Monthly Archives: May 2008

Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Mom! Dad! Look What We Found!

In case you forgot why we collect CARS …

CARS fans Tim & Sarah received a little box in the mail today and I think Jack and Ethan might already know what’s inside … :-)

Lucky kids, why, I remember when I was growing up, I had to walk through 10-feet of snow just to get to the granite quarry where I had to chisel my own rock to carve a CAR … :-)

Plus mom & dad were smart enough to live near the Mattel distribution center …

May all your ‘opening days’ be just as fun!

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Filed under Advertising, Checklist, collecting, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Media, Retail, Toys, TV

Mac’s: 66% Market Share – Facts Not Spin

It would be hilarious if it weren’t so sad. NPD’s report that Apple Mac’s market share of $1,000+ personal computer is 66% is not really subject to interpretation – except apparently for the last dying gasp of PC fans.

Here’s how this works.

Of the people who had and were willing to spend $1,000 on a personal computer, 66% looked, shopped and choose a Mac. It’s as simply as that.

You can dig further down but extrapolate that generally, the more well-heed your customers are, the better off you are (as a seller) – whether you’re selling cars, refrigerators or computers. For the company selling products, it generally means you have higher margins or better yet, have created a brand of higher value.

In other words, the market share of Windows OS personal computers in the $1,000+ group has slipped from 98% to 34% in 7 years. That is not a good trend.

Why is that? Part of the reason is that Microsoft has poisoned its own name. They traded short term profits (1992 to 2002) for long term branding. By neglecting Windows and placing their NAME large & square in FRONT of every virus report, every global trojan and the poor customer choice of blaming the hardware manufacturer who then blamed Microsoft for the user woes – what are they left with?

A brand that is perceived as a commodity that’s just built in – it’s the OS assigned to you at work much like the OS on the fax machine or the copier. It’s just there. Now, in the beginning of the desktop technology age (1985 to 1995), Microsoft’s brand held esteem as the leading edge of technology and why not buy the brand I’m using at work, right? Why not get my opportunity to own the leading edge also? But Microsoft frittered that away through arrogance, later neglect and now apparently cluelessness – what does the name Microsoft now mean to the average personal computing consumer?

It is the OS you get when you buy a $499 computer. It’s useable, it’s passable but that’s all it’s worth. How can we tell? What percentage of PC users paid for the full Vista upgrade? Versus what percentage of Mac users paid for the full retail upgrade?

And of course, now this stat. Which basically can be summed up as such: If I have or am willing to spend more than $1,000 on a personal computer, I’m 66% more likely to buy a Mac. That’s what the numbers say in black & white. Not many ways to spin it.

Whether you think Macs are over-priced does not matter in this equation because there are literally thousands of PC’s choices that are readily available – it’s not as though there is limited competition in the $1,000+ PC category – the bottom line is those can afford or are willing to spend more than $1,000 on a computer will 2 to 1 buy a Mac now after considering a PC.

That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with selling to the masses at the low end – there is certainly money to be made, the audience is large – the margins are much lower but it’s a living.

But PC fans & MS still think it’s 1995 – it’s not for Microsoft’s real reality. Face the facts, they are simply the low priced OS of “choice” for those who don’t wish to spend $1,000 on a personal computer. Microsoft should stop having pretensions otherwise, that is the problem. Somehow, because Bill Gates is worth $50 BILLION dollars, that means his company brand should carry high esteem and brand worth but it’s exactly like Wal-Mart. There are dozens of Wal-Mart billionaires also and like WM, the store – they are profitable but everytime WM tries to go upscale or even slightly upmarket, they get pushed back to their new natural order (with WM, it’s the George apparel line).

It is exactly the same with Microsoft now. They occupy the low tier of brand value for consumers now – hence why MSN, the ISP could not defeat AOL (after MS spent $4 BILLION dollars!), why WIN mobile phones sell so poorly after 8 years in the marketplace, nor could they “revolutionalize” the watch industry … not the home networking industry and why after 18 months, they have “shipped/sold” as many Zunes that Apple sells in 1 WEEK.

When given a CHOICE, consumers do not choose Microsoft unless price is the sole factor.

