see what Mattel could do with Finding Nemo as well! What I'd really love to see are some unique/side characters and less focus on just the main characters we've seen enough times over the years. Who would YOU like to see made?

Pick these up on Amazon using the links below and be sure to let me know your thoughts down in the comments! Stay tuned for more from my collection right here every week. 
 
UPDATE 6/02/21- Most of these have now finally hit Target stores in the open-blister packaging! 
 



Saturday, February 20, 2021

Soul: Complete Plush Collection from Mattel

From Mattel, here we have their complete core plush collection inspired by Disney·Pixar's Soul! This assortment of four adorably designed and incredibly soft 8" plush— featuring Joe Gardner (soul), 22, Mr. Mittens and Mr. Mittens (soul)— is available now on Amazon (direct affiliate links below) and Target online HERE. A big thanks to Mattel for sending these my way to share with all of you! I don't think these ever hit brick and mortar stores (at least I've never seen them) so I wanted to help spread the word of their existence for people who may be looking for more Soul toys/merch. These are perfect for kids and collectors of any age and retail for $9.99 each.

I've really been enjoying Mattel's Pixar plush over the last year (see my review of their Onward plush collection HERE). I like that they're smaller than the Disney Store's medium plush (which saves space and money), but not quite as small as a mini bean bag plush (which doesn't allow for as much detail). They're a great size and feel quality made overall. The most important thing is their likenesses are spot on and a tad stylized! We've all seen some goofy looking plush before that just aren't quite right, but these look fantastic and true to the characters. 

Let me know your thoughts below! If you're interested, there are also some "feature plush" of 22 and Mr. Mittens that include lights and sounds. I've included links to purchase them as well.


Friday, February 19, 2021

Cars 3: Fabulous Hudson Hornet with Tire

From last year's "Funny Flashbacks" sub-series by Mattel, here we have 2020's 1:55 scale diecast of Fabulous Hudson Hornet with Tire! This version of the Hudson Hornet (Doc Hudson) is a scene-specific diecast taken directly from Cars 3 (see the exact moment in the screen shot above).

Even though this is just yet another variation of the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, so some may think it's boring, I love that this diecast exists and think it was a clever idea—mainly because that scene in the film (when Smokey is telling McQueen how much coaching him really meant to Doc) is one of my top favorites across all three Cars films.

The only thing I would have changed here is I would have made Doc's expression a bit more inspired by the film (like maybe have his eyes looking down at the tire—almost cross-eyed). This seems to be just the standard Fabulous Hudson Hornet diecast with a tire added to it. Mattel could have used this opportunity to make this one a little more unique with a new sculpt (or at the very least a new eye expression), but unfortunately took the easy way out. I still do love the idea of it though and love that we have this cute moment in diecast form, I just think it could have been executed a little better. 

I never ended up finding this one in stores in my area, so I had to resort to Amazon recently. You can purchase him there as well using the direct affiliate link below or on eBay HERE

Let me know your thoughts down in the comments and good luck on the hunt out there to all my fellow Pixar Cars diecast collectors! 


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Cars 3: Easy Idle Racing Tractor

Tonight I'm taking a look at another really fun and unique Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast from Mattel...the brand "NEW FOR 2021" Easy Idle Racing Tractor! He was released not too long ago in this year's singles Case C. This is the fourth racing tractor release following Shiny Wax Tractor, Rev-N-Go Tractor and Bumper Save Tractor.

As shown in the screen shot above, the Easy Idle racer (Harvey Rodcap) appears in tractor form when Cruz Ramirez imagines all of the Next-Generation Piston Cup racers as tractors during the climatic Florida 500 race. This is right after Lightning tells Cruz to "sneak through the window", which hearkens back to their training with Smokey in the field of tractors earlier in the film. Such a fun and clever "pay off" moment!

