Monthly Archives: February 2008

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: “More Coming …” Toyfair 2008 Part II

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Mattel didn’t spend a great deal of time showing off CARS 1:55 (the Mini Adventures line is another story – our more indepth coverage of the Toy Fair Mini coverage is coming separately).

We still have no word as where the “missing E to J” “new” CARS are … from the display at Toy Fair they are clearly ready to go and not prototypes they are showing off. New CARS shown at Toy Fair are incorporated into the main 2008 SEALED CASES post.

What else can we gleam from the CARS display?

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There are actually different types of “Pitty” bodies (including a more correct-sized tire) and Pitty’s to come not announced …

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Perhaps there will be more configurations in Gift Packs assortments besides this one … while it’s cool to get Crew Chief Leak Less & Stacy Pitty … not so much on the 19th version of Leak Less.

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And the Pit Row Race Off “launchers” get refreshed with some old …

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Um, RPM? I think I might have him, let me check …

Will they release every Piston Cup racer as a launcher? So, instead of charging us $29 a box for 6-7, Mattel will just charge us $7.99 times 36? (of course, above & beyond the $199 + tax + shipping + RL membership for the Speedway of the South entire set?)

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Trunk Fresh Pit Row Race Off actually was on a card marked NO STALL so presumably, No Stall will be a launcher relatively soon?

So to speculate further, this could be Mattel’s new plan going forward – they could be dividing the line out to:

“Average Collectors”
“Serious Collectors”
“Completists”
“Ultra Completists”

Until December 2007, CARS were really only essentially available in two ways – on blister cards and in box sets. So, of course, whether you only collected the CARS you really liked or were a completist, buying them on blisters cards were your only choice. With the exception of Rollin’ Bowling Mater’s game/BJ Warehouse set and the Dinoco 400, the box sets only appealed to: openers trying to catch up, gift givers or ultra completists. For the average buyer, spending $2.97 to $3.49 a CAR was a great price point. The CARS were interesting looking and a good value as a “casual” reward or gift for their kids, the neighbor kids, the grandkids, etc … the Movie Moments were a little more but as a blister, it still represented a “casual” buy. A box set always appears as a more serious gift even at $9.99 – that set the bar a bit high as it were, box sets usually only sold well during the holiday seasons …

(The ultra completists do NOT count into this as they will buy anything as long as Mattel makes some effort … Ultra completists have the holiday ornament even though they were essentially a car re-released for the 10th time on a flimsy plastic tray along with a cardboard ornament :-) or ;-( ).

Average Collectors
So the singles & Movie Moments will still be geared towards the casual buyers – a quick cheap way to pick up a CAR. This line will mostly comprise of the CARS that hold the most general appeal and eye-catching interest. That’s not to say that Mattel is abandoning “new” CARS inserted into here but rather, only the CARS that will are appealing to everyone whether they are rabid CARS collectors or not. Of course, this includes most of the townies of Radiator Springs who most everyone knows by now but also obvious CARS such as Dale Jr., the Elvis RV, etc … who cross all barriers of interest … and while we fanatics want all the Pit Crews and maybe we’re even willing to buy 5 of each, for the average fan? They would definitely want My Name is Not Chuck but would they want Trunk Fresh Pitty or Mood Spring Pitty? That’s not to say they’re not going to buy any of the other configurations but they will carefully weigh spending anymore than $3.49 on a CAR on a case-by-case basis.

Serious Collectors
Serious collectors are going to buy up everything within reason. They are mostly completists with some exception. They are going to buy any new CAR in the single pack but they’re not complete completists … for instance, they obviously bought Leak Less as a single a while back but might be willing to buy Leak Less again in the Gift Pack since it includes Stacy, Leak Less Pitty & Leak Less Crew Chief … for Mattel, that’s an extra $3.33 in sales since if the other two were available as singles, the serious collector would of course buy them as singles and skip buying Leak Less again … of course, Mattel is going to try to push this as far as they can … witness the Charlie Check CAR with yellow tail-lights bundled in the gift pack with King & Lightning McQueen. Some serious collectors will skip it but for others, Mattel makes three times what they might’ve sold before. This is where the launchers (Pit Row Race Off) CARS are also an opportunity for Mattel to re-sell the same CARS. These collectors MIGHT buy the launchers or not but these collectors are definitely NOT going to buy the singles again of the racers already out … so for Mattel, they’ve doubled the odds on CARS already out in re-selling to serious collectors.

