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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS: 3rd Anniversary

I don’t know what the regular third anniversary gift is but for CARS, I’m pretty sure I’ve already given … I could swear I had a lot more gold in my mouth before …

I was in Target in 2006 and saw this …

I thought …

Humm, I mght like this upcoming CARS movie.

I might buy a few of these.

Only 12 – nice – easy to collect.

Damn, I should have gotten a cart and not a stupid basket.

Oh well, I can come back anytime and pick up the rest – it’s diecast cars from a licensed film, it’s not like they will in short supply for … oh, I don’t know, a YEAR? Or two?

Of course, some of you thought, bah, humbug.

He only had two giant teeth – FAKE! And his imaginary scale is way off!

And look, three years later …


What is that parked next to? A truck? Who can tell? It’s a pretty far stretch to imagine this as a representation of the film and to our world. It’s so surreal and so far from the norm it’s hard to relate … well, some say …


Just too unrealistic for me … some say.

As if this even remotely resembles the real or CARS world – l pity the fool!


It’s just like the first impressionist reviews – how dare you create art that is not measured with a caliper! Heathen! If it’s not millimeter photo realism – do not want … well, some say …

Um, I say different!

You are free to interpret art as you like it. My opinion is they are rolling pieces of art and the greatest diecast line EVER … but art is in the eye of the beholder … πŸ™‚

And I be-holding!

(sorry, couldn’t resist that joke πŸ™‚ ).

So, to all those that can take that leap of faith – to cherish art & difference, happy anniversary CARS diecast at retail!

For others who prefer otherwise – Today is Metric System Day!

Since you had to look at boring pictures of CARS, here’s something for you to use at a dinner party tonight …

“The official Meter Rod (a metal pole made with platinum-iridium alloy with two hairline markings indicating the length of the official meter when the pole is at 0 degrees Celsius) sits locked away in the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in Sevres, France. The distance of the official meter has now been measured in light wavelengths, so now it is possible to determine the exact length of a meter with a fancy lab experiment. To be exact, one meter is defined as 1,650,763.73 wavelengths of radiation emitted in a vacuum under an electrical discharge with spectroscopic notation 2p10 – 5d5 emitted by Krypton-86 atoms. (For you non physicists, krypton is like neon, both are noble gasses. So when krypton is put in a glass tube and high voltage charge is applied, it glows like a neon light. Krypton isotope 86 gives off an orange red glow at an exact frequency which can be converted to wavelengths which can in turn be used to measure exact distances.)”

(I should note that it was in April 2006 when the first CARS appeared on the shelves but I’m not sure what day it was … I foolishly thought I could finish collecting this line by May 2006 … :-0Β  ).

If you can remember back to 2006, tell us your story …

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  • ruterito says:

    this is my story :
    when i was 8 years old and i loved the cars since i was a baby . i was leaving in Calafate , and when the Disney Channel came to that town , i saw what it loked like a racecar that talks in a trailer ,and i say to my self-men , i got to see this- i could’t go to see it at cinema(i wish i could , i would never forget that), so i see it on a pirate dvd that they bought to me , first i saw the race part , and i had to go to bed , then i saw the last part ,and at least , the midle part.We went to mcdonals and i haved mater , then doc,sally,flo,fillmore,luigi , etec. But there wasn’t a chick hits , but then i saw the mattel version toys of cars , and i bought chick just to complain the mcdonals.
    however , my father liked the mattel cars (it rememberd him when he was a child and he collected the mathbox) so me and my father started what i call “our joby” , so here i am , with 13 years old , waiting cars 2 ,with around 80 cars , and loking for more .
    Matias Sosa

  • acuransx says:


    I believe those two you mention are from the Puplishing group at DCP New York.

    Not sure where Marketing is on new Storytellers. Our first ones did well at Traget and the new sculpts look great, you saw how huge Bubba is. I think it’s now just how many new sculpts can we support before we start D&D on Cars 2, The Global Race.

