Funko ‘Pop!’ Orange Bird – Diamond Edition Exclusive

It’s surprising how many Disney fans have fallen in love with the little Orange Bird with orange thoughts and a penchant for pitching orange juice! Especially as he was gone from the Disney Parks for so long. But you can’t keep a good bird grounded for long and he is making a comeback in a big way.

Originally appearing in 1970 as a mascot for the Florida Citrus Commission, the Orange Bird was created in exchange for them sponsoring the Enchanted Tiki Room just beside the Sunshine Tree Terrace at the Magic Kingdom theme park. The little guy also became a not-so little walk-around character.

The promotion ended and the little bird flew away but landed in Japan in 2004 to coincide with that country’s Orange Day festivities of April 14th. In April 2012, the Orange Bird made a historic return to the Sunshine Tree Terrace at Walt Disney World. It appeared that North Americans had fallen in love with the speechless wonder all over again!

And since then, the merchandise hasn’t stopped landing on shelves. Hey, Disney loves a cash cow… er, bird. One particular piece of said merchandise found its way onto one of my display shelves:

Still in the Cage!

Funko Pop! figurines are either cute or ugly, depending on the sculpt and the character being depicted. Some work and some don’t. This one… does!

Back of the Box

The boxes are often a big part of the collectability with Funko Pop! figurines. I like how the back of this box features small thought balloons showing us just what’s in that little head of his!

Side of the Box

He definitely has Pop! on the brain!

FACE

Being a Diamond Collection figurine, this figurine sparkles and has a rough texture unlike most other Funko Pop! figures.

PROFILE

You can really get a sense of the sparkling feature with this profile shot.

BACK

Love the tail made out of leaves! Having the little bird with leaf wings is also a design triumph.

TWISTED

Like all Funko Pop! figurines, the head of the figurine does swivel on the body so that you can create a limited range of poses for display. If you take him out of the box!

Disney Parks Exclusive

Released on October 26th, 2018, this is the 25th Disney Parks Exclusive Funko Pop! in the collection. There was also a regular edition and an Orange Bird Flocked edition released with the ‘290’ number.

Bottom of the Box / Pricing

A good friend who was at the Parks purchased this Orange Bird for me. At the time, it sold for $19.99, plus tax. If you missed getting yours, you can now pick one up on eBay (or other selling sites) for just $75.00 to $100.00, plus shipping. Thank goodness I had a friend on the spot at the right time!

As a special treat, we’ll conclude with some of the lyrics for the Orange Bird song:

Little Orange Bird, (Little Orange Bird),

In the Sunshine Tree. (in the Sunshine Tree.)

Won’t you think of something sunny just for me?

Think of funny thoughts. (Think a funny thought.)

Or a sunny word. (Or a sunny word.)

That will make me happy, little Orange Bird.


He thinks beautiful orange pictures, and beautiful orange words.

Though his little beak, can’t even peep a squeak.

All the thoughts he ever spoke, appear in orange smoke.

That’s what makes the Orange Bird unique.

That will make me happy, little Orange Bird.

Psst! There are more Funko POP! here.

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Pixar REMIX Pen Set of 4 featuring the LGM

I previously shared some plush based on this same line of Pixar REMIX character merchandise. What I didn’t mention in those posts is that the line extends to keychains, pins, other smaller items, and of course, pens.

This post will focus on the pens. I bought them because I wanted the Pizza Planet pen to go along with my t-shirt and ball cap of the same branding. But the other pens are fun too!

Let’s have a look:

The Merch is our Master!

These are ‘floater’ pens, for lack of a better term, as they feature small cutouts of characters that float up and down in the stem as you turn the pen right-side up and upside down. The stem features static pictures of characters on the outside with three floating characters inside.

That’s a LOT of legal for four pens!

The back of the package isn’t much to look at but it does show the price for you.

Closer look – Different order

I put these back in the plastic tray in the wrong order but it still gives a better look at the four designs. Now let’s look more closely at each pen and list the three characters featured inside each one:

Pizza Planet

Characters: Woody. Merida. And Boo.

Ooooooooh!

Characters: Jessie. Wall-E. And Miguel.

Prize

Characters: Buzz Lightyear. Remy. And a LGM.

