Author Archives: tizmanian

Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Motor Speedway of the South Sneak Peek

Yes, we are are edging closer to an actual release date for the Motor Speedway of the South set with REAL evidence of the set. The “Sneak Peek” photos are up at the Hot Wheels Collectors Club (in the Red Line Club Sneak Peek section). Only PC users can see the photos so they are provided here before you sign up – info on how to join are in our post link at the end.



As we only in the ‘sneak peek’ phase of the sale.

For those unfamiliar with the normal process for the Red Line Club. During the year, Mattel sells 10-15 exclusive cars (or sets) to Red Line Club members. Often, they will put up ‘sneak peek’ photos (not always) but then about 11-12 days out will announce when the item will be available for purchase and start a countdown counter.

As of right now, there is an exclusive ’67 Ford Mustang with a countdown counter that ticks to zero on April 29th so what does that tell us about when the Motor Speedway of the South will go on sale?

We can do an additional process of elimination. Since there is a Hot Wheels car on sale to members on the 29th of April, and there is almost always 10 days from the announcement of “what’s new & exclusive” to the day of the actual sale process – the earliest the set will go on sale is probably May 13, 2008.

Mattel almost always lists the start time on a Tuesday and the 13th is a Tuesday.

So on May 3rd or May 4th, the official announcement, the price and the countdown clock should go up … IF the on-sale date is the 13th.

The subsequent Tuesdays are May 20th and May 28th.

It would highly unlikely to stretch into June as the “sneak peeks” rarely if ever go up more than 2-3 weeks out before the official price & release date announcement. (They also mention ‘time to go racing in May.’)

And it’s not likely to be the 6th, the first Tuesday in May since that sort of crowds/clouds the preview & selling period of the current car (the 2008 RLC™ sELECTIONs™ ’67 Ford Mustang) – every once in a while though, the cars offered will overlap, not likely but possible.

And no, we don’t know if there are any exclusives AND of course, they will not announce if the CARS will be available in another configuration or when.

The only real mini-surprise is that they are not on cards but that makes sense, it makes for a nicer display and it saves Mattel money – since some of the Piston Cup racers barely make it on screen and Mattel can apparently only use ‘official’ artwork rendered by Pixar (for instance, their Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater card featured regular Mater), there would be a lot more work on their part to come up with card art for all 36 racers.

Any other questions – presumably, they’ve been answered in our recent & older posts so good luck everyone!

(the link shows photos & names of each CAR but the sneak peek from Mattel also included some more officially shots of the Piston Cup racers)

All Photos © Mattel Inc, Mattel RLC Club & Disney/Pixar.

By the way, for international customers – in an older post of ours, we have some suggestions on getting a US pre-paid credit card (scroll down to middle of post). Now, I have NOT tested this out for the Mattel Red Line Club purchases so I am not saying it’s 100% guaranteed but it’s a suggestion you can test out or try if you’re interested in trying to avoid eBay. Good luck

ALSO NOTE: To sign up for the Red Line Club, you must FIRST be a member of the Hot Wheels Club (which is free) so sign up in the HWC first – then click on SHOP and add a Red Line Club membership to your cart.

Un-boxing UPDATE POST here.



Filed under Advertising, Apple, CARS, collecting, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Media, Retail, Toys, TV

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

Peter Jackson to Helm The Hobbit

peter jackson new Peter Jackson apparently is burying the hatchet and will be involved in creating the long-awaited Hobbit film!

The adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s 1937 novel (talk about longevity in a property) is set to be split into two films which are scheduled for release in 2010 and 2011. Of course, denials abound from both Jackson and New Line Studios but the web is rife with this story today.

Derailed by rights issues for some time over monies Jackson felt owed to him from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy of films (and not a small sum either), it appears the films are a go.

Jackson will not be directing however but producing the new films with a director yet to be announced. Too soon for any casting details but one wonders if they’ll sneak Ian Holm back into the project. He’ll be too old to play a young Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit for sure.

bilbo Courtesy of the Brothers Hildebrandt.

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Filed under Books, Film

Political Punditry On “The Race” So Far

Ron Paul was recently asked about Dennis Kucinich becoming his running mate which he supported.  That’s like a fat chick asking her fatter roomate to attend the Tappa Kegga Beer house party…no one cares and worse they get ignored like hippie at a VFW bar.

While the Republicans race toward mediocrity, the Democrats are finally waking up to the fact that there ‘love-in’ with Billary had better end quickly if any of the Donkey party contenders have a prayer on making it past the first two caucuses.

