Donald Duck OUT OF SCALE Sketchbook Ornament

Donald Duck starred in the 1951 theatrical Short entitled Out of Scale. In this film Donald has built a little town in his backyard complete with a model steam locomotive no less. But pesky Chip and Dale move in and the war is on! You see, the tree the little chipmunks live in is just not the right scale.

Well, a new Sketchbook Ornament released by The Disney Store commemorates this great Short, and here it is:

ctf-exhibitors-019

Choo-Choo!

When I purchased this ornament the Cast Member commented that I must like the classics. Do I? You bet!

ctf-exhibitors-021     ctf-exhibitors-020

The train will be on time!

It’s no secret that Walt Disney loved steam locomotives and I guess I’ve been bitten by the same bug.

ctf-exhibitors-022

I’m glad The Disney Store is keeping these old Shorts alive with these great ornaments!

Posted in Decorations, Disney Store, Figurines, Ornaments, Shorts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FINDING DORY Easter Egg: Dory & Hank Swim with Herbie

Disney/Pixar animators love to add little inside jokes to all of their theatrical releases and Finding Dory is no exception.

So somewhere near the beginning of the movie and in the end credits of Finding Dory we see a little white Volkswagen who could be no other than the famous Herbie the Love Bug himself. First, we see him with Dory just while she is trying to find someone to help her:

dory-and-herbie

And then we see Herbie being test driven by Hank:

finding-dory-activity-book-001

But how did Herbie get there? If you remember the film Herbie Goes Bananas you’ll recall that Herbie is punished by the Captain of The Sun Princess cruise ship by being made to ‘walk the plank’, or in reality, by being tipped overboard. Re-live the sad moment by watching the video below:

.

FUN FACT: The car that “walks the plank” in the movie was never recovered from the sea. It was tossed overboard from the SS Cozumel ferry ship. The car is somewhere between La Paz and Baja California. The car thrown overboard was not a proper car and had many wooden parts.

But for the purpose of this Easter Egg, we’re saying it is actually Herbie himself chillin’ at the bottom of The Big Blue. And although his trademark stripes and number 54 are worn off by years under the sea, he looks like he is still ready for one last drive with Hank:

finding-dory-activity-book-003

So is the initial pass in the night with Dory and this chance meeting between Hank the septapus and Herbie the Love Bug really possible? Would they end up in the same part of the Ocean? Well, consider the following map:

nemo-trip-map

In Finding Dory, she, along with Marlin and Nemo, once again leave the Great Barrier Reef and would again need to use the East Australian Current (EAC, dude) as a highway. This time they would need to travel across the entire Pacific Ocean to a point just off the North-West tip of Africa where the EAC completes its circle and heads back to Australia. From there, they would have to swim up to California where the Marine Life Institute is located, in a picturesque Bay.

Now in the film, it is claimed that they simply use the California Current to make the entire trip, but this current doesn’t start over near Australia. And… it also flows South, so it would be going the wrong way to carry our characters up to California. But hey, it’s a movie, so lighten up!

As mentioned earlier, the cruise ship The Sun Princess dumped Herbie somewhere between La Paz and Baja California. So Hank and Herbie could definitely end up in the same part of the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of California.

Hypothesis: Proven! At least in my mind.

Posted in Humor, Movies, Pixar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

THE ROCKETEER Bend-Em Figure from JusToys

The Rocketeer is a 1991 American period superhero film from Walt Disney Pictures. It starred Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, and Timothy Dalton. The film is based upon the character of the same name created by comic book artist and writer Dave Stevens. Don’t be ashamed if you’re a Disney fan but don’t remember it! It was good but didn’t rock the world at the time of its release.

Set in 1938 Los Angeles, California, The Rocketeer tells the story of stunt pilot Cliff Secord who discovers a rocket-powered jet pack that enables him to fly without an aircraft. His heroic deeds soon attract the attention of Howard Hughes and the FBI, who are hunting for the missing jet pack, as well as Nazi operatives. I was hooked at ‘jet pack’!