There are several more "tractor racers" coming soon (View Zeen & Sputter Stop have been confirmed so far), so stay tuned to my upcoming reviews. I found this one at Target a couple weeks back and you can still find it pretty easily in stores, so be sure to check your nearest Walmart or Target. If you'd rather just pick it up online, you can check eBay HERE or Amazon using the direct link below.

Good luck on the hunt! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments.


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Cars 3: Hot Rod River Scott

 
 
Hey everyone and welcome back to the blog! Tonight I'm taking a quick look at another Cars 3 1:55 scale diecast from Mattel—Hot Rod River Scott. This brand new release just hit shelves a few weeks back (as part of Singles Case C for 2021) and I was lucky enough to score it at my nearest Target.

Despite what you might think when initially seeing this release, this diecast is actually canon! At first I thought it was totally made up my Mattel, but then realized that River Scott IS actually seen with this "hot rod" paint job in Cars 3—during the end credits in a photograph as shown in the screenshot above. Pretty cool and very subtle! A "hot rod" Smokey was also released (seen HERE), however that design was never seen in the film and therefore is not canon. Hot Rod Junior Moon was released in 2019 (see my review HERE) and Hot Rod Louise Nash is slated to come out later this year to complete the moment.
 

You can find Hot Rod River Scott currently at your local Walmart, Target or Amazon using the link below. As usual, happy hunting and let me know your thoughts down in the comments!

 

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Disney·Pixar Cars Week 2021! (February 8th-14th)

 
KA-CHOW! Even though around here it always seems to be Disney·Pixar Cars Week due to my love of the franchise, this past week (February 8th-14th) was officially Disney·Pixar Cars Week and I had an absolute blast celebrating thanks to the generous folks at Disney! This year Cars Week lead right into Sunday's Daytona 500 race, which couldn't have been more perfect—especially given that Mattel has just released a brand new NASCAR inspired Pixar Cars diecast assortment (more on that below). 

Again, a big thank you to Disney for sending this amazing box of Cars products my way to share with all of you. I hope you see something you really like here for yourself and/or any other Cars fan you might have in your life. I'll include links to buy throughout this post if anything catches your eye.
 
If you missed my coverage of Cars Week last year, you can check it out HERE. Let's get to it!
 
CARS COLOR CHANGE SINGLES & 
DINOCO CAR WASH PLAYSET
by MATTEL
 
First up we have a few items from the newly released Cars 1:55 scale Color Change collection from Mattel! Pixar Cars color changing vehicles were first introduced in 2010 and ended up being very popular (even if they were only available for a short time)—they then went away for a while, came back in 2015, were discontinued again for a few years and then came back yet again last summer in 2020! It's good to see them back on store shelves. To be honest, I've actually never purchased anything from the Color Changers line (since I have been so focused on collecting the standard diecasts), so this was a real treat for me. I loved testing this all out and playing with the cars and the playset—especially now that I have my one year old son Aidan! He thought these were SO cool. 
 
Just dunk/spray the cars with hot water and watch their colors change instantly right before your eyes. Use icy cold water to change them back! The fun never ends.

You can find the Color Change line at Target right now, so be sure to head there if you're interested ($4.99 each). There are a bunch a characters out right now (spanning all three Cars films). The 3-pack I was sent below (with Lightning McQueen, Mater and Jackson Storm) is an Amazon exclusive gift set, which you can purchase HERE* or by using the link below.
 
*affiliate links 

The Color Changers Dinoco Car Wash ($19.99—available at Target and Amazon) is incredibly fun. Add hot and cold water into the appropriate containers stored underneath the car wash, then send the cars up the ramp after "fueling up". Squeeze the hot water into the Dinoco sign, then squeeze it out above the wash and watch the magic happen! Oh and make sure to slide the Dinoco pitty back and forth (which will move the car getting washed from side to side) so that the entire car gets covered with water. Slide the pitty all the way to the left and the car will exit the car wash down the ramp (while getting "polished" and "dry"). Bam—a nice wash and a fresh new "paint job" just like that. Dunk the car in cold water to revert the car back to its original colors and let the fun continue again and again! See it in action on YouTube HERE.

