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Respect the Classics: Mamma Mia! (and her twin sister Tia)

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  • Respect the Classics: Mamma Mia! (and her twin sister Tia)

    In a previous article I talked about how bad boys were idolized by girls and boys... well, do you know what boys like? Fast cars and pretty girls... Put them together and you have fast pretty Cars... or pretty fast Cars... And what could be better than 1? You got it, twins... one of my foolish fantasies growing up was that I'd get to date twins at the same time... it never happened and it's not going to happen... and I'm fine with that... really, I am... because I have all the twins that I need... Mia and Tia, the twins from Cars.

    Mia and Tia were fans of Lightning McQueen... and as McQueen had dreams and then disappeared, they were fans of Dinoco Lightning McQueen and then Chick Hicks... They've been in several of the Mater's Tall Tales episodes... Mia and Tia were based on the Mazda Miata sports coupe... I remember seeing one of those for the first time back in 1990 and wishing that I could go for a drive in one... never did get my Mazda Miata... until Cars... It would not have been a practical car raising a family... but it would have been fun to drive.

    Mia and Tia have never been released as single Cars... they've been in Movie Moments... in 3 pack gift packs in both the World of Cars vertical cardback style and the Race O Rama horizontal boxed style... they've been in various Cars Toon 3 and 4 packs... and they've been in Toys R US exclusive 5 packs (Piston Cup Race Day and Flo's V8 Cafe)... they've been widely released in the 1:55 scale... and even in an exclusive and expensive 1:18 scale 3 pack... I don't have all of them boxed... I've opened many but not all of them... and I've even turned several of them into ornaments on my Cars Christmas tree...

    In this article, we'll take a look at the classic twin Mazda Miatas - Mia and Tia.

    Supercharged Movie Moments

    The first releases of Mia and Tia came as Movie Moments in the Supercharged series... Red Mia and Tia were released first - they were McQueen's fans and proudly wore his colors... They were next released as Dinoco Mia and Tia - looking beautiful in blue as McQueen fantasized about being the new face of Dinoco... At one time I had several of each in the Supercharged series... I don't think I have any of them left - I opened and traded several of them.

    World of Cars Movie Moments

    Mia and Tia were very popular Movie Moments in the World of Cars series... I had several of them in McQueen's colors as well as several of them in Dinoco blue:

    In fact, that's why I decided to award one of them as a prize in our Anniversary contest...

    I always liked the back of the card of the Movie Moments... Not only did you see the 2 pack on the screen, you saw photos of other Movie Moments on the back as well... Here's red Mia and Tia:

    It was towards the end of this series that Mattel decided that they could include 2 popular Cars with one that people already had... Mattel released 3 pack gift packs.

    3 Car Gift Packs

    Mia and Tia were released in 3 pack gift packs in both the World of Cars series and the Race o Rama series... In the WOC series, we saw Mia and Tia in a ransburg Gold paint job - Bling Bling McQueen was the 3rd Car... This horizontal 3 pack was a pegwarmer... it was released in 2 different cases, first with a new snipe, and later without... I'll have to check and see if I have any old photos of this 3 pack.

    Once the Race O Rama (ROR) series came out, Mattel released many different Mia and Tia combinations... Here's the ROR Dinoco Dream 3 pack:

    In a later case, Mattel released the 3 pack with Dinoco Mia and Tia and Dinoco McQueen:

    In yet another case, Mattel released the 3 pack gift pack with Mia and Tia as Chick Fans - they had turned to Chick after Lightning McQueen disappeared in Radiator Springs...

    People complained about these last 3 pack gift packs because only 2 of the Cars were new (or sort of new) and Mattel was selling them with leftover pegwarmers (Chick Hicks, Bling Bling McQueen, Dincoco McQueen, etc.)... what we'd give now to see a 3 pack with 2 new Cars.

    Both the Chick Fans 3 pack and the Dinoco 3 pack were later released as lenticulars on the Night Skyline cardback.

    Toys R US 5 packs

    Mia and Tia were released in 2 Toys R US 5 packs... the first one was the Piston Cup Race Day which included Ron Hover, Mia and Tia, Lightning McQueen, and Tow... Ron Hover might have been new - the rest of them were not... I never bought this 5 pack... I did see several with packaging errors - someone had swapped out Mia and Tia and included 2 Lightning McQueens... it looked like this happened at the factory - I saw more of this 5 pack with errors than without... I might have an older photo showing this.

