Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: The Short Card “Lane Mates” & Checklist

It’s never dull collecting the Disney Pixar CARS. There is always something going on – and of course, when there’s nothing going on – there’s still something going on.

And apparently instead of designing CARS RV’s or the Cozy Cone Motel playset, the project group that made sure there was a Buzz & Woody in every store on every shelf corner on every street all over the world has finally finished their work – and moved onto something everyone felt was long overdue.

Mainly, Purple Ramone on a new card.

Waiiittt? Whhaaat?

Man, I should start reading those petitions I’m signing in front of Target.

Yes, our long national nightmare is over.

Purple Ramone is finally here on a short card.

That is what you’ve all been shouting from the rooftops, right?

Mattel has introduced a growing number of CARS on smaller cards called “Lane Mates.”

It is everything you ever hoped for on a backing card and just a little bit less.

You know what the regular card backs look like for CARS?

Yea, these are shorter – hence the name ‘short’ cards but in actuality, they are called ‘Lane Mates’ for the checkout lanes …

According to sources, they are NOT a K-Mart exclusive as I first thought but will be gushing into Mattel pipeline soon. I was just surprised that since Kmart received them, they might be an exclusive but nope … they’ll be available soon to Mattel wholesalers so no need to go the eBay route if you’re a completist.

While in theory, Mattel is saving some money using less paper and ink, the oddity is that the cards are custom (examples below) – see where Ramone or McQueen poke out “off” the scene? That is a custom cut – with all (except Barney Stormin’) of the previous 100+ cards from the line, other than the printing, the cards are all exactly the same cut and shape. With these, out of few examples below, we already can see several different CUSTOM shapes. If you order a couple million, it doesn’t add much to the cost but it’s odd because the few pennies they are savings in paper & ink, Mattel is plowing back into the custom die shape … strange if this is solely a cost savings measure …

Sure, retailers might like it because they can stock a few more rows & pegs but that also means they have to order more so it’s not a huge difference maker …

Is this merely to provide Kmart with an ‘exclusive’ but nothing that WM, Target or TRU care a whit about? Retailers and retailer buyers from a ‘competitor’ don’t really care about packaging exclusives especially as ‘mundane’ as smaller cards. So this might be a safe way for Kmart to get an exclusive that don’t affect the relationship with the much more important WM, TRU & Target.

Casual buyers don’t really care – only ultra completists will care.

What’s really amusing is the back art … or lack thereof … the back of the short cards art?

A photo of the regular card.

I hope they extend this concept. They can do an even smaller ‘mini’ card that will feature the ‘short’ card art on the back … and eventually just do a blister shape CAR with the art of the ‘mini’ card on the back … how small can you go? How small can you go?

And of course, “Collect Them ALL!”

Though what’s disappointing is that the ONLY art on the back on ALL the cards is LIGHTNING McQUEEN … so that would fall under the ‘money savings’ category obviously …

Thanks “Mike” for the photos and the update on the card backs!

And what the Mattel Hot Wheels short card looks like:

“Husker_Crazy” has been kind enough to give us a running checklist so far …

Bling Bling Lightning McQueen
Brand New Mater
Chick Hicks
Crusin’ Lightning McQueen
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dinoco Helicopter
Dinoco Lightning McQueen
Doc Hudson
Lightning McQueen
Lightning Ramone
Radiator Springs McQueen
Ramone – Purple
Tongue Lightning McQueen

UPDATE: There is a a A & B Case – each also with 18 cards/CARS. As soon as I have a full breakdown, I’ll let you know. Presuming only Box A is out, there might be up to 18 Lane Mates cards/CARS or the more likely possibility of 14-16 …  How much overlap is there with case B?

Some people have asked about their collectibility value and to that, I say – yes, no, maybe …

Mattel is using its best Jedi mind power, ‘These are the CARS you are looking plus many more in larger card sizes.’


Filed under Advertising, collecting, Film, Gadgets, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, Toys, TV

9 responses to “Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: The Short Card “Lane Mates” & Checklist

  1. Mikey

    You can add Crusin McQueen to the list also. He was on the peg but did not buy. Maybe next time!

    (MET: Updated for the 4th time already 😉 – thanks & thanks for photos also).

  2. Mikey

    The short cards were $3.49 each while the “full size” or “regular card” was $3.99. At least the store I visited those were the prices. I like the short cards a lot better only if it had the art work like the full size card. They are much easier to store.

  3. jackdaddy2008

    I like them.

    I won’t be buying any of them though, as they are not rare, exclusive or uncommon. I have all the cars they have released as ‘lane mates’ on a more valuable individual, (except for lightning Ramone) card, either first wave/1.5, supercharged or first WOC.

    Its crazy to keep buying every ‘card’ they release, they don’t make your collection any more valuable relatively. If you have the older one, you have the best!

    I believe this is more to do with pressure from Disney rather than Mattels reed to be honest.

    Does it say where they were made/packaged?

    (MET: I don’t actually have mine yet … anyone with them in hand, does it say MADE IN CHINA or … can you also see if there’s a production date stamp? I think most are underneath now XXX8 and two letters? The first three numbers indicate what day of 2008 it was packed up and the two letters are for the factory code).

  4. claeface73

    WOOOOOHOOOOO! Now I’ll start collecting cars in cards again. Wow, that just made me think of banannas in pajamas. Odd.

  5. Monica

    My guess is that they made these because retailers love the checkout lane impulse buy area. I can tell you that my boys have gotten me to buy Hot Wheels there more than once! They are good for grocery stores too, both checkout and in aisle.

    It’s all part of Mattel’s evil genious plan to keep finding new ways to lure in new collectors with the older (more recignizable) Cars, while at the same time stringing all the exsisting collectors along with a steady trickle of hard-to-find new cars and exclusives (you know, thrill of the hunt and all).

  6. Detroit Daddy2

    Love this site…on here all the time!!! Great job to all that contribute. Does anybody know the case # or letter for these “short card” cars?

    (MET: There’s a CASE A & B – unsure of what is in box yet but there are also 18 CARS in each case).

  7. claeface73

    well, going into work at Target tomorro, lets see what comes in! I’ll let you all know what I find if I do find anything.

  8. Terri

    I have 7 short cards and they are stamped 0538EA on the bottom “made in China” . I think they might be a kmart thing. I have not seen them anywhere but there.

    (MET: That is the production stamp – it means they were packed on the 53rd day of 2008 or Saturday, 23 – February 2008.

    While it seems only Kmart has them so far, it is listed in the Mattel ordering database as ‘alternative channel item’ so in theory, others can order it – whether they do or not is another matter ).

  9. ToyotaKitten

    Its might be a mix of Disney and Mattel trying to sell more cars. Honestly for a MINT IN BOX collector, this is a perfect way to go. much easier to store IMHO. but at the same time, I don’t want to buy more of what i already have. the cards are nto a big deal to me. as long as i have the car on its FIRST card it came out on… I’m good. IE i have lightning McQueen wave 1.0…. not 1.5 or after…. and Leakless on 1.5… not 2.0 or after…

    but this is a good move. great for impilse buyers and even good for someone who has been looking for dale jr STILL. tehy go back to the toy isle. its cleaned out as usual, they go to check out their other purchases and they see dale jr glowing in a new unopened box!!! it may not be the original card they are looking for, but there comes a point where you will take any card just to get that CAR. am i right? i think it will be nice for lots of people. i doubt we will see these at Walt Disney World, as there is no checkout lane, but they would save a ton of space for the merchandise stores.

    (MET: I’ve noticed the short card Hot Wheels all over the stores so I’m sure it will depend on the store …).

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