Tag Archives: Cars

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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Mater’s Tall Tales – Take Flight – Autonauts Lightning McQueen and Mater from Moon Mater

Usually we come to an end of a series and then it goes away.  Disney is not letting the Cars line die out any time soon.  As Cars 2 toys still warm the pegs at every major toy aisle in existence, every so often we are gifted with a new car or two.   In this case, we get 4 of the large scale “oversized” vehicles.   Lightning and Mater in their space clothes, as well as a couple of support aircraft for their return to Earth.

Lightning looks great.  Take a general Lightning model, add a jetpack, wheels, and a really great helmet, and you have one of the best Cars figures to date.

I will say one of the best for Lightning, because Mater IS the best figure to date.  There was so much work done with him.  Boosters all over, a hood, white paint, touches of gold paint, an external fuel tank, and of course the great clear helmet.

I was pretty sure I was done collecting the Cars line of vehicles.  But these two were too good to pass-up.   They stand out in the collection with a great unique look.


Six foot three and doing a happy dance in toys r us

What fun today. New stuff from Cars 2, Captain America, and Transformers.

The shelves are pretty picked over, especially for the Transformers. They did come out on Monday.

I will have some pics up soon. There are some good looking toys out now.

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That is all the peek you get for now. 🙂


Are the more expensive Hot Wheels worth the cost?

This was a question I was asking myself when I was at Target looking at the toy aisle.  I don’t venture down the ‘car’ aisle too often, but I have been known to partake in the occasional Hot Wheels vehicle.

So, the experiment:   I have a 2010 Hot Wheels Ford GT LM:

Luckily at Target they had the Speed Machines version of the same vehicle:

So, here we go.  The two vehicles, the green one is a standard $.97 Hot Wheels, while the black one is a $2.99 Speed Machines.   Is it worth paying three times as much for a car with a supposedly better paint job, and three colors on the wheels?

The paint:  The Speed Machines has some extra paint apps.  There are rivets along the bottom of the door. There are a few accents around the doors.   The paint is fairly nice, but there are a few blemishes around the top of the doors.  All in all, quite a few colors are added to the vehicle. Gold racing stripes, white gas caps and circles around the ‘2’.  Red around the white circles.   On the hood there is a ‘Ford’ emblem.

On the standard green car, there are two additional colors, black and white.  All of the bumps and indents are there for the mold of the Speed Machines.

The interiors are the same.  The colors are different, and the green car has tinted windows, but the molds are exactly the same

Even the underside is the same.  There is a color difference of course.

So, if you want a little more color, and really cool wheels then it would be okay to pay three times as much.  I don’t think it is really worth that much more since there are standard versions of the same vehicles.   I don’t know if that is the case in all of the cars.  There are 12 Street Machines in all.


A love affair…

If you are reading this blog, you probably share my love affair with toys.  They come from so many places in the world.   Movies, comics, video games, anime, and the list goes on.   It is not often when one of the toy lines covers many areas that I love.

In this case, these toys cover my love affairs with cars, animation, Pixar, Japan, and really well made toys.   I am talking about the Cars Toon series based on the short film, Tokyo Mater.   Now this is one series of short films that makes me laugh.  I cannot get enough of them.   One of my favorites was Tokyo Mater.   Looking more like something from Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, this brought us into the Cars tuner world like nothing else.   Early on in the Cars movie, Boost, Snot Rod, Wingo and DJ were the culprits who got Lightning in trouble in the small town, by playing with Mack, his transport.

Even then I know Pixar was onto something with the cars blowing beautiful flames of different colors.  Then with Tokyo Mater, we got to see what it was like in the car’s version of Tokyo.  Boy was it bright and fun.

Kabuto was the leader of the street racing scene, being outfitted with everything a drift car could want.   Facing off against the loudmouthed Mater, the looser will be… stripped to stock.   Oh no, not stock!   I am looking for the stock version of Kabuto.

One of the great things about the Cars line is the retooling of the cars.  Kabuto is apparently the same model car as Boost.  But there are a lot of differences that really make them stand apart.  Fins, eyes, mouths, subtle body changes.   Unlike many toy lines where characters are just repainted to create a “new” character, they are taking it to a new level and creating a similar character, but not really the same.

They went all out in the line for Tokyo Mater.  There are a lot of characters showing up that were only in the crowd.  I think they created such great vehicles for the story that it was easy to see them getting translated into the toys.   I have been  hearing rumors that we are going to get to see more of the Tokyo cast in Cars 2 when it comes out this summer.  Since Lightning and Mater are going to be traveling the world, we are going to get to see a great big world… not to mention some great explosions.

I can’t wait.  🙂


After Christmas Haul

I went to the outlets for my wife to get some clothes or something, and the only way I go is to make a trip to the Wal-Mart and Target that are near by.  Wal-Mart came up as a bust, but I founds lots of good stuff at Target.

Three Transformers, a DC Universe Classic figure, a Cars vehicle, and a small Lego pack.  Thanks for the Christmas money.  It was fun spending it.  🙂   I will be writing reviews about the Transformers and DC Universe Classic figures in the next day or so.


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