This is also why MSN Search is such a colossal failure – even when FREE and a switch is 2-seconds away, MSN or LIVE Search is still such a failure and LOSING market share after plowing $6 bilion in R&D & marketing.

Consumers didn’t randomly arrive at their mistrust and assignment of MS products and technology to the low tier/price as the sole factor in decision making – this is a hard fought battle of amazing neglect on Microsoft’s part. From blithely ignoring and blaming users for viruses and trojans, their solution after 6 YEARS and hundreds of millions of infections? – send us $100 for virus patches … to the case of the Xbox 360, instead of building consumer goodwill by actively acknowledging build & over-heating issues, again, their solution is to try and ignore the problem – again, poisoning their own well for a short term gain … triumphing 10-million console sales but not accounting for the 10-30% returned and non functional units … and after a year, they have lost 30% of the market to the Wii and slipping behind sales of the PS3 – the pattern repeats itself. They still have a fan base but beyond that?

This is a company that has literally and figuratively failed in EVERY consumer venture since 1995. The company has been propped up by enterprise sales so unlike most companies that can spend some $50 BILLION over the past ten years on divisions that has accounted for ZERO profit, they just keep plugging along as if showing up and saying we’re #1 is enough for everyone to fold up and go home. It doesn’t work that way in the consumer market. Microsoft should do two things – a) either just concentrate on the enterprise market or b) acknowledge that they are a lowly consumer brand and accept that fact and just sell on pricing. They have spent too long on poisoning their own name for anything loftier and even if you want to go upscale and upmarket – their recent attempts are just as feeble and ill-conceived such as the Zune or Vista – both positioned as if they’re cool and better than anyone else. They simply aren’t because it’s from Microsoft – a brand that consumers mistrust and associated with poor working technology. It can be fixed but first they have to get off their arrogant horse and realize they are riding an ass and not a horse – no one is fooled.

Buying Yahoo and/or causing further complications (such as requiring users to have a LIVE name to access anything) is only going to further sink their cause.

They are rapidly losing the highest margin customers to Apple. Those with more than $1,000 to spend on a computer are buying Macs 2 to 1.

We know in all computer sales, while PC sales have slowed to a few % points growth, Apple is galloping at 35% – of course, Apple is starting from a smaller base but growth is growth and apparently with each sale, Apple is obviously adding in revenue at $1k per machine while MS only adds $50 per machine in OEM Vista sales.

So, Microsoft is losing market share in the below $1,000 personal computer category – even to Linux in the below $500 category – and what is their response to forces pushing them in from all sides?

To buy Yahoo?

What happens if Google builds an internet desktop that doesn’t require Windows – knowing Google, it will be bundled for FREE with a $300 personal computer … leaving Microsoft with no high end margin sales (or very much diminished if Apple continues to add 35% growth every year) and Google gives away a free OS?

Windows 7 available in 3 years selling for $169 will resolve this?

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Filed under Advertising, Apple, Apple Mac, Computing, Design, Financial, Gadgets, Internet, Marketing, Media, Retail

Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Speedway, Factory Set-Red Line Exclusives

For everyone who wanted a set in the US, I hope you got in under the relatively relaxed time constraint and I know for international collectors, you had to jump through some hoops.

This is a general recap and an assessment of the situation.

eBay?

First, it depends on what kind of collector and of course, your general stance on collecting. If you’re an ultra completist mint-in-box, mint-on-card collector, of course you have to have this. If you were not able to get one, there will be plenty of opportunities on the secondary market in the next few weeks. As “Noel” mentions, there will be buyer’s remorse or someone who bought 4 and now, everytime they walk by the room, the extra sets are quietly ghost-like whispering ($345 dollars, $345 dollars … or in the case of those who bought 4 and didn’t tell their spouse … “dead man walking, dead man walking.”) (including the RLC membership) … or they get it in their hands and the thrill of the chase is more enticing than actually finding it … conversely, there are those who wanted it and rashly decided to sleep in or doing something silly like helping the needy (I’m kidding! I’m kidding!) or of course, you happen to live in a country that Mattel doesn’t recognize (America, Canada – you’re okay … Cuba, Iran, Libya, or Sudan – not so fast … England, you say? – sorry, not on my list. Portugal – nope, not on the list of countries we recognize :-( :-)

Historical Pattern Pricing?