The CLAW is our MASTER!

Characters: Lotso. Mater. And Mr. Incredible.

Close up of Floaters

Other characters that appear static and on the outside of the stems are Nemo, Anger, Syndrome, Russell, Sulley, Carl, and possibly others.

So why write a boring letter when you can have endless hours of fun just sitting there turning a pen right-side up and then upside down over and over and over and over again?!?

Backing Card

Something I’ve noticed about various types of merchandise lately is that they almost always include a removable backing card that is placed behind the display piece to augment the presentation. Often it is a cleaner version of what is on the back of the packaging, without text or pricing, as is the case here. I think it is a nice touch as it gives you a secondary collectible!

This set of pens, and the other REMIX merchandise, can be found at the Disney Store.

Last Word: Ever seen a LGM cookie? Get your glass of milk ready and check it out here!

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Walt Disney World ‘Monorail Red’ Floor Mat

“Please Stand Clear of the Doors” or “Por Favor Manténganse Alejado de las Puertas” if you prefer the Spanish version of the spiel. Either way it’s said, when you hear it, you know you’re about to enjoy a spectacular voyage on the Highway in the Sky. On the Monorail, that is!

First introduced to Disney fans in 1959 at Disneyland, a much larger fleet would be put into service in 1971 at Walt Disney World. And that is the location that our featured merchandise is based on:

“Please Stand Clear of my Office Door”

Walt Disney World currently operates twelve Mark VI monorail trains on three lines of service. Each monorail has a signature color stripe, with my favorite being Monorail Red!

So when I saw a FaceBook ad for this floor mat, it was a no-brainer:

Now if I had my choice, this is the Monorail floor mat I would have:

Rear Entrance to the Contemporary Resort (WDW)

Unfortunately, I don’t have a huge hotel complex to set this outside of, so my smaller version is probably the one I should stick with!

Backing Material

The mat is made to look like a stiff hair-type material but is actually a print on foam. The backing material is black and non-slip, which is nice. It doesn’t move once you place it on the floor! But I believe the material it’s made of makes it an indoor mat only.

The mat cost just under $50.00 CAN with a free shipping special.

Let’s end the post with a view from the front itself:

View from the front of the Monorail (2007)

Passengers can no longer ride in the front with the driver due to a tragic accident that happened between two monorail trains in 2014.

This mat makes a nice addition to my growing monorail merchandise collection, even if it isn’t an official Disney product!

Last Word: If you prefer to wear your favorite Disney merchandise instead of walking on it, check out this awesome monorail watch!

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Pixar Limited Release REMIX LGM Plush – Part Two

In Part One, I said I’d probably cave in and buy more of these adorable little LGM plush remixes, and so I did! But thankfully this time I had a discount coupon that netted them for just half price.

Although Buzz Lightyear is my favorite Toy Story character, I still have some love for the sheriff from Woody’s Roundup:

Hey Howdy Oooooooooooh!

Of course, he looks a little different here! The cute overload is almost beyond endurance.

Pull my string!

It’s nice to see this level of detail: The pull string, the belt with loops, how the vest sits a bit above the pants, and even the buttons on the cuffs.

If Woody-LGM is cuteness personified, then this next version is grumpiness personified:

Carl Aliensen

Carl Fredricksen did learn to crack a smile towards the end of the film, UP, but it took a bit of work! A nice touch with this plush is the inclusion of the grape soda badge given to him by little Ellie. And I want one of those four-point canes with tennis balls when I get old! And did you notice the hearing aid?

Not a people person

This is a fun line of plush from the Disney Store. They (obviously) merge LGMs with your favorite Disney/Pixar characters to humorous effect.

The Disney Stores I went to (in London and Toronto, ON) both had a nice selection initially, but upon returning to pick up these two versions, I noticed that the stock was depleting. So if you want to be visited by these out-of-this-world plush REMIX characters, you’d better hurry!

You can meet more of these little guys by checking out Pixar Limited Release REMIX Plush – Part One.

