‘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:


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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Funko ‘Pop! Rides’ Jungle Cruise Figurine

I saw that this Funko Pop figurine was released recently but thought you could only get it at the Disney Theme Parks. Then I was browsing in The Disney Store, as one does, and I found this World Famous Pop! Rides Jungle Cruise vinyl figure and… I fainted at the price.

Then I bought it anyway, as one does. It cost me $55.99 CAN (or $39.99 US), so please behold and enjoy:

Front Side of Box

It will be a real trial to decide whether to leave this in the box or to take it out and display it. I love the level of detail in the artwork on the box and so I feel it makes a good display piece in its own right. But the figurine is just so cool I want to look at it more closely!

What will I do?

Left Side of Box

I appreciate how the sides of the display box have windows to glimpse the figure within.

Right Side of Box

Our first glance at the Skipper. I wonder what his name is?

Back Side of Box

Not the back side of water unfortunately, but an interesting look at some of the features of the World Famous Jungle Cruise. Even the piranha look happy!

Top Side of Box

Even the top of the box has a display window.

Now let’s take the Congo Queen out of her berth for a closeup inspection:

The Congo Queen

Do you know the names of the boats from the Jungle Cruise attraction? Congo Queen is one of the boats found at the Walt Disney World version with the Congo Connie plying the waters of the Disneyland version.

So why is this boat called the Congo Queen? For an in-depth analysis of the connection between the Jungle Cruise, which sails in part through the Congo, and a certain movie called The African Queen, check out my earlier post entitled The African Queen Jungle Cruise.

You will also find a complete list of all the boat names from both Disney versions in that post.

Off on an Adventure!

The above picture shows many of the great little details to be found on this vinyl figure. Note the roof light, deck cleats, and rope rigging.

Full Steam Ahead

Nice touch to have the steam pouring out of the boiler!

Who’s our Skipper?

Whoever he is, he’s rocking the standard issue Jungle Cruise Skipper hat.

Backing Card

Behind the figure in the box is a backing card that reproduces the artwork from the back of the box. But it adds some details and makes some changes. First, the hippos and piranha switch places. It adds two native shields/spears, one on each side of the picture. We can now see the lion rock, but with the zebra still alive and well, not just sleeping.

Lastly we have not one but two Jungle Cruise boats with skippers deep into their spiels. But… where are the passengers? After years of jokes about losing passengers, maybe they have finally snapped! After all, they get paid for the number of people they take out, not the number they bring back.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did, then this is Lee and this has been the World Famous site called Disleelandia. If you didn’t, then my name is Mike and this has been from My Dreams of Disney.

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Mickey Mouse Playing Tennis Musical Figurine by Schmid

I’m just going to go right ahead and lob this post at you! Then the ball will be in your court and it will be up to you to volley in response. Tennis, anyone?

If you got all that, then you must be a tennis pro, or at least, a tennis fan. Looking at Mickey, I can’t tell what category he falls into:

Is he serving or posing?

I tried to do some research on this piece but couldn’t find this exact figurine. There is an almost identical one with the only difference being Mickey’s ball arm is raised instead of lowered, like this one. Was this part of a multiple set where we follow Mickey through a complete serve? Unlikely, but interesting to consider.

Mickey’s Backhand

This figurine works perfectly with a strong mechanism and loud, clear music. However, I have no idea what song it’s playing. And being as Schmid closed its doors in 1995, I can’t ask them! And if the stickers and printing on the base give the name of the song, as most Schmid musical figurines do, I can’t read them due to the pedestal base being in the way.

I’ve tried to find a definitive site for information on the Schmid company and a pictorial list of its extensive line of products, but one doesn’t seem to exist. If you know of one, please leave the link in the comments!

Note the tennis rackets and balls used as decorative detailing along the base. You can also see both the ‘Disney’ and ‘Schmid’ branding etched into the ceramics.

Plastic Pedestal Base

This would be a later release from the Schmid company as earlier versions have metal pedestal bases.

So we know this piece has at least one other variant. And it was likely part of a larger set with other Disney characters either playing tennis or some other sport. I googled different character names linked to tennis and Schmid, and no matches came up.

Well, I think this post has been a Grand Slam! But if you prefer a good drive to a fine serve, then maybe you should check out this earlier post on golf ball markers!

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‘Drink Coca-Cola in Bottles’ Tin Organizer

I have in-laws who are currently decorating their home (mainly the kitchen) with a Coca-Cola theme. Being as I prefer Coke over Pepsi, I don’t mind donating to the cause when I come across something that might fit in.

My wife thinks they already have one of these replica storage tins, but two must be better than one when you’re trying to find space to store napkins and condiments! Of course, I could always keep it.

Replica of 6-pack Carrying Case

A six pack of ice cold Coke sounds so good right now! Who remembers buying pop/soda in glass bottles? Yup, then you’re old.

Interior Partitions

There is one main, longer compartment, with three smaller compartments beside it. I assume napkins would fit lengthways in the long compartment and condiments would be separated in the three square compartments.

