The Del Taco Shuttle

Open beta has passed.  Those with pre-orders are awaiting the head-start launch on Friday.  In the mean time, we can dwell on other topics.

A while back I was comparing what pre-order and collectors edition items were being offered in Europe versus the US.  The result was that the only imbalance was that Europeans could get a shuttle craft that was not available through any offer in the US at the time.

The Shuttle

While I was on vacation Cryptic and Atari saw fit to fix this discrepancy by coming up with a tie-in deal.  Here is the email I received about it on January 21st, which oddly refers to the game’s launch being in a “few more weeks” a mere 12 days before STO was set to go live.  Maybe I’m not on the high priority mailing list.

Just a few more weeks to boldly go into the much anticipated universe of Star Trek Online! As we gear up for launch, we wanted to tell you about an awesome limited time offer with Del Taco!  Customers who purchase a Macho-sized drink at Del Taco will receive a free limited edition Star Trek collector’s cup and a free trial of the Star Trek Online while supplies last. Each collector’s cup will have an individual peel code that can be redeemed for a 48-hour free trial of Star Trek Online at http://www.startrekonline.com/deltaco. Customers can redeem up to four codes and receive 48-hours of gameplay with each code. As an added bonus, customers that redeem the maximum four codes will receive an extra 48-hours of access to the game for a total of 10 full days.

Additionally, if consumers choose to purchase the game after their free trial, they will receive a free Type-8 Shuttle “pet” add-on for their Starship, available exclusively from Del Taco.

uh…

Del Taco?

Seriously?

Oh, and collectible cups... forgot to mention those!

I guess so.  Beam up to macho!

I actually live in California and I might not know about Del Taco except that I had a roommate from Long Beach who was extremely excited when a Del Taco opened up here in the Santa Clara Valley.

Long Beach, which is down in the Los Angeles area, is about as close to my home as Berlin is to Vienna, just to pull a random geographical distance out of the air. (Though I verified it on the web, 414 miles.)  So despite the fact that the national news reports anything from LA as though that was California, an LA chain of stores might be completely unknown up here.

I was actually a bit surprised I could place Del Taco in fact.  One of those strange aspects of memory, I can recall my roommate going on about Del Taco and wishing there was also a Naugles and an In-N-Out Burger up here to complete his fast food needs. (Since Naugles appears to have merged with Del Taco in 1988, you get a sense for how old this recollection is.  Meanwhile, we now have several In-N-Out Burgers in the area.)

So my first thought was, “How ridiculous is this?”  I wasn’t even sure that there was a Del Taco up here still, so it seemed like a pretty targeted promotion.  Like, if you live in LA or maybe the California Central valley, you might get the shuttle.

I decided to go to the Del Taco web site to see where they listed locations.

As it turns out, they list locations is 16 states, which was about 15 more than I expected.

Del Taco States

That is approximately a third of the states in the US.  Granted, they are biased towards the west end of the country, but Del Taco is still more wide spread than I would have guessed.

Then I started to click on the states.

  • Michigan – 5 locations
  • Missouri – 3 locations
  • Indiana – 1 location
  • Florida – 1 location
  • Ohio – 1 location
  • South Carolina – 1 location

In fact, outside of California… and the parts of California which I previously associated with the chain… outlets are somewhat thin on the ground.

Sure, there are 25 in Las Vegas, but if you added 4 more lanes to Interstate 15, Las Vegas would effectively be part of LA.  And while Colorado and Utah have about 20 each, that only sounds like a lot until you think about those 25 in Las Vegas alone.  And don’t even start in on how that compares to the number of McDonald’s there are in those two states.

Still, I cannot be too critical.  You get the deal you can get.  If it were Blizzard, it would be McDonald’s.  But Cryptic and Atari, well, perhaps that was the best choice they had.

Or maybe they just like Del Taco.  It turns out that there is still a Del Taco up here not too far from my home.  And my home is, in turn, not much of a trek from Cryptic Studios.  Maybe that is their thing.