Posted in Characters, Disney Store, Limited Edition, Merchandise, Movies, Pixar, Plush | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LIFE Magazine featuring Mickey Mouse Animation

It’s not uncommon for Disney to be featured in magazines. Walt and Mickey have graced the covers of countless periodicals over the years. This one comes to us from 1978 when Disney animation was struggling to keep an audience. So it’s strange that Disney managed to snag a feature cover in LIFE Magazine at a time when some thought hand-drawn animation was on its way out!

However, the article covers more animation studios than just Disney and tries hard to paint a rosier picture for animation.

INFINITY COVER

This middle-aged mouse is laughing because it’s his 50th birthday! This is the real reason he managed to snag the cover when the article inside about ‘him’ is only four pages long. In a 122-page magazine, that’s not a lot of coverage!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Although short, the article on animation gets a feature spot in the contents with Tod from The Fox and the Hound.

The article starts with more than a nod to The Lord of the Rings film along with other more adult cartoons.

THE BLACK CAULDRON is featured

Next we touch on what Disney is planning on to compete in this new tone for animation with some concept art from the Black Cauldron, still five years off at the time of the writing. We know now just how much this film missed the mark for Disney!

Indeed, Disney was floundering after the loss of the Nine Old Men, the best of Walt’s original animation crew. We would have to wait until 1989 with the release of The Little Mermaid to see the renaissance of Disney animation.

LIGHTER FARE

The Fox and the Hound tried to keep the Disney tradition going and was fairly successful upon its release in 1981. But not successful enough to assure Disney’s place at the top! The next feature was The Black Cauldron which failed hard, and The Great Mouse Detective and Oliver & Company, the next two features to be released, did little to change things.

But we know that the Disney Renaissance did happen and all ended well, as Disney continues to create great animated stories. And then there’s Pixar!

All in all, this magazine is a nice little addition to my collection.

To conclude, I’d like to share an image from the back of the magazine about a man (and a dummy) who have a Disney connection:

EDGAR BERGEN & CHARLIE McCARTHY

So when were Bergen & McCarthy in a Disney film? It was back in the 1947 package effort called Fun and Fancy Free. It consisted of a few individual stories linked together by live-action ‘bits’. The second story, Mickey and the Beanstalk, is narrated by Edgar Bergen and is a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk featuring Mickey, Donald, and Goofy.

Bergen died on September 30th, 1978. This double spread was a touching tribute to a man (and a dummy) that spent over 56 years entertaining people, including his share of Disney fans!

Last Word: If you liked seeing this issue of LIFE Magazine, why not check out this bunch of magazines, all with a Disney theme!

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Walt Disney World Metal Lunch Box by Aladdin

I’ve been looking for this lunch box for many years but have been unable to find any in good condition that weren’t a fortune to buy. Finally I came across this one for just $30.00 CAN. It is rated a 7 or 8 for condition but is missing the thermos. But that’s alright, as it gives me something to look for, and to a collector, that’s half the fun!

This is a very nice metal lunch box featuring Walt Disney World attractions. Let’s have a closer look:

FRONT

You might think the lid features the WDW Railroad but Mickey and friends are actually riding Casey Jr. from Fantasyland. We also have Cinderella Castle, the Monorail, and one of the Main Street Vehicles.

To date this piece we have the ‘Happy 50 Years’ in the lower right corner. But to whose anniversary is this referencing? It can’t be Walt Disney World for that milestone doesn’t come until 2021, so unless this lunch box is from the future, we need to think some more. Note the ears on the ’50’ number. Yes, they are Mickey Ears! So it likely refers to the introduction of Mickey Mouse himself in 1928 in the Short Steamboat Willie. Doing the math, we can date this piece from the year 1978.

BACK

The Country Bear Jamboree is still alive and kickin’ at Walt Disney World and, presently, Tokyo Disneyland has a version as well.

I’m calling this train the WDW Railroad for two reasons: First, the engine is now faceless and has a slightly different configuration, and second, the cars are different as well with an extra one added.

RIGHT SIDE

Here we have another Main Street Vehicle, the Castle again with a marching Bandleader Mickey, and the world-famous Jungle Cruise with a bathing elephant. But don’t worry folks, he has his trunk(s) on.

BOTTOM

Here we have the Contemporary Resort and our only extinct attraction, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage. This can help us verify the date of this lunch box as the attraction closed in 1994 making our production date of 1978 for this piece more feasible.

