Monthly Archives: January 2008

A Million Unlocked iPhones Being Shown Off All Around the World – That’s a Tragedy?

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Even if the numbers of a million iPhones being unlocked are correct, that’s a MILLION iPhones walking around all over the world as FREE marketing and advertising for Apple – the most effective advertising of all – because it gives those users the cachet of doing something “not quite legal.” That they are “above the law,” and of course, eager to show off they know how to break the rules of normal society … (in reality, they just bought a phone but shhh, don’t tell them that 😉 )

Has Apple sold them a phone subsidized like nearly every phone on Earth at a 75-100% discount? No. Apple got full list price – even if someone marked it up, Apple made at least $399 or £299.

As for the revenue they are giving up that is recorded as future revenue in monthly chunks? Sure, but when you have to service cash, there are costs associated with servicing that cash …

Conversely, they also give up a lot of costs associated with it and saves them a lot of money. They don’t have to offer any tech support or service for these 1-million phones. How much accounting reserve is set aside normally for phone tech support that are locked to a service?

But it’s all just a gray number because how many tech-gadget companies would turn down an opportunity to seed a product in dozens of countries to build awareness & word of mouth? How much money would they have to spend to demo this product in dozens of countries – and less efficient than a “worldly” fan using word-of-mouth and a live demo to his/her friends? What could be better chachet than spending full price to own an “illegal” phone? AND then when the phone is available legally in that country? Won’t they be likely the first to convert anyway to get all the feature sets?

Isn’t all this worth the $10 dollars in revenue per month Apple “loses” (per person) if the phone were locked to its native carrier? Might this not be the CHEAPEST advertising possible AND Apple gets all the revenue upfront without having to share with anyone?

And of course, an “unlocked” phone is still entitled to the full range of services that the iTunes store sells. Of course, that varies from country to country but the most convenient choice is still the iTunes store. So it really a tragedy if Apple trades $10 from AT&T or Orange and instead sells a few iTunes movies, music tracks or videos?

It’s like anything else. When you sell something, you hope to garner a revenue stream down the line – as a car dealer hopes you always bring it back to them for service but at the end of the day, if you sold it at full price, then the rest is gravy.

Sure, you can view the future revenue stream as a 100% loss in accounting terms but if you look at the broader implications, it’s simply a tradeoff in overhead, advertising, marketing and a shift in revenues and expenses.

NY Times readers chime in on doing their part in advertising the iPhone everywhere around the world.

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Filed under Advertising, Apple, Computing, Design, Film, Financial, Gadgets, Internet, iPhone, Marketing, mobile, Music, Retail, TV

Amazon Mp3 Will Affect Amazon Revenue More Than Apple’s iPod or iTunes

It’s pretty amazing the number of journalists who don’t look at a situation before just plowing ahead and writing words and “a conclusion.” They either choose to ignore the real world or they simply don’t understand it. Either way, it’s appalling.

Yes, Amazon’s entry into the “unlocked” DRM free Mp3 market will affect Apple & the iPod but its *affect* is DIFFERENT than you think.

If the iPod did NOT play the mp3 format, it would clearly have a major affect – just as when Sony’s players did not play Mp3’s directly (it would convert to ATRA mp3), when the iPod entered the market, people quickly choose the iPod over the Sony for the simple reason it played mp3’s very easily and transparently. Yes, the iPod looked nice and it was easy to use but if it did not play Mp3’s – there might be a few million out there versus 150 million.

There is no discussion. Mp3 is the preferred format for LEGAL and ILLEGAL downloads. Yes, there are others that hold some interest: mp4, FLAC, APE and even WMA but I don’t think anyone is going to argue that the preferred format OVERWHELMINGLY is not mp3 … sure, audiophiles can argue there are better formats but that’s not the issue.

It’s mp3.

You can do the math. 150 million iPods sold, 5 billion music tracks. That works out to about 34 tracks per iPod. Of course, it’s not 100% accurate as the bulk of iTunes sales are only in a few countries but even presuming double the number in the US per iPod user … and if iTunes music sales drops to ZERO for some reason?

