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.
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
Crusin’ Lightning McQueen
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Dinoco Lightning McQueen
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.’