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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: MSOS Issues – First Official Response

As some of the Mattel Disney Pixar CARS MSOS diecasts are cracking up …


Photos here in this previous post.

Mattel Consumer Customer Service page has an email (and chat/phone link).

I sent them an email that I was having problems with the diecasts from L4721-9993 aka: “Hot Wheels RLC Piston Cup Set.”

Their response …

 I was sorry to hear that the paint on your Hot Wheels Red Line Club Motor Speedway of the South cars seem to be cracking.

This set was a Red Line Club exclusive in 2006 and was discontinued in 2007. The warranty on it was only for 90 days. With them being discontinued for so long, I doubt that you could purchase replacements.

I wish I had better news today.

Take care,
Consumer Services Associate

Perhaps if others joined in?

Mattel Consumer Customer Service

Info you need to need to fill out the customer service form: 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.”


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  • moe says:

    Just pulled my set out and last time out was in 2010 and all the cars are in pristine condition.

  • wheelart New Zealand says:

    Its because there is no lead content in the paint?
    My modern car (automobile) paint has suffered this same cracking, the clear coat has lifted just like your skin peels after it has been sun burnt. Nothing lasts for ever in these modern consumer times.
    I have a couple of Franklin Mint 1.24 diecast model cars they were displayed out of the sun, and the tyres (tires)have split as they must have been straight pieces of synthetic rubber then wrapped around wheel rim and glued or vulcanized together. stuff happens no matter who makes it.

  • COLE6969 says:

    Like all collectibles there are risks involved. It really sucks that this happened but its not the first collectible to be damaged or end up damaged and it wont be the last. What should mattel do? Nothing ! They fulfilled there obligation. You as the collector have the choice to patronoze mattel or walk away. Lets say there are 50 sets of 1,000 that remain pristine, there value will skyrocket while the other sets will be just a collectiable or what if Mattel issues the Apple car and the variant of DEJR as singles, same thing happens to the value of MSOS, it tanks.

    • tzdtmm says:

      but still, just like the collectible Hot Wheels from the 1960s, none of those lost paint like this and cracked (unless from wear), you would assume the MSOS would stay intact, that it would be like the Mattel Hot Wheels, that they would stay perfect. I don’t own this set, I wish I did, but everyone assumes that a toy stays perfect if it’s un-played with. I can’t think of any old toys that actually did something similar to this. I would think the 50 pristine ones will eventually deteriorate if the same paint/clearcoat was used


  • tzdtmm says:

    I hope no other Disney Cars self-destruct like this. We all love these things, we have 7 years to enjoy them and then they get the shingles.


  • pwschuh says:

    Wow, they couldn’t have been more patronizing if they tried.

  • BMW says:

    What about the Mattel warranty on all their packages for Hot Wheels? Guaranteed for life? this set was sold through Mattel’s Hot Wheels red line Club. Totally unacceptable. I will be contacting them as soon as I return home.

    • BMW says:

      Where did it say that this set had a 90 day warranty? No where is it stated in the original Red Line Club advertising!
      But like a pit stop with Guido, blink and you’ll miss it! The Cars Speedway of the South has a production quantity of no more than 1,000 sets so they’re extremely limited! Sets are individually numbered and priced at $299.99 + $12.95 S&P (shipping & processing) each. Canadian customers shipping to Canada pay the standard shipping rate plus an additional $5.00. Shipping to P.O. Boxes within the U.S. by Expedited Mail pay the standard rate plus an additional $15.00.
      There is a purchase limit of one set per RLC™ membership. If quantities remain after the RLC™ 24-hour Priority Window, it will be available to all HWC™ members and RLC™ members may purchase one more. This item is available on a first-come, first-served basis only while supplies last.
      Not an RLC™ member? You can still get in on the benefits if you join the Red Line Club™ for 2008 now!

      Offer available to RLC™ members only for a
      24-hour Priority Window: 5/20/08, 9:00 AM PT
      Any remaining quantities available to
      ALL HWC™ members: 5/21/08, 9:00 AM PT

      • John in Missouri says:

        Even if you had purchased a luxury vehicle that same day for 100 times this price, *it* would be out of warranty by now.

        What would you like Mattel to do?

        Besides, you’re “only” out $312.94, just imagine how the poor saps who paid $1,500-$2,000 feel right now!