Anyway, I’ll have to find some time to swing by the Del Taco on West Hamilton in Campbell for a large drink just to see if I can get a Type-8 shuttle even though I have already pre-ordered.  If you don’t live close to a Del Taco, I see there are people on eBay willing to sell you a code.

Del Taco.  You do have to admire a company with outlets in Anaheim and Azusa. (Old people, name the show being referenced and the city not mentioned, which also has a Del Taco location.  Young people, it is not The Simpsons, so be still.)

12 thoughts on “The Del Taco Shuttle

  1. Tipa

    Weird coincidence, I just hooked up an antenna to my TV so I can watch TV even when Hulu doesn’t have it, and one of the first things I watched was an old Jack Benny episode.

    Like

  2. Tipa

    No, I had to haul it home in the train. You remember the train, don’t you? It goes from Anaheim, to Azusa, to Cuc………

    Like

  3. Tipa

    Actually the weirdest part of the Benny episode was how predictable all the humor was. I wonder if those bits could possibly have been original even back then.

    Somehow, I don’t think so.

    There are no Del Tacos in Connecticut, I see.

    Like

  4. Adventurer Historian

    I just moved to California from Texas, and my thought process went something like:
    “Damn, too bad there aren’t any Del Tacos in my area.”
    “… well, wait, I guess there could be, given that I’m in a new state and all.”
    “… what, there is one in my town?! Honey, we need to go get tacos.”

    As for the spread of Del Tacos – consider that Utah has a population of ~2.75, Colorado ~5 million, and Las Vegas metropolitan area ~1.8 million. The numbers don’t quite line up, but they do make a little more sense.

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  5. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I don’t want to seem like I am bagging on Del Taco. They are a successful chain and continue to expand. They just seem like a strange choice to partner with for a country-wide release. I would expect there to be an East Coast chain brought in as a partner as well. But who knows.

    @AH – Isn’t the internet wonderful, we have all those numbers right at hand!

    The 25 that are in Vegas are pretty well concentrated. If you live in Vegas, you probably have a Del Taco near by. The ones in Colorado and Utah on the other hand are more spread out. You might be nowhere near a Del Taco.

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  6. dave

    I live in Los Angeles. You can’t drive a mile without hitting a Del Taco. I’ll see what I can do. They have the best chicken soft tacos on the planet, it won’t be a bad experience for me or anything.

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  7. Mike

    If I wanted to try this game, I’d just pay for it. Likely if I had to eat at some third rate taco stand, I’d be too busy on the can to enjoy my 48 free hours anyways.

    Just saying.

    Like

  8. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Mike – As a plan to make people aware and to get new players into the game, I have to admit I can’t see this as a shoe-in for an American Marketing Association innovation award.

    But that is what interests me about this campaign. How did they come up with this? What are the goals? How will they declare success? And the key item, why Del Taco? What did Del Taco have that other options did not?

    I doubt we’ll ever hear about any of this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we found out some key person on the team just loves Del Taco.

    And it sure seems to be working for Del Taco. How many people now know that it exists solely because of this campaign?

    Finally, it appears that you can get the code by just buying a “Macho Size” drink, so gastric distress need not be a primary concern.

    Like

  9. Mike

    Fair enough, I see it can be a win/win. Though I’m sure the creators of the game would much rather have Taco Bell be their spokes fast food chain.

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  10. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Tipa – Back to Jack Benny.

    Thanks for helping drag that joke out the extra mile! I do appreciate it!

    I’m not sure why I know as much about Jack Benny as I seem to. He was off the air before I was aware of TV and I can’t recall watching that many re-runs. Ah well.

    As for how funny it could have been back then, I am sure that people will ask the same about “More Cowbell,” “Making’ Copies,” or any number running gags. Of course, some of Jack Benny’s running gags ran for decades. I’m not sure I could take that much cowbell.

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