GoPro Hero 8 Released, We Test It.

The GoPro Hero 8 has been released and is now available.

CoolToys received the GoPro Hero 8 to replace our workhorse Hero 4. Is it worth the money and would we do it again?

GoPro Hero 8 arrives at CoolToys TV!

Day One is a bust

The first day with the GoPro Hero 8 we decided to go right for the toughest job, filming surfing. There are a few things that GoPro has done better than anyone and capturing during on video really is the one thing that stands out.

We’ve put GoPros on race cars, surfboards, Jeeps, Motorcycles and even a Chevy Volt. For every one of those there is a solid competitor except surfing.

Day one with the new Hero 8 was a bust. Thirty minutes into the session the screen on the back went wonky and just had fat lines on it. We lost control of the camera, even after powering it off and back on. We did learn that like all GoPro cameras, the Hero 8 has a 8:51 recording file limit. It just starts the next file but it will catch you off guard if you aren’t expecting it.

GoPro Hero 8 to replace the GoPro Hero 4 we used for two seasons
Jeep to Jeep Go Pro Hero 4 day

After spending a hour just to get into a chat session, I was told to do a manual reload of the software. You’ll need a magnifying glass to get the serial number again, and very small fingers to remove the SD card. Take the battery out first. It makes it much easier.

Day Two Sort of Worked

Day two we got the video you see in this episode of CoolToys. It came out pretty good, and the battery lasted 57 minutes. We upgraded to a 128gb SD card so it was only 35% full at that point.

The catch was we could not get the RemoVU wireless controller to connect and the voice commands didn’t work in the water.

The real issue was when you stopped the video function it acted like you were scrolling through the options with short presses on the side power button. Several times I thought I was recording video and took a photo, burst mode or even a time lapse which doesn’t do much surfing.

Day Three A repeat of day two.

I didn’t have time to get on the phone with support again since the waves were great and I wanted to head back out for an afternoon session, sans the GoPro Hero 8 of course.

Cooltoys Approved

CoolToys Approved Stamp

If it is CoolToys Approved it means that we tested it, tried it, lived with it and liked it and our wives didn’t. If it was super cool and wife approved it is way down at the bottom in the “Sort Of Cool” section. The Jeep JK made the list. The JL was a close call because a couple of the wives liked it until the Jaguar F-Pace arrived.

Click on any picture to see where we bought it and if you like it, get your own.

LED Halo Headlights:

The first CoolToys Approved Product is these headlights from the first video:

The BUG-A-SALT The most fun we ever had with a gun:

Thanks Lorenzo for all the fun. The entire crew has one! This little salt firing air gun is great for picnics and back yard bbq days.

Hexa Traction and Versa Traction.

Both of these are great surfboard wax replacements. We tested over a dozen wax replacements, and these are the best. many were just bathtub stickers that people were selling for surfboards. Totally lame. These wax replacements fail the wife test because wax is only a dollar so they think it is a waste of money. Since the host is also a #RWTH, wax gets a thumbs down here at CoolToys. At the end of the day, we liked the Hex pattern the best because you can adjust it to any board.

Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited.

When our director showed up with the first 2015 Wrangler Sahara, the rest of the crew looked like the Grinch they were so green with envy. Eventually Scott picked up a 2016 Wrangler Sahara. That one is the reason we have the show to begin with. We were just working on web commercials for law firms, yoga studios and other corporate clients. The wives all agreed the Jeeps were “Ridiculous boy toys”. Of course that means Approved.

CoolToys Approved Jeep JK

You’ll have to find one at your local Jeep dealer. We really did our shopping for this one.

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited JL

At first this one was close. Jeep over civilized this one for die hard jeepers, it is very different from the JK. It is quieter, more powerful and you can even order it with All Wheel Drive instead of full time Four Wheel Drive. What does that mean? It means your wife can drive it and you won’t look silly pulling into an icy parking lot as the front end hops across the ice. That is only if you leave the AWD on. The 4WD still acts like a frog on a hot plate during tight turns on ice. Day one we had it up in the Lake Tahoe area in record snow and ice packs. The problem with the JL being so nice is that the wives started liking it until our friends at Jaguar delivered the F-pace. The wives quickly lost interest in the Jeep JL so it made the list.

Cooltoys Jeep JL out for a snow test

The JL did a great job on it’s first run in the snow and at high altitude. This is the new 2.0 L turbo mild hybrid. The start stop takes a little to get used to. The quieter interior is a bit odd, but the whistling comes back as soon as you take the top off once. The big news. Up hill, high altitude, the little turbo smokes the V-6, only downshifting from 8 to 7 instead of 8 to 5 when passing uphill.

The Stuff we Liked and so Did our Wives:

This is the stuff we would like to approve, but the wives approved it so it was either moved to CruToys or just listed here for honorable mention.