Despite what it says on the sticker below, the tin actually measures 7″ long by 5″ wide by 7 1/2 ” high (to the handle) and 4 1/2 ” high on the side. So they were pretty close!

By Tindex, The Tin Box Company, and presumably, China

www.tindex.ca is a French manufacturing company out of Quebec, Canada. They offer custom tins designed and built to your specifications.

The Tin Box Company site offers more IP-based merchandise, including Coca-Cola products, one being very similar to what is featured in this post, but not exact.

And we have China. So who actually built this thing… who knows! But for only $9.97 back in 2008, you just couldn’t go wrong.

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Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club Push’em Car

I saw this board advertising a Push’em Car in a small town antique shop years ago. It’s approximately 16″ x 24″ and the artwork is painted onto a Masonite-type board. It has eight holes drilled around the edges and displays the Walt Disney Productions trademark, which dates it before 1987. In all likelihood, it was produced in the 1950’s or 1960’s.

But just what is a PUSH’EM CAR?

I didn’t know if it was an advertising board that would have been displayed in a store to sell some kind of pedal car, or if a Push’em Car was something that appeared on the original Mickey Mouse Club television show. The price was a little high, but I was able to get it down a little, but I still feel I paid too much. But it looked cool, so I took a chance.

Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose when you take a chance on something like this, and this time… I lost!

After researching on the Internet, I found that a Push’em Car was a mobile toy chest. But it could have been used as a clothes hamper as well. It had two of these boards, one on each long side, and two other boards half the length on the ends, creating a rectangle-shaped box on wheels. The boards were screwed onto metal framing. It stood 22″ high at the top of the handles:

Complete Car from Bing.com
Side Panel from Bing.com

This is presently, as of the writing of this post, being offered for sale on eBay for 499.99 USD. It will be interesting to see if someone will spend so much for so little!

So, as I only have one of the boards, it is pretty much valueless except for curiosity sake.

Why should I have known better? First, if it were an advertisement for a toy or pedal car, the product would have been pictured on the board. Second, no sign board would be affixed to a wall in a store with eight screws, thus damaging the wall for what would probably be a temporary promotion. I’m a more seasoned collector now, and I can truthfully say that making mistakes like this one has made me a more successful buyer!

That said… I love this board! I have it hanging in my office where I can look at it every morning while I drink my coffee. So not a complete fail, I guess.

But speaking of weird things that make you go ‘Huh?’, how about a Mickey Mouse Club Candy Fan? Check out this unusual item by clicking the link!

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DVC ‘A Fairy Tale Vacation’ Promotional Postcards

We’ve attended three presentations for the Disney Vacation Club (or DVC) system but just haven’t been able to put it all together yet.

But part of the fun of researching DVC as a holiday provider option is receiving promotional materials. Once on the list, they don’t forget you! But below I’m showing a great little gift I received from a friend who is actually a DVC member:

Cover Sleeve

Not all gifts need to be big to be special! These postcards are just 4 1/4″ x 6″ and done in a sketch style.

Stitch at Aulani Resort in Hawaii

Stitch is the perfect character to visit Disney’s first resort in Hawaii. Here he is pictured on a surfboard, wearing a lei, and dipping his toe in the waters.

Chip and Dale at EPCOT

Chip and Dale have brought their own snacks to EPCOT. Maybe they should have visited during the Food and Wine Festival!

The Fab Five at the Magic Kingdom

Time for a Selfie with the whole gang at the Magic Kingdom. No holiday to Walt Disney World is complete without a visit to the Castle!

Back of Cards

All three of the cards have the same back design. We see this promotion was from Disneyland. The tagline was “A Fairy Tale Vacation, year after year.”

We have several gifts from DVC. What is the favorite thing you have received?

Not a DVC Member either? If you want some ideas on how to save money on your next Disney vacation, check out this book review I did. It’s written by Kevin Barry and should help you to keep some of your money out of Mickey’s pockets!

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‘Baymax Loves Disney’ Original Artwork

Just a quick post to share a great piece of artwork featuring Baymax that we just received:

Flying makes him a better care provider – Ba La La La La

Big Hero 6 was a big hit for Walt Disney Studios in 2014 (the highest-grossing film of that year). Your Personal Healthcare Companion was a favorite character from the film.

A young friend of ours painted this Baymax Disney mashup.

12″ x 12″ on Canvas

Our adopted son, Heb, loves this artwork too! I think he wants us to hang it in his room.

We’ll let Baymax have the last words: “On a Scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this artwork?” I rate it high, and maybe it could even hang in the Disneyland Hotel! Check out what is hanging in the Disneyland Hotel by clicking here to view an earlier post.

Want to learn more about Baymax? Here’s a few tidbits for you:

  1. Marvel’s Big Hero 6 comic books were around for 10 years before Big Hero 6 hit theatres.
  2. Baymax’s motions are modeled after baby penguins.
  3. Your “Personal Healthcare Companion’s” huggable design was inspired by a real robot.
  4. Over 200 signs were designed for San Fransokyo.
  5. For the film’s finale, the filmmakers consulted a theoretical physicist at CalTech.
  6. Nearly 700 unique characters populate the film.
  7. Legendary comic book artist John Romita Jr. has a producer credit on the film.

