Monthly Archives: March 2008

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: Cars Mini Adventures Ultimate Visual Checklist (Summer 2008 Update)




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Mattel Speed Racer Movie Diecast Checklist 2008: Go, Speed Racer Go! (to the Store to Buy, Buy, Buy)


Mattel is going to be crazy busy this summer with new movie launches.

But in a way, Batman is easy – people pretty much just want the Batmobile – give it us in every scale and at every price point, we’re in.

But Speed Racer beyond the Mach 5 is going to require a little more work but it’s almost a can’t miss.

You have the Wachowski brothers who brought us the Matrix directing, so you know the Special Effects and CGI won’t be the local weather guy’s green screen … based on a story that’s hard to foul up – a kid who likes to drive fast on a circuit where the rules of gravity don’t seem to apply. Throw in a cute girl named Trixie, a monkey and a fat guy named Pops … who cares what the real plot is?

I’ll be at the theater on May 9, 2008 so I haven’t watched the trailer that closely other than to see things flying through the air … I’m in! :-)

And of course, there are some toys to go with it.

But you really need the proper music to play along with this post … so, click PLAY …

If the WordPress player is just buffering, open this link in a new page and hit play.

There are two 1:18 (ish) scale of the Mach 5 & 6. The detailing looks nice but not metal diecasts. They have a sound feature:



There are several 1:24 (ish) scale “Speed Racer Deluxe Battle Vehicles” (plastic – not diecast) with cars that open up & a 3″ action figure (Mach 5, Mach 6 & Racer-X version):





There is a also a “Race & Flip” Series of cars.


There is another series “Speed Racer Battle Vehicles” which are smaller than the 1:24ish “deluxe” version:


I think this Race Track Trailer is for this series … otherwise, it’s honky huge if it’s really for the 1:24ish series cars to park inside:



But, what’s a Mattel Hot Wheels line without 1:64 scale cars?

The first lineup is 12-cars. I suppose with real investigating, we could figure out each name but it might be more fun to wait for the movie :-)

Each car comes with a plastic attachment – as of course, each car has its own unique set of attack and defense weapons … in our world, we have to rely on hand gestures and small arms ;-)


Here is a close up of the blister …


And of course, two-packs where you get an “exclusive” car …



There is also a very nice 1:64 scale transport and launcher …


And a 4-pack with accessories!


And some Toy Fair photos:



Of course, you also need some playets or in this case, tracks …

There are at least three introduced at Toy Fair, a Casa Cristo 5000 Ice Caves set, the Speed Racer Fuji Helexicon set – nice – much like the sets they sell now that you can attach to a door frame …


But I am saving this best for last – the most kick-*** track Mattel has ever put together … the innocuously named, “Speed Racer Sky Jump Box.”


Let’s crack that bad-boy open and set ‘er up!



That’s right, drop cars into the giant funnel and off to the launcher it goes – and around the track … where’s our official Speed Racer bucket to dump the cars in?

The only disappointing thing is that the Speed Racer 1:64 are mostly all plastic but I suppose that’s the keep the weight down for the flying sky jump (and of course, save Mattel some money).

If you don’t mind all-plastic, Target has this exclusive for $7.99:

Most serious diecast collectors are going to want the metal series. Surprisingly Jada is offering a set of 4 (so far?) that are super nice at $2.99 – great detailing, solid – all metal – 1:55 scale:

Jada is also offering a 1:32 version that is a great deal at $4.99:

For collectors, Mattel is offering a 1:64 version that is all metal – it’s more spendy at $4.99 each but it is attached to a display case like the Kyosho cars:

(I have not seen the Mach 5 version yet, not sure if it’s short-packed or not shipped yet).

Mattel has two 1:24 scale metal Mach 5 & Mach 6 at $29.99 – Jada is doing the Mach 5 1:24 for a great price at $14.99.

A few years back, Johnny Lightning did up a great set of Speed Racer diecasts made of solid heavy metal (in other words – real diecasts) and great sculpts (as always) – AllAboardToys still has them in stock.

Some great Toy Fair photos here of other Speed Racer gear.

There are also some great Legos – we’ll cover those in a separate post.

Not exactly up my alley but for once, Ken does not look like a dork or as the clearly-gay beard of Barbie …


Christine Ricci plays Trixie – not a bad likeness of her.

Most everything should be out for sale by end of March. The movie doesn’t open until May 9, 2008.


