Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Motor Speedway of South – Gather ‘Round Kids, Here’s your eBay MBA Story …

As a marketing guy, people’s behaviors, crowd behavior and mobs fascinate me – and of course, the Motor Speedway of the South has turned out to be more fascinating than most – you can go all the way back when the rumors starting percolating, then the unauthorized photo leaks and then of course, the rumors on releases, on pricing and on production numbers. Frankly, it was all fun – the guessing, the anticipation and the buzz it generated … but ultimately, no matter how much you try and get all the info out there – there’s always one in every crowd as posted on the HW Collector’s Club forum on May 21st … “Did these go on sale?”

Um, yeah.

So, now of course, we enter the phase known as the “secondary market.” While they could turn up live in person at toy shows and such, the easiest way to sell is of course, eBay.

Personally, I have nothing against eBay – sure I’m as annoyed as the next guy when I can’t find what I want but eBay has hundreds … but it’s hard to rail against supply, demand the whole free enterprise thing. If no one is buying, the listings go away … for instance, there’s not a lot of listings for toilet paper … ๐Ÿ™‚ so it must be something enticing if others want it. So, you can draw your own conclusions. Just as if you found a Blu Ray McQueen for a dollar, there are literally billions of people who would question why you spend $1 for a toy, so not everyone stands where you, or I stands …

On that note, I present to you the Motor Speedway of the South One Week later.

On May 20, 2008 – from 9:00 AM to 11:25 AM, the Motor Speedway of the South was at the Hot Wheels Collectors Club for $341.85

This is presuming three additional things:

You just signed at the RL Club to buy this item (which includes $29.90 for the membership.

You are not paying for expedited or Canadian shipping (an extra $5 to $15.00).

And you do not live in Wisconsin or Texas – where you have to pay another $20 dollars in taxes.

(Also note – the time is my time zone here n the West Coast US – that’s much less important than that it was a sellout in 2 hours and 25 minutes. It actually took a few more minutes to sell out but it can take 1-3 minutes to navigate through the menus and every once in a while, people have items in the cart and when they reach the final SUBMIT, it becomes sold out – which probably happen to a few people who got on at 11:28 …)

In theory, if you’re a ‘power seller’ of diecasts, you could prorate the membership costs since almost everything on the RLC is in limited supply and easy to resell, let’s divide that membership cost to 8 items across 2008 so instead of adding $29.90 to the MSoS set, let’s just add $3.75 and rounding up slightly, let’s just call it $316.00 out the door and on your doorstep. Presume that your time is NOT money and your time spent making the listing is not money but however, eBay fees and Paypal fees are … let’s just say 10% for both … meaning your final out of your door cost is @$347.26 ($316 + @10% for fees).

So, what is a righteous price to sell it for?

So, on May 20, 2008 – between 9:00 AM to 11:25 AM, the Motor Speedway of the South was at the Hot Wheels Collectors Club for $341.85 for those who joined just to own a set.

For those who bought a set on eBay between 9:00 and 11:25 (my time), the average selling price was $451.98 (including shipping).

These are the average prices for all sets sold that closed on a particular day or time period.

May 20, 2008

$341.85 – HWC 9-11:25 AM
$451.98 – eBay 9-11:25 AM
$483.98 – eBay 11:26 AM to 11:59 PM

May 21, 2008

$502.24 – eBay 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM

May 22, 2008

$507.50 – eBay 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM

May 23, 2008

$595.75 – eBay 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM

May 24, 2008

$602.50 – eBay 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM

May 25, 2008*

$665.33 – eBay 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM

May 26, 2008**

$766.06 – eBay 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM

May 27, 2008

$706.98 -eBay 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM

* Indicates the first actual bidding auctions closed (not BUY IT NOW).

** US Holiday.

Blue is the price of $340 – what you would’ve paid and orange is the selling price starting within the RL still selling window.

There have been 53 auctions that have closed, 48 were auctions that closed due to BUY IT NOW, BUY IT NOW was the only option or BEST OFFER was accepted – after 1 week, only 5 have been actual auctions. But because there were so many BUY IT NOW sets offered, it’s impossible to say with any certainty what effect it had on the actual auctions other than taking away some buyers – the bottom line is that the few actual bidding auctions that closed on the days with all the multitude of other BUY IT NOW transactions closing were neither the highest nor lowest price of that day.

Presumably, sellers were leery of someone sneaking off with a bargain so BUY IT NOW prices were set high and kept moving higher (since the above pricing pricing pattern reflects 95% BUY IT NOW pricing) … for instance, the first seller sold off six sets. He accepted the first bid of $365 on May 20 before the HW Club had finished selling – on May 23, he sold off his last one for $500.

Another seller (wisely?) waited until May 22 after he received his shipment to start selling – his pricing on the three sets sold went from a BUY IT NOW pricing of $490 to $649 to $759 in three days and these ALL SOLD – the last one in just over an hour from the eBay listing … So, while he did beat the early listings, in this & other cases, the setting of a BUY IT NOW pricing early on the first week meant some sellers left money on the table as the first and only actual auction (a 5-day auction) on May 20 went for $611 5-days later for an average of over $140 more than the BUY IT NOW pricing of May 20 or as a percentage – about 27% not garnered.

