Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: How to Collect (Updated)


“Mary” asked: “I have been collecting since the first wave. I’m confused a little about which Cars to collect. Is everyone getting each car depending on the wave and normal vs. supercharged set? Do I collect all the same cars with each wave? This is getting to be a very expensive collection for DS but I’m addicted … and broke.”

Mary, welcome to the addiction πŸ™‚ or 😦

This presumes you are only collecting the CARS that are offered on blister-pack “j-hook” CARDS.


This is known in the biz as a blister pack as it has a plastic display area – most of them also have a hook built in or in this case, added so it hangs on a peg – or a j-hook because it’s shape is like the letter “J.”

This also includes the multi-pack versions.

The releases:

12-Back Desert Design
16-Back Desert Design
Supercharged Cards (21 to 23 various)
Night Speedway (Wal Mart) & Target Exclusives
World of Cars

Desert/Classic Art Multi-Packs
Supercharged Movie Moments Multi-Packs
Movie Doubles (TR Exclusive)

The “World of Cars” is the newest and latest. More Photos Here.


(our blog post on all othe other card backs is here).

SO FAR … Through November 2007, you have many ways to go:


79/78/77/75/73/72 CARS

The smallest collection would be just ONE of each version so once you got LIGHTNING MCQUEEN with the 12-back card design, you are not buying him again in the 16-back version nor the Supercharged version since they are the exact same CAR only with a different card. Or since you have BOOST & SNOT ROD in the Movie Moments 2-pack, you are not buying them again on their own cards.

Of course, this is not 100% accurate as you will have some doubles – depending on if & when you bought the multi-pack (like you might’ve already had a Sally but bought the multi-pack to get Crusin’ McQueen).

Now, the count of 79 is slightly ahead as it includes Flea, Flik, Fred, Pit Crew Guido, and Tom Race Official which probably may not hit stores until mid-December – and Flea Flik at least in the US may not arrive until early spring but you’re mostly set to early 2008.

This also includes the Red Rimmed Fabulous Hudson Hornet & the “incorrect” white one even though both are identified simply as Fabulous Hudson Hornet.

Options Within …


“Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater” does not actually appear in the movie but he is part of three sets:

The Mattel 2006 Factory Set
Rollin’ Bowlin’ Game
& 2006 BJ Warehouse 6-pack

Since he doesn’t appear in the movie, you can argue against his inclusion but Mattel sought fit to include it in the Factory Set and Pixar has obviously signed off on it at least three times … You could just as easily argue that the white rimmed Fabulous Hudson Hornet is also incorrect as he never appeared in the movie (Doc Hudson “dressed” as the Fab Hudson Hornet is always with red rims). But if you want to delete RB Mater, that’s 78.

Speaking of which, the Blu Ray Blue McQueen is also not actually from the movie … so if you go by strict rules, you’re done to 77.


This also includes the variants of Sally & The King. I have looked at the photos and I say me’h but that’s up to you if you want to add to the total. The King & Sally do look so ever slightly different – personally, they are so slight, I don’t really count them but that’s your choice. If you agree, you are at 75.

Kori Turbowitz also comes in two versions, a straight/level sticker version and angled. It is pretty slight but your call. If you exclude the variant – you’re at 74.


Of course, there are some who argue that planes are not cars even if they appear in the movie – if so, your count is 72.

If you need a checklist, go to our EDITGRID checklist and click on the TAB marked OPENER LIST (whether you open them or not is your call).

This is the minimal collection up to now to be considered a “completist” and a solid way to go.

For instance, if you’re not opening them, then you can just collect the FIRST card the CAR makes an appearance and stop there to call it a day since next year, all of the 2006 CARS will be re-released for at least the second if not the third or fouth re-release … BUT all EXACTLY the same car.



The next choice up would be if you collected ONE of every cardback variation release including duplicates such as 3 LIGHTNING MCQUEEN’s available as a 12-back, 16-back and Supercharged card, etc … This would generally qualify you to be called a completist. But this where the river diverges into what you consider to qualify as a complete set … some options to consider from here on out … and whether you want to collect EVERY packaging version & variant or not …

The count is around 215 COUNTING every variant and every version of every possible released on blister cards including multi-packs and some not technically on blister cards.