How much is Apple losing in iTunes music store purchases per every iPod if that were true?

@$13.60

Apple is presumed to make $.20 per iTunes music track – not counting the cost of running the iTunes store and credit card fees … so actual profit is maybe $.07 a track but that’s presuming iTunes stores sales drops to zero which is unlikely … if Apple were to lose $7 per iPod in lost sales, I think there are dozens of ways Apple could make up that revenue including shaving $7 in costs from the iPod itself … but the bottom line is that the iTunes music sales are NOT the main reason people buy iPods.

Clearly, even people with iPod Shuffles have more than 34 or 68 tracks on their iPod. Whether it’s 100% legal converted from their own CD collection or LEGAL tracks downloaded from musician sites or other sites like iLike.com or ILLEGAL tracks, people know how to load tracks (1,000+ tracks) on a Nano (or up to 20,000+ tracks) on the Classic iPods. The iTunes store is a small part of the reason they buy an iPod.

So, what does that mean for Apple?

How about this ad from Amazon.com?

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That’s right. It might even help Apple sell MORE iPods, NOT less.

Because for all the people who hated the iTunes store for its DRM, now they have a reason to buy an iPod. Sure, it might help sell a few more SanDisks and Zunes but it’s clear that 7 out of every 10 mp3/DAP buyers are iPod buyers AND now that mp3 player sales overall are slowing, it’s rapidly becoming inefficient to stay in the marketplace if you’re 10th or even 5th in marketshare … leaving consumers with fewer choices down the line and we know what’s still the first choice with or without iTunes store purchases.

AMAZON?

If anything, this territory might be scary for Amazon than Apple.

Why?

Amazon sells about 6% of the 500 million CD’s sold in the U.S. or about 30 million CD’s. If we presume the average selling price is around $13 – that’s about $400 million in revenue for Amazon. Now, if you have the choice to buy 4 tracks of a CD for $.99 a piece (some tracks are less on Amazon, some more but let’s say an average of $.99) as an mp3 download or the full CD for $13, what’s your choice? That’s hard to say, of course but that’s precisely what Amazon has to deal with. Is that previous $13 purchase staying the same in revenue? Are you going to buy 13 tracks from 3 artists or are you going to stop at 4? In other words, is Amazon trading a $13 CD for $13 in downloads or are they trading $13 in revenue for $4 in revenue?

It’s impossible to say but the bottom line is that is the choice consumers have to make – sure, maybe instead of buying a $13 CD, that consumer can buy $25 in downloads … but what was holding back consumers before?

DRM?

If we know the average iPod user was spending @$34 at the iTunes music store, what held them back from spending more?

DRM? Really?

Are you that convinced it’s all about the DRM – that without DRM, sales would be up 50%, 100? 1000 percent?

Digital sales are increasing 50% a year anyway but for people WILLING to buy LEGAL tracks online were not doing so because they said DRM was the major hinderance?

I’m not saying the Amazon store won’t sell a lot of tracks but is Amazon trading CD sales for fewer downloads? What is the age breakdown of CD buyers? Is the music industry losing the bottom end of 12-24’s who are downloading free LEGAL tracks from their favorite bands from the musician’s MySpace page/iLike page and of course, clearly, they know how to download illegal tracks to fill their iPods?

Are these the same people who know how to convert tracks to a CD-R?

Sure, there’s a lot of blog talk about hatin’ DRM (and I certainly am NOT for it) but it’s sort like arguing against burning down the Amazon rain forrest, right? Who outside of 300 Brazilians arsonists are for it? But what are people really doing about it?

BOTTOM LINE

My prediction is that sure, Amazon will grab some market share from iTunes music store but as Amazon’s ads say – BUY an IPOD to add Amazon tracks … Apple merely shifts revenue from iTunes to iPods – not exactly a tragedy and if Apple convinces you to buy a few tracks, rent some movies, buy a music video – there are pretty much back to $34 in iTunes revenue AND they’ve sold you another iPod.