    Also hearing some talk on the street that more Cartoons may be coming soon? Might just be talk, or not.

  • acuransx says:


    Thanks for the thanks as it means alot to me. More than you think.

    My team and I try to get it right and when we look at anything new we just think ” What would Lasseter say?” It’s all about quality and staying true to the IP.

    I can’t fool you guys and I never try. Sure everything can’t be cannon but if it not, is it should look like it is. Mostly in the playsets is where we have to stretch it sometimes…………

    There are plenty of new awesome castings on the way. One I’m looking forward to is a crashed Hudson Hornet, maybe done in a sepia tone so it looks like back in the day when he was in his prime. Maybe an old newspaper clipping behind him. That could be cool, a nice offering for an anniversary year.

  • unimog says:

    At Christmastime one year, my wife came home from Walmart and said, “Maybe I shouldn’t tell you about this, but Walmart put out a display of these cars from the new Disney film. People were buying them left and right.” She didn’t want to tell me about them because she knew that I had collected Matchbox cars when I was a kid. She was afraid she might start a new obsession for me. So, I went to Walmart to check things out. Of course, the cars were completely gone, all except for one that was hidden on a shelf in another section. It was “Hamm”. I said, “Big deal! These cars aren’t so great!” (We hadn’t seen the movie yet to realize that Hamm was not representative of the rest of the characters.) I decided to pass on collecting them. Then, a few days later, I came across “DJ”, again hidden on another shelf. I said, “OK, maybe these cars have potential.” So, I bought DJ. Guess what! For Christmas, I got Sarge, Filmore, Lightning, Mater, etc. I started collecting but still hadn’t seen the movie. Finally, we got the DVD. I was amazed at how much the movie characters looked like the cars I had been collecting.

    • Steve AKA: Poppa says:

      You should have been around before the movie came out. Fred Meyer had a stand alone store display. It drew a little attention until the trailers were hitting before the debut. Then, whammo, sell out! I passed the first time I saw the dispaly, but, the second time-fill the shopping card (only one of each). Kept buying Sarge’s for the kids of the military guys in the family. I hope Pixar can work a 2 1/2 ton truck into the next film. Waiting for Sarge to pull a 105mm gun too! That would be cool!

      • Steve AKA: Poppa says:

        PS: Did you pick your handle based on Matchbox’s Unimog? I think I still have one from the early 1970’s squirreled away around here. Picked up an early 1970’s Matchbox collection in mint condition for $20 back in the day. I like the Matchbox truck castings over Hot Wheels. When I was a kid, we always went to Murray’s toy shop in Astoria, New York and bought Matchbox cars in the little matchbox for 25 cents. I wish we did not throw them down the sidewalk! πŸ™

  • Happy Cars Anniversary everyone! It’s been so much fun to share the Cars collecting experience with all of you, starting on 2aday and now here on Take5. πŸ™‚

    My son was 2 years old when we first saw these cute little Cars hanging on the pegs in TRU. The movie hadn’t come out yet so I had no clue what I was looking at when I picked up the Luigi, Guido and Tractor Movie Moments. I thought they were very cool but I decided to wait til we saw the Cars movie first before I purchased any. I honestly didn’t think the movie would be any good. Talking Cars. Yea…right. LAME!

    We went to see the movie about a week later and discovered it was THE MOST AWESOMEST MOVIE EVER!!! I mean for a 2 year old boy to sit still thru the entire movie was a miracle. It was that good!

    So we went back to the store…NO CARS! ALL GONE! Crap! All that was left on the pegs were a few Pull-Backs.

    I did manage to find some Cars later on at various stores. I think the first ones I picked up were McQ, Sally and Fillmore. Looked on the card backs to find that there were even more Cars to hunt down. That’s when my OCD kicked in and I had to have them all! I picked up two of each Car, one to open for play and one as back-up incase a Car became lost or damaged beyond repair. I remember Lizzie and Sheriff were the hardest for me to find. After I found all of the first twelve Cars, I looked online to see if there were any others and that’s when I discovered 2aday. I tell you what…it was a relief to find other people as crazy if not crazier than I was about these little Cars!