The Jaguar F-pace

Jag F-Pace - Almost a CoolToy

If you read anything above, you already know this. We got ours from Newport Beach Jaguar. This is by far the best looking SUV when you get the R Sport upgrade. The hot rod version holds it’s own with a 911 at zero to sixty. Who wouldn’t want to borrow that from their wife once in a while? This one goes on the CruToys side.

The Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Our Cold Brew kit. We liked it a lot as the temps hit triple digits but the wives came in a stole the office set up so we had to go buy another one. Then we broke one, so we bought a third one. Our staff Doctor says it is better than Diet Soda so, we had to have one.

The Mopar – Jeep Back Door Table

Jeep JL Door Tray

This one was close too. The wives kind of like it for picnicking. Sadly, the reality is that the little wires that hold the table came in unequal lengths to the table sits a tad lopsided. The dealer said they would get us new wires instead of returning the whole thing. That was three months ago otherwise we might have approved it. Try Amazon.

Amazon Echo and Dot aka Alexa

Overall we like the Echo and dot, and so do our wives. Most of the CoolToys team has them. The studio has an Echo and two dots hooked up to an a-bus system so we can pipe music everywhere. Since we don’t have speakers out front or back we grabbed a couple of Big-Blue-Live speakers and connected them via bluetooth. This is where Amazon falls on its face. The newest Echo Dot plays music from it’s speaker and the connected bluetooth speaker. The Echo will play music from no speaker when the Big Blue Live is connected. Say What? Online help is a big zero for this one. Tons of people in the “community” who don’t know anything just type to be read I guess.

Big Blue Live 2.0

Big Blue Live - Great Speaker

After buying a dozen blue tooth portable speakers, the Big Blue Live reigns supreme. When properly placed outdoors against a solid object the base is very good, and beats almost all of the much larger competitors. This one is CruToys approved since the wives like it too and it is the perfect outdoor go anywhere companion.

Check Back for More!

Jeep Gladiator Rubicon

Jeep Gladiator. It is here and the road test is coming soon. Wives already hate it, so it is off to a great start! This time we got a Rubicon. The review and comparo of the JK v JL and Gladiator is coming soon so check back.

Cold Brew Caffeine Fix

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Is Cold Brew the answer to the CoolToys Caffeine problem on hot summer days? As you might guess, a web series runs on a lot of caffeine. To solve the plastic water bottle problem, we started using insulated re-usable tumblers and having larger re-fillable water bottles on our shoots. We also switched to boxed and canned water for easier recycling.

The BeachStreetNews side of the office did a cold brew test so it was easy to bring it over to the production side of the office. As you might imagine getting up early for dawn patrol to test surfboard wax replacements or Jeep Headlights takes a lot of caffeine. Admittedly we were a huge consumer of Diet Coke.

A lot of plastic bottles, plastic straws and plastic lids were being wasted. After finding out about the work at 4Ocean, the entire BG family decided to reduce plastic use in all forms. That meant changing how we (ok I) drank Diet Coke.

The first step was to switch to a very large stainless steel insulated tumbler. Next was to stop driving through, and only go to McDonalds that had self serve fountain machines. With the McDonalds app, this made it easier so I am pretty sure I was actually drinking more Diet Coke.

Cold Brew Coffee.  Great for hot days, mellower than iced coffee.

One of our board members, Dr. Goldberg suggested that I switch to coffee for the health benefits. Not having ever been a coffee drinker, I laughed off the suggestion until he brought me a cold brew. Cold brew isn’t iced coffee. It is never heated up so it is less bitter and according so some websites has more anti oxidant properties.

After a week, I was nearly off of Diet Coke and now newly addicted to my Cold Brew caffeine source. The problem as the #RWTH guy is that pre made cold brew coffee came in plastic bottles.

Like a great beer, great cold brew became a home brewing problem. On the BSN side we tested several different cold brew systems and landed on one that I took home.

The only reason this kit didn’t get the CoolToys Approved© stamp is that it breaks easily. It needs a silicone base or to be made out of pyrex glass. If Pyrex makes one, we’ll buy it.

A side benefit at home is the coffee grounds can be spread around my yard and the palm trees seem to like it. The flaw of course is that the remaining acids can burn plants so start out lightly with the grounds. If you have a greenwaste program in your area, that is where the rest of the grounds need to go.

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CruToys – Just the Good Stuff!

La Vacharie – Nantes France. That Grill is a CruToy! The V-9 stove at the front door is a CoolToy!

CruToys – Just the Good Stuff, because some things are pretty cool, but our wives like them too. Cru is the French word for “Raw” or “Growth” depending on how you use it. Many people refer to Cru Wines as “Vintage” or “higher quality”.

CruToys are all of that. If it has the raw essence of cool without being trendy, it is on the path to being a CruToy. Yes of course we like wine so you will see a lot of things related to wine and cooking. Some will look great and be epic fails like the Cork Pops wine cork remover. It looked simple but the cheap Chinese plastic eventually. Having your hands covered in black plastic goo when you are serving wine is the fast path to an embarrassing moment. We know because it happened to us.