        • kfalcon77 says:

          yeah, I was imagining the folks that forked over better than a grand after market in hopes of a solid investment and then this happens. Thats gotta burn and my heart goes out. I paid up for The K I N G RV ‘brothers’ and would hate for these to self destruct.

          • Mack_me_Bucko says:

            I’m still betting someone at the factory experimented with a new or otherwise untried material for the clear coat, something that hasn’t seen wide usage since the MSOS; and hopefully no other Cars are effected.

      • John in Missouri says:

        This is from the RLC Membership Summary (http://www.hotwheelscollectors.com/customerservice/rlc-membership-summary):

        Can I get a replacement vehicle if there’s something wrong with one of the RLC Exclusive cars, HWC Series cars or other exclusive cars or online offers that I receive?

        Since our cars are limited in numbers, we don’t keep extra inventory and can’t offer exchanges or guarantee availability of replacement cars to send to people who received damaged merchandise. We’re happy to offer full refunds to customers who promptly return the damaged merchandise.

        • BMW says:

          If the castings are defective which I believe is what happened to Fiber Fuel, there are rights to consumers regardless. He needs to be tested.

          • Mack_me_Bucko says:

            I don’t see bad castings, I see bad paint — or rather, bad clear coat. Bad castings would have the tell-tale crusty white residue emerging from the surface, and here we see crackling and lifting. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a lacquer based clear coat over an acrylic color coat (or vice-versa) that Mattel had not previously used, nor has since.

            “Special Run” meant special treatment, and in this case, the Mattel factory screwed up the painting process; or else all manner of older (say Desert Series) Cars should be showing the same problems.

            (Maybe once John Lasseter sees his MSOS set has gone bad, he’ll have them replaced …. not likely)

  • Momoe says:

    The RLC limited edition releases are targeted exclusively to collectors and Met has previously described the special effort that went into the finish (paint and tampos) of the cars in the SOTS sets – Mattel’s usual warranty for regular-release toys would likely not be interpreted as applicable. Given the original price and the current market value of these sets, Mattel should respond responsibly and rectify the situation regardless of whether they make money on the redux or not (clearly there was something defective in their finishing process specific to these collectible sets). If they don’t, a class-action suit shouldn’t be too difficult to put together since there are less than 1000 afflicted customers,

    • MoMcQueen says:

      I agree. This situation is intolerable. These sets were sold as high-end exclusive and collectible, not some hunk of crud that one would expect to disintegrate within ten years.

  • tiki-mon says:

    Frankly, I have to say the same thing.

    If the package said 90 days warranty, there would be only 90 days warranty on the item.

    Imagine if someone came with iPhone 3G, released in July 11, 2008, and that someone got the $599 model, is it reasonable to ask Apple to do something about it in today’s age? Apple gave it a one-year warranty when it was out. Now it’s 7 years later…

    Knowing that it is a “toy”, while it is a shame that it did not last and was probably due to a manufacturing defect, IMO, it is acceptable for Mattel to say that there’s not much they can do. If they are found liable for something that they gave a “90-warranty” on, a whopping 7 years later that they’re still found liable, what’s the point of having a warranty? All Cars and toy prices will go through the roof, as warranty period does not apply.

  • John says:

    What exactly are SOTS collectors looking for here? If Mattel had made extras and salted them away somewhere to send out now as replacements, its likely that those would be suffering the same issues.

    If Mattel refunded 100% of the purchase price; that wouldn’t fix anything.

    Would Mattel produce a new replacement run of Cars? Are they even set up to produce very small runs of older models again? What if they did do a new run but they made several thousand this time to amortize the cost. Do the SOTS owners come out better or worse if there’s a new batch of a thousand of these once rare Cars floating around?
    One could argue that the SOTS box (and so far, Apple Car and unique Dale Earnhardt) are the collectible here, the rest of the Cars have been made available in other formats. The box isn’t deteriorating….

    Given the realities, what would the SOTS owners like to see as a solution?

  • homoludens says:

    90 days warranty on a $299 item? Outrageous. In the last 6 years, my toys spending has shifted from Mattel to Lego by nearly 100%…the way Mattel is run I’m very, very glad about this.

  • Dunroamin says:

    ouch. kick me in the groin while you’re at it.

  • John in Missouri says:

    That about sums up Mattel Customer Service.

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