Now, personally, you can decide what you consider to be a “completist” so you can start subtracting from this total … starting from the strongest arguments for inclusion to the weakest:

While Mack (the cab portion) is not even technically metal, he is in scale and certainly a huge component of the movie so I like to believe he should be included but you can not count him if you so choose. You are at 214 if you subtract him.

The Rollin’ Bowling Mater argument again? Only available on 500 cards but presumably most people who own the 500 sets of the Factory 2006 Case are not going to open it up so is that the equivilient of owning the Rollin Bowlin’ Mater from the Bowling Game or the BJ Warehouse box (not technically on cards?) and if most of the Piston Cup Racers are only released in boxes, are you really not going to consider them as part of the set. So, you can subtract Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater but I think the argument is pretty weak to exclude him … if you do, you’re at 213.

Now, the biggest divergence of the two completist camp is probably the multi-packs. Personally, I see them as the box sets. If it’s different, I’m willing to collect it but I don’t see a point in collecting Red & Stanley as a Desert back, as a Supercharged and not as World of Cars – though I believe a completist should own every version of Lightning McQueen on every card version as an individual card … is that logical? Hard to say πŸ™‚ but to me, here’s my argument is that everything on an individual card is the main line. To me, multi-packs and box sets are a supplement to the line. so, if it’s a repeat of something on a card, what’s the point? Do I need the Townies set when I already have all 5 “townies” on individual cards? If it’s UNAVAILABLE at the time on an individual card, then yes, it’s part of it but as nice as Darrell Cartrip & Bob Cutlass are as a set, if they are already on individual cards, what’s the point?

Though I’m going to consider that as long as it’s the first release, I’ll count that … so I’ll count Sarge & Fillmore during its first release (as a MM set) but not on World of Cars cards as a set … so that count minus “repeats” of any multi-pack including the TRU ones … That’s a WHOPPING 33 CARS deleted or a total of 180.

By that same measure, you could subtract the 9 Target exclusives (3 Easter, 3 Pumpkin trays & 3 “ornaments”) and dismiss them merely as packaging versions – this is where you would diverge into whether you are a completist individual card collector or a complete completist … prior to the WM exclusive releases, I was more dismissive of them but since the WM exclusives will be re-released as regular World of Cars CARS in 2008, it’s harder to dismiss these just as repeats … but subtract 9 if you are not collecting them. Now it’s 171.

There are three releases of the 12-back CARS that came without the “License to Win” promo info. (see our card back post for details). Only Sarge, Lizzie & Wingo are also available WITHOUT the promo info – if you don’t care, subtract another three. Now down to 168.

There are Thailand versions of Sally & The King that differ slightly – again, personally, I don’t think it’s very significant (Sally’s Porsche logo & license are smudgier & The King’s rear quarter panel is narrower). Not collecting them? 166.

The new WM exclusive KORI features her from the scene as a reporter who is ready to interview McQueen but when Mack opens his back, McQueen is gone. In that scene, a PRESS sticker/magnet is clearly visible on her front left quarter panel and it’s straight/level – however, the diecast features that PRESS “sticker” in a variety of positions from level/straight to slightly askew to angled … I’m counting the angled (about 27 degrees) as one version and the level one as another. If you don’t subtract one more for 165.

There are now 8 WM cards and 4 WOC cards that come in two versions, one reads NEW on the front – one does not. Personally, I think they are counted as the packaging variant is easy to spot – if you disagree, you are at now at 153.

This count DOES also include the extra 2 versions of Fillmore available as “Filmore.” Again, hard to ignore as it’s on the front and back of the card.

There are now 6 oddball Canadian cards that by most appearances seem like part of the US line (no other languages to tell them apart ON THE FRONT, the six cards are CARS that did not appear as SC in the US: Rusty, Dusty, Flea, Flik, Dinoco Helicopter & Yeti, the Abominable Snowplow – yes, YETI appeared in the US on a SC card but not with his full moniker) so if you’re not counting these … 147 …

Blu Ray McQueen – not in movie? That’s 146.

Though in my opinion, a completist is either 180 or 213 … I think the two completists paths are either:

OPTION A – Everything on hanging card
OPTION B – Everything on single cards and anything new on multi-packs …

Because with LAUNCHERS & the 3-PACKS coming … you might have to decide now.



brand-new-mater2.jpg ramone-green2.jpg

If this is the avenue of collecting you’re pursuing, then from our EDITGRID checklist, you can use either the BY WAVE or BY NAME & PACKAGING tab sheets.