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Snoopy A to Z Throw Pillow from Hallmark

At my time of life, the favorite time of day is bedtime! Oh, to be sent to my room in the middle of the day for a time out… yes, thank you! And I think Snoopy feels the same.

Oh, if only I was a little Beagle with a comfortable roof on my doghouse:

Snoopy and I have the same favorite letter!

The Peanuts gang has brought much humor and love into the world over the years. Snoopy, the hip dog ‘belonging’ to Charlie Brown, is by far the standout character. Although I primarily collect Disney merchandise, if any other IP is going to slip in, it’ll be Snoopy!

I’ve had this exact look on my face many a time.

‘N’ is for Nodding

Have you ever thought you’d just lay down for a little nap, only to find that your position isn’t quite right?

‘W’ is for Wiped

Trying another position, but that one just doesn’t do it either!

Ahhh! Now that’s the right way to sleep if you’re a dog on a roof (I’m a side sleeper, myself).

‘H’ is for Hallmark

Okay, that last letter was out of order. Oops!

Hallmark has offered a great deal of wonderful merchandise over the last few years. Disney and Peanuts are two of the most popular IPs sold in their stores. I’ve mentioned before that Hallmark often has better Disney stuff than even the Disney Store! And when it comes to Peanuts merch, I’ve rarely found more interesting things than on a Hallmark shelf.

This little throw pillow rests on a shelf above our bed, reminding us to choose our best position and… sleep well!

For more Peanuts merchandise, see what I found at Canada’s Wonderland by clicking the link.

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Bullseye Plush Purse – Pixar’s Toy Story 2

It’s rare for a sequel to rise above ‘also-ran’ status, but Pixar’s follow up to the hugely popular Toy Story movie (now a franchise) was arguably better than the original! I prefer to say ‘as good as’ because the first introduction of an idea that begets more of it can’t be second best. So says I! But after Buzz Lightyear, the cute little horse and Woody sidekick, Bullseye, has become one of my favorite Disney characters. I am guilty of collecting too much merchandise featuring this little horse that rides like the wind:

Just hanging around

To display this Plush Purse, I have used the chain handle to hang Bullseye from our bedroom ceiling. Unorthodox, sure, but effective!

Behold the cuteness!

D N A Y… or is that N D Y A ?

One of the jokes from Toy Story 2 is that Bullseye has Andy’s name spelled out on his feet, one letter per hoof. But when called upon to display his child’s name, he mixes up the spelling. He does eventually arrange the letters to spell ANDY.

Cactus Detailing
As seen from above

As far as purses go, the little girl that carries this one better be travelling light!

So maybe you could find one of these little purses for your little girl and give her the best friend anyone in the Wild West ever had!

If you think Bullseye is cute as a purse, check him out as an animal cracker!

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Phillips 66 Die Cast 1939 Chevrolet Panel Truck

The Mother Road is so iconic that many companies have incorporated at least the number ’66’ into their names in an attempt to ride the popularity to increased business and profits. The Phillips Petroleum Company was no exception, thus: Phillips 66. It was founded by Lee Eldas “L.E.” Phillips and Frank Phillips and incorporated on June 13, 1917.

Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926 by the National Highway Commission. It begins in Chicago, Illinois, and ends in Santa Monica, California—a distance of 2450 miles. Apparently some time in 1927, the “Phillips 66” name for the gasoline came about by a combination of events. The specific gravity of the gasoline was close to 66; the car testing the fuel did 66 miles per hour; and, the test took place on US Route 66.

The Phillips 66 shield logo, linking it to U.S. Route 66, was introduced in 1930 in a black and orange color scheme that would last nearly thirty years. In 1959, Phillips replaced these colors with red, white and black, the one still deployed. And so we have another cool ’66’ logo to enjoy and collect.

Mint in Package… temporarily

Most vintage automobile shows you attend will have many cars and perhaps some pickup trucks on display. But I always gravitate to the work vehicles like the Panel Truck modeled here. How cool would it be to have one of these awesome rides with your business name on the side? Rolling up to a clients house would certainly make a lasting impression.

Greenlight Collectibles, producers of authentic die cast replicas, is very active in the market today. Their product line is too vast to cover here so I certainly encourage you to click the link and visit the website for yourself.

Before you do, however, check out this beauty:

Still mint, but not in the package

I love this truck. I would live in this truck. I would marry this truck. I may have a problem. Does anyone know a good therapist?

Time to head down ol’ Route 66

Also known as The Main Street of America, Route 66 has been made famous and eternal by both song and pictures. (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66 lists many of the stops along the highway that are still visited today, and the television show Route 66 (a bit ‘On the Nose’ there) kept the interest alive. Henry Fonda travelled down US 66 in The Grapes of Wrath depicting how it was used as a primary route for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

History. A cool collectible. And interesting trivia. What more can one post provide?

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