Classic cars like Scott’s old 1966 Mercedes SL would count as a CruToy. Let’s face it, no one NEEDs a classic sports car, but they are fun and wife approved. Even cheap sports cars like early Porsche Boxters that can be had for half the price of a new Kia, count as CruToys. Yes, many say the Boxter is the “Girls Porsche”, but We’d rather drive a Boxter than a Kia.

Living the CruToys Lifestyle means being engaged with the world, letting go of the trends and finding your own raw essence. There are dozens of self help books that talk about building a brand. Inside all of us we have a raw personality, which when unfiltered by political correctness, is our true self. For CoolToys host Scott, his brand is CoolToys with a little Cru on the side.

Look for videos coming soon. Buy Your Swag Now!

Jeep JL Door Sill Protectors By Quadratec

Don’t liked scratched doors on your JL? Get over it or protect it.

Door sill protectors are like many things when a new car comes out. They just don’t exist. The switch from the JK to the JL for Jeep was no exception. Since our JL was pretty early in the 2019 model year finding non mopar add on parts has been a bit challenging, but leave it to the Chinese to get something on the market right away.

Since we have a dog on the show that goes everywhere the CoolToys Jeep goes, we decided to put in some door sill protectors. We bought three different types from Amazon that said they were exactly the same size on the description. All of them looked very similar in the photos to the non-existent Mopar door sill protectors. When they arrived not one met the actual dimensions posted and all were way to small.

So after test fitting all three brands and deciding not one was worth the $12-$39 we spent we sent them all back. I looked closely at the dealer installed Mopar version and thought they were a little small too. Since they still weren’t available for purchase at the dealer parts counter, the decision to skip them was easy.

Then we found the Quadratec door sill protectors. At $49 plus shipping they were a bit pricey but we thought we would give them a try. After waiting nearly five weeks and forgetting we had ordered them, they arrived.

After putting in the first one on the back passenger side we noticed a small flaw in the molding. That is why there is the super sized close up. Both back door sill protectors have the same problem. I also figured out the front door sill protectors cover so much territory, that I probably needed to mark them to get them aligned perfectly.

Blue painters tape was used to install the front two protectors. I probably should have done the same on the back. I didn’t follow the instructions that came in the box to the letter. Instead I removed the protector film from the large strip and then pulled the corner on the skinny top part.

This way I could line it up and hold it against the lip and slide it into place. Then I just removed the little corner tab to remove the film from the skinny section on top and they were in.

In the back they could go another 3″ towards the back. That is where the dogs foot lands when she jumps in. I put a small piece of 3M Clear protection tape there. The stuff they make clear bras out of. Our friends at G1 Graphics hooked me up with the scraps.

The front protectors are nice and long and even cover the bolt where the body parts meet.

See you on the trek, and don’t forget the wave – Scott


The Jeep JL or the Jeep JK That is THE Question!

Dealers are making deals. The Jeep JK and JL are both on the lot. In fact in 2018, Jeep was selling both the JK and JL models and many dealers still have both 2018 models hiding out back with great prices on them. We were very tempted to go with a 2018, but we picked up a 2019 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara JL. While we think it is a little too civilized, it is still a serious Jeep.

The 2019 Jeep JL we picked up arrived nearly identical to the Jeep JK we gave back. We added a lot of CoolToys approved upgrades like LED Halo head lights, Diamond LED tail lights, a headliner, and roof rack. The 2019 had all of that from the factory. Well the roof rack was an add on but it was a Jeep Mopar part and we like it better than the Rhino Rack even though it whistles a bit at speed.

After taking it into four foot snow drifts and spending a week in the Lake Tahoe area, we brought it back to the studio for a review and a couple quick add ons. The review is pretty straight forward since our 2019 came equipped just like the 2016 JK left.

CoolToys Jeep JL in Snow

Two things we already added to the new JL. First was the fold down tray for the back door which is great for long road trips. Next was a WeatherTech seat cover for co-host Chloe the dog because the old seat cover was not cool. After using several slightly less expensive seat covers in our JK, we spent our own money and bought the WeatherTech. It is the hands down winner, but we suggest a couple of those elastic clips for holding the sheets on the bed. Chloe manages to get it all bunched up when she jumps in. Other than that, the Weathertech seatcover is CoolToys Approved!

The Video for this episode contained an error, and as soon as we have it corrected it will be back online.

2016 Jeep JK Final Upgrade – Headliner Kit

The CoolToys Jeep JK Gets a Headliner Kit

If you have trouble talking on the cell phone, if your head is hot on long trips, or cold in the winter, maybe a headliner kit can help. If you have a Jeep JK that is.

In this episode Scott spends 5 hours in 103+ heat driving up to the old garage studio and then does it again coming back to the beach. On the way up, no headliner and the main camera is in a duffle bag.

On the way back, new headliner and the Canon XF 100 is in a nice Pelican case for the ride home.

******The Video Was Taken Down Due To An Error and Will be Back Soon*****

If you want your interior to be even a little quieter, a headliner kit will do the trick.