Seriously?? This isn’t needed in our hobby.

Collector and Lamley Reader Joe Navarro in Chicago sent these pics from his local Target:

Really?  REALLY??

It is pretty easy to figure out what this story is.  It is becoming more and more common.  And considering the person that bought these, swapped the wheels, reconnected the rivets, and reattached the blisters, ALL to keep the Real Riders, this is clearly someone very involved in the hobby.  And may read this blog, or at least be involved in some sort of collector community.

Whoever you are, I am not going to call you a scumbag, but man, you are better than this.  The effort you put in to saving a few dollars is baffling.  To be this dishonest, taking advantage of Mattel and Target, just to save a few dollars is embarrassing.

I know plenty of customizers who buy models for the wheels.  They then use the bodies for something else.  Maybe they use them for projects, or trade them for more wheels, or create customs as gifts.  What I know about the custom community, it is polar opposite of your actions.

Whether you swap the wheels off a model, or switch the model in a package, it is all the same thing.

You don’t need any names thrown your way.  You already know how pathetic this is.  You are of no value to the collector and customizer community.  Just give up the hobby already.  We don’t want you around.

(Thanks Joe for sending these pics.  Sorry you had to encounter it.)


40 Replies to “Seriously?? This isn’t needed in our hobby.”

  1. I agree, it’s pretty pathetic. Same goes for the people that open the package (typically greenlights) and swapping them with $1 hotwheels mainlines before returning to the store. There’s currently one sitting in the rolling meadows Meijer.

  2. It is stupid for someone to do something like this, but honestly, the basic wheels kinda look cool on those car culture cars

    1. yeah, and the guy clearly use some effort to color coordinate the basic wheels.. i mean, ilook at the NSX with its red wheels.. still douchey tho..

  3. I actually saw them too! It’s the Target on Broadway and Wilson. I was so pissed off the NSX is the only one I’m missing from the RaceDay assortment. I’ve seen similar things happening at the Target on Division and Larrabee

  4. Wow! I kinda think this person might need the wheels for their personal custom jobs, but I have a feeling that they are going this length to produce customs to sell somewhere like Ebay.
    I hope they know Karma is waiting. When I first saw this posting, I thought maybe there were a bunch of packages on the pegs with damaged or mutilated cards. You know how some sh*tbags like to grab their stash but destroy the rest of the inventory so no one else gets good packs… those idiots are real trash A-holes!

    1. You are correct. Either that, or attend local flea market and collector shows where they can sell them as “special collector models” for twice the price.

      They’re just a bad as these jokers on Ebay that take a simple mode, drill a hole into the body and turn it into a keychain or Christmas ornament and sell it for $10-15. An I also wonder how many people actually buy them.

      1. Not the stores fault and it should not be their problem. If a car has a manufacturing defect the manufacturers should have a system in place to deal with that. I totally agree with no returns on diecast or all sales final.

  5. These models were found in Chicago. I wonder if this is the same dirtball who likes to mutilate the cards on the ones he leaves behind.

    Fellow Chicago collectors: let’s be on the lookout for this scumbag and expose him.

    We have a good bunch of decent collectors and traders in this town. This guy needs to be caught and called out.


  6. I fell for this crap accidentally when I grabbed the Dodge Charger Car Culture, didn’t pay attention to anything because I was shopping with the GF, got it home and the card was tampered with and had shitty wheels- I’ll pay more attention now and hope to find the douche canoe that does this- this was in Socal- I’m pretty sure the effort to take the car home, open it, change the wheels, re-package, and return, takes more time than just doing it the right way- people can be assclowns

  7. “Whoever you are, I am not going to call you a scumbag”

    No, but I will. This foolishness is quite active in the Walmarts in the Meridian, Mississippi area (yes, I’m naming locations in the event anyone who’s reading this blog is from the area-and yes you know who I am). I’ve even brought this to the attention of the store managers, and their response is like “Well it’s no big deal” or “but our store policy is ‘the customer is always right’ and we refund, no questions asked.”

    These damaged models always wind up clogging the pegs. Nobody is going to guy them and neither do I.

    Sometimes it’s best if these premium models are sold at a hobby shop or specialty store where this type of activity is not allowed.

  8. Sad to say it’s not just Chicago it’s every where. We see the same type of wheel swaps and package destruction on the east coast too, pitiful to say the least.

  9. I have been beating this drum now for years. I have even seen and documented instances where cheap plastic cake topper gift cars are substituted for premium models.
    I wont back off not calling these people scumbags.
    The amount of work that goes into this type of scalawagery is a lot. Especially when Hot Wheels sells wheels for us customizers.
    No. Peeople who cheat are scumbags.

