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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CAR: The Apple CAR Counterfeit Taste Test

The customs or counterfeiters of the Apple CAR have stepped it up a notch.

In other words, reader “Albert Hinkey” says it’s a bit hinckey out there.

While his auction was plainly listed as a ‘custom,’ it would be easy for someone to take it a step further and try to claim it’s real because it has a base with the date code that matches the real CAR.



bottom Real.

“BMW” pics of a real one also.

The real ones with the white production date stamp match the font of all your other CARS in terms of its typeface weight – you’ll notice the fake was presumably set to BOLD versus the regular CAR’s typeface weight of “regular.” More likely, a lower res version will “bloom” slightly. It is very subtle so if you are NOT certain, make sure you have a photo of the CAR bottom …

Plus, you will simply need to make a much closer inspection or ask for larger higher res photos … why – because the proof is in the pudding and the nicks and sloppiness that is NOT evident on the Motor Speedway of the South CARS.

While the individual CARS did cost nearly three times than the cost of CARS in stores, the production of the MSOS CARS are virtually impeccable. They are collector grade. They are buttery smooth and just nearly perfect. The paint was applied slowly – they were allowed to dry properly and everything meticulously painted correctly …

For instance, the custom/counterfeit looks pretty good at first glance …


But if you look very closely,stray mark on the “8”? Yep.


Now for those without a MSOS Piston Cup racer set, this would be not atypical of a Piston Cup racer you’d buy on a card – pretty good – but usually a few stray specks here and there – sometimes obvious, mostly subtle but always there. Extra marks, extra nicks, paint slop … this would NOT have pass muster with a real MSOS Apple CAR or any other MSOS Piston Cup racer …


Same with the back spoiler area. The spoiler straps are sloppily painted, there is extra gray near the Apple and that “paint bubble” on the left – factory reject? Again, “good enough” for the regular releases but not nearly good enough for a MSOS release so while it might be subtle and I’m not saying the MSOS Piston Cup racers are 100% perfect but if they are selling you an “authentic” MSOS racer or Apple CAR, look, look and look some more – be very suspicious of more than 1 anomaly. In looking just at two photos of Albert Hickey’s Apple CAR, especially this back bumper spoiler area … alarm bells clanging!


Again, notice extra gray dots and another paint bump along the right rear quarter panel … plus I believe the center gray dot should be larger and almost but not quite touching the notch at the bottom of the Apple logo … so if you’re paying more than just a little and if they claim it’s “real” and from the MSOS set, look, look and re-look. Anything that seems out of place is probably out of place …

So, thanks for warning to other, “Albert Hinkey: – we are on Hinkey alert!

Here’s another new photo from France via “Greg,” apparently the back axles don’t work correctly … it looks like they all have the “bold” production date stamp …


So, because of the prices people are willing to pay for a ‘real one,’ there is plenty of room to profit from anything else under that … unlike most factory seconds that are real rejects, these seem to hurriedly created by big-thumbed guys after the real shift is over … be sure and look carefully especially if they say it’s real – so look over with a jeweler’s loupe and ask for a roll test … otherwise, you’re getting Mac iCar’s lesser known brother “PearC My-Middle-Name-Is-Hinkey iCar.”

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  • ny says:

    Well u guys pay so much for this I got a few 2nds for 30 each.all these 2nd apples came from 1 dude.

  • BMW says:

    Here is an extreme close up of my apple car’s date stamp from my Motor Speedway set for comparison. It is a genuine Apple.

    I found out recently that lots of collectors are well aware of the font change for the fake cars, and know what to look for in order to avoid the seconds floating around on ebay.

    So am posting this link so others can compare their Apple with the original Apple 1 of 1000.

  • QLD'r says:

    This will be my last response to this on this forum…as this is not what this is for. But you failed to supply the sub heading STATING – “These cars have oversize axles and may have paint chips”.
    This is in the sub heading before you get to this!!!!!
    and I then reffer to this version of the car.

    and to state again….these cars were listed for less then $us60!!!!
    not at the $us100 going rate.


  • GreG says:

    This is your advertisement :

    Speed, I am Speed!!!!!
    So when you are displaying your collection….
    what version will you have of the Apple #84……..???????
    There’s NO DEBATE!!!
    Apple #84 & Dale Jr Variant (loose) are the 2 RACER’S that I value in my set most!!!!
    and these are from the 1000 SOTS Edition!!!!!
    2847EA is the date code of the Apple from the SOTS….!!!!!!
    So the choice is now yours!!!!
    Get this version of the 1/1000 Speedway Racer
    or wait to see if it gets released as set or carded car!!!
    Is it a piece of history??????

