Cars 3 Diecast Characters from Pixar

Pixar has been pretty regular with the milking schedule for the Cash Cow that is the CARS franchise. The first movie was a sensation, the second movie had to grow on you, and who knows how Cars 3 will be received?

But already the merchandise is filling toy shelves! What I noticed right away is that all of the old characters are simply being enclosed in Cars 3 packaging and sold as if they were new. They aren’t. No new poses or paint jobs for the most part.

So I kept looking and found a few new characters that were interesting enough to add to my Radiator Springs diecast collection. The first being:

Cars 3 Jackson Storm Face

Jackson Storm

Here is the story synopsis for the movie: Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician with her own plan to win, and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage!

Mr. Storm appears to be the main competitor that McQueen will have to face.

Cars 3 Jackson Package FrontCars 3 Jackson Package Back

Rather Generic Packaging

Cars 3 Jackson Storm ProfileCars 3 Jackson Storm Bumper

Tough Styling

So just who is this guy? Jackson Storm is fast, sleek and ready to race. A frontrunner in the next generation of racers, Storm’s quiet confidence and cocky demeanor are off-putting—but his unmatched speed threatens to redefine the sport. Trained on high-tech simulators that are programmed to perfect technique and maximize velocity, Jackson Storm is literally built to be unbeatable—and he knows it.

Well, okay then!

The next racer to challenge McQueen for Piston Cup supremacy is Tim Treadless:

Cars 3 Tim Treadless Face

A Face Only a Mother Could Love

Cars 3 Tim Package FrontCars 3 Tim Package Back

Same Uninspired Packaging

Cars 3 Tim Treadless ProfileCars 3 Tim Treadless Bumper

Very Nice Paint Job

Not much is known about this character as yet. He isn’t even mentioned on Disney Wiki in the list of characters for the movie. He’s probably the right-hand car or at least a good friend of Jackson Storm.

Next we have another character, who although mentioned on Disney Wiki, isn’t given a bio:

Cars 3 Smokey Face

Smokey

Cars 3 Smokey Package FrontCars 3 Smokey Package Back

Seriously. Just a Cars 3 Logo?

Cars 3 Smokey ProfileCars 3 Smokey Bumper

Just on first blush, I’d have to say that this guy looks like a counterpart for Mater.

Cars 3 Smokey Side

I Just Love Old Trucks!

Cars 3 Smokey Top

Will He be Friend or Foe?

Cars 3 hits theaters on June 16th, 2017. I’ll be in the audience hoping that this third trip to the motor pool will be a successful one. I’m sure the toys will be! These diecast models were made by Mattel.

For more racing fun, check out an issue of Collecting Toys magazine that features slot racers.

P. T. Flea Diecast Character from Pixar’s Cars

It’s a given that none of us usually likes a flea. But that changes when they’re performing in a circus. Then. They. Are. Amazing! To go one better, what if the flea is the Ringmaster? Well, get ready to cheer for the one and only P. T. Flea:

P. T. Flea FrontP. T. Flea Right SideP. T. Flea BackP. T. Flea Left Side

Ya-da-dada-dada-da-da-dah-dah!

In the 1998 Pixar movie A Bug’s Life we meet our diminutive promoter as he tries to wrangle a less-than-successful group of circus performers.

We next meet him in a brief cameo, in the guise of a car no less, in the 2006 Pixar movie Cars. In both movies, he is voiced by Pixar’s lucky charm, John Ratzenberger.

P. T. Flea Package FrontP. T. Flea Package Back

Contained for your pet’s protection!

Okay, I had to let him out for this post, didn’t I? As far as I know, no one was bitten while this post was being prepared. I’m not sure about the animals.

P. T. Flea Undercarriage

Made by Mattel

P.T. Flea is a Nimbly Company No-See-Um LX that is painted brown. I don’t know what that is, nor do I know what the ‘Z S D’ on his license plate is supposed to represent.

I guess a few mysteries in life are fun!

For more diecast fun from the world of Cars, check out Rusty and Dusty Rust-eze from an earlier post.

Precision Series McQueen & Mater

I have got to stop visiting toy stores! I already have many variations of the die-cast models from the Cars animated movies by Pixar. I don’t have many of them on display because I just don’t have the room to do so. So naturally…

precision-series-cars-007

I buy more!

But these versions of the die-cast offerings are special (yeah, and my wife says I’m special too). They are a part of a larger play set produced by Mattel. You can learn all about this set by clicking this link where you will see a slideshow of other models available and a short video showing what Precision Series Radiator Springs looks like! And you might recognize this guy:

john

If you want to see the above diorama in person, it is on display at Disney’s California Adventure, I believe in Sarge’s Surplus Hut.

