Tag Archives: Red Line Club

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: 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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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

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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 Set Unboxing Photos + Yep, Dale Jr. is a Variant

Thanks to reader, “Steve” who seems to have one of the first official ones. Don’t ask me or him how he got it … just look at the pictures and be ready to get in/on the cyber-line on Tuesday.

The Box:

The Coke can is for height comparison, of course but as we proceed further, it’s evident you will need a cold one to finish and display this thing … by my eye, it’s like 8 Coke cans tall so clear off you Emmy and Best Camper Awards for this thing.

And now, we open:

The cardboard boxes inside only serve to support the box – nothing inside.

From Steve’s own words (with some UK English to American English),

“Anyway, it comes in a big cardboard box with Mattel logo an the usual purple banding, weighing in at 8.4 kg, which is about 18.5 lbs. (REVISED – CORRECTED).

The ends are sealed with standard packing tape. Inside the box are 2 boxes, some packaging and tissue paper.

The first box is the Speedway of the South box itself, as shown in the pictures above. It is sealed with circular tabs, but contains no cars, only 3 cardboard fillers to support it, and display plinth area.”

(Plinth is a cool word, no idea what it means so I left in there :-) )

The CARS come in a separate cardboard piece:

Again – Steve says, “The second box is a long, flattish cardboard box, sealed with packing tape, in which there are the cars themselves. They sit in 2 moulded plastic trays and are individually bagged. These bags are not sealed. There is also a packet of ties which can be used to secure the cars to the proper box.

In other words, it’s a kind of self assembly job.”

So, you can’t display it without cracking it open – so on your marks – OPEN!

Back of the box:

Steve also seems the mention the front clear plastic is heavier gauge clear plastic – not like the flimsy plastic covering the typical box sets which tend to sag after a while.

But that’s not all, Steve was thoughtful enough to give us a view of the DIFFERENT & VARIANT Dale Jr.

Yep, it’s all true.

For reference, here is the current Dale Jr.

All smiles and a happy go lucky guy.

New Dale Jr.? The I’m passing and I’m gonna spin you out Dale Jr. (ie: I’m sick and tired of hearing about LM, King & Chick!)

What is different? As far as I can tell:

It’s the No Stall/Nitroade body

He’s not smiling

Eyes different

The stylized JR logo on the back “trunk” is thicker and taller – almost touching the windshield.

There are 7-8 rivets on the “front” of the spoiler – the back of the spoiler looks the same.

Back “tail-lights” are now triangular in shape versus the rectangles before.

The red color might not be a Budweiser red (to avoid trademark issues) but another red now but that’s hard to say until I hold them side by side but that would be logical.

Anything else?

Well, here’s your one “exclusive” car – whether this becomes the new Dale Jr., we shall have to see.

BUYING THIS SET?

Normally, Mattel starts a countdown 12-4 days beforehand and we are already at 4 days so it seems unlikely we will get a countdown … Reader Matt brings up an interesting point about why we haven’t seen a countdown yet.

” …it seems really odd that there has not been a price release or countdown timer for this set despite the fact that they have confirmation that 5/20/08 is the day. Wondering if Mattel is trying to drum up more sales through their regular RL Club members who are anti-Cars. Have looked through some of the message boards on Hotwheels.com, and have seen estimates by their members that they think the price point is at $100.00, and most saying that they won’t even sniff if it is over that amount. I think they will be in for a big surprise…”

One reason for no-countdown is that it might annoy the regular HW/RL Club members who already cried about offering the Factory Set last year so Mattel might not want to wave a red flag in front of them – knowing full well that 99.8% of the buyers for this set have pretty much been ready the to buy the first rumors leaked out last fall.

So, apparently on Tuesday, the 20th, the flag will drop at 9 AM Pacific US time and the only countdown is when they sell out. And since the set is $250-$300, they don’t want you to think too hard by analyzing it logically over days or weeks – instead they just want you to go all Vegas and click away on Tuesday. The current info is 1,000 sets so good luck and may you be blessed with 50 MBps broadband.

So thanks Steve, enjoy and hope that everyone else who wants one will have a great Motor Speedway of the South Day May 20th.

Any other questions – presumably, they’ve been answered in the sneak peek post or our recent & older posts so good luck everyone!

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Mattel Pixar Cars: Factory 2006 Set Case – UNBOXING Photos!

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Thanks to Noel who not only got the set but wanted to be the first in his town so he added the 2nd day shipping and there it is!

All nicely packed and in his house – in pristine condition!

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It’s already a Merry Christmas!

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Easy to spy the two exclusive CARS on cards peeking through the window – sorry for the watermark but you know, some eBayers are a bit lazy :-(

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Of course, here’s the very cool back of the box design …

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And closeups of the foil stickers indicating it’s factory sealed …

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Reminder it’s a very small run …

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The legalese & stock number …

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And of course, the proof that it’s from Mattel … knowing Hot Wheels collectors, they would probably pay $79 for this packing slip :-)

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And of course, I know the next thing Noel did was cut it open, rip open the blister packs and start playing with it on his lawn … as I’m sure the other 499 owners of this set are doing :-)

Or not …

Here are some interior shots from the Mattel HWC website:

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Thanks for giving us a vicarious thrill, Noel – enjoy!

