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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS 2 Diecast: The Retail Numbers

Without rehashing all the numbers covered in this early post … the bottom line is that Mattel never really reveals hard numbers* …

But based on numbers from resellers, employees who work at the major retailer, T5ers and general consensus, it’s a pretty safe statement to say there are a lot fewer CARS sold and available on the shelves right now than in 2009.

Yes, there are about 8,000 Target’s, WM’s and Toys R Us.

It’s safe to say for the average American shopper, there are probably a good 10 of these retail outlets within a reasonable drive.

In the last 8 months, we have gotten 6 singles cases. Have you really seen 6 cases per store in every store in your area? Or more?

Toys R Us seems to have gotten a case assortment so for their @800 stores plus online, let’s say they’ve taken a 1,000 cases everytime.

That leaves 7,000 Target’s & WM’s. Or @7,000 cases of the last 6 releases (A, B, C, D, E & G).

In my area (NorthernCal), 90% of the singles stock at Target & WM are Finn, and Lightning McQueen (with Racing Wheel) in EVERY store. From the general feedback, this seems to be a mostly accurate general consensus across the country.

So while we’re just talking 2012 CARS Year (which starts in October), CASE A & B were released for the holiday season 2011 with these new CARS … Petrov Trunkov, Mel Dorado, Lightning McQueen with Piston Cup logo, and unibody Lightning McQueen (as one indicator the store got CASES A or B). Case B also began the straight cut, no side diecut cards.

I think most stores received a case of A, or B as I think most people have had an opportunity to find Petrov or Mel Dorado. Plus, they are not real showy nor that high on people’s list so it’s not like anyone was hoarding them. And Walmart got the endcap with dozens of Petrov’s.

While CASE C was available in late 2011 – not many store got it – the beginning of the CARS retail axis wobble. This was the case assortment with CHASE Radiator Springs Ramone.

Now, here is where we enter in strange territory. Usually, there is a post holiday lull with the reset taking place usually around January 15th but sometimes as late as February 15th but no later than that. There was essentially no CARS reset. Target got the retail display extender and Change-Ups but diecasts? Pegs of Finn & LM.

Between, December and around until May, 2012, the newest and generally only case available was singles case C. But how many stores had RS Ramone CHASE?

There’s no reason for 1 case in 6 months unless retailers don’t want to re-order.

RS Ramone was the first CARS 2 CHASE CAR for 2012 and in theory, there’s one CHASE CAR in every case as there was for the CHASE program with CARS 1. Let’s presume they produced it in the same quantity as case production was before – @15,000.

But now, if you are selling much fewer cases, how do you get rid of what is supposed to be a one-shot release? Well, you double it up in CASE C … except you still have some left over so what do you do, you DOUBLE it up again for CASE D.

Yes, CASE D also featured the exact same CHASE CAR – only about 4 months apart.

So, now, what’s the math?

4/15,000 = @3,750 cases.

Lo and behold, that is BELOW the threshold for the production number of the ULTIMATE CHASE – @4,000 as Mattel states on the back of the card.

And surprise, the NEXT two CHASE CARS were also doubled/tripled in the subsequent two cases released (Becky Wheelin, Officer Murakarmi) …

The bottom line is how do you cram 15,000 or more into 3,000-4,000 cases?

You double or triple ship in case assortments even though they are “CHASE.”

AND coincidentally, these new sales numbers align with the production numbers of ULTIMATE CHASE so instead of listing case assortments and noting X% may contain an ULTIMATE CHASE, they are simply list them as in the case assortment.

Keep in mind, they can pack essentially the same releases on an endcap or pallet drop for any of the retailers and assign it a new product code and NOT include an ULTIMATE CHASE or perhaps a couple in a pallet of 96 or 144 CARS – that doesn’t affect the “normal” singles case assortment production or their promise of not exceeding 4,000 in regards to Ultimate Chase.**

So, back to the original question – how many Vladimir Trunkov, Victor Hugo, Becky Wheelin (Chase), Officer Murakarmi (Chase), Don Crumlin and “Flash” from the last three cases have you seen at WM or Target?

I think it’s safe to say that not every 7,000 WM or Target got CASE D, E or G. We should be swimming in Becky Wheelin’s as there was 3 in CASE E & G so if they got 1 case each, that’s 6 or about 60 should be available on the pegs in your area?


Based on employees from retailers who report in to us, I think maybe 25% of the stores got a case … which again, seems in line with the 1:1 ratio of ULTIMATE CHASE plus multi packing of regular CHASE CARS so 25% of 7,000 is about 2,000 cases plus TRU’s 1,000 cases means about 1,000 left for other re-sellers … sounds not far off base.

Does that seem reasonable to you – that about 25% of your available big three retailers have it on the pegs?*** How has your retail experience been in finding Vladimir Trunkov, Victor Hugo, Becky Wheelin (Chase), Officer Murakarmi (Chase), Don Crumlin and “Flash” on the store pegs? Or even if you’re late, do you see Carla or Holley (both have not been released in a while) or the first release of LM Hudson Hornet logo ON A diecut card?