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Completists/Ultra Completists
This audience, Mattel knows is pretty 100% on board. They only thing they have to be careful in is in not explicitly driving them away like a box set of 6 Lightning McQueen’s with the #84 Mac iCar for $29.99 …

So, if we don’t get the “missing CARS” as WM exclusives – we might start seeing a revised Gift pack & launcher collection.

MORE

And of course, beyond the Mini’s, Mattel is still trying to get us buy another line since the PULLBACK line is dead, how about a larger quasi-pullback with more options and directions?

The Movie Stunts lineup – hard to tell the exact scale but maybe 1:43ish? Or something between 1:43 & 1:55. Looks all plastic – not that interesting to me but there ya go:

Looks like the initial lineup will at least be McQueen, Chick Hicks & Boost.

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PART I of the Toyfair post is here.

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Filed under Advertising, Checklist, Film, Financial, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, TV

Mattel Pixar Disney Cars: Where Be the CARS?

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There might not be many CARS on the store shelves but there are plenty at SF’s WonderCon comic book/toy show convention/exhibit which runs until tomorrow night. (They also run Comic-Con).

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There were at least 4 of these rack-cages … okay, the inside weren’t CARS but there definitely was not a shortage of them at the show. Most older ones were $3-$4. Some of you might lament to know that Dale Jr. could easily be found for $5 … as could Tow, My Name is Not Chuck & Race Official Tom. Dudley Spare was $7 and the real spendy was Dinoco Mia & Tia & Gold Mia/Tia at $15 …

For those who are still missing a few or don’t mind paying a few extra bucks, remember to check out your local comic/toy/diecast car show and when the weather turns nicer – flea markets. You want to make sure it’s one of the larger ones – walk around to look for the best deals and remember, you can always haggle … or for the truely dedicated, show up late on Sunday and really haggle, remind them everything they sell is money in their pocket and they don’t have to carry their inventory home :-)

Of course, at your local toy/comic show, you can also pick up one of these bad boys …

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Filed under Advertising, Checklist, comics, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, Toys

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: Costco Carrying Case

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This might be the carrying case that fits a lot of needs, you get 4 “Compartment Boxes” that get clipped together by that front piece and handle. It looks deep enough to hold everyone except maybe Barney Stormin’ and probably Al Oft … you can probably fit about 65-ish CARS if you modify some of the dividers as reader Amanda notes (my original estimate of 100 was a little too optimistic) … but still not a bad deal for $15, most other cases seem to start at over $20 and it seems nice that you can easily see all the CARS since it’s semi-transparent.

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Amanda/Dragoness managed to fit 68 CARS in there – and sent along some great photos. As Amanda notes, “(the case) only has “half” spaces and not “quarter” spaces to place the dividers.”

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Here Amanda placed them on top as pre-planning … better than my plan of throwing them all in a heap and shaking it – whatever falls out goes into the next box :-)

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And yes, Al Oft & Dinoco fit just fine …

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“Also, each case holds 12 regular/large size cars, but the smaller cars fit in the half spaces so I guess if you have a lot of cars you COULD fit more than the original numbers, but the average “as is” is 12-16 cars each, and as modified 16-18 cars each.”

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Thanks Amanda!

Our other post on displaying your CARS is here.

And while you’re there, pick up some of Glad’s Press ‘n Seal (no, they’re not a sponsor :-) and I don’t usually rave about pieces of plastic but they work great on meats you’re putting in the freezer or like luncheon meats in the fridge. You wouldn’t think that just using your fingers to seal something would be any different than throwing it into a plastic ziploc bag or even wrapping it in foil and throwing it into a ziploc bag? But it does. I had some steaks that got pushed back to the back of fridge and two weeks later, they are still red with virtually no freezer crystals … so while not as 100% waterproof as vacuum sealing, it works pretty amazingly well for something just using your fingers to seal … how does this relate to CARS? Um, you can Press ‘n Seal your CARS and then put them in the Store ‘n Go … along with some steaks?

