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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS: The Apple Mac iCar Twisted Road

Before beginning this post, you can also read the Red Ransburg post as some of it is treading old ground but we’re also breaking territory and breaking new wind and yes, that is the correct phrase to describe where we stand now. In the words of the the Grinch – stink, stank, stunk. 🙂

As noted in the Red Ransburg story, once the only “secondary” sales of an item were prototypes, production test cars and factory rejects. Even then, there was not a huge market for them as they were mostly only valuable outside of Hong Kong-China … AND before eBay (and other online auction sites), how would you actually present the item and reach-sell to people overseas?

The next problem is finding something cheap-outside-the-factory to obtain (by hook or crook) that is a great return outside of Asia … for instance, a Treasure Hunt Hot Wheels is only worth max value in its proper blister & card … a Mattel Disney Pixar CAR – is not worth much less even loose as long as it’s early before US release or in the case of the Apple Mac iCar where supply does not meet demand … and while not every factory back door CAR is worth a huge return, many are … as people were willing to pay up to a few hundred dollars for a Red Ransburg and now the Apple Mac iCar … so of course, the natural inclination is to have supply meet demand.

In 2007, it was the year of the Red Ransburg “factory unauthorized production.” A new term that connotes the boldness of the bootleggers. Again, unlike the relatively casualness of slipping factory seconds, prototypes or test versions into the pocket – this was an elaborate doppelganger factory run … of course, I have no idea of the real circumstances but in effect, this ‘gang’ ran their own assembly line and ran either concurrently with Mattel’s production or after hours. And of course, most employees on the assembly line didn’t have to know or didn’t know.

While they cut some corners on quality control, most of the Red Ransburg’s are indistinguishable from the quality of production for a normal, typical CAR … for instance, the Red Ransburg process is essentially the same as the ones used on Radiator Springs McQueen or Crusin’ McQueen. Sure, they rejected far fewer CARS to resell ;-/ but overall, as good as what was normally rolling out of the factory.

Of course, for the most part people knew they were getting a “bootleg” Red Ransburg CAR since only 50-51 were “real,” but since it was essentially leaving the factory at the time … and later in 2007, the “unauthorized factory produced” Motor Speedway of the South CARS was also available but naturally, they got a little extra greedy and whether they landed in the graybar hotel or was simply exiled from the factory, the LAST of the ‘factory unauthorized” CARS rolled out of the plant in mid 2008.


So, while there are clearly still eBay/eBay-like sale of CARS being pocketed off the assembly line or at the shipping docks, there are NO MORE ‘factory Unauthorized’ CARS being made.

So, the order of release for the Apple Mac iCar is This …


Before the Motor Speedway of the South was released, there were early factory test runs that were removed via the back door method … this can be identified by a gray bottom and little minor scrapes and bumps on the paint. I believe the rims were also an incorrect color – white instead of light gray? I thought I had a photo but can’t find it anymore. Okay, the rims were black and not light gray. Thanks for the pic, “TH.”



There are @1,000 official ones.


It is believed they all have the date stamp of 2847 EA (see below) for more details. The Apple Mac iCar is in one sense the easiest of the MSOS CARS to remake, they are all white with just a few gray stickers and of course, is the easiest to sell so the temptation is pretty great to make ones to re-sell. Unlike a CAR such as Tank Coat, good luck recreating that one with its wildly elaborate paint scheme and stickers.

So, how can you tell a real one? It’s not easy from a photo. But re-read our post from a few weeks as we delved into the details.

As noted in our post, they have begun to try and ‘fake’ the production date by putting on a tiny decal instead of the stamp.

Bottom line – the MSOS CARS are of the highest quality grade so if spot no more than 1 questionable area or marks – be very, very wary.

CUSTOMS (2007-Current)

As noted, the Apple Mac iCar is not hugely difficult to recreate. If you have artistic diecast skills, it is actually the simplest to recreate. It is also completely legal as long as you do not misrepresent what you are selling. With some exceptions – most things in the US are covered by the ‘Doctorine of First Sale,’ which essentially means after you buy it, it’s yours to do with as you want. There are some exceptions such as you cannot photocopy a book and start reselling the photocopied/scanned pages … but you are free to buy a toy and repaint it – as long as you do not misrepresent what it is now – a “customized” toy.

Below is a typical custom Apple Car that carssneaks was kind enough to give away in a contest here at TakeFive. It is a very nice custom – you might quibble that the stickers are a little darker than the light gray but overall, very nicely done. Of course the reason for the customs is that while it shares a body shape with other racers, it has never been re-released outside the 1,000 from the MSOS set and clearly demand has not yet met supply.

