Archive for the ‘Exclusives’ 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.

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.

Cars 2006 Factory Sealed Set

At San Diego Comic Con this year, Mattel had a drawing for a set of Cars known as the 2006 Factory Sealed Set. This is a set of the first 30 Cars all on the desert cardbacks, including singles and Movie Moments. You can see the picture at the bottom of this post. Credit goes to Two a Day for the image and the info.

There were 500 made, and two were given away at San Diego, which means there are 498 left. It has been rumored for a while that Mattel would be putting this set up for sale sometime through their web site. It has now been announced that the remaining sets will go up for sale through HotWheelsCollectors.com on November 27, 2007 at 9 AM PT.

No price has been announced yet, but you can expect anywhere from $149 to $249. Also, the only thing special about this set is the inclusion of Dirt Track McQueen and Rollin’ Bowlin’ Mater on the desert background cards. This will be the first time those Cars appear individually carded on the desert cardbacks, and this set is the only place you can get them for now.

To me, this set is only for completists to get the McQueen and the Mater, or for those collectors that want a really rare collectors item. But if you really want the McQeen and Mater, you could wait and see if someone will break the set and put them on eBay.

Mattel Cars 2006 Factory Sealed Set

Target Exclusive Dinoco 400 Cars Set Out Now

Reports are coming in that the Dinoco 400 Cars set is being found at Target stores across the US. Indeed, it is also showing up on eBay as well.

For those that don’t know what the Dinoco 400 set is, it is a Target exclusive set of eight Cars. Retail price is reportedly $29.99. Three of the Cars are new and five are reissues. Here is the list of Cars in this set.

  • Lightning McQueen
  • King
  • Chick Hicks
  • Leak Less
  • Vinyl Toupee (New)
  • Octane Gain (New)
  • No Stall (New)
  • Nitroade

This set can also be bought online at Amazon/Target. Retail online is higher at $34.99. The picture on the listing is wrong because it shows old Cars instead of the new ones. The Cars listed in the description are correct though.

Vinyl Toupee, Octane Gain and No Stall are the only new ones in this set. If you have all the others, it is up to you whether or not it is worth it to get all eight just to get three new ones. However, none of these Cars is listed in the planned releases for the rest of 2007 and 2008 that Mattel issued to retailers. So these may not be released in any other form at retail. If that is the case, then this may be your only chance to get these Cars. Buy at your own risk.

Update – 10/8/07: Word is that the official release date on these is Sunday, October 14th. Although, some stores may put these out or bring them out from the back before then. Unless, you’ve gotten lucky though, you will probably have to wait until then to find this on the shelves.

Wal-Mart Exclusive Cars Wave 2 is Out

We are hearing reports that the second half of the Wal-Mart Exclusive Cars wave is out. Barney Stormin, Bruiser Bukowski, the Piston Cup Pace Car and Kori Turbowitz have been reportedly found in Tennessee. There are several auctions up on eBay right now, all from a seller in California. eBay links for these Cars are below.

Again, I would wait before I paid eBay prices for these. I would bet on these being found at most Wal-Marts eventually.

Cars Wal-Mart Exclusive Wave is Out Now

The Cars Wal-Mart exclusive wave is now showing up on eBay. After doing a little reasearch, I found that some stores are selling them early although they are not supposed to because there is an October street date on these.

According to people that have found these, there are only four showing up right now, Ghostlight Ramone, T.J., Cactus McQueen, and Lightyear Blimp. The other four are pictured on the back of the packaging. Here are links to each one of these Cars on eBay.

Stores are getting a whole display of these and apparently, there will be plenty of these Cars available at $2.97 each. Since the street date is in October, I am guessing that these may be out the first week of October. So, if you wait, you will find these a lot cheaper than eBay.

Here is the list of all eight Cars in the Wal-Mart exclusive wave.

  • Ghostlight Ramone
  • T. J. Hummer
  • Official Pace Car
  • Cactus McQueen
  • Lightyear Blimp
  • Kori Turbowitz
  • Chick’s Crew Chief
  • Plane

Here is a link to a picture of the Wal-Mart exclusive cardback. Here is a link to a photo gallery on Michael Crawford’s web site and on figures.com of the Mattel Cars display at SDCC.

Update: I just got back from my Wal-Mart, and they are out at 2 local stores, from what I heard. I was able to buy all four of them at my local Wal-Mart today. I heard from someone else that they were aware there was a street date, but they put them out because another local store was doing it.

I can confirm that they are $2.97, and they are on a big display with lots of Cars available. They are going fast though as they were about half gone by the time I got there. The packaging is also different from the Supercharged packaging, and it has a big logo on the front that says, “NEW!” on it.

Wal-Mart Exclusive Cars Wave

In addition to all the new Cars announced at San Diego Comic Con, Mattel announced there will be a Wal-Mart exclusive wave of Cars scheduled to be out in October 2007. The wave is planned to consist of the following Cars, some of which were shown at Comic Con.

  • Ghostlight Ramone
  • T. J. Hummer
  • Official Pace Car
  • Cactus McQueen
  • Lightyear Blimp
  • Kori Turbowitz
  • Chick’s Crew Chief
  • Plane

Here is a link to a photo gallery on Michael Crawford’s web site and on figures.com of the Mattel Cars display at SDCC.