Obama is cranking up the numbers in the latest Iowa polling as is Edwards which is making Billary’s crew pour more money and other resources into the state that they would rather spend elsewhere.

My favorite Republican contender is also showing some Iowa poll steam.  Mike Huckabee is now ranking second in polling in Iowa.  Since he is the most straight talking and non-waffling aspirant in either party of course the media is scared to death of him as that means low Nielsen ratings (and let’s face it – 99% of MSM hate anything Republican).

There are those in the “press” who are already trying to shut down Huckabee’s momentum by saying “OK, Huckabee wins Iowa.  So what?  What does he do for an encore?”.  I’ll tell you what he does.  He starts to  quickly attract money and attention which is what those that lag behind do (not too many people remember the low 7% polling in Iowa that Kerry had going into that caucus and guess who ended up with the nomination?)

McCain drags too much baggage around with him and has stopped short of saying the one thing he should which is that Bush #2 has totally screwed up by allowing Cheney to yank him around by his short hairs.  Loyalty in politics is not something you want to be known for believe it or not (look at how often Reagan dumped his cronies when the political winds changed – Bush should have co-opted that playbook by dumping Cheney and several others going into round 2 but that is wishful thinking at this stage).

The scariest part off this coming presidential election isn’t who is running so much (although there is plenty to be scared of there).  It is in not hearing a dang thing about who is waiting in the wings of each candidate to suckel at the Washington teat.  Just who would any of these people choose for a VP running mate?

Imaging any of the top three Dems bonding in any fashion is like trying to envision cold fusion happening.  You may yearn for that to be so but there is no freaking way it will work.

The Republicans got it easier and I wonder just what would happen if say Romney or Giuliani who declare their VP running mate now.  You could get two people out in the populace stumping for votes for the top guy and double your ability to gain media attention.  I think whatever scrutiny comes your way as a candidate would easily be worth it.  You would force the Dems to babble on about what the Republicans are doing and lose any ability to keep any traction with the media spin.

Can you imagine someone like Huckabee pulling in someone like Bloomberg as his announced running mate just after the Iowa caucuses?  The media would flip and Huckabee would have major free press rolling into the subsequent caucuses.  That won’t happen unfortunately but I wish it were so.  What could very well happen is that Huckabee is selected as the winning Republican’s VP.  He draws the evangelical vote, the southern vote, as well as several others and would probably be best paired with Giuliani.

Who would Billary choose?  In taking the wild ride scenario one step further, why not hubby Bill?  If Billary wins (and she won’t even make the Dem nomination – sorry Donkeys), she may as well let him have the Veep role as he will be parading around the White House sticking his nose into things (and probably not only his proboscis).  And if not Bill, who?

The next election will be a startler to be sure and the coming months will be filled with surprises.  Too bad so much is at stake or I would enjoy the process.

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Filed under Politics

Two-thirds of the World’s Workforce Controlled by 630 Thousand Execs

According to a new survey carried out by Ipsos Media, America’s senior executives, CEOs and other C-suiters from mid- to large-size companies have a enormous appetite for quality business information.

Their survey shows that the average American business leader is male, aged 51, earns $408,000 per year, and has a personal net worth of $1.7 million (no mention of being bald although that is a safe bet). As a group, they garner a total combined annual income of $246 billion with combined personal net worth valued at over $1 trillion.

Members of this group are eager “to acquire new knowledge and quality information”. Interestingly, more than half said money was not their key motivation (could have fooled me), showing quality of life is a high priority amongst the business elite (maybe that explains the $15,000 umbrella stand ex-CEO Denis Kozlowski charged to his company, Tyco).

The Ipsos survey shows that America’s 630,000 senior business executives represent over 72,000 companies, responsible for over $1.7 trillion in annual expenditures which represents a sum greater than the gross domestic product of Italy, or that of Russia and Australia combined.  Their payrolls are comprised of 144 million employees which is approximately two thirds of the US workforce or one-half of the U.S. adult population.

More key findings include:

  • Eight out of ten say they are not afraid to take business risks (like charging your company for $15,000 umbrella stands).
  • Seven out of ten agree that return on investment is a key factor in their business decisions (ROI to them or the company?  Are all Board of Directors on the take?).
  • Nine out of ten also say they are prepared to pay more for quality (see the umbrella stand).

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Filed under Financial, General, Marketing

Photo Fun On A Friday

I stumbled across the following photo yesterday and got a good belly laugh out of it.  Let’s have some fun…generate you favorite headline in the comments section of this post and we’ll pick the winner (of our sincere admiration).  Here are some to get you started:

“Brains…we want your brains!”

