Tag Archives: Checklist

Hasbro Mighty Muggs Checklist: Star Wars, Marvel & Indiana Jones!

THIS Post has been updated and moved to our new TakeFiveADay.com – Simply click on the text link or the logo above. Thanks!

The quick snapshot of Mighty Muggs at Comic Con 2008 and our new Mighty Muggs Trading Post.


Filed under Advertising, Checklist, comics, Film, Marketing, Retail, Toys, TV

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: Online World Coming …


I had this bookmarked, mis-filed it and just found it again – this is the original quote alluded to in the Toy Fair press release:

HIGHLIGHTING in BOLD my additions …

“Disney Eyes More Online Investment

The Walt Disney Co. will invest more in online games and virtual worlds following the success of sites with themes based on Disney Fairies and “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

In 2008, the company will launch an online game site based on the Disney/Pixar film “Cars,” Disney President and CEO Robert Iger said Nov. 29 during the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Long View Conference.

In August, Disney acquired Club Penguin, a virtual world site with more than 700,000 paid subscribers.

Disney is going to invest “substantially” in these types of sites over the next few years because of their potential and fitting in with the rise of the home computer as an entertainment medium, Iger said.

The sites are also helpful in growing and maintaining interest in Disney film franchises, Iger said.

For instance in the absence of a sequel for “Cars” or while waiting for a sequel, the new virtual world site based on the film will continue to make the characters and setting relevant and in front of millions of people around the world, Iger said.

“You can live with and act with Lightning McQueen for years to come,” Iger added.

I call Mac iCar!

Who will you be?


From the San Fernanado Business Journal (registration required so I clipped the entire article BTW).


Filed under Advertising, Computing, Film, Financial, Internet, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Media, Retail, Toys, video

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: “More Coming …” Toyfair 2008 Part II


Mattel didn’t spend a great deal of time showing off CARS 1:55 (the Mini Adventures line is another story – our more indepth coverage of the Toy Fair Mini coverage is coming separately).

We still have no word as where the “missing E to J” “new” CARS are … from the display at Toy Fair they are clearly ready to go and not prototypes they are showing off. New CARS shown at Toy Fair are incorporated into the main 2008 SEALED CASES post.

What else can we gleam from the CARS display?


There are actually different types of “Pitty” bodies (including a more correct-sized tire) and Pitty’s to come not announced …


Perhaps there will be more configurations in Gift Packs assortments besides this one … while it’s cool to get Crew Chief Leak Less & Stacy Pitty … not so much on the 19th version of Leak Less.


And the Pit Row Race Off “launchers” get refreshed with some old …


Um, RPM? I think I might have him, let me check …

Will they release every Piston Cup racer as a launcher? So, instead of charging us $29 a box for 6-7, Mattel will just charge us $7.99 times 36? (of course, above & beyond the $199 + tax + shipping + RL membership for the Speedway of the South entire set?)


Trunk Fresh Pit Row Race Off actually was on a card marked NO STALL so presumably, No Stall will be a launcher relatively soon?

So to speculate further, this could be Mattel’s new plan going forward – they could be dividing the line out to:

“Average Collectors”
“Serious Collectors”
“Ultra Completists”

Until December 2007, CARS were really only essentially available in two ways – on blister cards and in box sets. So, of course, whether you only collected the CARS you really liked or were a completist, buying them on blisters cards were your only choice. With the exception of Rollin’ Bowling Mater’s game/BJ Warehouse set and the Dinoco 400, the box sets only appealed to: openers trying to catch up, gift givers or ultra completists. For the average buyer, spending $2.97 to $3.49 a CAR was a great price point. The CARS were interesting looking and a good value as a “casual” reward or gift for their kids, the neighbor kids, the grandkids, etc … the Movie Moments were a little more but as a blister, it still represented a “casual” buy. A box set always appears as a more serious gift even at $9.99 – that set the bar a bit high as it were, box sets usually only sold well during the holiday seasons …

(The ultra completists do NOT count into this as they will buy anything as long as Mattel makes some effort … Ultra completists have the holiday ornament even though they were essentially a car re-released for the 10th time on a flimsy plastic tray along with a cardboard ornament :-) or ;-( ).