    I found a photo I took at a Chicago area TRU using my old cell phone on June 20, 2010... I'd gone to Chicago to meet one of my good Cars friends in person:

    Note how the top 2 Ron Hover 5 packs have 2 McQueens and an extra Hank Hallsum and no Mia and Tia... the Flo's V8 Cafe 5 pack is underneath those 2 error sets... and then a proper Ron Hover 5 pack is underneath that.

    This 5 pack was a very poor seller... Toys R US made up for it with their next 5 pack: Flo's V8 Cafe.

    In my opinion, this is one of the 2 best Toys R US 5 packs, the other being Sarge's Boot Camp... While we only had one new Car, Hank Hallsum, the blue truck, it also had new versions of Flo, Mia, and Tia as waitresses with trays... So really 4 of the 5 Cars were new castings.

    Flo, Mia, and Tia were inspired by a visit to the Mid Point Cafe by the Pixar creative team as they traveled along Route 66 to research for the movie... My friend Outlawbak has been to the Mid Point Cafe and met Fran, the former owner who was the inspiration for Flo... Next time I go visit my son who's in the Air Force in Texas I may make a (long) day trip to go to the Mid Point Cafe.

    During this series, Mattel released 3 packs with lenticular eyes... Some people such as MrBrownstone really like the lenticular Cars... I tolerated them... I bought some of them just so I could buy something... I do have the lenticular 3 pack with the waitresses Flo, Mia, and Tia... I got this from a friend... not because of the lenticular eyes, but because of something else... Look at the picture:

    You can't see it in this photo due to the angle, but there was a variant (defect in the manufacturing process?) that resulted in a curved spout on the oil can on Flo's tray...

    Here's a photo showing a close-up of the curved oil spout as well as the straight (normal) oil spout in a Final Lap Flo with Tray single:

    There were a few other errors in the Flo's V8 Cafe boxed sets... some included 2 Tia and no Mia... or no Tia and 2 Mia... one has the tray on the driver's side... and the other has her tray on the passenger side...

    Cars Toons

    2 of the early releases in the Cars Toon product line were Rescue Squad Mater 4 packs... One consisted of Dr. Mater, Nurse Mia and Nurse Tia, and a Burnt Lightning McQueen... this is one of the few Mia and Tia that I do not have opened... at $20 for the 4 pack, I decided I'd only buy 1 set... never got around to opening this one.

    The other 4 pack was this Rescue Squad Mater 4 pack:

    I did buy more than 1 set of this 4 pack - I loved the Dalmatian Mia and Tia and since I didn't buy the Rescue Squad Mater or Rescue Squad Chopper singles, I needed them too... I don't mind paying $20 for 4 new Cars or variants... I don't like paying $20 for a 4 pack with one or two new Cars...

    And when they raised the prices of the Toon 4 packs to $30 each, I only bought one of them - the Heavy Metal Mater 4 pack... I did pick up another of those when I found them on sale for $15 at an overstock store... I never bought myself the Mater the Greater 4 pack with Rocket Mia and Rocket Tia - does anyone have a photo of them?

    SDCC Rescue Squad Mater

    Perhaps my favorite boxed set including Mia and Tia, the SDCC Rescue Squad Mater featured a beautiful Ransburg Paint Mater, high quality paint jobs on Dalmatian Mia and Tia (and different tires/tyres too), and a building that would light up to show flames... I think this was originally about $25.00 to $28.00 - one of my friends picked me up a couple of them and I picked up another one from someone later... I haven't opened this boxed set yet; I need (want) more display cases to be able to put opened Cars...

    Photo showing flames:

    In conclusion

    I think they look great opened... I have them all in display cases... I turned several Mia and Tia into ornaments... and at one time we had a couple of them opened for my grandchildren to play with... my granddaughter wanted to take those home as they were "girl" Cars... Not sure that I'll open up another set for them to play with as for the most part my grandchildren have outgrown Cars... but I haven't... I may be growing old, but I refuse to grow up.

