It definitely happens in bursts.
My last Super find was the two Datsun Wagons I pulled at Target, the same week I found two Kool Kombis on successive days at different Walmarts.
Nothing. But that happens a lot. While I will admit to finding more Supers than most, mainly due to my travels in rural areas, it doesn't happen all the time. I have gone several months without finding Supers. In fact, the Datsun and Kombi finds were at the beginning of October, meaning I hadn't had any luck for two months. I know, boohoo you say. I'm just sayin', it's not all the time.
Well, it is the beginning of December and I have had another burst. Three Super finds, two on the same day.
The likelihood of finding Supers increases a substantial amount in December. Many think Black Friday is a good time. It isn't. Shoppers are looking for bargains on all kinds of items that they perceive are expensive. Hot Wheels singles aren't, so there won't be a rush on them. Hot Wheels playsets? Yes. $5 10-packs? Sure. $1 Hot Wheels discounted 16 cents? No. Hot Wheels are always a bargain.
And stores know this, so there is not a rush to stock on Black Friday. But they also know that after the initial bargain run, shoppers are looking for stocking stuffers, so Hot Wheels will fly off the shelves. That means stores are restocking singles all the time. And that is what has happened this week.
Batch C is starting to appear, but so are many older 2014 cases. On the pegs and in the bins. So there is a good chance that a store will restock in the middle of the day, making a lucky collector very happy who walked in on a lunch break. Or after work. Or whenever. That is what happened to me.
The first find happened Tuesday and filled in a 2014 gap. I have spent the majority of the week is the southern part of the state, and while heading to a lunch meeting, I had a spare minute to hit a Walmart. The pegs were filled to the brim, and right in front was a La Fasta Regular Hunt. In fact there were three on the front of the pegs. In between those was a Twinduction hunt.
That means one of two things. Either the pegs are untouched, as a lot of collectors still bafflingly grab every Regular they find. But many are starting to leave them (more on that in a minute), and this could mean a collector was using the Regs to say these pegs were checked. I definitely thought the latter.
But as I kept checking (across from bottom row to top), I kept finding more La Fastas, making me think that I might be perusing untouched pegs. And then, top row, to my left, second model in:
Could it be?
A Super I haven't found in the wild. I might not be particularly fond of the Harley, but this is a nice version, and more importantly it allows me to fill in another box:
So the update on the 2014 experiment (for those that don't know, can I find all 2014 Supers just by randomly hitting stores during my normal day-to-day):
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 - Found at Walmart just before lunch
'71 Datsun 510 Wagon - Found two at Target at 6 PM
So where do I sit? I have found all the Supers except the Gasser, Greenwood Vette, and Impala (although I did find the Impala in a purchased case). There is always a chance I could find those in some in-fill cases, but I think the places everyone has found the Gasser (Walgreens, Dollar Tree) have been hit. But stranger things have happened. The 2014 experiment ends on December 31st.
But 2015, if I want to do it again, is off to a nice start, thanks to a couple of mid-day Walmart trips.
Word was out that Walmarts were putting out bins containing B and C case cars. I was still traveling, so on my way out of town today around 11:30, I stopped at the same Walmart that had the Harley two days prior. Sure enough, a bin was there, bursting at the seams:
Looked picked over to me. Until I started looking and found Jeep Reg after Jeep Reg, and I started to wonder if was lucky at the same store. I was:
My first Rrroadster find. Yeah, I was hoping to find the AE86, but this bin was all B case cars, and to be honest, the Rrroadster is a really nice looking Super. So the same Walmart produced two different Supers for me, essentially at the same time of day, two days apart. Not bad.
Of course an hour later I was driving through another town, and decided to see if they got a bin as well. And they did, and it was a B, and it was full of Jeeps, and guess what?
#2 on the day. And yeah I took it. Or bought it, to be specific.
So the final haul:
The final tally? One Harley Super, two Rrroadster Supers, a Regular Jeep to photograph for the blog, a couple of Datsuns.
And if I want to do the same experiment in 2015, here is where I stand so far:
A. Kool Kombi - Found two in Walmart dump bins two days in a row mid-morning.
B. Rrroadster - Found two on the same day at two different Walmarts around lunchtime.
C. Toyota AE86 Corolla - no luck.
And in the process I left a lot of these:
That is our little cause among Hot Wheels collectors: Take the Supers, leave the Regs. Of course if it is a casting you like, and the Jeep is nice, grab a couple, or as many as you normally like to get of favorite castings. But if it isn't, leave them for kids. Make a kids day when he or she opens it and gets a message that they found something special. It is better than all those Regs taking up space in your closet, and you hoping that you can resell it for $1.50.
Anyway, it was a nice little burst. Let's see if I can get lucky with the Corolla...