Average Collectors
So the singles & Movie Moments will still be geared towards the casual buyers – a quick cheap way to pick up a CAR. This line will mostly comprise of the CARS that hold the most general appeal and eye-catching interest. That’s not to say that Mattel is abandoning “new” CARS inserted into here but rather, only the CARS that will are appealing to everyone whether they are rabid CARS collectors or not. Of course, this includes most of the townies of Radiator Springs who most everyone knows by now but also obvious CARS such as Dale Jr., the Elvis RV, etc … who cross all barriers of interest … and while we fanatics want all the Pit Crews and maybe we’re even willing to buy 5 of each, for the average fan? They would definitely want My Name is Not Chuck but would they want Trunk Fresh Pitty or Mood Spring Pitty? That’s not to say they’re not going to buy any of the other configurations but they will carefully weigh spending anymore than $3.49 on a CAR on a case-by-case basis.

Serious Collectors
Serious collectors are going to buy up everything within reason. They are mostly completists with some exception. They are going to buy any new CAR in the single pack but they’re not complete completists … for instance, they obviously bought Leak Less as a single a while back but might be willing to buy Leak Less again in the Gift Pack since it includes Stacy, Leak Less Pitty & Leak Less Crew Chief … for Mattel, that’s an extra $3.33 in sales since if the other two were available as singles, the serious collector would of course buy them as singles and skip buying Leak Less again … of course, Mattel is going to try to push this as far as they can … witness the Charlie Check CAR with yellow tail-lights bundled in the gift pack with King & Lightning McQueen. Some serious collectors will skip it but for others, Mattel makes three times what they might’ve sold before. This is where the launchers (Pit Row Race Off) CARS are also an opportunity for Mattel to re-sell the same CARS. These collectors MIGHT buy the launchers or not but these collectors are definitely NOT going to buy the singles again of the racers already out … so for Mattel, they’ve doubled the odds on CARS already out in re-selling to serious collectors.


Completists/Ultra Completists
This audience, Mattel knows is pretty 100% on board. They only thing they have to be careful in is in not explicitly driving them away like a box set of 6 Lightning McQueen’s with the #84 Mac iCar for $29.99 …

So, if we don’t get the “missing CARS” as WM exclusives – we might start seeing a revised Gift pack & launcher collection.


And of course, beyond the Mini’s, Mattel is still trying to get us buy another line since the PULLBACK line is dead, how about a larger quasi-pullback with more options and directions?

The Movie Stunts lineup – hard to tell the exact scale but maybe 1:43ish? Or something between 1:43 & 1:55. Looks all plastic – not that interesting to me but there ya go:

Looks like the initial lineup will at least be McQueen, Chick Hicks & Boost.




PART I of the Toyfair post is here.


Filed under Advertising, Checklist, Film, Financial, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, TV

Mattel Pixar Disney Cars: Where Be the CARS?


There might not be many CARS on the store shelves but there are plenty at SF’s WonderCon comic book/toy show convention/exhibit which runs until tomorrow night. (They also run Comic-Con).


There were at least 4 of these rack-cages … okay, the inside weren’t CARS but there definitely was not a shortage of them at the show. Most older ones were $3-$4. Some of you might lament to know that Dale Jr. could easily be found for $5 … as could Tow, My Name is Not Chuck & Race Official Tom. Dudley Spare was $7 and the real spendy was Dinoco Mia & Tia & Gold Mia/Tia at $15 …

For those who are still missing a few or don’t mind paying a few extra bucks, remember to check out your local comic/toy/diecast car show and when the weather turns nicer – flea markets. You want to make sure it’s one of the larger ones – walk around to look for the best deals and remember, you can always haggle … or for the truely dedicated, show up late on Sunday and really haggle, remind them everything they sell is money in their pocket and they don’t have to carry their inventory home :-)

Of course, at your local toy/comic show, you can also pick up one of these bad boys …



Filed under Advertising, Checklist, comics, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, Toys

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: Costco Carrying Case


This might be the carrying case that fits a lot of needs, you get 4 “Compartment Boxes” that get clipped together by that front piece and handle. It looks deep enough to hold everyone except maybe Barney Stormin’ and probably Al Oft … you can probably fit about 65-ish CARS if you modify some of the dividers as reader Amanda notes (my original estimate of 100 was a little too optimistic) … but still not a bad deal for $15, most other cases seem to start at over $20 and it seems nice that you can easily see all the CARS since it’s semi-transparent.


