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Respect the Classics: Cars2 Launchers

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  • Respect the Classics: Cars2 Launchers

    Launchers... some of us like them... some of us don't... Some or us bought them the first time we saw them... some of us didn't buy them until they went on clearance... some of us still haven't bought them and say we're not going to buy them... Can any of you guess which group I'm in? I know, that's an easy question.

    10 of the 11 Cars2 World Grand Prix launchers have been released in a fairly wide distribution... One, Rip Clutchgoneski, first turned up in Greece - marios posted about it on July 3, 2012... If the first release of Rip is as a launcher, I think many collectors who were not going to collect launchers will make an exception in order to buy Rip... What do you think?

    Just like their Cars counterparts, the Cars2 launcher is the same Car with the launcher as an accessory... The accessory is expensive - launchers now typically retail for between $14.99 and $16.99 plus tax in the US and are even more expensive than that in the UK and other countries... Are launchers worth 4 times the retail price of a single Car? I think most of us would say "No"... however, many of us open our wallets and say otherwise... In this article, we'll take a look at the Cars2 launchers.

    Carded launchers

    The first 4 launchers came out officially in the US on May 16, 2011... I only bought a few as I'd gotten a case early... Here they are:

    Lightning McQueen:

    It makes sense that McQueen was in the first case... after all, McQueen is the featured racer in Cars2.

    Nigel Gearsley:

    It also makes sense to me that Nigel was in the first case, as a good part of Cars2 takes place in London, and Nigel is from the UK.

    Max Schnell was also in the first case:

    Shu Todoroki was also in the first case:

    There were plenty of the first case launchers when the Cars2 toy launch took place on May 16, 2011... Mattel made a mistake by filling the next several cases with the same launchers, minus Shu... Many collectors waited for the singles to come out... those of us who like launchers did not.

    The next 2 launchers that were released were Lewis Hamilton and Miguel Camino... I first saw one of each at one Indianapolis area Target store on June 21, 2011... it took me months to see them in a store again and I've just recently started seeing them on a more widespread basis - 1 year after they were first released!

    Lewis Hamilton:

    Miguel Camino:

    I have seen Lewis and Miguel launchers at couple of Kohl's stores, at 1 TRU, a couple of Kmart stores, and 2 Target stores... they've been very much hit and miss as stores got way too many of the first 4 and are still stuck with 3 of the first 4 14 months after they were first released.

    The next 2 launchers that came out were Raoul Caroule and Francesco Bernouilli... I found them at Kohl's at the end of September 2011 in Indianapolis while on my way to a conference in Bloomington... I was one of the first to find them... we didn't know that they were coming... I found them at quite a few Kohl's stores and Family Dollar stores... I've probably only seen them at one Kmart and one Target.



    In fact, the cheapest launcher I bought was two weeks ago when I found one Francesco Launcher for $6 on clearance at Family Dollar... I did not buy any launchers at Kmart stores for the $4.50 sale price.

    The next 2 launchers to come out were Jeff Gorvette and Carla Veloso... they first turned up at Disney Land and Disney World - when Disney Parks are where Cars2 items first come out, you know that the retail experience of the Cars2 items is not good... They were $14.99 each at Disney - I received sets from both musicnywu1 (Disney Land) and GOMATERGO (Disney World)... I also found them at Kohl's in Abilene, Texas on April 3 while on vacation.



    I've seen Jeff and Carla launchers mostly at Kohl's stores... I have seen them and left them on the pegs at 1 Kmart store - I did direct GOMATERGO to that store and he was able to buy them at the $4.50 clearance price... sometimes waiting to get an item is good; I don't have that patience, as there are too many Cars I would not have if I would have waited.

    Opened launchers

    Here are photos of the first 10 launchers, opened:

    Lightning McQueen:

    Nigel Gearsley:

    Max Schnell:

    Shu Todoroki:

    Lewis Hamilton:

    Miguel Camino:

    Raoul Caroule:

    Francesco Bernoulli:

    Jeff Gorvette:

    Carla Veloso:

    Coming Attractions

    We know that this launcher is coming:

    (Photo used by permission of marios... thank you, marios)

    Here's Rip's cardback:

    (Photo used by permission of marios... thank you, marios)

    If there are 2 Rip in the case of 6, I'll probably buy the case even if I get 4 repeats... I know me... and you do too... and as I said earlier, I think many people who would not normally buy a launcher at full price will in order to add a 1:55 scale Rip Clutchgoneski to their collection.

    I have also learned from a source that there are slightly different versions of the launchers coming out... when I get photos, I'll share them.

    It would be great news for Mattel to finish the Cars2 World Grand Prix launchers product line... too many times they've started product lines and not finished them.

    In Conclusion

    Mattel has currently widely released 10 of the 11 World Grand Prix racers from Cars2 as launchers... too many stores got too many of the first cases and have only had 4 or fewer to sell... the next 6 appear to have been released in much smaller quantities... stores that got in the first 2 cases of launchers did not get in any newer ones... certain launchers went straight to what we'd call the secondary market (Kohl's, Family Dollar, Disney Parks, etc.)... Many online Mattel retailers did not order in launchers cases after getting too many of case A and B... I think if there's a new case with 2 or more Rip Clutchgoneski in it, more of the retailers will order in the case.

    I like launchers... I like them so much that I traded with GotFrank for a custom set of the last 17 launchers from Cars... maybe I'll ask him to make custom launchers for the Super Chase Cars for me - after all, I've got extra Cars2 launchers.

