Who is in?!? Time to leave the Regular Treasure Hunts behind…

Can you do it?

Last week, as we completed the Worst Regular TH poll, and as we saw the reaction from all collectors to the new Fangster Treasure Hunt, we got to thinking.

Shouldn’t we leave them?

We are more convinced than ever that Mattel’s hope with the regular Treasure Hunts is that collectors leave them behind.  Some things to consider about Regulars:

  • Generally there is one Reg TH in every case, including Kday cases, making them fairly common, but still considered limited.
  • Unlike Super TH’s, there is an explanation on the card telling the lucky owner that the flame symbol signifies this is a limited edition special model and they are lucky to have found it.
  • With a few exceptions (Mazda RX-7, Dodge Challenger Drift), the choices of castings and colors/designs of the Regular TH’s are very kid-focused.
And some things to consider about Supers:
  • There is only one Super in every few cases, making them much more rare than other basic models.
  • A Super is almost always a collector-oriented model (Mustangs, Camaros, Mopar, JDM, exotics).
  • There is no way a non-collector would know what they have if they happened to be lucky enough to pick one up.
  • Since last year, Supers are enhanced versions of standard mainline releases, which allows anyone who likes the casting to still get a basic version.
What do these points tell us?
Mainly one thing.  Regular TH’s are there to create new collectors.  A kid picks up a Regular, opens it, sees what he has, gets a little excited, and now wants to find another one.  That kid goes online to learn about these chase cars, hits the Hot Wheels website, learns about the hobby, and if Mattel plays their cards right, is now transitioning from the kid who plays with a few cars to a kid who collects a lot of them.
So the point?  Mattel wants us collectors to see the Fangster TH and LEAVE IT.  You might pick one up if you are a completist, but that would be it.  Now it is there for the next kid who passes by.
Of course there are exceptions.  I will admit to picking up more than one RX-7, for obvious JDM reasons, and the same goes for muscle car and other collector-types with several Regulars.  But if 2013 and what we have seen so far in 2014 are any indications, the Regulars will continue to get more kid-friendly and collector-unfriendly.  And that is a good thing!
So as a collector-aimed website, we say leave them!  Nothing is more amusing and disappointing than watching a collector complain about how he hates a specific Regular TH, and then proceed to pick up every one he sees afterwards.
Of course, our admonition to leave the Regulars is not ground-breaking.  It looks like it is happening. In just the last week, we have seen these all left in well picked-over pegs and bins:

And we left them too.
So as we move into the holiday shopping season, and as the Hot Wheels cases flow from truck to pallet to peg on a daily basis, grab all the Supers you find.  We surely will.
But leave the Regulars.  If you do anything with the Regulars you come across, put them right on the front of the pegs.  You will tell the next collector who wanders by that they have been left deliberately, and it increases the likelihood of a kid picking it up.  
Let’s make this fun.  If you leave a Regular, snap a picture of its place on the pegs, and email it to us (lamleygroup@gmail.com), post it on our Facebook page, or post it on Instagram under the hashtag #lamleyleavebehinds, and tell us what city it was left in.  We will post all of these pics on our Facebook and Instagram pages for all to see.  Should be fun.
The day of the peg-warming Treasure Hunt is here, and that is a great thing…

20 Replies to “Who is in?!? Time to leave the Regular Treasure Hunts behind…”

  1. i don't collect treasure hunts. The ones i have are supers, or models i really liked, like the Datsun 240Z and the Ferrari 430…the 2013 models have been awful, and if 2014 will keep on being like this, i have less reasons to spend my money on those.

  2. In the past, the reg THs I found in the wild were ones where I liked the car to begin with. Even the Gangster Grin and Surf Crate. So I picked up all of them.

    This year, however, was the first time I left a THs behind. Came across the Prototype H24 back around when it initially came out and left it. Came across it again but I got it this time because a local collecting friend needed it for his son's birth-year set. I got the Bad to the Blade from k-days and I tossed it in the pile of cars for my son.

    I liked more of the reg THs in 2013 than most did. Ford Fiesta, Mazda RX7, Bread Box, Carbonator, Dodge Challenger Drift, Fast Fish, Camaro police, Fire Eater, even the '77 Dodge Van, all found their way to my collection. The Mustang police would have also if the colors weren't so horrid on it (that flat blue mixed with the red in the tampos just looks bad, IMO).

    For me, it's always been about what I like. If I don't like it, I don't think twice about getting one.


  3. “there is an explanation on the card telling the lucky owner that the flame symbol signifies this is a limited edition special model and they are lucky to have found it.”

    Well, in my place/country you're lucky enough if you could get a single Ferrari or Lamborghini or other popular castings like the Enterprise or Ecto-1 from the mainline. So if one day I could finally find (not online) a Super or even a TH on stores, then I'll consider myself VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY LUCKY!

  4. Same here. When the classic Hot Wheels Batmobile first came out a few years ago I found 2 at a Toys R Us and moments later a cart with what must've been a 3 year old kid in it rolls past, somehow sees what I have and knows to say 'Batman'. I handed one to him without thinking and his mom smiled and said thanks.

    I think that's when I realized that not only is it good to leave some behind (TH or HTF cars) for kids who might be lucky to visit the same location of 1 or 2 stores every other week, (unlike adults with 1:1 cars who can drive themselves wherever on a whim) as they see something like Skate Punk or Kool Kombi on the list but never see one in person.

    Though perhaps a thought for the TH obsessed collector, if you're buying strictly for yourself (and not to resell), and so are the 20 guys in the next town over, with each never leaving a TH behind with the thought it will be 'valuable' some day is flawed. If the price ever does rise and you dump your 8 of the same Reg. TH's, Bob down the road will find out and flood the market with his as well, so your “$20” car is now $2.50… So to the collector who is valuation-obsessed and indifferent to actual personal taste, do yourself a favor and leave 3/4, or better yet 7/8's of the Treasure Hunts for children, half of whom will gladly send it through a loop 1000 times, step on it in the sand box, and so forth, and then JUST MAYBE, it will become rarer, and more valuable in the future than what a Regular Treasure Hunt really is, and that's really, really abundant.

    A thought from the collector who's attended six business colleges globally, with 3 degrees, and has no aspirations for my Hot Wheels to be worth more than 0.25 each in 30 years.

  5. Where I live in a reseller filled area, it's rare a TH gets left behind, though I've been getting luckier because some folks are leaving hunts behind, in which I personally have never left one of the newer THs behind. Like John, I found a bunch of RX7s and got all of them because I like the casting. OTOH, I came across the Sting Rod IIs months before the RX7s and still grabbed them all, since I had never come across THs left behind in that amount, and bought all 5, in which 2 were given away to other collectors. I also bought more than one 2014 WRXs because it is a casting I like, and even one more Sand Stinger because I came across another one (First was from Kday). However, if I came across more like John, I'm not sure if I would grab much more. But like John says, you will take an X amount of them depending on the desirability of the casting; if it were a 67 Camaro, I'm sure the prices would be as much as a Super.

  6. I picked up the Fiesta, The Rx-7, Challenger Drift Car and Fire Eater for my collection, and one extra of each for trading. The rest are surely easy to leave behind. They're terrible.

    But there's one thing that must be said: In the first years of the THunts, there were A LOT of terrible models as well. It's easy to check either on the Wikia or South Texas Diecast.

  7. During the last year I found one super but managed to find every reg some i doubled up and gave to my young second cousin so he now seeks out the symbol because on international cards the info about them being special isn't there and to be honest supers are as rare as hens teeth I am sure most end up in the US cases I live in New Zealand so go figure

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