Of course, even if people are not math whizzes, they can sense the spin of the roulette table as now the split is 80% auctions and BUY IT NOW pricing is now set (on May 27) in the $800-$1,500 range. Now, there are enough ‘players’ who are bidding to assure that the maximum pricing is reached instead of arbitrarily trying to guess the direction of the market with BUY IT NOW especially when it is moving this fast?

How fast?

Here’s your ROI (return on investment)

This is presuming you are buying to sell – so your outlay is @$347.26 as a ‘power seller’ who is pro-rating your RLC membership buy paying eBay & PayPal fees (just so everyone can play, if you’re not planning on selling and just signed up to buy, your outlay of $341.85 is just about 2% difference from these numbers).

ROI After 2 Hours?


After 12.5 Hours


On May 21 (end of day)


May 22


May 23


May 24


May 25


May 26


May 27


Yea, it’s like it’s 2001 and I’m buying a stock. Except of course … like any stock, when do you sell and when do you buy?

(and note, this is the cumulative return from Day 1 to each day not price growth each & everyday on top of the previous day … that would just be ridiculous ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Sure, if you’re a robot, something you bought is now worth 104% of what you paid a week ago, do you sell? But what is its REPLACEMENT VALUE?

That no one can say, because even “investment-grade” choices – in theory – such as stocks – its pricing is supposed to reflect underlying value and future earnings value – it is still just a guess even though everyone is dressed in nice suits … (Bear Stearn went from $100+ to being sold for $2 in a matter of months … and that’s the investment industry valuing itself!) … or the most famous case of Webvan being worth more than American Airlines for a period. I doubt if you assembled their entire fleet of delivery vans, it was worth the value of one 747 but hey, the market is crazy … well, every market is crazy or can be – and certainly at different periods in time. Does this set have value? Sure? 36 X $4 + a track + a cover = $174? Limited, add another $20 or add $125? Or add $401? Or really, is Leak Less really worth $4 on the open market? Where she spins, nobody knows …

53 auctions plus the 24 going on now … so maybe 8% of the available stock … though technically, I have not gotten mine and I presume others have not also. (I’m guessing 900-950 were sold, 50-100 held back for Mattel & Pixar?) – will that churn hold true because while 53 were available in week one, and 24 are now available in week 2, how many will week three bring to the marketplace? It will matter how pricing is – there are some who will be willing to give it up if prices hold a 100+% return on their money … at whar price are you willing to sell? Now? When and if it hits $1,000? Will there be panic when offers drop to a few a week so that $1,500 set looks tempting? Of course, like the 2006 Factory Set, if the set sells for $1,500, you can bet listings will shoot up the weeks after until equilibrium pricing is met again … will that be where we are today? Around $700 with shipping?

Right now, the cheapest BUY IT NOW offer is $720 with shipping … and has been “live” for about three hours. Most of the $720 range BUY IT NOW’s from the last few days have sold within @3 hours of listings, the $750+ BUY IT NOW’s tend to be up for close to 24 hours before someone decides – enough is enough ๐Ÿ™‚ MUST OWN! So, the next couple hours should tell if @$700 is the new “comfort” range.

Other amusing facts:

Quickest auction from post to sale – a BUY IT NOW for $725.00 – the listing lasted a whole 15-minutes.

The slowest BUY IT NOW took 3 days for a sale but that’s presumably because he only accepts MO so you have to buy escrow insurance from eBay … you did buy escrow insurance, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

2 of the first 4 auctions had a bid option and a BUY IT NOW OPTION … one got to $300 before someone pulled the $499 BUY IT NOW trigger and the other one got to $360 before someone said the suspense is killing me, I’ll take it at $499.99.

Only 5 of the first 53 available sold in the under $500 range with the first one, the cheapest at $400 with the next one selling for $434 an hour later. The most expensive one sold while you still had a shot of buying one at the RLC? $519.00. The last under $500 one sold at around 12:48 on the May 21st (or about 25 hours).

$835.00 is the most expensive one sold so far – a BUY IT NOW.

On Memorial Day, with the exception of the most expensive one sold so far – the other 7 which sold for an average of $756 dollars all sold from listing to BUY IT NOW in an average of 1 hour and 38 minutes.

Free shipping, photos, in hand seems to matter very little for pricing.

There only seems to be one buyer who snapped up three auctions willy-nilly in the last few days. They seem to a power seller so I presume they might be turning it around but hard to figure how much profit they can squeeze after paying about $750 per set … I did not notice any other multiple buyers.

Most sellers were either power sellers with an eBay store or most with a thousand or more feedbacks – only a couple with less than 200 feedbacks … one seller with the lowest ranking I’d seen in a while – 90% ๐Ÿ˜ฆ … um, good luck there!

So, while I will stop tracking the day-to-day price swings and try to do weekly, it has certainly been interesting so far.