LEFT SIDE

Continuing our tour of the sides, we have The Enchanted Tiki Room, more from the Jungle Cruise, and lastly, the Swiss Family Treehouse.

Condition is everything with collectibles and especially so with metal items that can dent and rust. This lunch box does have some rust but not much, no dents, and the paint is excellent!

Let’s have a look inside:

INSIDE

What looks like scratches are actually the embossing found on the front and back of the box. To see the original paint still in such good shape is a treat!

Now, do you want your kids to be safe? Well, so do Disney, Aladdin Industries, and the National Safety Council:

NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL MESSAGE

The ‘Safety First’ message is written in rhyme and covers the walk to school, how to play, and how to act inside the school. I particularly like the cartoon art that accompanies the message!

FUN FACTS: Aladdin Industries‘ parent company was founded in Chicago in 1908 by Victor Samuel Johnson Sr. The company we know today was created later as a subsidiary in 1914, specifically to manufacture vacuum bottles. Aladdin was further diversified to become the maker of the first character lunchbox, using images of Hopalong Cassidy, in 1950.

You can still buy Aladdin-brand food and beverage products today! And you can also buy Mickey Pizza to put inside this lunch box. Check it out!

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Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins Original Cast Soundtrack

I love finding an old Disney soundtrack! The fun thing about collecting long-play records is the cover art. Sometimes it has photographic stills from the film but other times it may contain original artwork, such as with the example I’m sharing today.

That being said, this LP is a hybrid in that it has original artwork on the cover/jacket but production stills inside. The best of both worlds!

This cover features a marquee-like titling that really gives it some POP! The portraits of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke are very well done. Often such likenesses can be anything but ‘like’ the actors being depicted!

Let’s have a closer look at this LP:

Back of Jacket

The back of the jacket gives a more detailed accounting of the cast and a few production details. Then we are given a full list of the songs along with the performers.

This jacket opens (like a book) to reveal two inside panels where we find a synopsis of the film:

Left Panel
Right Panel

If you look to the right, the final column of text describes how Walt Disney came to make Mary Poppins into a film. It tends to be a bit fictionalized but still contains some interesting information if you care to enlarge the image for a peruse!

Many Disney records are released on the Disneyland Records label, but this one is on the Buena Vista Records label.

As is common with records, although this is a Buena Vista Records release, it was manufactured in Canada by RCA Victor Company, Ltd.

Disneyland Records was founded in 1956 as a way for the Disney Company to release its own music. In 1959, the Disneyland label became the children’s label, and Buena Vista became the ‘adult’ label, largely devoted to authentic soundtrack albums of mostly live-action Disney film musicals. In 2007, the Buena Vista name was largely dropped.

This LP has no date on it. But we know it has to be produced after 1959 and further, after 1964, the year Mary Poppins was released in theaters. If you go back to the third and fourth pictures, you’ll notice that the image is pasted onto the record jacket. This practice was later abandoned in favor of printing directly on the jacket. So although I can’t pinpoint an exact release date for this LP, I can say with some certainty that it is an earlier, rather than a later, release.

For what it’s worth, Wikipedia claims that this is the original release of the soundtrack, dating it to 1964, with recording dates spanning from April to December of 1963.

I do have another Mary Poppins LP that I know was released in 1964. It is on the Disneyland Record label and is definitely for kids, as it has a full-color illustrated book inside the jacket. It features more cartoon-like images of the cast. So obviously it wasn’t uncommon for Disney to release more than one version or a soundtrack.

If you want to see Mary Poppins as a walk-around character in EPCOT, you can check out the post entitled Disney Photography Tips.

I hope you enjoyed this STEP IN TIME as we featured the soundtrack about THE PERFECT NANNY. It’s been a bit of a JOLLY HOLIDAY bringing it to you, and if you were able to STAY AWAKE through the entire post, then you are certainly and most positively for sure a SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS kind of person!

Now LET’S GO FLY A KITE and be done with it! Unless you’d rather FEED THE BIRDS. Okay, I’ll stop. Oh, THE LIFE I LEAD!