It’s clear that the Mach 5 is like the 1966 Batmobile – cool in any era …


Though this other car from the movie … DAAAAAMMMMMMNNNNNN ….


The official website is pretty sparse … though for film buffs, there is an interesting audio podcast of the press conference at the Berlin Film Festival with all the stars and Joel Silver, the producer.

You can listen by opening a new window or browser tab or right click to download it.

Official SPEED RACER movie trailer:

Or if you prefer the HD version to download.

Int’l Trailers …


The original animated series is available on DVD – All 52 episodes are available split up on 5 discs (Amazon Link) 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5.

And just as the Ford Futurama show car was the basis for the Batmobile, when you see the Ferrari 250TR Testarossa … you can see where the Mach 5 was inspired by … and of course, the Ferrari’s headlights are pointed forward – a little more useful when going 150 MPH than headlights that point to the ground like the Mach 5 … though the saw blades and weaponry are more useful :-) … though I think Trixie would join you if you had either car :-)


Filed under Advertising, Checklist, comics, Marketing, Mattel, Toys

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: CARS at Target


Was at Target. Surprised, they’re actually overstocked with Pit Crew Guido’s … and lots of Wingo’s … here’s a box I predict will not sell very well …


As we suspected, Chick is all outer shell with not much inside :-)

I did find these for Easter … perfect for one MINI CAR and a couple pieces of candy so no over sugar overload …



Filed under Advertising, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Religion, Retail, Toys, TV

Frankford Make Your Own Candy Ice Cream: Perfect For This DIYer Generation

The Frankford ‘Make Your Own Gummy Candy Ice Cream’ kit is clearly the most elaborate and most awesome candy ever – perfect for this generation that wants everything their exact own way and DIYers …


Sure, there’s plenty of candy choices where you buy it, unwrap it and stick it in your mouth …

Yawn! See it. Eaten It. Been there!

But here, unwrapping the candy is not just half of it but more like only only 8% of the fun!

Pick a mini cone – choose from red, green or white but wait – that’s not not nearly enough, you get YELLOW also? That’s more cone color choices than at Baskin Robbins!

Choose an “ice cream” flavor – chocolate, strawberry or Madasgascar almond pecan (okay just kidding – third choice – vanilla).

But wait, don’t eat it yet!

You need to add the chocolate sauce!

But wait, don’t eat it yet!

You get NOT one choice of sprinkles but TWO, that’s right.

Our long national nightmare is over – we can choose between tiny pellet dots OR good-old fashioned sprinkles!

That’s right, you have TEN different choices to make just to eat some candy!

Or some 44 DIFFERENT combinations!

How much would you expect to pay for this?


Surely you jest!


You’re crazy?!


Close but still not good enough!

How about $1.19?!

That’s right, 44 candies in one for the low, low price of $1.19!

Life is grand! We live in wonderous times! It’s better than the Renaissance! (we know to brush our teeth after eating candy unlike then – plus that whole Black Plague thing …)

I found these at Walgreen’s. Frankford Candy has been around for 60-years and they make tons of licensed candies for “Nickelodeon, Disney, Hasbro, Barbie, Harry Potter, Care Bears and many others,” but they have clearly out-done themselves this time!

This is the greatest make-it-yourself-candy bargain since the Peep explosion and subsequent colored marshmellow flood of 1957 when the streets ran with free Peeps.

I love it when technology, artificial flavors and Lactic Acid all combined into fun and DIY goodness!


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Disney Pixar CARS: The Art of CARS Live at the L.A. Petersen Automotive Museum

© Copyright Disney/Pixar

The great Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will open the “The Art of Cars” starting on March 29, 2008 (and running ’til November 2, 2008).

“The Art of Cars” exhibit includes more than 60 watercolor and pastel drawings, pencil and marker sketches, and a variety of three-dimensional pieces, including:

•Life-size replicas of the movie’s main characters: Lightning McQueen and his tow truck buddy, Mater.

© PRNewsFoto/Becker Group

•Three-dimensional maquettes of Mater, Doc Hudson, Sally, and The King, which were used as reference to guide animators when drawing their characters.

•Illustrated character studies that illuminate the development of supporting characters Flo and Ramone, Luigi and Guido, Fillmore, Sarge, DJ, and Wingo.

© Copyright Disney/Pixar

•Digital, pencil, and marker sketches interpreting the cars’ eyes, gestures, and expressions.

