Category Archives: Disney

Smell Swell Lightning McQueen

Well, the stuff is coming out in droves to the store for the upcoming Cars 3 movie. The $3.99 price tag for the basic cars is way too steep for me. I was at WalMart, and they had single boxes like the old Matchbox cars. All 6 are different versions of Lightning. And all of them had come out before. I did not have the privilege of finding the Smell Swell Lightning McQueen before, so I grabbed him.

These are the same great vehicles that come in the standard packs, but they are just boxed specially. If you collect all 6 boxes, there is art that connects them. I don’t care to collect doubles, just so I can build some art.

Now, for those who don’t know Smell Swell Deodorizers is the first sponsor Lightning ever had. You can tell this is pretty early in his career. He only has the one sponsor. There are no little stickers either. Just the main Smell Swell sponsor and his light stickers. Pretty plain.

Even his “95” is a very plain font, with the lightning bolt running through it. What I like is that as he became better and got more cocky, his lightning became bigger.

This is a fun car to add to my ever growing Lightning collection. There are lots of great cars coming out, and I would not mind grabbing all of them. There is going to have to be a killer sale or price drop before I start collecting all of these though.


First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter – 3.75 inch scale – The Force Awakens

I was able to do a hard pass on most of the 3.75 inch Star Wars toys. For the most part, I love them. Before, we would get really good vehicles and lots and lots of characters to play with. I have a whole bunch of figures from Episodes 1-3, as well as some other figures that came out along with those. Somewhere along the way, Hasbro went back to the old 5 points of articulation. That saves a lot of money, but the figures were still the same price. On top of that, they came out with The Black Series 3.75 inch figures that did have all of the good articulation, but the prices are insane. With the lack of good figures, and really high prices on the vehicles, it was pretty easy to pass on the vehicles.

Today I found the First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter at ROSS, marked down from $30 to $16.99. That is a great markdown, and at 40% off, that was the right number to get me to pull the trigger.

I could tell just pulling the TIE out of the box that I was going to really like this vehicle. It comes in a lot of parts. The old TIEs just had the wings removed. This one has two wings, the body, the cockpit hatch, the bottom gun mechanism, two firing blaster bolts, and the antenna array.

First off, I busted the TIE Pilot out of the box. He looks rather TIE Pilot like. He has his all-black suit with matching black helmet and chest-mounted breathing apparatus. The helmet is an update from the Imperial TIE pilots, this time around looking more similar to the First Order Stormtrooper helmet. He comes with a blaster. Always nice to have if you actually survive being shot down on one of these things.

Looking inside the TIE before it is put together, you can see two seats. Since they made the pilots without knees, they had to have them sitting with their legs out straight. That will not work to have them sitting back to back, so they are side to side, with their legs facing opposite directions. All of this could have been more realistic to the movie, had they given the pilots knees. Then they would have had to do the same for Finn and Poe, since kids would also want them to play in there too.

In the canopy, there are tabs that allow the pilot to store their holdout blasters. What a great touch. Many of the older ships have guns rattling around in there, since there wasn’t a place to keep them. Now there is. And a place for two, so each pilot can have a gun. Nicely done Hasbro!

The details on the solar collectors is amazing. The colors are backwards from the old TIEs with the body parts being black, and the solar collectors changed to a grey color.

Once together, this is one fantastic mode. It is easy to see where the upgrades to the new TIE/sf are located. The original TIE/LN models did not have an antenna array, and they were strictly a one-seater. When the First order updated the TIE/LN to the TIE/fo, the armaments and shields were upgraded. For the Special Forces, they needed something a little extra, so that is where the TIE/sf came in. The first designation is the bright red patch on the left side of the cockpit. This is reminiscent of the 181st Imperial Fighter Wing that flew TIE Interceptors with a red stripe on the wings.  You can see very robust attachment points from the cockpit arms to the wings. That is a lot stronger than the standard TIE configuration.

The TIE/sf is equipped with the same chin-mounted laser system as the TIE/fo. It then has the addition of a turret that can fire forward or backward.

The greatest gimmick that the TIEs ever came with were spring loaded wings. This one is no different. What they did though was hide the buttons better to blend in with the body. On some of the TIEs that have the spring wings, they tend to kind of fall off. These really pop off well, and add to the playability.

The antenna array folds down as well as swivels. I am sure there is a kid out there that will love the little extra play they can do with this.