Yes, there are other retailers that carry CARS like Sears, KM, Kohl’s, supermarket chains, etc … but as far as I can tell, KM has NOT received any cases since May 2011 (outside of what’s left in KM cases) and Sears gets them only sporatically. And other retailers have either gotten POP dumps (different product number) or do not order every case so we’re pretty much back to the proof is in the pudding …

How has your retail experience been in finding Vladimir Trunkov, Victor Hugo, Becky Wheelin (Chase), Officer Murakarmi (Chase), Don Crumlin and “Flash” on the store pegs?

* And really, when the proof is literally in the pudding, that checkmarks every religious, scientific, visual and intellectual argument, right? RIGHT? πŸ™‚

(so, um, when did evidence in pudding become the absolute final arbitration word and nearly as good as DNA fingerprinting?) πŸ™‚

** In regards to the 4,000 number. My feeling is its closer to 3,000 at retail. I’m sure they produced a couple hundred extra for Disney & Pixar but that leaves them a pad of 500 to 800 – a nice safe legal number and round up to 4,000. I would argue several points for them not to exceed this. It’s one thing if it’s an item for $100,000, you could see that fudging the number obviously is worthwhile. At most, they’re probably making $1 a car so even making an extra 5,000 is hardly worth it as a lawsuit if it got out would cost them millions plus the suspicion that Mattel will lie about a collectible number. Plus, it’s a cheap repaint so it’s not like they’re even staring at a mold they can’t reuse – they are in fact reusing it to make the next Ultimate Chase. There’s really no point in fudging with the number. Also, keep in mind, case assortments are NOT GUARANTEED. While it’s not happening for CASE G as it’s already packed and in the warehouse but down the line or at your house, perhaps with CASE K – maybe the first 3,500 cases contain an ULTIMATE CHASE but if they start to sell more cases, the next 2,000 cases might not or as noted before, endcaps or pallet drops are a different product number so maybe they don’t include an ULTIMATE CHASE or it’s in a much smaller ratio.

(there is the other theory that Mattel loves you and is giving you the ultimate hug, ultimate chase for everyone! πŸ™‚Β  ).

*** That 25% might be optimistic. In NorthernCal, it seems lower.


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  • Mike Manifold says:

    fascinating post., and I love the proof-in-pudding picture! My experience in Chicagoland central to north has been just about as described, but maybe a little worse for some of the newer cases of singles, movie moments and deluxe. My experience fruitlessly hunting for Victor/Vlad over a 4 week period has caused an extreme cessation of trips to the box stores – I haven’t been to one since. Luckily I got some forum help on those two. I’ve gone online for the new character(s) I want from the newest cases and plan to skip the agonizing driving (it’s substantial) and frustrating stores, I’ll either go back door or to the legit resellers if the character is reasonably priced $10-$15 total, and that’s what I’ve done thus far for the incredible Don Crumlin.

  • Refriedbeans says:

    My local Walmart’s just got the Security Finn and Ape two packs last month. The last “new” single I’ve found is Mel. Very sad that many people might never find new cars. Oh well I still need to get the Deluxe Finn’s anyway.

  • BMW says:

    Thanks Met for your up date on the Cars 2 situation.

    Walmarts have received Case K Movie Moments. My grandson found a full case at 9 am in San Antonio July 4th – Ka caio Mcqueen/Francesco
    Acer with Helmet/Finn on the new cardbacks also Brent Mustangburger/Cartrip.

    I suspect case H with Leland Turbo and Mama Topolino 2 packs were skipped over by Walmart since that case also had the pegwarming Zen Master pitty 2 packs.

  • Fillmore1234 says:

    Since May 2011 I have only seen these Cases at my Wal-Mart:

    2011: A, B, C, D, E, F, H (at least 10 Cases of him) and then nothing else came in after the backlog of Case H which actually sold pretty well.

    2012: A (with Mel Dorado) Wal-Mart just got this Case in a few weeks ago, but had no Max or Mel on the pegs.
    2011 Case G I saw a gas station along my way to Washington D.C in late October last year. It was the only time I ever saw a Max Schnell single to this date. Case J (with Lewis and Carlo) I just recently saw at a Wal-Mart in Chillicothe, MO and at a Kohls around Christmas. I never saw Case L (thankfully) or M

    2012 I still have not even seen remains of Case B. I saw Case C at a Sears and a Bergners. I saw Case D on May 19 at a TRU. Still have not found Case E or G like everybody else.

  • John says:

    Southern California Targets are still putting out new 2011 singles with non-straight edge cards. Lights & Sounds Ramone is the most exotic die-cast we’ve gotten. Lots and lots of Quick Changers and Action Agents fill out the Cars area. (and their Charge Ups exclusives)

  • Tom says:

    Very thoughtful post Met, thank you. I have seen no evidence of D, E or G in stores, but have seen A, B, C (long after their releases). Hopefully we will see these newer cases and there are plenty of them out there, it will just take a while to appear in stores.

  • cac1959 says:

    I’ve seen case C at one Target store and one Carsons store… I saw Victor and Vladimir 2 times at one Toys R US store (the second time was the pallet)… Cases E and G – not at retail.

    Movie Moments selection is not much better… still the main 3 from case A from May 2011… Deluxe – just Submarine Finn McMissile.

    I think your 25% figure is too high… I’d say it’s closer to 0.0025%

  • John in Missouri says:

    As sad as this is, I LOVE these MegaPosts Met!!

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