New Maters found at Kroger!

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we found these cars at Kroger this week. We were just running in to get hamburger buns, and of course we had to check the toy section. We didn’t even know that these cars were out yet, so we were in complete shock when we saw them sitting on the shelf.

We’ll be taking some nice photos of these over the next few days, so be sure to check back!

Ivan Mater

Kabuki Mater


Pics – Hot Rod Lightning McQueen & Fabrizio

As promised, here are some detailed pics of the new Chase Hot Rod Lightning McQueen and Fabrizio from the Disney Store. These ones are 1:43 scale (bigger than the 1:55 scale that Mattel produces).

Hot Rod Lightning McQueen - Front Angle

Hot Rod Lightning McQueen – Front Angle

Hot Rod Lightning McQueen is on fire!

Hot Rod Lightning McQueen - Top Angle

Hot Rod Lightning McQueen – Top Angle

Jet black with custom red decals and flames all over

Hot Rod Lightning McQueen - Rear View

Hot Rod Lightning McQueen – Rear View

The stealth look of this car is beautiful!

Fabrizio - Top Angle

Fabrizio – Top Angle

Fabrizio is 100% Gold… colored.

Fabrizio - Front Angle

Fabrizio – Front Angle

Definitely one of the slickest vehicle designs in the entire movie.

Fabrizio - Profile

Fabrizio – Profile

This is one aerodynamic vehicle!

Fabrizio - Rear

Fabrizio – Rear

Tigre (Tiger) is a town in the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina. Today’s geography lesson is brought to you by Disney/Pixar (and Wikipedia).

Fabrizio - Top Rear

Fabrizio – Top Rear


Cars 2 Screenshot - Fabrizio

Cars 2 Screenshot – Fabrizio

Every time we show someone this car, they say “I don’t remember him from the movie”.  well… here he is.  Proof that Mattel didn’t just make this guy up.

Giugiaro 2009 Frazer-Nash Namir concept car

Giugiaro 2009 Frazer-Nash Namir concept car

He is modeled after this beauty… the Giugiaro Hybrid Namir Concept from 2009– a true masterpiece! This photo is courtesy of Autoblog.

CHASE Cars! Cartney Brakin, Officer Murakarmi, & Becky Wheelin

We normally aren’t this lucky, but we were able to score 3 new chase cars! We were originally going to keep these in their cards and on display in Dawson’s bedroom, but that’s no fun. These 3 cars certainly do not disappoint. Check out Dawson’s video review:

And since these cars are just so beautiful, we took lots of photos.

Cartney Brakin is lightning McQueen’s #1 fan.

Cartney Brakin - On Card

Cartney Brakin – On Card

Cartney looks great in the package… but even better outside. The lightning bolt comes as a separate piece and needs to just be inserted into a hole in the top. It stays in nicely, though… so no worries over it just falling out.

Cartney Brakin - Front Angle

Cartney Brakin – Front Angle

This character’s design is top-notch! Nothing says “Lightning McQueen’s Biggest Fan” like an exact replica of Lightning’s paint job. We’ve been waiting for this car to be released since we first saw the movie.

Cartney Brakin - Side View

Cartney Brakin – Side View

Check out that lightning bolt. If you look close, you can see the words “Lightning McQueen” inside the bolt.

Cartney Brakin - Side Angle

Cartney Brakin – Side Angle

Such a happy little car.

Cartney Brakin - Top Angle

Cartney Brakin – Top Angle

The details never end!  Ka-Chow!

Officer Murakarmi is an airport security guard, responsible for guarding the gates.

Officer Murakarmi - On Card

Officer Murakarmi – On Card

This diecast is pushing its size limits in that package.  We’d better let him out.

Officer Murakarmi - Front Angle

Officer Murakarmi – Front Angle

Don’t mess with this guy.  He’s nearly 100% diecast (only the sirens on top are plastic).

Officer Murakarmi - Top Angle

Officer Murakarmi – Top Angle

The expression on this car is awesome too.  We love when they add personality into the diecast cars.

Officer Murakarmi - Rear Angle

Officer Murakarmi – Rear Angle

Security guard #65

Officer Murakarmi - Low Angle

Officer Murakarmi – Low Angle


Becky Wheelin only appears as a passerby in the airport scene.  Why use such a terrific character as an extra?  Let’s start a petition to get Becky a better role in Cars 3!

Becky Wheelin - On Card

Becky Wheelin – On Card

Say cheese!

Becky Wheelin - Front View

Becky Wheelin – Front View

The metallic paint job on this car is amazing!

Becky Wheelin - Rear View

Becky Wheelin – Rear View

So sparkly!

Becky Wheelin - Front Angle

Becky Wheelin – Front Angle

We’re not sure why… but Becky Wheelin is a FAST car!  We played with the cars back-and-forth for a while and Becky was rolling more than twice as far as the other cars.  Just be careful that she doesn’t hit the wall and scratch that beautiful paint job.

