Tag Archives: Checklist

Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: What’s Next After Box J

From the Toyfair photos and setups, it’s somewhat safe to presume they’re moving all the pit crews and most if not all the pit guys to the three packs (Gift Packs) and going by the recent shipments – they seem to going to two of each of two new CARS per sealed case … (though, keep in mind Mattel counts re-releasing the WM8 on WOC cards as “new,” along with many of our our old favorites … of course if you’re started collected CARS, yea, finally Fillmore … if you started in 2006, you might not be jumping for joy.

So, what’s coming next?

Well, Revised Box J has been announced which is shipping in this & the next 2 week timeframe:

After that, there has been no official announcement – Mattel will be at New York’s Comic Con in a few weeks (April 18) so maybe we’ll get more official word or see more forthcoming displayed.

The following is what WAS SCHEDULED but is now considered ALL CHANGED. But based on the theory that most Piston Cup Crew Chiefs and Pit Crews are moving to the Gift Packs, here’s what’s most likely still coming in BLACK … what’s most likely NOT coming in GREY and what’s “new” that may or not still be coming:

Here’s what’s being reported as in BOX K (unconfirmed but presumably correct):

Bug Face McQueen (2)
Chuki

Crusin’ McQueen
Darrell Cartrip
Dinoco Helicopter
Dinoco Pitty (2)
Ferrari F430

Lightning Ramone
Octane Gain Pitty
Pit Crew Member
Fabulous Hudson Hornet
Pit Crew Member Guido*

Race Official Tom

Ramone
Tongue McQueen
Van (2)

(RED – NEW, BLUE – NEW TO WOC)
*Just listed as Guido but most likely PCM Guido.

We will probably get Van and maybe another of the “MISSING” CARS (list at end) or more likely, another WM8 CAR as one of the “new” CARS.

This looks like a catch-up box so it’s probably safe to say that this shipment probably isn’t going to change much – the Dinoco Pitty will probably be replaced by whatever else was considered “new” in Box K.

Box M of course is of greater interest to someone who did not find all the WM CARS last autumn but based on the new box configs, I highly doubt we will see all the RED “new” ones in this box. The blimp is also coming out as part of a Gift Pack so Mattel might put the blimp in CASE L …

For some odd reason, Mattel seems intent on not re-releasing Sarge so one of the “new” in Box M might get moved to here since this is really just a ‘catch-up’ box.

I might even venture that by here, Mattel might be done with Speed Racer & Batman and back to giving full attention to CARS. I might even be willing to go out on a limb and say this case might be mostly accurate. One other reason is that for some oddball reason Mattel loves helicopters and blimps (blimps are all plastic so that makes sense $ wise).

So, here are the CARS originally promised from Box E to Box P (around mid March 2008 to Summer 2008) that are still “missing” (other than Piston Cup crew CARS which again we’re presuming are part of the Gift Packs now). Though if Sarge really returns, Mattel should pack 4 to a case but that might be too logical ;-(

Of course, 4 of these are not really new (Sarge, Barney Stormin’, Al Oft the Blimp & Kori, but Mattel thinks they’re new) so 10 “new” and 5 boxes to come (not counting case P) … which of course, works out to 2 “new” in the next 5 shipments … which should bring us to the the end of summer. July is Comic Con also …

So, the heavy action (other than the Speedway of the South set) might be on the Gift Pack, launcher side of things until the end of summer.

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Mattel Pixar Disney Cars: Visual Checklist 2008 (CARS 1-4 UPDATE)

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What do you think? I’ll start a visual checklist of each CAR in numeric order every few days – you can drag off and bubble in as a checklist. You can paste it into a journal/moleksin? One side for OPEN and one for SEALED. There’s no real way to add all the cards without making it too massive so it’ll just be the first card the CAR appears? What do you think. Give me your feedback and I can fix, I can quit or better yet, tell me your stories about the first time you saw the CAR or some reminiscing and I’ll add it to the bottom. Let me know what you think?

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Part II of ______

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Here’s PART/CAR #3 & 4. Instead of starting a new post, I’ll just tack it onto here … otherwise, seems too short to start a new post.