    This text can throw the people into confusion between the real Apple icar from a Real SOTS and the β€œFactory 2nd’s”… Once again I don’t say you are a bad seller, I don’t think so, but your advertisement is little bit confusing… πŸ˜‰


  • QLD'r says:

    As the saying goes…..get it straight from the horses mouth!!
    I am the seller that has sold these cars.
    Firstly, in the description it states, “These have oversize axles and paint chips”.
    Secondly, I reffer to the date stamp as being that of the same as the SOTS Set car.
    Thirdly, I have since listed these as factory seconds…just because some people need it to be in BIG PRINT.

    And how did I come by these……?

    The HK connection that is now no longer!
    So unauthorised…..obviously!!!

    Half the price of SOTS Set cars….why is that!!

    The people that i have sold these to that wanted an Apple car on the shelf or for their kids collection…have been more then happy.
    It just seems that when people buy them in bulk (obviously to “On Sell”) get upset because the “DEAL” they thought that they were getting isn’t what they thought it was…..

    These cars are rarer then the SOTS Set cars…as in less then 1000
    and maybe for a very good reason.

    What is the value of these cars??? and why would they be looked at any different then the Red Ransburg’s V2, V3, V4 released by the same people?

    For me personnally as a collector. Anything RARE available from the 1/55 range of the disney cars…in an quality, is a very great thing.
    I also have a factory produced White Lightning MQ with apple decals and rivots in place and others with different colours and decals.

    Buying a $us50 Unauthorised/ factory 2nd is great value.

    But this is the debate and it will continue on as this line grows more and more. We are all fans of this kids/big kids movie and so it will continue as each new viewer watches the movie and falls in love with each scene or character of the movie.

    So please when grading these cars or as the debate goes on……
    the date stamp was reffered to as a SOTS date code and regarding the axles this too was also reffered to in the description. As I said I have listed them clearer as in “Factory 2nd’s” but still the same price.


    • GreG says:

      ok hornes, but how do you explain on yours apple icar, I can see the sticker marks and not on my apple icar sots? If you explain that I will present you all my confuses… And don’t talk me about mattel My collection is nearly 400 cars in box and loose and I sorry I nevver see that on the others caracters an I have both also somes sample on the web and I never see stickers on that cars…

      I don’t Say YOU ARE A BAD SELLER; I never said that and I don’t think that about you, only I said, This cars are not authentic ones onlu customs, all the stickers looking very srange… That What I said…

      PS. I both since around 4/5 month ago an Ransburg to you and it looking great…


    • GreG says:

      Ad One thik more you NEVER talk about β€œFactory 2nd’s” on you ebay auction…. Or maybe you modify like yesterday your auction πŸ˜‰

      • QLD'r says:

        I have received negative feedback back from this sale saying “Item is a custom – not specified on Ebay – Seller not honest – to avoid”. These were purchased last year!!! I changed description because someone else complained about these being a “custom” refering to the paint and axles again…..as to which you do as well and but you also the decals. the complaint was also from Europe, so I thought I had better make it clearer as there might be a translation error. Because i do state about the quality and axles – but that seems to get overlooked!!!

        Others in this forum my be able to shed more light on the process of manufactor and why this is (the decals being the way it is), but for the amount i have sold – not many but enough, i have had only 2 buyer complaints – yours and the other one meantioned.

        I also would like to know for my own interest, what i have.
        I still believe them to be factory 2nds until otherwise proven wrong…..but please, any custom i’ve bought from raaman1 and shopluckey, love their work….the rivots were drilled out..these are not.
        And from the time of my purchase, this was well before the apple “customs” come onto the market like they are now.


  • GreG says:

    I will try to make you an english version of my video today… sorry for my verry bad english πŸ˜‰

    (MET: Thanks Greg for the photo & video!)

  • Keith says:

    Met, on a very much related topic to this one here, you mentioned to me a while back that you were planning an update on the Red Ransburg post discussing the Version 3 model going around, and whether or not these are deemed “authentic” as they are in fact made in the Mattel factory.. any new news or thoughts here??

    (MET: I think I have updated the Ransburg post?)

  • 5oclockshadow says:

    So when are we getting answers to the quiz? πŸ™‚

  • juicepirate05 says:

    i received the same email from amazon. at least there is no money lost. i was hoping to have that presale to fall back on but o well. what does this mean for those haulers?

    • Matt says:

      they will be replaced with Lightning McQueens, Tumbleweed McQueens, Cruisin McQueen, Dinoco McQueen and Green Ramone. Better put your pre-order in fast….

    • 5oclockshadow says:

      Target exclusive? Who knows anymore. I do know the ‘honeymoon’ period for the haulers is over around here. There have been 8 Jerry and 4 Octane Gain haulers on the shelf in one Walmart for 2 weeks now. The rest of the stores have 1 or 2 of each. The other 4 haulers are still plentiful also. Wally hauler has officially disappeared here though.

      I could possibly see the next wave hitting retail with lower production numbers, and the RV’s going to Matty only, if this trend keeps up.

