Tag Archives: Pixar

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.

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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.


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.


Wall-E by Thinkway Toys

There are new toys that have come out by Thinkway Toys. I had to grab Wall-E to start, as he is one guy I always like, but never got around to getting one of the figures.

There are a few sized to these figures. This is one the larger size format figures. He is very posable, with movements at the shoulders, wrists, and opening hands. His arms can also be moved to extra holes at the front edge of his body, down low.

He has movement in his neck, and his eyes can be posed. He can also roll on very nice wheels mounted down low.


He comes with two blocks that fit inside his body, and can be ejected. You can also put play dough in there and eject any color cube you want.

Grabbing this guy was a bit of a gamble.  I have never heard of Thinkway toys, so I didn’t know what to expect.  It is a Disney product, so I was thinking it was fairly safe to go with it.  He turned out to be very nice.  There is a smaller version I saw where he is rusted like he is in the movie. I bought this one at a local Toys R Us.  I haven’t seen any of these figures anywhere else yet, but I am sure they will be popping up sooner or later.  There are some great Pixar products in the lineup.  Finding Nemo and The Incredibles to name two.  Definitely a fun toy, and a great addition to my Disney collection.


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.


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.  🙂


Cars 2 – Ridemakerz Lightning McQueen

This past week I grabbed the newest of the Cars 2 toys to be released.   We have a ton of new dicast vehicles, but the local Toys R Us’ are filled with these big boxes of cars with lots of accessories.  There are three sizes.   This is the Deluxe kit including a car, and a lot of accessories to play with right out of the box.  This is not a set for the faint of heart, costing nearly $40.  It does however come with a lot of great accessories.   I really wanted the green Lightning McQueen, so I was going to get the starter set that comes with the body and tires (wheels sold separately).  Then I was going to add on a blown engine and some of the 8-barrel wheels.  Seeing all of that and more, really made this set a good deal for me.

Out of the box:

Think that is enough accessories?  Just a drop in the bucket for what they have available.

So, here is a base Lightning McQueen.  He is sporting the new headlights (no more sticker headlights for an international racer).  He comes with the standard fin he will have in the movies and the side pipes that are unique to him.  Both are removable for changing accessories.  The body is quite solid and really rolls well.  I was a little timid about a product from a company I had not heard of before.  But the paint is flawless and the plastic is high quality.

I am thinking this is distracted driving.   How can he see with that giant thing on his nose?   I don’t see how.  So this is what I was after.   The great blown engine.  It has movable air intakes and there is a braided wire for the fuel line.  Way better than I would have expected.

A little more of a subtle hot rod.  I REALLY like the side pipes.  They remind me of the Shelby Cobra or the Corvette Stingray.   I can’t wait to try them out on some of the other vehicles in the line (Mater, Finn McMissile, and Francesco).

And in case you were wondering, here is a size comparison.  This is a huge increase in size from the standard Cars Dicast toys.

If you feel the need to set up a little engine shop like I did, you will not be disappointed.   You do however need to go to Toys R Us to get your stuff… unless you live by one of the Disney parks where they are setting up a temporary shop.


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