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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Piston Cup Racers Windshield Variants

From 2006 and through 2014* Piston Cup Racers had a raised painted windshield eyebrows, painted to match the main body color. Of course, most CARS released from 2006 to 2008 had raised metal windshield eyebrows. When they started designing and planning lenticular releases, most new CARS characters starting in 2008 (for 2009 release) contained a flat windshield with a painted windshield eyebrow for the fixed eyed releases and of course, an insert space for lenticular eyes for those releases (taking the raised windsheild portion off anyway).

*(well, technically 2006 to 2010 and 2013 to 2014 since no Piston Cup racers were released in 2011 & 2012),

It’s not easy to see but you can sort of make out that Sally lost her raised eyebrows when she was released with Cone.


Sally with Cone was essentially the same as the lenticular version with a segmented front mouth (though of course without Cone). Sally with Tattoo is a flat windshield. If you have the 2-pack of Sally with Radiator Springs LM, what does she look like now?

So, all characters released since 2008 pretty much have flat windshields including Expanded Universe CARS & CARS 2 characters.

BUT, they have started to go back and replace CARS characters available from 2006 to 2008 with flat windshields. While they save a little in metal, the main thing is the flexibility in the expressions – it’s much easier to change eye expressions by making the windshield eyebrows larger or smaller (along with moving the eyes around) if the mouth expression is mostly generic.

The most noticeable is of course, Lightning McQueen …


The pre-2014 release is on the right and the current one is on the left. Mater has also lost his raised eyebrows but not everyone. The last Chick & King still have raised eyebrows. While Ramone seems to have lost his raised eyebrows, Charlie Checker has not – basically characters that do not have a lot of versions releases seem to have kept their raised eyebrows – I think only Snot Rod of the Tuners has lost his raised eyebrows.

Since the Piston Cup Racers (other than the Big Three) are essentially 3 body shapes – it’s safe to presume they will all switch over so if you’re a variant collector …

N20 Cola

The switchover started sometime AFTER March 2014 when the 11-pack Mack came out. Most of the Piston Cup racers in the box had RAISED EYEBROWS but a few already had the flat windshield. I think with subsequent releases as singles, they switched over – did anyone order the 11-pack Mack recently?

The recent 5-pack seems to all contain flat windshields?

I think even characters with minor eyebrows like Lizzie and Sarge have switched? I have not opened the Lizzie from last year – did you open one recently?

Happy variant collecting!


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