  10. I’ve seen this occasionally, but those look a lot better than the ones I have seen. There is some idiot who likes spraying silly-string all around the toy aisle at one Wal-Mart I frequent. He/she may or may not be the same person who swaps out action figures and does a very crappy job of it.

  11. This is a very common problem along with the black market store employees use to get money. I have a solution but it needs a group of people to implement it. There’s a very easy and logical solution that will almost almost stop the black market, the over priced pieces and the lack of good pieces in stores. It would even change the entire industry of the hobby, but it needs support from many collectors to work. I tried a reduced version of the plan in my city and it worked! I got photos to prove it. But I had not much support after it because many of the collectors in my club where part of the problem and boicoted the project. I’m even thinking of making an entire documentary about this because this is a subject that common people know nothing about because they thing these are only toys.

  12. Unfortunately it’s a common practice all over the world not just in your state , it’s absolutely disgusting that this happens, they are effectively double dipping and will cause mattel to take a long hard look at how these cars are now packed, one way to stop this would be a void sticker in between the blister and the cars so once they have been split you can plainly see it’s been do and this type of thing will drive prices up , to the idiot who did this and to all you other idiots that do this you should be ashamed of yourselves and I hope karma catches up with you , it’s only gonna be a matter of time till it happens your lowlife scumbag

  13. Simple solution. Have mattel sell the stinkin’ real riders in packs so customizers can buy them instead of sacrificing cars.

  14. Wow! India may not be the diecast capital of the world but at least we don’t have to deal with such shit. No but really, this is pathetic and the culprit deserves a good smack in the face.

  15. It’s real simple , target could solve this problem and a myriad of other shady acts that shit resalers do. Like transferring inventory to targets, that don’t come from target or to get the target close to them to be out of hotwheels. STOP ALLOWING RETURNS ON HOTWHEELS at targets. There is no acceptable reason for it and it does more harm than good.

  16. As everyone else has spent all their anger, I’ll just say: that retooled NSX better show up in the Mainline with an Epson or Autobacs livery. I mean I just want it in the mainline, same with a retooled Aston Vantage GT3 and C7.R and Viper GTS-R.

  17. it so bloody hard getting hot wheels and matchbox in the UK without scumbags like this ruining it for everyone, because thats what they are, they stop friends getting models to send to us in the UK – Mattel dont care about the UK, it is plainly clear to see with the total lack of ranges without idtiots like this making it even harder

  18. It’s a pile of crap. I have it happening in my area. Right now at my target there is a 2017 Flames 5 pack with all the cars swapped out and a 2016 Nightburnerz 5 pack WITH 4 CARS!!!!
    Man scalpers piss me off

  19. Well, it is rampant as I can tell you I can recall extremely similar trickery of the Ralph McQuarrie art Star Wars premiums in the Magnolia TX area all year long at Walmarts. If a person has these skills to such detail as to not destroy the card etc, they are certainly not working at a job best suited for them as those are some skills I can’t pull off convincingly!! I fully agree, our hobby and, well our country does NOT need dishonest acts like this. Let’s just hope this post as well as extra eyes can put a stop to this NOW.

  20. Is it sad that I actually like these with the wheels this guy choose over the real riders that come with them? Never been a fan. Not saying what he did was right by any means, just a little amazed at the effort put into it… Maybe a practical joke? Just thinking positive.

  21. This has been happening heavily in NYC in Targets and Walgreens. All with the car culture series. Wheel swaps for mainlne wheels and mainline cars repackaged in car culture packaging. It’s pathetic and it really sucks for the parents and kids that don’t know any better. They think they are buying a factory sealed car that came from the factory, but instead are getting scammed. Unfortunately, most store employees don’t know what’s going on and restock the cars even after being informed of the treachery that has been committed.

  22. I am a collector. I wanted to say that the person that did this is pretty good in a sense where nothing looks suspicious with a naked eye unless you are a collector. A regular Walmart of Target employee could not tell if they were tampered and frankly don’t care. Who cares one might say, but collectors do because they hunt for these as a hobby for their own collection. I is not being cheap about it. It is the adrenaline that the person gets when he accomplishes a return that he/she tampered with. He/she is sick and sorry to say we can’t do anything about it. This post is only allowing the public the possibilities of a crime you can get away with. But the good thing is that it keeps collectors aware of these acts. Hope the ones he/she has melt. Thanks for reading.

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