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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Radiator Springs Classic Review

The Radiator Springs Classic line at Toys R Us only are diecast re-releases from CARS 1. While the card alludes to “favorites” from the original CARS movie as to why these re-releases are available, some of these releases are truth in blurb writing, others merely fall into line with production going on in the other line as repaints (such as Mel Dorado is simply Tex Dinoco with glasses and minus the horns) or other choices seemly are totally random choices but for newbie collectors or those who want a replacement, it’s nice that they are available on the store shelves again at around $4. Also note, many in the line are also available in the “regular” lineup on the CARS 2013 “themes” cards.


But how do the these releases stack up? Are they variants? Any production changes?


He looks like the last Final Lap era releases with some minor paint production differences but nothing really worth mentioning. He still features the less metal as in the later production models – where his exposed engine is plastic – you can spot them with the obvious edge gap from the top versus the older releases where his entire front cab and engine are metal.

For some oddball reason, they seem to have gone back to the 2006 mold (or at the 2006 mold design) with an extra clip off the rear wheel well. Not a terribly exciting variant but if you want a 2006 design King with clipped rear wheel well, now you can own one without paying 2012 price for a 2006 King … you can pay 2012 price for a 2012 2006 King look alike. Confused? 🙂

He is more sparkly/more metallic paint flakes – not really a variant but if you want a shinier, sparklier purple Ramone, here ya go.

Like the London Rescue 12-pack review, he looks shinier and a lot less paint slop but unlike the 9-grade on the 12-pack, the singles are excellent but more like an 8 so if you just want a Sheriff or a Sheriff replacement and are not buying the 12-pack, this is an upgrade. I’m also presuming this one rides slightly lower (and matches the 12-pack version). But otherwise, not a major variant.

Really the ONLY variant!

He is a variant or rather he is Dexter Hoover with Green Flag but with a yellow flag instead. The original Dexter Hoover with yellow flag had a white mouth and very thin windshield eyebrows. The original Dexter Hoover with green flag had a red tongue visible and longer eyebrows. This Dexter Hoover looks EXACTLY like the Green Flag version but with a yellow flag … so if you need a green flag Dexter Hoover, just buy this one and color in his flag green – a sharpie should work. 🙂


Though philosophically, you could argue it’s really Green Flag Dexter Hoover with a variant yellow flag … Or is he Yellow Flag Dexter Hoover with a face/expression/windshield variant since he is sporting a yellow flag on the packaging? Let the heated debate commence!

The others are all essentially the same as the last classic release/rubber tire release so if you’re not a card completist and and an opener and you already have it – you are set. The Piston Cup racers are a skoosh shinier and brighter so if you want have chipped versions, you might want to replace but otherwise, they are merely very minor production differences as is the case with all mass market items.

There are only 15 singles on the list – everything is out – whether more will get released or whether these 15 singles (plus the 3 box sets) will continually be re-released is hard to say. We won’t see a late Spring or Summer list until probably after Toy Fair.

You can find the CARS 1 re-releases checklist here broken out by Toys R Us only Radiator Springs Classic line and the CARS 2013 Themes card motif (all retailers).



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  • taylor says:

    What happened to Dexter with Checkered flag? There was lots of people saying he was gonna be included in RS classics……? Although I am glad he isn’t re-released as I gave my showgirls up for the FL dexter with checkered flag.

    (MET: He’s part of the regular “theme” series release – in fact, he’s in CASE D so you probably won’t have to wait more than 3-5 weeks).

  • carslover says:

    this is great for new collectors
    those of us from the beginning not so much

    • RodredlineM19 says:

      Good for variant collectors too though… me too because I needed plastic tire N20 Cola.

      My opinion on the line – good but I don’t understand why they would release Dexter Hoover over a true classic like Sally or Doc Hudson. They should have released the townfolk – especially Lizzie for new collectors.

      • Jack says:

        Oh I am sure we will see Lizzie again. They aren’t going to pass that money making oppurtunity. The Classic line has been a huge success and going back to Cars 1 cars has given new life to the line. We will see more Classic cars released. Plus I’m thinking they will make Cars from the Stanley short down the line. That will be huge.

  • cac1959 says:

    Thanks for another informative post… even though I had all the previously released ones, it was great to get a few new (as singles) singles: Flo, Octane Gain, N2O Cola.

    Do you know what Cars TRU will be carrying in the future? The amount of space assigned to Cars keeps going down at the ones I visit, and I’ve seen no singles newer than 2012 case D with Victor H and Vladimir Trunkov at any TRU I’ve been too – and those were back at the end of May.

    (MET: I’m sure TRU will get some mainline cases down the line. They wanted you to buy higher margin items or exclusives during the holidays (so they don’t have to price match) but I’m sure they’ll get mainline cases during the year – as to whether there’s more of the RS Classics or just these back again later, we shall see – more info migh be avaialble after Toyfair).

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