Tag Archives: Cars

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.


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.


Star Wars inspired Cars

There are a lot of cars out there right now being inspired by Star Wars.  The Hot Wheels cars are outstanding.  There is also a set that came from the Disneyland Resort that is from the Pixar hit Cars, that really takes the characters to a new level.

On a recent trip down to Disneyland, my wife saw Cars characters dressed up as Star Wars characters, and new my love for both, and decided to get me a variety.

In the first set I opened, it featured two Pitties as Jawas, and Luigi as C-3PO.   I was a little sad to not also get Guido as R2-D2, but you can’t get the Pitties any other way, so I think this was an okay way to do it… but you know C-3PO is nothing without his R2.

Lightning McQueen is Luke Skywalker.  There are a few similarities that run between the two characters, so it is not a big surprise that this is the way they went.  It is also not the first time we have seen Lightning in a helmet.  He has also been a jet fighter as well as an astronaut.

I think Red as Chewbacca has to be my favorite.  He is so dynamic and fun.  He has his bandolier wrapped around both sides of the chassis, as well as the bag on the right side.  he also has his bow-caster on the roof.  The paint is great, with a pinstripe feel to it.   I love the snarl on his face.  The irony of Red snarling is not lost on me.

Guess I have a reason to get back down to Disneyland sooner rather than later.  There are a few more down there that I think I need.  This is a great reflection of what Disney has acquired in the last few years, and has put to good use.


Off-Road Lightning McQueen (Radiator Springs 500 1/2)

I am a huge fan of the Cars (and Planes) franchise. When I heard they were coming out with yet another short, I knew we would be in for some fun. Add in some toys, and we have magic. This is the first of the cars, of course Lightning McQueen. He has been outfitted with off-road gear in order to race the other off-road vehicles in an epic race around Radiator Springs.

The vehicle is a classic Lightning in the style of the ending of the first movie. I think pretty much where all of the Mater’s Tall Tales take place as well.

 

He has a great addition of wheels with large travel to accommodate the off-road terrain. He gets a bit of extras on top as well, including a roof rack with a spare wheel as well as lights.

This is probably the dirtiest toy review to date, but it didn’t seem right to take a look at an off-road vehicle and have it clean and shiny.  I have plenty of those.  This one had to be different.


Franz Fliegenhosen – Disney’s Planes

Disney does a great job with their toys. I love the Cars line. The Planes line they have in the box stores… not so much. Luckily, there is a Disney store near my house, and occasionally I find a treasure there like Franz Fliegenhosen here.  He is a part of the larger scale Planes vehicles that come packaged in the clear acrylic boxes.   They are nicer and larger than the figures you can find at Toys R Us, Walmart, and Target.

Seen in Planes, he blends the lines of the two worlds, by transforming himself from a car to a plane. How fun is that? And best yet, we get to do it at home now.

I have 4 other planes that come in the acrylic boxes, and they are great. They are nice and large scale and fit in well with the Cars vehicles. This one though… he really blew me away. What a great figure. Fun to play with, and he is SO cute!


Disney’s Planes, the toys from the Disney Store

With a new Disney movie comes a new toy line.  As we see dwindling Cars lining the shelves, we will see them being replaced with Planes.   This looks to be the way Disney is going to go here in the future.  They have already slated the second Planes movie for 2014, Planes: Fire & Rescue.   We should be seeing these in the stores for a while then.

Here’s the thing.  I was a little disappointed… okay a lot disappointed with what I was seeing showing up at retail.  The vehicles are small.  They are about the size of the Cars vehicles, which is way to small to be in scale with the cars.   I am not down with that.  I have not been collecting all of these Cars to then move onto Planes that are out of scale.   Well, there is good news.   I took some friends, visiting from England, to the Disney store.  And what did I see?  Planes of course.  But better than that, they were the larger scale vehicles in the acrylic boxes.  There have been Cars versions of these for a long time.

I took these guys outside for a little photo shoot today.  Isn’t it better to have airplanes outside.  It is however 90+ degrees outside, so this was a labor of love.  Burned knees and a sweaty shirt, and I am done!  Each figure comes mounted to the box at the bottom.  They all have the same base design that looks like a runway.  The background has a scene tailored to where they are from.  On the back is the animated picture of each.  Getting these in the proper size meant that they HAD to come out of the packaging.

In all of their loose glory.   They are diecast and they have a good heft to them.   The propellers are made of a rubber like substance, probably to keep them from breaking off.  That would be good for kids who will want to play with them.  At $10 a pop, they are on the high side of the market, as the Cars in acrylic are $7.  There are even a couple of fighter planes and a rescue copter that are larger and are being called Deluxe.  They are a bit bigger, and they look good too.