Looking at the back end of the TIE, it is clear that there is a lot of new stuff going on from the standard TIE. First off, there is a window. The gunner can actually see out the back, rather than relying on weapon systems alone. There are engines back there, but they are more robust than the old engines that looked like tiny openings. That is because these are capable Hyperdrive engines. A new touch that the standard TIE did not have. If you were left behind, when the capital ship left, it was a long ride back to wherever you were going.

 

This is a great ship. If I can find any others from this line at the discount stores, I will be all over them. I would love to get the standard TIE/fo, to be able to see them side by side. There are also a couple of X-Wings I would not mind having too.


Sharpes – Elusive Air – Disney/Pixar Planes

Sharpes is a good looking Deluxe scale plane. It has been a while since we have seen anything new in the Deluxe line, and this is a good one. He has a really wide wingspan, and an overall unique look that differs him from all of the other Planes that has come out before him.

He is under the sub-line of “Training Time” that is new for the 2016 releases. He is one of the background characters that seems to keep popping up. He was in both Planes and Planes: Fire and Rescue. He is one well traveled plane.

I do wonder what he carries though. He is a passenger plane, but he isn’t big enough to carry cars. Maybe that is what makes him “Elusive.”

His card boasts that he has “Spinning Blades” which is a pretty weak gimmick. Most of the planes are prop planes, and that is a rather silly thing to bring up, but they needed something to entice the buyer. He does actually have the retractable front landing gear that we see with so many of the planes. The problem with most of the other planes is that they only have retractable front gear, and the back gear is left hanging. This time around, it actually works for Sharpes, since his back gear is fixed, and wouldn’t retract anyway.

Bonus Look:  Firefighter Dusty

Disty changed colors in the later part of Fire and Rescue.  Going for a much more fitting red as his main color.  This is a fine plane.  The wheels on the bottom of the pontoons bothers me to no end.  It seems like such an ugly way to get wheels down there.  The white tabs are really fat compared to the small tires.


Zootopia – World of Zootopia 14-Pack Target Exclusive

Zootopia is the upcoming movie by Disney. I found the last animated feature, The Good Dinosaur, to be lackluster at best. This time around, Disney has gone with some big hitters in the director and writing chairs. Written and directed by Bryon Howard, Rich Moore, and Jared Bush. These guys bring Tangled, Bolt, Wreck-It-Ralph, and Big Hero 6 to the table. We are talking about some of the best animated movies in the past few years. Combined, we can’t lose with this team.

Zootopia is a story about a new police officer (Judy Hopps) who takes on a case that is bigger than she can handle. She is joined by Nick Wilde, who is a con-artist with a heart of gold. Let’s not forget that Nick is voiced by none other than Jason Bateman, with Gennifer Goodwin voicing Judy. There is going to be some majorly good dialogue in this movie.

This is the 14-Pack, World of Zootopia set, that is available only at Target. The standard 2-packs run $8.99, and this one is $39.99. Any way you slice it, you come out ahead when you get this bigger set. Instead of $9 a pack, it is more like $5.71 a pack. There are some color variation in this set you can’t get in the two packs as well.

This line is done by Tomy, which also created the Good Dinosaur line. It is very similar in style, where the larger figures have pretty good articulation, while the smaller animals lack any, and for good reason. Some of them are very small. Take a look at all you get in this set of 14.

Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps

Nick and Judy are our hero and heroine of this film. Judy comes with 7 points of articulation. Neck, shoulder ball and joint, and hip. This allows for some really good movement overall. Nick has one extra point in his tail. It is a ball joint, which is good, since his tail makes him back heavy. The tail can be rotated to allow him extra support.

Both of these figures are in alternate colors. Nick is in a pink shirt with tan pants, as opposed to a green shirt and grey pants. Judy is in a grey/black SWAT outfit. This is different from her blue variant.

Assistant Mayor Bellwether and Mayor Lionheart

She does however come with an awesome pair of glasses that look quite thick. She is assistant to Mayor Lionheart. A funny play to have a sheep be an assistant to a lion. Mayor Lionheart comes with the standard 8 points of articulation. He also has a tail that turns.

They are both in the same clothes they come with in the 2-packs.

Officers McHorn and Clawhauser

It looks like the majority of the police officers are going to be big and tough. About what you would expect to play off of the small wiry look of Judy Hopps.

McHorn and Clawhauser are in tan uniforms instead of blue. They both sport 7 and 8 points of articulation. Clawhauser has an extra for his tail.

