It always helps to ask.
Knowing that US Targets were getting special Hot Wheels shippers with the last batch of 2017 Red Editions, it was time to visit a few. A week ago my daughter and I visited a couple of Targets, to no avail. We returned to our closest Target on Labor Day, and while nothing was new on the pegs, we found an employee and asked. We were led to the electronics department, where two boxed shippers were stacked on a cart, waiting to be hung.
The employee let us look through them, and our hunt was successful.
In the two cases of 84-count shippers, we found a few sets of the Red Editions, and my daughter was stoked to find her second Super, the purple Velocita.
Fast forward a few days. I am in another town on business, and I had some time for a visit to Target. The pegs were pretty empty, and there looked to be no P Case remnants, so I found an employee, asked if they had a shipper in back, and he went and checked. A few minutes later, he returned with a fresh shipper:
A quick rummage through the shipper yielded a few more models I wanted, including a Velocita Super for myself.
That was fun. Even though this isn’t my favorite Super of the year, it is always fun to find a Super.
But there is more to the story. Remember, over the two visits, I opened three fresh shippers. In the first shipper, I found a few Chevelle and Firebird Red Editions, but no Kool Kombis. In the second, I found a few of all three. In the third? Only these:
Yep. In the last shipper, these three Chevelles were all the Red Editions in the shipper. No Firebirds, no Kool Kombis.
The point? Nothing is guaranteed. I imagine as the shippers are made, the Red Editions have already been mixed in, meaning there is no set number of exclusives reserved for each shipper. And that seems to mean you really have no idea what you will come across when you walk into a Target.
Mix in the fact that a model like the Kool Kombi is one of the most popular Hot Wheels castings these days, it makes these more and more difficult to find.
The solution would be to make more, which is probably a good idea. It seems there have been fewer exclusives this year, not in terms of releases, but numbers actually produced. It seems some Zamac batches have been in very small numbers, and I have never seen the Kroger releases, including the white Lamborghini Veneno. Don’t call it a complaint, it just seems there are fewer. And maybe that is the point. The more difficult they are to find, maybe the more we hunt. I doubt the release numbers is that clever, but we all want what we can’t get. That is a basic rule of collecting. (See: Super Treasure Hunt)
Hopefully a second round is coming, and those that want these can find them. And maybe find a few extra for some overseas friends. We will have to see.