Assembly (including adding the stickers) was simple and took less than 10 minutes. Includes a plastic 1:55 scale Dinoco Lightning McQueen Color Changers car and Dinoco pitty. 

 
CARS LIGHTNING MCQUEEN TUMBLER
by SIMPLE MODERN
 
How neat is this 14 oz stainless steel tumbler with straw by Simple Modern!? I absolutely love the minimal design featuring Lightning McQueen. You can purchase this on Amazon HERE for $16.99.

CARS TRACTOR TROUBLE LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK  

You might know by now that I love Little Golden Books and have collected every Pixar release. This is the perfect addition to my collection! My full review of this (and all the Cars "expanded universe" Little Golden Books) will be up soon. You can purchase this on Amazon HERE for $4.29.

CARS DIECAST SINGLES by MATTEL

Huge Pixar Cars diecast collector here! I've been collecting Cars since 2011 and have well over 700 diecasts in my collection at this point. You can see my full reviews of Wasabi Mouth Mater and Billy Oilchanger HERE & HERE. You may not be able to find these particular diecasts in stores currently (they were available last year), but you can find Mattel diecasts in general at Target and Walmart stores for $4.99.

CARS NASCAR INSPIRED DIECAST SINGLES by MATTEL

NEW for 2021 (available at Walmart; $4.99 each), check out these awesome NASCAR inspired Cars 1:55 scale diecasts from Mattel! Lightning McQueen, Jackson Storm, Mater, and Luigi & Guido have been "NASCAR-ified", as well as some of the coolest and most notable NASCAR drivers out there including Chase Elliot, Austin Dillon, William Byron, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney and Danny Suarez. Those iconic real-life racers will be transformed into diecasts in the coming months and throughout the rest of the year. Stay tuned!

CARS LIGHTNING MCQUEEN TUMBLER by TERVIS

Here's another pretty cool tumbler I was sent featuring Lightning McQueen (his XRS design from last year), this time by Tervis! You can find this on Amazon HERE for $14.99.

  • Tervis tumblers feature double-wall insulated construction that keeps drinks hot or cold longer
  • Strong, impact resistant BPA-free material
  • 10 oz classic tumbler is kid-friendly, recommended for ages 3 years and up features a contoured outer wall for easy gripping
  • Microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe for no-worry convenience and fit most cup holders

CARS LIGHTNING MCQUEEN REMOTE CONTROL VEHICLE by SHOPDISNEY 

Now this thing is awesome. Me and my one year old son have been LOVING this! This 6" RC Lighning McQueen originally came out in 2017 at the Disney Store and has stuck around all this time due to how popular it is. At only $24.99, it's a great price too. Our advice; just make sure to turn off the remote AND the vehicle when not in use or else the batteries will drain (requires 5 x AAA batteries, included). Purchase HERE at ShopDisney.

CARS LIGHTNING MCQUEEN LIGHT-UP BUBBLE WAND by SHOPDISNEY

Last but not least, we have this super duper fun Lightning McQueen light-up bubble blower from the Disney Store! This has been such a hit here, let me tell you. Aidan only just got introduced to bubbles recently and he loves it every time they bring out the big bubble blower at the baby gym class he attends. His little mind was blown when I showed him this one—his eyes were full of wonder as bubbles started coming out right here in our own home! I was so happy to see that bubbles were included as well so we could start playing with it right away.

You can purchase this wand on ShopDisney HERE for $22.99.

Well, I think that about covers it! How did YOU celebrate Cars week? Which is your favorite Cars film? Again, be sure to let me know all your Cars related thoughts down in the comments and don't hesitate to ask any questions you may have.

Happy collecting! If you'd like to see all this in action, be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and view my entire celebration by tapping the "Cars Week 2021" highlight (including my unboxing HERE).



Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Toy Story 2: Custom Wheezy Toy Replica by D-KOP

After almost 22 years...Wheezy the squeaky penguin, as seen in Toy Story 2, joins my Toy Story collection!! Now you would think just by looking at this that it was an officially produced and licensed toy by Disney/Pixar, but no—sorry to break it to you, but after all these years, Disney has still not released a full scale Wheezy squeak toy replica. Why? I have no idea. He would essentially be as expensive to make as a rubber dog chew toy and Toy Story fans young and old would go crazy for him. Seriously, load up a few bins of Wheezy toys and sell them in Toy Story Land for $15 each and they would be sold out in minutes.  

Some of you might be thinking, well what about the "Toy Story On Ice Wheezy"? Yes, that one was technically officially released and sold by Disney Stores, but that was clear back in 2000/2001 (ish) and only in Japanese and European markets (from what I understand). It was also available at select Toy Story 2 Disney On Ice shows overseas, but that's it (I don't believe it ever came to the US in any way, but let me know if you have any further info). At any rate, it was never widely available to consumers and now sells on eBay for typically $200 or more (and oftentimes without any packaging + with scuff marks). Yikes! For a character as prominent as Wheezy, I'm shocked he does not have a proper toy out there.   

Anyway, over the years (through the rise of home 3D printing), fans took the matter into their own hands and began making their own custom Wheezy replicas. I had seen a bunch, but I was never completely impressed with any of them (I certainly wouldn't pay over $100 for them)—that is until I saw this one a few weeks back on Instagram. As soon as I saw it, I knew this was the definitive Wheezy and it was an instant "must-buy". Even if Disney finally releases an official Wheezy after all this time, I can't see it being any better than this one right here.

 
This custom Wheezy (I hesitate to even use the word custom since it's so professionally done), was lovingly handmade in China by Toy Story enthusiast Qiyu Dong (as known as D-KOP or @kop378454505 on Instagram). If you're interested in owning one of these yourself, please be sure to message him on Instagram in regard to shipping and pricing. I am still in awe with how talented the guy is.
 
First of all, I have to give a huge shout-out to the packaging. Yes, D-KOP even created a custom box for Wheezy modeled exactly after Wheezy's packaging first seen at Walt Disney World's Toy Story Land in the Slinky Dog Dash queue. The quality and attention to detail is unmatched! Again, this is literally as good or better than anything Thinkway Toys or the Disney Store could ever put out there.
 
One of my favorite gags on the packaging (which, again, stems from the original box design seen in Toy Story Land) is that he's a"Bath Toy" but "not for use in water". I just think that's hilarious. I also love the Al's Toy Barn logo in the corner, as if it was bought from there.
    

This Wheezy is mostly modeled after the character in his "toy mode" (when he's not "alive"), with some small liberties taken to make this replica more appealing to collectors. For example, his flippers are a bit more open, which is great, because I think D-KOP assumed us fans would like to have him hold Mr. Mike's microphone in photos and/or when on display. I think that was a good call. Other than that though, I'd say this Wheezy is 97% accurate and truly looks like he jumped out of the screen and onto my shelf.

Wheezy is a movie-accurate size (about 5 3/4" tall), is a quality rubber material and he SQUEAKS! Not only does he squeak though—it's a loud, very impressive squeak. Don't mind me, I'm pretty much still in awe over here. Check him out in more detail below!

And how cool is this? Wheezy even comes with a Toy Story Signature Collection style certificate of authenticity. Really though, does this just not keep getting better and better? This Wheezy does cost some $$$, but he is worth every penny to me. You can tell D-KOP put his heart into it.

Here he is with Mr. Mike!

Follow me on Instagram @danthepixarfan

Lastly, check out my brief YouTube unboxing video below to see (and hear) this Wheezy in action. You won't wanna miss it. What are your thoughts?? Are you as thrilled as I am? Be sure to share what you think and any questions you might have down in the comments.