The people who really hate Apple and think they should hate the iPod are not going to swayed by this anyway. They are buying SanDisks and Creatives as it is now – this won’t change anything.

The 75% who own iPods might switch and buy some tracks from Amazon but for less savvy users who like being able to preview, buy and sync with one click don’t care about DRM – nothing will change.

And in 6 months or a year, the record labels will be forced to sell DRM free on iTunes … a) because they can’t ignore the place where 70% of the digital music online market is and b) they’ll be sued for restraint of trade by not selling the same thing to everyone – will the iPod marketshare drop to some small percentage? No. Will there as good of a user tie-in as iTunes to the iPod as SanDisk’s, Creative’s or even MS for their software to their hardware? Unlikely.

Now that Apple has added movie rentals and more movie choices, the only real scenario is that the iPod will maintain its market share or more likely, grow slightly. Apple is still the leader in every aspect except the bottom end. There is no small player with the screen, movie rentals & audiobooks to match the Nano, for those who want 160GB, there is no competitor at the same price and of course, the iPod Touch trumps them all and has the highest margins/pricetag – so another 6 months of clear sailing for Apple and the iPod.

Sure, the iTunes store might drop a few percentage in market share to the Amazon mp3 store but the Amazon store has no movie rentals or TV shows (the Unbox has both but no portable player).

The Amazon mp3 store affects Apple just as if you were to open a Best Buy across the street from an Apple store. The revenues would shift around a little but at the end of the day, Apple actually comes out ahead because all you’ve done is given the consumer another reason to buy an iPod.

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Filed under Apple, Film, Financial, Gadgets, Internet, iPhone, mobile, Music, Retail, video

Happy Valentine’s Day: DeBeers Diamond Class Action Settlement

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I knew $97.99 for the 143-carat pinkie ring I bought last year was overpriced.

Now, you can get some of your money back from DeBeers …

Do you qualify?

“People and companies who purchased Diamond Products for personal use, including to give as gifts. This is the Indirect Purchaser “Consumer Subclass.”

Yes, you are subclass but you might get some money and/or coupons 🙂

What was the original class action lawsuit?

“The lawsuits claim that the largest suppliers of diamonds in the world—De Beers S.A. and its associated companies—violated antitrust, unfair competition, and consumer-protection laws by monopolizing diamond supplies, conspiring to fix, raise, and control diamond prices, and disseminating false and misleading advertising. De Beers and the other companies deny they violated the law or did anything wrong. They also say that because they do not do business in the United States, the courts in the United States do not have authority over them.”

What happened in court? No surprise, DeBeers would rather settle …

“There have not been any trials of the lawsuits, and the Court has not decided who is right or wrong. Instead, the Plaintiffs and Defendants agreed to a Settlement on behalf of Class Members. Both sides negotiated the Settlement for several months with the help of professional mediators. By reaching a Settlement, they avoid the risks and costs of further litigation, including a trial, and Class Members have the opportunity to receive money and other Settlement benefits. You can read the entire Settlement Agreement by clicking here.”

Qualify?

“First, you must have purchased a Diamond Product in the U.S. between January 1, 1994 and March 31, 2006. A U.S. purchase is any purchase where the Diamond Product was delivered to you in the U.S. and includes purchases made from establishments in the U.S., as well as purchases from establishments abroad that were delivered to you in the U.S.. Second, you must have resided in the U.S. on October 1, 2007. For individuals, this means that you maintained a place of residence in the U.S.; for companies and other business entities, this means that you were organized and existed under the laws of any state or territory in the U.S. or maintained a place of business in the U.S.”

Read all about it here.

The FAQ.

You can also file your claim online. Or via printed PDF here.

The settlement for consumers is out of a pool of @$135 million.

Along with my government tax rebate check, I can finally afford the CARS Speedway of the South set.

More about diamonds? How the mofo of diamonds, it’s way, way, way, way, way, way larger than you think …

How and where diamonds are found.

