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A History of the Kmart Cars Collector Events

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  • A History of the Kmart Cars Collector Events

    Greetings all... on Saturday June 25, 2011, Kmart will be holding their 6th in-store Cars Collector Event... This event will feature the last 3 available rubber tire racers from the 2006 Pixar movie Cars as well as 3 rubber tire racers from the new Pixar movie Cars2 as well as a version of Ramone that collectors have been waiting (im)patiently for since it appeared in the 2009 Collector Guide as High 'N' Low Ramone.

    I'm a fan of Cars - the movie, the Toons, and the diecasts... my grandson Austin got me hooked when he was just a little over 4... he outgrew them for awhile, but I didn't... and now, with the Toons and the new movie, he and my other 2 grandchildren are hooked again... it's definitely more fun (not to mention more expensive) having other Cars-a-holics to share in the joy of Cars... On June 24, I'll be taking my wife and my 3 grandchildren to see Cars2 in the theater... and on June 25, I'll be going to a Kmart store for the Collector event.

    Here's a history of the Kmart Cars Collector events.

    1st ever in-store Cars Collector Event: Saturday October 18, 2008

    Appearing on World of Cars cardback was a special Kmart case with several first appearance Cars. Unlike most singles cases, this case had 7 new Cars that made up 12 of the 18 Cars in the case. The case assortment consisted of:

    Sputter Stop - x3
    Transberry Juice -x2
    View Zeen - x2
    Spare Mint - x2
    Shiny Wax -x2

    as well as one each of Edwin Kranks, Chase Fred, Charlie Checker, Rescaled Fred, Dinoco Chick Hicks, Dinoco Lightning McQueen, and Petrol Pulaski (the RPM Pitty)... While I had a couple of cases, I no longer have the Cars together in a case box...

    Here is a picture of the 5 Kmart1 plastic tire racers:

    In addition to the case of diecast Cars, there was a special case of Minis as well... I met up with my new Cars friend GOMATERGO at this event and bought 18 Cars total... after the event, Kmart had cases on sale on their website - I ordered a case at that time... 7 months after the event, I happened to be at a Kmart in a town 45 miles from home and saw that they still had the store poster in the Toys area and asked if I could have it as the second event was going to be in a month... they said yes...

    At this time my wife suspected that Cars was maybe more than just a phase I was going through...

    The Kmart 1 racers eventually turned up at Tesco's stores in the UK.

    Collector Event #2: Saturday June 20, 2009

    The second Cars Collector event was June 20, 2009... This was also a pretty good case and featured the following racers with synthetic rubber tires:

    2 each of Bumper Save, Mood Springs, and Shifty Drug.
    1 each of Clutch Aid, Easy Idle, Lil Torquey Pistons, No Stall, Retread, and Tow Cap.
    1 each of Mini, Todd, Patti, Lightning McQueen with Rusteze Logo on the spoiler, Vitoline Pitty, and Chase Mario Andretti (Chase packaging only)

    Here's a recent photo of the case - I'll try to take another photo under better lighting conditions:

    GOMATERGO and I decided to split up for this event and went to different stores... he went to the local Kmart 1 mile from his house; I went to the next closest one 35 miles away...I asked for and received the store poster for the second event which is shown in the right on the following photo:

    In addition to ordering many cases on pre-sale (I helped out friends in the UK and other countries), I bought over 100 Cars at the second event... I used several of them in trade for a custom Apple set (rubber tire racer, crew chief, and 2 pittys) and have since traded many of the rest to others... I have my case and possibly one more set of carded racers.

    My good friend Chad (from northern Indiana) found this special Car and traded it to me along with a No Stall and a Retread:

    This was my first error Car... Chase Mini! And yes, error Cars soon became very addictive... and my wife became resigned to the fact that Cars were more than just a phase I was going through.

    Cars Collector Event #3: October 17, 2009

    By this time, Mattel had increased the size of the cases from 18 Cars to 24 Cars... most case selections were becoming filled with more and more pegwarmers... 19 of the 24 Cars in this case were rubber tire racers:

    3 each of Trunk Fresh, Octane Gain, N2O Cola, Rev N Go, and Revolting
    2 each of Leakless and Vinyl Toupee
    1 each of Brand New Mater, Chick Hicks, Lightning McQueen, Yellow Ramone, and Sheriff

    Here are pictures of the 7 Kmart 3 rubber tire racers:

    Here's a picture of the Kmart 3 case:

    I was the only one in attendance at the store I went to... I got the store poster (shown above) and bought lots of Cars, helping out friends throughout the world... I also bought several cases - 2 for myself and 1 each for others - I had to verify the cases though because there were reports of case assortments being incorrect... I also used my cell phone to contact friends attending the event in other cities as it turned out I didn't get full sets of the racers... I came home with almost 150 Cars.