“Appalachian Mining & Critter College Modeling Contest Winners Celebrate”

“Hey!  I told you NO zombies in the frat house!  Oh, they’re dues paying members?  That’s cool.”

Have fun!


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Filed under General

New Star Trek Film In Development Names Kirk Actor

chris pine

Little-known actor Chris Pine has been chosen to play the young Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movie. Pine’s most familiar role opposite Lindsay Lohan (NSFW pic) in “Just My Luck” in 2006. The balance of the announced cast is looking pretty strong.

Here is what the teaser movie poster looks like:

star trek 11 poster

The film, which chronicles the early days of the Enterprise crew, will be released in the US on 25 December 2008. I can’t think of too many better Christmas gifts…well, I can but with JJ Abrams at the helm of Star Trek XI, the odds are quite good that the film will be boffo. There is that nagging Star Trek Movie Curse to avoid however so here’s hoping they dodge that sword of damacles. Now if we can just get Abrams to get Lost episodes out more quickly!

The movie will show the crew meeting at the Starfleet Academy and embarking on their first mission. It is rather hard to think that every buddy you would make at the academy would all show up for one of the most coveted jobs in the Starfleet (aka on the [Enterprise) is a bit of a stretch, but suspension of disbelief is my movie mantra. Besides, reworking the legacy of well know film properties has worked for James Bond and for Batman so this strategy should prove to work well for Star Trek.

Paramount Pictures is behind the film so you can expect the proper investments will be made. Shooting is expected to begin in November 2007.

The most recent Trek film, Star Trek: Nemesis, was released in 2003 so there has been plenty of time for that film to have faded from the old memory banks and allow a new team to take our imaginations where ‘no man has gone before’.

Here is what we know so far about the cast:

Captain KirkChris Pine

Kirk’s DadChris Hemsworth is coming out of nowhere to play George Kirk (James T’s dad) according to Variety.

Older Mr Spock Leonard Nimoy (what other actor had it so good? Long live Spock! He finally gets to play a Sarek role)

Young Mr SpockZachary Quinto (you hate him on Heroes as the arch nemesis Sylar) UPDATE: Follow this link for first look pics from the set including this shot of young Mr. Spock aka Quinto (courtesy of JFXonline – their watermark):

young spock

Scotty Simon Pegg (a nice choice! Remember Diary of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and Grindhouse?)

Nero Eric Bana (I’m not a huge fan of Bana and I thank the movie gods that he was bumped from playing Wolverine in X-Men for Hugh Jackman who I thought did a bang-up job. Since no one knows what role “Nero” is set to play bank on the character name making him a chief rival to the ‘young’ Kirk) Update: Rumor has it that the Nero character will be Romulan.

Ayel Clifton Collins Jr. An actor that is on the rise will play a General and cohort sucking up to Nero played by Bana.

Uhura Zoe Saldana (Smokin’ hot is all I have to say..remember the hot pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl?)

Chekov Anton Yelchin (An actor born in the USSR should bring authenticity to this role even though he’s a bit unknown)

Sulu John Cho (Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle actor…not exactly a recommendation but we have hopes).

Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoyKarl Urban You may recall Karl as Eomer in Lord of the Rings and the main nemesis in the Bourne Supremacy.

Amanda Grayson aka Spock’s Mom Winona Ryder was recently announced as taking on this role which was played by Jane Wyatt on the original series. Which begs the question of who will play the younger Sarek? It would be odd to see Winona play opposite Winona as young Spock’s mom and dad. Since she is only six years older than Quinto as young Spock, there is either heavy makeup to be seen (we hope not) or flashbacks in store (again, not preferable but who knows…)

Christopher PikeBruce Greenwood will play the role which was to be the original captain of the Enterprise. In the pilot Pike was played by Jeffrey Hunter who later bailed out after the pilot was rejected thus making room for Kirk. Hs role as the first captain of the Enterprise was written back in with The Menagerie episode, one of the original series best imo.

It seems like if you worked with Abrams on Alias you have a shoo-in to be in this film (check out the on the actor profiles and you’ll see what I mean). That being said there are three additional actors announced for the film but not tied to specific roles yet which are: Rachel Nichols, Jennifer Morrison, and Greg Grunberg of Heroes.
Roberto Orci is the co-screenwriter who worked with Abrams on the tv show Alias. Let’s hope he has some chops for the big screen. His upcoming Amazon sounds intriguing especially if the rumored actress is cast. He has another big film with mega budget but hit and miss director Michael Bay at the helm called 2012: The War For Souls. He is rumored to be a big fan so that offers significant hope. The other co-screenwriter is Alex Kurtzman. Kurtzman is best know for his work on Transformers and MI:III. Check out a very good and lengthy interview with Orci about the new film here.

