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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Walmart Land of the CARS Lost?

Is this the new Walmart CARS section that will spread across America?

(Thanks for the photo, “Quercy.”)

Where CARS is slightly above the DAGEDAR series but behind Justin Bieber: Canada Ninja Kick Robot?

It was once easy to figure CARS distribution. Once it was ready for shipping from the Mattel warehouses, @6,500 Walmart’s, Target’s and Toys R Us would have it on the shelf in a week or two at the latest (and sometimes it would arrive at retail distribution centers before). This was true for EVERY singles CASE. This was true for every mega-oversize-deluxe case. This was true for most haulers, 2-packs, gift packs, launchers, Lightyear launchers, haulers, Toons, Toons ovesized, box sets, exclusives, carrying cases and holiday CARS … not to mention playsets and tracksets appearing on a regular basis … AND this is not including the flanker line extensions such as Mini Adventures, Color Changers, or the giant plastic kid toys/Fisher Price lines and so forth that are of less interest to collectors but generate a lot of gift giving sales …

Once the first photos appear, in a matter of hours to a few days, distribution across 6,500 of the Big Three retailers across America was assured … and sales followed shelving followed sales followed distribution … and so on …


Walmart has gone from a case or two of 12-15 CARS lines to maybe ZERO for nearly all 4,000 stores? Sure, some stores get an occasional box now and then, it’s not like CARS is DC’s Green Lantern but how many Walmart’s have received a case of ANYTHING CARS in the past month – DURING THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON?

One case of something at a few hundred Walmart’s? Where as before, they might be receiving up to 20 cases of CARS product a month?

Walmart is around 40% of all toy sales in America and yes, they have cut back on toys overall but not a 95% cutback as with CARS …

Of course, there is the obvious reason of the CARS 2 distribution issue but is that relationship so far gone it cannot be repaired? That Walmart was not even willing to buy up all of CASE N (with the 7 “missing” not released CARS 2 diecasts?) … they have barely purchased any CARS Take Flight stock and while they diagrammed a big planogram for Fall 2012 – they changed their mind and that the CARS section above is the CARS section going forward?

In NorCal, there is no evidence of any CARS 2013 singles yet … is that the new norm? Target seems on on board – but with about 2,000 stores, a couple cases each means about 4,000 sold … TRU has about 700 stores and they’ll pretty much sell anything so I’m presuming they’ll eventually have A & B cases of 2013 singles … so without Walmart, that’s about 5,000 cases sold or every case in 2013 as of now is essentially a Super Chase?

Is the line sustainable with CARSONA non grata at Walmart?

And now that Target’s are already (after 2 weeks) clotted with 99% Lightning, Francesco & Mater’s continue to order cases? (with two different cards of each?)

Will 2013 be a repeat of 2012 – a few cases get released, then when Target slow buying and Toys R Us a weak third buyer … cases started to get canceled or delayed so instead of 14 cases a year, we’re down to 7 cases a year AGAIN?

Is there so little interest from WM for the entire line the reason Toons never came back?

If they’re not on board, what’s going to happen to Planes?

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  • Refriedbeans says:

    Found the white cards at Target last Friday, I hadn’t been so excited in months! Sadly though the only left were Vladimir (Who I’ve never seen before!) and Dusty (who I picked up for no particular reason). But I did find Mater Hawk and Burnt McQueen also picked up the London 12 pack for Christmas (Just realized I’ll have two Vladmir’s now)! Glad the Take Flights were easy to find!

  • bd says:

    Until Mattel gets it, this will be the norm.

    Sad, but true.

  • ghostlight says:

    Hopefully WM flexing it’s muscle will bring a good change at Mattel.

  • Jack says:

    Finally! Christmas display dump bins with 2013 cards at Walmarts. It’s about damn time.

    • dave35023 says:

      I also found the dump bins in my wal-mart…awesome to find so many different cars instead of the usual finns

    • D J says:

      Are you serious!? Hopeing to have the same luck in the near future!

    • Refriedbeans says:

      Are dump bins the things full of DVDs and Hot Wheels?

      • Jack says:

        No dump the bins are in a shipper mixed with monster jams. I hear the 30th anniversary Grave Digger is in there and supposed to be kind of valuable but I didn’t even look at those. The shipper is a Red Christmas one and actually part of an 8 group display pod. Some are dated Dec. 10th but most stores are putting them out now.
        It’s a single sided three compartment dump bin that is shipped with 4 sealed case A cases.

      • Jack says:

        How quickly things can change after such a long lull. 2 of my stores followed up their case A shippers with a pallet drop with case B. Woo Hoo. It’s about time to get some Rips up here East Coast style.

