The Kmart Collector Day has evolved. That goes without saying. In the 10 years I have lived in Utah, things have changed quite a bit. A few years ago I could have spent an entire Saturday hitting Kmarts in the Salt Lake City area alone, then hit a few rural Kmarts in my travels the following week. Now there are none near me, and maybe two in the entire state. I don’t know for sure, nor will I because I never go in them.
But I still participate in the Kmart Collector Day. Only now I order the cases online. And it appears that is what most of you do as well. The tradition used to be to hit the event and then peruse the HWC forum to see what people found. Now the tradition is to constantly refresh the Kmart.com sales page to see when the cases are available again.
The cases for this event are selling out quickly. The listing originally posted early Sunday. By the time I awoke they were sold out. Kmart relisted them on Wednesday, and they sold out again a few hours later. I don’t know if and when they will post more, but there is a good chance those will go as well.
So why are they selling out? Well, the obvious reason was laid out above: Because this is the only way most collectors can do Kday now. Another reason is it is the only chance to for some to have a legitimate shot at a Super, although $40 plus shipping seems a little steep for “might”. It could be the exclusives too. The red ’95 RX-7 at last year’s fall events prompted me to buy three cases just to have a few of them. The Fairlady Super I pulled out of one of the cases was a definite bonus.
There there is the mail-in. Purchase twenty cars at Kmart, send in the cards and receipt, and you get a special premium model. Mattel likes to use desirable castings for these mail-ins, but some are more popular than others. Last February’s Datsun 510 mail-in was so popular, Mattel ran out of models, leaving a collector whiney-fest in its wake. The last two models, a ’57 Chevy and Ford Torino? Not so much. But for this event, it’s a monster. It’s the ever-popular ’55 Chevy Bel Air Gasser. And yes, collectors want it.
In the last 7-8 years, I would say about 4 castings have entered the all-time pantheon of Hot Wheels popularity. The two Datsun 510’s (Sedan and Wagon), the Kool Kombi, and ’55 Bel Air Gasser. There are others that are close, but those four have become event models. You may love them or hate them, but there is no arguing that Hot Wheels can always count on a major response when they release one of these.
And that is what is happening now. Sure, the Kmart exclusive silver Porsche 934 is cool, and pulling a Gulf Indy Racer Super would be fun, but it’s the Gasser that is selling these cases.
It takes 20 cars to get a Gasser, so one case only gets you one. Two cases gets you three. Four cases gets you seven. You can see how collectors with visions of Candy Stripers dancing in their heads can start buying in bulk.
No, this won’t be the Candy Striper. But it will be popular, and for those who collect the Gasser, like me, it is a must-have.