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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: Motor Speedway of the South, Going South and Downbound

As the evidence is rolling in, it does NOT look good for the Motor Speedway of the South diecast CARS. They are definitely going south … the sad, the bad and the ugly.

At first, it was thought it was just the Apple CAR – that it was a bad batch of white pigment/paint (see the first two posts HERE & HERE) but sadly, it’s a bad infection that has spread to nearly every CAR in the set.

First, the bad is there’s no set pattern where you can blame humidity or sunlight or an environmental issue as no matter the environment condition – damage is setting in and of course, we’re taking typical and expected environmental conditions (all away from direct sunlight, of course) to the packed away – all in regulated room temperature as you’d expect – and of course, well within the normal expectation of a diecast toy car that’s packed or displayed in a typical house/apartment from all over the country and in fact, the world. In other words, it’s not a fluke nor one specific set of conditions causing the damage.

In short, the diecast CARS are developing pinprick “rashes” to the tampo decals cracking to the paint cracking underneath the clear coat to where the paint has actually fallen away because the clear coat has dried, cracked and then falling away.










And the final stage – the BREAKING OFF/CHIPPING

al apple


I took a look through my set, packed away and I probably haven’t handled them in 7 years?

Of the 36 Piston Cup racers, 3 are still virtually mint – Retread, Transberry Juice, & Dale Jr.

About 6 have just a few tiny rash marks (1-4 tiny marks) that requires you to look hard.

About 21 have small noticeable patches of pinprick rashes.

About 5 have larger noticeable patches of pinprick rashes (like my Apple CAR in the 2nd photo).

And my Mood Springs has noticeable major cracks throughout.

But basically ALL but three have noticeable marks that will get worse.

“BMW” photo of her Mood Springs from when the set was issued in 2008 and recently …


mood springs 2013

Original Roof – like butter.

mood roof

AND there’s no pattern that precludes any one design – at first, perhaps we hoped it was the Nitroade/Apple CAR body with the small shaped spoiler ones but EVERY other body design is also infected – as are my King, Chick & Lightning – very small rash marks but they are there.

“BMW” also brought attention to the ones with the production date of 2777 that seems to have been painted over with a new date code stamped but again, it’s not just those that are failing.

base mood

So, while all of 2777 date codes ones are infected, others with complete different production code are failing also so it’s NOT just one color/pigment, not one body shape and not one production date – leaving only the clear coat. It is still for the most part buttery smooth and thicker than the usual clear coat on the normal retail ones … so it would seem to be the culprit by elimination.

I do not know if it’s just the clear coat failing on its own or interacting with the pigment/paint to fail but it seems the only difference between these diecasts and the normal release ones is the clear coat.

I’ve looked through all my retail versions of these and all other CARS diecasts from the 2007-2008 era, no rash. Most have typical paint splotches or factory dings as expected with a mass produced toy if you look closely but no clear paint/clear coat flaws.

For instance, while “BMW” Fiber Fuel (photo above) is breaking apart, mine is mint so again, no obvious pattern.

So, what’s next? Perhaps if we all chimed into the Mattel Consumer Customer Service page? (you can also call or chat with them).

BTW, Info you need to need to fill out the customer service form if you’ve forgotten, the set was $299.00 (+ 12.95 S&H) and it was sold on May 20, 2008. The Product Number is: L4721-9993 and the name of the item on the outside of the box was “Hot Wheels RLC Piston Cup Set.”

Let us know what they say?

Thanks for the photos and info, “BMW” and everyone who contributed photos and info. Thanks!

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  • Mack_me_Bucko says:

    It’s almost certainly a clear coat issue. Do we know what factory these were made at? I wonder if the ‘extra’ clear coat over the amount normally supplied in mass production Cars is the reason (two applied layers), or if they used a different thicker clear coat (applied in one layer)?

    (MET: Yea, since these are EA and they’ve been making the same diecast then & since and after eliminating everything else, it seems to be the “nicer” clearcoat …”)

  • quercy says:

    THIS IS SERIOUS !!! Mattel must come out with a VEEEEERY good explanation and assure all collectors this is limited to a very little quantity of the production over the years… I did not spent thousands of $ to see my passion fading away like this ! I do not own this iconic set in my collection and was working to one day put my hand on one… but it is totally out of question now…. It is sad, but for me, that set have lost completely his value… dollars wise and what it represent… Same effect like if you were telling me this set is made of plastic… The moto “Collect them all” does no longer apply…

  • John in Missouri says:

    I’m sure Mattel will take good care of everyone with a $30 voucher good at participating retailers until February 7.

  • BMW says:

    I will write and call.

  • Pontiac Michigan says:

    I pulled out my set; still in original boxes (outer mailing/inner original); along with all the original paperwork for getting the mail away
    75(or 95)of 1000 edition sticker. ALL racers/speedway display still remain untouched in original baggies. ALL racers, etc appear crisp and
    clean with no paint/surface coating flaking, bubble or lifting. Have been stored in cool basement, low humidity. So, guess I’m rather lucky at this stage in time. I’ll check again in another 7 years…….

  • Mack_me_Bucko says:

    It’s almost certainly a clear coat issue now. Do we know what factory these MSoS sets were made at? I wonder if the ‘extra’ clear coat over the amount normally supplied in mass production Cars is the reason (two applied layers), or if they used a different thicker clear coat (applied in one layer)?

  • tzdtmm says:

    Terrible, I don’t own this set, but it makes me worry about other Disney Cars I’ve spent some bigger money on, Bessie, Convoy Brothers, the three Showgirls, Chuy, even Albert Hinkey, you have to wonder if these are going to start cracking someday? I always wanted a MSOS set but after seeing this happen, well,
    this is a discouraging event. I hope Mattel steps up and does something for you guys/gals that want compensation.


      • MoMcQueen says:

        Yes, me too. I don’t own this set but I always held it, like other Cars that appreciated in value, in high regard. If diecasts are literally starting to crumble, where does this lead us? Mattel really needs to issue some kind of statement here to reassure its consumers and collectors.

        With a diecast car, I have a certain level of expectation for long-term viability. It’s made of metal. It should last forever. Or at least longer than 10 years.

  • Laika2 says:

    I ask this question again as I have no answer, sorry that I’m going out of topic but I don’t know where to ask this:

    I was just wondering if you remember the Cars Toon Tokyo Mater DVD:

    I just wanted to know if it has an interactive menu? (a menu for Play, scene selection and more)

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