AFi Report: Mattel’s 2014 Holiday Tent Sale
December 3, 2014

It’s that time of year again!

Once a year, at Mattel’s  headquarters in El Segundo, they hold their annual holiday tent sale.  This sale typically runs from Halloween until just before Christmas around the corner from their main building in an adjacent parking lot.   The sale is primarily made up of bulk overstock toy of this year, but occasionally there will be some older items as well.   If you want to look back at some of my past coverage of this annual event, you can read my original 2011 report here,  you can read my 2012 report here and my 2013 report here.

Whatever items  they put out there they always have a LOT lot of them, like pallets or bins full any given item.   There are always some oddities like Spanish language talking Elmos, unsold Barbie and Kens, and various other kid’s toys. The stock ranges from Fisher Price to Adult Collectibles.  There are new shipmentsto the sale each day and it’s a revolving door of product.

But occasionally there will be some collector gold in the mix.   The first year I went to the tent sale was 2006.   I got an amazing deal on the first waves of Disney/Pixar Cars.  They had a huge bin of them for $1.00 apiece.   I was able to get about 20 of them as I pawed through the 3 foot tall bin with 6 mothers..  in 2010 I picked up the 1:24th scale 66 Batcycle for $12.00.   It was marked $25, but there are always 50% off coupons for the Mattel store floating around.

Previous years there were bins of JLU singles and DSIH singles, pallets of JLU Eclipso and Hawkpeople 6-packs, pallets of deluxe Dark Knight figures, pallets Infinite Heroes 3-packs and as you might imagine… almost the entire Avatar line.  There’s almost always something from the Ghostbusters line on a pallet. (There still was this year, but it was in the regular company store and not the tent)

This year when I went it felt a little lighter on product… which ultimately is good news for Mattel because that means they had less overstock on products.  That also may change as they get shipments several times a week so stock will continue to be added.


The Tent Sale


The tent itself is in the back parking lot of Mattel’s headquarters in El Segundo.   Just like their year-round HQ company store, the sales tent is open to the public.  While it is a “tent” and a temporary structure it’s huge, solidly constructed and has things like electricity and a heater system in it.



From the inside you can see the vast structure, and it’s open, warehouse-like appearance.   It’s always been busy every year when I go.

I took some shots of the collector products that I thought AFi readers might be interested in seeing.

This year we see the leftovers from both the Man of Steel  and The Dark Knight Rises movie lines.   The Man of Steel Movie Masters figures were the tail end series that had Zod in cuffs and Superman with the Kryptionian key.

Other product of interest this year for collectors comes from WWE and Max Steel:

There was also several pallets of Monster High and Ever After High products:

Every year there are some Barbie products.  This year there was a Barbie bathroom set complete with a Barbie toilet with a roll of toilet tissue!


And then, on my way out the door, in the middle of a basket, tossed aside, all by himself… a lone DCUC Reverse Flash.



This year was not the best year for collector items at the Mattel Tent sale, at least on the day I visited.  I do plan to go back later this week and see if any of the MattyCollector Black Friday/Cyber Monday items that didn’t sell out might show up at the sale.

There’s more in the back that they bring out each day:


The more interesting items, especially for collectors, were still over at the Mattel HQ company store, so I headed over there to take a look at what was on sale this week.   The Mattel Company Store also gets new shipments of stock almost every day, sometime multiple trucks in a day.

The Company Store


At the store we found a full aisle of Imaginext products:

An endcap of pop culture Hot Wheels including the new Marvel cars.  I picked up that last BSG Cylon Raider:


A wall of WWE (I had to get one of the 2-packs with the 6″ scale Scooby Doo):


A few Barbies from my alma mater –


There is some MOTUC overstock in the form of the Fighting Foe Men, Lord Dactus and Geldor:


And then we come to all of the DC Comics stuff.   They had more Man of Steel Movie Masters figures, a whole endcap of DC Multiverse (with lots of the unmasked 1989 Batman), a few Young Justice 2-packs, DC Total Heroes,  some DCUC and several DC Signature Collection figures,

That’s the annual report of the 2014 Mattel tent sale.   It was a bit hit or miss from what I saw this year, but it’s always fun to check out.  Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post,,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.





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