December 10 UPDATE: These are out in the stores – note, they are all plastic but for me, resistence was futile – they were too damn cute and I had to buy the ones I saw.
The updated on what shipped and what’s coming is here.
2008 UPDATE Checklist is here.
Only 4 of the 7 sets are out so far …
Apparently Mattel has taken a look at our bank accounts and decided that we can skip a few meals and skimp on heating oil or there’s no real need for your last kid to go to a real college ;-)
Yes, an entire NEW line of CARS, the CARS MINI ADVENTURES & POCKET PLAYSETS to own and cherish … emphasis on the word ‘own.’
Part of it is of course, you want to strike while the craze is hot … and part of the decision to go ahead with a mini line is that Mattel can see Hasbro’s success with the Star Wars Galactic Hero line …
How can anyone resist cute?
It’s great on many levels – it perfect for kids and of course, hardcore collectors will probably want them anyway and what started as a “casual” attempt to reach younger kids with about 4 Star Wars Galactic Heroes, we now have about 100 of them along with 10 playsets – I was tempted for about 20 minutes to collect the Star Wars Galactic Hero but realized it would be never-ending – much like the Kenner/Hasbro line …
But step back, CARS will attempt to out Starwars Star Wars.
And what’s great for Mattel, a younger kid’s line doesn’t have to be slavish to the source … as you can see by some of the offbeat and wacky colors and paint schemes.
You saw Chick & Lightning McQueen at the top. (Nice job on the Chick Hicks … damn you, Mattel … now I’m hooked and you’re reeling me in …)
The CARS are repainted in different themes for younger kids (police, fire, military, etc al)
I think this is Doc Hudson on the police force along with Doc & McQueen as volunteer fire CARS in Radiator Springs.
This is mini Red and Sarge as a member of the fire department.
Here is McQueen in night vision & camo, the Sheriff & Deputy Mater.
Of course, what CARS line would be complete without a fistful of Ramones? Here’s Yellow Ramone, and Camo Red Ramone – as part of the (next photo) military theme set, the Sheriff has MP painted on his door … and I’m presuming Fillmore is the peacenik agitator :-)
Here’s Red on military duty (psst, don’t tell the kids he’s there to suppress Fillmore rioting/protesting ;-) … and Sarge in both version – regular Sarge & MP Sarge.
This is of course, Mater, Sally & Flo in “unique deco” as Mattel is calling it. Each playsets (see below) will include one of these unusually colored mini CARS.
Here’s the rest of the fire brigade of Radiator Springs – Fillmore, the Sheriff and Sally … along with Flo in regular teal plus … hey, is that another and different Ramone? Yep, looks like Old School/Hydraulic Ramone … MINI style.
And yea, there’s also Blue Ramone & Blue Flo … along with Dinoco Chick & Dinoco McQueen …
Evil Mattel? :-(
Or maybe each mini CAR will come in a variey of random colors … COLLECT THEM ALL! Kids will just pick the color they like best but completists MUST own them all … The regular line has to adhere as close as possible to the characters from the movie, an honest mistake or two here and there and maybe some savings on no mirrors but maybe since these are for younger kids, Pixar is giving them leeway so welcome to VARIANT CITY, gateway to GIVE ME ALL YOUR MONEY VALLEY, just outside of GIANT MONEY PIT CANYON …
Mattel says “… Pocket playsets with all new proportion smaller scale mini CARS characters to recreate your favorite movie scenes or make up new stories! Each inspired environment has a special feature and includes an unique deco Mini vehicle. Rev up for fun in Radiator Springs!”
I think each playset comes with two MINI CARS …
Dinoco Pit Stop
There’s the Dinoco stand from the Piston Cup races (this is clearly a hand painted protype as paint splotches are everywhere). I believe you get Dinoco McQueen & Dinoco Chick Hicks with this set.
I believe you get McQueen & The King.
Definitely not from the movie …
Submarine Car Wash
I must’ve missed this scene somehow …
Not firm. I know the Drag Strip is around $15.99 to $19.99 retail but I believe the other playets are under $10 retail. As for the Mini CARS, no firm word yet but it looks like they are in 2-packs – less spendy than the regular CARS, I think probably under $5 – my guess is regular retail is probably $4.99 but WM & Target will sell it for less (but I’m just taking a guess based on wholesale costs).
It will all depend on the final release … they do look awfully cute but sometimes the final release might be a bit too sloppy or too plasticky … and if Mattel is really going to release a bunch in a rainbow of colors … so personally, I’ll wait and see. I’m sure they’ll hit eBay first as scalpers strip the shelves clear but I also suspect Mattel will ship the living daylights out of these … The Drag Strip set looks pretty cool but the other playsets seem less interesting … but hey, come December or January as I’m standing there at TRU, I’m sure I will think, “I have an empty cart, I have a credit card – it can all be mine, mine, mine …”
What do you think?
OUR OTHER POSTS:
If you want a recap of the Mattel Pixar CARS line from the beginning.
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,s ome options.
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):
And what’s coming in 2008 by the sealed case:
Or what’s the latest on the shelf cards & CARS look like?
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?
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:
Info on the Blu-Ray Dinoco “Blu” CAR
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:
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?
And while we’re at it – pure speculation on our part as to what might be coming next?
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.
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 :-) though that Ikea glass case looks like nice and at a great price
MORE USEFUL INFORMATION
Details on the Mattel sponsorship & CARS charity auction for CAAF (Children Affected by AIDS Foundation):
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 …
The 2006 Mattel Factory Set …
Too much money in your bank account – starting collecting the other CARS line …
The Sarge Recall:
Nothing very insightful about what’s coming but still good to know that CARS is bringing in money and everything is looking smooth.
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: