Burago Disney Character Diecast Cars

Burago of Italy has produced many Disney-inspired diecast cars over the years. I’ve found three more to add to my collection, this time featuring Donald Duck and Sulley from Monsters Inc.

The packaging is original but in very bad shape and the cars themselves have seen better days. But let’s have a look while pretending that they are gently-used second-owner vehicles:

Burago Sulley Package

Mercedes 190 E

The Mercedes-Benz W201 was the first compact executive car from Mercedes-Benz introduced in 1982, positioned below the E-Class and marketed under variants of the Mercedes-Benz 190 nameplate.

Burago Sulley Car Side

Happy on the side…

Burago Sulley Car Front

Scary on the front!

Burago Sulley Car Underside

The W201 enjoyed strong sales in Europe but fared poorly in the United States. Series production ended in April of 1993 after the manufacture of approximately 1.8 million examples. I’m assuming less of this diecast replica were made!

Burago Donald Car Package 1

Volkswagen Golf ’98

The Golf is a small family car produced beginning in 1974 and marketed worldwide across seven generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates, such as the Rabbit in the United States and Canada and as the Caribe in Mexico.

Burago Donald Car Side 1

Angry on the side…

Burago Donald Car Front 1

Angry on the roof! Trust me.

Burago Donald Car Underside 1

Initially, most Golf production was in the 3-door hatchback style, and this appears to be the one Donald Duck prefers to endorse!

Burago Donald Car Package 2

Chevrolet Corvette

Production of the C5 Corvette began in 1997 and ended with the 2004 model year. This Burago version seems to be from this Fifth Generation run, although it could be a Fourth Generation model. Either way, Donald has ramped up his ride a tad!

Burago Donald Car Side 2

Angry on the side again…

Burago Donald Car Front 2

But absent from the top and hood this time.

For its first year, the C5 was available only as a coupe (as this diecast is), although the new platform was designed from the ground up to be a convertible, which returned in 1998.

These great little diecast models are in the 1/43 scale and have stickers to embellish them rather than paint-on-paint. As mentioned at the outset, these examples need a little TLC as some of the stickers are drying out and peeling. However, I only paid about $3.00 CAN each for them so I think I did alright overall!

Burago Disney Packaging

Vroom-vroom!

Disney Lesney/Matchbox Cars from 1979

I love die-cast cars and especially if they contain a Disney character in the driver’s seat. I found two examples from the same line recently and was able to catch up with them while they were on the ‘open road’:

matchbox-79-7

I think Donald is tailgating!

This line was produced by the Lesney Products & Company Limited for Matchbox. The cars themselves are the usual size for a Matchbox vehicle but the figures are obviously oversized! Let’s have a closer look:

matchbox-79-1

Goofy seems to be driving a Volkswagen Beetle while Donald may be driving a Volkswagen Dune Buggy.

matchbox-79-4

matchbox-79-2     matchbox-79-3

Coming and going

matchbox-79-6

I don’t know how many cars were released in each series but I did find out that Series 1 had Mickey Mouse in a red fire truck.

These are indeed die-cast cars as plastic hadn’t taken over yet back in 1979, and thank goodness! There is one last detail to point out:

matchbox-79-5

Can you read this license plate?

Could it be VB-5 standing for Volkswagen Beetle 5, the ‘5’ relating to its order in the car release schedule? That’s the best I can figure. Do you have another idea?

Sinclair Oil Corporation Inspired Pixar’s Dinoco

The Sinclair Oil Corporation is an American petroleum corporation, founded by Harry F. Sinclair on May 1, 1916, by combining the assets of 11 small petroleum companies. Originally a New York corporation, Sinclair Oil reincorporated in Wyoming in 1976. The corporation’s logo features the silhouette of a large green dinosaur. And there is where the Disney/Pixar tie-in begins!

Sinclair Sales Video 011

Dinoco is an oil company/gas station that has been seen in Toy Story and Cars. In Toy Story, the logo is an Apatosaurus. In Cars, the logo is a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dinoco may have been based on the Sinclair Oil Corporation, because it also uses an Apatosaurus as its logo (above).

I recently came across a vintage promotional film for Sinclair service station owners entitled Sinclair: You Are a Retailer. It likely dates from the early 1960’s if the vehicles in it are any indication.