If you participated in selling or buying in the after market and want to share your story, drop me an email and I promise not to reveal your name or email (mail us at metroxing (at) Thanks!


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

45 responses to “Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Motor Speedway of South – Gather ‘Round Kids, Here’s your eBay MBA Story …

  1. Noel

    I’ve been watching the prices climb as well, good work on tracking the auctions. An Apple #84 just went for $92.01 by itself.

    Mark at HWC closed the thread about the non-numbered SoS sets but he indicated they would more than likely send out stickers and a letter to all who bought a set. Can’t wait to see the low numbered stickers being sold on eBay ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. luna

    their are many “local” auctions sites all over europe. iยดll bet that price for a speedway of the south set could easily be more than 1500$.

  3. BMW

    I got it today, and it is spectacular!
    Packaging was amazing. Boxes within boxes.
    Not a dent in the Mattel box as it was inside a shipping box, then inside the Mattel box was two more boxes, the Cars box and the display box with the acrylic base.
    The Tack o Mint and Faux Wheel Drive are my new favorites. But the Apple Car is just gorgeous with its silver painted apple and white, white, did I say white wheels.

    Now please send me my number for the set Mattel!

    The cars are just amazing.

  4. claeface73

    This has now gone from a really fun hobbie to a sickening disease. All I know is, when this set is rereleased on a larger scale, or rather, the cars are released individually, I’m going to laugh my fool head off at all the morons who payed over $700. You can call that being a sore loser for not buying the set, I don’t care. This is not fun anymore. When you have to either go without food or use a morgage payment to complete a set, you have to wonder who’s being the most irrisponsible. The people buying, or the greedy scumbags posting the buy it nows at $750.

  5. jackdaddy2008

    I don’t think some of these will be released.

    Mattel have only released a few ‘new’ cars in 2008, which are dramatically down on last years figures. There are not too many announced as definite releases either with quite a few cases still to hit stores along wiht more Walmart and TRU exclusives. Its June.

    The new movie is out soon, consumers are simply hacked off and the brand owner is concerned.

    I can’t see 2009 being a busy year for Mattel in regard to cars 1.55 die cast range.

    I will be surprised if new cars come out after Christmas.

    A short film on TV, could spark a small revival, but I doubt it. As a main line its finished, and Mattel have themselves to blame for their greed and force dropping of unwanted product. Maybe they did it deliberately to halt the line?

  6. C. Manifold

    Hey Clae…..I can understand your frustration.
    However, don’t be mad at those who are just marketing this to others who are willing to pay a high price.

    It took 2 1/2 hours to sell out. Anyone willing to pay the $300+ dollars had a chance.

    I knew the set was going to be on sale; everyone did, due to the updates on this site, for example.

    This is just a larger scale of what goes on each day with these Cars. I go to the stores, hoping to find at least one new Car. No such luck…….Why?

    Because collectors, such as OURSELVES, buy up the new ones, for either collectibility or profit.

    I can honestly say that all of the Cars that I bought go to my kids. I paid $13 for Barney Stormin’, and it’s going to my boys to play with. As well as my Speedway of the South set.

    They’re going to open it, fight over their favorites, and start acting out the opening race. It’s why I bought the set.

    I agree with you; it’s gotten to be a little ridiculous. These, after all, are kids toys. But you have to understand that there are a group of those who are in it just to make money, and that group is accompanied by a group willing to spend.

  7. carsmama

    What about the guy who sold each of the new ones from the set individually? He made around $1200. He’s going to have to package and ship them all but that profit might make it worth his while.

    (MET: Yea, I was thinking about adding that … he sold off about 20 of them for $775 total (with a handful not meeting reserve) so when he listed the second set as a single set of CARS, when it hit $795 at the close of the auction, it still hadn’t met reserve … which is of course odd since everyday, you can find a BUY IT NOW for less that includes the track & box … but then, logic and ebay don’t always go together ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  8. BMW

    The SOS set was marketed as a collectors item, to collectors on the RLC which is for collectors.
    So I don’t think it was intended for just kids.

    It was marketed in a expensively made display box with acrylic base.

    I understand those who are frustrated that did not buy it at the opening. But I think everyone had the chance if they really wanted it, to make some kind of arrangements to get it.

    From the quality of the individual cars, it seems obvious that they were for collectors to display.

    I was concerned due to quality of cars that I have recently gotten from the stores with poorly applied paint, but these are just wonderfully done.

    Great care was taken with this set, befitting the price of 363 I paid with tax and ship.

  9. Will V

    I got mine today, and all I have done is removed the outer packing box. The Mattel box is still sealed shut. Wonder if I should……..

  10. C. Manifold

    Don’t do it man!

    Naw….just kidding. If you bought it for your kids, then open it up. I can’t wait to see the look on my kid’s faces when they see the set.

    If you didn’t buy it for your kids, keep it shut.

  11. msully

    Oh Will, you gotta open it man, Carpe Diem!

  12. Heather from Maine

    Has anyone seen the single Apple Car just listed on eBay for $129.99 Buy it now?

