Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Kazoo by Omara

This product is somewhat misnamed. The Mickey Mouse Kazoo is more like a blowhorn that one would use at a college pep rally. Have a look for yourself:

Rah Rah Shish Boom Bah!

This is a basic plastic toy, probably from the 1970’s, that doesn’t do much. You can yell in it all you want, but little amplification will occur! Although I did notice a little more volume when I tried it.

    

No holes = little sound amplification

There is a thin metal plate between the two white discs which I presume vibrates to create at least the illusion of amplification.

But for a little kid, it was no doubt a lot of fun bellowing into it and imagining the kids on the next block could hear them!

     Whatza matta kazoo?

Made in Hong Kong by Omara.

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.

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:

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.

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:

Actual

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!

Mickey Mouse Die Cast Car by Burago

I almost didn’t bother buying this die-cast model car. It did picture Mickey Mouse and is an item I had never seen before. The asking price was $9.00 CAN which I thought was a bit high. So I bundled it with two other cars (thank you American Pickers) and got a substantial reduction.

Who is Burago?

They manufacture toy cars and kits, among other items. Burago focuses on quality management systems. In the past twenty years, their factories have implemented QC, QA and IQC systems, and strictly adhered to international SQL standards. Additionally, all their factories have in-house laboratories equipped with qualified testing instruments. In 2005, their factory had successfully attained the ICTI (The International Council of Toy Industries ) CARE Process seal.

The purpose of the CARE Process is: To enable the worldwide toy industry to assure consumers that its products are manufactured in safe and humane environments. To achieve this, its intent is to provide a single, fair, thorough and consistent programmer to monitor toy factory compliance with the industry’s code of business practice.

Blah, blah, blah. But at least now we know that the toy featured in this post was not cruelly treated during its manufacture!

End of box

Now let’s have a closer look at the car itself:

    

1/43 Scale and Made in Italy

This is likely a Fiat, although no model is listed on the toy car or the packaging. But Fiat is the biggest automobile manufacturer in Italy, so it seems at least possible. I also found this picture of an early model Fiat on the Net for comparison:

Close! Again, this is a little unusual and so worth adding to my growing collection of Disney-themed die-cast cars.

Disney’s California Adventure SUPERSTAR LIMO Model

Disney’s California Adventure didn’t get off to a good start. The attractions left a little to be desired, including the one featured today. Superstar Limo was situated in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area of the park and was one of the original attractions featured on opening day on February 8, 2001. The attraction closed in 2002, earning the distinction of being the park’s first attraction to permanently close.

But it did spawn its share of merchandise, like this nice die-cast model of the ride vehicle:

The attraction’s purple “stretch limo” ride vehicles took riders through a cartoony rendition of Hollywood. Riders were introduced to stars, some of whom appeared at the time on ABC shows. Among the celebrities were Joan Rivers, Regis Philbin, Melanie Griffith, Antonio Banderas, Cindy Crawford, Tim Allen, Jackie Chan, Drew Carey, Cher, and Whoopi Goldberg. Whoopee Doo!

 

Out on the town!

This originally sold for $8.00 US back in 2001 but the asking price at the collectible store where I purchased it was $20.00 CAN. I grouped it with two other Disney die-cast cars and was able to get it for a reduced price.

So whether we have fond memories of Superstar Limo or not, there will always be room in my Disney collection for cool attraction-based merchandise!

Book Review: Toy Wars by G. Wayne Miller

G.I. JOE AND BARBIE FIGHT IT OUT

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!

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.

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!