180/213/215 … 220/243/245

So while 146 to 180 to 213 will cover 95% of the “completists,” there are those that need to be complete COMPLETE – then this is your category.

Because in addition to being complete above, are you really complete? Because there might be up to 41 CARS on the Supercharged cards that come in a with poster and without poster version. Though we’re not sure of the exact number since it looks like the white rimmed version of the Fabulous Hudson Hornet will probably not be released anymore so there will probably not be a version with the poster – so is the poster count 40? Not sure because the recall cut into shipments so we’re left hanging as to whether ALL the shipping “Supercharged” CARS come with posters.

Also note – limited to 500 is the Mattel 2006 factory set which is a box containing all CARS released in 2006 including 2 CARS never before featured on individual blister cards (Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater & Dirt Track McQueen).

Counting these 2 would be 215 or 245 so far but since if you got a set, who is going to break it up? In fact, I’ll bet 95% of people never will even break the seal … so can you really count it – or is it just an oddball anomaly? I would say since it’s limited to 500, most people are not going to consider this set part of being a completist – it’s a nice bonus but sort of like being hit by a meteorite … (it might hurt but eBay will make up for it πŸ™‚ )


It helps to be a little crazy to collect the line πŸ˜‰ but you can also see there’s lot of ways to slice & dice this line and there are complestists AND there are completists … because no matter how complete you think you are there, there’s always more and you have to draw the line … you collecting EVERY box set – you going to buy both the Piston Cup race sets (the oen with the track)? The first one with just LM and the new one with 4 other racers? You going to collect the international ones? How about ones with the stubby j-hooks on the back versus the larger current lift up j-hooks? See, the only checklist is the one you, your & you (and your banker) agree to so good luck!


It in the next few months, you will have to decide how complete of a completist you will be as Mattel has already started re-releasing older CARS on “World of Cars” cards (ie: changing from “supercharged,”) so you’ll have to decide if you want one of everything as long as it’s on a different or just the first card version of that particular CAR.

So, give or take, there will be a minimum of @160 CARS before 2008 counting repeats on cards/in movie moments sets.

I’m not going to scare you by counting the CARS coming in 2008 just yet …


People often asks if a particular CAR counts or is it an accessory – in particular, does Frank or Bessie count?

Here’s my opinion.

If you answer YES to any of the following criteria, yes it’s canon:

a) Is it issued on a single or multi-pack blister card by Mattel?
b) Is it in scale?* (well mostly, diecast toys are never 100% to scale to each other or otherwise).
c) Is it mostly metal?

Bessie & Frank are both plastic and NOT in scale … but neither is the blimp however, the blimp comes on a card – Bessie & Frank do not. In actuality, Bessie & Frank fail on the three criterias. Bessie & Frank do NOT count as part of the CARS set … you are free to collect them but they are not official.

Mistake CARS still count like white rimmed FHH or Rollin’ Bowlin Mater – they can answer YES to all three.

The only CAR that barely makes even though it fails on two counts is the Mack cab portion. It is IN scale to the other CARS even though it’s all plastic and it does not come on a card … I would consider it to be part of the line – especially since he’s sort of a main character also … and he can answer YES to Part B.


Clearly there is money to be made when you are the first on the block with any new CAR. People will pay $10 to $40 to own it but beyond those few weeks? It’s not as easy to figure out.

The problem is of course even if you made no real return so far and presuming you pay the cheapest (around $4 including tax), you’re already talking about a $650+ for a complete set for everything at end of 2007. Not an easy sell no matter what it is … but of course, you’ll want to make some profit – even minimal so is it $700, $800 or $1,000 at the end of 2007?

And unlike previous generations of toys that became valuable because so few were kept mint, from the recall we already know that some 500,000+ Sarge’s have sold (presuming it’s in about the same quantity as most others), how many of that 500,000+ sets sold far of CARS are MINT and/or complete?

And once it passes a certain number, it’s intimidating to start collecting – for instance, if you started today and just wanted one of everything to open? You are about 70-100+ CARS behind the times? By next year, will be 200? 250? But maybe that’s your angle to sell your set – GET IN WHILE THE GETTIN’ IS NOT AS CRAZY NEXT YEAR πŸ™‚

The upside? It’s Mattel where Hot Wheels collectors are truly the crazy ones – so if a few convert … all it takes is two bidders to make your collection ultra valuable.