Sinclair Sales Video 001

This was an extremely well done film for an in-house effort! And it yielded many interesting images…

Sinclair Sales Video 004     Sinclair Sales Video 006

Sinclair Sales Video 008

Directly above, you can see what a typical Sinclair service station looked like back in the days of full-service and friendly attendants. Below is what a Dinoco service station looked like in Toy Story:

Dinoco Station Toy Story

Let’s compare all three dinosaur logos side by side. First will be Sinclair, then Dinoco from Toy Story, and last Dinoco from Cars:

Sinclair Sales Video 011     Dinoco Toy Story     Dinoco Cars

The first two dinosaur logos are very close, but it appears the Dinoco of the Cars franchise decided to power up their Dino!

It was a real treat to find this vintage promotional film from Sinclair! And it is good to see that Disney/Pixar is paying homage to companies that have helped to shape the landscape we pass through on a daily basis.

Ding Ding! Fill’er up please!

Special Edition SCOTT RIGGS Nascar #10 Die Cast Car

The movie Cars by Pixar came out in 2006, and if scientists studied the matter, I’m sure they’d find some correlation between the number of stars in the sky and the number of die-cast models of the movie’s characters. Seriously.

And I have purchased my fair share.

Cars cars display

But not this many!

So now in a world where every extra automobile in the cast has his own ‘action figure’ on the market, it becomes increasingly hard to find a model that stands out as unique.

But I may have done so:

Cars Nascar 1

Cars Nascar 3

Scott Riggs (born January 1, 1971)

It’s not uncommon to link a Disney character with Nascar or other sporting industries. I have a larger Nascar model car sporting Daisy Duck. But you have to admit: a better marketing match than Cars and Nascar you will never find! This promotion was produced in 2005.

Burago Car 7

I’m always impressed with the level of detail they are able to add to such small models! But now let’s compare Scott’s actual car with the replica I just purchased:

Nacar 10

Actual

Cars Nascar 2

Die cast model

Close enough. Sporting Lightning McQueen and The King on the hood is a nice touch, but represents the only indication of Cars imagery on the model.

I haven’t taken the car out of the packaging yet. As the packaging is damaged (with the Hot Wheels stocking hook missing) is it still worth more packaged than loose?

I’ll probably unpack it and park it next to my Lightning McQueen model. Maybe they’ll race!

Book Review: Disney-Pixar Comics Treasury

I was going to be away from home for a while and wanted something to take with me to read. So I went to my local Chapters and found this book in the discount section:

Comics Treasury 001     Comics Treasury 017

HarperCollins Publishers Inc. 2014

It contains 14 adaptions of the Pixar films with 1 extra bonus story involving Wall-E. I’ve read about half so far and have found a pattern developing, even though different writers are responsible for some of the titles.

Comics Treasury 002     Comics Treasury 003     Comics Treasury 004

Being as I know the stories inside-out, I can follow the edited versions presented in the book reasonably well. But for first-time readers, many panels would not make sense, as crucial details are left out. It is obvious that these adaptions were not penned by seasoned comic book writers, individuals with a consummate knowledge of conveying a bigger story into the sometimes limiting space of comic book boxes.

Comics Treasury 005     Comics Treasury 006     Comics Treasury 007

Now is as good a time as any to mention the bonus story entitled Wall-E: Recharge. As you would expect, there is no dialogue to help you understand what is happening, and because of the aforementioned inexperience of the writers with this medium the story is all-but incomprehensible!

Comics Treasury 010

Comics Treasury 008     Comics Treasury 009     Comics Treasury 011

The best part of this treasury is the artwork! Every artist brought a great sense of the original story to each title with some truly breath-taking visuals. As a comic book fan from way back, this was a treat to read based only on the pictures (yup, I’m a picture guy).

Comics Treasury 012     Comics Treasury 013     Comics Treasury 014

Not to be too tough on this treasury, it’s still a fun read with good work done by all of the creative talent involved. I would definitely recommend it to any Disney parent who would like a nice book of bedtime stories to share with their little Disney fans-to-be!

Comics Treasury 015     Comics Treasury 016

Magical Blogorail: WDW Value Resorts Review

Value Resorts Offer Way More Eye Candy

AoA Resort

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Orange. Today we are reviewing the value resorts at Walt Disney World.

It is common to think of the value resorts only in terms of money. How much can I save by staying at one? But we might also think of them in terms of fun for families. How kid-friendly are they? Or we might choose one based on location. How close is it to my favorite theme park? All of these reasons for staying at a value resort are valid!