    (MET: Are you offering us a discount? ๐Ÿ™‚ just kidding!)

  13. carsrmom

    Alright, I think I’ll chime in again.
    I am starting to have really mixed feelings about collecting “cars” anymore. I fell in love with the movie and the cars right from the start, and so did my kids. I started collecting the cars for fun for myself and to open for my kids. Then they lost interest and moved onto GI Joes, and I was too addicted to the cars. But now, seeing how employees, ebay and scalpers affect the market, it is really bothering me.
    With the Sos set, I personally decided not to purchase it. I felt that the price was too high, I enjoy the cars on the blister cards and also in hopes that they will eventually release them for $2.97 a car one day…..
    But, can we really fault the ebay sellers? I have mixed feelings about this one. I cant stand it when the Ebay sellers run to the stores (or are employees of the stores) and wipe out the shelves, just to make a buck or two, and leave nothing behind for me! I dont think that is right. However, with this set, it does seem that anyone that wanted one, could have bought one within the 2 1/2 hours. And what it really comes down to on ebay is the BUYER is willing to pay that ridiculous price!!! If the buyers would not purchase it for that amount, then it would go down. This whole situation makes me think of the current Gas Prices. The prices are only so high because “us” SPOILED ROTTEN AMERICANS will keep paying the price for it, rather than refuse. We would rather “work late” or more hours to keep our budget, rather than refuse to pay those gas prices, and cancel our roadtrips. It’s sad but true. Same with the “Cars”, people are able to sell these for outrageous profits because someone is willing to pay it. And unfortunately, as long as someone is willing to pay it, the ebayers will keep running to the stores and wiping out the shelves and I’ll keep showing up to empty pegs…….
    Well, that’s my two cents.

    (MET: The oddest of all might be the people who willingly paid about $100 more than the RLC price WHILE the sale was STILL ACTIVE … but hey, whatev …).

  14. jackdaddy2008

    Those were probably overseas buyers.

    This set would not have been picked up by as many eBayers had it been made available internationally.

    If buyers form outside the US had a chance, the sets would have sold in an hour.

  15. Heather from Maine

    Just received my SOS set!!!

    I couldn’t wait to open it. Who cares if opening it makes it less valuable or not!!!

    Doesn’t seem right not to open and enjoy it.

    I’m going to let my son set up all the cars inside the display case. He’ll be sooooo excited!!!!

    The pictures do not do this set justice. It’s AWESOME!!!

    I’m very grateful that I ran across this site. It’s full of info and posts from knowledgeable people. I would have never known about this wonderful SOS set or about all the other Cars coming out if it wasn’t for this site. I have learned so much!

    Thanks everyone!!

    (MET: Enjoy!)

  16. Jon VP

    I personally struggled with whether the set was worth the $340 investment – I really didn’t want to pay that, and my wife had a fit when I even mentioned it. So, in order to justify buying a set to add to my son’s collection, I decided to go for two and try to offset part of the cost of my set by putting the second one on eBay. I was hoping to at least get a $100 or so back from the set, thinking that if I could get my cost for the one set down to ~$200 or so it would be a little more justifiable. Needless to say, my wife had even more of a fit after I told her that I spent the $680 for two sets. Her (and my) concerns eased a bit after the initial auctions started going for over $400 to $500. I received the first set on Thursday, which I opened and set up with my kids (Tach-o-Mint is both of my girls’ favorite, my boy likes both of the #84s – we put the Apple car in the lead position), and then we dusted and rearranged the rest of the collection to go with it (the kids counted 130 cars including the minis and the 1:24 Lightning and Mater – still need the red and blue Mia/Tias, and Flea/Flik, and still have a Blu-ray version of Cars with no player to watch it in). I finally had time to take the pictures and put together the auction (GarageSale on my Mac), and listed it on Monday with a $1 start and a buy it now of $699.99 since a couple auctions were already over $700. I figured that would just about cover all of my costs for both sets after the fees, so I went with that. It sold in 15 minutes, and I am not a power seller (53 feedbacks as of the sale) – I just wanted to be able to make the set more affordable. I kidded with my wife that I should sell the other set, but making money wasn’t the point. So, to make a long story short, not everyone selling one of the sets on eBay was a profiteering power seller, and my wife is actually now happy that we have the set and especially happy about what our actual cost ended up at to get it.

    Also, I would like to say a big thank you to this site for all the info on this set and all of the Cars info – my son loves coming here to look at the pictures of the Cars, especially the future releases.

    (MET: Congrats on getting a “free” MSoS! ๐Ÿ™‚ And you hold the record for fastest MSoS sale … you should start holding ‘how to sell anything in 15-minutes on eBay!’ or be real obnoxious and email other sellers … here’s what you’re doing wrong – if you don’t sell it in 15-minutes … ๐Ÿ™‚ just kidding! Enjoy!)

  17. jackdaddy2008

    The eBay thing only happened because there weren’t enough cars distributed to stores.
    This was avoidable, Mattel didn’t have to ship loads of cars we don’t need or want with a few we do. For whatever reason, they chose to and we all have theories why.

