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As im just now a month into this hobby,,, i've spent mucho bucks just looking for certain cars.... the stores to me are not all the time a bust,, as every once in a while i come across whats left over but though the pickens was slim i still came out... hence my search went to the internet,,, well didnt take lone to figure out who scalpers were but just like super bowl tickets or anything else it's the capitalist way. ;-) i can dig it,,,,,,,, it is what it is,,, i've spents hours and time away from work just going to stores to see what i can find,,,, Albertson's,,, Target, WALLY'S WORLD, Advanced Auto, misc toy stores.. those that are still in business,,,, and sometimes i come up on some good pickens,,, the 20 and 9 car packs as well as some 5 car packs i've come across that i liked what was in them,,,,,,, seeing that i'm in Los Angeles,,,, i remember when the Mattel company headquarters were here in SoCal.. since moved to Mexico and other parts east.. we here still can get a somewhat decent collection but you must know when shipments are coming in..... even some of the employees have told me they snipe right out the box before pegged,,,,,,,,,,,, heck ya cant' blame them for getting what we would call an unfair jump,,,, what would we do if we were in that situation.. even an Advance Auto employee told me shipments come in on thursday night so they go thru and put out Friday morn whats left....i went back and checked,,,, got a Jay Leno's garage piece which i came back and got the other twol... which i plan on wheel swap since they have the rubber wheels on them.... all i can say to my fellow racers and collectors keep up faith and keep looking eventually you may find what you never expected,,, in this short time i know i have
I cant find any hot wheels anywhere nowadays. In the past year or so, I have only found two Larry Wood cars. Strangely though, I haven't found any matchbox cars either. The knock-off hot wheels are really crappy.
Where I live, the pegs are exploding with hot Wheels, but the pegs for the other brands are completely empty.
Seeing this thread is about a year old now...in my immediate area the peg availability is somewhat 50/50. My local Kroger is brimming with cars but the Target is bare. One Meijer was loaded with Hot Wheels but the Matchbox were all gone (and sometimes vice versa).
I did happen to see at Hobby Lobby they're carrying a 5-pack of the Zuru Metal Machines...thought that was interesting. It was a new-ish addition to their model & toys aisle.
It's still very interesting reading what inventory is around the country. Seems the shipping problems aren't completely resolved, or maybe it's more just in-store problems with staffing and shelving. Dunno but still feels somewhat like a crap shoot.