  • MiaSenorita says:

    On a seperate note.. maybe it has been said over the weekend because I haven’t read the posts yet… I just got an email from AMAZON…

    They will not be able to sell me the haulers. They are not available from any sources it says so the order has been canceled πŸ™ Darn it! Was worth a try though !!

    • iamspeed says:

      See, now I ordered direct from Target.com and the only change has been the estimated shipping/delivery date time frame. Nothing has ever been linked to Amazon in ANY way.
      Here’s the updated time frame for my order for 7 haulers:
      Shipping estimate: Apr 20, 2009 – May 4, 2009
      Delivery estimate: Apr 23, 2009 – May 11, 2009

  • Mike H says:

    Given the name in the article, had to dredge up the following conversation in ‘The Fugitive’:

    Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: Well, what does that mean Biggs, ‘hinky’?

    Marshal Biggs: I don’t know. Strange.

    Marshal Henry: Weird.

    Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: Well, why don’t you say strange or weird? I
    mean hinky, that has no meaning.

    Marshal Biggs: Well, we say hinky.

    Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: I don’t want you guys using words around me that have no meaning. I’m taking the stairs and walking.

  • KIngdom Hearts 2 crazy fan!!! says:

    I want APPLE so bad I can spend ALL of MY money for HIM!

  • The question is, can there be factory defect cars and they still be authentic? There has been one guy in particular who has been selling them on ebay from Australia who claims that they are 100% authentic but might have paint flaws or whatever. The guy openly lists the problems they have. Are they customs or what?

    (MET: Yea, they would fall under ‘factory seconds’ – a little more usual – normally only a couple would leak out but with prices on these, a different scenario … as long as the seller is upfront, you the buyer can decide …).

    • iamspeed says:

      I got mine from this seller…….it’s the real deal, and I can’t find any flaws. No complaints from me.

    • PirateDad says:

      When I get an order for 24 of something, I make anywhere from 25-30 of it, that way I have 24 great ones and 1-6 extras….often, they are all great but sometimes there are flaws in the wood, or in the craftmanship (employees of course πŸ™‚ ) but they are all still Authentic Born In A Barn products…does that help? I will sell the others off to the next person who asks for it, or as production overruns…

    • Authentic – Yes!

      Authorized – No!

      • iamspeed says:

        I’ll take the Apple #84 car that I have over not having one at all, any day……no one that’s seen it, and knows what to look for, has found a flaw yet.

    • Albert Hinkey says:

      I really don’t think these are factory seconds. The axles don’t work correctly and the decal paper they are using is visible on close inspection. If it were being made at a Mattel factory they would work just like any other car they produce and have the same quality of decals. If it is my money, I don’t believe anyone who is trying to sell me a factory second. I have to assume it is a knock off unless it is 1 of 1000 that comes with the rest of the set. These things are just too easy to copy.

      • BMW says:

        Albert Hinkey,
        I agree 100% with your assessment. These are too badly painted and made to be Mattel. Knock Offs made at some other China factory for sure.

        Especially when they keep selling these fakes on Ebay and its been a year since the MotorSpeedway Set was sold. If a buck can be made…someone is sure to do it.

  • Micky says:

    I have an Apple iCar I bought on ebay quite a while ago before the price went through the roof. It has the 2487 EA in regular print and doesn’t seem to have any paint or decal defects but…the spoiler straps are painted white not grey. HELP! Does anyone else have an authentic Apple car with white spoiler straps???

    • Micky says:

      correction 2847EA

    • Micky says:

      Also the photo real Apple car has the code 2847 EA (with a space between the #’s and letters. Mine has no space 2847EA.

    • Micky says:

      Sorry for all the posts but I have another difference. When looking at the bottom of my car with front on left side (like the photos) my code number is upside down.

      • PirateDad says:

        Micky, send me the car and I will look it over for you…if it is real I will send it back, but if it is fake, I will properly and enviromently responsibly destroy it for you….Pirate’s Honour!!

        • Micky says:

          Thanks for the laugh PD. I’m sitting here thinking I got taken.

          • PirateDad says:

            See my post below…I think you got an authentic production run, that did not quite make the cut….maybe a Monday morning one!!

            • Micky says:

              I think you’re right PD. It’s not the one from the MSOS set but a factory second. Still made by Mattel but just not first run.

              • Micky,
                A factory second is not a second production run. I think you have the two confused. A factory second is a product that does not meet or exceed Quality Control expectations. There can be 50 production runs and every model that does not pass inspection is considered a factory second.

                Usually those are melted down and reintroduced into the manufacturing process again or are discarded. I am sure some of the early Apple Cars to hit the streets were factory seconds, but what we are seeing now are most likely unauthorized production runs.