But who needs mines – just pressurize your own.

But diamonds are boring … gold? That’s a cool journey across the cosmos …

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“According to Tyson, author of Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandries, all gold on Earth started out in the center of a star; he says stars are “in the business of cosmic alchemy.” Via NPR.

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Filed under Advertising, Financial, Internet, Marketing, Universe

Moving Day is NEAR For Two A Day (WordPress)

We are getting ready to move!

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While we had a great time here at WordPress, it was starting to get a little cramped and simple things like posting charts was complicated so we’re moving to …

TakeFiveADay.com

or if you prefer, Take5ADay.com

Don’t worry, we’re packing ALL the posts and even ALL your comments so it’ll all be there soon.

Right now, there’s not much there but we’re moving as fast as we can and trying to learn PHP & AJAX … well, one of us is … I’m busy using a microgram scale to verify the weigh difference between the Thailand Hudson and the China Hudson. Just kidding!

I have been busy on two important CARS project – one which is ready to go … yes, we have t-shirts now … in part to help us defray the cost of the move, most of them CARS and collecting related. Hope you like them:

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Or this one that’s hard to read on the website but it reads:

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ULTRA COMPLETIST
The Secret Code
No Promo – Filmore – 39 Posters SC
Canadian SC – Canadian MM SC – Tuf Guy – Yellow Tail Light

+ about 15 other choices in dozens of t-short configurations, all at our new CafePress Store – TakeFiveADay.com.

Enjoy!

Unfortunately, due to Mattel, Disney, Pixar & CafePress all lawyered up, there are lots of words, images and photos we’d love to add on there but can’t.

Of course, Cafe Press is all on-demand, so once you order it, they print it up and send it out to you – there’s no cost to us and of course, you don’t have me looking through my office to find an manilla envelope to mail you a t-shirt … 🙂 So, thanks for your support and enjoy!

See you at TakeFiveADay.com in the near future!

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Filed under Advertising, Blogroll, Computing, Internet, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Media, Toys

Fortune Names Mattel on List of Top 100 to Work For

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With Google topping the list, Mattel comes in at #70, pretty impressive considering the tens of thousands of companies not on the list … is one the criteria for making the list ‘being ultra secretive’? JUST KIDDING! Just kidding … sort of 🙂

Here’s the criteria for making the list:

“How we pick the 100 best? To pick the 100 Best Companies to Work for, Fortune partners with Great Place to Work Institute® to conduct the most extensive employee survey in corporate America. Of some 1,500 firms that were contacted, 406 companies participated in this year’s survey. Nearly 100,000 employees at those companies responded to a 57-question survey created by the Great Place to Work Institute®, a global research and consulting firm with offices in 30 countries.”

Here’s Mattel’s page.

And the full list is here.

Here are some of the benefits of working at Mattel other than of course being surrounded by toys … Very nice list …

Friday Half Days
Mattel closes up for the weekend at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, all year long.

Casual Dress
Every day the dress is business casual at Mattel.

Child Development Center
Our onsite center provides year-round care at subsidized fees for children ages 6 weeks to 5 years.

Fitness Center
Our center, which is open 14 hours a day, has state-of-the-art equipment to keep you healthy and in shape.

Toy Store
Our onsite toy store allows employees to purchase Mattel products at a discount.

Toy Testing and Playlab
Relatives and children of Mattel employees can be among the first to test our toys.

Activities Committee
The Mattel Employee Association sponsors a variety of events throughout the year for employees, including ski trips, Take Your Daughter To Work day, theatre and sporting events, and an annual holiday party.

Onsite Services
An excellent cafeteria as well as an onsite film-processing and dry-cleaning service make the life of a working professional a little easier.

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Filed under Advertising, Financial, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, Toys

Mattel Pixar Disney Cars Checklist: The Alpha List 2008

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Reader Jake sent along this alphabetized list of the 66 CARS announced so far & scheduled for release in 2008 (that is not already out). This includes all the Piston Cup race CARS that presumably will be the set coming in (rumor has it) June 2008.