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So get some Mexican Coca-Cola with real cane sugar, some Press ‘n Seal, some Store ‘n Go CARS cases and some steaks – there’s your first 15 minutes of shopping at Costco then all you need is an aquarium, some cheese and something really inappropriate

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Filed under Checklist, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Toys, TV

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: “More Coming …” Toyfair 2008

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Well, the show doesn’t officially open until tomorrow.

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Here’s an interesting quote,

“Disney’s “Cars,” which, despite no new film or TV content, generated $2 billion in retail sales in 2007 and has become a major priority for Disney that it plans to support with additional content in the future.”

HUMM …

“The biggest trend industrywide at Toy Fair — where toy manufacturers display their 2008 lines to the media, Wall Street investors and retailers — is the increasing number of toys being sold that connect to Internet play and, with the inputting of special codes found on the toys, unlock virtual worlds.

“Clearly, every single toy that is coming out now seems to have a Web site linked to it,” Samet said. “WebKindz was the first one.”

Disney on Monday will unveil its first line of Internet-connected toys, called Clickables. Developed in collaboration with its licensee Techno Source, the toys will be based on Disney Fairies and unlock an immersive virtual world that will be launched in the fall. Robert Marick, vp and GM at Disney Toys North America, said the technology goes beyond what’s already out in the marketplace and takes Internet-based toys to the next level. He said the technology will be applied to other Disney properties in the future.

Other toy lines that hook up to Internet worlds on display at Toy Fair include Mattel’s Barbie Girls, launched in 2007; Hot Wheels, launching this year; U.B. Funkeys collectible vinyl figures; and Hasbro’s Littlest Pet Shop. Warners said Mattel would be launching Funkeys to connect with a Speed Racer virtual world.”

An online world for CARS?

HUMM …

Meanwhile Mattel will be also be busy on ‘Speed Racer.’

“Mattel, the master toy licensee for the film, said all its Speed Racer toys will be co-branded with its Hot Wheels brand.”

Official SPEED RACER movie trailer:

Or if you prefer the HD version to download.

Toys, yea, just a few – here are some released photos …

Mattel is doing the CARS in different scales, here’s the 1:18 scale one …

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Speed Racer Legos (nice) …

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(much cooler …)

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Speaking of toys & the internet, you can check out the Legos Indiana Jones sets coming out next summer and start playing the online game.

Or not exactly up my alley but for once, Ken does not look like a dork or as the clearly-gay beard of Barbie …

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Christine Ricci plays Trixie – not a bad likeness of her.

Of course, in case you hadn’t noticed, they sculpt and reproduce figures not just for kids anymore … if this were the Supergirl of my youth, I think I might’ve read her comic …

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(this is the DC Direct / Kotobukiya Supergirl Vinyl Statue)

But of course, some things never change – they will nearly license and sell anything …

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If you’re a girl between the ages of 4 and 9, okay … if you’re a guy with a 5 o’clock shadow, please step away from the box …

Part II, the CARS part is up.

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Filed under Advertising, comics, Design, Film, Internet, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Media, TV

Mattel Pixar Cars: NEW Mini Adventures Target Easter Eggs

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Looks like Target has a new exclusive for Easter and it’s ACTUALLY an exclusive! … Yes, no more crappy re-packagings and it’s even reasonably priced (last year’s mock ornament was almost 80% more than regular pricing for what? A 1-dimensional hanging cardboard circle they called an ornament? …)

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It’s three different MINI ADVENTURES Cars sets.

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(this looks like the ‘rainbow’ Mater shown at Comic Con last year … though it looks like they did not paint/add a design to the roof)

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Thanks to reader “Sarah”, she says the other two are:

Fillmore’s Festival; a red, white, & blue Sarge with Fillmore
A light blue Ramone with a purple & pink Flo.

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Completists might note, reader “Kdippong22″ notes that the Ramone/Flo set & the LM/Mater set come with BLUE or GREEN eggs but that the Sarge set only appears with a RED egg but perhaps time will tell if you find the Sarge set in different colors eggs.