Amanda/Dragoness managed to fit 68 CARS in there – and sent along some great photos. As Amanda notes, “(the case) only has “half” spaces and not “quarter” spaces to place the dividers.”


Here Amanda placed them on top as pre-planning … better than my plan of throwing them all in a heap and shaking it – whatever falls out goes into the next box :-)



And yes, Al Oft & Dinoco fit just fine …


“Also, each case holds 12 regular/large size cars, but the smaller cars fit in the half spaces so I guess if you have a lot of cars you COULD fit more than the original numbers, but the average “as is” is 12-16 cars each, and as modified 16-18 cars each.”


Thanks Amanda!

Our other post on displaying your CARS is here.

And while you’re there, pick up some of Glad’s Press ‘n Seal (no, they’re not a sponsor :-) and I don’t usually rave about pieces of plastic but they work great on meats you’re putting in the freezer or like luncheon meats in the fridge. You wouldn’t think that just using your fingers to seal something would be any different than throwing it into a plastic ziploc bag or even wrapping it in foil and throwing it into a ziploc bag? But it does. I had some steaks that got pushed back to the back of fridge and two weeks later, they are still red with virtually no freezer crystals … so while not as 100% waterproof as vacuum sealing, it works pretty amazingly well for something just using your fingers to seal … how does this relate to CARS? Um, you can Press ‘n Seal your CARS and then put them in the Store ‘n Go … along with some steaks?


So get some Mexican Coca-Cola with real cane sugar, some Press ‘n Seal, some Store ‘n Go CARS cases and some steaks – there’s your first 15 minutes of shopping at Costco then all you need is an aquarium, some cheese and something really inappropriate


Filed under Checklist, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Toys, TV

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars Checklist: Winter 2008 Major Changes & Where to Look for the NEW Ones …


On top of the changes to Box E (outlined here), as suspected, more changes were announced for Boxes F, G, H, & J (no Box I) and Mattel has basically announced that what was is/might be no longer for the rest of 2008.

They have replaced most of all the “new” in each box with the same old-same old.

In the next 5 boxes, including the changes to Box E, we have “lost” Pit Crew Member Sarge, Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van), Dinoco Crew Chief, Trunk Fresh Crew Chief, Marco Super FAV-18 (Jet), Octane Gain Crew Chief and the return of regular Sarge (missing since last August).





(color scheme example)



(color scheme example)

In place, we get the return of CARS like Sheriff (first time on WOC individual card), re-releases of recent popular CARS such as Dinoco Helicopter and of course, the ever popular Dale Jr. so for relative newbies and new collectors (your post is here), it’s all pretty good news as you’ll get a chance to catch up on any of the CARS you’re missing … for longtime collectors, the news is not so great as new boxes with TWO Green Ramones is not particularly exciting news. For those stores with mostly empty pegs (unless you count 50 Boost’s as a full shelf), it’s a way to bring in new CARS customers as much as we think the Pit Crew Guys are cool, if you’re missing Lightning or Mater, it’s hardly a CARS collection … however, if your stores are peg-full – not much good news as they might order as many.

And of course, the un-knowing question – will it be harder or easier to find the two news ones in each shipment? I would have to guess harder since instead of having to budget for 6 new CARS, now people can just hoard up the ONE/TWO ones in each shipment … TWO Bug Mouth McQueen in Box G, why, Mattel, why?

Speaking of which, the big question is why?

I would say the answer is WAL*MART.

The only real logical reason for pulling 5 new CARS in the next 5 shipments* is because WM wants another set of exclusives.

