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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS: Dueling #84 Piston Cup Racers

One of the enduring mysteries of our universe is why there are two #84’s in the Speedway of the South race …

No less a mystery than: why people will drive 10 miles to save a dime on a gallon of gas; the existence of the Yeti and; the internet comments FIRST! thing …

Why are there two #84’s in the Piston Cup Race?


CARS World Answer?

Keeping within the canon details of the film, you could come up with this plausible scenario.

The CARS World Apple Company decided they wanted to switch to #84 and bought it from the Re-Volting team. Due to a delay, the new shell with Re-Volting’s body did not show up so the sanctioning body decided to grant a waver and let both CARS run with the same number for one race. (It seems evident you can snap pieces on and off your “body” in CARS World (McQueen’s spoiler’s, Mater’s hood)) much as we wear and shed clothing … or as in NASCAR now, they just drop on a new fiberglass body, wrap-tape on new stickers/adhesives and off it goes …

Of course, you can come up with more complicated scenarios but this would be the simplest one and while in NASCAR, numbers are assigned to teams, they can sell them to someone else – while it’s unlikely to happen in mid season and a famous team is not going to swap out a number – if someone offers you enough money for a somewhat obscure number like #53 … why not, right? (Dale Jarrett #88 now Dale Jr.’s number)

Besides, now, you can sell more t-shirts or in CARS world, more antenna balls.

Real Life Answer (Our World)?

Mac iCar was originally assigned #76 for the year Apple was founded as a corporation. Somewhere along the line, probably in seeking final approval – someone decided that instead of promoting Apple, it should just promote the Mac computers since Apple no longer sold selling computers under that name and of course, the Mac was introduced in 1984. Perhaps you’ve seen the greatest Super Bowl ad of all time.

So, the switch to #84 … there was a slight problem in that there was already a #84 … and they could go back and re-render the race scenes but maybe adding $500,000+ for scenes lasting a TOTAL of 4-5 seconds. Re-Volting has no lines and no scenes in which he is the core focus. We don’t even see his trailer or his crew chief … he’s just a “nameless, faceless” racer in the background.

The bigger background was that CARS was not tracking very high in the ‘must-see’ research, it had already been delayed from November 2005 to June 2006 to help build up more hype AND this was also in the midst of the Disney & then independent Pixar still tuggling over how many films Pixar had to deliver to count under their contract terms so in some senses, Disney was holding a little back. They had hoped that FINDING NEMO would bomb so Pixar would come crawling back – clearly that was wrong 🙂 (Nemo – almost $900 million worldwide grosses), then there was some tiny film called THE INCREDIBLES ($670 million worldwide) … and while the merger was completed before CARS was actually released, it was only completed in the corporate stockholder sense, Disney was not going to spend any more money on CARS and certainly not to fix what everyone presumed would be a tiny bit of the film that NO one would notice … or perhaps better put, thought ‘no one would really care.’

What are the door numbers in Monsters, Inc? Or the drinks in Bug’s Life? … Or the license plates in the Incredibles? While people will like or maybe even love CARS, it’s NOT like Mattel is going to sell 200 CARS or a Speedway of the South CARS set all in high detailed diecast … that’s just ridicules!

And even if it merchandises well, we’ll make $.15 CARS to put in a $49 set … we’ll just make it vaguely a fruit logo … kids are dumb. Parents will buy anything.


Who would pay for quality, craftsmanship and canonocity?

Um, I can name some people? You need names? I got names …

But anyway … so the dull and boring bottom line is just my guess but basically: film overbudget already, corporate politics, and basically that while we would like or love the film like all the other Pixar films, who would study every minute of this film to notice the slight glitch?

Um, I can name some people? You need names? I got names …

Not only do we want every CAR that actually appears (It’s a HEADLIGHT! THERE’S ANOTHER CAR THERE! RIGHT THERE IN THE UPPER CORNER! ME WANTEE!) but we have studied every FRAME on a 72″ screen with an electron microscope and we also have a dedicated crew in Emeryville & El Segundo making sure that every spoke is spoken for and every iris is dotted properly.

So, we will forgive them for this tiny abomination and crushing sin … if you really need a better explanation … Re-Volting is really 084 – his zero is very, very tiny … (in NASCAR, there is a 7 and an 07 or can be) so the Sun still rises in the East.

So, there are your explanations. Maybe someday we’ll get an official explanation but I have a feeling it does not differ too much from the above convergence of money, corporate politics and the business of the business of film making.