    My wife saw what I came home with and walked away, muttering something about Cars under her breath...

    Cars Collector Event #4: June 12, 2010

    The 4th Cars Collector Event was June 12, 2010... 8 rubber tire racers accounted for 20 of the 24 Cars in the case... Dale Jr with the Speedway of the South body style was the feature Car; the poster also showed RPM and Fiber Fuel...

    This poster was significantly larger than the ones for Kmart 2 and Kmart 3... It is 30 inches by 30 inches... I've not yet framed it as the custom frame is $107.00 on sale at 50% off... To be able to hang the posters on the wall, I had to agree to use nice frame from Hobby Lobby... I don't think my wife thought I'd spend a lot of money on frames.

    The case assortment consisted of the following rubber tire racers:
    3 each of Dale Jr, Spare O Mint, Sputter Stop, and Transberry Juice
    2 each of Fiber Fuel, Gasprin, RPM, and Vitoline
    1 each of the lenticulars Lightning McQueen, Tom, Ron Hover, and Sarge

    Here's a picture of the Kmart 4 case:

    Once again, I was the only one at the store event... I lost track of how many Cars I purchased but needed to have friends help me out to even out my sets... Most stores over-estimated the demand for these - there have been stores that up until mid May 2011 still had Kmart 4 and Kmart 5 Cars on the pegs... there were also many problems with quality control during this event - lots of Gasprin, Sputter Stop, and Vitoline had problems with paint scratches... and most people did not buy any of the lenticulars.

    Cars Collector Event #5: October 23, 2010

    The 5th Cars Collector event was October 23, 2010... This featured the first appearance outside the Speedway of the South of Gask-Its and Tach O Mint... In addition to the singles, a new rubber tire 3 pack featuring Lightning McQueen, Gask-Its, and Faux Wheel Drive came out 2 to 3 weeks before the event.

    Many Kmart stores still have this rubber tire 3 pack available.

    Here is the store poster:

    Also, the Kmart 5 Cars were released outside of the US... They turned up in Australia 5 weeks before the event - I traded 20 other Cars to a board member in Australia for 20 of the Kmart 5 Cars and got them 3 weeks before the event... They also turned up in the UK at the Disney Store - I know several of my UK friends were able to purchase them there...

    The Kmart 5 case assortment consisted of 18 rubber tire racers:
    3 each of Faux Wheel Drive and Gask-Its
    2 each of Sidewall Shine, Shiny Wax, Nitroade, Tank Coat, View Zeen, and Tach O Mint.

    The other 6 Cars were lenticulars: Chase Paint Mask McQueen, Dash Boardman, Tow, Kathy Copter, Pit Crew Sarge, and Radiator Springs McQueen...

    Here is a picture of the Kmart 5 case:

    Again, I was the only one at the store event... I arrived 3 hours before the event, like I usually do - I am excited about the event and usually unable to sleep...

    After the event, here's what my rubber tire racer collection looks like - again, the Apple racer is a custom.

    Once again, there were some quality control issues... many of the Sidewall Shine racers had scratches on the paint... there were also horrible issues with pre-sale cases... I ordered 6 cases on pre-sale... 3 of them were from Kmart 5, and the other 3 were from Kmart 4... I sent back the 3 from Kmart 4 hoping to get 3 more Kmart 5 cases - instead, I got my money back... ordering and fulfillment should not be that difficult.

    There were also some error Cars; my friend Chad found 3 of these for me:

    There are still some Kmart 5 singles available at some Kmart stores as of June 1, 2011.

    Cars Collector Event #6: June 25, 2011

    The 6th Cars Collector event will be June 25, 2011 - it's been a long time since the 5th event... with the launch of the Cars2 toys on May 16, the Kmart case will consist of the last 3 racers (excluding Apple which won't be released) as singles from Cars (Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks, and The King) as well as 3 racers from Cars 2: Nigel Gearsley, Francesco Bernoulli, and Shu Torodoki and the High 'N' Low Ramone.