The only thing we know for certain for that we can be sure the final list at the end of 2008 will be longer than 66 … which is either good news or bad news … depending on grumpy you are and how much you like your second kidney.

Toyfair is in NYC – starts February 17th, we’ll hear more around that time.

Unfortunately, wordpress doesn’t allow for much formatting or grids so you can paste this list somewhere and add your own …

Of course, we have a checklist/spreadsheet with grids online here at EDITGRID. If you preuse the tabs at the bottom, you can choose the spreadsheet that fits your collection. The newest addition is a checklist by sealed case so you know what’s coming … which is also available as a download here.

The main list by case is in this post.

Thanks, Jake.

Anime Chuki
Apple (#84) – Mac iCar
Axle Accelerator (Security Car)
Brian Antenna Ball
Bumper Save (#90) – Ponchy Wipeout
Charlie Checker/Pace Car (Yellow Tail-Light)
Chick Hicks Pit Crew
Chief No Stall
Chief Trunk Fresh
Clutch Aid (#121) – Kevin Shiftright
Cora Cooper
Creme Filled Gask-its (#80) – Sage Vanderspin
Dexter Hover
Dinoco Crew Chief
Dinoco Mia & Tia
Dudley Spare (Octane Gain Pitty)
Dustin Mellows
Easy Idle (#51) – Ruby “Easy” Oakes
Elvis RV
Faux Wheel Drive (#54) – Johnny Blamer
Fiber Fuel (#56) – Brush Curber
Flea
Flik
Gasprin (#70) – Floyn Mulvihill
Gold Mia
Gold Tia
Greta
Jay Limo
Lightning Ramone
Lightning Storm McQueen
Lil’ Torque Pistons (#117) – Ralph Carlow
Luke – Dinoco Pitty
Marco Super FAV18 (Jet)
Mini
Mood Springs (#33) – Chuck Armstrong
N20 (#68) – Manny Flywheel
Octane Gain Crew Chief
Patti (Andretti Assistant)
Petrol Pulaski (RPM Pitty)
Pit Crew Member Sarge
Race Damage King
Retread (#79) – Paul Inngas
Rev-N-Go (#73) – Misti Motorkrass
Re-Volting (#84) – Davey Apex
Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van)
Ron Hover
Shifty Drug (#35) – Kevin Racingtire
Shiny Wax (#82) – Darren Leadfoot
Sidewall Shine (#74) – Slider Petrolski
Spare Mint (#93) – Earnie Gearson
Sputter Stop (#92) – Murray Clutchburn
Sven Hummer
Tach-O-Mint (#101) – Greg Candyman
Tank Coat (#36) – Eugene Carbureski
Tar Lightning McQueen
Timothy “Tomezone” Truecoat
Tires Lightning McQueen
Tow Cap (#4) – Rusty Cornfuel
Transberry Juice (#63) – Lee Reukins
Trunk Fresh (#34) – Dirk D’Argostino
Tumble Weed Lightning McQueen
Van
View-Zeen (#39) – Ryan Shields
Vitoline (#61) – James Cleanair
Whitewall Lightning McQueen
Yellow Pitty Leak Less

All our other posts are linked here.

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Filed under Advertising, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Toys

MacBook Air: Not For You So Don’t Panic

Quick, name the perfect product for everyone?

Air, the other one? The thing we breathe? Yea, how is that air in Houston in August or in Beijing?

Um, not so perfect.

Water? Who here only drinks tap? Don’t we like it flavored, carbonated, with taurine, mint or almost anyone other than tap?

So, not water … but apparently if it’s announced from Apple, it must be 100% perfect for everyone at all times.

Yea, not too high of a benchmark so that anything that falls slightly short of that is a “failure” or “disaster.”

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The MacBook Air is what it is. It’s a lightweight fairly speedy laptop with emphasis on lightweight.

Is it for everyone? No.