    Wow! A 100+ Cars with still more to come! Thanks Met and Tiz for all the great Cars info. Keep it coming! πŸ™‚

    • TJH-AZ says:


      Hey Martin, my son absolutely loves Otto from “A Day at the Races” and Gudmund from “Night Vision”. Have you guys already started work on these characters? My son will go nuts when he sees them on the pegs.

      Thanks for all the great work you and your co-workers do. Happy Anniversary.

  • Mike H says:

    Yes, I was like many that figured that I’d find all later.

    I should have known better when I talked to the Target employee who was about to put them out. He allowed me to look through the freshly-opened case, but at that time I only took Lightning and Mater.

    Of course, the real ‘illness’ started when Leakless and Nitroade came out, and I began to consider collecting all the SOTS racers. And here we are 3 years later, 3/4 of the way through, with me considering plunking down money for a bootleg iCar, if I can find a good customizer.

    I figured like many, that movie merchandise was not going to fly off the shelves. POTC figures and toys were soon marked down to clearance prices, and we’ve seen the same fate befall Speed Racer.

    Btw, regarding whether to congratulate Matty-why would you? I’d congratulate ‘acuransx’ and the guys he works with, and punch Matty in the face like that Moose statue in ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation.’

    • Monica says:

      I wonder if Matty will show up at Comicon. If so, he’s cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

      • Mike H says:

        Maybe there should be a ‘beat the stuffing out of Matty’ art contest. I have some ideas:

        1) Matty being pummeled like Mickey pummeled the one Jonahs Brother in a South Park episode.

        2) Matty having been bludgeoned with a full case of launchers that never arrived.

        (yes, I can get pretty dark)

  • DaddyO says:

    I can barely remember yesterday, let alone three years ago!

  • petrolhead says:

    This is my story from Down Under (Australia)My wife seen the singles in a Target Catoluge (June 06) she said go get them I could only get 8 of the origonal 12
    came home and thought complete the set from ebay.I nearly fell of my chair at the price people where paying for singles around 40 dollars aussie (around 30 US dollars).As you know the journey began and what a blast,but sitting hear in australia I wish well got half of the stuff you guys get so any one wishing to help out a fellow Aussie CARS movie cars (as my two boys call the diecast line)collector would be great at petrol.head7@hotmail.comThanks for aplace to keep up with all the lastest info

  • 5oclockshadow says:

    If you search “hot wheels” on ebay you will get roughly 24,000 hits. If you search “disney cars” you will get around 15,000. Not too shabby when you consider there is over 40 years worth of merchandise for hot wheels and only 3 years worth for Cars.

    Can’t wait to see what the numbers will look like after this summer with
    the new mainlines, Signature series, 1:24 series, Lightyear launchers, new storytellers, new race-off launchers, new movie moments, Mater Tales series, new minis, new Mega-size, new haulers, the RV series, comics … am I forgetting anything?

  • hostile takeover banker says:

    i’m still trying to work out whether to congratulate Mr Matty or punch him in the face.

  • Monica says:

    Started collecting these right after we saw the movie, I still have my first cardback where I was checking them off with a sharpie on the back as we bought them. Out of the first set, Lizzie was the hardest to find, I ended up buying her off Craig’s list.

    or as James Taylor would say:

    Looong ago, not so very long ago, the woorld was different, oh yeeees it was…

  • Nicole H says:

    I have a confession to make, or maybe I shouldn’t….I didn’t see the movie until it was out on DVD. I know, I can hear you all gasping now! My son was only a little over 1 and I could barley even get him to watch the Wiggles. So the 1st time we saw it was Thanksgiving 2007. It was still months after that before we even bought our 1st car. I couldn’t believe how much they wanted for 1 car. I think the price at Target was $3.29 at the time but I could be wrong. One trip to Target I decided to let my son get the Sally we saw sitting there because she was his favorite. Really don’t know when the buying one to play with turned into 2. One to play with and one not to play with. I think it was when I started working at Target and saw all the new ones on truck days. There I confessed I feel better now! My 12 step program is off to a great start!