    As for the SOS, it sucks it wasn’t an international sale, but it is a different entity from commercial retail items.

    If I could have bought two to sell one so I basically get one for nothing, I would have. I also starting leaving rarer Cars on shelves recently though too, so where is the line in morality?

  18. Steve AKA: Poppa

    I’m with carsrmom. I did not buy this set due to the initial price. I’ve been tracking the sales on eBay with ‘favorite searches’ and printing out the sales when the ‘ended’ pages fills up. I’m curious to see how long the prices run up and the percentage of RLC sales that ended up on eBay. The proof of the pudding is for the Cars line to maintain interest in the toy buying public. The kiss of death is for a toy to become extinct, i.e., no more Cars movies, no more interest. Also, the toy line must enter the ‘classic’ line. ‘Vintage’ in itself will not make the toy valuable. Again, it is supply and demand. Carsrmom’s kids moved on to G.I. Joe, presumably the 4″ current figures. My son still has his entire collection from the 1980’s. He tried selling them at a garage sales years ago and had no takers- that’s for over seventy complete play sets and 300+ figures with the accompanying cards. He is starting to revisit his childhood and wants to get them from my house (praise God!). The toys still can be obtained for very reasonable prices with the exception of the MIMB. Again, as previously stated by me, kids opened their toys. I do not know of one parent from the 1970 and 1980’s that bought an ‘extra’ for investment. Now, I have counseled people to buy a second toy in case the primary toy is lost and the kid goes bonkers over it. Kind of like Linus in Peanuts. Got to have that blanket.

    I have not had time to check many of the eBay sellers other items for sale, but, when I have, they appear to be speculators. I do not know how many collectors have purchased this set for its play value. Yes the RLC is a collector’s site. It is logical Mattel used RLC as its vehicle for marketing the set.

    The risk is when you want to sell, what will the market be? I doubt in 15 years you will be able to get a rate of return that would be reflective of a more liquid investment. Remember: time value of money. The unknown for the long term future is the actual demand and the actual number of unopened sets. Also, it has been consistently shown that a reissue of a toy will diminish the value of the original because many collectors are satisfied with an ‘example.’ You better hope “Mattel is Swell” does not mass market the castings. One has already appeared as a launcher.
    Mattel has no interest in your profit or lose. Mattel is satisfied with the sale of 1,000 units or they would have made more sets.

    I did notice one person on eBay had the plastic case for sale for $50. I did not track it, but, that may have been the ultimate bargain of the week. Stuff it with $2.97 Cars from Wal*Mart. Once the dust has settled on this set, if I were “Mattel is Swell,” I would be packaging these castings as a sub set or a multi car set.

    I have a feeling everyone is going to be checking eBay for the value of this set for a long time- kind of like the old guys that go down to Merrill Lynch and watch the stock ticker run across the board.

  19. Nancy

    I did what Jon VP did. I bargained with my husband that if I couldn’t sell the second set for enough to pay for both sets I would sell my set too! Thanks to the information on this site I was pretty confident I could keep my set. My second set sold in less than an hour I think and I’m happy, my husband’s happy and my buyer is happy as will be the person who will get the set as a gift. The set (cars and box) is fantastic! I’m glad I bought it!

  20. connor

    SOS is on ToyWiz for $700
    Like im gonna buy that -.-

  21. collectormom

    Jon VP & Nancy I wish I had the wherewithall to do what you guys did. I debated buying a second set during the auction. I would have had to sign up for another membership but just didn’t think I could get that done in time.

    I also felt like I was being greedy but it took 2 1/2 hours to sell out. I can’t believe it took THAT long; I thought it would be done in 30 minutes.

    It’s been said before if you wanted one you could have gotten one in that time. I haven’t seen anyone post on here or the HW site that they tried to get one but it was sold out during checkout.

    I think anyone who truly wanted a set bought it in the first hour; after that they were up for grabs and you can’t feel greedy about that.

    You had a GREAT return on your intial investment; kudos! ๐Ÿ™‚

    (MET: Someone did post on the HW site they had it in their basket but was SOLD OUT at SUBMIT … but they didn’t seem too broken up …).

  22. jackdaddy2008

    There has to be some realism with this set.

    At the end of the day, the SOS contains 36 non precious metal toy cars that have been lacquered with paint in a machine, they weren’t hand painted and have plastic wheels and bases.

    The cars are not individually packaged and do not have any art work.

    Due to these details, the only thing that can make the SOS truly valuable is their exclusivity and packaging.

    11 of the 36 have been released in various packaging already, and are by no means rare, these 11 are most definitely less valuable than their carded counterparts.

    If I am right, an additional 6 have been announced as definite releases coming out in a similar fashion to regular carded cars/mms/3 packs. Therefore, we will definitely end up with 17 cars out of the original 36 that are less valuable than their carded counterparts.

    That leaves us with 19 cars that are possibly one of 1000? But there is no and hasn’t been a guarantee that Mattel won’t release some of the 19 if not all of them individually, they have only said they won’t release the set again!