© Copyright Disney/Pixar

•Pencil and marker drawings of the fictional Los Angeles Motor Speedway, Sally’s “Cozy Cone” motel, and iconic diners, curio shops, and service stations based on actual locations along “The Mother Road.”

© Copyright Disney/Pixar

•Pastels, watercolors, and pencil sketches of such scenic vistas as Ornament Valley, Cadillac Range, and Radiator Cap Butte, based on familiar landmarks as Arizona’s Monument Valley rock formations and the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas.

The book, Art of CARS was great – however, it will be so much better to see the actual sketches, drawings and maquettes used as the path to the completion of the film.

While MoMa & the New Science Museum (UK) has featured an exhibit on Pixar Art (20 Years of Pixar), this is the first exhibit devoted entirely to the film CARS and the Petersen Museum in LA is perfect – as it’s a place that only reveres cars but also understand how much fun cars can be.


The Petersen Museum has this upstairs …


The LA County Museum a few blocks away has: “German Expressionism: The First Generation” …


Maybe your kids should decide which museum to linger longer … :-)

Petersen Automotive Museum exhibit info (CARS is not up yet). Admissions Info & Directions. (note – they are closed on Monday’s).

Perfect part of town for the whole family, near the Grove & Beverly Center shopping (as well as Beverly Hills) and lots of restaurants.

All Art © Copyright Disney/Pixar and Courtesy of Disney/Pixar and the Petersen Automative Museum.




Pixar Animation Studios and the Petersen Automotive Museum Announce
“The Art of Cars,” an Exhibit Featuring Pre-Production Artwork from the Golden Globe-winning feature film

Los Angeles, Calif. (February 2008) – Route 66 ends this year at Fairfax and Wilshire with the launch of a special exhibition “The Art of Cars,” the first-ever creative collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and the Petersen Automotive Museum. “The Art of Cars” showcases the artistic process behind the creation of the animated feature film Cars. The exhibit will run from March 29 through November 2, 2008.

Inspired by a family trip and his overwhelming love for cars, Director John Lasseter’s enthusiasm seeped into every detail of the movie. Lasseter and his team enlisted some of today’s most famous automotive personalities to give life to the vehicles, including Paul Newman (Doc Hudson) and racing legends Mario Andretti (as himself), Richard Petty (The King), Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), even Darrell Waltrip and Bob Costas (announcers). “The Art of Cars” exhibit guides fans through the process of creating the films’ many characters, personalities, and locations.

“When we started working on Cars, I knew that getting the details right would be essential to the story,” says Lasseter. “The spirit of Route 66 is in every scratch on a fender and every curl of paint on a weathered billboard. Pixar is honored to partner with the Petersen Automotive Museum on the ‘The Art of Cars’ exhibit, so that the public can experience firsthand our passion for the movie through our artists’ eyes.”

“The Art of Cars” exhibit includes more than 60 watercolor and pastel drawings, pencil and marker sketches, and a variety of three-dimensional pieces, including:

• Life-size replicas of the movie’s main characters: Lightning McQueen and his tow-truck buddy, Mater
• Three-dimensional maquettes of Mater, Doc Hudson, Sally, and The King, which were used as reference to guide animators when drawing their characters
• Illustrated character studies that illuminate the development of supporting characters Flo and Ramone, Luigi and Guido, Fillmore, Sarge, DJ, and Wingo
• Digital, pencil, and marker sketches interpreting the cars’ eyes, gestures, and expressions
• Pencil and marker drawings of the fictional Los Angeles Motor Speedway, Sally’s “Cozy Cone” motel, and iconic diners, curio shops, and service stations based on actual locations along “The Mother Road”
• Pastels, watercolors, and pencil sketches of such scenic vistas as Ornament Valley, Cadillac Range, and Radiator Cap Butte, based on familiar landmarks as Arizona’s Monument Valley rock formations and the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas

“It’s been our pleasure working with John Lasseter and his team to create ‘The Art of Cars’ exhibit” says Dick Messer, Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. “This movie was very special to me and many other car nuts I know–young and old–because of the way it entertains with real-life references to the racing industry with non-stop action and more than 100 years of automotive history.”

About the Petersen Automotive Museum:
The Petersen Automotive Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, a pioneer in automotive education, and one of the nation’s largest and preeminent automotive museums. The Museum is located at 6060 Wilshire Boulevard (at Fairfax) in Los Angeles. Admission prices are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students with ID, and $3 for children ages 5 to 12. Museum members and children under five are admitted free. Covered parking is available for $6 per car. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday and holiday Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For general Museum information, call (323) 930-CARS or visit the Museum’s website at

About Pixar Animation Studios:
Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. Creator of some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, and most recently, Ratatouille. The Northern California studio has won 20 Academy Awards® and its eight films have grossed more than $4 billion at the worldwide box office to date. The next film release from Disney•Pixar is WALL•E (June 27, 2008).


