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Monday, October 6, 2014

The Great Super TH Experiment: 2014 continues, and 2015 begins...


The Great Super Treasure Hunt Experiment of 2014 continues, with a bit of a shocker today, but first...

The 2015 Experiment has already started, and it is already full of firsts.

As one year ends and another begins, strange things happen in the Hot Wheels world.  This is the second year in a row that two batches essentially have shown up at the same time.  And that is not a surprise.  Hot Wheels does 15 batches a year, so there will be a few that are released only a few days apart.  But why things mix up so much at the end is a little confusing.

As we discussed last week, it seems the 2014 Q cases are being released in a bit of a scattered manner.  Some Walmarts in certain areas of the country are getting a mix of Q and 2015 A batches along with the final three exclusive Zamacs of 2014.  Since our report last week, we have heard of a few folks finding Datsun Wagon Supers in those batches.  Other Walmarts in other areas are getting 2015 A cases, which include some holdovers from the Q case, but the Batch A Kombi Super, and no Zamacs.

Because I want to do a final post on the Zamacs of 2014, I am hoping to come across the Zamac batch, but to no avail.  This is actually the second year in a row that my area has not gotten the Zamac batch.  I had to ask a friend to send me the last three so I could photograph them.  Of course the Zamac batch could eventually appear, but it is starting to look unlikely.

The Walmarts around here are getting the 2015 A case.  And there is where the 2015 Experiment begins.  I had two days of luck, and both were different than what I am used to.

To remind readers, the Great Super TH Experiment is to see if I can find all the Supers of a given year just by walking into stores during my normal travels and see if I come across a Super.  No overnight runs, no pallet raids, and no door-warming.  It seems most of my luck comes in small stores or forgotten rural Walmarts, but 2015 has started a bit differently.

It started last Thursday.  It was about 9 AM and I had just finished an early meeting, and was near a Walmart that is typically a hot spot for the overnight crowd.  I have had little luck with Supers there, but it was nearby and I decided to stop by to see if the Zamacs were out.  When I walked back to the toy section, I noticed the toy manager fooling around with some very blue cardboard.  I was instantly intrigued, and then saw a bunch of Batman models.  I asked if she had put out any other bins, and that is when she pointed to an overflowing bin by the bikes.  I of course asked if she had just put it out, and she said she had.

The strange thing was that the models looked like they had been stacked in the way collectors like to stack them, so I was a little dubious.  Right at that moment, another collector came by, and I told him this was apparently just put out, and we decided to tackle it together.

That is the first "first" of the story.  I hardly ever come across a fresh dump bin (most are put out overnight), and I had never looked through one with another collector.  He was very nice, and we agreed to split any Supers we might find.  But that was if we actually found more than one, or any at all.  He too was skeptical with what appeared to be a collector-created stack, but he went and got a cart and we dug in.  As it turns out, the manager stacked them to be able to maximize space.

That became obvious, as about two-thirds of the way through he found the first Super Kombi.  It was his, and he was pretty happy about it.  I was coming across a plethora of Chicane Regular Hunts and was very happy to throw them back.  A little later, Cory (that was his name) smiled with this discovery:


So thanks to a generous collector, I had my first Super of 2015:


As is the agreement, anything else found after those first two is fair game.  As it was, those were the only two found.  Ultimately, it was a little more pleasant to have a nice chat with a collector while digging.

Little did I know I would be able to reciprocate the very next day.  On Friday around 11:15 AM I was near another Walmart, and decided to check that for possible Zamacs.  As I was looking at the pegs, the toy manager walked by with one of those noisy pallet carts.  There was nothing on it, but I watched as she went to the end of the aisle and threw a nearly empty dump bin on it.  I of course asked if she was replacing it, and she said she was.


And there is First #2 of this story.  I have never been at a store when a dump bin was actually brought out from the back.  She went off and said she would return in a few minutes.  I of course decided to wait.  While I was waiting, another collector emerged.  It was clear he had already been there, and it was also clear he was a little worried about me.  We got to talking, and I eased his fears by telling him this was a first for me, and would of course split anything found.

The manager returned with a totally fresh bin, complete with 8 sealed cases.  I should have gotten a pic, but I was ready for the fun of digging in.  Jeff, the other collector, told me he had been at the store for a few hours overnight, but they would not bring the bin out for him to peruse, so he returned later.  That is definitely commitment.

I enjoyed a nice chat with Jeff and his wife as we both opened four cases.  It was the second case when this emerged:


(Into the bin for an appropriate photo:)


As per the rules, that one was mine, since I found it.  I was really hoping one of use would find a second to keep things even, and thankfully that happened (placed in the bin for dramatic photo's sake):



So there was the karma.  I was the recipient of a generous collector the day before, and the very next day I was able to do the same.  Plus, it was great to once again have a chat with a fellow collector.  Like Thursday, two were found and split.

So, we start 2015 1-for-1:

A. Kool Kombi - found twice in Walmart dump bins two days in a row mid-morning.
B. Rrrroadster - not out
C. Toyota AE86 Corolla - not out
D. Ferrari 599XX - not out

Let's see how this goes...

Ok, on to a 2014 update.  Here is where I stood until about 6 pm tonight:

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 (although found in a purchased case)
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy - no luck
'71 Datsun 510 Wagon - no luck (although found one in a purchased online Kmart case)

I have done pretty well so far.  Considering many of my finds happen well after the first releases of batches, the 2014 experiment will go until December 31, 2014, to see if that happens with these later 2014 models.  Finding the Gasser is most likely out of the question, but there still is a chance that I could come across the Greenwood, Impala, or Harley.

But the Datsun 510 Wagon can now be crossed off the list.  As we mentioned earlier, it seems the Target is the best place to find Q cases.  Collectors on HWC and Instagram who are reporting finding the Datsun Wagon Super are mainly reporting them found at Target.

With that said, when I arrived in another town for work tonight, I decided to hit the pegs while doing my normal Target visit to pick up some Smart Waters for the hotel.  I of course did not expect to find any supers, but there was always a chance that some other nice models would be there.  As I approached the toy section, I notice a red cart with a few boxes on it near the toy vehicle aisle.  I perused the pegs, and found the mainline Datsun Wagon.  The Target employee with the cart was working nearby, so I asked if he was putting more models out.  He said he was.  He showed me the cases, and let me look.  

So, yada yada yada and let's just say I did not expect to walk over to grab some Smart Waters with these in the basket:


Both cases had a Super, but no regular Wagons.  And the bonus?  Both grills:


Both on the pegs just to verify it was at Target:


So yes, I am on a bit of an unprecedented run.  This amount of luck most likely means a drought is near, but I will enjoy it while it lasts.  

An update:

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 (although found in a purchased case)
Harley-Davidson Fat Boy - no luck
'71 Datsun 510 Wagon - Found two at Target at 6 PM

The take-away from these last few days?  It never hurts to ask nicely...

2 comments:

  1. That's a super-cool story, mate! Congrats on such amazing finds. Makes me feel sad that I only have the '07 Mustang. Anyway, I hope you find the rest soon so good luck for that!

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  2. I came across a couple of 2011 KPGC110 Skyline 2000GTR's and VW Brasilia's in my local Toys 'R Us, which qualifies as luck in my book but in the UK Supers have been elusive to me since 2010! Can anyone confirm that Supers are actually sold in the UK?

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