And the great thing about animation is when this generation grows old and reminisces about CARS, they’ll want it but you might have to break the set up to sell it – of course, we’ll probably have like 80 Piston CARS and crews by next year so … in 23 years when the 7 year is a college grad & gainfully employed at 30 – he’ll be ready for some MINT on card CARS …

Also keep in mind this is complete unknown territory – there has NEVER been this successful of a diecast movie tie-in with so many characters/CARS being sold. The closest might be NASCAR where you could try and buy up every paint scheme to have a starter grid but even then, different drivers license to different manufacturers and not every race car is available so where the whole craziness takes us is into unknown territory. Will Mattel try to milk next year as the last year? (Not even counting diecast, it’s even RARE, RARE, RARE for a movie tie in to last this long) … or will Mattel try and milk it until a sequel – maybe in 2011?

As you pointed out, one thing is certain – BRING CASH MONEY and/or PAYPAL.


The “how to display” post was moved off on its own because people could never find it and I could never remember which other post I attached it to πŸ˜‰ …



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.

The post below outlines why the line is so difficult and some solutions. There is a list of the main retailers, some online options and for international customers, some options.

Mattel Pixar Cars: I Want to Buy But Where?


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 by the sealed case:

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

Or what’s 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.


For those on the intermediate & advanced stages of this obsession (yes, I has the fever! I has the fever πŸ™‚ ) … 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 πŸ˜‰

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


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

Whether you want a nice display case or a plastic box to keep it night and sealed/unopened, here are some links that should point you in the right direction.

How to best display your CARS?

Here’s what my collection looks like so far … just on a bookcase now because I’m too scared to look at another “easy assemly” instruction πŸ™‚ though that Ikea glass case looks like nice and at a great price

Our Photo Blog


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

The 2006 Mattel Factory Set …

The Scoop & Our opinion of it and thanks to Noel, some great unboxing photos

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


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


Filed under Film, Marketing, Retail, Toys, TV

7 responses to “Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: How to Collect (Updated)

  1. WOW!!! This is GREAT!!! I thought that I was the only one on wordpress who collects cars and other toy vehicles (like Transformers or those GI Joe classic military vehicles for example).

    I even made a blog for it (but I haven’t posted in a while).

    And yeah, you can go broke collecting these things… they wanted 100.00 for Ultimate Bumblebee!!! Heck, even diecast cars from Maisto, Hotwheels and Lane can add up. 30 dollars here, 70 dollars there… PLUS I am also getting into model creation and sneaker collecting.

    I’ll be broke by next year. lol

    (METROXING: If you collect Transformers, GI Joe Classic, & sneakers and you still have money left over, you must be rollin’ in it πŸ™‚ Personally, I’m having enough trouble keeping up with CARS πŸ™‚ Good luck!)

  2. Pingback: Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist Buying Info & News : All Our Posts « TWO A DAY

  3. Pingback: Mattel Pixar Cars: The LIMITED & EXCLUSIVE Disney Blu-Ray “Blu” Dinoco McQueen « TWO A DAY

  4. I have collected since the 1st wave of the cars era. But all of the dima a dozen cars I don’t bother with so I guess I don’t have a complete set. I went for the VHTF cars I have over 80 some are doubles Triples & even quad’s but I went for DALE JR., DARRELL CARTRIP, MARIO ANDRETTI, BOB CUTLESS, DINOCO HELLICOPTER, MIA & TIA, SARGE I have 3 of the misspelled FILMORE’S (FILLMORE). And it’s growing quickly. What I am looking for is valueable cars later in the future. I would like for my kids to cash in later in life. Do you think at some point they will over produce and kill their value?? I hit the local stores daily so yes I am addicted and my 2 boys have about 30 ea.
    but they are all loose. Thanks for your time

    (METROXING: I think one nearly sure bet is the Blu Ray CAR – did you get one or more of those? The rest is a tough call … right now to say for certain.)

  5. Pingback: Mattel Pixar Cars: Black Friday CARS Sales 2007 (Cyber Monday UPDATE) « TWO A DAY

  6. Pingback: Mattel Pixar Cars: The Mattel Factory 2006 Set Case (SOLD OUT! 11/27 UPDATE) « TWO A DAY

  7. Pingback: Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist: Collectors & Completist 2008 « TWO A DAY

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