So naturally I’ve tried to collect whatever memorabilia I can depicting this great character. And I’ve just recently added another piece to my collection:

ctf-exhibitors-023

Thank you Just Toys!

This is another rescue from an Antique Mall in Michigan. It is complete in its original packaging and has only a little bit of damage caused by the price tag.

ctf-exhibitors-026

Dynamic Packaging

I will be leaving this little guy in his package prison because I think it makes for a better display that way.

Posted in Collectibles, Comic Books, Figurines, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disney’s Animal Kingdom BIG DIG Clock

With the invention of the SmartPhone, who uses clocks or watches anymore? Well, I do, for one! And if they come molded into a piece of sculpture, even better:

ctf-exhibitors-027

Mickey’s uncovered a timepiece

This is a wonderful little figurine that comes from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World, Florida.

ctf-exhibitors-028     ctf-exhibitors-029     ctf-exhibitors-030

A good view from all sides!

I have another example of this clock-in-sculpture style of merchandise in the post entitled Waiting With Mickey Mouse. It comes from Disneyland Paris. Be sure to check it out!

ctf-exhibitors-032     ctf-exhibitors-033

Timepiece is removable

I recently rescued this from a lonely shelf at an Antique Market in Michigan, so obviously the timepiece needs a battery.

ctf-exhibitors-031

 “Big Dig in the Boneyard”

You can visit this area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom yourself. It’s an open air play space designed to look like a dinosaur dig site where kids can explore and have fun. Smack in the middle of DinoLand U.S.A., you just can’t miss it. After all, even the bones the dinosaurs left behind are BIG!

I wonder if dinosaurs could tell time?

Posted in Collectibles, Figurines, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jelly Belly FINDING DORY Jellybeans

We need a snack! Yell it with me. And if we’re going to pick a candy, what better candy to nibble on than:

ctf-exhibitors-018

A Fin-tastic Mix!

Now that you’ve got a solid sugar high, you’re probably feeling as ready as Marlin was for his second trip across The Big Blue! Or maybe not. Either way, let’s gaze one last time on the jelly bean goodness of Jelly Belly:

ctf-exhibitors-016               ctf-exhibitors-017

More please!

And I say ‘more please’ because I ate all of these soon after I purchased them and days before I got around to writing this post. So seriously, someone, GET ME MORE!

Posted in Food, Movies, Pixar | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: STAR WARS 501st Legion

The Force was with us as we attended the Chicago Toy & Game Fair as members of the Media. We were primarily there to review new products being offered by toy and game inventors, but we’re not above having a little fun while we work!

And nor, apparently, are these guys:

chicago-toy-fair-2016-010

Members of the Star Wars 501st Legion were on hand for a Star Wars luncheon and to pose with anyone who wanted to risk the wrath of the Emperor! My wife, above, took that risk.

And look who else was patrolling the perimeter:

chicago-toy-fair-2016-014     chicago-toy-fair-2016-013     chicago-toy-fair-2016-012

Adorable… but deadly!

And some pretty shady characters were also lurking about…

chicago-toy-fair-2016-018

… and he wasn’t alone…

chicago-toy-fair-2016-019

Along with the cosplayers were displays of Star Wars memorabilia…

ctf-21          ctf-20

If you look closely at the table pictured above, you’ll find a guide on how to build your own costumes with costing included.

And of course I scored a little swag in the form of these trading cards:

ctf-exhibitors-015

The booth for the Star Wars 501st Legion was quite impressive with several backdrops that people could use for photo ops. One was especially cool:

chicago-toy-fair-2016-011

My Wife: Action Figure

I’m not sure which Star Wars movie she was in, but I suspect it was one of the prequels. First Jar Jar Binks, and now this! Oh why, George? However, this is the rare MIB Star Wars Action Figure you’re looking for!

One last picture:

chicago-toy-fair-2016-017

Ho Hum. Just another shift on guard duty!