The recent floor/shelf plan for WM’s around the country clearly indicate they are willing to set aside a huge chunk of space for Mattel’s CARS including the Mini’s … and WM does not just do you a favor by expanding or ordering another couple million CARS just for the sake of being a nice guy.

They want something in return.


They want the pell-mell rush of late last summer/early September when thousands if not millions of people ramgaged through their stores to secure the 8 CARS … and of course while you are there to buy up soap, DVD’s, bait and lard (well, that’s the reason I shop at WM ;-) ).

And because WM can giveth and taketh away, Mattel is willing to comply. Yes, they know exclusives are annoying to some customers but the other side of an exclusive is they know a retailer will order a set amount and agree to promote it … so Mattel is keeping one new CAR per shipment but moving everything else “new” to WM for the next couple months.

I have no idea if this set of WM exclusives will be 6 or 8 but I would find any other reasoning for Mattel suddenly pulling back on the “new” CARS lacking – I simply do not believe (as some have speculated) that Mattel decided just to go cheap by not releasing these. We know from the charity set & the leaked photos from Hong Kong that several of the CARS are in production including the Security SUV so not only has Mattel already paid for the molds and materials, any “new” CARS released are still flying off the shelves – has any Mia & Tia lasted more than 5 minutes on store pegs?

There were also rumors that CASE G would be a WM exclusive – well, clearly Case G just wasn’t exciting enough for WM … I’m sure they said something to the effect of,
“Case G just doesn’t excite us … what would excite us enough to order 1 million CARS?”) (WM seems to have ordered around that last year for the 8 exclusives).

It is obviously a little risky for Mattel as other stores might cut back but if your Target’s are like mine – they’re not ordering more than a case or two anyway and while TRU’s tend to order more, both of them combined do NOT equal WM’s 3,800+ stores. So, for Mattel – it was not a difficult decision. WM is buying enough to make it an “event,” presumably with an ad in the flyer also – so the promotions of the line will bring in new kids and collectors … and/or the situation might not be so benign – WM might’ve said to Mattel, we want to corner the market on “new” CARS. Play ball with us or we’ll cut back to one box per store so Mattel had no choice … and of course as part of the agreement, Mattel cannot publically discuss the situation … either way, what’s done is done.

For Mattel, it’s not the worst situation. WM’s interest is ultimately beneficial to Mattel. Because of WM’s size and ordering power, if they lose a little interest in you, you as a manufacturer loses so whether you like it, loath it or whatever, WM matters and you have to keep them happy. While Target is interested in the latest toys to bring you in week after week, CARS is not a critical part of their business. It’s nice but they are simply not as interested in toys overall to strike a deal like WM’s or WM doesn’t allow them the opportunity and will make pouty faces (along with not writing you a check) when you offer exclusives to other companies – however you look at it. As for TRU, it’s a strange relationship where toy manufacturers try to prop up TRU as best they can to offset WM such as offering TRU the playsets as exclusives … but again, TRU has a little over 580 stores and Target has some 1,500 stores … about 50% of the number of WM stores … Mattel has to simply accept the situation – their rationalization is that CARS continues to sell for the most part, whether it’s Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks or King, people continue to buy the CARS some of us have been looking at for nearly 20 months … they do not fly off the shelves like PCM Guido but it is steady. And who knows, the frenzy of the new WM exclusives might ignite a whoel new block of collectors who wonder if Lizzie is out …

Of course, for a consumer, the perspective is different – when your choice is narrowed to one store – no matter how large, it all depends on where you live and how much time you have to keep driving up to WM, personally, it’s much harder on the West Coast for me :-(

But, hey, it’s never dull collecting CARS, eh?

*(in reality, it’s more since shipments tend to spill onto to the next ones and new ones are included in the shipment following so by pulling 1 new one, it’s a cascading domino effect down the line in what you will see “new.”)

This is the chart showing Boxes F through J (no Box I) and what was announced before, what’s missing in red and the new assortment on the right.

Revised & Original 2008 listing here though after Box J, everything is up in the air now.

(While Mattel is at it, I think they need to save the launchers by trading out the race CARS for one or two Pit Crew members – I think most everyone knows where they can find Lightning, King & Nitroade …)


Your local Wm should be switching out this pallet of the new “green” Dale Jr #88 Mountain Dew AMP-National Guard car & merchandise …


For the new CARS one … technically, it’s not supposed to go up until 2/15/2008 – how compliant are most WM’s? In 2 of 3 stores around me, it’s already up and stripped bare of everything new but if it’s not up yet, look for it on the 15th and in another week, will it be restocked with the second wave of exclusives? Only time will tell … since WM’s backrooms leaks like a sieve, once we see CARS on eBay, we’ll know it’s another week or so before it’s supposed to hit. Guess we jumped the gun on guessing President’s Day … so the next weekend?


Some other people have brought up an interesting point – how long does Mattel have the license for a RED Dale Jr. #8 CAR? Is 2008 the last year and last time we’ll see the Pixar Dale Jr. #8? Is a “red car” trademarked and “trade-dressed” by DEI and or DEI & Budweiser? Though now DEI seems to have emptied their museum/store of Dale Jr’s red merchandise, does that technically mean they are “abandoning” it? Budweiser is now sponsoring the #9 Kasey Kahne car with what looks like essentially the same paint scheme though … so it will be interesting to see how this is all handled. It’s presumed most licensed-merchandise contracts are for a set period of time so it’ll be interesting to see what that period might be … so maybe the Dale Jr. CAR will be the next to be quietly retired (like the white rim FHH)?

REST OF CARS posts are here.


Filed under Advertising, Checklist, Film, Marketing, Mattel Disney Pixar CARS, Retail, TV

Moving Day is NEAR For Two A Day (WordPress)

We are getting ready to move!

<object classid=”clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000″ codebase=”http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,0,0&#8243; width=”728″ height=”111″ id=”sjQCEf68lACrdQYg0″><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent” /><param name=”align” value=”middle” /><param name=”bgcolor” value=”#ffffff” /><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always” /><param name=”quality” value=”high” /><param name=”movie” value=”http://farm.sproutbuilder.com/44858/load/jQCEf68lACrdQYg0.swf&#8221; /><embed type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer&#8221; src=”http://farm.sproutbuilder.com/44858/load/jQCEf68lACrdQYg0.swf&#8221; width=”728″ height=”111″ wmode=”transparent” align=”middle” bgcolor=”#ffffff” allowFullScreen=”true” allowScriptAccess=”always” quality=”high” /></object>
<img style=”visibility:hidden;width:0px;height:0px;” border=0 width=0 height=0 src=”http://counters.gigya.com/wildfire/CIMP/Jmx*PTEyMDI4NzAzODE3MTkmcHQ9MTIwMjg3MDkwNDgyMSZwPTEyMDc*MSZkPTQ*ODY1Jm49.jpg&#8221; />

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 …


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:


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


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.


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!


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

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars: The Display Scale of It


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 …


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


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


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?


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.*


*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?


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

Mattel Disney Pixar Cars Checklist: I Just Bought One, Now, What?


First, there’s no such thing as buying ONE “Cars” CAR … If you have less than 50, you have done a remarkable job of self restraint.

Reader “AvgJoe” posed an interesting question for those starting out and hopefully this newbie guide will help you navigate what can be an overwhelming task when you’re just staring at the pegs.

What’s the difference between a CAR such as LIGHTNING McQUEEN when it’s offered on the individual cards, the multi-packs, the box sets or from a playset?

The 1:55 diecast line is mostly packed on individual cards but they’re also on multi-packs.

lightningmcqueen.jpg lightningmcq.jpg

lightningmcqwoc.jpg mattel3pack.jpg

So, what’s the difference between the LIGHTNING McQUEEN’s on the cards above?

The answer – NOTHING.

That’s right, there is essentially no difference – as long as the card is labeled LIGHTNING McQUEEN, it’s the exact same LIGHTNING McQUEEN whether it’s from April 2006 or yesterday.

Okay, extra credit – how about this LIGHTNING McQUEEN?

Different than the others? Same?


The answer – NOTHING.

Okay, you get the Launcher but otherwise, when it says LIGHTNING McQUEEN, you are safe to ignore its wrapping and surrounding. It is the same LIGHTNING McQUEEN that came out in April 2006 … now if it says DIRT TRACK McQUEEN or anything else, then it’s different.*

Now, they have released a SLEW of different LIGHTNING McQUEEN’s …

Can you name all the McQUEEN’s?


I just get the feeling we’re missing someone?


Ah, much better – and don’t call me purple!

* One minor thing to note, Mattel got lawyered up along the way so now, it’s all very formal. While LIGHTNING McQUEEN is of course his full name, DIRT TRACK McQUEEN is now officially DIRT TRACK LIGHTNING McQUEEN – same car, more formal name. And of course, if it confuses you you to buy it again, well, someone has to pay the lawyers …

So, if you’re just starting out, they can look similar from a distance but each package is labeled so if only want one LIGHTNING McQUEEN to open – the rest are just repeats – is it possible to not buy a repeat of any of the CARS (to get another one)? In theory, if you started with the box sets, you might be able to work out a matrix spreadsheet to minimize your buying of repeats but the problem is many of the box sets are in short supply since they never sold very well … though some stores have 40 of them still left so it could be worth a shot … and then supplement with multi-packs and finally, individual CARS but the question you have to ask yourself is – are you smarter than Mattel? Mattel is the guy on the street with the shiny dice and the 3-card monte tricks of shuffling CARS around – can you spot the CAR for $2.99 or the one for $13.99 (with two others you have?) … so, um, good luck with that.

There are also playsets but they do not contain any “limited edition” CARS. They are clearly a fun way to display your CARS …


This is Flo’s Cafe – available only at TRU. It does NOT come with any CARS.


(the track playsets do come with CARS – clearly shown at the top of the packaging)

As for box sets,. here’s one at Sam’s Club during the holidays – now out of stock at out local SC.


More likely, you will see a set that looks more like this …


Frankly, most of the sets sell okay the first few weeks they are out but then tamper off dramatically – most people are just not that interested – so stock on the store shelves are hit or miss – some stores might have 20 and other stores do not have any.

As you can see from both box sets, they are almost always repeats of the individual cards & CARS except for a few exceptions which I’ll cover later.

The only CAR outside of the normal realm of store shelves is this one:


There is one mail-away CAR that is free (+ shipping) by buying the CARS Blu Ray DVD. This version of McQueen does NOT appear in the movie however. You can find more details from our post here – you should hurry – promotion ends on January 31, 2008.

(It’s the purple CAR on the right in the collection of McQUEEN’s).

The first question to ask is if you want one of every CAR released in the 1:55 scale line? And you just want one of each to open up and display …

If you answer, yes, as of today, you have approximately @86 CARS to complete your collection. You can get a real spreadsheet/checklist at our EDITGRID page. Look for the tab marked OPENER LIST.

There’s no one strategy that will work for everyone just starting out because everyone is different. If you want to spend the absolute least amount of money and you’re in no particular hurry – then start with the box sets, then the multi-packs and figure out what’s left to buy on the cards but as I said – many of the basic box sets are either hard to find or if you live or shop in the right area, perhaps – very easy so it’s hard to recommend that strategy as you might go to stores to see it over-flowing with gift packs, movie moments and individual cards and keep bypassing them in hoping to scoop up 6 CARS in one box set … and then curse my name … or conversely, you can buy LIGHTNING McQUEEN on an individual card and then suddenly spot the gift pack with the 3 CARS …


It’s a great way to get LIGHTNING RAMONE (available nowhere else) and FLO (only in another multi-pack) but in 1 quick step, you have an extra LIGHTNING McQUEEN … OR if you bought this other 3-pack Gift Pack …


What’s that top CAR, Yep, it’s LIGHTNING McQUEEN … Now you have 2 extras …

“Is it possible to buy CARS without getting a repeat?”

In the words of Nelson from THE SIMPSONS, “That’s unmpossble!”

The EASY List

The following CARS have been issued and or re-released from day one. Just like the LIGHTNING McQUEEN’s shown above. You should not have much trouble finding them in stores ranging from the obvious big three of Wal-mart, TRU & Target but even in places like Walgreen’s and Long’s … they are nearly everywhere … re-released multiple times on cards, in multi-packs or box sets.

Bling Bling McQueen
Brand New Mater
Bug Mouth McQueen
Cactus McQueen
Chick/Chick Hicks
Crusin’ McQueen
Crusin’ Ramone/Old School Ramone
Dinoco Chick Hicks
Dinoco McQueen
Dirt Track Doc Hudson
Dirt Track McQueen
Doc Hudson
Fabulous Hudson Hornet (Red Rims)
Ferrari F430
Ghostlight/Blue Ramone
Guido (Ferrari Fan)
Hydraulic Ramone (Red)
Leak Less/Leakless
Lightning McQueen
Lightning Phase Ramone
Luigi (Ferrari Fan)
Piston Cup Pace Car/Charlie Checker
Pit Crew Member Fabulous Hudson Hornet
Pit Crew Member Fillmore
Pit Crew Member Guido
Radiator Springs McQueen
Race Official Tom
Ramone (Green)
Ramone (Purple)
Ramone (Yellow)
RPM #64
Snot Rod
Tex Dinoco
Tongue McQueen


These are still relatively new, not shipped in many boxes or still very popular and are usually grabbed when someone sees them on the shelf. I expect that Dale Jr. will ALWAYS not be easy to find. The white rim FABULOUS HUDSON HORNET is unofficially the ONLY retired CAR so if you want the “incorrect” version (correct & current version with red rims), he’s not all that hard to find – some stores will have dozens of it but you might have to search a little harder since it’s been about a year since it was last released.

Bob Cutlass
Dinoco Helicopter
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Darrell Cartrip
Dusty Rust-Eze
Fabulous Hudson Hornet (white rims)
Mario Andretti
Mrs. The King
Rusty Rust-Eze

Some other people have brought up an interesting point – how long does Mattel have the license for a RED Dale Jr. #8 CAR? Is 2008 the last year and last time we’ll see the Pixar Dale Jr. #8? Is a “red car” trademarked and “trade-dressed” by DEI and or DEI & Budweiser? Though now DEI seems to have emptied their museum/store of Dale Jr’s red merchandise, does that technically mean they are “abandoning” it? Budweiser is now sponsoring the #9 Kasey Kahne car with what looks like essentially the same paint scheme though … so it will be interesting to see how this is all handled. It’s presumed most licensed-merchandise contracts are for a set period of time so it’ll be interesting to see what that period might be … so maybe the Dale Jr. CAR will be the next to be quietly retired (like the white rim FHH)?

The LUCK List

These are the latest that are just out. I’m sure in a few weeks, they should as easy to find as the top list but as of this week, everyone will grab one or more as they see them.

Dudley Spare (Octane Gain Pitty)
Gasprin (#70) – Floyn Mulvihill
Gold Mia
Gold Tia
My Name is Not Chuck
Octane Gain (launcher)
PT Flea
Tow (Piston Cup Tow Truck)
Tow Cap (#4) – Rusty Cornfuel

Wal-Mart Exclusives – The EASY List

There were 8 WM exclusives – 4 which are tougher to find. (One is now extremely easy CACTUS McQUEEN is bundled in a 3-pack and Blue/Ghostlight Ramone is on a card now). These are the easiest as they were not only re-stocked but Al Oft was included in the Sam’s Club box set and BOTH are coming as part of the GIFT PACKS down the line.

Al Oft Lightyear Blimp
TJ (Hummer)

Wal-Mart Exclusives – The NOT EASY List

Barney Stormin’ (Biplane)
Bruiser Bukowski (Chick Pit Crew)
Kori Turbowitz

The 2nd 4 (included Charlie Checker but just released on a 3-pack so easy to find), were never re-stocked and thus are much harder to find. Your only bet is probably eBay though if you are willing to wait, all three will be re-released later this year.

Target Exclusive – You Have to Buy the Box


It’s on clearance in the next few weeks so now is the best time to pick it up. SURPRISE, it comes with LIGHTNING McQUEEN! Plus 6 other Piston Cup Racer CARS or which only THREE are NOT available anywhere else YET. Target at Amazon link.

No Stall (#123) – Todd “The Shockster” Marcus
Octane Gain (#58) – Billy Oilchanger
Vinyl Toupee (#76) – Crusty Rotor

OCTANE GAIN is also available as a Launcher in the next few weeks though you have a decision, which is a better deal? To buy the box set with 4 repeats to get 3 CARS not available elsewhere for the clearance price of $17.99 or OCTANE GAIN for $7.99?

NO STALL is coming in a Movie Moments pack in another month or so.

You Have to Buy the Box

The following two CARS are only available in boxed versions. This Mater never actually appears in the movie but was included in several previous box sets (BJ Warehouse 2006, the Rollin’ Bowling Mater game & the Mattel 2006 Factory Set – the game being the easiest to locate). Mack is not technically part of the line but the front cab portion (and only the front) is in scale to the other CARS so if you want Mack, you have to buy one of his playsets, many to choose from.

Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater




Recalled and still not re-released. You can only buy the older (non-recalled) Sarge’s on eBay – usually around $15. If you wait until summer, he’ll be back.



Dinoco “Blu” Lightning McQueen

Limited to 15,000 Blu-Ray McQUEEN (not actually in the movie), the mail-away promotion has ended so now on eBay only.


Dinoco “Blu” Lightning McQueen promotions details here.


In the toy world, slightly alterations (intentional or un-intentional) from the “norm” are called variants. It usually involves some paint or tampo decal change/error … if it’s one or two CARS, it’s merely called an error … if it’s a multi-exampled production run “mistake,” then it becomes a variant. With Mattel’s variants, they are easy to spot unlike some others so you can add these to your list even if you’re an “opener.”

Again, these are all very minor and may not be of interest to you but just listing it in case you care.

NOTE – Packaging variants are NOT listed here since that’s for people who saved them sealed. That is covered in our collecting post and the cardback post.

eBay Only (also)

Boost – Desert Art card versions were made in Thailand (on bottom of back of card) Can look a little more cooperish-lavender purple under certain light condition that China made ones which look purple under all light conditions.

King – Desert Art card versions were made in Thailand (on bottom of back of card) and featured a slightly differently back wheel well. It is literally a 1mm difference (I measured) so not particularly exciting but in case it’s important to you. The color of the King’s are also slightly lighter.

Sally – Desert Art versions were made in Thailand (on bottom of back of card) feature tampo decals of the Porsche logo and the words Carerra that are a little less dark than the China versions.

Fabulous Hudson Hornet – the only “official” variant on a Supercharged card. He was issued incorrectly in white rims and changed to the correct red rims but neither his name nor the code number was changed, and unofficially, the white rimmed FABULOUS HUDSON HORNET is presumed to be retired and no longer available except with red rims. Note, for new collectors, DOC HUDSON is CORRECTLY available in both versions, in white as DOC HUDSON and in red as DIRT TRACK HUDSON HORNET.

Kori Turbowitz – PRESS tampo decal available in angled version and straight/level version.

TJ – Available with back license plate that reads TUF GUE & one that reads TUF GUY

Fred – Available with and without a front license plate that reads FRED.

Charlie Checker – the WM exclusive version has red tail-lights. The current one in the GIFT PACK has yellow tail-lights and so does the WOC single version.

All our other CARS posts can be found here.


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

Mattel Pixar Cars Checklist 2008: Cards, Sealed Boxes, 3-Packs & More

We have moved to TakeFiveADay.com – we have moved this post over for historical archive but be sure and check out the front page for the latest CARS News & Info. Thanks!

just click on the logo to be taken to this archive post.


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