Again, be glad to add European info, send me any lists, even a partial and I’ll try and assemble some semblance …

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Marvel Iron Man Action Figures Checklist: The Iron Age is Here

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I admit I was never a huge fan of Iron Man but the movie trailer looks good and they were smart to get Robert Downey Jr. That guy might’ve had a lot of personal problems but he can flat out act.*

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I know the back story and while they are sticking to the gist of how Tony Stark came to be Iron Man, it might be a spoiler to give away his relations and connection to the other metal characters so without saying much more about who is what to the story, you can just take a look at the cool action figures they are producing for the film:

Mark I – the “protoype” and just excellent cool …

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The refined Mark II (and in my eyes, much duller …)

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The “normal” Iron Man – there are at least 4 versions …

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The two different candy red & yellow versions are a ‘snap-on armour’ version and a ‘launching repulsor’ version.

There are two exclusives, the Target one is a Silver & Red Iron Man: Iron Man – Silver Centurion & the Wal-Mart is Black & Silver with a launching Gatling Blast: Iron Man -Stealth Operations Suit (aka: War Machine).

There are two cool Iron Monger’s …

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The top Iron Monger is the ‘Super Fist Smash’ version and the bottom one has a removeable headpice/cockpit.

And Titanium Man … also nice design – with double concussion blasters …

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That’s Wave 1 of the 6″ scale. The movie opens May 2, 2008 – here are a couple trailers posted on YouTube … the official website runs pretty slowly.

Some cool figures from years past …

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And one of my all-time favs … The Hulk Buster …

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* Robert Downey Jr. is like Johnny Depp, he needs characters in a film that’s larger than life and out of step with the rest of the characters to really fully get into a role – otherwise, he just seems like the annoying guy … obviously he’s done a lot of great work but if you want to see acting, check him out in CHAPLIN or RESTORATION – both flawed movies but both really gives you an idea of what acting really is. Playing Charlie Chaplin is a hard and a gutsy role – who doesn’t recognize Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” character and all the imitators but he never conveys he’s imitating anyone, he seems like he’s the Little Tramp and same with RESTORATION, you can see the difference in acting ability – as cute and perfect as Meg Ryan was in romantic comedies in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, you can see how outclassed she is by Robert Downey Jr. He’s asked to play a strange character and you believe everything his character says and does on screen while Meg is just trying to act like she’s a person of the 17th century.

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Mattel Pixar Disney Cars: Spring 2008 at Target

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At the lamest in stocking toys Target nearest to me … hanging on the pegs like your average pegwarmer, Dinoco Mia & Tia and regular Mia & Tia … I didn’t even staged this … as you can see, barely any regular solo CARS on the shelf … no Mater, no McQ, no Sally, No Lizzy … but both sets of Mia & Tia Movie Moments … of course, there is still Woody & Buzz and Sally & Crusin McQ MM if you need those … but some normalcy.

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Look like another two weeks before Chuki hits the shelf (along with Lightning Ramone for those interested) but otherwise, a time of stillness in the kingdom of CARS.

Though Mattel might wait until the Speedway of the South set release (late April?) to re-launch, re-stock, re-vise the sealed cases and re-energize the CARS market?

The test will be be … has the ‘mo’ been lost?

Will it be April madness?

Will it be like, “everytime I try and walk away, they pull me back in, woohaa,” (okay, I might be mixing movie quotes 🙂

And ‘CaseStalker,’ the Leak Less on the pegs looks clear, bright eyed (though not bushy tailed – now, that would be a variant! 🙂 )

So, see you all in a couple fortnights!

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Mattel Pixar Disney Cars: Spring 2008 What’s Next?

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Well, it was sweet while it lasted. From mid November 2007 to early January 2008, it was a nice 8 weeks of CARS, CARS & CARS. Shelves were brimming with new CARS and hard to find CARS – Pit Crew Fillmore, Dale Jr., Pit Crew Hornet, Dinoco Helicopter … and while not exactly brimming on the shelves, they were possible to find – Rusty/Dusty, Mrs. The King, and while not the best of value – they were also new and mostly available – Dirt Track Doc, Lightning Ramone, etc, etc …

And it was all going to get even better – Box E was brimming with new CARS: Pit Crew Member Sarge*, Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van) (2), My Name is Not Chuck (2) & Tow (Piston Cup Tow Truck) (2) plus a bunch of recent hard to find ones.

Ultimately we did get some new ones: My Name is Not Chuck (2) & Tow (Piston Cup Tow Truck) (2) & Ghostlight Ramone (2) (for completists) but of course, that was just the beginning of the change for the worse (recap below):

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The BIG question is why? What happened to all those CARS announced and seen not only at Comic Con but also at the CAAF Auction?