The only real history for CARS exclusive box set pricing is the 2006 Factory Set which sold for $149 plus $12 for shipping + $30 for RL membership or @$190.00. The problem is that in its time context, it’s hard to measure against any other sets. Again, I am not arguing whether you want to, need to, or not buy it. That is entirely your decision, I’m only speaking of its pattern of pricing and sales. The only real problem is that between the time Mattel announced it and when it was actually sold/or released, the market had changed. Because by the time the set became available in October 2007, Mattel has switched to the Supercharged card design while the Factory Set was still the desert art – also by the time the set was available, we were awash in CARS from the early WOC releases, the WM 8, the new 3-packs and the holiday Movie Moments – all diminishing interest at some level and taking money off the CARS table as it were – just as if the set had been released during the summer CARS drought (pre WM8), who knows, it might’ve sold in 15-minutes only because people had CARS money budgeted but nothing to buy … so it’s never easy to do direct comparisons because each circumstance is so different.

Because you can argue logically for and against anything collectible. So, while I’m generalizing a bit, basically, after the set went on sale on the Red Line Club and sold out in about 3.5 hours, there was virtually no movement on the secondary market (most sold for around $200 so if you include the membership cost, virtually no profit) – not necessarily that it was a bad set – only that it arrived when we were awash with literally dozens of CARS in various packs so most people’s interests were on other CARS – so when most of the auctions on eBay didn’t generate much interest, sellers stop listing. And then you get a seesaw supply/demand/pricing pattern. Then later, when one person lists it as a BUY IT NOW for $400 and it sells – suddenly, more auctions appear but add in a few more auctions available then, the equalibrium price gets pushed down to $250 – at that price, sellers drop away – waiting for the next high benchmark and cycle … and of course, what is profitable to one seller is not-enough for another. It all depends. Basically, patience is a virtual. If you don’t have to have one this instant, you might pay $150 less than the next guy for this set but then again, maybe it’s worth $150 extra to you not to have to keep checking eBay. In college, $150 might’ve bought us a UPS truck of ramen :-) but after you’ve been working a while, $150 is half a day’s work … and just like some of you happily pay for a $150 dollar bottle of wine, many of you think anything above $10 is foolish. :-)

The one thing with this set is of the 500ish floating around there – I’ll bet 475 are unopened since my feeling is only true hardcore collectors bought this set – now, what % vow to hold onto it until their last gasp of air on Earth or what % are willing to part for a hundred % return, that’s difficult to say … but its size also plays a factor into it – sometimes people just want to sell it because it’s so damn large in addition they don’t care anymore so if they can reasonable get their money back – SOLD.

The Future of the Speedway Set?

Again, it depends on why you are buying this. If you are merely buying this as an investment, like most things, the price will ebb and flow – while people like to cite “real investments,” how’s that Enron stock working out for you? Or instead of buying MIcrosoft 15 years ago, you bought 2 years ago … just like the guy who sold a Speedway set for $360 on ebay earlier today … the guy made a $60 profit for 3 minutes of work – to him, clearly enough return while another listing is at $1,000 – what is it’s real worth? Well, we know have a pretty reliable secondary market – eBay … and sure, action figures (or toys) can be fickle but it’s impossible to predict its future value. Things fall in favor, things fall out of favor – from art to first edition books to fashion. Sure, most toys nowadays are always going to be available mint-on-card or mint-in-box but honestly, after a while people forget about them or there are so few listings on eBay, at long as you have 2-4 people actively seeking that thing, prices will stay high. Some things going in favor of this set, it’s limited, and until Mattel releases the remaining 22+ Piston Cup racers, the 22+ CARS are truly exclusive & limited. But again, while people might care today or 5 years down the line? It’s impossible to say. That’s exactly like saying “what is the right time to sell my stock?” There is no answer because if I said, I could guarantee you that in 10 years, the set will sell for $1,000 … presuming inflation isn’t too crazy, that’s a nice return on your money but if you just got out school and you’ll be changing jobs and moving 9 times in the next 10 years, how much is it worth to you to schlep this giant box from place to place – all to make @$75 a year return? See, you can figure it a thousand ways.

