Mattel’s 2013 Annual Holiday Tent Sale
December 25, 2013

Once a year at Mattel HQ as part of their regular company store they have their annual tent sale.  This sale typically runs from just after Halloween until just before Christmas.   The sale is primarily made up of bulk overstock.

Whatever item  they put out there they always have a LOT of said item, like pallets full any given item.   There are always some oddities like Spanish language talking Elmos, unsold Star Trek Barbie and Kens, and various other kid’s toys.  There are new shipments 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 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.

MatTent13inside2 MatTent13inside1

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 there were a couple of Imaginext Batcaves for a great price.

MatTent13Imagine2 MatTent13Imagine1

There were several pallets with WWE product.

There were several pallets of Monster High products:

There was some Man of Steel product, like those finger flicker things, and one full pallet of Movie Masters General Zod.  This was the 2nd release that came with the shackles (which was much harder to find since he was one of the “tail end” figures along with Superman with the kryptonian key).   I picked one of these up for myself.


And the Masters of the Universe Classics offering this year was a WHOLE LOTTA Hurricane Hordak for a mere $5!!


Then back at the main Mattel HQ company store around the corner there was a wealth of other overstock toys and collector product.   There was also plenty of Monster High products here:

Lots of Man of Steel and Batman Unlimited and Batman product:


There’s still some DCUC and DC Infinite Heroes product hanging around:

MatStore13DCUC1 MatStore13DCIH1

There’s some 4″ and 6″ Young Justice to be had as well as She-Ra and the Star Sisters.


And then finally, not to disappoint – There WAS some Ghostbusters product, a whole endcap’s worth!


That’s the annual report of the 2013 Mattel tent sale.   Some good stuff this year!   Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Action Figure Insider!

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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  • J1h15233 says:

    Well at least they get to stare at their mistakes up close

  • evilwilma says:

    “There’s still some DCUC and DC Infinite Heroes product hanging around”

    Well, to be fair, it’s not ‘some’ DC Infinite Heroes product – it’s gold Captain Atom stacked to the rafters. I guess he didn’t sell well, although I’d half expect to find hundreds of Alexander Luthors as well.

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