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Mattel Pixar Cars: The Mattel Factory 2006 Set Case (SOLD OUT! 11/27 UPDATE)

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NOVEMBER 27, 2007 UPDATE – SOLD OUT!

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They should be appearing on eBay soon. If you’re still interested and can wait, the first few on eBay will fetch a higher price but I believe they will drop in price after the holidays … but hey, it’s your money – spend it as you see fit :-)

UNBOXING PHOTOS HERE.

PREVIOUS POST …

Introduced at Comic Con 2007, Mattel held a drawing for this set of 27 CARS called 2006 Factory Set‘ (everything up to Leak Less was the description). While no one has cracked it open (2 were raffled off – leaving @498).

The box featured the first 27 CARS all on desert back/classic design cards (both single & multi-packs) within the giant red box you see above.

THE PRICE HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED – For Mattel, a reasonable $149.99 plus $12.95 for shipping (plus $24.99 if you not a RL Club member) or $188 ($187.93 to be precise). Though technically, after 24 hours, anything left will be available to the “general public” without having to pay the $24.99 to join the Red Line Club (RL Club) portion of their memembership

How to Buy?

Mattel will put up the other 498 on sale 11/27/2007 at the HotWheels Collector’s website 9 AM Pacific US Time.

Official photos from Mattel:

Back of Box:

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If you open it, you’ll see the:

16 “regular” desert/classic art CARS
4 “regular” desert/classic art multi-pack CARS (for a total of 9 CARS)
2 “exclusive” desert/classic art CARS (Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater & Dirt Track McQueen)*

* Rollin’ Bowling Mater available in the BJ Warehouse Set (2006) or the Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater game. Dirt Track McQueen previously only available on a Supercharged card or as “Willie Butte McQueen” as part of the Radiator Springs Mountain Challenge playset.

Opened From Back:

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The Exclusive CARS:

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Previously Available In:

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HISTORY

Presumably, they were going to start selling it off during the summer but since SARGE was part of the set, they had to pull them all back and replace SARGE. I think they also realized that the year was ending and while people might still be intrigued by a “2006 set” in 2007 – by next 2008, it would seem like they scraped a set together from the factory floor so they wanted to be sure it was out before year end …

ADDITIONAL NOTES

While signing up for the HW Club is free, there is a membership fee to join the “Red Line Club” in order to buy something – you do get a free car with your membership but the membership is a yearly thing and goes by the calendar year NOT when you sign up so it will expire on 12/31/2007.

From Mattel:
“The Disney/Pixar Cars 2006 Factory Sealed Set has a production quantity of no more than 500 sets – very limited! Sets are individually numbered and priced at $149.99 + $12.95 S&P (shipping & processing) each (shipping to P.O. boxes within the U.S. by Expedited Mail pay the standard rate plus an additional $15.00). There is a purchase limit of ONE set per RLC™ membership — available on a first-come, first-served basis only while supplies last.”

After 24-hours, if any are left, they are available to the general public (ie: no $24.99 in the RL Club is required – the big IF is IF there are any left).

MY OPINION

Hey, it’s your money, you can spend it as you see fit but I would like to point out a few things that might give you pause.

While it is limited to 500 sets, EVERY car is available to buy not just on cards but in sets and NONE are retired. There are NO CARS in the box that are not pretty much available on the shelves right now (albeit on Supercharged or World of Cars cards but still available is still available).

And on eBay, there is always a set of the desert back CAR cards available.

Basically, for $162-$188, you get 27 CARS that are all still available except for two that are only in this box on desert back cards:

Dirt Track McQueen
Rollin’ Bowling’ Mater

And you get a red box.

I should also point out that you can never open the box – you would diminish its value – ultimately, the question is if two CARS not rare nor retired but only available on a ‘limited to 500′ card in a limited box worth it for you?

That’s your call to make.

It should also be noted that all the cards for the individual CARS look like they are the wave 1.5 cards – featuring 16 CARS on the back and not the original 12-CAR backs from wave 1 so it’s value is hard to measure apples to apples if you are breaking up the set.

VALUE?

I think you should be able to sell it for a profit on eBay for the short term especially since it’s Christmas. But long term? While I think it should always retain what you paid for it but I suspect any price value increase will only match or more likely fall below the pace of inflation. The main reasons I think this set is not that strong in retaining collector value include:

Not the 12-CAR desert back art (wave 1).
No CARS retired from this set.
Wave 1 CARS & sets all available on eBay.
The Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater CAR not officially in the movie.