It’s for road warriors and those who are tired of carrying a heavy laptop around. For those that have NEVER traveled for an extended period with a laptop – you just don’t know. Holding it in a store for a minute is NOT the same thing. At the store holding it for a minute, you can’t justify spending a few hundred dollars extra but try running down a mile-long airport terminal or carrying a bag full of printed collateral and then ask yourself if 2 lbs, 4 lbs, etc. extra is worth the difference? Until you’re at that point you simply don’t know or don’t need an Air or any other ultraportable.

All you see is what’s “missing” but when you’re schelping a 5 lb or 7 lb laptop from room to room and then around a giant Pentagon like building – that’s when you wonder – how much weight are those extra CAMERA memory slots or how many peripherals do I need to plug into this thing at once? This is NOT a desktop machine for everyone. Is Apple not manufacturing any of their other lines or computers? No. You want full power and have the room? Buy the desktop Mac Pro. You want an all-in-one? Buy an iMac. You want portability on a budget and are willing to trade a little speed and screen size? Buy a MacBook. Need the most features, speed and screen size? Buy a MacBook Pro. You choose what you want – everything in this world including Macs are a compromise in some way because there’s no perfect for everyone 100% of the time but for those who want thin, light, good enough speed, a nice screen, OSX, and a full keyboard?

The MacBook Air has a lot of nice touches …

The Apple Air has built in WiFi and the new Remote which lets you mount a CD or DVD on a nearby machine – what more do you need?

Want security or recovery utilities – a 16 GB USB stick weighs a few ounces or would you rather carry around a bulky optical drive internally or externally?

Still without WiFi at home or at the office? How about a $8 connector from Ethernet to USB that weighs a few ounces.

Can’t live without extra USB ports? Unpowered or Powered.

At home, you can add the Apple Time Capsule so you can print, share a hard drive and of course access the internet via WiFi:

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As for the “non-removable” battery, AppleInsider points out it’s a three minute job but more importantly, in a few weeks, I’m sure there will be a USB long life external battery which is even BETTER that it’s external. First, you’re going to have to carry a spare battery anyway whether it’s internal or external, they both weigh about the same – and with an external battery, you can charge it without having to insert it into your larop OR carry around its own charger AND even better, when your internal battery goes low, you can simply plug in the external battery (presumably through the USB) and best of all, without having to shut down and remove the other battery.

So for those worried to no end about a battery that is not removeable is simply over worrying the solution. Of course, the perfect solution would be a battery that would run for 19 hours but until we get to that point, saving a few lbs is much more important than whether the additional 1 lb battery I have to carry anyway is external or internal.

The MacBook Air is clearly NOT for everyone but finally a full sized laptop in screen, speed & keyboard but one that weighs much like a sub notebook. The thin-ness is an extra bonus. Just ask the ‘road warriors’ what’s at the top of their wish list? The MacBook Air delivers 98% of what’s most important – bulk, screen size, processor speed, battery life and keyboard size.

Along with the built-in WiFi and a USB stick, the remaining 2% is easily manageable.

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Filed under Apple, Apple Mac, Computing, Financial, Internet, Retail

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: The Display Scale of It

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I’m sure many of you are like me, tossing and turning at nights because you can’t figure how to properly display the AL OFT BLIMP & the DINOCO HELICOPTER … it’s just not to 1:55 scale!

If I can still do math, Wikipedia says the Goodyear Blimp is in real life 192 feet, presuming the Lightyear Blimp in the CARS world is also 192 feet long, proper scale to 1:55 should put it at about 3.7 feet long? Of course, that would price it at about $19 to $29 for a giant blimp … now if it lit up or could actually fly around the room, we might buy it but $29 for a plastic drigible is bit much … so what to do?

Well, these TOMY Gacha Vending Machines puts us closer …

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They offer a lot of choices such as WINNIE THE POOH, INCREDIBLES & CARS …

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This photo is pretty close to actual size. If you breath in wrong – there’s a CAR in your windpipe …

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They cost about $1 each from the vending machine if you can still find it but there’s no guarantee you’ll get the full set after tossing in your $8 dollars … you can buy them on eBay but check shipping – some places rip you off. Shipping should be $3-$4 since they really weigh less than a box of tic-tacs.