    Thanks to rpag for allowing me to use his photo of the Kmart 6 store poster:

    (Photo used by permission)

    EDIT: The Kmart 6 Cars were on the pegs at the local Kmart this morning (6/17/11):

    I'll still be going to the event on Saturday June 25... I hope to get the store poster and other items and will be helping some of my friends who do not have access to a Kmart store... I was told today that there will be free posters for each $25 purchased...

    I hope that we'll also see the Kmart exclusive 2 packs (racers and crew chiefs) at the event but it's not looking likely...

    I'll be heading over in the next couple of days to the store that I have been to for Kmart 3, 4, and 5 to make sure that they are going to be participating...

    Update: June 25, 2011

    Kmart 6 has come and gone... once again, many more Cars than people attending... I arrived at the Kmart store at 9:15 am... they still did not have the Kmart 6 Cars in the back... I was told the truck would be there by 10 am... Nothing like waiting until the last minute... At 10:30 I headed to Toys with my shopping cart... one other family was there - a 10 year old boy I've helped before was there with his mother and grandfather... he's up to 300 Cars in his collection now... we talked Cars for a while and I told them about Walmart and ToysRUs exclusives... at 10:55 they brought out a table, 5 tubs, and 3 master cartons... 12 cases (240 Cars) for 2 of us... I asked if we could help them unpack the cases... the employees just dumped the contents in the tubs... we got what we needed and started sorting the Cars in the tubs so they'd be arranged and stacked as neatly as possible... there was no room for the 12th case, so the worker did hand it to me, opened but the Cars had not been removed...

    We each got a master carton poster:

    They did have the 3D posters - I was able to get a couple...

    The workers left the set up at 11:05 am... we continued to arrange until all Cars had been sorted... we headed up to checkout, stopping by the cube first so my friend could get some 2 packs that he wanted... By 11:45 I had loaded up my car and decided to stop at a few more stores...

    At 1 pm I stopped at a second Kmart 28 miles away... I saw the store poster, and that was it... I asked the manager on duty and found out that no one showed up for the event at their store, so the unopened master cartons were still at customer service... he brought me one and said I could have whatever I wanted... I got the posters from the master carton, 6 new Cars, and 8 older Kmart 3/4/5 racers for a friend... they had no 3D posters.

    After stopping at 2 Target, 2 Walmart, and 1 Meijer stores, I stopped at one more Kmart that's next to a great pizza place... I noticed the store poster as I entered... I went to the back and the table was still set up, all the Cars and 3D posters were sorted nicely on top... I got a few new Cars, 4 older Cars, and a poster and went to the service desk to ask about the store poster... She called the manager and I was told that I could have the poster...

    I loaded up my car, went to the pizza place, and then headed home... I left at 8:30 am... I arrived back home at 5:30 pm... it was definitely a long day...

    Kmart stores are not going to be getting many new singles in for awhile... people evidently just weren't excited about the assortment...

    Here's my updated rubber tire racer collection as of June 26, 2011:

    Thanks to having a custom Apple, I have a complete Cars1 36 Car rubber tire collection.

    Kmart 7: October 22, 2011

    One thing on the master carton poster that caught my eye was this:

    We'll see 7 more rubber tire racers during the October 2011 Kmart event... The specific date was not listed on the poster, but if history is any indication, it will be the 4th Saturday in October which would be October 22, 2011...this will give us 10 of the 11 racers with rubber tires, missing only Rip Clutchgoneski...

    Update: Kmart 7 was indeed held on Saturday October 22, 2011... Here's the store poster:

    I went to the same store I've been going to since the Kmart 2 event... I was the only one in attendance... they only had one master carton with 4 cases... the actual case assortment turned out to be different from that which had been announced... 5 Lightning McQueen, 3 Miguel Camino, 3 Raoul Caroule, 3 Jeff Gorvette, 2 Max Schnell, 2 Carla Veloso, and 2 Lewis Hamilton... Here is a photo of the 7 racers:

    When I learned there was only 1 master carton, I contacted a couple of friends who helped me out by buying Cars for me... I then went to another Kmart store - no one had shown up... they let me buy Cars from 1 case and that was it... I went to another Kmart store - they had only sold the newest released Cars (Max Schnell, Miguel Camino, and Lewis Hamilton)... I went to a 4th Kmart store around 1:30 pm, over 2 hours after the event - they too had gotten only 1 master carton and had only sold 1 set of the 7 racers so I able to buy more Lewis Hamilton - at that store I also found a new case of the Carla Crew Chief 2 packs (but left the 8 Fillmore/McQueen)... after lunch I went to a 5th Kmart and found 2 Lewis out of 15 remaining KM7 Cars... and at the 6th and last Kmart I went to, they hadn't had anyone show up so they took the master carton to the back... the manager said that they'd bring it out so I could help myself... after 10 minutes he came out and said that the master carton was gone and that it had been sold unopened to one person... strange...

