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Formula Juan Racer: Numero Uno!

Formula Juan Racer: Numero Uno!
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Baby Formula Juan Racer

Baby Formula Juan Racer
Juan Year Old

Monday, May 23, 2016

Buried Treasure Planet: Unreleased Disney Wild Racers

Disney Wild Racers Treasure Planet John Silver
Recently I was the victim of eBay sniping.  At literally the last second of the auction, a bloodthirsty pirate took away my chance at getting a highly coveted collectible that I'd known about for years, but never seen.  A John Silver Treasure Planet Disney Wild Racer.

What is interesting is that this particular eBay auction listed the car as "BEN" (the obnoxious robot) from Treasure Planet.  This car is clearly not BEN, it is Silver.  It is Silver's arm as a car.

The popular Disney Racers die cast car collection started out as "Disney's Wild Racers" made by Hasbro back in 2002.  The cars were sold at toy stores and retail giants like Walmart.

New waves of Disney Wild Racers were announced, but never released.  Among those announced was a set of cars for Disney's 2002 animated film, Treasure Planet.

The Treasure Planet set was going to feature BEN and Silver.  I have to admit this Silver car looks better than I ever imagined.

There was also an eBay auction for a different, unpainted prototype version of the Silver car.

I lost that auction, too.

The unpainted Silver car is pretty slick, too.

It's not surprising that the Silver car was never released.  Treasure Planet did not do well at the box office, and the Disney Wild Racers line was discontinued at toy stores.  Luckily, the line became Disney Racers and continues to be sold at Disney theme parks.

Another unreleased Disney Wild Racer is Buster the dog.

You mean you've never heard of Buster the dog?

Buster was the villain in the 2001 movie Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp's Adventure.

This car would have been the rare exception of a Disney Racer based on a Direct to Video Movie character.

I'm guessing Buster was the victim of a shift in marketing strategies for Lady and the Tramp II.

It is rather shocking that another Disney dog did not make it past the prototype stage.

Zero Disney Wild Racer

Zero the dog (with Skeleton Jack) from The Nightmare Before Christmas seem like they'd sell like crazy during the Haunted Mansion Holiday season at Disneyland in California.

It looks like Zero would have been similar to the "invisible" Cheshire Cat Disney Racers.

Dr. Finkelstein from The Nightmare Before Christmas was also made into a prototype Disney Racer.

Dr. Finkelstein also seems like a no-brainer to sell at Disneyland.

Jack, Oogie Boogie, Zero and Finkelstein could sell really well as a boxed set.

Rex and Woody had been announced many years ago as a set for Disney Wild Racers.

Eventually, Woody was released at the Disney Parks.

Given how many Toy Story character Disney Racers have been made, I'm rather shocked that Rex was never produced.

I failed to get any of these Unreleased Disney Racers when they were being sold on eBay.

By 2016, the Disney Racers line has morphed and grown into something very different. Star Wars and Marvel are the big focus now, which isn't that shocking, because they sell.

The search continues for more buried Treasure Planet Disney Racers...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Disney's Monkey King At Sears: A King Louie Jungle Book Mystery

The jungle is full of mystery.  Just like the curiosity that is Disney's Monkey King, a plush version of King Louie that appeared in a late 1980s Sears Catalog Wishbook.

n the 2016 movie version of Disney's The Jungle Book, King Louie is re-imagined as a King-Kong type Gigantopithecus ape---a large creature that used to exist in India.  The King Louie character was a Disney creation not featured in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book---orangutans are not native to India.

The introduction to Disney's Monkey King in the Sears catalog stood out to me for a few reasons.

Why did King Louie get a name change for this toy?  If you want to get technical, apes are not "monkeys".  So that drove me crazy.

Another big question:  Why was the Monkey King so off-model?  This does not look much like King Louie from the animated movie.

If anything, The Monkey King from Sears looks like a relative of Donkey Kong.