But you just know they aren’t the reasons I’m going to promote! No, I love the value resorts because I honestly feel they have a higher level of theming than both the moderate and deluxe resorts. Visit the Coronado Springs  or Polynesian resorts and you’ll come away with a few dozen photographs. Visit a value resort, like the Art of Animation (pictured above) and you can potentially come away with literally hundreds of amazing shots!

Pop Century

Pop Century Resort

Each value resort has a theme worthy of a photo essay! So let’s break them down:

All-Star Music – Music styles include: Calypso; Rock; Country; Broadway; and Jazz

All-Star Sports – Duh! But seriously, the sports represented are: Surfing; Baseball; Basketball; Tennis; and American Football

All-Star Movies – Expect to see giant representations of: 101 Dalmatians; Toy Story; Fantasia; The Mighty Ducks; and Herbie, The Love Bug

Pop Century Resort – Featuring pop cultural icons such as the: Yo-Yo, Mickey Phone (pictured above), Big Wheels, and too many more to list here!

Art of Animation – Four mega-themes: Cars; Little Mermaid; Finding Nemo; and Lion King

Of these five resorts, I’d say the best for theming are the Pop Century and Art of Animation. This is not to say the other resorts don’t yield magnificent photo opportunities, especially if music, sports, or movies are your thing. But Disney seems to have added so much more to the last two value resorts.

All Star Music

All-Star Music Resort

Karen and I stay almost exclusively at value resorts, even though we don’t have children, and could save up to stay at more expensive lodgings. But just walking through the themed walkways of each section of a value resort almost makes our vacations!

So when you’re looking to book your next on-site resort, don’t forget to consider the most themed resorts of all: Disney’s All-Star and Value Resorts!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Walt Disney World Value Resort Reviews Loop:

Disney Vehicles Found in the Real World

Disney animators love to give character to inanimate objects. And when they are fleshing out a human character, they usually imbue any objects they use or possess with a complimentary character trait.

While looking through my pictures from both the Motor Muster and Old Car Festival, held in Greenfield Village each year, I began to notice that I had some interesting Disney car tie-ins. Don’t know what I mean?

Scrncap3     DC Herbie

Exhibit One: Herbie Blushes

I was taking close-up pictures of some of the cars to get cool reflections and to optimize the shapes and features of each car. The shot above, of a Volkswagen Beetle, made me think of an embarrassed Herbie!

Scrncap2     DC Prof

Exhibit Two: Prof. Ned Brainard’s Flying Model T Ford

Inside the Henry Ford Museum you can see how an actual Model T Ford was constructed, and sit in or pose with an original model, as above. Yet no matter how much Flubber I used, I just couldn’t get this one to fly!

Scrncap4     DC De Ville

Exhibit Three: Cruella De Ville’s evil-looking Bugatti

I’m not sure just what model Cruella’s car was supposed to be in the animated film 101 Dalmatians, but it looks an awful lot like the vintage Bugatti above. Think how cool it would have been if this white Bugatti was covered in spots! But being as there are only 3 or 4 of these left in the world, and only this one in North America, I don’t suppose the museum will be upgrading the paint any time soon.

Scrncap10     DC Hudson Hornet

Exhibit Four: Doc Hudson as The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

The film Cars by Pixar came out in 2006 and I took the above picture in 2009. At the time, I never even clued in that I was looking at the inspiration for Doc Hudson’s racing career. And it took until 2014 for me to even realize I had this shot! It just goes to show that you never know when a Disney reference will pop up in your life.

For more information about this Disney reference, please visit my post entitled Keith Partridge Buy’s Pixar’s Doc Hudson over at My Dreams of Disney.

Scrncap6     DC Muppets MW

Exhibit Five: Interpol car from Muppets Most Wanted

Not an exact match, but when art imitates life, art often takes liberties. I think the essence of the fake car is definitely present in the real car! Sadly, no muppet emerged from the yellow version.

So if Beaker were a car, he’d end this post simply by saying: “Beep, beep!”

Chevron Autopia Pull-back Cars from Disneyland

I’ve never failed to ride the cars in Tomorrowland’s Speedway when visiting Walt Disney World, and so it was a no-brainer to ride the cars of Autopia when I visited the attraction (albeit after the Chevron sponsorship had ended) at Disneyland for the first time in January of 2013. To steer one of the original attractions was awesome!