    Anyway... the fact that most stores only received 1 master carton meant that there were a lot fewer available Cars to purchase... stores aren't going to have lots of Kmart 7 Cars left over... that may result in higher prices as demand may be greater than the supply... that could help stimulate interest in Kmart 8, assuming there is one... or it could be the end... time will tell.

    Thanks again for reading...
    Last edited by cac1959; 10-23-2011, 03:47 AM. Reason: Added update for Kmart 7

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

  • #2
    Great Post, Chris.


    • #3
      doesnt it just peeve you off that there aint a kmart or the like over here!
      Last edited by MrBrownstone; 06-08-2011, 09:53 AM. Reason: language


      • #4
        Awesome history lesson on the Kmart events! Hopefully we will find Kmart 6 cars in the UK Disney Store again! and with this event being the day after the cinema release you may not be the only one in store to turn up!
        I've also read about the rumours on the Kmart 7 day so it sounds like there will be plenty more to come


        • #5
          Great article there Chris with lots of info about the events

          I agree boogity, it would be nice to have events like this in the UK, but alas no such luck. It's great that there are good people in the States that are willing to help us UK folk out.


          • #6
            sorry bout that mrb, but you know what I mean!


            • #7
              Originally posted by boogity View Post
              doesnt it just peeve you off that there aint a kmart or the like over here!

              For what it's worth, I've only bought Cars from Kmart outside of the Cars Collector Event on 3 occasions in the last 2 years... I found a Chase Cartrip and Chase DJ once... I've recently found the Cars 2 Pit Crew Mater and Holley Shiftwell and Francesco Bernoulli Lights and Sounds Cars... as a corporation, Kmart does not do as good a job of ordering product as some of the others, and their online order and fulfillment system leaves a lot to be desired.

              Having said that, if you and Ru5ty need help with some of the Kmart Day 6 Cars or the Pit Crew Mater exclusive, I'll be glad to help you out... I believe from some of your posts that you live close together and we could combine shipping to save you money... I have traded with several UK people if you'd like to check my references.

              I also think that store exclusives tend to be bad for the collector/fan... selection is not usually what it should be, and without competition, prices tend to be higher than they should be... for us it would be great if all Cars were available at all stores... but Mattel makes money by selling Cars to the stores as well as money from our sales... they care about the money in our wallets and not us.

              Let me know if I can help you out.

              And thanks, friends, for your comments about the post.

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


              • #8
                Nice one cac1959 cheers....Don't need to ask me twice, I'm well up for any transatlantic good guys getting me stuff... yeha

                Oh, and super post on the excellent Kmart days... A great insight to a store I'll see @ Halloween


                • #9
                  Originally posted by boogity View Post
                  sorry bout that mrb, but you know what I mean!
                  No worries boogity - I just spotted it and cleaned it up (I've had to do it for myself in the past) but as it wasn't my post I was editing I had to input a reason for doing so - apologies for it being a little obvious, no black marks or anythign have been accrued - just trying to keep the site language clean...


                  • #10
                    Good stuff Chris! I have really enjoyed the kmart events, if for nothing else it gives us the ability to go into a store on a set date and time, and be nearly certain of getting several new cars!

                    I am looking forward to the next day in a few weeks, and what the packaging may look like for the Cars 1 items, and if it's different for the Cars 2 items!


                    • #11
                      a pleasure to read, great post.

                      Anatomical illustrations by Jake Parker


                      • #12
                        This is a great read Chris; your wife does the same thing as my wife
                        'My wife saw what I came home with and walked away, muttering something about Cars under her breath...'


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cvc1968 View Post
                          This is a great read Chris; your wife does the same thing as my wife
                          'My wife saw what I came home with and walked away, muttering something about Cars under her breath...'
                          I'll throw my hat in on that too - I can see a trend coming on...


                          • #14
                            Maybe you're correct, MrB... I may be a bad influence...

                            And I am beginning to think that I need to split this article up into two... I went to add more text and it won't let me - said there's a 10000 character limit, and with my changes, I exceeded that limit...

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


                            • #15
                              I can change that limit ;-)