Filed under Design, Film, Gadgets, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Toys, Travel

Producers, Option This!, #4: The Sea Will KILL!

“Out of the darkness, a rumble grows. The water begins to vibrate. Suddenly, the prow of a massive ship splits the fog. Its steel hull rises seven stories above the water and stretches two football fields back into the night. A 15,683-horsepower engine roars through the holds, pushing 55,328 tons of steel. Crisp white capital letters — COUGAR ACE — spell the ship’s name above the ocean froth. A deep-sea car transport, its 14 decks are packed with 4,703 new Mazdas bound for North America. Estimated cargo value: $103 million.

On the bridge and belowdecks, the captain and crew begin the intricate process of releasing water from the ship’s ballast tanks in preparation for entry into US territorial waters. They took on the water in Japan to keep the ship steady, but US rules require that it be dumped here to prevent contaminating American marine environments. It’s a tricky procedure. To maintain stability and equilibrium, the ballast tanks need to be drained of foreign water and simultaneously refilled with local water. The bridge gives the go-ahead to commence the operation, and a ship engineer uses a hydraulic-powered system to open the starboard tank valves. Water gushes out one side of the ship and pours into the ocean. It’s July 23, 2006.”

As you guess, it does not go well.


A special salvage crew is called … great story in WIRED, “High Tech Cowboys of the Deep Seas: The Race to Save the Cougar Ace.”

Right now, it’s just a nice drama – Hollywood would probably have to add some terrorism or mutant virus strain to add just a little to it but it’s nearly ready to go …

George Clooney grabbed our first suggestion (should we sue that he can read also :-) ), #2 is still available and of course #3 has actually been done as a horrible movie already.

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Mattel DC Comics Batman Diecast 2008 Checklist: Every Scale Known to Mankind …


After 40 years, the George Barris Batmobile from the 1966 TV series still RULES ALL.

And in 2008, Mattel is going to deliver just about every version in every nearly every scale.


I’m not normally a large-scale (1:24, 1:18) diecast collector but these all look blazing cool …

The “regular/standard issue” 1:18 scale Batmobile
(currently shipping or very soon):



This retails for around $29 to $35. This version has opening doors, non-opening hood & trunk (why is that noted? Keep reading!)

The Elite 1:18 scale version Batmobile
(April 2008):


The Elite version will feature opening doors, opening hood, jet motor detail, and opening trunk with Bat computer inside. This model will include bat logos, front and rear antennas, photo etched beacon, real canvas parachute bags, plus metal missile launchers. The interior will include piped trim, fabric seat belts with bat logo buckle, bat phone, and fire extinguisher. This one will retail for around $79.

Holy Bat Detailing!

But if you think that is the Bruce Wayne of Batmobiles, check out the “upgrade.”

The Super Elite 1:18 scale version Batmobile
(May 2008):


The Super Elite version comprised of over 400 parts. This Super Elite version features opening doors, opening hood with jet motor fully detailed & real braided hoses, and an opening trunk with Bat computer. This model will include bat logos, front and rear antennas, plus photo etched beacon, real canvas parachute bags, and metal missile launchers. The interior will include piped trim, fabric seat belts with bat logo buckle, bat phone, and fire extinguisher. The Super Elite car is also mounted on a leather covered base & individually numbered (0001 to 1966). This one will retail for around $269 to $299.

Holy Bat Bankroll!

If those are a bit out of your budget, step over to the 1:50 scale showroom.


This will appear on a blister card and be available at most of your normal Mattel diecast retailers. The announced cars & motorcycles include …

Batmobile (1966)
Batcycle with Sidecar (1966)
Batman Animated Series/Justice League Unlimited Batmobile
Batman Begins Tumbler
Comic Batmobile


And if you prefer the classic 1:64 scale, of course, the Batmobile has been out since last year but apparently in the DNA of every Hot Wheels collector is the need to buy EVERY Batmobile they see selling on a store peg – I have yet to visit a comic or toy show where there are 4 or 5 guy selling 125 Batmobiles for $1 to $2 … so in case you’re wondering why they’re in EVERY case of Hot Wheels since last spring but good luck finding one of the shelves …



(There is also a variant with a different grill that tends to sell for more but of minimal consequence for most openers).

