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Mattel Disney Pixar CARS: How to Tell 2016 Themes From 2017

We’ve had the Themes motif with “banners” for several years now – some themes get carried over and while the banner gets re-designed, it’s usually subtle or some years, it’s virtually the same.

Of course, one way to tell is to spot the number on the front of the card indicating how many are the theme that year … but who can really keep track?

As “Carl P.” notes …

Piston Cup have 11 last year was 14
Radiator Spring have 19 last year 14
WPG Crew Chief have 10 last year 9
WPG unfortunately have both 13

Or CARS get re-released – the best clue is on the cardback – bottom left. The copyright date is of the “previous” year.

So, 2017 cards-CARS releases are © 2016.

2016 CARS release are © 2015, etc, etc …

Thanks, “Carl P.” for the nice photos!



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  • thebreezz says:

    I sent pics of 5 cars that have 1/2 of 2016 /2017. On eBay I saw 2 more that fall into this gray area I call transition releases. Any help on clearing up what happened or what ones or what case would of had these.
    I think they were in that Walmart Xmas palette dump.

  • thebreezz says:

    So now I have 3 cars from 2016 series that now have no App Logo & the pic of the car is slightly big & centered. They are from WGP #5/9 Austin Littleton. Piston Cup #4/14 Claude Scruggs & #7/14 Haul Inngas.
    The back has 2016 date & pics of 6 cars from 2016 series.
    Now are these transition reprints ?
    Do you have a list of 2017 & any other transition releases you know of ?

    (MET: Send me some pocs, I haven’t seen any late 2016 or 2017 cards yet).

  • thebreezz says:

    I wanted to comment on the Walmart Christmas palette & side hangup they had.
    1st the side hang was great. I got M.A.Brake Drumm, Towga Gremlin, Alex Machine & Jason Hubkap, but the unreal thing was 4 Super Chase J.Low Lee.
    So I looked in the Christmas dump & I saw a couple 2017 release Petrol Catalina, Wilmer Flattz, Ghostlight Ramone. So the first thing I noticed was the Apple Logo was gone & the back had 2016 & pics of Cars.
    So I came home & looked up the 2017 & went back. Now this the transition stuff I was mentioning that you can’t just go by the date to determine series. In all I found 14 & I think I missed on New Mater & R.S.McQueen which would make 16. Then came 2 cars that are from 2016 series.
    Claudi Scruggs #4/14 & Haul Inngas #7/14 from Piston Cup.
    So they are 2016 series, but No Apple Logo, the pic of car is bigger. 2016 date, but now pics of cars on back. Now #7 from 2017 is Manny Flywheel, so Haul Inngas is a 2016 yet has 2016 date???

    • Mack_me_Bucko says:

      Apple logo? Do you mean the “App logo” for the online game? Confusing.

      As to 2017 vs 2016 dates, legal will have them update all that in due time, but for instance, you wouldn’t find a model from March 2016 dated 2017. Those with 2017 dates are likely just hitting the stores a little early.

      • thebreezz says:

        I think your missing the part of how to use info on the card to figure out how the series is ending and the new one starting.
        Yes that Yellow Logo thing, I guess I have just called it the Apple/App Logo.
        So going forward 2016 & 2017 series have the same basic design, but now the new 2017 have lots the Logo & the back has pictures of 6 ( collect them all) Cars.
        “God I hate that slogan” it has cost me so much money & driven me off the cliff.
        But the date was one of the ways stated in the post to distinguish between the two series.
        If you look at the facts of how they transition & what is done to make it happen. That method stated in the post is correct but their are some odd ball card backs that get caught in the shift.
        Unless ? I don’t know, maybe make a real NEW series card design. I guess we will see something New with Cars 3 Please don’t be offended of anything I text, because it never sounds the way I want , for my options to come across. Thanks

  • thebreezz says:

    I am a almost completest & value the Card Backs from each series & year like they are 1st day issues like stamps or Rookie cards in Baseball.
    So I do think their are exceptions to your dating. Look at the end release of Deluxe Craig Faster or Finn McMissile with Breather. Both seem to be in the 2016 Theme, yet they both have 2016 date on back . Also Craig Faster has No Apple Logo?
    I also I guess missed the 2017 of Austin Littleton. The 2016 has a Apple Logo & is #5/9 in the WGP Pit Crew series. Also the back has Apple web scan. Now the other so small differences is the size of the front Car pic is smaller.
    The 2017 has bigger pic , No Apple Logo & pics of 5 other cars with 2 of them 2packs.
    So in conclusion when a series is changing the transition releases have characters of both.
    I want to add pics but don’t know how.

    (MET: Feel free to email to me at metroxing (at) gmail.com – thanks!)

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