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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS: The 1:24 Scale Lightning McQueen

The first 2009 CARS item being offered at Matty Collector will be 1:24 scale Lightning McQueen.

But let’s backtrack a little … normally, with 1:64 diecasts (CARS, of course 1:55), you cut some corners …

Here is a $.99 Hot Wheels Ferrari 250 GTO.

It’s a solid looking sculpt – sure, there are lots of details you would like to see better but what do you expect for $.99 … can’t have it all …

So, many people collect a large scale such as 1:43 or the very popular 1:24 scale … this is a typical 1:24 Ferrari 250 GTO … generally costing about $35 to $50 …


(of course, photos not to scale to each other)

Of course, clearly you can see the difference. As you go up in cost, some have opening doors, hood and trunks, detailed engines and for the really, really high end, you have a steering wheel that actually control the wheels when you turn it and for the crazy high end, you have things like moving gear shift knobs …

Generally you have to go up in scale to find much nicer detailing … clearly this 1:24 Ferrari looks like a real car on the road (of course, you have to live in a really, really nice neighborhood if your roads are clotted with Ferrari 250 GTO’s 🙂 ) while the Hot Wheels one is clearly not detailed enough …

So, what does this have to do with 1:24 CARS … there are THREE problems …

The MAIN problem … the original 1:55 Lightning McQueen is just too freakin’ nice – to put it bluntly …


Unlike nearly every other line, what’s really missing from the much smaller 1:55 Lightning McQueen … not artistry, not details and not personality …
Sure, a close examination and you can tell which is the new 1:24 Lightning McQueen and the small scale 1:55 Lightning McQueen but if you were just to glance at the front of the two Ferrari’s above, it’s clear which is the $.99 car … with the two CARS, not so easy to tell and that is the MAIN problem.

It’s NOT Night & Day … it’s more like 20-minutes later and the Sun is still out … it’s nice but it’s not strikingly different … of course, one is much, much larger but what are you really gaining with a giant 1:24 Lightning McQueen?

Not night and day …

Not saying it’s not nice … but after you create the Chrysler Building of CARS, how are you going to top that?


That is the problem with CARS 1:24 … yes, more detailing and grooves on the rubber tires s all very nice but when the “base” is so freakin’ brilliant, it’s so bright it diminishes anything that follows it …

The other MAIN problem is that one of the “bonus items” that a 1:24 designer has is their “tool belt” is they can add opening doors, hoods or even accessories to jazz it up … items that are difficult in tooling for 1:64 (or 1:55 cars), not impossible … but generally, the payback is not there … but easier to do on a larger scale … BUT here, no doors, no hood to open so that narrows down the options …

If you look closely, it is very nice …

Lug nuts, yellow pinstriping …

That black dot is the rear “camera lens,” for the Jumbotron for the “track view.” NOT a working camera or lens, just a representation …

“Real”* rubber tires with grooves if you order from Matty**

*(real as in soft rubber-like but not true real vulcanized rubber, it’s still plastic).

And the last “problem.” The retail price will probably be around $45 so out the door with shipping & taxes (at Matty), we’re talking @$55 which I think is just too steep. Again, it’s not that it’s not nice but is it 2000% nicer than the $3.50 1:55? It’s not a striking leap from the reasons you want to buy a 1:24 version of a typical diecast.

The problem is that the 1:55 are just too freakin’ nicely done so no matter how you try and spiff it up, it’s still not the Sistine Chapel of 1:55 CARS …

As far as I know, it’s also not coming with an acrylic cover – it does come with a base stand … and that’s the other thing where they could’ve overcome the handicap of having to scale up a car with no chance of opening doors, hoods and trunks or other engine elements – maybe the gas tap area should actually hold a gas catch can? Or maybe the bottom of the CAR should be metal and chrome?

Or a Piston Cup? But as far as I know, nothing but a base … so it’s nice but is it good enough when the mainline is the greatest diecast line ever?

It’s going to be a tough road … not saying that there won’t be interest but right now, with the greatness of the 1:55 line, the lack of accessories, the lack of an acrylic covering AND @$55 out the door … hummm ….. will people be beating down Matty’s doors in May? … hummm ….

Mater is scheduled for June …

** There is also no definite word on the number in the run  – they range from 5,000 to 10,000 with a split between Matty & Alternative Channels … with the rumor that Matty only will get the “real” rubber tires but that is not 100% confirmed. So, again, not saying these aren’t nice and there will be some interest but pell-mell interest at $55? I’m not so sure … so they should sell but I don’t sense you will need to set an alarm to wake up to click BUY on some morning in May … what do you think?

And just to prove that Hot Wheels can step up when the need and money for the right tooling is there …

The Ferrari on the right is also from Hot Wheels – along with a Ferrari Enzo, it sold for just $4 more than the $.99 Hot Wheels … (and the hood opens).

Am I the only person to actually open the Ferrari set and throw away the display 🙂


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  • rafayel says:

    how is this different from the previous 1:24 release of Mcqueen and Mater?

    (MET: More detailing … um, more money? 🙂 BTW, now delayed until summer).

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