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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS: 1:24 Scale – Collectibility

The 1:24’s came in two version -the MattyCollector version which came with plastic soft ‘rubber’ like tires and a plastic base. Because it was not intended for retail, it had a closed box (a red box protected by a white box over it).

Matty White

Box Top Off

The RETAIL VERSION – available to any Mattel authorized dealer. Note – the three large retailers did NOT order any.

In Box

Again, the two main difference are the tires are hard plastic and there is no base. The box is one with a window so you see the CAR displayed.

You could argue that both versions were sold in low quantities, my guess is no more than a few thousand of each were sold.

Normally, you could argue that means it’s an instant collectible … well, yes and no.

Yes, the Matty one is hard to find because it does not seem to be offered at the Mattel retail stores like this picture from a few months ago.

But does it make a collectible?

Well, a collectible counts on two things – scarcity and high demand. We have scarcity on the Matty versions but not exactly high demand … pricing is a pretty indicator of demand and as evident by the pricing on Amazon – from @$15 for Doc to @$29 for Lightning, (original retail – @$45) means there is just not much interest.*


My feeling is there are three key reasons:

a) The 1:55 singles are just too nice. Are the 1:24 scale 10 times as nice? (Pricing-wise) No. Typically collectors realize the 1:64 scale is a huge compromise so it’s fun to have it but a larger scale 1:43, 1:24 or 1:18 allows more details … Mattel 1:55 CARS are not much of a compromise so bottom line – where’s the upgrade for 10x the price?

b) There was not going to be the depth and breath of the 1:55 CARS.

and c) Pricing was too high. Clearly, they have to pay Disney but $45 is clearly too high to pay for 1:24 CARS that had no opening elements, no accessories and no other features.

Yes, they look great – especially Doc’s glittery paint but again, 10x the upgrade from the current and ongoing 1:55 CARS?

So, they are collectibles if you want them. They are very nice and certainly much nicer at $14 to $30 but there is not a huge market for them – I’m sure if a few dozen of the Matty versions were available, there would be a price bump but after the initial rush, there is just not that much interest and pricing would soon back to these levels.

Going forward, the problem with a three CARS lineup from a property with 350-400 (character) CARS is just that – it’s not much of a collection. The 1:55 scale is just too nice and too much depth and breath, it has essentially sucked all the oxygen from the CARS diecast collectors market. In a strange way, the only way this line would garner much more interest would be if a lot more 1:24 CARS were released but that since the initial three did not sell out immediately, there won’t be another 17 of the townies to entice anyone …

So, yes buy them if you like them but don’t expect some mad rush to clean out your storage in 2 years … and it hardly matters which version you buy since the demand portion of this market is not very large … so pay what you think it’s worth.

As for the presumed thousands of matty version of Lightning, Mater and Doc? Maybe they were recycled? Maybe you will find them at a liquidator this holiday? Or in Brazil? Or a really large jar in Austria? Drop us a line and pic.

* Yes, the Amazon ones are likely the plastic tire versions.

More pics HERE.

Amazon links …

Doc Hudson 1:24 for $13.50

Mater 1:24 for @$25

Lightning McQueen 1:24 for @$30

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8 September 2010 Mattel Disney Pixar CARS 15 Comments


  • hollywood7 says:

    Oh – Just to have the option to buy or not to buy. Australia is just that far away 🙁

  • NascarFan says:

    The Lightning McQueen is nice, and even nicer with the clear plastic covers.

    I dont have the other 2 but heard the paint on Doc was super nice.

  • I bought the 1:24 scale McQueen from Matty when offered. I was disappointed by quality and price and no window. I bought the three window 24’s from an ebay seller for a fair price. I was not disappointed. I like em better than the overpriced Matty ones. I am a keep in box collector. LOve my window boxes.
    If you find em for about $80 total for the three, you got a fair deal.

    • slicepie says:

      If anyone can find all 3 of the retail version for that price they are not getting a good deal, they are getting a great deal! Wholesale direct from Mattel was over $30 each.

  • Lorri says:

    I think the reason this tanked is totally in the quality/details. People WILL pay $45 for a lightning mcq, but they want $45 worth of quality. These seemed like a thin, flat-looking shell of a car. The mold should have included much more detail, as well as opening doors/inside details. The art was just enlarged from the smaller versions. I was pretty disappointed.

    • Stig McQueen says:

      But, um, what would you see inside if you could open the doors? Does anyone really want to look at LMQ’s brains? (Not to mention the fact that LMQ is a stock car, and stock cars don’t have doors!)

      I do agree, though, that the bodies on these are a bit too toylike…

  • Dunroamin says:

    I’m in the process of sculpting every single car at 1:24th scale. I plan on casting and painting them all….even pitties, haulers, and megas…does anyone know where I can find lenticular eyes that are 1:24th scale?

    • John in Missouri says:


      Just wait until the introduce the Scratch ‘n’ Sniff line after Cars 2 comes out!

      Mmm, burnt rubber…

      Ooo, this one smells like unleaded…

      Hey I got antifreeze over here!

  • Stig McQueen says:

    I suspect that the real problem is that they’re not actually 1:24 scale. They’re too big. But they’re not 1:18, either…

    Those are the two most popular scales, and anyone with a collection of 1:24/1:25 diecasts or built models wants their CARS to be in-scale with the rest of their cars (same with 1:18 diecast collectors). They will even want to build other CARS from available plastic kits — ’49 Mercs (Sheriff) and Petty Superbirds (King) are readily available — but they’d be too small in comparison. None of the vast array of 1:24/1:25 aftermarket parts and accessories are compatible, either. This is the same reason that there have historically been few model car kits from US-market kit makers in scales like 1:20; they haven’t really sold well…

    It’s different for the 1:55 diecasts. Yes, it’s an oddball size, but there are already plenty of other CARS and accessories available. So it doesn’t really matter that they’re not compatible with your Hot Wheels collection, track and accessories; LMQ wouldn’t be racing the Twin Mill anyway.

    I build and collect cars and trucks in 1:24/1:25 scale, and I have all three of the Mattel “1:24” diecasts, including the Matty LMQ. But I have them displayed separately from the rest of my 1:24/1:25 collection, ’cause they really don’t look right together.

    Yet another example of Mattel not knowing its market…

  • John in Missouri says:

    “a really large jar in Austria” — LOL!!!

  • diecast155 says:

    Could we please just get on with the Final Lap series and not get side tracked by this stuff?

  • Jack says:

    Yep too big for my taste. We never had any interest in this line whatsoever. We buy every normal size and mega size release. That’s more than enough for us.

    • Fillmore1234 says:

      Same with me. I’m already spending enough on the Diecast. Never even got a Shake ‘n Roll either. Did get a Pull-Back Luigi when they first came out. Not the best when on Carpet… But they go too fast on Tile. Not very good details on it either. The only thing that has that my 1:55 Luigi doesn’t have is the Black thing on the rear. Can’t really explain it better than that. 😀

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