REVIEW: Mattel SDCC'09 Exclusive CARS Toon Rescue Squad Mater Box Set

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    Oct 2001
    Fredericksburg, VA

    Mattel SDCC'09 Exclusive CARS Toon Rescue Squad Mater Box Set

    Mater is a firefighting hero... in his own mind.

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    Originally airing last October, CARS Toon (or Mater’s Tall Tales) are a series of animated shorts starring characters from Disney and Pixar’s CARS. In the cartoons, Mater is telling McQueen about his previous adventures such as when he was firefighter, which was the first episode of the series. The SDCC 2009 Exclusive Rescue Squad Mater set is actually the introductory piece in a soon-to-be-released CARS Toon collectible line featuring a variety of characters and playsets. This collector set features Rescue Squad Mater (the fire engine) and his two Dalmatian-painted Groupies (played by Mia and Tia).

    One of this years’ best examples of Mattel’s packaging design prowess, Mater and his two Dalmatian sidekicks comes boxed in a full-color window display offering a full view of the enclosed die-cast characters. The font of the box features the new Cars Toon logo, as well as a gold nameplate naming the three characters. The cars are situated on top of a raised platform meant to look like a roadway and are positioned in front of a building backdrop that appears to be on fire. Mattel didn’t stop there thought, as if you press the button that is accessible through the round die-cut on the side of the packaging, it activates a fantastic illuminated fire effect in the building’s windows! The back of the packaging also features a large color image of the enclosed vehicles in a dynamic poster style (which can be seen in the actual Cars Toon).

    One you remove the three cars from their base via the twist ties underneath, you are ready for some firefightin’ action. The vehicles in this set feature unique details and paint applications that will not be found on the re-released coming in the regular line. All three have real synthetic rubber tires that will be plastic on their next release as well.

    Mia and Tia are essentially the same vehicles with the same paint apps, but with some slight differences. The white paint used on their bodies is has a slight shimmer and high gloss color. What make the two different are the mouth expression (which is a separate plastic piece) and the license plates.

    Mater is one of the most detailed vehicles that Mattel has released for the Cars line. All of the small details you would expect on a fire engine are present such as the siren, flashers, bells, textured kickplates, and an articulated hose. One of the key features that will only be on this release of Mater is the awesome three-tier extending ladder!

    This fantastic set was available at SDCC'09 and for a short time at for $30.00. While it is now sold out, fans that missed the set will be able to get these characters soon when the CARS Toon line hits stores.

    For more images of the Mater and friends, CLICK HERE!

    Review Sample courtesy of Mattel

    Review & Photos by Michael Klein

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