Hitting 20: Dollar General’s First Mail-In is the Nissan Skyline Van.

I told myself 2019 was going to be it. No more mail-ins. I was hanging it up. Kicking the habit. Shifting focus. Sure. For a little more than six months, I’ve been trying hard to adjust my collecting habits to remove some of the excess purchases. This isn’t anything new. It’s a tired cycle I find myself in now and again. Entering my garage brings the usual feelings of joy addled with a tinge of anxiety. I’m real close to reigning it in.

Sorry, doc. I’ll save those thoughts and feelings for another day.

The juice that’s worth the squeeze.

After the collapse of K-Days and the redistribution of events amongst various stores across the US, the first mail-in of 2020 fell into the purses of Dollar Generals nationwide. The reward, a 1969 Nissan Skyline Van, is painted in the year’s Spectraflame purple over black 4-spoke Real Riders. It’s a real looker, and along with the upcoming VW Vanagon, was doing its best to tug me back onto the mail-in merry-go-round. Diecast addiction spares no one.

The COPO Camaro in red is one of the four exclusives.

That was, until it was taboo to go to the stores for anything but essential items. Somehow, in the last two months, diecast hunting became a distant memory and I sidestepped to only online orders of more premium selections. That meant, however, my mainline purchases dropped to zero, as I still found buying a dollar car I would normally find on the pegs (minus Supers) at inflated eBay prices a hard pill to swallow. Perhaps the addiction is waning?

But in the last week, restrictions were beginning to loosen, with certain safety precautions put in place. I decided, at the 11th hour, to venture to my local Dollar General to see if I could round up 20 cars were purchasing. Today (5/29/20) is the final date the receipts are valid. It’s now or never.

That’s how I found myself in a Dollar General on a rainy Thursday afternoon, sifting through the remains of an already scavenged shipper, hoping there were 20 cars worth taking home. The exclusive ’49 VW Beetle Pickup was there, so might as well grab three of them. Exclusive COPO Camaro? One for opening and one for the shoe box…with the matching standard release in black? Sold. First to market GReddy* S2000? It looks great on those wheels, even if the casting is showing its age, literally. Ooh the yellow 993, my favorite Porsche 911? And there are two of them? Sign me up. And the black Velar is a great partner for an ideal driveway pairing. Don’t I have it already, though? Can’t be sure so in the basket it goes.

Poorly fitted fender flares or an aging mold…you decide.

The teal Jaguar XJ220 looks fast in its Le Mans racing livery. I like how the tampo team decided on the exposed headlights and checker pattern to really drive home the homage to the XJ220C. And I can’t help but be reminded of Need For Speed: Porsche Unleased when I look at that beige 944 Turbo. Ok, I think that’s about it. One, two, three, four…

Question…how many of us have selected 12 cars, finding ourselves stalled over choosing the remaining 40 percent? It’s funny how we can justify the balance of eight cars by labeling them for other uses. Oh, my daughter would love this ducky. And this fire truck looks perfect for bathtime. Hey, eventually my son is going to want to play with Hot Wheels…why not start him out with a red Kenmeri police car?

Cars for the kiddies.

More unnecessary items to achieve that magic number 20. At least Dollar General doesn’t jack their prices up before the event like K-Mart used to do. All in, you’re looking at $20 plus whatever tax rate your state applies. What a bargain, considering I’d pay at least that for the Skyline alone on the secondary market.

You know, I told myself I was going to skip the longueur for this pop-up post. Oh well. Off to DG you should go.

And when you return, follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

*this originally said Mooneyes, which is obviously wrong and needed to be corrected. Thanks to BlackWind for pointing out my lack of sleep.

7 Replies to “Hitting 20: Dollar General’s First Mail-In is the Nissan Skyline Van.”

  1. What sucks about this deal is that there is not a single Dollar General in San Diego County! Way to got Hot Wheels!

    What’s next, back to K Mart!?

    1. I feel ya. I originally had a paragraph about not being near a Kroger’s or their affiliates and how that helped curb my wasteful mainline buying.

  2. I’m just about done with mainlines, and the lack of mail-in car offers helps seal the deal. I think the last time a mail-in was offered in Canada was the Toys R Us Jeep Wagoneer, if I’m not mistaken. As this article points out, mail-in offers are just a way to get collectors to part with money they wouldn’t otherwise part with, and after participating in a couple of mail-in offers several years ago and then promptly donating 90% of the cars to thrift stores, I decided to stop. As cool as some of the mail-in cars are, they aren’t worth the $20+ that a bunch of mainline cars I don’t want cost.

    When I was a lot younger I had fun with it. The first time I ever mailed away for an exclusive, I took several trips to Toys R Us over the course of a few weeks and eventually found enough cars I wanted to mail away for the 2010 edition ’70 Monte Carlo in blue – a really nice one! I still have that car, and I still have some of the mainlines I bought to get it. Nowadays, however, my collecting interests are so niche and focused that I may only buy 20 mainline cars in a year, let alone all at once. So even if I could mail away for special edition cars here in Canada, I don’t think I would unless it was a casting I really like and the paint and deco appealed to me. I know the Skyline will have a lot of people stoked.

    1. I agree with a lot of the points you brought up. I did K-Day mail-ins since maybe 2012 (?) because the events were enjoyable. I even brought my daughter to the last few, which was really special. And I even scored a few Supers over the years.

      But now it’s just show up and pluck 20 cars from the pegs. What fun is that?

      The promo car for me was always ancillary.

  3. Aye, a fellow NFS Porsche Unleashed fan! *Internet high-five*

    I feel you man. There have been times that I’ve spent way too much money on mainlines (some of which I didn’t really need) and realized I could’ve bought a nice premium model, or maybe something completely different, for that money. And on top of that the distribution over here sucks. You either find the same mix of cars in every single store or you don’t find anything at all. Well, at least nothing that is worth buying. Just this year in 2020 alone, I’ve bought only 4 cars and only 2 of those were mainlines (the 22B and the 944 Turbo). There are still many mainlines I want to get but haven’t found yet and unless they’re available in stores near me, that one is up in the air.

    Oh and btw the S2000 is GReddy not Mooneyes.

    1. *high five received*

      I’ve finally come to terms with buying mainlines outside of promotions. It’s easier to go with the first edition, as it’s usually the cleanest, and disregard any subsequent messy tampos. I have a massive bin of miscellaneous muscle in various states of decos. All unnecessary haha.

      And thanks for pointing out my blatant error. I blame it on the time of night and will make the appropriate correction.


  4. I’ve been wondering for quite some time now what wave the white recolor of the Gulf Racing ’65 Mustang 2+2 Fastback would be in. Well now I know. It’s not coming to the mainline, but is… was a Dollar General exclusive. Oh well, can’t have ’em all. No major misses otherwise. That Mooneyes Beetle Pickup is pretty cool, but I don’t collect Mooneyes. I do collect VW, but I’m not all in and have passed on this casting up till now. The COPO Camaro and Deora III don’t interest me.

    As far as the mail-in Skyline Van, I like the casting, but am not a fan of the slammed look. This deco is not anything I’d pickup as a mainline either, so it’s not anything I’d feel I’m missing out on.

    And then there’s Dollar General. Used to be there weren’t any within hundreds of miles. Now, I’ve discovered there are a couple within an hour and a half round trip of me (opposite directions of course). I just don’t think that is worth my time.

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