The Monkey King was part of a larger Disney collection of toys sold at Sears during the 1980s.

Of course, there was also a Baloo plush toy as part of this collection.

Baloo's name was not changed to "Bare Necessities Bear" or anything like that for the Sears toy.

The folks responsible for the Sears Jungle Book plush was the TCA Group Inc.

The Sears Baloo plush is really interesting, too.

While a lot of plush Baloo toys tend to stick pretty close to the character design in the movie, this one goes for the cuddle factor instead.

The Sears Baloo actually looks like a sloth bear (what Baloo is).

Sears made a point of making a big deal out of Baloo's tongue, which you don't typically see.

Shere Khan also appeared as part of the Jungle Book plush collection from Sears.

This is among the best plush toys I've seen of Shere Khan.

The Sears Shere Khan has some nice glass tiger eyes.  Glass Tiger was big in the 1980s (Google it).

I really like the Sears Jungle Book plush toys.  It seems like they predicted the future of the characters for the 2016 version of The Jungle Book.

Maybe Jon Favreau (director of the 2016 Jungle Book) saw or owned these toys at some point and thought of them when he was making his movie.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Sea Change: A Move To Central Florida On The Horizon

"Are you moving to Florida?"  That is a question I've been asked quite a bit lately.  The theme parks and beaches of Florida have always been appealing to me, but recent events in my life have turned things upside down more than any roller coaster in Orlando ever could.

In August of 2015, my parents moved to Venice, Florida, "The Shark Tooth Capital of the World."  My family has been visiting Venice for decades.  My father, Dr. Larry J. Alexander, recently retired.  This picture of Venice's Shark's Tooth Festival was taken by my Dad on April 9, 2016.  This was to be the last picture he would send me.  It is appropriate that this picture is so absurd.

On April 16, 2016, my Dad died unexpectedly late in the afternoon.  Friends and family were in disbelief.

This could not be real.  But it was.  And we had no warning.

I got in my car and made the ten hour drive from Birmingham, Alabama to Venice, Florida on April 17th to be with my Mom.  It was a lot of time to think.  And suddenly everything made me think of my Dad.  The first song playing on the radio in my car was a Pink Floyd song (he always played Pink Floyd when I was a kid).

I was lucky to spend a lot of time visiting some of Venice's beaches for a week.  On Caspersen Beach, I found some patches of Palm Tree "hair" and shells and decided to make a Gibbon.  It was a nice, silly distraction.

I returned to Venice on May 7, 2016 for another week-long trip that would end with a beach memorial for my Dad on Saturday, May 14th.

I spent Mother's Day with my Mom searching for Shark's Teeth on Caspersen Beach (she found some of the best ones, of course).

I got to spend some quality time with my Mom exploring Venice.

You never know what you'll find in Florida thrift stores.  I found this vintage Pluto plush from Walt Disney World for $3.00.  This is one of my favorite Pluto items I've ever seen.

I also found this vintage Walt Disney World ash tray for $3.00.  It is really groovy.

This is a souvenir from a time when smoking was healthy.

I would like to move to Orlando and be closer to my Mom.  Walt Disney World is only two hours away from Venice!

On Wednesday, May 11th, I went to visit some friends in Casselberry, Florida.  I had also visited these friends on April 23rd.  None of these recent visits included an opportunity for us to visit a theme park.  However, on May 11th, I did manage to make a "pit stop" at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World on my way from Casselberry to Venice.

My Disney Springs visit included a visit with Mr. Potato Head to compare mustaches.

Some other souvenirs followed me home, like this Haunted Mansion Ghost.

I am now ready and eager to move to Orlando to work and play.  I just need a job there.  And a place to live.  And to sell my current house.  So, there's quite a bit to do.  I'm using Dizmentia as a platform to get a job in Orlando.  If anyone can give me any advice, or help, or a gig, I would appreciate it.

I feel like I was made for Florida.  I'm zesty like an orange.