Hot Wheels Treasure Hunts are always a hot topic of conversation among diecast collectors. Back in 2007, Mattel switched to a regular/super Treasure Hunt program. Instead of one Treasure Hunt per case code, there is now a Super Treasure Hunt, with Real Rider tires and Spectraflame paint for each case code and a Regular Treasure Hunt for each case code that's little more than a mainline with a 'circle flame' logo on it.
After finding the 2017 Hot Wheels 'C' case on the pegs recently, I was less than impressed with the Regular TH. Couldn't Mattel do better than the Dragon Blaster? Were regular Treasure Hunts always this bad? I decided to do some digging through my collection to find out. Sure enough, as I go back through the years, the Regular Treasure Hunts seem to get better and better. Here's the disappointing Dragon Blaster:
Now, check out this 2007 Regular Treasure Hunt '69 GTO. Better, right?
Or how about this 2012 Regular Treasure Hunt Studebaker Avanti? It's even got a metal base for Pete's sake!
2017 actually started on a promising note for Hot Wheels Regular Treasure Hunts. The Winning Formula is a fairly realistic F1 car with a nice deco. The Fangula Treasure Hunt also has a nice deco and a metal base. But the Dragon Blaster? Come on Mattel.
The GTO and Avanti are perfect examples of what Regular Treasure Hunts should be. Frankly, most collectors don't find a ton of supers, especially collectors living outside the US. For those collectors (myself included), the Regulars are a consolation prize. But it's hard to call the Dragon Blaster a 'prize' of any kind! Look at the Avanti. It's worthy of being called a consolation prize. Clean deco. Metal Base. Intricate lettering and insignias. Same goes for the GTO. Painted taillights, a fantastic deco and a popular muscle car casting all go a long way to make a Regular Treasure Hunt worth actually hunting for.
So Mattel, why not make your Regular Treasure Hunts a little nicer than the average mainline, or at least licensed models, so collectors have a little something to look for when the supers elude them? Enjoy...