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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS: Should You Chase the Chase or Stay Chaste?

Of course, the whole CHASE thing is artificial.

They take a CAR, much like a lot of another CAR, add something to it and call it a CHASE Car … even telling you upfront with the CHASE snipe on the card.

The McQueen with Bumper Stickers had an ‘internal’ listed production run of 20,000 CARS – as for the others? I don’t know if they are sticking to that or that was a suggested number and since it’s not publicly revealed, the ONLY promise Mattel is making is that it is a CHASE Car because the package says so.

They have also made a unofficial announcement that once it’s a CHASE CAR, it will never return to the mainline as a single and in effect, never again on the same packaging.

Note this is unofficial so while it may never in theory return as a single, 3 years from now, Impound Snot Rod & Impound Boost could be available as a Movie Moment or all four/five Impound’s available in some special box set on Matty – so available but fulfilling the letter of the promise (if not the spirit) – that Impound Snot Rod will never be re-available on a WOC:Race O Rama card motif. And it could be that in a few years, with the releases of CARS 2 CARS, Mater Tall Tales, etc, etc … that Mattel & Pixar is so busy with so many more visually compelling CARS they might really see fit to NEVER RE-RELEASED IMPOUND SNOT ROD again. Or conversely, there might be such a clamor for it that it returns as a Movie Moment or Box Set but in the design of whatever the release name is 2-3 years from now.

It is virtually guaranteed you will not see it again on a RACE O RAMA card. That is pretty much the guarantee you can bank on (mostly for manufacturing logistical reasons) so you can judge and value what that means in the very narrow definition sense. Adding to that is that they are going to switch card designs in June so basically they only have a three month window to manufacturer more Impound Snot Rods and drop into Race O Rama cards – pretty unlikely.

It is most likely a promise that you will not ever see it on a singles card in the mainline release. But again, a pretty narrowly defined promise. It’s like being promised this is the funniest movie of the year and it’s January 4th …

So, is the value the CAR or the card?

Right now, it’s still too early to say because it will depend on two two things and of course one additional major factor:

a) I think it’s safe to say in this internet age with eBay and other trading forums, there will be thousands, 10,000? 15,000 of the production run of CHASE CARS (20-25k?) on card always available to sell or trade.

b) The next question is of course, the interest … and the two branches of that question are 1) Is there an acceptable substitute and 2) is he available in some other format?

Part 1 to that question is certainly dependent on cost. People might be willing to pay a few extra dollars or maybe even $15 in two years for Impound Snot Rod but beyond that price range? Will people just willingly accept having regular Snot Rod or maybe someone will start selling a tiny boot so you can fake the Impound Snot Rod for $5? Or for example, is Whitewalls McQueen close enough to CHASE Stickers McQueen to sub in if Stickers McQ passes a certain price?

Part 2 is of course if he’s available in a 2-pack or a three-pack or a box? It’s not the “original” CHASE Snot Rod but it’s the same CAR – essentially? And we will face this question to a small extent with CHASE King with Piston Cup … King is essentially the same CAR available 10 different ways, how much of a runup can you expect where he simply just has an extra accessory? (a Piston Cup) … or a few more boxes from now when the LANGUAGE CHASE CARDS are out? Chuki is exactly the same, only the card will have Japanese elements …

And the big factor is of of course, CARS 2 coming out in 2011 which will re-energize the fan base of collectors with a huge jump of new members (of course, new collectors are joining everyday though some will drop off so in ‘normal’ conditions today) … But in 2011, there is no doubt, the CARS collecting market will get a big jolt and a vast quantity of new members … so then you circle back to the two questions above – will they want Impound Snot Rod or Stickers Fred or Impound McQueen and to what extent? If it’s available in a box set, will they care enough to own it on a card “three” series ago so prices will reflect that? … but if they are NOT re-released any ANY form? Will the interest be like white/silver rimmed Fabulous Hudson Hornet – some interest but not all that much or more like a typical CARS exclusive – selling in the 5-10 times $3.50 range?

And of course, how big is that market? Will there be 100 that exchange hands at $50 but settles to $10 when 500 more auctions come on board? …

Then there’s the whole real world thing – what will the economic-cultural circumstances be in 2011?

Ah, to predict the future.

Good luck – meet you at the corner of 2nd & Market Street on June 10, 2011 to see who was right. I’ll be in the blue hovercar.

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