But really, also not in scale as three CARS total “192 feet” of blimp – arrgghhh, why has thou forsaken all of us who worship at the altar of scale, Mattel & Tomy?

How about the Dinoco Helicopter? Well, it sort of looks like the Bell 430 (even has a painted fuselage like a smile 😉 ) but clearly not large or powerful to fit a tow truck inside (Mater) and presumably the King, Mrs. the King & Tex Dinoco … or Tex Dinoco & some of the Showgirls 🙂

The Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion looks like it can do the trick – capable of a payload of 32,000 lbs … that should be enough to hold a bunch of CARS (not counting the bulk space a CAR would take up versus troops and cargo) but let’s presume it’ll work. In the real world, the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion is about 100 feet long or just about half the size of the blimp … so the current release of the heli is clearly too long and out of scale with the blimp … the biggest “real world” helicopter was this oddball Soviet helicopter at @121 feet – still way shorter than a Goodyear Blimp.

The Dinoco Helicopter release to scale should be about 1.6′ or so – the giant plastic one is a bit too large and the small one is too long to its 1:55 scale brethern … but maybe in the CARS world, gravity is less oppressive allowing them to build a ginormous helicopter that can fit 3-4 CARS inside?

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Sure, we resolved nothing but now you know a couple things about the MH-53 Sea Dragon and the world’s largest flying helicopter, the Mil Mi-12 … and the length is size of the Goodyear blimp … and yea, I drank way too many of Jimi Hendrix’ Energy Drink.*

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*No, I was too young – so while I like his music, he’s just another guitarist to me and I feel the same emotion connection as I would to Janis Joplin cough drops or a Buddy Holly cell phone sneeze guard … absolutely nothing. Though for a guy who died 40 years ago, his energy drink is quite tasty – unlike most which taste like carbonated Robitussin or contain more sugar than an actual bag of sugar – it’s quite refreshing and yes, I’m starting to hallucinate, why do you ask?

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Filed under Advertising, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Toys

Hello From MacWorld 2008

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Not actually blogging from here since we’re only #72,000 on Technorati 🙂 … there are only about 15 seats … maybe next year.

Other than the keynote, there’s not much to see that’s new – I don’t think Adobe is even here. The nicest booth by far is Belkin’s

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If this were in Venice, it’d be about $900,000.

The coolest booth is Crumpler (they make messenger and brief bags). It’s a castle made up of interlocking cardboard or some sort of polymer board.

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Only thing I bought From XtremeMac:

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I took a photo of the MacBook Air but not only were there way too many people crowded around it, there is no way a photo can do it justice in how thin it is. If you have a pad of yellow legal pads … yea, that’s your MacBook Air. It’s pretty amaazing and of course, me wantee. Apple website. Ad for Air. Guided Tour – multiple resolutions + downloads.

The updated AppleTV looks very nice – also with a Guided Tour. In case you missed it, the big news is Movie Rentals from all the movie studios and even in HD!

And linked with Leopard’s “Time Machine” backup feature, Time Capsule with allows you to back up wirelessly.

So, nothing as startling as last year’s iPhone but honestly, how many iPhone-like cottage industries can you pull out year afer year 🙂

Not sure why some people were so sure about a 3G iPhone … the 3G iPhone is ready to go when AT&T is ready and when Apple needs the sales boost.

The Tablet Mac? Pleezeee … Outside of 5,000 people and apparently 900 squeaky-wheel bloggers and analysts, hardly anyone cares or actually wants one – how are those WIN tablet sales? EGGXACTLY!

Everything released was nice, interesting and useful – it’s nothing revolutionary but that’s fine. Not every keynote can be revolutionary. Making food into pellets is revolutionary but sometimes you just want a juicy burger, eh?