And now to speculate:

WAL MART EXCLUSIVE?
Probability? 75%

That was our initial guess that WM had decided they wanted to play ball but only by their rules. I still think the astounding success of the promotion last year means we’ll see it again but it makes more sense later in the year. Between now and August, WM will be brimming with summer movie toys from Speed Racer to Batman to Indiana Jones to Wall-E so it does make sense to do it in late August, or Autumn when the “toy” movies of summer are gone and before the winter/holiday movies arrive – just like last year. So, while the CARS originally planned for Spring and early Summer will still be out, some of the original late summer ones will presumably be pushed back for another WM exclusive … or perhaps a tie-in to a 2-disc CARS DVD with bonus features which would make it around early November following the recent releases.

COST SAVINGS?
Probability? 65%

I think when commodity prices, inflation, crude oil prices, & dollar fluctuations started getting more serious late last year and early this year, it made Mattel go back and rework all the numbers. They realized they are going to be commiting a lot of resources in plastic & metal to support Speed Racer, Batman and of course, non-diecast lines like Barbie and the Disney hot properties – Hannah Montana & HS Musicial, I think Mattel decided CARS could take a little breather on their part without hurting the collectibility that much. A major part of this is also related to the amount of stuff Mattel is shipping to the stores now with the summer movies coming (especially with Speed Racer & Batman), there are literally only so many pegs a store is willing to commit to a manufacturer and to a type of product … and of course, Mattel is not going to turn over Hot Wheels and Matchbox pegs and space … they’d rather lose a couple or 5 CARS pegs until June or July when Speed Racer or Batman has had its main run and cuts back to a couple pegs – and then “take them back” for CARS

Of course, Mattel is not really giving up the space entirely, they are only re-configuring and adding in CARS MINI ADVENTURES for two reasons – as they present it to retailers.

First, they present it something like this for metal diecast cars – let’s say there are 60 pegs in a store devoted to diecast cars that Mattel is able to control (others are ERTL, Johnny Lightning, etc …) so Mattel presents it as such. 30 for Hot Wheels and Matchbox because parents and buyers have been coming into your store for 40 years expecting these … 10 pegs for the hot kids movie of early summer, Speed Racer, 10 pegs for Batman, the teen & adult collector movie of summer and 10 pegs for the line that two years, they keep coming back, CARS … this of course is a generality and will vary from some stores that might have 60 pegs for diecasts and others might have 200 pegs …

Part of retailing is to constantly present new and how much marketing they intend to back it up with. Stores like companies to come up with line extensions because people like new – hey, Oreos Cakester and anything that creates the aura of hip & new (otherwise, you’re mostly a big square box store that sells shampoo, diapers and motor oil), we have the perfect spin-off in CARS MINI Adventures, a few dollars cheaper but a “part” of the biggest hit lineup of toys since Star Wars – these are all plastic, smaller than 1:64 so completely different! (well, that’s how they sell to retailers – NEW but not so new – different but not that different! – new but really old new!) SOLD!

HOOKED?
Probability? 85%

Of course, that’s always difficult to manage – other than the Star Wars line, there are not a lot of collectibles that are equal parts rabid collector/completists (to some degree) and also the casual/gift giving buyer but honestly, Mattel realizes that with CARS, they stumbled upon the everlastinggobstopper diecast line … if they decided to stop making anymore new CARS, CARS would still continue to sell – certainly at a much slower rate but still at a huge profit. It’s a self purpetuating line because kids are turning 2 or 3 EVERY DAY and parents will buy CARS on DVD as the natural course of raising kids in our culture today. It would be like denying them chocolate milk 🙂 And it’s not like CARS is some obscure pop culture thing where you cannot walk more than 4 aisles without seeing some CARS thing so EVERYDAY if not every minute, some kid is being introduced to CARS the Movie and of course, who wouldn’t buy their kid a $3.50 diecast to play with?

The evidence of this and why those who think Mattel should ‘retire’ some CARS is wrong. Yes, there are stores who seem to be full up on CARS and never sell any but if you look closely, while there are always a few long-time pegwarmers, eventually they ALL SELL. Of course, Boost or Lizzie is not going to be as popular as McQ or Mater but eventually they all sell because everyday, kids are turning 2 or 3 and ready to play with CARS – and if a new to CARS parent can’t find a McQ or Mater, why would they start?