Or on a practical level, is the value diminished if I said every CAR will be released? Maybe, maybe not. Because the final interested party is going to be the ultimate decider. They might have every Piston Cup racer but think, man it would be nice to have that mantle-piece set even if it means repeating their collection – or Mattel could go all crazy and release a freakin’ Speedway set EVERY year and if you buy ten, you get a complete racetrack (along with 10 more Lightning McQueen’s) … even with that, maybe people will still just clamor for the first one?

So, there’s no predicting the future. Not only that, every set that sells after the first few weeks will face different circumstances … some completely un-connected to CARS, eBay or even your particular auction. Same goes for opening or not opening it, its final value can be seen from all vantage points … like the $1,000 example above – in the early stages of your life $750 (profit) is a lot of money but later on in life, it might not even buy you a wedding cake … and of course, that’s not a guarantee … what if it will sell for $500 in ten years, not even matching inflation … in other words, is it worth $10 a year to open and play with it? Or maybe it’s $2,000? Maybe in ten years, you’ll be worth $50 million, then what’s even $2,000 to buy a set of memories of 2008? I don’t know and no one can say either absolute with any certainty about any purchase or investment.*

So, bottom line – it’s your money & your purchase. Have the fun that you think is the way you want to go. Whether that’s encasing it in argon and a museum case to admire it, whether that’s to open and twist-tie them or whether it’s to see the Speed Racer funnel launcher will really shoot a CAR across your ceiling. Have fun!

*Okay, you can buy T-bills and you know your return but not exactly exciting.

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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Speedway of the South-Live Blogging (SOLD OUT! 11:30 AM PST)

Oh, is that buying the Motor Speedway of the South thing today?

Tick, tick, tick …

Are you in or out?

Here’s a song to listen to while you decide.

“CarsMama” notes now all the individual CARS are now available in high res mode at the Club.

Be sure and report in after the zero hour if you decided to buy, how did it go and or if you decided to pass …

Are you hiding from your boss? :-)

Are you Outlook-booked with no chance for anyone to edit between 8:30 and 1:30 today?

It all went pretty smoothly. I didn’t have my credit card info so I even typed it in and took time to get screen shots – think it was less than 4 minutes. Hope it all went/goes smoothly for you.

9:15 AM (West Coast time) – still available.

From all the comments – so far so good …

9:20 AM … 20 minutes and still available – okay, who’s thinking of buying a 2nd membership?

9:30 AM … Still available. It’s a dog! SELL! SELL! SELL! (just kidding! :-) )

9:45 AM … Still available. Well, Mattel certainly was prepped for this so good for that – when they seem to have pre-loaded the page last week presuming a sell-out, I was a little worried but they seem to have gotten all the servers & programming in order so – great.

They ship pretty quickly. This should leave the warehouse in the next few days (from Texas or Wisconsin – if you lived in either states, you also had sales tax) – those that paid extra for 2-day shipping might even get it by Friday. For those who paid priority, if you live closer to the Midwest, you might also get it by Friday … for ground, again, those in the Midwest should get the quickest – maybe Monday? (This is presuming they ship out today or tomorrow).

10:00 AM – an hour and still AVAILABLE. I’m starting to get hungry – do I leave the computer? BTW, in the confirmation email, don’t let this alarm you …

“Your order is being processed and will ship as quickly as possible, pending product availability and credit approval.”

That’s their standard legalese in case they accidentally stack 2-million Speed Racer Barbie’s in front of the CARS pallet. Oh, and be sure and either note your confirmation number or print out that page – just in case you have to follow up for some reason.

10:15 AM – I’m definitely going to pass out from hunger … so let me know if it sells out in the next 20 minutes … here’s a tidbit from John, one of the HWC Club Administrators regarding the set:

“This item came out of a meeting right before the CARS movie was released (like two years ago – there’s a long story maybe I’ll tell you if I see you at the Convention) and we were asked personally by John Lasseter (head guy at Pixar) to make a set that included all of the Piston Cup racers. It’s taken a long time to get it done, but I have to say this is one of the best sets HWC has ever made (even though it’s not even a HW set).”