But you know me: I LOVE TO LAUGH! And A MAN HAS DREAMS, you know!

Alright, now you can take this one to the FIDELITY FIDUCIARY BANK!

Having a hard time reading through this never-ending ending? Maybe A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR will make it scroll down better!

Hey! I just remembered, I once knew a PAVEMENT ARTIST…

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Funko ‘Pop! Animation’ Wallace and Gromit Figurines

Aardman Studios is a British operation that creates primarily stop-and-go animation using clay figures. You may know their work from movies such as Chicken Run, Flushed Away, The Pirates, or of course, Wallace and Gromit.

Peter Lord and David Sproxton began their animating partnership at school. In 1972 they registered the name Aardman Animations. Peter and David met Nick Park at the National Film and Television School when he was working on his student film A Grand Day Out (where we first meet Wallace and Gromit). He joined Aardman full time in 1985. And the rest is animation history!

“Cracking cheese, Gromit!” says Wallace in his signature excited way. Wallace is a man of many talents but with little success, instead relying on his faithful companion Gromit to make his schemes work.

Wallace

The teeth of a stereotypical Englishman! But it’s okay for Aardman to poke fun at British culture being as they themselves are from the Isles.

Front of Box

Some collectibles are best kept in the box while others you can ‘free’ to live a ‘life’ of dusty display. Some Funko Pops have gained enormous value, but I don’t think these large release figures will do so. So I may remove them from the boxes and display them, but keep the boxes for later if I choose to sell them.

Back of Box

The back of the boxes for this three-figure set are basically the same with only the key character on the left changing to match the figure in the box.

Gromit

Gromit is a beagle who is Wallace’s pet dog and best friend. He is very intelligent with a knack for engineering, knitting, and cooking. He is often the one who thwarts the plans of the villains he and Wallace encounter in their adventures.

Front of Box

All three of these figurines have heads that swivel but have no other range of movement. This is pretty common for Funko Pop figures.

Shaun was first introduced in the 1995 short film A Close Shave. If you’re wondering why a sheep made of wool would need to wear a wool sweater, check out the Short. It’s very funny!

Front of Box
Side of Box

Now let’s get a closer look at that sweater:

Shaun’s Wool Sweater

This was the figure I just had to have, but it was my need for completion that made me spring for the entire set of three figures.

Group Shot

Funko Inc. is an American company that manufactures licensed pop culture collectibles, best known for its licensed vinyl figurines, like the ones in this post, and bobbleheads. Founded in 1998 by Mike Becker, Funko was originally conceived as a small project to create various low-tech, nostalgia-themed toys. The company’s first manufactured bobblehead was of the well-known restaurant advertising icon, the Big Boy mascot.

FUN FACTS: Funko first made coin banks in the likeness of Big Boy but they failed to sell and the franchise filed for bankruptcy protection. Funko remained in business after licensing the rights to produce bobbleheads for the Austin Powers movie franchise, which sold 80,000 units.

And that concludes the post, baby. Oh behave!

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Pixar Limited Release REMIX LGM Plush – Part One

As of the time of this posting, many of the Disney Theme Parks are still closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So many are suffering withdrawals! What can pick up our spirits? LGM!

One way to combat this social problem is to get your Disney Fix some other way. Like, say… by visiting the Disney Store and buying way too much stuff. Well, that’s my fix, anyway.

Merchandise Tag

I didn’t even know this line of Remix character plushes existed until I unwittingly walked into a local Disney Store. Okay, more like I walked in willingly, but I still feel like they saw me coming and put out way too many cute and irresistible things!

Who can resist LGM dressed as your favorite Disney Pixar characters?!? Each came with a tag bearing the name of the character. Take a look for yourself and see if you don’t agree:

Mr. Incredible – The Incredibles

2004 saw the release of one of my all-time favorite Pixar films, The Incredibles. Who wouldn’t look good in this fantastic red costume designed by the one and only Edna E. Mode?

Add the outstretched arms begging for a hug and I contend that no one could resist taking one of these little guys home!

But it gets cuter!

Russell – UP

2009 gave us one of the funniest tear-jerkers to come out of the Pixar Studios. UP introduced several adorable characters, like Dug and Kevin, but the Wilderness Explorer named Russell may just have them both beat.

