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February 24, 2011 by Becky Staudt

On Monday, February 14th I had the opportunity to attend the Disney D23 Cars and Stars event.  It was put on in conjunction with the New York Toy Show.  The event was held at Pier 60 of Chelsea Piers.

I entered the building and was quickly checked in. They gave us Cars and Stars Event lanyards and told us the event was starting at 10:30am even though the paperwork had said it was starting at 10am.  Not sure if they were starting it late or that was the original plan and just told everyone to get there by 10am.

I headed into the event and they had hot and cold drinks available and then we found our seats. Most of the Cast Members working the event had race car driver type suits on totally keeping in the theme of Cars. The event was basically divided into two parts. The first part involved a presentation and the second part allowed us to walk around and explore all the Cars toys that are coming.

Before long the event started.  Vince Klaseus the Senior Vice President of Global Toys hosted the event. They had made a car for him and he was hosting the Late Model Show.

The Cars franchise has netted over $2 billion in profits around the world with its combination of great story, great characters, and  lots of action. While most movies have a drop off in interest Cars defied that and has become more popular over the years.

They then had Mary Renner Beech come up and talk she is the Vice President and General Manager of Franchise development and marketing.

Cars 2 will have its North American release on June 24th, 2011 and will have one of the largest releases of related product available on the market.  From toys, to books, bedding, clothing, food and health and beauty products Cars 2 is being marketed  through many ways.

We got to watch the trailer for Cars 2 as well as a video by John Lasseter about the movie. He wished he could be there but needed to help finish the movie and he was super excited about all of the new toys as he is a huge toy fan. Cars 2 stemmed from John traveling around the world and thinking "what would Mater do?" in these situations.

Cars 2 is a spy movie and they suspect that Mater is involved in Espionage.  The characters travel around the world for the World Grand Prix.  The movie will have many new characters for Mater and McQueen to meet as they travel around the world.

Lighting McQueen's new rival will be Francesco Bernoulli, a famous Italian racecar who will be voiced by John Turturro.

Holley Shiftwell will be voiced by Emily Mortimer. Holley is a new spy that is just out of Spy academy and she is stationed in Tokyo her mission is to pursue Mater.  Holley works under Finn McMissile. Emily was at the event and she hopes that Holley will be an inspiration for girls who watch the movie.  Emily was presented with a LEGO version of Holley Shiftwell. When they said LEGO I was expecting it to be a small car but it was probably about a foot long.

Finn McMissile is voiced by Michael Caine who was also in attendance. Finn is Holley's boss and he is a British spy.  Finn is based off of a 1960's Aston Martin with some modifications.  This is Michael's first experience voicing an animated character and he decided to be involved in Cars 2 because he wanted to do a movie that his grand kids can watch.  Caine was given an interactive model of his character Finn McMissile

After the presentation we were allowed to go next door where there was over 100 different types of toys as well as food and drinks for everyone in attendance.

As soon as we were through the door we were greeted with a life size remote controlled model of Finn McMissile.  Finn will be touring the country along with a life size remote controlled Mater and Lightning McQueen sponsored by State Farm.

Some of the may toys that were on display included a wooden car and race track play set

Remote controlled Geotrak play sets

Hot Wheels Cars there are about 100 Hot Wheels cars that will be available for purchase, this display was two sided
.

Cars Alive 1:55 scale Lightning McQueen- this looks really cool it drives around and has a moveable mouth an it talks, it is about $60 I was expecting it to be more given the technology involved to make it so small.

Remote Controlled Finn McMissile and other Remote controlled cars.

Remote controlled Finn McMissile that drives on the wall and easily transfers to the floor without stopping.

Cars Monopoly

Cars Ridemakerz

Cars track sets

They had great signage all over that depicts the places Cars 2 visits.

On the way out the door, everyone in attendance was presented with a limited edition Lightning McQueen made specifically for this event.

Overall it was a great event, it got me super excited for Cars 2 and I hope that D23 puts on similar events in the future throughout the country.

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