    I have a book that is one of 1000, and it has only appreciated 2 & a half times its original value in 6 years. It is arguably rarer than the SOS will ever be, but admittedly is not as sought after. I bought it for $40, and its worth $100 now.

    SOS has acquired the same appreciation value in a week?!

    Panic buying could be a factor, with eBay also being notorious for false bidding and cronies price hiking. I know of sellers who have outbid buyers to keep the item so they can list them again, so don’t look at eBay and assume you are seeing true sales figures, some if not most of the more recent auctions may be deliberately inflated or fake. I doubt all have been true bids!
    There are sharks with sharp teeth and big appetites swimming in eBay.
    Look at some of the sellers other recently sold items!

    I think the recent Ransburg auction that attracted so much attention on this sight only galvanises this belief I have.

    I have considerable experience on eBay, professionally and privately.

    While Apple looks unlikely to be released and Dale looks like a variant that won’t be released either, it cannot be assumed that the remaining 17 cars will not be released in one way or another.

    36 1.55 die cast Cars at their retail floor value in America of $3 each = $108.

    By comparison, Mattel instantly marked up these prices by nearly 400%, with no middle man scoring a profit from them. The set sold for roughly $400 including the membership fee and shipping. Therefore each Car has been attributed the initial value of $11.11 each, assuming that the packaging is divided and included into the Cars price.

    We have to assume this price hike was seen as relevant due to the exclusivity, packaging, novelty, time saving aspect for collectors and MAYBE because a few of the 36 are truly one off exclusives?

    The eBay sellers selling sets at double their initial HWC price and more, are roughly valuing each car at $20 – $30 each. Which in some cases is ten times or 1000% more than retail floor carded cars.

    I think it is relevant to now turn attention to Blu ray mcqueen, and Lightning Storm Mcqueen.

    Blu ray sells on ebay for $60 – $200 depending on the seller and buyer. It is one of 10000, which could mean that there are ten times as many blu rays as there are or will be, Apples or Dale variants? There are also very good customs out now, some selling on eBay right now.

    Using the numbers I provided, Blu Ray is currently valued at 20 – 70 times more than a regular carded car, and he is not sealed.

    So, a car 10 times as rare, could arguably be worth…………?

    But how many of the SOS 36 cars will become ten times as rare?

    In regards to Lightning Storm Mcqueen, he is definitely going to sell for $15, which is 5 times the retail floor value, but includes a display case.
    LSM will also definitely be available as a carded car too, although it is understood his paint and minor detail will be different, but this isn’t definite, and brings into question Mattels new no limit on sales announcement. Is it because they only have 5000 display cases? Will LSM carded be exactly the same as LSM comic con? For me I like the case, so I don’t care, but its food for thought.

    The only other stand out individual item ignoring the unique original red ransburg, is the original Flos V8 Cafe, which is deemed by many as the Millenium Falcon of the cars die cast line, and like the original Falcon, doesn’t include a figure (die cast). It now sells for 8 – 15 times its retail floor value, and there were easily 20000 of them released, but unlike recent items, they were mostly opened to be played with, the franchise hadn’t went as fanatically collectable like it eventually became.

    Then we also have first wave cars with 12 on the back, which are forgotten as the truly collectable very first Car die cast toys! I bought 12 for $170 including shipping recently, giving them a value of 15 times their retail floor value, and they are officially the oldest die cast cars items, but how many are kicking around in collections? Like Flos v8 cafe, these were mostly opened and played with.

    Factory set? Now sells for 4 – 8 times its original price.

    Recalled Sarge? Sells for 10 – 20 times its retail price.

    My point?

    I would watch the eBay thing carefully, there aren’t many buy it nows anymore, which for me suggests the sellers want to toy with bids now.

    Be careful.

  23. Nancy

    collectormom: I got my second membership the day before the set went on sale. When I went to purchase a second set, the site wouldn’t let me, said I had no membership. I called the contact number three times before I could get the membership purchased, registered and SOS set bought. It took 45 minutes so you would have had time. I must say the Mattel ladies I talked to were very helpful, pleasant and understanding. BTW, I sold one of my membership car sets and recouped my money for the membership cost too.

    I only had six of the cars in this set. I didn’t purchase the Target exclusive because of price (no logic there). I’m thrilled to have this set and it doesn’t matter to me if they come out in singles, doubles or as another set in the future. I didn’t buy it as a long term investment–I bought it because I love the movie and think the cars are cute and fun to collect. When I’m “gone” my kids or grandkids can decide what to do with them. Right now I just enjoy looking at them, rearranging them, and showing them to family and friends.