Trivia: in the Blu Ray Finder game “trailer,” Mac iCar was called “Matthew Overtaker,” in the “game” itself on the Blu Ray DVD, he is Mac iCar …

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  • hostile takeover banker says:


    sorry, just making John feel better.


    Ok, Along those lines… my wife will go into WalMart and stand in line for 20 minutes so she can get the all important WalMart gift card preloaded so she can go back out and save .03 cents per gallon of gas… hmmm ok honey, I love you but WTF?!? Ok, I am tired cranky and just got done putting up a new basketball goal for my 10 year old. Only took me 6 bags of concrete, 7 hours, and one smashed thumb that is now throbbing like a soap bone!! Btw, when they tell you to call first so the electric company can come out and mark the lines, believe them and do it. Stardate today, 3pm, post hole digger in hand, “clink” what was that dad? Dont know son, probably just a rock. Um dad? Theres three black lines in there!! Dont worry though, I was wearing rubber work gloves… Thank you over and out done with my rant!!

    • CRAZYFORCARS says:

      Upon further review… after almost electrocuting myself and my son, I am going to go back upstairs, grab the WalMart gift card, run 6 miles back to Wally World and preload my wifes card so she can get gas in the morning…. she seems like the smart one all of a sudden. Ok, now I am done!!

      (MET: Glad to hear you’re a) still with us and b) not all burny with a giant afro … it is exactly like the cartoon when you stick a metal rod in a live power line, right? See, I’ve said it a million times – nature and the outdoors will try and KILL you … much safer just to play with CARS).

      • CRAZYFORCARS says:

        Wow Met, you count how many times you have said “nature and the outdoors will try and KILL you …?” Dude, you think of everything. I am up to here (putting my hand horizontally over my head for effect) with nature and the outdoors trying to kill me. I am going to go play with cars. Great thing about going to Walmart at 1am, NO LINES!! No Cars either, but thats another story!!

  • acuransx says:

    L & G’s

    I was told by my upperest management here that only JL himself holds the car keys to make any Apple product happen outside of the initial SOS set. Not sure how, not sure why, not sure when, just sure.

    So having said that, I will continue to keep fighting the Apple fight and see where I end up. This Apple thingie is kinda like the Berumda Triangle of the Cars World, ala Journey to the Center of Cars, Planet of the Cars, Cars Fights Back…..go figure 🙂

    As always, Apple, the forbidden fruit, in the Garden of Cars.

  • Jedijson says:

    Great post!

    I finally figured out where I’d seen that McQueen with the funky pinstriping, in case you were wondering. I got the boys each a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day. One had McQ and one had Mater pictured–both had odd decos on them. The McQ looked exactly like that McQ you have pictured above.

    Still not canon, but at least it’s been used before somewhere else, other than just that car.

  • Monica says:

    So basically, the same reason that there are 7 racers missing.

    It would be cool if they made some kind of joke out of the two #84’s in Cars 2.

  • gervart says:

    so what was the secret formula for Nemo to gross nearly double what cars grossed?

    (MET: I think it’s universal story of a dad looking for his son … plus, Dory … funny in any language … 🙂 ).

  • John in Missouri says:

    Speaking of Dale Jr. going from #8 to #88, here’s an idea for MattyCollector.com — two new versions of Dale Earnhardt Jr.: #88 Amp’d and #88 National Guard.

  • MiaSenorita says:

    I want some rally racers in Cars 2! and formula 1 and Lamanz and and and…! It could go on forever 🙂

    Bring on the diecasts!!!

    I sometimes wonder if the double 84 was a J.L. trick to see if anyone was paying attention. They love their inside jokes, etc. It is one of those small details that maybe people thought no one would notice, as MET said.

  • 5oclockshadow says:

    lucky 7 =)

    nice post. Wonder if it will be fixed by next film. or if any of the ‘nascar’ racers will appear?

  • John in Missouri says:


  • PirateDad says:

    I like the cynical ‘realworld’ explanation…btw how much did the movie Cars gross worldwide??

    (MET: About $500 mil – so not as much overseas because it was “NASCAR-like” centric – hence the worldwide racing for CARS2 … plus if CARS mostly in a desert setting can produce 500 diecasts, humm … worldwide racing? 2,000 diecasts?)

  • ScoobyDoo says:

    What if it’s a shrewd marketing ploy by the Re-Volting Rebuild Alternators Company Inc. to revolve their actual number #48 into #84 and back every alternate race ?

  • megaheat2008 says:

    nice met….

  • cac1959 says:

    Nice story… Thanks for posting

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