We’ve got some Chase cars from the first “Cars” movie that we’re getting ready to open, so be on the lookout for that.  And we’re also hitting up stores more than usual… not just because of the upcoming holidays, but because we hear that Prince Wheeliam is on the loose… and he is one of Dad’s favorites!  As soon as we find it, we’ll post it.  Wish us luck!

We’d love to hear your feedback.  Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.  Do you have a favorite Chase car?

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Summer Garage Sale Finds

One of our favorite things about summer is that it’s Garage Sale season.  And if you keep your eye out (and visit enough of ’em), you’d be surprised how many great toys you can get  So without further adieu, we present our TOP 10 Summer Garage Sale Finds!!!

#10 – Sonic the Werehog (Unleashed)

Sonic the Werehog - Action Figure

Sonic the Werehog – Action Figure

No, that’s not a typo. It’s a “werehog”… kinda like a werewolf / hedgehog. Mom found this only a few weeks ago at a garage sale and paid only 25-cents for it. When she brought it home, she noticed that it only had one ear (the other ear had been broken off). We did some research online and it appears thatt this toy was a limited edition. Looking it up on Amazon, we found that it’s currently retailing for $50! So, unless that other ear was worth $49.75, I’d say this was a great buy! It is about 5” tall and has some real weight to it. The curved feet can make it difficult to pose, but it makes up for that in all of its werehog awesomness.

#9 – Movie Voyager-Class Megatron

Movie Voyager-Class Megatron

Movie Voyager-Class Megatron

Movie Voyager-Class Megatron (Jet Mode)

Movie Voyager-Class Megatron (Jet Mode)

Garage sale lesson: When you buy a transformer action figure, ask the seller if they have an instruction manual (or hunt for one online). If none are available, beg the seller’s kid to show you how to do it. This one took about 20 minutes to figure out without the instruction booklet. We had no problem paying $1 for this, since it also sells brand new for $50.

Note: Dad went back to this sale later on and scored a fully transformable Barricade, also for just $1. And since Barricade is Dad’s favorite, this toy lives on Dad’s desk at work.

#8 – X-Men Legends: Beast

X-Men Legends:  Beast

X-Men Legends: Beast

X-Men Legends:  Beast

X-Men Legends: Beast

Only at #8 on Dawson’s list, but this is one of Mom and Dad’s favorites. The flexibility (and durability) of this toy is unbeatable! Moving parts include arms, legs, mouth, hands, fingers, toes… you get the picture. The best part is that the parts aren’t flimsy, so it’s incredibly easy to pose and it stays in place. We’ve certainly encountered a good number of toys that are so flimsy that even making them stand is impossible. We’re confident that this toy could even do a hand-stand if we asked it to.

#7 – Carnage (Deluxe Edition)

Marvel: Carnage (Deluxe Edition) Action Figure

Marvel: Carnage (Deluxe Edition)

We came across a comic collector who had TONS of collectibles for sale… but of course, those all came with big price tags. We were ready to abandon the sale empty-handed, but found this Carnage action figure (still in the box at the time) for just $2. We don’t know why this one was so cheap, but Dawson was excited (mostly because he thought this was a red-and-black Venom). It’s about 10″ in height and did come with a couple extra attachments for his arms.

#6 – Green Goblin (Movie Version)

Marvel: Green Goblin (Movie Version) Action Figure

Green Goblin (Movie Version)

This one is another of Dad’s favorites… again, mostly because of its flexibility. Nearly every part of this toy moves. Brand new, this toy comes with a glider and retails for nearly $50 on Amazon (or $30 on eBay). Garage sale means no glider… but at only 50 cents, who needs a glider!

#5 – Venom with Removable Mask

Venom with Removable Mask Action Figure - Mask On

Venom with Removable Mask (on)

Venom with Removable Mask Action Figure - Mask Off

Venom with Removable Mask (off)

Venom has always been Dawson’s favorite comic book villain. So it’s no surprise that when we found this in the bottom of a cardboard box marked only 50 cents, we absolutely had to have it. The surprise came when we got into our car and Dawson shouts “Hey mom… the mask comes off!” And this isn’t one of those toys where the heads are interchangeable (regular face vs face with mask); it’s a silicone/rubber-like mask that fits over the action figure’s head. Totally awesome! And maybe we would’ve noticed had he let us hold it at all. This toy didn’t leave his side for a solid couple days. The only times we got to touch it was when the mask fell on the floor of the car and we needed to reach back and pick it up.

#4 – The Hulk (2 Toys:  Punching Hulk & Smash-and-Crush Hulk)

Punching Hulk Action Figure (2003)

Punching Hulk

Smash and Crush Hulk Action Figure (2003)

Smash and Crush Hulk

Since previews for “The Avengers” started airing a year ago, Dawson was all about HULK. He has the Hulk Punching Hands, Hulk T-Shirts, and anything else “Hulk” that he could get his hands on. We just needed action figures. We found these 2 at separate garage sales about a week apart. Together, these two cost about a dollar. No doubt, these are terrific toys… though there is a disagreement between Dawson and Dad. Dawson likes Punching Hulk best (because it has a lever on its back that makes him punch) and Dad likes Smash-and-Crush Hulk the best because when you bend him forward at the waist, his head tilts up and he opens his mouth (like he’s screaming). You can find them both on Amazon, but for the pair, you’ll end up spending over $50. (Can you see yet why we love finding these at garage sales?!!)