Our hero, Dusty can be found in two version.  The standard version, and this one that is called Turbo Dusty.  Looks to be the addition of the wing tanks.  Either this is going to be the pivotal change for the character in the movie to allow him to better compete in the race, or a dream sequence.  Either way, this is the one I grabbed.  I have not seen the standard version since.  Gah!  50/50 chance.  I thought this one would go faster.  Guess I was wrong.

Ishani, the Indian plane.  This flying champ looks good in these colors.   I really like her backwards designed propeller.  She really stands out.

Ripslinger.  Think of him as Chick Hicks from Cars.   Ironically sporting the similar green paint, which may not be a coincidence.  He is suited for speed with his long body and dual propellers that spin independent of themselves.

I am guessing La Chupacabra is going to be the Mater of this story.  One of my all time favorite airplanes, the GeeBee Racer.  Not the first time we have seen a GeeBee in a Disney movie.  You may recall the Rocketeer’s Cliff Seacord flew a GeeBee early in the movie before it was destroyed by some gangsters.   This one however takes on the persona of a Luchador, wearing a trademark mask and a cape.

In a pretty close scale.  Dusty is supposed to be a crop duster, so he is pretty close in scale.  La Chupacabra is a little larger in scale, and may be a little closer to the correct size.  The Deluxe planes would be even better.

Where there’s Lightning, Mater is not far behind.  In Take Flight Air Mater, he takes a car to get fixed at the closest garage, which is on an airfield.  Our first look at a truly separate world from Cars.  Mater of course takes on the challenge of learning to fly.   He and Ishani share a rear-facing propeller.   And I think that is where their similarities end.  😉

Great planes.  I am looking forward to getting more of them.  There are two more listed on the Disney Store website (Skipper and Bulldog).  I think I am definitely going back to get the Deluxe vehicles.  The helicopter will be awesome, and come on, who doesn’t want airplanes of Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer (Goose and Iceman).


Disney’s California Adventure, Cars Land

As a fan of Cars, I have been waiting for years and years for this land to be ready.  I remember back to when the parking lot was closed back there, so they could start creating the land.  Seeing the metal frames going up, and finally getting covered in the rock formations, before finally being so artfully painted to match the beauty of the Southwest.   Then came the building of the town of Radiator Springs.  Now it is all done, in every detail you would want to see, and it did not disappoint.  I could not stop smiling the entire time I was in that land.  Amazing.

You might think, “There are characters walking around in the rest of Disneyland, they cannot do it in Cars land.  Ah, but they can.  They bring out Lightning and Mater to sit in the driveway of the Cozy Cone Motel for photo shoots with the kids.  They actually drive down the street.   I also got a glimpse of DJ, who apparently comes out and brings the music for impromptu dance parties.

The colors and details are the best.  Disney outdid anything they have ever come up with before.   California Adventure underwent an estimated $1.1 billion makeover, and boy did it payoff.

The daytime is amazing, but it is at night when the buildings of Radiator Springs comes alive.   Neon everywhere, and it flashes and moves just like the movie.

There were no details left unfinished.   From making the town accurate, to making sure everything looked just as old as it needed to.

All of the rides in Cars Land are great.  The big draw is the Radiator Springs Racers.  Strap in and hold on while you get a ride through Cars land, and then a race lap to finish off your run.

The Fastpasses sold out by 9:30, and the line was 150 minutes long, but for the people who just had to wait in line all that time were treated to great signs and details, like Stanley’s original spring.  It looks just like it did in Time Travel Mater.

When you finally get up to the front, you get treated to a seat on one of the cars.  So cute and ready for fun.

If you get in the car, and you do not feel as giddy as I did, then you do not belong on the Racers.  It was SO exciting.

When you start your adventure, you get to go through some great areas with some of the best animatronics that Disney has ever created.

Let’s not forget about the other rides that are there too.  The Racers have taken the spotlight, but the other two rides are really fun as well.   Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree features a square dance in a wagon pulled by a baby Tractor.

Fear not if you are stuck in line here.  You will want to take some time to look around.  The fences around the line are lined with great mementos of Mater’s Tall Tales, from Mater The Greater all the way to badges from his flight into space.

And then there is Luigi’s Flying Tires:

There are some people who were complaining that they don’t work all that well.  My wife and I went on it, and we were able to really get going.  All you have to do is lean, and hold it.  The cushion of air makes for a fun atmosphere.  I felt like an air-hockey puck.  It was a lot of fun.

All in all, I could not think of a way to make Cars Land any better.   The lines are long, but that is to be expected when it just opened.   With time, I am sure the lines will get better.  Don’t forget the rest of California Adventure has been greatly improved as well.  The Little Mermaid has great animatronics as well as the best music, the main street has been redone and looks beautiful.   They even have a very fun (and loud) night club vibe going on at the Mad T Party.  Dance the night away with a mixed drink containing a glowing ice cube.

California Adventure changed from a place I wanted to go to ride a few rides, to a place I like to hang out.   I cannot wait to go back again later in they year.  🙂


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