I picked up my models at Wal-Mart where they had only four characters: The Sheriff, Sarge, and of course Lightning McQueen and Mater:

precision-series-cars-002     precision-series-cars-005     precision-series-cars-008

precision-series-cars-003     precision-series-cars-004     precision-series-cars-009

Once out of the packaging each model is enclosed in a case for display purposes:

precision-series-cars-cases-002

Each model comes with a plate that looks like it could be used as a key fob. McQueen’s hood opens and Mater has a working headlight and…

precision-series-cars-cases-001

A working tow hook!

This is a first for this character in die-cast. Most of the characters have a thing that they do, either on their own, or when they interact with their playset ‘home’.

But no matter how cool this series of die-cast models is going to be I won’t be buying any more. Cost and display space forbid it! But if I could afford to buy the entire town of Radiator Springs? I’d throw away the double bed in the spare room!

Each Precision Series die-cast model retails at $14.95 CAN. If you’re interested.

Cars Characters: Tomber

I’m still adding to my Cars/Cars 2 characters collection ,even though the films are quite old now. Every once in a while I’ll find a variant that interests me.

The character named Tomber has a connection to my heritage, as my parents are both British (I was born in Canada). Britain is where this type of car was manufactured, as well as in France.

Tomber 006

Tomber is a dubious little French car with an unusual, and very unstable, three-wheeled design that befits the meaning of his name: ‘to fall’. By trade he deals car parts from a stall in a Parisian market—though his questionable merchandise sources have led to his reluctant acquaintance with British secret agent Finn McMissile.

Tomber 004     Tomber 003

Tomber largely resembles the English Reliant Regal three-wheeler, but also bears similarities to a French Citroën AMI, most notably in his double-headlight structure. The Citroën DS also seems to have been an inspiration, mainly for the position of his rear turning indicators, which are situated in the upper corners of his rear window.

Tomber 012     Tomber 013

Tomber’s license plate is PCS NO1R, an abbreviation for the French “pièces noires,” a reference to the black market parts which he deals.

Tomber 007  Tomber 005  Tomber 011  Tomber 010

Let’s look more closely at this cars inspiration, the English Reliant Regal:

English Reliant Regal

The Reliant Regal was a small three-wheeled car manufactured from 1953 until 1973 by the Reliant Motor Company in Tamworth, England, replacing the earlier Reliant Regent cyclecar van. As a three-wheeled vehicle having a lightweight construction, under UK law it is considered a “tricycle” and can be driven on a full (class A) motorcycle licence. A light-commercial version with a side-hinged rear door was marketed as the Reliant Supervan. This version you may remember is the one Mr. Bean kept running off the road in his hit comedy series.

Watch an informative and hilarious documentary on driving, and rolling, a three-wheeled Reliant automobile:

 

Tomber 009

The most common view of any Reliant Regal/Robin

Yes sir, I have got to get me one of these for real!

Pixar’s Cars: Dinoco Showgirl #1

Showgirl: “A woman, typically attired in an elaborately decorated costume, who performs in a musical or theatrical production.”

In the world of Disney/Pixar’s Cars there were a few showcars (who were girls) that did wear, at least, an elaborately decorated headpiece:

Dinoco Showgirl 3

Probably a cousin of Mia and Tia

Dinoco Showgirl 1     Dinoco Showgirl 2

We know that the original dream of Lightning McQueen was to win the sponsorship for the mega-corporation Dinoco. Not in small part because Dinoco had glitz, glamour, and… Showgirls!

Dinoco Showgirl 4     Dinoco Showgirl 5

It wasn’t until McQueen met a little blue Porsche named Sally (coincidentally, also sporting a beautiful blue paint job) that his dream changed.

Dinoco Showgirl 6

These die-cast models are well done by Mattel and are made in China. So what more can we say about this Showgirl?

Va-Va-Vrooooom!

For more die-cast Cars characters related to sponsorship, see Pixar’s Cars: Walmart Wally Hauler by clicking the link.

Planes: Tractor Buck and Friend

The movie Planes (which was simply a redo of the script for Cars) wasn’t one of my favorites. But the sequel, Planes: Fire and Rescue, was much better, and had some very interesting characters. And interesting characters means interesting merchandise!

To see some of this merchandise, please read my early posts entitled Disney CHiPs and CHoPs and Merchandise: Planes – Fire and Rescue. When you’re done, be sure to return and have a look at this:

Tractor Buck 3

Tractor Buck 1     Tractor Buck 2

TRACTOR BUCK

Tractors as dumber characters started in Cars with the tractor-tipping scene when Mater was showing Lightning McQueen a country good time. In Planes – Fire and Rescue, the theme is continued brilliantly with this buck decked out in John Deere green:

Tractor Buck 4     Tractor Buck 6

Tractor Buck 5

The wheels turn

Wondering what Tractor Buck would look like if he were tipped? Wonder no more:

Tractor Buck 7

When we visited Disneyland and got to tour the awesome Cars Land, we enjoyed the attraction Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. The ride vehicle is made up of a cow tractor pulling a wagon. I was able to find this die-cast version:

MJJ Ride Vehicle 1     MJJ Ride Vehicle 2

MJJ Ride Vehicle 4

We didn’t get tipped, just spun around!