  24. Steve: AKA, Poppa

    As long as you are buying the set for personal enjoyment and not as an investment, more power to you. Speculation as to value appears to be running rampant. I’m currently tracking 40+ sets with another 30+ already finalized. I’m sure I missed several Buy It Now offers. At least 7% of the sets have ended up on eBay. There is one offering for the acrylic case ($50 + $20 shipping). Since this set is ‘some assembly’ required, there will be no guarantee in the future the individual cars will be worth more than an issued single blister pack. If the set was factory assembled and sealed, then there would be a requirement to break the seal to destroy the value. In the realm of collecting plastic military models there is a debate as to whether one should assign a high value to shrink wrapped boxes, since one of the scams now is to shrink wrap a bunch of plastic junk parts in a box. Back in 1990 Donruss packaged a highly sought after set of baseball cards in shrink wrap imprinted with logos to insure the contents of the box was untouched when offered for resale. That particular set saw a five state limited distribution and sold at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Anybody who buys a sealed box on good faith better get his or her examined. There is no guarantee there will any Cars in there at all, just dead weight. There would be no guarantee the Cars are in mint condition. After the kid is done throwing them around and chips them, rebag the cars and reseal the box. Hence, my desire to collect toys as an art form on blister packs. That acrylic case begins to look like a winner of an investment since you may eventually be able to stuff it with $2.97 Wal*Mart cars. If you like that manner of displaying single cars, you may want to acquire another (but not at $70). I agree with those disgruntled buyers who were expecting at least a letter of authenticity. For the price Mattel should have assembled the sets, sealed them with an appropriate security sticker to prevent tampering, and a certificate of authenticity. This would have insured the future value of the set. When Hasbro started using the old Kenner molds for certain Star Wars action figures, the molds were altered to have a minor alternation in the mold, usually a date.

    I expect Disney and Mattel to offer more exclusives for retailers, not just first to market with new castings. Hasbro does it with numerous product lines with Target, Toys R Us, Wal*Mart, K-Mart, and Diamond Distributing. “Girl” toy lines have the same with Barbie, Strawberry Shortcake,etc.

    While I am waiting for the single packs to appear with nice graphics, I am enjoying the feeding frenzy over this set.

    PS: Stopped at Wal*Mart with granddaughter this evening and they did not have boo! She loves Cars, the Movie, especially Sally.

  25. Bill

    Nancy mentioned the TGT Dinoco 400 set in her post. I got 2 of these a while back at $17.99. They are still supposed to have a lot of these in the warehouse. Store demand is not there because most still have plenty in stock still priced at $29.99. If anyone needs these you might keep a check on

  26. jackdaddy2008

    I value it at $500 including shipping, I think its initial price was bloated.

    I agree with you Steve, and I am sceptical about the more recent eBay auctions. I would love to see yours and Metros actual tracking pages, but to do that, I would need to be in your house!

    I would like to see how many sellers have sold more than one, and who to!

    (MET: There were about 4 or 5 multi-sellers – most moving the BUY IT NOW price up $50 at a day or listing but still mostly selling it within 2-6 hours … anything above $750 seems to take nearly a full day or more to sell at the BUY IT NOW price …).

  27. dread

    Thanks to all for the lively chatter. I have been reading along for some time, and enjoy the banter between all the experienced collectors.

    Met – thanks to you I was able to find out about the RLC offer. I got my RLC membership – and my SoS set was delivered here in Montreal yesterday (with another $49 of taxes and duties collected upon delivery) from the WI warehouse. When I picked it up at the mail outlet, it was sitting right beside another set – so at least 2 of the 1000 went through my mail location.

    Despite my lack of postings, I have been follwoing along – and collecting. Montreal is not as bad as Europe for releases, but it is close. My local TRU has PC HH, and Fred and the like, but that is it on the new(er) front. The odd 3 pack with Lightning Ramone and Dirt Track Doc. WM has nothing, and there is no Target here.

    I have been lucky enough to get all out there so far – except the red ransburg – real or not. All are opened for my two boys (8 & 5) to play with so far – except Blu and the SoS (they know the cars exist – but do not know I have either in the house yet).

    maybe a birthday or christmas present. As long as they do not ask what the large box is in the garage.

    The ebay autions are interesting to follow. While it would be nice to make $300 off my set (as all-in mine is closer to a $400 cost), my boys will enjoy it more than I would enjoy the $300 profit. What would I buy with the $300 anyhow – probably a fake red ransburg.

    (MET: You can buy a HDMI cable for your TV for $375 USD ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  28. Steve: AKA Poppa

    jackdaddy2008: I’ve been printing the auction ended pages out when they max out the screen. The tracking does have the seller’s ID, so later I figure to do some digging into the seller. The buyers are blocked during the bidding. However, after allowing for time for delivery, I may check the feedbacks to see who may have been the purchasers. Also, if you ‘google’ the set, you will find non eBay sales activity. If I have the time and inclination I may try to locate resellers. I think the earlier sellers may be kicking themselves for accepting BIT, etc for $500. I saw at least one pull back for a personal that originally listed it for $49.99 starting bid. He may have forgotten to stick another 9 in there. I noticed one 2006 factory set at $425. How long will it last? Hmm! How long will SOS last in two years- an indication of the resale market of the future.

    (MET: If you start the bidding lower, you pay a buck or so less on eBay fees – in this case, some people started at $9.99 and obviously, $700 later, they probably don’t care that much about the $2 saved in fees but hey, $2 is $2 ๐Ÿ™‚ …).

