You are walking through your local retail or grocery store and spot a grown adult practically inside a bin checking out all of these silly little cars. Are some made of gold? What could they possibly be looking for? In the Hot Wheels community there are a number of attributes that each individual collector may be looking for, but the most commonly sought after Hot Wheels would be the Treasure Hunt and Super Treasure Hunt die-cast models. How do you spot them, you ask? Well, that is where things can get tricky.
If you were to go Hot Wheels hunting today, you would mainly find 2013-2014 models on display. In 2013 Hot Wheels changed their Treasure Hunt and Super Treasure Hunt features once again. They have done this many times since Treasure Hunts first debuted in 1995. Some collectors believe that they are harder to find now since they no longer have a green stripe that was featured on the card in some previous years to let you know, this version of this model is a Treasure Hunt. Now, however, you have to look closely at certain features of the car and card to spot the difference between a regular and Treasure Hunt variation.
Hot Wheels Treasure Hunts are different from Super Treasure Hunts. 2013-2014 Treasure Hunts have a flame tampo (tampo – graphics on the car) located somewhere on the car . In the picture below (left) you will see one of the 2014 Treasure Hunts, Night Burner. On the side of the car behind the front tire is where you will see the flame tampo which happens to be white and red on this particular car. The other way to spot a Hot Wheels Treasure Hunt is by looking underneath the car on the card as shown in the other picture below (right). Hot Wheels lets you know that this particular car is highly collectible.
Super Treasure Hunts are a little harder to find which is why they are actually called Super Secret Treasure Hunts. When they are released into the wild, Hot Wheels also releases another variation of the same model that isn’t as rare of a find. Take a look at the pictures of the Hot Wheels 2013 Sandblaster below. Can you spot all of the differences between the two? The Super Treasure Hunt has a TH symbol on the back side panel. The tires of the regular Sandblaster is plastic whereas the Super has rubber tires. Most of the time, Supers have better wheels in some way. They might have redline tires (solid red, not metallic red), Goodyear tires, or even a special rim. The Super Treasure Hunt Sandblaster also has a yellow roll cage in the back as well as tampo on the top of it’s hood. The regular one does not have those features. Even the paint is different, as the Super has Spectraflame paint and the regular does not. Next, take a look at the differences in the cards. The regular Sandblaster shows the whole truck with no tampo on the top of the hood. The tires on the regular are smaller and the red springs above them are even slightly different. The Super has the back part cut off of the card and it does show tampo. Unlike the Treasure Hunt’s, there is no message from Hot Wheels letting you know that this die-cast vehicle is highly collectible.
You are probably still wondering why exactly that person cares enough to go dump bin diving at your local store. Collectors value these little die-cast cars because Hot Wheels only releases a limited amount of them. Treasure hunts are becoming less valuable as there is a very high number that are released. Super Treasure Hunts are very limited in comparison. Some collectors have found 5 Treasure Hunts in freshly opened cases and not a Super in sight! A lot of collectors will travel from store to store hunting for Treasure Hunts and Super Treasure Hunts. Are you up for that kind of challenge? After reading this you may find yourself sitting on the floor of your local store in a sea of those silly little cars, checking every last one as someone else over looks pondering what that grown adult could possibly be doing!
** If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! **