10:22 AM – maybe we should take this guy’s advice on the HW Forum … “I was in K-Mart today and I purchased the #52 car Leak Less,#64 RPM, and the #28 Notroade. They look just like the cars in the Motor Speeday of the South Set. The Store Magt. said they were putting the rest out later tonight. I only paid $3.49 a car!!!!!! What a big savings and I WILL HAVE THE WHOLE SET FOR LITTLE OF NOTHING!!!!!”

I hate buying a set from the RL Club when I just walk over to K-mart and buy it for little or nothing for almost practically the same thing … or maybe that’s just the hunger …

10:35 AM – Still Available. Sorry to be late with this notice but straight from the HW Shop Website:

“Can I bill my order to an international address?
We can accept international billing; however, we are prohibited from selling to Cuba, Iran, Libya, or Sudan. All orders are in U.S. currency. The ship-to address for the item must be within the U.S., its territories, and Canada only. If you have a friend or family member in the U.S. who can receive shipments for you, enter their shipping address in the ‘ship to’ fields and your billing address in the ‘bill to’ fields. We will ship the item to your friend or family member, who must assume the responsibility of shipping the item on to you.”

10:45 AM – BTW, it should be noted that Mattel is selling 1,000 sets – but presumably based on the Lassister story above, there are additional sets being given away to people at Pixar, Disney & Mattel … that set you saw the unboxing pics of did not seem to be numbered but will re-verify once I or someone gets it. So, it seems the RL versions are numbered but perhaps the “extras” are not …

11:00 AM – two hours and still available … now you can with a clear conscious buy 5-10 … everyone who really, really, really, really wanted one has one … so BUY, BUY, BUY. First person to send me a picture of 10 Motor sets stacked in the living room wins a prize! :-) … or the first person who can line up ten Apple CARS :-)

11:20 AM – 5th eBay set up for auction. I’d buy a second set for $.99 :-) … here are some conversions for our overseas friends – with the dollar not so high, eBay is a “bargain” if you can’t buy it direct …

1 Dollar to Euro 0.6385
1 Dollar to British Pound 0.5079
1 Dollar to Austrailian Dollar 1.0435

11:28 AM – “Chuck” asks an interesting question – “if you order early, do you get a lower number?”

It will be interesting to see what kind of effort Mattel makes … but if they are already boxed in the typical Mattel cardboard (as we saw in the unboxing photo), there’s no indication on the outside of the box so it will all depend how the shipment was stacked to be wrapped on the pallet – was the factory careful to build the base with higher number boxes so the first ones removed from the top are the low numbers? But there’s no guarantee which pallets get rolled where, maybe they split packing for shipping by geography? So, by chance, everyone in the Midwest gets the first 500 numbers? As we get them in, people can report in and we can see if it’s by region, some order or totally random (I suspect it will be the last).

11:29 or 11:30 AM

SOLD OUT

Hope you got yours!

Mattel – $300,000 in 150-minutes …

Thanks for contributing all your comments and thoughts.

Can’t wait to start the I’VE GOT MINE thread :-)

And, now the non-numbering number controversy …

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Filed under Advertising, collecting, Computing, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Media, Retail, Toys, TV

Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Motor Speedway Display – Large View

There is some dispute about the display box itself so I’m providing you the large view photos that “S” originally sent along – I had to shrink to fit in WordPress’s 8″ limitations … so if you’re interested in examining it further, just follow the link to ZSHARE to download and view on your own desktop.

The base seems to be a nice thick plastic as “S” originally mentioned – about 4 mm – the box cover does not seem as thick but perhaps that’s just imagination. Take a look and let me know what you think.

ZSHARE LINK to large JPEG’s: http://www.zshare.net/download/1227600350b1a7ca/

Original un-boxing post here.

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Yahoo – Exists Solely for Shareholders? For Customers? or For Employees?