Of course, customs will vary in quality depending on the artist crafting the custom but usually people selling customs on eBay usually know if they are good enough 🙂 … for the most part, customs on eBay pretty much range from good to excellent … and if nothing else, you are getting a hand crafted piece of art. There is nothing wrong legally with buying customs and you are supporting the arts.

But the web of deceit has started to spread – and the latest batch of clearly fakes have started labeling themselves ‘customs’ as an excuse to get listed on eBay and to try and claim any flaws are just the result of “artistry.”


OUTRIGHT FAKES (2008-Current)

Since security & Mattel locked out those involved in the factory unauthorized schemes, they have done the only thing they can – they have presumably just taken the metal shells offsite to assemble because the quality is pretty bad. I’m just guessing but clearly by reports of the axles not assembled correctly or examples such as this paint job … clearly it is not by skilled diecast assembly people working and painting these …


Not sure why in addition to a black splotch on the 8, there’s a scan mark (?) along the edge of the 8?


Or paint not dried properly on the back bumper, stray marks next to the Apple and poorly painted spoiler straps … all and all – amateur hour.

You can also check out the video posted by GreG:

While the Red Ransburg (re)-production certainly comprised of questionable ethics in unauthorized factory production CARS, here the scenario goes beyond that, while they are often passed off as ‘customs’ – they cannot be classified as ‘customs’ as they were not masterfully created hand-made art AND no self respecting customizer would assemble the CAR back where the wheels did not roll correctly. They would be embarrassed and do it again until it was right.

No, this new batch up can only be classified as statues or simply outright fakes. Clearly they got access to the body shells and the rest they made up as they went along. These are also too far removed to pass off as factory seconds or rejects – clearly the factory would either not be using a wrong typeface “stamp” or as noted, nor using a decal in its place to recreate the production date (unless they no longer have access to the actual machine anymore).

By the sheer number of non-working axles – no factory would weld that many faulty diecasts before testing … and the poor paint jobs … the best guess is that they spirited these out and assembled them elsewhere – of course, not really caring about any quality control of any kind and or in the case of the date stamp, not knowing, not very detailed or just not caring when they made up their fake production stamps and or assembled them backwards.

These are definitely NOT ‘factory unauthorized’ CARS nor are they customs … they are simply fakes or counterfeits. Much like these


What we need is the Apple Mac iCar re-released so we can put all this nonsense behind us … or better yet, take another look at a master custom craftsman …

If you missed Aroldo Pongetti’s showcases of the Apple & Pit Crew … and Part II, now these are CUSTOMS! 🙂

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  • NascarFan says:

    I have crystal clear side by side comparisons if you want to see them Met.

    (MET: Sure).

  • Tom says:

    Funny that 3 years ago poor paint indicated the Car was a backdoor. Fast forward to 2012 and the paint or tampos are often poor quality from the factory.

  • 5000 Apples? says:

    I am amused that someone is finally getting close to working it out, old news, most people don’t care they just want an Apple ICar #84 or any Speedway car not released for that matter.

    Isn’t mimicry the sincerest form of flattery?

    Keep up the investigating!


  • BMW says:

    Excellent post Met. We appreciate the time and thought that went into this one.
    Yes as the line evolves, more fakers and counterfeiters get into the game.

    Frankly, the one in the video that Greg claims is a real Sots IMac, is probably not. Those bubbles in the paint near the eyes would never have passed the factory checks. It was probably a back door second.

    I have never bought nor will buy a fake or second just on principle. But am considering a custom from Shop Luckey if he makes the one I want. I can’t believe that these sold for 75 to 150 EUROS. Buyer beware as always.

    How can anyone think that they could buy 7 IMACs off ebay and think they were all originals from the Speedway Sets? That would mean the seller bought 7 sets from Mattel with 7 Redline memberships, or bought 7 sets from Ebay? Yea, possible of course, but
    Does not pass the credibility test.

  • racerguy says:

    I like my custom. Although I think missing the MSOS is still the biggest mistake I have ever made 🙁

  • Brown Fury says:

    Mine’s a custom and proud of it!! Thanks Jb2313R!

  • I-LUV-RACE-CARS says:

    Does anyone know if they will ever release the apple car? I think I will just buy a good custom!

    • cptnmorgan_1972 says:

      Sent you an email, if you are not getting them or not able to reply. Please post message here.


      • I-LUV-RACE-CARS says:


        I sent you an e-mail today, hope you got it!

        • cptnmorgan_1972 says:

          Just what I was afraid of, having issues again my side of the email, AGAIN. Are you getting my emails? If you still want the set, can you just paypal me at the same email address? I know that works. I have it packed up and ready to come to you. Thanks

  • Jb2313R says:

    So that’s what it feels like to be first. Cool…..
    I love those Race Cars. There’s enough cars there to make some sets.

  • Jb2313R says:


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