Mmmkay, you ever seen those “Mystery Models” blind bags over the in the Hot Wheels section? They’re a bunch of identical bags all crammed into a little box. The promise is that, if you’re lucky, you get the super-cool vehicle pictured on the front of the bag. Recently the blind bags have been offering up “gold” (see my take on this later on) versions of one car or another, all in the name of exclusivity.
I’d been seeing these at Walmart recently and I was kind of excited to hunt down my very own gold Batmobile – the Tumbler from The Dark Knight trilogy to be precise. Now these “blind bags” are tricky fuckers. Pretty much everyone is capitalizing off of it one way or another (Imaginext, PlaySkool, Hasbro, Tsum Tsums, LEGO, MicroMachines)…and it sucks…you’re buying the shit sight unseen. I mean honestly, this could easily be construed as a form of gambling and I’m not sure why it’s been allowed – even grown more popular – all this time. Depending on the bag, you may be able to utilize some sort of “secret trick” to tell what’s in the bag or at the very least a way in which you can distinguish the bags from each other. This of course ensures that you don’t get totally ripped off and end up with 7 of the same toy. Imaginext has barely perceivable numbers stamped on them; you won’t know which number is who, but you will avoid duplicates. Of course you can always use your fingers to try to feel out certain features of the toy, and this might work, provided there’s not a lot of extra packaging inside (like a piece of plastic or an odd accessory). So far I’ve only had any real success with the “feeling approach” when it comes to LEGOs. The trick there is to have a good idea of what’s already in the package and feel around for that one distinct piece.
Hot Wheels’ method of identification isn’t so subtle: there’s a clear hole on the lower right of the front. It’s only big enough to see maybe a wheel’s worth of the car through, but if you use your fingers to shuffle the car around enough, you can catch a glimpse of the color and possibly some level of detail. This actually makes those “Mystery Models” pretty damn easy to find, which is both a gift and a curse. If you’re early to the box, you might have a shot. Then again, if the box has sat there for even a few days, it’s likely that someone else has already come by and quickly examined those holes.
Well guess what? I got lucky.
I was doing my normal Thursday Night Check at Walmart and noticed a box that had just been opened as well as another box behind it, 100% unopened! I dug through both of them and found the 1 golden Tumbler in each box. As it turned out, I ended up at another Walmart a couple of days later with a relatively undisturbed box where I snatched up a third one! Do I need all 3? Of course not. One the one hand I wanted to sell the other 2, and on the other I just felt vindicated after digging through box after box in the preceding weeks.
What I found supremely interesting is that the Tumbler was in the same spot (or at least very close) in all 3 boxes I searched through. Imagine the rectangular packs stacked on top of each other, something like 3 rows of 2 columns each. I’m not sure exactly how they were set up inside but once you reach the last layer before the back of the box, the Tumbler was consistently located in the rightmost stack, roughly 3 or 4 bags up from the bottom. So if you ever spot a new box, or one that looks relatively undisturbed, just reach back and to the right, and try to grab a few located in the corner.
I know I know, it’s just a gold Tumbler, right? I guess I’m just feeding off the whole “Mystery Model” deal. Although truth be told, it’s basically yellow, or a light tan, not really gold. See, check out this picture of the Tumbler next to an actual gold Tee Gray. The camera had a little trouble picking it up, but you can see how shiny and reflective the Tee Gray is. I actually think it’s sortta weird that they didn’t give the Tumbler the golden chrome treatment, but oh well, it’s still a nice rare-ish piece to have.
And there you have it! I’m slowly gathering up all the different variations on the 1:64 Batmobiles. One of these days I will put up a proper collection page based on them…one of these days!