                So you would have the following:

                Mattel Authorized SOTS (limited to only 1000)
                Un-Authorized Factory Second (with errors and/or flaws)
                Un-Authorized Additional Production Runs (usually with errors and/or flaws, but less noticeable than a Factory Second)

                • thank the Lord you are referring to Cars and not Born in a Barn items. I bought several wood shelves from PD and was starting to wonder if they were customs… now I can sleep easy!!

                • Micky says:

                  Thanks for the info. Please take a look at my photos and let me know what you think this car is.


                  (MET: as noted in the update section, I believe there are factory “midnight” production runs – they are pretty far gone from just plain old rejected ones – there are clearly way too many anomolies – the sticker being off is a massive mistake. Of course, I have no proof but just speculating based on the evidence including 7 with bad axles. They would have clearly stopped at 1 to fix the problem – only a group of people with a couple hours to get some done would just crank through something …).

                  • Micky,
                    After looking at yours, I would guess that it is one of the following:

                    A) Unauthorized Production Run
                    B) Custom

                    The fact that there is a different date code and the sloppiness of the painting, or lack of painting altogether would lead one to surmise it is one of those two scenarios. But which one for sure? Who knows…

                    (MET: I believe a lot of these are called customs that are not technically customs in the sense of action fig/diecast collectibles. A custom is one-at-a-time hand painted/hand decaled item … listing it as a custom a) lets them have more leeway on eBay in regards to legality (and thus be able to avoid more problems if they are a Mattel authorized reseller) and b) gives the appearance they are “hand-crafted” and that the errors are “organic.).

                  • Micky says:

                    Thanks to all for the info on my Apple car. I guess I have an unauthorized production run. You know I was happy in my world of delusion thinking I had the real thing LOL. Now, not so much. I don’t look very closely at my cars. Unless a wheel is falling off or the paint is flacking off (or something so obvious), I don’t pay much attention to it. I just display them and enjoy having them. I bought this car over a year ago and it’s been displayed since then. It will remain a part of my collection even though it’s not the real thing πŸ™

                    • If it is indeed an Unauthorized production run, then it is the real thing, just not an authentic SOTS release. And since it is unlikely for the Apple Car to ever make a reappearance you should display it proudly, just like I do with my own.

                    • iamspeed says:

                      Maybe we can start a group to unite the owners of “black sheep” Apple cars that are constantly being dragged through the mud. I’ll put mine next to anyone’s if quality is what’s in question.

    • Micky says:

      On very close inspection, I think I got screwed! I’ll put photos up on flicker pool later today.

      • Albert Hinkey says:

        I looked at your photos. I suspect yours is very much like mine. Let’s not get lost in semantics. There are no doubt hundreds maybe thousands of factories in China with the ability to make diecast toy vehicles. Some one with means easily could have contracted to have these made at some outside factory. If you are one of these hundreds of factories, all it takes is a cheap original body to make a wax mold out of (like a Nitroade) and an email with the decals to print and viola, you are in the business of making Apple knock offs. Given the amount of errors on yours I have a feeling that your car has nothing to do with Mattel and was made by some outside vendor.

  • chuki_mama says:

    πŸ™ Too sad…

    • Micky says:

      Can you translate the video?

      • moea525 says:

        If you look at the video close there is a line across the hood that shows the decal. The real SOTS does not have this on the hood and you will see this all over the car on the decals and not on the SOTS car as the decals are cut around each design. Been in the autobody busines for over 30 years and know this from the trade. These are totally done by an individual as a custom. Also look at the bottom 2 rivets and compare them to any bubble car bought in any store and you will see these are common rivets that you use in the atomotive world, you will see the difference. Also the date code is obvious a decal as you can see the outline of the decal and not printed and mine is upside down like yours when I compare to our SOTS car in our collection and all other cars. Get a small magnifying glass and compare to a store bought bubble car and you will see the difference. It is hard at first to notice but you will see the difference but the video explains it all and this guy also knows what he is talking about. Hope this explains the video.

        • Micky says:

          Thanks for the explanation of the video. So, it looks like my Apple car is just a counterfeit. Oh well… πŸ™ Do you know where these counterfeit cars came from?

          • Micky says:

            I bought my Apple car on ebay from hazzard1 so if you’re looking for an Apple car, ask lots of questions before purchasing. I was told it was an authentic Apple car from MSOS set, not a factory overrun or factory second or counterfeit. It’s my fault for not inspecting the car at the time of deliver. “Caveat emptor” let the Buyer Beware, something I learned in my marketing classes many years ago. Just want to give you all a heads up so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

          • moea525 says:

            Yes but don’t know who made it. When I bought ours I was told it was a real factory second and got it for my son for X-Mas and never looked it over. When we got our SOTS set I compared it and seen the difference and contacted the seller and he told me the SOTS was the fake. There are some people out there that think they know everything but actually know nothing. Email me for more info. moea525@charter.net

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