To our friends here in the United States, Happy Thanksgiving. It is our hope here at Lamley that your holiday is happy, relaxed, and what you hope it to be.
To celebrate the holiday, we thought it appropriate to share something we are thankful for in the diecast world. It gives one a chance to look back on the year and find something that made collecting more enjoyable than it was in the past. And although there has been a lot to love this year, one thing stood out above all else – Hot Wheels Secret Super Treasure Hunts.
Whether you are a Treasure Hunt collector or not, it cannot be argued that finding a Super Treasure Hunt on the pegs is a thrill. Maybe it is better to say that finding a Hunt at any point is a thrill. I don’t know what it is like to crack open a new dump bin or case on a pallet and pull the hunts, nor have I ever pulled a Super from a Kdays case, so I can’t say what that is like. But I have wandered into a store and 3 pm and gasped at the site of a Super that has survived the day, waiting for me to pluck off the pegs.
And that is why I am thankful today for the Secret Supers that were introduced in 2012. Although most collectors are wise to the game, it evened the playing field just enough for others to experience finding a Super. The green stripe was removed, and only the model and artwork would tell the in-the-know collector if it was a Hunt. The HWC finds section now has frequent examples of Secret Supers being found on the pegs in the middle of the day, and many times the stories are fantastic.
As I mentioned before, I am not a pallet raider. Not because I have a problem with that, because I don’t at all. I just don’t have the time for it. My evenings are spent with other tasks, and I rarely find myself out and about as the pallets are pulled from the back. Nor do I have a schedule that puts me in stores overnight. But I do have a job that takes me all over the state I live in. I am in big cities and small towns, and I will visit several stores during my travels. The problem is I am in those stores at times that are not too conducive to finding Treasure Hunts. They are usually long gone before I get there.
Before 2012, I found a total of four Super Treasure Hunts. That is over a 4-5 year span. Since the Secret Supers were introduced in 2012, I have found 18. Of those 18, 9 were 2012 models and one is from 2013. The rest were multiples of a model. I thought I would share where and how I found these Supers:
’69 Dodge Coronet Super Bee – never found
’67 Chevelle SS 396 – I found two. One at a Walmart in Richfield, Utah, just after lunch, and the other in a picked over Walmart dump bin in Cedar City, UT, just before lunch.
’70 Camaro Road Race – I found two. One at a Walmart in Springville, Utah, sitting on a front peg at 10 am. I passed by it twice before discovering it sitting right in front of me. The other was found at a Dollar Tree in Richfield, Utah, at 2 in the afternoon.
’73 Ford Falcon XB – never found (but did get one in trade…)
’67 Ford Mustang Coupe – I found three. The first was at about 9:30 am at an infamously collector-infested Walmart in St. George, Utah. The second was found on that same day about two hours later at the same dump bin in Cedar City that produced the Chevelle.
The third is one of my favorite stories. It was found at a Kmart at in Richfield, Utah in the late morning. I went to the pegs and found nothing. The toy manager was next to me, and I asked if they would be putting more Hot Wheels out. She said that the stock doesn’t move very fast, so they only stock at the collector events. I thanked her for her time and started on my way out. I passed by a peg tree that many Kmarts use, and saw that it looked like it did when I saw it several weeks before. I decided to look anyway, and among the 15 or so models on the entire tree, was a Super Mustang. What was great? It was dusty. It is one of the only cases I have seen a Super hang on the pegs for obviously several days. I ended up trading off the first two Mustangs I had found, but kept the Kmart peg tree hugger.
’71 Dodge Challenger – never found (but acquire in trade…)
’71 Maverick Grabber – never found (Although a good friend of mine who is not what you would call a diecast collector texted me from Southern California to tell me that he found a strange Hot Wheels Maverick with rubber tires. He asked if I knew about the variation, and I told him what it was.)
’66 Ford 427 Fairlane – I found one, on an endcap at Walmart at 5 pm. Judging by the look of the Hot Wheels area and pegs, this model was accidentally passed over.
Honda S2000 – I found one, and how I found it is my favorite find story of 2012.
When I had learned that the S2000 would be a Super, and found out that the batches containing it were hitting stores, I decided to try the pallet thing. I left the house late at night, and hit several Walmarts with no success. They were either claimed or not even found.
The next day I tried some more Walmarts, to no avail. On my way home, my wife called asking me to stop by the store for a few things. I decided to hit the closeet Walmart to my house, a smaller store that restocked maybe once every two months or so. I was shocked to see the pegs full, and saw that the S2000 batch had been released. Just as I started to look, an employee came by who was cleaning up the area. He had several Hot Wheels that he was repegging, and one just happened to be the Super Honda. He said he found it over by the Barbies. I have no idea if it was a stash, or grabbed and ditched by a 2-year-old when he learned his mom wouldn’t buy it. Whatever it was, the card was crisp, and the model was mine. It was perfect timing.
’69 Camaro – My most productive find. Three Super Camaros and a DW-1 in a dump bin on a Monday afternoon in St. George, Utah. The bin had been placed away from the toy section near the fabric section, and the ladies working there told me this bin had been put out two days prior.
Volkswagen Beetle – never found
Ferrari 599XX – Found on an endcap in Ephraim, UT at 4 in the afternoon. Just down the aisle from the endcap was a dump bin, where during the same visit I found…
’70 Chevelle SS Wagon – besides the Ephraim dump bin find, I found two others. One at a Target in St George, Utah (my first Super find at Target), and another at TRU in Orem, Utah. Of course I was so happy finding the Super at TRU that I missed a fresh dump bin just around the corner. Oh well.
’09 Ford Focus RS – one found, in the same Cedar City dump bin that produced the Chevelle and Mustang.
’11 Dodge Charger R/T – never found
’72 Ford Gran Torino Sport – One of my favorite finds. Found at Target in Glenwood Springs, Colorado at about 2 pm while driving to Denver for the Van Gogh exhibit. This model is memorable, because it happened as my family and I were falling in love with the town. Could the Lamley Group be changing its home office address anytime soon? Not yet, and at least I have the Gran Torino Super to remind me of that great town.
’09 Corvette ZR1 – still looking
I am hoping to complete my 2012 Super TH set, and I am using some extras to trade for those I need. I was able to acquire a Falcon, my friend from SoCal is sending the Maverick, and there is a Charger on the way. I might even go to ebay for a couple, since I saved money buying most for $1. But whether I complete it or not, how great is it that most were found in the middle of the day on the pegs?
How have YOU done finding Hunts since the Secrets were introduced? Any great find stories in your travels? We would love to hear…