UPDATE: Now, we’re not so sure LM or Flo comes in BOTH colors. I have visited 4 Target’s and where they have them displayed, I have only see the three packages in the three eggs as show in the photo above … and I looked about 10 sets selling on eBay and they all match so we’re waiting on photographic proof so for the time being, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to find them – they might be a rare error set … and until we turn up a batch for them, it’s just an error – amusing and interesting but otherwise, not consider a color variant.

UPDATE #2: Well, they’re pretty real to reader, Kdippong22 who was kind enough to snap a few pics for us …

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He loaded the other pics online – links in the comments, thanks Kdippong22.

Here’s what the bin position looks like & the tag – some stores are still loading Easter stuff since technically it’s about a month away …

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Or you can pretend to be a spy and try and decipher my low res blurry photo … okay, here’s the number below and reader John recommends calling and having them set them aside for you. Here’s the Target store locator webpage.

Thanks to reader Susan, the Target code seems to be 087-07 1795.

Our original CARS Mini post & the follow-up.

And these don’t appear to be on the regular schedule of Mini’s coming out … so finally, an exclusive that’s really an exclusive … though, of course – not the 1:55 scale CARS.

And resistance is futile …

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Mattel Pixar Disney Cars Checklist: September 2007 to Today

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Just to avoid any confusion, yesterday’s checklist is for those of us who are willing to buy a 3rd Lizzie or a 15th Lightning McQueen but not two WOC Bling Bling McQueen’s!

DO NOT WANT!!!

:-)

So, to avoid any confusion, this list is EVERYTHING NEW from the post recall embargo CARS era – about September 2007 to today.

I only listed the “new” CARS or CARS Mattel has marked ‘new.’ For multi-packs or boxes, I only listed the ‘new’ CARS you’re should be looking for. In the case of the Movie Moments, I listed the last two Supercharged MM’s who left the stage and returned a few weeks later as World of Cars Movie Moments – since they’re the same CARS and the two Supercharged ones are harder to find for most people …

There were also some questions about what CARS were available as NEW and as “blank” so there are two check-off/bubble-in areas.

For collectors who open everything, you can ignore the check-off/bubble-in choices but for those MOC or MIB collectors (mint on card or mint in box), here is your checklist to be certain you have 2 of everything … or in some cases, 4 of everything – just likes Mattel likes it.

(TJ, Fred & Kori) – each available 4 different ways if you count CAR variants and packaging variants.

The just released GHOSTLIGHT RAMONE on WOC card comes in a ‘new’ and blank card version. And yes, you can argue until you too are blue in the face that’s it’s a lot of things but not new … though technically, it has never appeared on a WOC card so it’s “new,” to Mattel.

The Gift Packs (aka: 3-packs) do not have the “overall” interstate-design NEW like the individual cards but it does have the phrase “New Model” attached to the ‘new’ CAR within each 3-pack. And yes, there is a version without the mini banner “New Model.”

Confused? Now you get why Mattel does it. When in doubt, just buy it …

Speaking of which – when you get all dizzy from deciphering CARS, wouldn’t a t-shirt make a great soft pillow?

Buy a t-shirt from us :-)

Of course, the main 2008 post is here.

Rest of posts are here.

Of course, the CARS packaging that do not come with both versions are listed with only one check-off/bubble-in area. Enjoy!

(PNG graphic file – just copy or drag off onto your desktop and PRINT)

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Mattel Pixar Disney Cars Checklist: The Been Here-Done That List 2008

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Now, this list won’t be very useful to many – this is simply a list for the ultra completists who will fight you to the death for a WOC Lizzie … well, okay, maybe not ‘fight to the death,’ – maybe just a simple “ACK!”

For the ultra completists who have to have every CAR on card, it’s a little hard to keep track what’s out and what they already have …

… so this is just a list of Supercharged & WM Speedway of the South Exclusives REPEATS that are returning as World of Cars.

… most on this list are already out … the second column indicates it’s already out and on the store shelves …

Good luck!

For those who are Ultra-Competists in name only can buy a t-shirt from us :-)

Of course, the main 2008 post is here.

Rest of posts are here.

(PNG graphic file – just copy or drag off onto your desktop and PRINT)

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