I’d like to thank the members of the Star Wars 501st Legion for being at the fair and for adding some much-needed respite in the middle of a very busy event! You can check out the Star Wars 501st Legion on their official website.

Posted in Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Trip Report: WALT DISNEY’S BIRTHPLACE in Chicago, IL

Do you have a Disney Bucket List? So far we’ve managed to visit both North American parks, we’ve taken a Disney cruise, attended a Disney press event (and saw John Lasseter), and now we have been able to add a special item to our list.

We just visited the birthplace of Walt Disney at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. in Chicago, IL:

walts-birthplace-002

Corner of N. Tripp Avenue & E. Palmer Street

It was raining off and on when we pulled up but we made the best of it and even managed to do a couple of live Facebook feeds.

walts-birthplace-003

From opposite corner

The outside renovations seem to be done and the sign out front indicates a finish date of December 5th, 2016. According to the official website fundraising is still underway to help with completion of the interior.

walts-birthplace-001

Exterior Sign

I took the time to walk around the place, which didn’t take too much time, as the piece of property it’s on is very small.

walts-birthplace-004

Side and rear

I noticed the two colors of siding and the different facing material on the rear. I read once that this building has had a few additions over the years. So it is likely that the yellow portion represents the original house built by Elias Disney and the rest representing subsequent renovation efforts.

walts-birthplace-005

walts-birthplace-006

Garage and small back yard

The city of Chicago tried to designate this property a heritage site but a previous owner blocked the effort. The present owner has worked hard with a dedicated team to make sure that this building will be around for years to come! In their words, the dream is that this property ‘becomes a portal to new approaches in early childhood development and helps to inspire future Walts and Roys.’

walts-birthplace-010     walts-birthplace-009

Front porch detail

So now we can cross another item off our Disney Bucket List. And just to make sure that there is no dispute:

walts-birthplace-030

Yup. I was really there!

walts-birthplace-025

And so was Karen!

 And now you’ve been there, virtually, too!

Posted in Attractions, Excursions, History, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pixar’s Planes: TED YALE Die-Cast

Who? Well, that’s what I said when I saw this little guy on the shelf at T. J. Max yesterday. While on holiday in Chicago we were checking out the local stores. We don’t have T. J. Max in Canada.

The idea behind this chain seems to be to sell name-brand merchandise at discounted prices. That is why I picked up Ted Yale for just $2.99 instead of his original sticker price of $9.99 US.

planes-ted-yale-diecast-006

Someone has a lot of luggage!

Planes didn’t do to well, although well enough to spawn a sequel called Fire and Rescue, which in my opinion was a better movie.

planes-ted-yale-diecast-003     planes-ted-yale-diecast-004

But after multiple viewings of both features I have come to appreciate them more and have grown to love the characters.

planes-ted-yale-diecast-007

Love the little bellhop hat he’s wearing!

This will make a great keepsake to remind us of our hotel stay in Chicago.

planes-ted-yale-diecast-008

Ted Yale: Unhooked

The three round bags hanging on the top rack actually move back and forth and you can unhook Ted from his cart. His wheels also move. If only real hotels had such cool bellhops!

Posted in Pixar, Toys | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BOOK REVIEW: Along Interstate 75

“The ‘must-have’ Guide for your drive to and from Florida!” This is how Along I-75 is billed on the cover and I can say from personal experience that it’s that and so much more.

along-i-75-001

Type: Soft cover

Pages: 206

Publisher: Mile Oak Publishing Inc.

ISBN: 978-1-896819-198

When my wife and I were planning our first drive down to Florida in 2007 we felt a little apprehensive. We hadn’t driven that far into the States before and had no idea how to plan hotel stays and how to find out what to see along the way. Of course, every State has a Welcome Center as you cross the border, but we wanted to do some advanced planning.