And that hug thing again!

ANGER – Inside Out

2015 gave me my Anger Buddy in the form of ANGER from the film Inside Out. I can’t explain why I love this guy so much! But I’ve collected an impressive amount of his merchandise.

The contrast between the ever-optimistic LGMs and the ever-explosive Anger is just a combination I couldn’t resist!

But just forget the hug.

Manufacturers Tag

A Limited Release from the Disney Store, these little plush are just 8″ tall but pack a whopping price tag of

How much?!?

Yup. I paid $19.99 CAN each for these three LGM cuties. Let me do the math: That adds up to… too much!

But can you blame me (along with my wife) for spending the money? Other characters include Boo and Sulley (Monsters Inc.), Woody (Toy Story), Lotso (Toy Story 3), Merida (Brave), Carl Fredricksen (UP), Wall-E (Wall-E), and Nemo (Finding Nemo).

Currently there is a promotion where if you buy over $50.00 worth of merchandise, you get a coupon for 50% off your next purchase of $50.00, making the purchase only $25.00. So I may be returning to a Disney Store near me to buy Woody and Carl. Unless my wife reads this post before October 4th when the coupons become valid!

Which ones would you have bought?

Update: I done did it! Check out Woody and Carl here!

Posted in Characters, Disney Store, Limited Edition, Merchandise, Movies, Pixar, Plush | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Italian Job’ Movies and Die Cast Cars

It isn’t often that I like both the original film and the remake. Usually the first version has the advantage of being new and innovative while the copy ends up being, well… just a copy. The Italian Job films are a rare case where both are equally good as they riff on the same theme but play it out to different endings. I love both!

But let’s have a look at the original version first:

1969 Original

The Italian Job is a British comedy caper film where a man named Charlie Croker (Michael Caine), the leader of a cockney criminal gang, is released from prison only to immediately plan a “big job” in Italy to steal gold bullion from an armored security truck.

The job goes off with a few hitches but ultimately succeeds. However, the literal cliffhanger ending has the coach load of gold hanging over the edge of a cliff! Will they find a way to balance the bus and continue the getaway? Or will they plummet to the bottom, dying as rich men? The film ends with our protagonists left in that predicament.

In 1969, movies had to comply with a ‘Crime doesn’t pay!’ moral, making it impossible for any heist to be successful. Do you remember the ending to Oceans 11 where the money stolen from the Casinos is burned? No criminal ever won before the 1970’s!

Back of DVD Case

This would change as the film gets an update under the sensibilities of the Millennium. Crime usually pays in movies now and so we have an entirely different ending for the 2003 version of The Italian Job:

2003 Remake

This Italian Job is an American heist action thriller film with a plot that follows a motley crew of thieves who plan to steal gold from a former associate who double-crossed them. The film is more of an homage to the original which is probably why it works so well and doesn’t suffer from comparisons to the original.

Suffice to say the group is successful in their plans and the epilogue shows them all having used their share of the gold for their own desired purposes.

Back of Blu-ray Case

So both films are super cool with different plots but with three things that stay almost exactly the same: A red, white, and blue 1967 Austin Mini Cooper S 1275 MXI, three of the most iconic cars in movie history!

So when I found these die cast versions from Greenlight Collectibles of the original Mini Coopers… I just started handing money to Wal-Mart employees as they walked by! I just had to have them:

Red
White
Blue

At first I could only find the red and blue versions but no white. But with some extra poking around, I found the last car to complete the set.

Back of Packaging

The back of the packaging is the same on all three color versions. It contains a neat little synopsis of the film.

The Mini Cooper is an iconic car in it’s own right. The Mini was a small economy car produced by the English-based British Motor Corporation (BMC) and its successors from 1959 until 2000. BMW has produced the Mini from 2001 to the present (I own a 2009, myself).

As much as I love the style and cool factor of an original Mini, I must say that I enjoy the modern comfort and handling of the newer version.

I now have the trifecta of The Italian Job: Both films and the die cast cars!

Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to sing a few bars of The Self-Appreciation Society while I recreate the escape scenes from both films with my toy cars. I’m hoping it’s more fun than I just made it sound!

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