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Mattel Disney Pixar Diecast CARS 2: The Professor Z Mystery

Thanks to “DDD,” the mystery of Professor Z is out in the open but now we need some more sleuthing on your part.

You can read the full story HERE.

But here’s a closeup – as a few people thought perhaps it was just a smudge – it certainly looks like someone made a real effort to paint a “door handle” on his face.*

Though I recently opened a Lightning McQueen I thought was a new Road Tar Lightning McQueen as he had some black (glue) gunk around his teeth …

But the mystery is that no one else seems to have found another such a Professor Z?


So thanks for the additional closeup shot, “DDD” but anyone else?

Otherwise, this might be a stray paint mark?

Or an employee at the plant who in his last act of defiance painted a door handle? The second weirdest protest ever?

* The character of Professor Z does not appear to have a door handle on his face but the real life car does have a door handle on the front as the door opens on the front.

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  • hollywood7 says:

    Hello Cars fans… well I checked 6 different one’s here in victoria Australia and 2 have smokey lense but NO door mark and 4 have clear lenses??

  • Tom says:

    So I guess the no-eye Sarge in my racing 7 pack is an uncommon variant too. Has anyone else found eyeless Cars?

  • L8rM8r says:

    I have been on the lookout for one of these and so far I have not found any out of the dozen or so I have found in the stores.

  • carscrazydd says:

    When I originally saw the first post on this, I thought maybe Mattel caught the mistake of no front door handle and mid-production attempted to make a repair. So the thought was since I would be out looking for Miles and Petrov singles and the new Deluxe releases, I would check to see if I could pick up one of these variants.

    I checked the 2 Professor Z vehicles I have – both have the painted rear door handle. I did find Miles and Petrov and have checked about 20 Professor Z vehicles – all nothing on front.

    I am inclined to agree with BMW and John in Missouri, DDD has a unique and/or 1 in a million vehicle. Will have to wait and see if any more show up out there.

    (MET: The only other possibility is the front door handle is in the WM 2-pack coming … other than that, it does seem to be an odd duck one).

  • DDD says:

    Stamped number on cardback of one with handle on face is 3580EAA…

    • John in Missouri says:

      I think you’ve got a one in a million mistake right there — PZ did a 180 when it was time for the paint machine to paint the door handle. Maybe Met could update this post with photo of the unpainted door handle?

  • Elton says:

    We haven’t seen the movie, like what Kevin said.

    Yeah. Maybe the stray mark is Proffesor’s Z war paint or whatever..


  • camlgt says:

    Here is another variant of PZ that I found at a Target. I call it the PZ LM w/ racing wheels clone variant.
    Check out the pic.

    I Think he changed to hide from this guy who is totally awesome!

    • Stig McQueen says:

      I knowed I shoulda picked up that Raoul Caroule with the Francesco Bernoulli insert when I saw it at my local Target!

      (Perhaps there are more masters-of-disguise in this movie than we thought! “It’s a conspiracy, man!”)

  • BMW says:

    3370EAA is my oldest PZ= foggy monocle
    3630 EAA PZ clear monocle
    3630 EAA PZ clear monocle
    0841 EAA PZ clear monocle
    no door handle on front of these. all have silver painted back door handles.
    The one you found, DDD might be unique.

  • sodabear says:

    No door handles on any of mine: two 15s and one 16, plus one loosey.

  • Man-I-Fold says:

    But why is he evil?

  • sidewall74shine says:

    I’ve seen him before, but didn’t pay attention. Next time, I’ll pay attention. Still waiting on the WM 2 pack with him and Tyler. Now, I think maybe it was just an error.

  • John in Missouri says:

    Does his backside have the normal silver door handle?

    I just stopped by my nearest grocery store, and all four that I found were correct.

    • DDD says:

      No…it’s unpainted but molded as on all the others, and painted but not molded on the front. Therefore it seems to be a vehicle-accurate error that’s not character-accurate. They obviously pulled the handle off the character’s face to keep it clean. Another thing I noticed about the diecast…I always thought Mattel used Pixar’s computer graphics/CADD art to create the molds, since they’re so accurate, but Mattel’s Z is actually a little cuter…the lower part of the chassis isn’t as high as the character’s. (The enlarged graphic emblem/nose helps too.)

      • John in Missouri says:

        So it sound pretty obvious to me that he did a 180 before the door handle paint was applied. I am also wondering how many PZ’s will have the luggage rack / hairpiece pointing in the wrong direction.

  • DDD says:

    As further info, the car in question does not have a painted back door handle, suggesting to me a vehicle-accurate error that’s not character accurate. I did go back to the grocery store where I got him and all three other Zs were paint-accurate. I should have stamped code for this odd one later today!

  • Kevin W says:

    We haven’t seen the movie yet. Maybe that will explain all about the mark on Z’s face.

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