A few days ago I posted this pic:
And yes, I left a store with that in hand, just as you see it above. A Hot Wheels ’17 Ford GT Super TH in a mangled Gran Turismo Nissan Skyline package. I mentioned there is a story behind it, and more than a few of you have speculated.
Some wondered if it was the king of all stupid toy returns, that someone would replace the Skyline with a Super Treasure Hunt and return it to the store. Nope. Look at that package. There is even tape on the blister. I don’t know if any store would accept that.
I will give you a few more details. I left the store with the manager knowing exactly what I was leaving with. A model in wrong packaging. The surprise might be that the store in question was a Barnes & Noble Bookstore. Can you figure it out now?
If not, here is the story. It may or may not be that interesting, but it is what happened.
The other day I got a text from a good friend and fellow Utah collector Ace (@ut_ace on IG) about a strange sight he encountered while shopping at a Barnes & Noble. This is what he saw:
That is a Hot Wheels display in the mini toy section at Barnes & Noble. We didn’t get a pic of whole display, but you get a sense of what it is. It is round, with pegs and small toy sets on the bottom, with a round clear display and more pegs up top. On this display there were no basics, only premium models, like Entertainment Forza, Pop Culture, Gran Turismo, Star Wars, and others. Any basic car that was there was part of the display.
And looking at the display, you can see what caught Ace’s attention:
Yep, that is a Ford GT Super TH.
Just sitting there as part of the display.
Of course this piqued Ace’s interest, but he had to get back to work. I was nearby, so I told Ace I would go check it out. And sure enough, there was a Ford GT just sitting in the display.
There is a general rule in diecast that all collectors should follow: It never hurts to ask, but always be nice. I found an employee nearby, and I asked. I told him there was a car in the display that interested me, and wondered if there was a way to buy a model and switch it for the display model.
Fast forward a few minutes, and the store manager, two floor employees and myself were working on trying to open the display. It wasn’t easy, but we did it. The folks there were super nice, and enjoyed the idea of helping a nerdy collector out.
While we were working on it, I learned that the display was shipped to each store, with directions to open the basic models for the display and peg all the others. There just happened to be a Super in the batch. We got the display open, and it was time for me to buy a model. They picked the Skyline mainly because it was already damaged, with a taped blister and beat up card.
The manager walked the Skyline and GT to the front, rang up the Skyline, and switched it himself. We talked for awhile more – he has a few interesting collections himself – and I was on my way.
And that is the story. No strange switch, no shenanigans, just a unique way of getting a very cool model. It made for a fun experience, especially for those amused employees, and it makes for a cool story to tell. Just remember, it never hurts to ask. Just be nice.
And in case you are wondering, OF COURSE this model is going to Ace. He discovered it, he deserves it. I just enjoyed the process of getting it.