Yesterday I walked into a rural grocery store and walked by the seasonal section. I like the seasonal section in this store. There are always Hot Wheels. And yesterday was no exception. A fresh 4-sided shipper and a small dump bin. And a little bit further down, this:
An unopened basic shipper! These moments don’t happen often, but they are sure fun when they do. I asked the seasonal manager if I could go through it, and she graciously opened it for me:
It was finally ending. My Super TH drought that has plagued me for a long time was coming to a close. Sure, that 4-sided bin was hit before me, and the small dump bin definitely wasn’t fresh, but I was going to find my first 2018 Super in the wild. I started to dig.
I thought the drought was going to end last week. In a total rarity, I came across this at Walmart near my house:
One shipper was hit overnight, but a couple of other collectors and I were given permission to open the second. Lots of fresh cases in that bin. Tons of great models. No Supers.
Since my luck wasn’t good there, it was going to be good here:
Trays that were put out that day, but looked to be hit. That dump bin was packed full, but there was no way I was going to dig in. No time, and frankly no desire for that kind of messy dive. But full of Zamacs and other goodies.
Now I know as you read this, I need to qualify it a bit. I am not hurting for Supers. Mattel sends them to me to preview for you. Mainly to show you what the model looks like properly, and not via sites and feeds that show stolen items.
Incidentally, the actual topic of stolen Supers was addressed at the Mattel Q&A at the Convention. It’s right at the beginning:
Anyway, I have the Supers. And I have even pulled a couple from the Case Unboxings I do. So no, I am not making this a deal about me. I am last person to feel sorry for.
But that is the point. Supers are really more about finding than acquiring. Sure, some Supers, like this year’s Audi, are musts no matter what line they are in. But honestly, if Mattel took that Tooned Mustang Super and put it in Car Culture, what do you think the response would be? Or what if the Fiat 500 were made into a mail-in. Still a Super, but just put together 20 cardbacks and mail-in for it. Honestly, how popular would it be?
Truly, Supers are less Super and more TREASURE HUNT! It’s in the same. They need to be rare. You need to be frustrated. That way, when you do find one, it is a thrill. Or, you can change your entire life and drive to Walmarts all night to dig through fresh bins. I don’t criticize those that do it, as it is their choice. And if you want to, no one is stopping you. That is why I don’t like to criticize those that do. They want to make it a major part of their lives, so be it.
But they can still be found. A client of mine has a 10-year-old son way into Hot Wheels. He wants to find the Supers. He and his dad go out on weekends and look. They’ve found a ton. They put in the time and it works.
I am short on time. Between my real job and this blog, store visits are infrequent. But I have had luck. In fact, my last Super find was at this exact rural grocery store. It was the last Super of 2017, and it was a bit random:
It was a thrill when I found it, and it was going to be a thrill to end the drought today. At the same store even!
Alas, no Super. The drought continues. It is just going to make that next find that much sweeter. I will let you know when it happen.