The Reykavik-based newspaper DV confirmed that representatives of Paramount are actively working with the local Icelandic film company Sagafilm in order to find suitable filming locations for the 11th movie outing of the franchise. Iceland, in addition to having undisturbed robust vistas, allows film production companies to reclaim up to 14% of their production costs. Not bad for film work, eh?

The long time production designer is being passed over for new blood as well so don’t be surprised if you see some things very different about this new (old aka prequel) Star Trek.

Abrams and Paramount are pretty smart about how to set the marketing in motion as well. There is a planned Star Trek: The Tour launching in January 2008 which will preface the film nicely I would think. Sign up for news on that here.

The cool blog even created their own trailer. Check it out:

Updated:   Check out the new (old) Enterprise!



Filed under Film, Science

Apple Will Open iPhone To Outside Applications

iphone apps screenies

Steve Jobs stumbled a bit around the quick price drop of the new iphone so maybe he is learning because the Apple web site confirms that Apple will be opening up the iPhone and iPod Touch to third party developers.

While the recent iphone update (ver 1.1.1) bricked hacked iPhones, it also bricked iPhones running legitimate third party apps. Oops. What to do?

Jobs said Apple intends to release a software development kit (SDK) in February 2008 that will enable coders to create applications to work directly on the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

More chat apps (such as AIM) and games (no more Bejeweled apps – give us FPS!) could be on the way soon if the track record of third party app creation is any indication. The first guy that figures out how to get Skype on the iPhone is going to get rich. Imagine skirting the deathstar and making free calls via Skype using the iPhone’s wifi hookup. Sweet!

It is possible that Apple will insist on approving all software, and on limiting sanctioned distribution to an Apple-owned Web site (helloooo, iTunes), much like it already does for software for Macintosh computers and operating system widgets

Apple has always said that the iPhone runs Mac OS X at its core, but in practical terms it’s really a new operating system that Apple has put together for the iPhone with common DNA from Mac OS.

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Filed under Apple, Apple Mac, Gadgets, iPhone

Dr. Grordbort’s Rayguns Courtesy of WETA Are Out of This World

Cheesy headlines aside, haven’t you ever wanted to own a raygun? Or at least one that looks and feels like it was a close to a real one as possible?

Well, the good folks that helped bring The Lord of the Rings and its slate of collectibles to life have created a new division down in Kiwi-land to help build an array of incredibly detailed limited editions raygun collectibles worthy of display.

Dr. Grordbort’s Rayguns

Dubbed “Doctor Grordbort’s Infallible Aether Oscillators” these Rayguns are created as limited edition pieces. They will be making only 500 of each gun worldwide, all of which will be handcrafted and made out of metal with some glass parts. Every Raygun comes with its own velvet lined pressed tin case, Certificate of Authenticity and an assortment of implements and crafting tools.

Here is the Manmelter 3600ZX Sub-Atomic Disintegrator Pistol:

manmelter box

Not only that, these weapons are not made in Hong Kong out of skimpy metal or painted plastic.  These suckers weigh in at over 7 pounds each and are no light investment by weight or by cost unfortunately (these babies will set you back $690 + tax U.S.).  The rayguns are being limited to runs of only 500 signed and numbered editions.

A catalogue for reviewing and purchasing these limited edition rayguns called “Doctor Grordbort’s Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory” can be purchased in January 2008 for under $20. Items such as getting ammunition for your Manmelter which takes Phlogiston and Compressed Aether phials can be ordered through the Doctor’s the upcoming Contrapulatronic Dingus Directory.

A smaller and less detailed Miniature Manmelter was put up for sale as an exclusive at this year’s past Comicon and the 500 short run quickly sold out (and was a steal for $30).

Lots of fun artwork and even a short film can be found at the main web site here where you can gaze your eyes on the lovely Moon Mistress:

Moon Mistress

All hail the Manmelter!  Death to Venusians!

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Filed under Design, Gadgets, Universe

Led Zeppelin Music Finally To Be Made Available in Digital Format

led zeppelin

The venerable mag Variety is reporting that Led Zeppelin will have its music available on digital platforms from all online retailers beginning Nov. 13.

Now you can get the Led out via MP3!

The band has also made a deal with Verizon to have its songs available as ringtones (is nothing sacred?).

Led Zeppelin has been one of the most prominent hold outs from making their music available via electronic delivery.  Yet another sign of the music industry changing forever or maybe Jimmy Page needs some Monopoly money…

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Filed under Film, Media, mobile, Music, Retail