We were used to using Birnbaum guides for planning our itinerary at Walt Disney World, and so we checked the travel section at our local book store for similar travel guides. We found Dave Hunter’s Along I-75 and have never looked back!

along-i-75-003

With 19 years of publication behind it this guide is quite probably the most comprehensive tourist guide of its kind. Part map, part guide-book, it really does have everything the traveler needs to enjoy the drive between Detroit and Florida and back again.

along-i-75-004

This publication also doubles as a history book. If the drive is starting to bore you simply have your navigator (spouse/travel companion) read from the many white pages and enjoy hours of interesting stories about the people and events that happened all around you along the I-75.

But the main use of this publication is as a map. As mentioned, there are separate pages for going to Florida from Detroit, appropriately with yellow borders (for the sun you know!) And another set of pages for traveling back.

along-i-75-006

Speed limits, speed traps, exits, alternate routes, gas and food, entertainment, and trivia are all found on each and every page.

The key feature is the ‘upside down’ orientation. If you place the publication on your lap, you can follow the route from the bottom of each page to the top, mimicking the forward direction of your driving. Each page covers approximately 25 miles or 30 minutes of driving time. So if you want to eat in 2 hours, simply turn four pages ahead and check to see what restaurants are available in that area. Want to stop for the night in 4 more hours time? Turn 8 pages ahead and pick your favorite hotel.

along-i-75-005

Every vacation must come to an end and you eventually have to drive back to Detroit from Florida, so you simply follow the blue pages home again. Blue for cold. Snow. And depression!

Review: I can’t imagine a more comprehensive but easy to use guide! It is one of the few publications out there that deserves a full 5 out of 5 Stars. I’d give it more if I could!

We hope to put this 19th Edition to good use early next year as we once again take to the American highways (the I-75 specifically) to visit our happy place in Florida. In case you’re wondering, our happy place in Florida is Walt Disney World. Duh!

Posted in Books, Reviews, Travel, Vacation Planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SAVING MONEY For Your Disney Trip

Now I know you are probably going back to Disney to pick up even more treasures to add to your collection. And yes, some more memories too. But don’t rule out one of the best ways to generate capital to make that trip possible – selling off some of your existing Disney swag!


Selling Your Way to Disney

sell-sell-sell

I’m going to do this post in the form of a Top Five List. So without further ado, here are the Top 5 Reasons for Selling Your Way to Disney, which means selling some of your Disney collection to pay for your next Disney vacation:

Reason Five

Dusting

Do you like to dust? I don’t so my wife is always after me to dust my collectibles! I try to tell her that if I don’t dust, then when I pick up a collectible, I will know exactly where to place it down again due to the dust ring. And that is why men are more creative thinkers than women!

But you may want to clean the item up a bit before you sell it. Or have your spouse do it.

Reason Four

Space

outer-space

Outer Space is infinite. Your shelf space is not. Sooner or later, or probably sooner than later, you will start to run out of places to put your Disney stuff. When your children’s toys are all over the floor because their toy chest is full of your collectibles and your spouse’s closet space is disappearing, it may be time for a purge!

Reason Three

Re-focus

Back in the 1980’s you were all about The Little Mermaid and Roger Rabbit, but now we are living in the Millennium. We now have Baymax and Hank the Septopus merchandise everywhere! No one wants to look at the same stuff year after year, right?

OK, maybe we do, but sacrifices must be made. We’re trying to get to Disney, people!

Reason Two

Demand

You have it. Everyone else wants it. That is basically how the demand for Disney collectibles goes. So why not take advantage of someone else’s obsession and unload some unwanted stuff?

They’ll thank you for providing a new-to-them treasure and you’ll add some much needed capital to your Disney trip jar!

Reason One

Money

disney-dollar

You want it. Your unwanted Disney collectibles could turn into it. And seriously, if you want to go on a Disney vacation… you’re going to need lots of it! So get out there (or online) and sell! Sell! Sell!

And if you do, I’ll see you in the parks!

Posted in Lists, Tips, Vacation Planning | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments