Archive for the ‘Diecast’ Category

The Case of the Missing Blu-Ray Lightning McQueen

Well, there is a big discussion going on right now in the Cars collectors community. On November 4, 2007, I wrote about the Cars Blu-Ray movie coming out and the promotion for the Blu-Ray Lightning McQueen that was included with it.

To recap, 15,000 Blu-Ray McQueens were made. To get them, you needed a code, which you had to buy the movie to get. To redeem it, you went DisneyMovieRewards.com and signed up and entered your code. I did not participate because it wasn’t an exclusive I had to have, and I did not want to buy a whole movie I already had to get it. Plus, I don’t have a Blu-Ray player.

I wasn’t aware of any problems with this until recently. Apparently, the program has been royally botched to the point that people are receiving multiple Cars they didn’t order and some that placed orders and had order confirmations never received them. The image of a room full of monkeys getting the envelopes and then stuffing boxes full of Blu-Ray McQueens and mailing them comes to mind here. To make matters worse, there are 65 Blu Ray Lightning McQueens for sale on eBay right now.

I am wary of mail-away offers due my frequent bad luck with Hasbro Mail Away offers. Years ago I entered a GI Joe mail away offer, and never received the figure I sent away for. I wrote them and later received 2 figures, when I only sent for one to begin with. Not long after that, I sent away for another GI Joe figure on a different offer. This time I sent for 2. I never received them, while other collectors received multiples they did not order. I wrote to Hasbro again, and they stated that a third party was handling the orders and distribution for the mail away and that there was nothing they could do. I had better luck with the last Star Wars mail away I entered, actually receiving that one. So I have learned from experience that you need to watch out.

To be fair to Disney, they clearly state that the offer is only “while supplies last” and expired at the end of January. Plus, this was a very limited product. I am willing to bet that those that bought one DVD and sent in the code within the first few weeks of the offer had no problems getting one. I don’t know anyone personally that participated, so I can’t say for sure that is the case. It’s just my guess. I’m also willing to bet that if you waited around awhile to redeem your offer or redeemed multiple offers, you ran the risk of missing out.

My guess is that Disney is using a third party for fulfillment of the offers. I know that it sucks if you bought a DVD and did not get the Car, but there is most likely nothing you can do in this case, except BEWARE the next time you enter one.

I want to hear from those who participated in the Blu-Ray McQueen offer. If you sent away for the Car and either received it or didn’t, please let us know in the comments.

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Cars Hunt #022108

I stopped by Toys R Us in Knoxville, TN yesterday to look for Cars once again. Yet, I left very frustrated. Let me just say that they have a ton of World of Cars stuff, Movie Moments, single carded, 3 packs, gift packs and playsets. But all of it is old. I didn’t find one new Car. The most recent thing I found was Pit Crew Doc and Fillmore.

The problem with this is that they are stocked full, but they are all old Cars. They even have a sale on right now, buy 2 get 1 free. This might help move it, but I doubt it unless a brand new collector comes in that needs to catch up on a lot of old ones. What will happen is, this store won’t order any new stock until the old is running out.

This is a problem for Mattel, as well as collectors. Mattel will see sales languishing at stores like this. These old Cars, or peg warmers, are going to languish there for a long time, especially now that Christmas is over. So I probably won’t find any new stock there for a long time. This is going to keep happening at retail stores as long as Mattel continues to short pack new Cars, like they have always done, forcing collectors like me to go to eBay to find any new stuff.

Rating: Bad

Sarge

Cars Case G Out Now

I just received notice that Cars case G is starting to hit retailers now. The bad news about the G Cars assortment is that since Mattel changed it a few weeks ago, it includes no new Cars that have not been previously released. The good news is that if you have missed Charlie Checker, Dudley Spare, My Name is Not Chuck, Race Official Tom, or Tow, these should be easier to find now.

Case G

More Cars Toy Fair 2008 Coverage

So tonight there is more Cars Toy Fair news to report, but not much more, mind you. Figures.com has a new gallery with tons of pictures and an article with some good info in it. I’ve already covered what was on display from the TNI gallery, but I noticed a few more tidbits from tonight’s pictures. Here is what I found.

  • Team Leak Less Gift Pack with Stacy (pitty), Leak Less Crew Chief and Leak Less
  • Trunk Fresh Launcher
  • Screamin’ Banshee Mini Cars playset

Some additional details are included in the article.

  • Over 123 cars available over the course of the year
  • Single card line will have 18 new cars and 18 refreshers
  • There will be 12 new Movie Moments 2-Packs, 6 new 3-Car Packs, and 3 Die-Cast Launcher sets

First Cars Toy Fair ’08 Gallery

Okay, I have been searching for Cars pictures from Toy Fair and have been unable to find any so far, until tonight that is. TNI has the first Cars picture gallery from Toy Fair 2008 I have been able to find so far. There are several die cast Cars, plus Cars Minis and some other items. Here are the diecast Cars currently being shown.

  • Van
  • Tire McQueen
  • RSN Chopper
  • RPM Pitty
  • Octane Gain Pitty
  • Chick Hicks Crew Chief
  • No Stall Crew Chief
  • Dinoco Pitty
  • Dinoco Crew Chief
  • Tank Coat Pitty
  • Mario Andretti (red wheels)
  • Patti
  • Wrecked King
  • Tumbleweed McQueen

By my count, only 14 new Cars are being shown. I am disappointed. Four of them are Pittys, which I could do without. Plus, my predictions were way off. Only six of the ones I predicted showed up. Unless, the old green car is on my list. I don’t know the official name of that one. I do like the changed Mario Andretti with the movie accurate red wheels. You do know the red wheels on Mario Andretti are movie accurate, right?

I hope we see more Cars galleries, and maybe some more Cars will show up. Toy Fair’s not over yet! If I got some of the names of these wrong and you have the correct names, please leave them in the comments.

Cars Hunt #021808

Went by another Wal-Mart in Knoxville, TN today with no luck at finding any new Cars. This store was way worse than the one I went to last night. This one had no new Cars at all. They also did not have the new 4 sided aisle display.

This sucks because I probably won’t be able to make another trip this week. I hate going to all these stores and not finding anything, not to mention the fact that I also hate Wal-Mart.

Rating: Bad

Sarge

Cars Hunt #021708

Last night, Sunday, Feb. 17th, I was hunting for Cars at Wal-Mart in Knoxville, TN. They actually had a lot of Cars, but I didn’t find anything new that I didn’t have already. I am not a completist, so I don’t buy everything, but I have almost everything. The only thing new that I didn’t have was Pit Crew Guido. I passed on that one because it’s so similar to the original one from the Movie Moments 2 pack.

There was still some interesting finds there which got my hopes up at first only to be disappointed later. On the shelf, I found several Freds, plus Tongue McQueen and Darrell Cartrip both on the World of Cars cardback which I hadn’t seen yet. I also found Ghostlight Ramone on the World of Cars cardback.

The cool find was the new 4 sided display out in the main aisle in front of the toy section. It had been picked over so I didn’t find any of the latest ones, like Dudley Spare, Charlie Checker, Tow or Not Chuck. I did find Tom Race Official, Pit Crew Guido and Ghostlight Ramone along with some older Cars on the new World of Cars cardback, like Mario Andretti.

In addition, the other sides of the display had the mini Cars 2 packs on one side and the Cars 3 packs on the other side. All the 3 packs were there except for the Dinoco Dream gift pack with Gold Mia & Tia.

So if you need some of the Cars I listed above, get to your local Wal-Mart quick to check for the new display. Hopefully, you’ll get luckier than I did.

Rating: Good

Lightning McQueen

Movie Moments Gasprin and Tow Cap Out Now

Movie Moments 2 pack Gasprin and Tow Cap are out now. This means they should be showing up soon at a retailer near you. Gasprin and Tow Cap are Piston Cup racers (see the picture below). They are part of Movie Moments case E. Gasprin and Tow Cap are the only new Cars in case E, but they are 2 per case supposedly, which means they should be easier to find, in theory.

Here is the full assortment of Movie Moments case E.

Here is an image of the Gasprin & Tow Cap 2 pack.

Movie Moments Gasprin and Tow Cap 2 pack

Three Reasons Why Another Cars Wal-Mart Exclusive Wave is a Bad Idea

So there’s a rumor going around, that a new Cars Wal-Mart exclusive wave may be in the works soon. There are several reasons why this is a strong possibility, and I won’t go into those reasons here. Instead, I’m going to give reasons why another Cars Wal-Mart exclusive wave is a BAD idea.

Reason #1 – Distribution at Wal-Mart is terrible. Last year’s Cars Wal-Mart exclusives were pretty much a disaster. As the first series came in, some stores put them out before they were supposed to and some stores never got any. This resulted in collectors in some areas of the country getting them way before other collectors did causing a false sense of scarcity.

Distribution of the second series was much lower than the first due to the restocking of the first wave. The first wave sold so fast that many stores heavily restocked the first wave about the same time the second wave came in. This led to the pegs being clogged with the first series and no room to put out the newer, second wave. As a result, the second wave was harder to find than the first one, and the first wave can still be found warming the pegs at many Wal-Mart stores today. In addition, there are some places in the US that don’t have a Wal-Mart store or only have one in their area.

Reason #2 – Exclusives help scalpers and hoarders maintain scarcity and drive up prices on the secondary market. When the first series came out, they were snatched up fast and were hard to find at many stores, even after being out for awhile, until they were restocked later. As a result, prices for the first wave initially shot up on the secondary market. The second wave ended up being harder to find than the first, so collectors who couldn’t find them were forced to pay high prices on the secondary market as well if they wanted a complete collection.

Wal-Mart is already a friend to the scalper. Many collectors and scalpers work at Wal-Mart or know someone that works at Wal-Mart. Their connections give them the ability to get new Cars before anyone else has a chance at them. You can argue that there is nothing wrong with this. However, it causes scarcity which drives up prices on the secondary market. This is what makes scalping attractive in the first place. So you can see, Wal-Mart already contributes to this problem enough without having exclusives.

Reason #3 – Exclusives hurt competition. No competition in any market is always bad. Wal-Mart has been under fire for a long time for using their size as a retailer to drive down prices forcing other companies, like smaller businesses, to lower their prices or get out of the market.

Retailers love exclusives because they know if you want them, you have no choice but to come to their store to get them. They use them to get customers to come in for the exclusives and shop for other things as well. This is the only reason Wal-Mart would want to have any kind of exclusive, so don’t go thinking they care about collectors. Exclusives give them an edge over their competitors. Plus, many people don’t like Wal-Mart, so they don’t want to shop there. If you collect Cars, however, you are forced to because of the exclusives.

In spite of the reasons above, the exclusives probably worked out well for Wal-Mart and Mattel. Which makes the chances of it happening again, pretty good. However, I don’t think this is good for collectors and is sure to cause problems for many. There are many moms and dads that buy Cars for their children who don’t have connections and don’t want to or can’t afford to pay high prices on the secondary market. Exclusives especially hurt collectors like these. If you have an opinion on Cars Wal-Mart exclusives, please leave it in the comments below.

The Missing 2008 Cars

Recently, Mattel revised the Cars case assortments for cases E, F, G, H and J. It was noted that several Cars that were originally scheduled to be included in these assortments are now gone and have been replaced by older Cars. As a result, collectors were left wondering what will happen to these missing Cars.

Two a Day speculated that Mattel is planning another Wal-Mart exclusive assortment for 2008. They make a good case, after all we know that Mattel already has the mold for Richard Clayton Kensington. They have already produced one for the charity auction that happened last year. It could be that Mattel is holding these Cars back for release as Wal-Mart exclusives.

So when will we know what the future holds for Cars collectors? Toy Fair is right around the corner, in New York on February 17-20, 2008. I’m guessing we will find out at Toy Fair what Mattel has planned for these missing Cars, as well as the rest of 2008.

Here is the list of Cars that were removed from these upcoming assortments.

  • Chief Trunk Fresh
  • Dinoco Crew Chief
  • Marco Super FAV18 (Jet)
  • Octane Gain Crew Chief
  • Pit Crew Sarge
  • Richard Clayton Kensington (Security Van)