There are also two 5-packs from the Gotham City collection:


From the recent film, the Batmobile “Tumbler” is also included but if you want the BEST sculpts, you’ll want the the 1:64 versions that come in the half-circle pack called Batman Begins “Limited Edition for Adult Collectors.”



These are photos of the actual cars – great sculpts & detailing for 1:64 and at “normal” retail price – a great deal at $9.99 but most likly, if you find it online, it will cost you much more.

These two are also available in the 1:18 scale from Mattel but in my opinion, just not as impressive – the bottom line is the car design itself, while interesting just can’t compete on sheer coolness with the George Barris 1966 Batmobile:


And IMHO, the “regular” version gold areas on this diecast just makes it all the cheesier and more ‘plasticky’ looking …



Both came out in 2005 but still generally available for @$35 each but again, IMHO, not nearly as nice as the $9.99 for two Mattel 1:64 versions.

1:64 fans should also pick up the Johnny Lightning Lincoln Futura car that the Batmobile was built on … another great sculpt by JL!


Of course, from the comics of the 1940′s to today, Batman has always had some wheels (not being blessed with actual superhero powers :-) ) … some very common, some weird and some cool. Wikipedia has a great history of all the Batmobiles. (BTW, Corgi has released a slew of them in 1:43 scale until recently).

Okay, I guess I exaggerated a little on the scale, I see no listing from Mattel for 1:87 scale or 1:12 cars but hey, the year is only 2 months old ;-)


Filed under Advertising, Checklist, comics, Film, Gadgets, Marketing, Toys, TV

Disney Pixar CARS 2: Sequel Coming in 2011 (Update Confirmed – 2012!)


(OFFICIAL CARS2 LOGO – see new post)

According to, they are reporting that CARS 2 is coming 2011.

“… the studio is filling up its schedule again with big sequels and franchise entries. Most exciting is that the studio plans to release a sequel to 80′s sci-fi classic “Tron” in Digital Disney 3D in the Spring of 2011. Previous reports had Joseph Kosinski in talks to direct.

The studio also has “Cars 2″, “National Treasure 3″ and “Pirates of the Caribbean 4″ scheduled for that year as well.”

Guess that’s why they’re hiring animators.

Not that the date is a big surprise … room on Pixar’s calendar AND conveniently the year Disney is opening CARLAND … our original post on sequel news & thoughts.


If Mattel has any say, here’s the plot to maximize CARS on screen, CARS on sale and SEALED cases of CARS in our garage …

“After winning back to back Piston Cup’s (seen in glorious flashbacks of course), McQueen retires with Sally and the little subcompacts back in Radiator Springs where he teaches up and comng Piston Cupers … his kid-CARS don’t believe dad could once be a great racer so McQueen joins the great race around the world for one last thrill.”

That should be good enough for about 600 CARS? (in addition to the 400 we’ll have by 2010).

Clear out the guest room, kick out the mother-in-law, emancipate the kids to live on their own – we all need more room!

BTW, the story on DarkHorizons alludes to they think CARS was not a hit … of course, since Pixar sets a benchmark perception-wise, anything short of a $100 million dollar opening has the feel it didn’t hit on all cylinders, but I think DarkHorizons might want to take a look at the top 5 domestic grossing films of 2006 … humm, who’s that at #3?

Top Five Films of 2006

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”
$423.3 million

“Night at the Museum”
$250.8 million

$244.0 million

“X-Men: The Last Stand”
$234.3 million

“The Da Vinci Code”
$217.5 million

CARS was also the 2nd best selling DVD of 2006 – just a shade behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest at around 12 million copies sold – 5 million sold in its first week.


Filed under Advertising, Design, Film, Financial, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Media

2-Pk Disney Cars Movie Moments On Sale at Target

Dropped in at the Target in the northern ‘burbs of Atlanta, Georgia to see if the peg warmers had any new company and noticed this:

Target price info tag

Looks like our little buddies are on sale through March 24th! At least in the Southeast part of the U.S……    Happy hunting everyone…


Filed under Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Toys

Hasbro Mighty Muggs Checklist: Star Wars, Marvel & Indiana Jones!

THIS Post has been updated and moved to our new – Simply click on the text link or the logo above. Thanks!

The quick snapshot of Mighty Muggs at Comic Con 2008 and our new Mighty Muggs Trading Post.


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