Of all the clever nature-into-vehicles transformations, I think the cow-into-tractors and tractor buck are the most ingenious! What are your favorite Cars/Planes characters?

Book Review: Toy Wars

G.I. JOE AND BARBIE FIGHT IT OUT

Toy Wars Book 001

I love a good read. But I realize, after recommending many books to friends, that not everyone has the same taste in literature. My taste is so varied that I can’t always be assured of a good response when I gush about my latest greatest read!

This book however, printed in 1998, should appeal to a fairly wide cross-section of readers. It’s a historical account of two large U.S. companies. It’s a tale of family tragedy and triumph. It’s an educational thesis on corporate America and the share holder effect. Ultimately, one could say it’s a basic story of good versus evil. So, it should appeal to a few different types of people!

Toy Wars Book 002

Hasbro (the main company followed in this book) and its rival Mattel rise from small family companies to huge stock-driven toy giants, with both good and bad results. They gobble up just about every other main player in the toy and children’s entertainment markets with only one goal: To become the single biggest, if not the only, toy company on earth!

Some books like this, with such subject matter, are dry and hard to get through. But G. Wayne Miller manages to make it a page-turner by keeping the focus as much on the families who own the companies as he does on the companies themselves, with all of the toy development, successes and failures, brought on by a fickle group of consumers, the children of the world.

And my favorite part of this read was learning just how many of my childhood toys these two companies own the rights too! Here is a basic breakdown of the Hasbro line:

Hasbro Gaming

  • Monopoly
  • Twister
  • Scrabble
  • Yahtzee
  • Clue
  • All Hasbro Gaming

Girls

  • Nerf Rebelle
  • My Little Pony
  • My Little Pony Equestria Girls
  • Littlest Pet Shop
  • Furby
  • All Girl Brands

Boys

  • Nerf
  • Beyblade
  • Star Wars
  • B-Daman
  • Transformers
  • Mr. Potato Head
  • G. I. Joe

Preschool

  • Play-Doh
  • Playskool
  • Furreal Friends
  • Baby Alive
  • Elefun and Friends

Mattel also has many brands under its name. Both companies have bought up various companies to own beloved properties. Below is a partial list of Mattel’s line of products:

Barbie, Hotwheels, Monster and Ever After High, WWE, Disney, and too many more to list here. Please click the links to the official sites for more information and product lines.

Barbie Toy Line

Ever heard of any of these toys? Sure you have! But if you want to hear the stories behind their creation and marketing, you need to read this book. And again, you’ll be surprised at just how many of your childhood favorites came directly from these two bitter rivals.

I’d give this book a 4.5 stars out of 5. A must-read for any true toy fan or collector!

Jesse Dolls from Mattel

One of the stand-out characters from Toy Story 2 was Jesse, the Yodeling Cowgirl. It was amazing to see her introduce Woody to all of the vintage merchandise from his marionette TV show! Right from the first blush, I’ve wanted to add her to my toy collection.

The Roundup Gang 003

The Roundup Gang merchandise

But here’s the thing: Almost all of the dolls produced of Jesse look… freaky. The manufacturers seemed to pattern her expression off the scene where Woody first meets her and she is closing in on him. Remember?

The Roundup Gang 001

The Roundup Gang 002

“It’s you! It’s you! It’s you!” – Jesse

Since then, I’ve been able to buy one deluxe version (with real wool hair and normal expression) and now these two great dolls from Mattel:

Jesse Cowgirl Fr     Jesse Cowgirl Bk

Jesse Cowgirl Tp

COWGIRL JESSE

Jesse Square Dance Fr     Jesse Square Dance Bk

Jesse Square Dance Tp

SQUARE DANCE JESSE

There’s a Lots of Looks Jesse but the vendor only had these two of the set. I was able to get them for $10 US each plus tax, which I thought was quite reasonable. Both go for over $30 US on eBay, plus shipping. He had three of the Square Dance Jesse doll and two of the Cowgirl Jesse doll. This was good as I was able to take the ones in the best condition.

Mattel marketed these in 2001 as part of the Toy Story and Beyond! line. This opened up the merchandising of the movie to feature costumes and props that weren’t in the original movies but were merely inspired by them.

Well, I reckon it’s time for this cowpoke to two-step out of here, so git along little bloggers!

This post was brought to you by: COWBOY CRUNCHIES