    Thanks for reading... as always, I do appreciate your comments.


    I am cac1959... I am a Cars-a-holic... and a proud supporter of Nathan's Playroom

  • #2
    Got either Max or Nigel back in May of last year. I bought the launcher instead of an extra box set to get each of the WGP cars that were released that day. Got a Lewis Launcher right before the film was released to have him. I most likely will be getting a Rip launcher as soon as I spot one. Not having that 11th WGP car has bothered me for over a year now.

    signature courtesy of BomBom77


    • #3
      Great Post cac. When the Launchers first came out I immediately bought Max Schnell and Shu Todoroki because the racers are so neat. Then I went back a while later and all of the Shu's were gone so I bought a Nigel. Nigel Gearsley Launchers are the only Launchers now at my Wal-Mart...
      One day at a gas station on my way to Washington D.C. I spotted a ton of new Cars. Lewis and Miguel Launchers were there but I never bought them. I then saw tons of the two at my local Bergners. I bought Lewis for $25 there, but no Miguel. YIKES! (There must have been some sort of sale as I would have never bought him for that much!) I still haven't opened him in case I may return him but I think it's too late for that and I may have lost the receipt.
      When the K-Mart $4.50 sale for Launchers was happening, I went and bought a McQueen Launcher.
      Kohl's currently has 1 Raoul and 2 Francesco Launchers for $16. I'm waiting for a better price on them.
      I still have not yet seen a Carla or Jeff Launcher.

      Edit: Here was my Post on T5 about the Lewis Launcher:
      "Found Lewis Hamilton Launcher at Bergners of all places. The price was….

      Wait for it….

      $24.95! Yep, I sat it down and started walking away when I almost got hit in the face with a Sale Sign, "50% off all Disney Cars Toys" so I bought it for a better price of $14.54 with tax."
      Last edited by Fillmore1234; 07-22-2012, 04:31 PM. Reason: Additional Info


      • #4
        I would consider them all released, not just 10 of 11. International markets still count as a release.

        I have 9 of 11, just need Shu and of course Rip.

        Would it be possible to make the watermark less obnoxious and obstructing in the pictures? I understand we don't want the pictures to be stolen but I think it's a bit excessive to have it dead center in every one, it distorts what people are actually trying to see.


        • #5
          Great read Chris, and you're dead right. I don't have any launchers, but will consider buying the Rip one if I see it just to get a Rip...


          • #6
            Thanks for the comments... Bumper Save - the watermark is a work in progress... currently I am using the Photobucket Editor tool to add it as a second layer image... I don't think I have the ability to move it once it's inserted but I'll check... I've also asked Peter McQueen if he can create a couple more versions of it with the graphic located in a different spot.

            My wife made the same comment about the watermark needing to be moved to a different spot in the picture.

            I keep checking for Rip online... hopefully we will see the launcher soon.

            I am cac1959... I am a Cars-a-holic... and a proud supporter of Nathan's Playroom


            • #7
              great article cac1959,thanks for posting
              my boys and i like the launchers,we only have 3 open so far but we connect them together and have races in the hallway.
              we have 2 competitions,whose is the fastest and who goes the furthest,
              so far lewis has travelled the furthest by my youngest aled and shu is the fastest but i think this may be just me cheating a little


              • #8
                I will post pictures of loose Rip's launcher here after work, also will post the pictures of new type of launcher too.
                I agree with Bumper Save, the watermarks make me cannot take a close look at those pictures, the first picture is worst, it make a great picture hard to see.


                • #9
                  I appreciate your comments about the photos and the watermarks... I've been experimenting a little bit this morning... Here are a couple of different ways of looking at the first photo:

                  Original with watermark:

                  I may need to go ahead and install Photoshop on my computer(s)...

                  I am cac1959... I am a Cars-a-holic... and a proud supporter of Nathan's Playroom


                  • #10
                    The only issue I see with the ones that don't have the watermark over the picture is that the photo's could easily be stolen and cropped (which is the purpose of the watermark)

                    Unfortunately for a watermark to "serve it's purpose" is to cover part of the image...


                    • #11
                      Rip is here.

                      Other Launcher, I do not know which is that racer, so select one I like.


                      • #12


                        • #13
                          Great photos, lovemini... Thank you for sharing them with us.

                          I hope we get Rip as a launcher soon... the middle of August will be 15 months since the release of the toys... and as far as the other launcher, very interesting... if it contains a new Car I will buy it, but if it's the re-release of an existing racer (or Car) in another launcher I'm not going to do it... I went down that route during the first movie with Pit Stop Race-off launchers and Lightyear Launchers... I'm not going to do it this time... really, I'm not.

                          I am cac1959... I am a Cars-a-holic... and a proud supporter of Nathan's Playroom


                          • #14
                            We bought 6 of the original cars 1 launchers and a couple of the lightyear ones. Only bought two of the cars 2 ones mainly due to price as £15 is a bit much to pay.

                            I think the old style launchers are easier for little fingers to launch, my nephew sometimes struggles to press the cars 2 launchers. Still like them and if it wasnt for the price i would of bought more this time around.

                            Another great article and great photos, cant wait to see a rip in store


                            • #15
                              cac, I like the second watermark a lot. Maybe put it a little lower and it would be perfect. I like how it's a lot more faded than the other two, but maybe unfade it one notch and it will be even more perfect.