AFi Report: Mattel’s 2015 Holiday Tent Sale
December 21, 2015

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.  The tent is set up in a parking lot around the corner from their main building, close to their other retail store.   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,  my 2013 report here and my 2014 report here.

Whatever items they put out for sale they always have a LOT lot of them, as in pallets or bins full any given item or SKU.   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 shipments to the sale each day and it’s a revolving door of product each week.

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 also looking for good deals.  In 2010 I picked up the Hot Wheels 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.   Sometimes you can even find some store exclusive items at the sale.

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, lots of Green Lantern movie product, Man of Steel toys, pallets Infinite Heroes 3-packs and as you might imagine… almost the entire Avatar line.

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.

The Fisher Price Imaginext line made an appearance.  The day I was in attendance they only had sets from the Castle and Space sub-lines in the tent.

There were bins for smaller items such as toys based on the Turbo animated series as well as Disney/Pixar’s CARS and Toy Story

As you might imagine the DC Multiverse 3.75″ General Zod was also in attendance in great numbers.  Even at $2.99 these were moving about as fast at the DOZENS still sitting at retail.


The Monster High fashion doll line is usually well represented at the tent sale.   The create-a-monster sets were also at the tent sale last year.

There were not as many Barbie items at the sale this year as I have seen in previous years, but the one that stood out for me was poor old Emmett from the Barbie Pink Label The Twilight Saga line.  This massive stack of dolls finally proved that you are either #TeamEdward or #TeamJacob… but NO ONE is #TeamEmmett.


There were a few pallets of Mattel WWE Power Slammer figures, but none of the 6″ scale lines.

MatTent15WWE2 MatTent15WWE1

And for the second year in a row there were still PLENTY of the DC Man of Steel movie line to be had for huge discounts at the sale including plush, rocket launching and the 6″ collector scale Movie Masters line of figures.

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



Here at the actually company store we find a wider range of Imaginext offerings including some of the DC Comics playsets:

There is a LARGE selection of Monster High items:

This store not only had the single carded CARS product but also some playsets and some PLANES items:

There was an area of WWE figures, that included some 6″ figures:


There was some older DC Comics figures from various lines like the 4″ and 6″ Multiverse, the 8″ Re-Mego line, a few stragglers from the animated Young Justice line and Sinestro from the short-lived Total Heroes line.


Of course there was still some Man of Steel product over here as well:


There were a few overstock Masters of the Universe Classics figures, specifically Eldor, Rio Blast and the Fighting Foe Men, as well as one lone Strong-Or.


And what do you know, there were even a few Castle Grayskulls for sale as well.   I couldn’t find a price on them however.


So there you have it.  That was a snapshot of the day I went to the tent sale.  As I mentioned the stock changes daily so you might find some different treasures.   The Tent Sale runs through Christmas Eve.   If you find any good stuff on your visit let us know!

Happy Holidays!


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.
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1 Comment »

  • jeprox says:

    when will mattel go back to making 4″ inch figure? I want to know please. I’m a fan of 4 figures and I hate that they cancelled the line. 4 inch figures forever!!!

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