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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Great Super Treasure Hunt Experiment of 2014: Patience pays off...


If you are not aware of the Lamley Great Super Treasure Hunt Experiment, I am trying to find all 15 Super Treasure Hunts of 2014 in stores without any overnight pallet-raiding, door-warming, or inside connections.  Just a visit to a store in the middle of the day.

Of course it helps when I do what I do for a living.  I have clients I need to visit all over the state, and that takes me to city and rural locations, with all kinds of different stores, from Walmarts and Targets to the local pharmacy.  If I have time, I will stop and see what is hanging.

The experiment has gone better than I thought it would.  Here is the tally as of this weekend:

Chevrolet SS - Found at a rural Walmart at 11:30 am
Sand Blaster - Found at a nearby Walmart around 4:30 pm
Camaro Special Edition - Found at neighboring town Walmart around 3 pm
'71 Mustang Mach 1 - Found on a Saturday afternoon grocery run at Harmon's Market (I found two)
'07 Mustang - no luck
'55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser - no luck
'70 Chevelle SS - Found at two different Walmarts on the same day (one at 10 am, one at 5 pm)
Twin Mill - Found at a rural Walmart at about 3:45 pm
'64 Chevy Nova Wagon - Found at 5 pm at a rural Alco
'83 Silverado - Found at Target at 1 pm
'76 Greenwood Corvette - no luck
'69 Corvette - Found 2 at Dollar Tree around 11:30 am

'65 Chevy Impala - no luck

That means I have found 9 of 13 2014 Supers in stores, with the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy (hitting stores this week), and '71 Datsun 510 Wagon to go.

But we have an update, and a surprising one at that.

I figure there is a decent chance I will stumble across the Impala or Greenwood in the next month or two, as those batches will continue to hit stores.  But I had all but given up on finding the other two I haven't had luck with, the '07 Mustang and '55 Gasser.  Both were part of batches released much earlier this year, and the chance of finding fresh E or F cases is very slim.  Both were released in February.

But Kroger decided to give me another shot.  After some time at the park this morning with the family, I made a quick stop at a nearby Smith's, the Kroger affiliate around here, to grab a couple of groceries.  This is not a store I visit often, so a toy section check was in order.  As I passed the seasonal aisle, I noticed a blue one-sided shipper, and decided to take a look.  (By the way, don't you love how in these stories we always say we were hitting the store for some essentials, and then "randomly" came across the pegs?  I guarantee that in every case, the person telling the story beelined it to the HW pegs before doing any other shopping.  And that is the case with me.  For the sake of the story, let's say I casually passed the aisle and saw the shipper.  But you and I both know it was the first thing I did after walking into the store.  Ok, back to the story.)

The shipper did look to be picked over, but then again I don't think I have ever come across a fresh stand-along shipper in my entire time collecting, so I wouldn't know what a fresh shipper looks like anyway.  I started to look for anything interesting, when a Smith's employee passed by and said "Wow, that was quick, you get to be the lucky one today."  I asked why, and he said he had put up the shipper just five minutes before, and I was the first person there.  I was of course surprised to hear that, considering it was noon on Labor Day, but I wasn't going to complain.  As I looked through the shipper, the Smith's stocker cleaned up some boxes beside me, and told me there were some regulars that came most days, and he was happy to see a fresh face have some luck.

But luck was eluding me.  There were no models I needed, no errors or variations, and only a couple of Maximum Leeway Regular Treasure Hunts that I would of course leave behind.  I could tell it was an E Case shipper, and was really hoping to find the '07 Mustang Super, but it was not looking good.  Row by row I checked, to no avail.  

Until I got to the second-to-last slot on the very bottom row.  The last car, hiding behind four others, was what I was looking for:



The elusive '07 Mustang Super TH.  Finally.  It was jammed into the creases of the shipper pretty tightly, but I managed to get it out without any card damage.

A couple of shots with its shipper compatriots:



I thanked the store employee, showed some kids looking at the cars after me the Regular Treasure Hunt and told them what it was (they grabbed both of them), and went on my way.  The bonus?  There is a sale at Kroger stores, and the Super was 79 cents.  Not bad.

So, it is time for the experiment update, with the unexpected change to an earlier Super:

Chevrolet SS - Found at a rural Walmart at 11:30 am
Sand Blaster - Found at a nearby Walmart around 4:30 pm
Camaro Special Edition - Found at neighboring town Walmart around 3 pm
'71 Mustang Mach 1 - Found on a Saturday afternoon grocery run at Harmon's Market (I found two)
'07 Mustang - found at noon on Labor Day in a Smith's one-sided shipper
'55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser - no luck
'70 Chevelle SS - Found at two different Walmarts on the same day (one at 10 am, one at 5 pm)
Twin Mill - Found at a rural Walmart at about 3:45 pm
'64 Chevy Nova Wagon - Found at 5 pm at a rural Alco
'83 Silverado - Found at Target at 1 pm
'76 Greenwood Corvette - no luck
'69 Corvette - Found 2 at Dollar Tree around 11:30 am

'65 Chevy Impala - no luck

10 for 13, with the Harley coming.  What will the final tally be?


5 comments:

  1. Congratulations mate! That was a really nice, interesting and enjoyable story to read! The write-up was excellent. Glad you finally found the super and nice to see you helped those kids. I found mine in a similar way. Only that because the shelf was bigger and the cars were more spread apart, I didn't have to take out every car to see what the last one at the end was. And I was looking at the cars from their front rather than the side (the aisles are open from the sides) so I was able to spot the extra hood tampos of the super much quickly. I hope to find more supers but chances are slim as the stores over here are becoming lazy when it comes to restocking Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars (has been over 6-7 months since I last saw Matchbox at any store I've visited so far)

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  2. I all but gave up on the elusive THs but this year I ended up finding the Nova Wagon and the Chevelle SS. I have more than a few complete sets but a couple of years ago it got so bad I just walked away. Around the sametime I got my brother into collecting he's had a lot of luck but he has tons more time to prowl the stores. He has told me the supermarkets are becoming the best place to find them here. I found mine the Nova at Target about 5 in the afternoon sitting of all places right on top of a bin box. I was taken a back to say the least. The Chevelle was around 6 at night in of all places a Dollar General. The last one I found was 2yrs ago. It's still a great feeling to find them but I don't miss fighting with scalpers.

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  3. not to mention the door warmers, the pallet raiders, and casting hoarders...

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    1. What exactly does "door warmers" and casting hoarders" actually refer to?

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  4. So jealous. I haven't come across any Treasure hunts, let alone Super Treasure hunts in the UK for over 3 years. I have to buy them on ebay now at vastly inflated prices. Still, I found a Majorette and Siku stockist recently so it's not all bad.

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