So, they have to keep shipping the “townies.” If you started today or a month ago, you’re more worried about getting the townies first and then you start thinking about Supercharged versus Desert Art … for those who got in at the beginning or a year ago, at this point in the line, you’re either all-in or you’re dropping out but Mattel realizes this – there is no way to convince 100% of (quasi) completists to stay in 100% of the way … people are going to drop out either way – if they had released all the “missing/more” new CARS or so of 2008 (about 10), a bunch of people might’ve dropped out because they said enough is enough, what do I want with more than 100 CARS and with gas nearing $4 a gallon, not worth driving around for naught … and conversely, since there are a lot fewer CARS to buy the last few months, some people have dropped out because they grew restless or bored that the frenzy is down. I’m not saying either is wrong or right – they’re your feelings – go with them. Search your heart 🙂

Mattel hopes that if you drop out temporarily, you’ll be standing in a store in 2 months and realize, how many CARS am I behind now? And curse the day you thought you could drop out 🙂

And meanwhile, everyday, some kid is going to see CARS for the first time or some Hot Wheels collector will realize – there are 99 CARS I don’t have – do I have it in me to start now? Can I get caught up in weeks? months? Welcome to Hotel CARSIFORNIA … where you can never leave 🙂

And is Mattel scientifically separating the herd? From the Toy Fair 2008 photos, we can see new launchers and new Gift Packs with mostly Piston Cup Racers.

So where as we speculated Mattel might bundle 7-8 CARS in a box for $29 to resell us the 36-CAR Piston Cup Speedway of the South set, maybe it’s a smaller chunks that hurts us like a pirahna bite? Because they know there is a limit to the number of people willing to pony up nearly $300 for the set (with taxes & shipping – presumably).

So maybe it’s $7.99 at a time as 36 different Launchers? Or in combination of $9.99/$10.99 Gift Packs?

Just look at the Gold Mia/Gold Tia & Bling Bling McQueen** Gift Pack for $10.99 – instead of selling you a Movie Moments twin-pack with just “the girls,” Mattel has gotten you to buy one other CAR that you would not have bought.

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Or this forthcoming Leak Less Gift Pack with his Pit Crew & Crew Chief … instead of selling you two individual CARS (Pit Crew & Crew Chief for $3.50 each), they will have re-sold you Leak Less along with 2 other CARS for $10.99 …

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Here’s RPM on a Launcher for $7.99 – will you buy it again? Or Mood Springs with a Launcher for $7.99?

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Some people will wait and hope that they get released on a solo card but of course, the main collectors won’t. BUT if they do get released on a solo card, many completist will buy him again … cue Mattel’s manical laugh.

It’s also smart in that they don’t have to make as many – the % of people who want the entire & complete pit crews is much smaller than the people who want Fillmore. Just look at the sales of Pit Crew Fillmore – lagging while you never really ever see any Fillmore’s pegwarming for very long so this way, they make it more valuable by making fewer and essentially selling it to you at a higher price.

So, I think that might be the gameplan for 2008. The single cards will be used to release “new” CARS that are of general interest, Chuki and of course, a car like the Elvis RV and while the sealed boxes will contain new CARS, they’re not going to make it 50% new like we thought. They are going to keep re-stocking McQ, Mater, Sally, etc … as people are still buying enough of them – not enough to knock over people and strip the shelves clear but to Mattel, that only serves to force them to ship faster – this way sales are steadier … and of course, do you feel like there’s less pressure to be completist, or will you just leave? That’s the balance Mattel is going to try and strike and your call.

Meanwhile, they will try and stack the deck the other way – with launchers/multi-packs that serve to sell you at least one CAR you might not have wanted to buy.

As for the Movie Moments continuing? Hard to say what’s going on there but it seems to be a store by store issue – some smaller stores might not get an new stock until the older ones are completely gone – especially at stores like Target that use one UPC for all Movie Moments – while larger stores might replenished automatically once stock is low – but then a department manager might not be willing to put them out. So as of now, I don’t believe they are canceled but beyond summer of 2008, that is much harder to forecast (HAZY. TRY AGAIN).

Also of course, sell Mini’s until they get the pegs back from Speed Racer & Batman.

We might have more answers at the NYC comic con on April 18th.