    (MET: It’s not when you began but that you begun the journey … and on that same note, can you help us hack into Target’s DPCI computers so we can figure when the MM’s will arrive? ).

    • PirateDad says:

      We can still let you be part of the club, BUT your initiaion fee is gonna have to be higher! paypal $75 to PirateDad05@gmail.com

    • buckland-blowouts says:

      I think my story is the same as yours Nicole!

      I don’t work at target but would definitely be a frequent flyer if they had ’em up here in the Great White North!!!

      • Nicole H says:

        I was suppose to clock in at 8am but on truck days I would clock in late. I had to go check out the Cars aisle first!! My store manager was a huge Cars guy too but he was strictly an opener for his kids. So if there were new ones and the other wasn’t there we would put them on hold for each other. Never were we allowed to grab them off the pegs while on the clock or take them from the back room. That’s why I get so mad when I know stockers at WM are taking the new releases!

    • Steve AKA: Poppa says:

      Don’t worry, I’m sure there will a re-release on the big screen just before Cars II is released. Then you can correct the errors of your ways and watch it endlessly.

    • Nicole H says:

      Wish I could but I don’t work there anymore! I had my 2nd child and we figured it was cheaper for me to stay home. I do still talk to the guy that is in charge of resetting the store and he hasn’t a clue. Since it is only a few pegs they would have to change tags on the dept lead would be in charge of that. I normally only had about a 2 week notice when new stuff was coming-no real way to look up dpci’s unless you had them in front of you.

  • chaisson says:

    they shold have mad jerry wobble
    that would be awesome.
    anyone agree????

  • BMW says:

    Met you need to repost your very first article as a nostaglic look back, or at least provide us with a link.

    (MET: Well, it’s been transferred a couple times from other blogs and updated so it’s not a true first post but most of the editing was just info at the bottom of each section … but you can sort of travel back in time πŸ™‚ ).

  • BMW says:

    I saw the movie two weeks after it came out. Went to Walmart and there was only two cars on a end cap. Mater and McQueen. I googled Cars and found the original Jim Hill blog and saw what a sensation the diecast cars had become. He was having trouble finding them in LA, an even larger city than mine, so I called TRU. They were out of stock, the girl told me that no TRU had any in town and suggested a rural TRU which was 160 miles away. We went. And the store was full of Cars diecast, I filled my basket. Never stopped since. I wish I had gotten Lizzies Curio Shop Desert version that day, but did get Flo’s. I still don’t have Lizzies.

    What an obsession.

  • A Screamin What? says:

    I bought the talking Mater Plush toy with my then one year old daughter (who laughed at his comments). Little did I know that it would turn into complete obsession….

  • acuransx says:

    Ladies & Gentlecars,

    Yes, who knew we’d still be here today sculpting/creating die cast Characters that appeared on the screen for a split second. Some didn’t even have a name. JL & team had to give us names, screen grabs, and generate digital files so we could build these characters because they didn’t exist in 3D files…………………..

    I have literally lost track of how many Characters we’re tooling up when you include Carstoons. Tool up the Sparkplug Monster? Yeah right, guess what, it’s coming. A fan in the stands? On the way.

    What to hear something scary? Word here is that Cars 2 will dwarf the first film. Wow. Leave it to JL and team, hold on to your air cleaners.
    Happy Anniversary Mattel Disney/Pixar Cars.

    I’m really proud to actually be a part of this little party. It’s been a wild ride. Great post Met, maybe you can give me a call, sent you some photos this afternoon. Hope you got them.

