Hot Wheels dump bins are the wild west of diecast collecting. They can be frustrating and fruitful all depending on when they were filled, and how quickly you got to them. I’ve found some of my best finds in dump bins, and I’ve also come across a lot, and I mean A LOT, of wrecked cards and more Zoom Ins than I can count.
But as I’ve hunted and spent many hours elbow-deep in those mysterious cardboard towers, I’ve noticed a weird and somewhat alarming trend: people using dump bins for their unwanted merchandise or trash.
Now I know I’m not the first to notice it, nor am I the first to bring it up….but with today’s ever looming shadow of the COVID crisis, I’ve started to notice it more and documenting some of my findings.
First, I’ve noticed that other toys seem to be the number one ingredient in the dump bin tossed salad. From Star Wars coloring books, to those colorful LOL Surprise balls, I’ve seen a ton of toys mixed in. Am I mad about that? Not really, as I know kids will set stuff anywhere and that is expected. What is unexpected are items adults have carelessly dropped in dump bins.
For example, these are the actual non-Hot Wheels contents of a dump bin I came across in a Dayton, Ohio, area Wal-Mart store over the 4th of July weekend.
It contained the following:
A pair of bluelight blocker reading glasses
A Johnson brand fishing lure with tri-hooks (what’s the harm in putting a sharp, hooked-item into a toy bin meant for kids? FACEPALM)
An electric scooter owners manual
A 5-pack of Ardell fake eyelashes
A large camping supply box of some sort
An unused gift card/pre-paid Master Card
Not only is random dump-bin-dumping a pain for us collectors, it’s a pain on the store staff who have to restock the items. It can also be very gross when people put their trash in them. I recently stuck my arm into a pile of cars in a Kroger dump bin, only to bring up a used anti-bacterial wipe with the cars. Big yikes.
So I want to know: what’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever found in a dump bin?
Come across a beef tenderloin in a dump bin? Box of condoms? A new hammer? A DVD of the movie Stripes? Perhaps a set of wiper blades for a ’92 Toyota Previa? Tell us about it.
Use the hashtag #dumpbindumps on IG so I can chronicle some of the crazier dump bin finds and post about them. But no fakes! I want to see genuine finds, not something placed there for a photo. There should be plenty to post without resorting to faking it.