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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS Diecast: SOTS & Piston Cup Racers 6 Years Later

Well, it’s not quite 6 years but pretty close – about 55 days away from when the Motor Speedway of the South set went on sale … HERE’s the original minute-by-minute blow of the day it went on sale … well, except for the minutes I was apparently passed out from hunger.

Prices seem to have settled around $1,500 after all this time – though I have not studied the auctions to see if they are complete or sealed.

The Speedway of the South box set (available from Matty Collector May 20, 2008) comprised of 36 Piston Cup racers, anΒ  acrylic track display, a plastic & cardboard box cover, clips to hold the CARS on the track and a letter with hologram indicating it’s one of 1,000.*

It cost $299.99 plus membership in the Red Line Club (@$30) or @$330 at base retail.

* The sets were supposed to be numbered but Mattel forgot so they quickly printed up some holograms and sent them out with a letter – of course, reserving the lowest 50 numbers for the 50 (?) sets they sent to Pixar & Disney – probably sending #1 to John Lasseter … as if you wouldn’t take #1,000 of the MSOS set if Lasseter personally handed you one. πŸ™‚

“BMW” notes that there seems to be renewed avails of the counterfeit Apple iMac CAR cottage industry – presumably since the Apple CAR shares its body with racers like Tow Cap, this explains why they are suddenly back – since most racers were out of production from 2010 to 2012. “BMW” notes that the fakes are getting better but they’re still off in some manner. We won’t go over them in great detail why they’re still not perfect – why help them out, right?

And of course, buyer beware.

Of the 36 CARS, 33 have been re-released in some form or another – some are obvious super common re-releases like Lightning, Chick & King. Many are common re-releases like Nitroade or Leak Less – in fact, the following Piston Cup racers were out BEFORE the MSOS set was available – Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks, Dale Jr.**, Gasprin, The King, Leak Less, Nitrorade, No Stall, RPM, Octane Gain, Tow Cap & Vinyl Toupee.

So, some people did not buy the set because they figured they already bought these 14 at retail – why re-buy them and just pick up the rest at retail. At that time, you could buy them for @$3 each at retail or in theory for $108, you could complete the set of racers – why pay $200+ more just for just the track display and the getting the racers early – well, that was the plan.

** Dale Jr. MSOS was a variant from the regular retail version.

So, while it wasn’t a smooth path if you had the patience, you could conceivably buy 33 of the racers for about $4 each or about $132 in the past 5 years. If you found the retail version of Dale Jr. an acceptable substitute (with a different face expression), then 34 of the 36 were available at retail. If you didn’t mind that your Tachomint was a rubber tire version (no plastic tire re-release), then for a minimal of about $140 (with taxes), you could get 35 of the 36 racers.

The only Piston Cup racers never re-released in any form is the Apple iMac CAR. You could buy an original from the set for $50 to $300 back in the day when your chances of it being the real one from a set was much greater – after a while, it got iffier but most sellers – even counterfeiters don’t try and tell you it’s from an actual set, just that it’s “from the factory.” So, you can pick up a back door version for about $50-$100 now of varying degrees of quality and accuracy.

So, while you can buy nearly all of them at retail – keep in mind, the MSOS factory set of Piston Cup racers are BETTER than the regular retail releases. Like most limited mail-away exclusives, they are much, much better quality control than the average retail release. They clearly picked out the ones in which the paint dried the best – then selected the best of the best after the paint touch-ups were applied – then selected the best of the lot after the tampo decals were applied and sealed – in fact, they might have gotten a second coat as the MSOS Piston Cup racers are butter-smooth to the touch. Clearly, those that paid $330 for the set at release can’t really quibble. For about $150 more than retail, they got the COMPLETE & best looking produced Piston Cup racers set ever – all at once and without worrying if the complete set will get released. They also got a track display box set that cannot be replicated easily so it’s hard to argue against the price of the original set even if all 36 got re-released down the line. Shipping was also included in the price unless you paid extra for express shipping.

While I cannot speak for you on the price you find it’s worth now but if it’s the original set with all the original production dates.*** (see our Issue #8 checklist magazine for all the original production dates stamped on the bottom of the CARS), you are getting the best produced Piston Cup racers, complete and with the Apple CAR never re-released, the display track set and a hologram number. So, after nearly 6 years, the set is still a singularity – never to be repeated.

*** NOTE – the Apple counterfeits carry the original production date from 2007.

You can also read the frenzy afterwards in this post.

(Not to shill, but okay πŸ™‚ if you’re interested in track display + the clips, we have one in our forum to sell. Thanks).

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