  • carslover says:

    the 3 wal-marts in tyler, tx have not had any new 2013 cards yet.
    they have the usual peg warmers and many many trunkovs and have had ka-caio mcqueen and acer helmet in droves for months
    the target here has had 2 2013 case A to my knowledge

  • BMW says:

    Same old modus operandi started for 2013.
    Mcqueens 5 per case A and Francescos 4 per case A, we are already seeing shelves clogged with both last years Mcqueens and this years just as you said.
    I feel sorry for Target in a way, Mattel is sticking it to them again with these new cases. Every store that got case A is now just a sea of Mcqueens and Francescos.
    Every new release is gone, except for a lone Cactus Mcqueen in a few stores.

    I don’t think Targets will be getting any more new cases for just the reason you stated. I did a Merchandise locate on Saturday of 10 Targets here. The store with the most had 156 of the singles and the store with least was 50. The Target with 156 singles had 2 Case A 2013 in the stockroom.
    I bought every J Curby I could find (7) and all but 2 are going to others who can’t find any new at Targets or WM.

  • andyp says:

    It appears someone drove to St.louis and took a picture of the pegs at every store i go to . I got a funny car on black friday of all days but other than that the queen is my unicorn, along with just about every other somewhat
    “new” car. John i see acer with helmets on occasion if you want me to get one for you ?

  • TopherDawg says:

    Thanks for the heads up John, I hit 5 Targets today and picked up a lot of the white cards.

  • JB says:

    I finally found the new Cars series this morning at Wal-Mart, north of Atlanta. It has been several months since I had seen anything new from the Cars die-cast line.

  • Frank says:

    Looks like the ones I’ve been to. One of the manager at a NorCal bay area WM that I spoke with said that they are no longer ordering the Cars line. They’re getting rid of what remaining Cars they have to get ready for other toys. I’m hoping what’s he said is not true..

  • Fillmore1234 says:

    There are 126 Singles at my Walmart. The Pegs can only hold 84. There are Cars above the pegs, below the pegs, thrown behind playsets, taking up Deluxe and Movie Moments pegs… Pretty much anywhere that’s open and free of space is a Single. Oh and every single one of them is from the 2012 Case A Case (with Mel Dorado). There are multiple Pegs full of JUST Holley Shiftwell and Francesco. So basically you could say my Walmart is the complete opposite of that.

  • Lane Change says:

    I spotted the new 2013 two packs this morning at one Walmart and then found a Queen, Funny Car Mater and Kimura at another, which was the first I’d seen these in my area.

  • Tom says:

    My Walmarts have looked like this for a while. TRU and Target are stocking Case A from 2011. I’m almost starting to hope they kill the line. This long slow decline is painful and frustrating. I’ve wasted too much time and money hunting r new Cars just to be disappointed. Add to that the fact that the extreme scarcity of new Cars has driven fooking scalpers to new depths of aggression in an attempt to make a few quick shekels.
    This hobby is becoming more problematic and less fun daily.
    I have only been in the game for about 2 years. I would’ve liked to have been around during the good old days Met speaks of above.

  • jayvandy says:

    We have been getting newer mega size in with funny car and queen but no new singles or two packs. This is very sad… you look at the whole toy department and the only section empty is the cars one.

  • John says:

    Southern California Targets are overrun with 2013 case ‘B’ now. We stopped in yesterday (Sunday morning at 10am) to find the local store packed with new white card Lightnings, Maters and Bernoullis, three empty Mattel cartons (999B) on a store cart. The toy manager said three different ‘customers’ had been waiting when the store opened at 8am and had cleaned out most of three cases, leaving only the unsellable Cars. These had been his first new shipment of singles in a year.
    Cars are on clearance for $1.99 each so he hoped Christmas buyers would clean out stock or he fears he will be stuck with old stock (Trunkovs and Finns) and the new pegwarmers until next Christmas.

  • Jack says:

    Many Walmarts Cars sections have looked liked this for many years. Walmart has always been sketchy with the Cars. They sell so many products I don’t believe they care.
    However I know the relationship between Mattel and Walmart isn’t damaged beyond repair. As for new Cars at Walmart a friend in Cali says he found a Display of case A over the weekend so I believe we will all be seeing new Cars at Walmart soon.

  • Greg says:

    This looks exactly like the Walmart stores in RI. I had one of the toy associates try to check inventory the other day b/c they have had a couple of cars on the pegs for about a month or so with no sign of anything new. She said that whatever is on the floor is what is appearing in inventory, and the line is marked as “non-replenishable.” I was hoping that was only because of the potential for 2013’s, but maybe not 🙁

  • John in Missouri says:

    Never have seen the Acer with Helmet cases or the Funny Car Mater cases here locally AT ANY RETAILER. And thank goodness for mid-Missouri Gerbes (Kroger) stores, otherwise I would have never seen the Popemobile case either.

  • cac1959 says:

    I’ve not seen anything newer than the Mel Dorado case at any Walmart store in Ohio or Indiana… they went from Finn pegwarmers to McQueen/Francesco pegwarmers… There’s been no sign of the Funny Car Mater/Kimura/Queen oversize case, and other than 1 case of the Acer with Helmet Movie Moments, that’s it…

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