    • buckland-blowouts says:

      I hope and believe that the second will be better by miles than the first movie… No doubt in my mind actually…

      Best to you and the gang!


    • TJH-AZ says:

      I have no doubt that the 2nd film will be amazing in every way. But… even if they’re not IN the film, knowing that the voices for Doc(Paul Newman)and Filmore(George Carlin) have passed makes me sad. And IMAGINE if Owen Wilson actually HAD committed suicide? What a different world of Cars it would be today. We attach a voice to animation and a face to live action (think the Batman movie series) and when things change, most of the time it’s not for the better. (argueably) So I’m really looking forward to Cars 2. My son will be 5 1/2 when it’s released and I have no doubt it will be his favorite movie of all time. We still take the LM Bachelor pad and some cars with us to restaurants, he plays with pretty much all the cars new and old (with some exceptions), and HIS Cars world has never been better. Happy Anniversary and WE look forward to many many more years of Cars enjoying and collecting.

      • Mike H says:

        “My son will be 5 1/2 when it’s released and I have no doubt it will be his favorite movie of all time.”

        I think so many people underestimate just how popular cars are. When I was little, I was obsessed with cars. Had plastic ones, diecast ones, big and small, formula-1 racers, 5 cases of Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Pocket cars, etc.

        I remember when the film first came out, I was sure that if I was 5 or 6, my parents would be confronted at every turn until I saw this film.

  • John in Missouri says:

    Does anyone else remember the 16-slot Race Case & Track being the hottest thing ever? They got up to $75 on eBay for a week or so that Summer!

  • marlaine8 says:

    I remember being in TRU after seeing the previews to the movie. I bought McQueen, Mater, Sally, Doc and Nitroade. I got mad because the snot-nosed kid behind the check out register said “how do you know your kid will even like these. The movie hasn’t even come out yet.” I was protective of my find from that moment on. That kid made me mad! I just knew my little boy would like them. He was 3 1/2 at the time. Now 3 years later, he still plays with them all every single day. I still get a kick out of finding the new releases. I’m looking forward to the next 3 years (and more)!

  • John in Missouri says:

    We saw “Cars” the night it opened, and went straight to KB Toys after we left the theater. I don’t recall what we bought there (it may have been Pull-Backs, gasp!!), but the next night at Wal-Mart we came upon the very last Mack Bachelor Pad that they had in stock, but for some reason the box was all covered with something greasy (lotion, shampoo, etc.). Our kids were still in diapers, so I grabbed some wipes from my wife’s purse, cleaned it off, and bought it. I think a lot of people probably passed on it when they touched it.

    Ever since that night, the Mack Bachelor Pad became canon to me, that is why I continue to blast the new Haulers as too small.

  • Steve AKA: Poppa says:

    Yep, I ran into a stand alone display at Fred Meyer in Tacoma (WA) and saw Sarge. Had to get him (and the rest)! Took the granddaughter to see Cars when it came out. Her favorite is Sally. Figures a cute blond six year old would go for a Porche.

  • Lorri says:

    Happy Anniversary Everybody!!! Do we get cake?
    Seriously, we better congratulate each other since nobody else will!!!!
    “You collect WHAT???!!!!”
    It is way more fun having all you guys to talk to about how much we love these cars. And how cool they are.
    Pirate, youve only spent a thousand?! :smiley:

  • PirateDad says:

    Approx 1000 days ago and more than $1000 dollars ago, Mater jumped in my cart and yelled….I knowed I made a good choice…For waht I said…For my BEST friend!! he replied!

  • Carlos says:

    I went to KBtoys and I saw Filmore and i said nice VW van thats from the Pixar movie, looks good let me buy it, amd that day (3 years ago) my life changed for ever (collect them all!) it is not so easy.

  • Mikey says:

    First….to say good article Met:)

  • gervart says:

    1st-im lame

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