The Hot Wheels Garage: 17 February 2010

A K-Days Recap
February 14, 2011.--If you were like thousands of other Hot Wheels collectors in the United States at 9:00am on the 12th of February 2011, you were hot-footing it over to your nearest participating K-Mart store for the Hot Wheels K-Days Collectors Event. For those "not in the know", this event gives collectors an opportunity to open a master case, and the 8 sealed cases within each, thereby scoring the first pick of many desirable cars, including special K-Mart exclusive repaints, new issues in the Mainline and Segment Series, and of course...Treasure Hunts. The boon AND bane of our hobby.

This event has garnered both stellar and steaming reviews, all at the same time. Apparently, some events are run very well, in an organized fashion, while others are overrun with absolute chaos and hurt feelings. It all boils down to the illustrious Treasure Hunt, for some. That's the only reason they go there, and if they come up short,'s a wasted trip, even though I'd beg to differ.

These events are a chance for the true collectors to mingle and exchange conversations on what's going on in their hobby. It's a chance to promote clubs if you have one, and a nice opportunity to meet new folks. But, as with anything good, folks with other things in mind are often in attendance. Like the guy with the 3 little girls who had absolutely NO interest in the cars when their ticket was pulled, and immediately went through the case FOR them. Or the guy whose wife asked the manager if "this is where I pick up my ticket for the little car thingee." Yep, she's interested in collecting. No doubt.

But, it's not all bad. I've had the good fortune to be involved in some very well-run K-Days at a Cary, North Carolina location. The manager who runs it stays very efficient with her dealings, and everything's drawn in a fair manner. She's got a pretty good eye for looking out for the kids and the collectors all at the same time, while weeding through the obvious folks who brought their amazingly large family of 12 kids who really don't want to be there.

9:00am sharp. The manager even gives a courtesy call over the store PA to announce the event is starting in case there are others straggling through the store. She slices open the case and pulls out the posters, which go to the kids first. Tickets are drawn, and the 8 cases are handed out. Unfortunately, we only received one master case, with about 20 collectors in attendance. So, 12 weren't going to get that awesome feeling of cracking open a fresh case. My number was called the 3rd time, which makes 4 events in a row for my good fortune.

I looked through my case and immediately pulled out the Back to the Future Time Machine. I'd been stoked about this one since I heard about it, and I didn't want to miss out on it, in the event it went the way of the Ecto-1 from 2010! Then, it was the '64 Pontiac GTO Treasure Hunt, the K-exclusive green Maverick repaint and the K-exclusive purple Duster Thruster repaint. I got my 5 car limit, and time ran out. Time to call out the next round of tickets.

After everyone went through the cases, the remaining cars were spread out, and collectors could mingle through and pick up what they wanted. No Super Treasure Hunts were found; all were Regulars. To be honest, I was ho-hum with the TH...I got what I was really after, which was the Delorean and Duster! I picked through the rest, and got 2 more Deloreans, and a K-exclusive yellow Camaro. One little boy was upset that he didn't get a Delorean, as I overheard his conversation with his dad. He seemed really crestfallen over it. I knelt down in front of him and handed him one of mine...he lit right up and thanked me. His dad did the same. That's what the hobby is all about, in the end. It's a kid's toy, and we're all just playing in their universe.

Until next month...good luck at the pegs, and keep your wheels spinnin'!

~Neal Giordano
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