#3 – Spider-Man Bump ‘N Go Web Rider

Spider-Man Bump 'N Go Web Rider Action Figure

Spider-Man Bump ‘N Go Web Rider

Spider-Man Bump 'N Go Web Rider Action Figure

Spider-Man Bump ‘N Go Web Rider

Spider-Man Bump 'N Go Web Rider Action Figure

Spider-Man Bump ‘N Go Web Rider

Parent confession time… We bought this at the same garage sale as the Green Goblin and Venom with Removable Mask toys (apparently, their kids were Spider-Man fans too at one point). We noticed the On/Off switch on the back, but assumed (since that switch did nothing) that the toy was probably part of a remote control, which was probably missing. But since the Spider-Man action figure came off, we were cool with it just being a plastic motorcycle. It wasn’t until we were looking it up online to get the actual name of this toy (for the purpose of blogging) that we realized that there is a screw underneath the seat that opens it up to reveal a battery pack (of which the batteries are absent). So we popped the 2 AA’s out of our TV remote, stuck them in and flipped it on. We were so excited to see this thing riding along our living room floor… and when it hit the wall (or couch, or desk, or rug), it backed up, turned, and drove along in a new direction. What a cool toy! Dawson had a blast chasing it around the living room putting obstacles in its way. This only retails for less than $10 on Amazon, but the garage sale was still a great deal at only 75-cents.

#2 – Spider-Man & Venom Walkie Talkies

Spider-Man & Venom Walkie Talkies

Spider-Man & Venom Walkie Talkies

Spider-Man & Venom Walkie Talkies

Spider-Man & Venom Walkie Talkies

First question… Does Dawson like these? Yes (he rated them at #2). Next question… Do they work? No…. at least, not as walkie talkies. One arm on each raises up to act as an antenna, but in order for it to pick up a signal, it has to be literally within only a few feet. And that’s no fun because if you’re standing 3 feet away from someone, a walkie talkie is pointless. So we turned them off and he uses them as giant action figures. And they work out great because they’re the same size (about 10″) as the Carnage action figure (from above). And now for pricing info… (buckle up)…. we bought the pair of these for $6 while Amazon is selling them brand new for $109. And if you like them enough, you can buy a Spiderman and Sandman walkie talkie set for $117. Amazon reviews also confirm that these are horrible walkie talkies, but awesome action figures (though their only mobility is the antenna arm).

#1 – Wolverine: Slashin’ Action Logan

Slashin' Action Logan / Wolverine Action Figure

Slashin’ Action Logan / Wolverine

This Wolverine figure is huge (around 12″ tall) and in great condition. When we got this one, he had been beaten up quite a bit (crayon markings, colored scratches, the usual wear-and-tear). But Mom took a Magic Eraser to it (as she does with all his garage sale toys) and now he shines like new. One arm has retractable claws that pop-out with the push of a button. Another button on his back creates the “slashing” motion (and sound effect). And the button on his belt makes him talk. All of the sounds are clear and nicely configured. For example, if you push the button on his back while his claw is retracted, the arm swings, making a strong “punching” sound…. but when the claws are out, the sound changes to a sharp “slicing” sound. And as usual, we only paid 50-cents for this, but it’s retailing on Amazon for $55.


Even though Garage Sale season is coming to an end, we are not slowing down…. after all, the Fall is “Mom 2 Mom” Sale season!!!  Bring on the deals!!!


… and now for a Q&A with Dawson about Garage Sales! (word-for-word)

Which one is your favorite and why?
Wolverine, because it has really cool claws that pop out and swing and punch (and stuff like that).  I also like that he talks.  The only thing I don’t like about it is that he isn’t in his costume.  But I think it’s awesome besides that.

Why do you like finding toys at garage sales?
I think they’re a fun thing to look for.  Every time I go to garage sales, I get excited to look for toys.  But every time we go to a garage sale where they don’t have toys, I don’t like that garage sale.

What are some tips you can give for people who want to find cool toys at garage sales?
The first step is to get your mom into liking toys.  And then you won’t have to look for toys… she will look for toys for you.  And if she does really good for you, maybe you could look at garage sales for stuff for her.  And that is it.

What is the best toy you’ve ever found at a garage sale?
Oh, man.  All the toys.

What color are garage sales?  (just to see if he’s paying attention)
They don’t have colors.  And my dad’s tricky too… Type that in.

(turns out he was paying attention)

How do you know you just scored a great toy?
I test it out and see what it does.  And if it does awesome stuff, then I know I scored a good toy and a good garage sale.


So, how do garage sales work for you?  Any tips for finding great toys?  Any great finds you want to share?  We’d love to see ’em.  You can post your story in the comments (below) or E-Mail Us Your Story (we’d love to see pictures of your finds too!).