Of course, I wished they didn’t have the guide rails that kept you on track (which they didn’t have on opening day) but we can’t have everything.

So I was delighted while on vacation in Florida this year to come across these two great Chevron Autopia cars:

Chevron Autopia Cars 001     Chevron Autopia Cars 005

DUSTY and SPARKY

I already had one car of the four-part set, below:

Toy Autopia Yellow Chevron +

CLASSIC

But I had to wait some time before I could finish my set, with Suzy:

Chevron Susy

SUZY

So I had to assemble my fleet from three separate locations!

Chevron entered into an agreement with Disney to sponsor this attraction in 1998, as this Press Release announces. Unfortunately, with the rising price of gas and for other reasons, Chevron only sponsored the attraction from 2000 to 2012. When we rode the cars in 2013, Honda had already taken over the sponsorship.

But the real fun comes from all of the great advertising stuff! These sets were released in 2000 to commemorate Disneyland’s 45th Anniversary. You could enter to win a Magic Disneyland Vacation:

Chevron papers 002     Chevron papers 003

If I wasn’t a completest, I’d scratch the card just to see what it says!

Chevron Autopia Cars 008

Same with the stickers: Can’t use them!

Chevron papers 001

I will never stop searching for this playmat!

Chevron papers 004     Chevron papers 005

The same postcard is included in all four of the Autopia Cars

Chevron papers 006

Disneyland Autopia Yesterday and Tomorrow booklet

Now this is by far the most awesome inclusion of the sets. It’s a foldout flyer-style publication with seven pages detailing the history of the Autopia attraction, and seven pages containing a story about the Chevron Cars called Road Rally to Autopia at Disneyland.

It doesn’t get any better than that! The history side contains archival pictures and concept art from the original ride in 1955, the redesign of 1967, and finally the Chevron makeover in 2000. The story side chronicles the Chevron Cars’ trip to Disneyland where they continually ask ‘Are we there yet?’, and finally arrive just as Disneyland is closing. But they are let in to play with their Autopia cousins all night long until morning comes and the Park opens again.

This inclusion is superb and so I will be doing a post on each of the stories later.

Chevron Autopia Cars 014   Chevron papers 007

Chevron Close up

Simply pull the cars back and they will speed away

Chevron Undercarriage

Chevron papers 008

Figures are removable

To quote Disneyland Autopia Yesterday and Today: “Cars are the ultimate vehicle for our imaginations: get behind the wheel and the world is ours. With a car and an imagination, we can go anywhere.”

Well, on the Autopia track, you can’t go anywhere, but you can let your imagination drive away with you!

Lightning McQueen Races in the Smarties Grand Prix

I love Smarties. You love Smarties. Lightning McQueen, although he races for Rust-EZ, loves Smarties! As we were crossing the border on our way to Florida, we stopped at the Duty Free Shop. And although most people would probably be stocking up on booze and cigarettes, we were just there for a bathroom break.

But put me in large area that sells curios and such, and I’m bound to buy something! Something like:

The complete package           Back of packaging

The Super Loop Racer

This came with three tubes of Smarties and a great toy, so I was hooked on sight. But when I saw that it was marked down to $9.99 US from $24.99 US, my wife had to stop me from buying more than one!

Contents reveal

They had me at ‘Smarties’

For ten bucks, you just can’t go wrong! Three tubes of Smarties (170 g each, which not being Gluten Free, I got to eat them all myself) and a cool race track toy was just the ticket to become the first official merchandise buy of our trip.

The toy

Not quite ready to race

At first, I thought this was how this toy was set up, so I punched the Launcher over and over again, trying to get McQueen to do the Super Loop of Doom. But he hit the side of the track. He missed completely. He crashed. I gave up! I figured we had another good idea gone wrong on our hands and took a pit stop to have dinner.

But while eating, and eyeing up the toy, I realized I hadn’t quite finished with the assembly yet:

Ready to Go!

NOW we’re ready to race!

The Launcher slots into the track (a detail they don’t show you on the packaging) which lines up McQueen for a guaranteed trip around the loop. However, you still have to steady the whole thing and hit the Launcher just right to get a full rotation. But it can be done, although I wonder how a younger child would fare.

Again, trust me to find a Disney collectible long before I reach Walt Disney World, and even before I officially start my trip! That’s just SO me.