The Yahoo situation brings up some interesting issues. Does the right of a majority shareholders trump everyone else?

Or perhaps better phrased, does a shareholder who bought last week (Carl Icahn buys 50 million or 4% of Yahoo) have the same say as long time shareholders?

AND is it simply that every stock you hold and for that matter, every company out there simply exists – all bidding its time – until it’s sold to someone else at the highest conceivable price?

In other words, if it can be sold, it must?

Microsoft in its original offer said they would achieve $1 BILLION in savings … now, I have not gone over their messages with a fine tooth comb but it’s safe to say you pretty much ONLY achieve substantial savings in overhead by firing/laying off people. Yes, they said they would evaluate the situation and there are no “plans” for mass layoffs but not many companies come out and say we’re buying you to eliminate competition and fire most of the employees.

Again, if a company is perceived as currently undervalued, does it mean it should be dismantled and absorbed into another company?

And how quickly is that undervalued period allowed to “fester?” Apple was selling at $120 a share not more than 2 months ago and now is hovering around $190 … it has almost doubled in share – shouldn’t that mean in that two-month time period, Apple should’ve been on the market to be sold? Clearly it undervalued by nearly 50% in just 2 months?!

Or was it merely a mistake by a number of investors?

So, the system is not 100% perfect all the time is it?

So, if Yahoo is undervalued by most but not by what Microsoft at one point was willing to pay, does that mean Yahoo must sell?

That as a shareholder, you are only holding its shares until a better offer comes along? If it’s a dime more, a dollar more of five more a share – SELL! SELL! SELL?!

And yet, as a shareholder in bankruptcy hearings – you have the least amount of rights. First comes employees, bond holders, then those owed accounts payable and virtually in all circumstances, holders of common stock get squat … so why is the situation reversed here?

Is Yahoo officers, its board and its thousands of employees opinions worth nothing? That as long as someone is willing to offer $.01 more than what it’s selling for now, it’s SELL, SELL, SELL and raze the damn thing to the ground because that’s my right as a common stock holder?

What about companies such as Nextel (purchased by Sprint for $30+ billion but writing off $29.5 billion – essentially saying Nextel is about 10% for what we paid for it). How many employees of Nextel-Sprint will lose their jobs? Will the investment bankers who told Sprint that Nextel was worth $30+ billion say whoops and give back their fees? Of course, you could argue that Sprint mismanaged the buyout but I guess that’s nothing the investment bankers could’ve predicted or care about, right? Ot of course, Warner buying AOL and writing of $99 BILLION dollars of that purchase … yes, BILLION with a B … again, whoops?

Or this quote: “In 2002, when Alfred Rappaport, then professor emeritus at Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, wrote in a column for The Wall Street Journal that buyers typically overpay for the companies they target, due partly to being overly optimistic about cost-cutting opportunities and their superior management capabilities.

Rappaport said that two-thirds of acquiring companies see their stock prices immediately fall upon news of a deal, a drop that “usually corresponds” to performance of such stocks over the next year. The “sobering facts” about mergers and acquisitions, he wrote, are that “a majority of them don’t work.”

Will Carl Icahn guarantee the stock price of MS will be fully worth the value of MS now and Yahoo at its highest? After all, he’s nominating his own board (did these 5-8 guys ride around on a bus until Carl Icahn told them to get off in Sunnyvale – yes sir, whatever you say, thank you for the check, sir. I will do as I’m told. You can count on me to vote as you say).

AFTER ALL he’s own his shares of Yahoo for … almost a week now. That’s what it’s all about? Buying at $25, bringing in 8 guys who have signed an oath to him and selling at $25.78?

Customers? Users? Employees? They are worth nothing. As long as you can buy at $25 and sell at $25.78, that’s ALL that counts?

Selling out everything to the highest bidder at the drop of a hat is the reason you build a company, right? – after all, who cares that MS will have to write off 50% of the purchase share or layoff 5,000 people and perhaps even close the Yahoo name – not their business. They bought shares and held for nearly a week – that gives him unlimited powers to do whatever they want.

Really?

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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Speedway Set Conspiracy Theorists Unite

Mattel seems to jumping on the gun on the website.