Speaking of food, of course, just one block away – a dozen Beard Papa’s fresh giant cream puffs …

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The best food surrounding a convention center in America … unless of course, you enjoy $8 pizza made in 2005 and reheated … oh, and it’s sunny and 65 degrees here in SF so come on by!

(PS – Of course for those that keep track of such things – Best Booth Babes – Skull Candy and best DJ!)

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Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: E Box & Other Factory Sealed Cases CHANGES

e950_1.jpg

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to plan too far ahead …

Mattel has changed the case assortment for Box E:

Originally to be:

Bling Bling Lightning McQueen
Dinoco Chick Hicks
Dirt Track Lightning McQueen
Fred
Hydraulic Ramone
Lightning McQueen
Mario Andretti
Mater
Not Chuck (2)
Pit Crew Member Fabulous Hudson Hornet
Pit Crew Member Sarge
Race Tow Truck (2)
Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van) (2)
Snot Rod
Tom Race Official

Now:

(Changes in bold along with character name changes)

Bling Bling Lightning McQueen
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dinoco Chick Hicks
Dirt Track Lightning McQueen
Fred
Ghostlight Ramone (2)
Hydraulic Ramone
Lightning McQueen
Mario Andretti
Mater
My Name is Not Chuck (2)
Pit Crew Member Fabulous Hudson Hornet
Race Official Tom
Snot Rod
Tow (Piston Cup Tow Truck) (2)

ghostlight-ramone-s.jpg

my-name-is-not-s.jpg

tow-s.jpg

While this increases the chances of someone getting Dale Jr., the two most significant changes are the dropping of Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van) & PCM Sarge to another shipment.

Since Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van) is already slated for Box F, presumably, Mattel will simply drop one of the older CARS to add an extra Security Van in the shipment … or drop Tow (Truck) from 2 to 1 since Tow already shipped 2 in Box E.

And PCM Sarge which is scheduled also for Box G might just be moved to that case. The implication is that Box G might be going to WM only – so PCM Sarge & Marco the Jet might make their first appearance as a WM exclusive – still unconfirmed but most likely to occur – both are scheduled for other boxes so like Cactus McQueen of Ghostlight Ramone, it might be an exclusive for a short time, but it’s not very limited nor ultimately, very exclusive.

Of course, Mattel can simply decide to revise Box F to a greater degree as originally listed – one reason they never guarantee shipments …

Just for your reference, here is what was originally slated for Boxes F & G – subject to change?

HWM1054-F

Bling Bling Lightning McQueen
Chick Hicks Pit Crew
Dinoco Crew Chief (2)
Dinoco Helicopter
Dinoco Lightning McQueen
Dirt Track Lightning McQueen
Doc Hudson
Dudley Spare (Octane Gain Pitty) (2)
Lightning McQueen
My Name is Not Chuck
Race Official Tom
Ramone – Green
Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van)
Tow (Piston Cup Tow Truck)
Trunk Fresh Crew Chief (2)

Not sure if it’s the Piston Cup Racer TRUNK FRESH or his Pit Crew Chief – most of the pit crew chiefs seem to be pickups or SUV’s so it might look something like below …

Well, OCTANE GAIN looks like this so his Pit Crew will look like NOT CHUCK only in this orange & black paint scheme (Or the CHICK HICKS pit crew without mustache plate).

HWM1054-G

Brand New Mater
Bug Mouth Lightning McQueen
Dinoco Crew Chief
Dinoco Helicopter
Dudley Spare (Octane Gain Pitty) (2)
Marco Super FAV18 (Jet)
My Name is Not Chuck
Pit Crew Member Fillmore
Pit Crew Member Guido
Pit Crew Member Sarge
Race Official Tom
Radiator Springs Lightning McQueen
Ramone – Purple
Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van)
Tongue Lightning McQueen
Tow (Piston Cup Tow Truck)
Trunk Fresh Crew Chief

YES, It’s ALL CHANGED – Here’s the new revised list along with what’s “out.” And more importantly, why we think it’s happening …

The rest of 2008 is here.

All other CARS posts.

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