So, you can easily assemble a full set of the 16-back CARDS (wave 1.5) plus the Movie Moments multi-packs and buy the other two CARS as part of the game or as part of a playset (or on a Supercharged card) and all you are really holding unique is two packaging cards and a red box.

That’s not to say it isn’t nice nor that you shouldn’t get it – just that its interested audience is much smaller – more limited to packaging completists and not the general collectors – and again, it should retain its value, I just can’t forsee a major frenzy to own it in the future since there’s nothing preventing people from collecting it piecemeal.

(KB Toy is clearing out the Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater for $9.98 as part of the game and TRU has plenty of the playset in stock).

But I think what really will also hurt any future major runup of this set is that by the end of 2008, there will something like 200 CARS in this line – its uniqueness will be diminished. There is just too much to collect and this set is essentially a repeat when for $160-$190 dollars, people would rather pay for something new like the Piston Cup Racers.

Of course, this is just my opinion and I’m not claiming I’m going to be 100% right but just warning you that you should buy this set because you want it – not that it’s going to be some financial windfall …

Anyway, good luck!

OUR OTHER POSTS:

THE BASICS

If you want a recap of the Mattel Pixar CARS line from the beginning.

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: It’s What to Collect

Unlike other toys/hot items that stay hot for a few weeks or months – this Mattel Pixar CARS diecast line has pretty been SIZZLING for 16 months – not just rare but almost un-heard of.

Of course, we would love to tell you that if you show up here at 7:00 AM, you are assured of seeing it on the shelve un-touched … or course, that is not really possible with this line due to real demand and eBay “re-distribution” demand but we have tried to sum up why it’s seems impossible and some buying tips that while not foolproof, might make things slightly easier …

Mattel Pixar Cars: I Want to Buy But Where?

BUYING CASES & WHAT’S NEXT

First, one way to skip the driving around is to buy sealed cases, here is a brief rundown on what that is AND what are the CARS coming this holiday season (the last two months of 2007):

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: New Sealed Boxes

And what’s coming in 2008:

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: New Sealed Boxes Holiday 2007 & 2008

Or what the latest on the shelf cards & CARS look like?

Mattel Pixar: What’s in Stores Now

If you wish to plot out what CAR will make its first appearance & in what box in 2008, a friend of 2aDay has thoughtfully provided a spreadsheet you can download or it’s also been added to our online checklist/spreadsheet.

HOW TO COLLECT

For those on the intermediate & advanced stages of this obsession (yes, I has the fever! I has the fever :-) ) … you’ll want a “field guide” to spotting what’s what:

A Basic Checklist (in spreadsheet form)

The checklist offers a few versions on how you like your poison ;-)

Then of course, a more indepth guideline on how to collect them – just one of each? one of each available on a different card?

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: How to Collect

As you progress further, you might need or want a guide to understanding what do the three different designs on the front indicate and how complete of a collector you want to be:

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: Card Backs

Info on the Blu-Ray Dinoco “Blu” CAR

The LIMITED & EXCLUSIVE Disney Blu-Ray “Blu” Dinoco McQueen

MORE INFORMATION THAN NORMAL

Of course, by now, you’ll want to know everything and plan your budget carefully … Mattel will definitely release 35/36 of the Piston Cup Racers in one massive collector’s set but will they release them in smaller sets? Our speculation on why rioting is probably not necessary:

Mattel Pixar Cars: All the Piston Cup CARS-Speedway of the South Box Set

If you prefer to see some of the cardbacks in a larger file size or to view the two posters for a visual look at the CARS to collect, our FLICKER page is here.

Did you know the Blu-Ray DVD (for HDTV’s) will include a “name-spotter” feature that will let you see the names of 217 CARS within the movie?

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: It’s What to Collect-Part II – 217 CARS?

And while we’re at it – pure speculation on our part as to what might be coming next?

Mattel Pixar Cars: What’s Coming in 2008 or 2009

Mattel Pixar Cars: What’s Coming in 2008 or 2009? Part II

Mattel Pixar Cars: Mia & Tia – All the Possible Variants

MORE USEFUL INFORMATION

Details on the Mattel sponsorship & CARS charity auction for CAAF (Children Affected by AIDS Foundation):

Mattel Pixar Cars & Children Affected by AIDS Charity Auction

While Frank the Combine on eBay seems enticing, you might want to know that he’s very small and all plastic but there are some other options …

Mattel Pixar CARS Movie: Frank the Combine – eBay Warning

Too much money in your bank account – starting collecting the other CARS line …

NEW Mini Adventures CARS & Playsets

The Sarge Recall:

Mattel Recalls Pixar CARS Sarge Diecast Metal Car

Nothing very insightful about what’s coming but still good to know that CARS is bringing in money and everything is looking smooth.

Mattel Pixar Cars: 3rd Quarter 2007 Earnings-Financial Numbers

CARS 2, THE SEQUEL?

Yes, more speculation & answers on our part but the stars and other things seem to be syncing up for a 2011 sequel:

Pixar CARS 2 Sequel: Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

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