Pixar’s CARS ‘Heyday’ Die Cast Collection

When does merchandise become collectible? I struggle a bit on this site to determine whether I should label something as just a piece of merchandise or as a true collectible. Anything you buy (merchandise) can become more if you acquire more than one (thus, becoming a collectible, or part of a collection). I tend to label the line of die cast vehicles from the Pixar CARS franchise as both.

This is because the first wave of cars released were basically collectibles but as Disney began to milk the movies for money, I feel they became closer to merchandise, just more things to buy. Does that make sense?

Either way, I keep buying them! But only models that appeal to me as something unique or unusual. Like these two characters from Cars 3:

Complete Packaging

Honestly, I don’t remember these guys, but I like the vintage vibe they give off. I’m possibly in the minority when I say that Pixar should have stopped with the first Cars movies. But they were dragged down into Sequel Heck by Disney and so we got Spy Cars and Next Gen Cars.

Ready to Race

Leroy Heming is a former Piston Cup racer. He competed in the 1950s of the Piston Cup Racing Series bearing the number 300. He raced against Doc Hudson but never managed to beat him. The car is based after a 1955 Chrysler 300.


Junior “Midnight” Moon is a supporting character in Cars 3. The Character is listed as a “bona fide legend of the early Piston Cup circuit and contemporary of the late Doc Hudson and Lightning McQueen’s mentor”. The car is based on a 1939 Ford. Junior Moon is based on and voiced by Junior Johnson, who is an actual former moonshiner and NASCAR icon who is nicknamed “the Last American Hero”.

I do appreciate the level of detail that is put into these characters. Most of the vehicles created are rather generic, but every once in a while a true original comes along.

Back of the Packaging

The Hit and Run characters tempted me (lower right) but I resisted and saved some of my money. I have way too many Cars in my collection already. Just ask my wife. But I have a feeling I will weaken and add these two beat up guys to the fleet at some point. Don’t tell my wife.

Do you have a favorite character among the Cars franchise?

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