* I was always suspicious that PCM Sarge was only 1 to the box … as if Mattel was not really serious about that …

** Okay, technically, this Bling Bling McQueen is sporting the eyes of Dinoco McQueen, yes, really but 90% of buyers won’t really care …

ADDITIONAL RETAILER NOTE: AS EM & BMW brought up in the comments, there are always extraneous factors – for instance, one thing most consumers don’t really think about is retailer-manufacturer relations. We sort of tend to think that manufacturers offer things for sale and retailers buy them if csonumers want to purchase them. This is true of small retailers and was mostly true 20-30 years ago. But now, for instance, a retailer might not want a particular brand of fabric softener because it’s the 3rd best selling in America and they only want to devote shelf space to two because they’d rather carry palm trees … even though the 3rd best selling in that category is still a huge brand, they just decided two is enough and then they go back to #1 and #2 and say, we’ll only choose you two if you give us more advertising rebates and cut prices 2%. That’s the clout WM has … so while toys are more short term products, it’s essentially the same … as many have noted, Target’s seem mostly empty of Mattel diecast products – who is “boycotting” whom? Hard to say – maybe Target wants more $.99 Hot Wheels and less $2.49 Hot Wheels, clearly the $2.49 Hot Wheels are nicer but certainly there is not $1.50 extra raw materials in the $2.49 Hot Wheel, it might have another $.25 of materials, design and overhead but of course, it makes Mattel more money … or perhaps Mattel wants Target to guarantee X hundreds of thousands of cases of Pixar CARS for 2008 and Target is balking because who needs another 200,000 Boosts? Or perhaps Mattel is only willing to commit so many resources because honestly, it’s hard to tell how much “frenzy” is left in CARS (popular yes, crazy popular – always hard to gauge when the boom is lowered) and if Speed Racer bombs or Hannah Montana & HS Musical slows? Perhaps WM has told them, you have to ship to us first, “we insist” so Mattel has to decide, to not annoy WM with a 40% market share of toys? And let slide the relationship with TRU (#2 in toys) and Target (#3 in toys)? TRU clearly needs Mattel but WM can always cut back an aisle of toys to hold a buy 2-get 1 box of ammo sale 🙂 . And of course, commodity & crude oil pricing plays a factor … maybe Mattel cuts back on production a little so they can bunch them closer together and use up more a ship to save a little on shipping? Unless the four parties involved in this actually come forward and say – it’s all just a guess and it might be all the scenarios here. WM is telling Mattel to make us your BFF (at least for 6 months) and perhaps Mattel is saying Target, “I’ll call you.” or is secretly telling Target, “Buy up another 100,000 and I promise to text you 10 times a day! … No, 15 times a day?” And Target is like, “Me’h, we got 100,000 tangerine chaise loungers to display at $39.99, who cares about you sending us more Buzz & Woody’s?” Meanwhile, the giraffee is just looking for a hug.

So, yea, it’s the real world intruding upon on our little paradise … blame it on the suits … or what we need to do is to form citizen commitees saying WM can only open 120,000 square foot stores if they only sell diecast CARS.

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Mattel Pixar Disney Cars: 8-10% Price Increases

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Mattel has announced 8-10% wholesale (case price) increases for their independent re-sellers.

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Not exactly unexpected with record prices for all metal commodities and most obviously, gasoline at $100 a barrel – most everyone knew this was coming (you need crude oil to make plastics itself – not to mention powering the plant and transportion usage – just to name a few).

While most wholesalers and smaller retailers (online and b&m) will unfortunately have to pass along price increases to consumers – it’s hard to say what will happen at the big three retailers since they may or may not have contracts in place with Mattel for such a contingency. My guess is that Walmart has prices locked in for the year (Mattel presumably had forecasts and projections for commodity pricing in 2008 and already built in a portion of the price increase) and Target & TRU have some favored-nations agreement that if they hit certain ordering goals, wholesale prices are matched for them – so presumably, we’ll see a small increase at the big three – not the full 8-10% but of course, they also have to pay to heat the stores and gas up trucks from their distribution centers so prices in the stores today might be the lowest of 2008.

Sorry to bring up the whole real world thing 😦

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Mattel Pixar Disney Cars: The Variant Checklist (May 2008 Update)

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED AT OUR NEW SITE – TakeFiveADay.com

Click the above for a direct link to the Summer 2008 Update or the logo below. Thanks!

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