  29. jackdaddy2008

    Dude, I know where you can get the good fake red ransburg. contact me through – jackdaddy2008 on ebay, and I will give the details.

    Also, I love the set, but $15 a car (half of which we can get or will be able to get) with Apple or not, is extortion in my book.

  30. adolfo

    Hi… I was wondering if there is any one out there that joined the red line club just to be able to purchase the set that would be interested in trading for “CARS” pieces , I have an original lizzy and can be your eyes for any new pieces… I would be interested in the rlc piece they will be sending with the membership..please email me at

    Thank you

  31. dread

    Thanks jackdaddy.
    I will send the mail thru ebay.

    I made the purchase willingly – with no undue pressure or duress – and no regrets. nothing illegal or intimidating about their offer – just very limited. whether people like it or not – it was still the “free” – or $350 – choice – of the purchaser.

    At least I have a cool display and 36 more cars for my kids to play with – or smash – whatever. Being where I am geographically, I average about $10 a car regardless, as the choice is so limited on the new models that arrive here.

  32. Steve: AKA Poppa

    The 2006 factory set was sold today for $425+ $72 priority mail. The buyer, Boost360, recently bought three Chuki’s on eBay. The seller was J&A Collectibles. Somebody on this blog read my posting from this morning?

  33. jackdaddy2008

    Not me, but thats actually a really good deal!

    ยฃ250 to get a factory set delivered to the uk would be a good bit of business.

  34. msully

    My SOS arrived yesterday, woohoo! Thankfully, the UPS guy delivered it to my neighbor rather than parking it on my front porch to be stolen.

    Now I get to follow Noel’s lead and put the movie on tonight, break out the Root Beer floats and open the set with my little guys. They are going to flip!

  35. Heather from Maine


    Have you heard any new news from Mattel about the SOS sets not being numbered? Any resolution in the works?


    (MET: I guess we should get an answer this week, Mark at Mattel mentioned the person who could answer that was coming back from their Japan show?)

  36. Heather from Maine

    Ok. Thanks again!

  37. Thekid

    Anyone interested in the getting rid of their SoS box and base (with clips to hold the cars on the trackbed) please email me.

    I held off on buying this set because of the cost and now regret it. To console myself I finally bought the Dinoco 400 set.

    Thanks all.
    Thanks Met, keep the blog blogging!

  38. collectormom

    eBay has been interesting with the set this week.

    Tonight there were 261 closed auctions; either sets as a whole, individual Cars or just the display.

    11 sets did not sell; a few didn’t meet reserve (greedy!) The set for $999 didn’t sell. Huh? It’s a wonder.

    There were some individual Cars that didn’t sell at $54.99 each.

    What’s selling like hotcakes? Of course the Apple Car! There were 8 sold, 6 with Buy it Now. 7 of the Apple Cars went for over $100! The most expensive one was for $199.98 BIN. Crazy!

    There was a listing for the display itself that didn’t sell initially listed at $50. When the seller re-listed for BIN $100 it sold! Crazy again!

    (MET: So, the weird pattern is:

    WEEK ONE: Almost any BUY IT NOW was reasonable as people clearly could not wait for auctions to close – MUST HAVE, BUY NOW, click, click. click.

    WEEK TWO: People decided to pretty much only go for auctions even though they were closing higher than most BUY IT NOW’s …

    WEEK THREE: Why sell an entire complete box for $650-$750 when people will pay for $30-$40 for each CAR plus $100+ for the Apple CAR – some sellers walking away with $1,500 if you count up all the CARS …)

  39. carsmama

    Finally a solution for the SOS numbering debacle. This is from the HW website from HWC Administrator Mark…
    “As many of you know, the sales article for the Pixar Cars Speedway of the South set indicated that the sets would be individually numbered up to 1000. This was an error in the article, as the sets were never intended to be numbered.

    However, to avoid any disappointment with our customers, we will be mailing numbered stickers to all who purchased the set, with instructions on where to apply the sticker.

    Stickers will be mailed randomly – the same way they would have been had they already been applied to the sets. This is in accordance with the way all numbered RLC items are shipped. Time of order does not dictate what number a customer receives.

    We apologize for the error in the article and thank you for your patience.”

    I’m so happy they did the right thing! Can’t wait to get my number and slap it on. ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. msully

    Woohoo! Thanks for the good news carsmomma!

  41. Heather from Maine

    That is great news!

    I don’t think Mattel had any choice. There would have been a lot of very angry customers if the number issue wasn’t resolved.

    Thanks for the info!

  42. i noticed on the teaser that nitroade is green and half of the cars are not in it[sponsers]oh no!thell probably make cars from the teaser!

  43. Materlover

    Has anyone heard anything more about the numbering stickers for the SOS set which carsmama eluded to earlier this month?

    (MET: Should be soon).

  44. jackdaddy2008

    I hope they have swapped 13 and 666 of 1000 for 1001 and 1002.

    Would hate to get one of those two!

  45. Materlover

    Thanks for the reply and update

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s