Mr. Big and Kevin

Mr. Big is the very small bad guy in this movie. It looks like he may be using a bunch of polar bears as his henchmen.

Mr. Big is too small for articulation, but Kevin has 7 points. They are both in their 2-pack colors.

The Little Guys:

There are a bunch of smaller guys that come in the set. They are Finnick, Bat Eyewitness, Lawbreaking Mouse, Weaselton, Lemming Businessman, and Safety Squirrel.

Only Finnick has head movement. The rest are static. Safety Squirrel looks to be the only figure with different paint, a black band around his hat.

We have a bit to go until the movie comes out March 4th, two days before my birthday.  Happy birthday to me.  I know what I am doing for my birthday.   That gives us some time to see all of the toys in the store before then.  The size they chose for the figures allows for some great secondary accessories.   There are going to be quite a few cars coming out in this line.  This is the kind of stuff I think they should have done with Big Hero 6.  We had similar sized figures, but only figures.  I would love to have bought at least their car if not a few other accessories too.  With Zootopia, that will not be a problem.  We will see at least two more Judys with her in her light blue outfit and a police car, as well as her meter maid outfit with her electric car.   The vehicles look like they are going to be fantastic!


Kate the Corn Cob Girl – Disney/Pixar Planes

What a fun Planes vehicle. I am sure it is a big honor to be the Corn Cob girl, but also a bit of an embarrassment to have to wear that costume. I think the expression in Kate’s eyes says it all.

I really like the wide variety of planes that are out there. We have everything from racers to everyday people.

I do think it is kind of funny for any of the planes with the single front landing gear, to have a fold-up gear. The other two wheels don’t fold up, so it just looks weird. I would love to have had all of the landing gear fold up. That would have been an amazing touch.

Planes doesn’t seem to have the vast array of figures, like Cars does. I saw the lineup for 2016, and it looks like there are going to be a LOT of new cars coming out. I haven’t heard anything about new Planes. I think it would be very good of Mattel to start connecting the two together like they did with World of Cars and have more planes mixed in there.

We have heard confirmation that there will be a Cars 3 released on June 16, 2017, but nothing about another Planes movie. Planes: Fire and Rescue made it’s budget back, but it was bashed for mediocre storytelling. I would like to see more from this world at some point in the future.


Planes: Fire and Rescue toys on sale…and looking good.

In the need for some Planes: Fire and Rescue cars? Look no further than the secondary market stores (Ross, Marshalls, TJMaxx). It seems that the holidays have descended upon us. Now I am not happy about seeing Christmas stuff next to the Halloween stuff, but I am always happy when the new toys start hitting the shelves to get ready for the windfall that is the Holiday Season! And where better than the low cost alternatives that sometimes have toys that miss the primary market.

Like Pulaski here. He was in a 4-pack, and you either bought the 4-pack for an exorbitant amount of money to get yet another character you already bought in the single pack, or you didn’t. Well, looks like the power that be, over at Disney wanted to make an extra buck by putting him out by himself. And out he came, and cool he is.

There seems to be a secondary flow of all of the land-based vehicles. Along with Pulaski here, the Smokejumpers are out in force. Avalanche with his lack of voice modulation.

Drip, who loves watching old TV shows with his friends.

Even Prop Junction’s own Chug is making an appearance in all of his flat paint glory.


Young Arlo – The Good Dinosaur

Now for something totally different…

Not far from the release of the new Pixar film, The Good Dinosaur, we are on our way with toys. Today was the first day I saw them in stores. They have a mid-size line with some of the smaller characters, and a large scale line with some more highly detailed figures.

This is Young Arlo. Guess Arlo will live to grow up at some point in the film, since there is also a large figure of him later on.

These toys are put out by TOMY, which we all know is a quality company. If nothing else, these toys will stand up to play by kids.

The mid-sized figures like Arlo here come with a small additional animal. They are made to go with Forrest, who looks like he is a triceratops, but with a lot of extra horns on his mane. Apparently Forrest walks around with lots of animals on his horns, and this is a fun way to get kids to collect all of the animals.

Arlo has 7 points of articulation. His mouth hinges open. His neck is on a swivel, and his tail matches with one as well. All four legs are hinged, and swing front to back. A little side motion would have gone a long way to make him an even better figure.

Overall, he is a very cute figure, and looks pretty accurate to the trailers we have seen so far.


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