© Disney/Pixar & Mattel Red Line Club
No, it is not scheduled to come out in the next two months.
Beyond that, who really knows?
My opinion is that it will be out at some future time.
The time doesn’t matter because whenever it comes out, Mattel will sell it by the bushels.
(A bushel of course, being 4 pecks … er, okay, how about 48 apples to a bushel as an Apple to apple comparison? )
It is literally an ace up the sleeve … anytime they’ll need revenue for the CARS line, they can whip it out … er, roll it out.
There has always been some concerns that Mattel doesn’t have the right to issue the car or now that it’s been released, those theorists have now modified their fears that it was a limited one-shot deal.
First, that makes no sense logically. Unless there’s some huge falling out between Apple & Pixar, that fear makes very little sense. Is Apple very protective of its imagery and logo, of course – so is any corporation these days because dilution of trademark is well, dilution of trademark …
But in this case, Pixar & Apple could not be more closely tied together and in some senses, even more so than 99% of corporations. In fact, in most corporations, you find it easier to deal with an outside 3rd partner than another department because at least with a outside partner, everyone understands their motive is profit and branding while with two internal departments, the fear is you might make the other guy look good and he takes your job someday (or becomes your boss) … in the case of Apple & Pixar, John Lassetter can pick up the phone to Steve Jobs and vice versa to resolve any issues with one phone call – not many companies have two heads who actually work together as well. So, Apple & Steve Jobs knows that John Lassetter & Pixar is not going to place the Apple logo on a garbage barge … of course, Apple will want to review the design but if John Lassetter & Pixar signs off to Mattel, they will accept it as if their brother vouched for it.
Apple certainly isn’t going to need the licensing money from selling a Piston Cup racer but again, because of the close relationship – they trust Pixar much more than any two corporations can.
So, where does this lead us. Now, I have not look at this particular contract so I cannot say 100% anything but generally, when you agree to license your logo for a film property and for ancillary merchandise, you agree to license for a certain amount of time and with certain provisions for approval. In the case where the “film role” is a car, it’s natural that the merchandising include a facsimile diecast car … anything outside of this “role,” will require new approvals – for instance, if they decided they wanted to make an Apple Car playset (which does not appear in the film), they would need additional approval but the car will be included in the general merchandising rights. With that said, there are obvious sign-offs for approval for each appearance. For instance, Apple probably wouldn’t approve a “wrecked” version of the Apple car.
Conversely, Mattel realizes this car is not only wanted by the CARS collector but also by Mac fans so there’s no real point in selling it as a single carded car when Mattel can make so much more selling it separately … (maybe not $250 as its going for on eBay) but certainly more than $3.59 … bottom line, Mattel could bundle a sealed box of 18 of just Dale Jr.’s & the Apple car and the store shelves would be stripped bare … so my prediction is that we won’t see the Apple CAR in another form until at least 2009 and it’ll be in some special format – why not, it’s clear people will pay anywhere from $40 to $75 for this car without a moment’s hesitation (at $250, the hesitation is a bit longer ).
But when will it be out is another question. We still have 4 long years before the next movie comes out – this car is worth its weight in gold to Mattel. They can release on tax day in a recession and make serious money with it. Imagine it bundled with a Pit Crew and a trailer? $99? $149? AND it will sell out. So, there are hundred of CARS we’re still willing to buy so my prediction is it will be out but not just yet …
(With that said, look for an update to this chart in the next day or so ).