    Mia & Tia (Red):

    Dinoco Mia & Tia:

    Chick Fan Mia & Tia:

    Gold Mia & Tia:

    Dalmatian Mia & Tia:

    Waitress Mia & Tia (with poster putty visible under the Car):

    Rocket Mia and Tia (from Rocket Mater Toon 4 pack)

    (Photo used by permission of Peter McQueen... thank you, Peter)

    I may add more photos of my opened Mia and Tia Cars when the lighting is better... next to the Brent Mustangburger Mustang and the Darrell Cartrip that's in my signature, the Mazda Miata is my favorite non-racer Car.

    If any of you have photos of any of the Mia and Tia that I don't have featured in this article, let me know and I'd be glad to add them.

    As always, thanks for reading... Those of you who post a comment in this thread will be entered in a random drawing to win a World of Cars Dinoco Mia and Tia Movie Moments... In your comment, mention which Mia and Tia variation is your favorite.

    Thank you for helping celebrate our first Anniversary.

    Last edited by cac1959; 05-27-2012, 03:48 PM. Reason: Added more photos

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

  • #2
    My favorite Mia and Tia is the first one, the Red Mia and Tia... I tried to purchase one of those from a dealer but couldn't work out what I thought was a fair trade for the Ford I was driving at the time... I also like the Dalmatian Mia and Tia from the SDCC Rescue Squad Mater pack.

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


    • #3
      love the pic of the different types, they look great together, wonder what a group of mia and tias is called?
      maybe a maxda of mia and tias, someone can no doubt think of something better....


      • #4
        Great article!! I have to say my favorite is gold mia + tia. they look too slick


        • #5
          Chris, great article as always.
          I have mini Dinoco Mia and Tia, that is the rarest cars in my collection. you can add the picture of it in the article if you want.


          • #6
            A great read cac1959 - thanks

            I only have the lenticular waitress Mia and Tia from the lenticular 3 pack. I wonder when I'll (I'll give to my son to open) open these???

            I never realised that there were all these versions of Mia & Tia released (although I knew about them all - I never "put them all together"). They must be up there with the big cars with how many different version there are. Saying that I do actually like all the versions as they're all different (unlike the same car, different expression and accessory)

            EDIT: the original red mia and tia are my favourite


            • #7
              Really enjoyed collecting all the different Mia and Tias. My son was very excited whenever we were able to get a different set. Hopefully they can do the ones from Moon Mater when those diecasts come out. There were quite a few that did not get made from Toons. The Mater the Greater Fan ones are my favorite. Love the paint job and the buck teeth.
              Last edited by bobbyjack; 05-28-2012, 03:40 PM. Reason: Forgot to post which ones were my favorite.

              signature courtesy of BomBom77


              • #8
                Another great article there, cac....

                I guess my favorite has got to be M & T with tray, seeing as how I carry one for a living. I do love the red ones too- just beautiful.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the great article as always!

                  Love the photos of them all together. Our favourite would be the chick hicks fans


                  • #10
                    Added more photos, including one that shows the Ron Hover 5 pack missing Mia and Tia as well as the proper Ron Hover 5 pack... I took the photo using an old cell phone that I now longer have back on June 20, 2010... almost 2 years ago.

                    @sodabear - most appropriate that Mia and Tia with tray would be your favorite - it takes hard work to be an excellent restaurant employee - I commend you...

                    So far 4 votes and we have a 4 way tie for your favorite Mia and Tia...

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


                    • #11
                      I regret not collecting any of these when I had the chance
                      When I first started my cars addiction it was mainly for the main characters then haulers and pit crews
                      By the time I started looking for more of the line, stock was rare and ebay prices were too crazy
                      nice collection Chris!


                      • #12
                        i,ll go with the chick hick ones, however i,m not a great fan of those fair weather fans, typical women, always changing their minds!


                        • #13
                          Great article. Imagine if Mia and Tia had been in singles - Mattel would have packaged them 5 Mia's per case and 1 Tia or something like that. It would have been funny and confusing at the same time.


                          • #14
                            another excellent and informative article ca1959,thank's for taking the time to do it.i can honestly say that out of them all,we have only the gold mia and tia in our collection and once we saw them we thought that the paintwork looks cheaply done on them.if i had to pick a set i think i'd choose the rescue squad mia and tia,the polka dots do it for me every time.


                            • #15
                              Nice. I have Gold, Waitresses, and Red, none of the other ones yet. I like the ones with the trays the best.