For SECOND-CLASS citizens, you know the first level Hot Wheels Collector Club members, they have already pre-announced the Motor Speedway of the South for you is a sell out.

For Red Line Club Members, it merely announces the date it will go on sale, the 20th of May.

Don’t panic – just sloppy web housekeeping.

Here is a screenshot from a few minutes ago (today is May 18, 2008).

So, nice job of not only causing undue panic but playing into the hands of the er, few, many, millions who think you … well, don’t think too much about us …

Of course, this also might mean you don’t really have a handle on how this whole HTML, web thing works when someone somewhere either can’t code in the words UNAVAILABLE YET or you have already pre-loaded the page for Tuesday presuming they’ll have to load the page anyway after a couple hours of the Motor Speedway going on sale … perhaps not really boding well for Tuesday morning when a few, many, thousands, might be attempting to login and buy all at once.

So, panic now or panic later?

We might want to keep this info handy:

Red Line Club Customer Service:

1-800-858-0102, Monday-Friday
7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time

So, good luck all and hope we survive all this with dignity, decorum and calm … or is is too late for that already?

(Please note, I could’ve been a total bas**** and titled this post – MOTOR SPEEDWAY OF THE SOUTH – SOLD OUT! but then I didn’t want to cause a pre-riot before the real riot on Tuesday …)

So, again, NOT sold out – just a jumping of the gun of web design …

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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Motor Speedway of the South – Back of the Box Photos

mcq-doc.jpg

Detailed look at the back of the box – no real surprises except it is SPARE MINT and not Spare-O-Mint or Spare Tire Mint …

Other than that … now we wait …

Thanks again “Steve.”

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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Motor Speedway of the South – Or Buy This …

Ultimately, that’s something you have to decide for yourself.

It’s limited, it’s nice looking and you get to have CARS before anyone else (other than about 1,100 other people in this world) in a nice box … can you logically argue for and against buying this set? Of course.

It’s certainly not “cheap” by most measures at $300+ … but it’s not unheard of … want the Sideshow Toys PREMIUM Indiana Jones figure? $280 clams + shipping.

Or the Aliens Power Loader (sold out) also from Sideshow Toys – $249

Plus $139 for the Alien …

Or you don’t have to go far, HWC has been selling this set with display case for $199 + shipping since last October …

Of course, there are plenty of things you can buy outside of toys for $200-$300 … how about a Louis Vutton hair band?

Is this also known as a scrunchie? This Louis Vuitton version is $335 BTW.

Of course, you can also spend money and not have a lot to show for it …

Parking in a bus zone in SF? $250

Fine for parking in a Bus Zone
Violators are subject to a fine of $250. Parking in a bus zone is a hazard to passengers attempting to board or exit a bus and may prevent disabled individuals from boarding.”

The Digg story of the guy who spent $300 for an email address?

You can buy an HDMI cable for your TV – $374 … oh sorry, $373.99.

Or 6 Your Love Makes My Heart Blossom figurines – only $50 each. They are so gosh darn cute!

cruzincoolerwithtrailer.jpg

If this global warming thing is true – time to step up and motorize your cooler for double duty … now in electric versions! Your teenage kids will love a ride in this to school. A little spendier at $399 plus $100 for the cooler trailer.

Are you like most people who think – this is the 21st century – why am I living like a barbarian of the neolithic age and still have to pour my own cereal? Yes, civilization has finally advanced … finally, battery powered cereal dispensing … and as they note, “ it looks great too!”

WAIT, there’s more! “Because the unit is automatic, there are no dials or cranks to be twisted or to crush the cereal. Just press a bowl against the dispensing mechanism and
out comes the cereal.”

FINALLY! Yea, the last unit I got, the squirrel fell down into the crank and I not only got crushed cereal but crushed squirrel flakes.

So, my friends – spend your money wisely or poorly …

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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Red Ransburg – Worth Thousands or Tainted? (Updated)

THIS Post has been updated and moved to our new TakeFiveADay.com – Simply click on the text link or the logo above. Thanks!

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Filed under Advertising, collecting, Computing, Film, Internet, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Media, Retail, Toys, TV