Saturday, February 5, 2011
Toy Topic: Toy Scalpers
Now I still hate scalpers, even though I'm sure in someone else's eyes I'm classified as one. And right now I fit the bill. So what are the things I think in my head when I see "Trench coat Guy" my arch nemesis? (I'm sure he has no idea who I am, even though he probably recognizes me.)
To me a scalper is a guy who swoops down, or worse, runs down the isle to be the first to scoop up the chase figures, single packed or variant figures. And I hate his guts because he has no consideration for his fellow collector.
But is it really his doing? Or Hasbro's?
If you take a look at This. You see that the case assortment has one of each figure, which I think would be the ideal way to pack action figures (Although most lines just consist of 4 or less characters.)
As opposed to This. Where if you're looking for Spider-Woman figure, you'll have to be there bright and early before the "scalper" gets her. But depending on how many cases the store puts out (in this case 3) you'll have 3 of her, but 6 Hulks clogging the pegs (He shouldn't because he's awesome, but Spider-man 2099 will).
So why is this set up this way? Who is at an advantage here? Trench coat Guy?
Most non-fans are ignorant of the intricaciesof out fandom. Ask a layman who "Angar The Screamer" is and they'll say "Who?"
So when Target decides to buy it's Marvel Universe figures, they have to bank on recognizable names like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, The Wrecker...who?
In that case there is only one Wrecker, he's there just like Mary Jane for the fans. And the completionsist.
So what does this mean? What am I trying to say?
It's just the way it is. If not them or you, it will be someone else that gets that valued toy. If you buy a figure to re-sell to your buddies, because I'm not aware of your intentions, I would consider you a scalper, or better yet, have the same feelings I have when I think scalper. When the toy community says "scalper!" they think of this.
I know it sucks that when you go into a store like Wal*Mart, the pegs are empty. But the comic book store up the block has an employee out there picking up the exclusives to sell on their website leaving you out of the picture.
But who's at fault? Hasbro of course! And toy retailers! Exclusives, and the package ratio is planned by them (if I'm wrong let me know). I know that exclusives are made to drive people to stores and events. The infamous Marvel Legends Wal*Mart wave made many collectors groan. It made me broke!
I don't mind exclusives being repaints (like the many BotCon ones), but it sucks when a store gets a unique exclusive like the 6 inch War Machine from Iron Man 2.
So you have to understand it's all about business. Wal*Mart wants you to come into their store looking for that exclusive Masterpiece Skywarp, and if they're lucky you'll buy some peg warmers while you're there. After all you did make the trip from New York to Pennsylvania!
The manufacturer doesn't care about your personal needs, The put out a product and try to please you enough so that you don't badmouth their service and keep coming back.
Let me make an example. Lets say you were to write Hasbro a letter saying:
"Dear Hasbro, I am poor, please give me a case of action figures so I can play with something. All I have is snow and it makes me sad. Also can you send us an easy bake oven, so that mom can make us food, because we are also hungry. Thanks"
If you're luck you'll get an employee sending you the stuff because you pulled at their heartstrings, but more likely than not you won't get jack.
Getting of topic fo a bit. I have to say that this post is all because I got a one over on Trench coat Guy (take that you jerk!) It will be really weird if in the future we become friends, but anyways..
I found that exclusive Marvel Universe Ms Marvel Chase Variant which has has been selling like hotcakes on Ebay!
Now what I believe a scalper would do is start the bidding price high, like 50 dollars or something. But since I'm not a scalper I will be putting her up at a starting price of 13.00, that's 7.99 plus my 5 dollar profit.
So am I evil? I don't think so. Should I have left it on the peg for another collector to get? No, because I'm sure that someone else would have picked it up to sell. And if I put it as a buy it now on Ebay for the retail price. I know someone will probably buy it and sell it for more. Also I live in New York the hustle capital of the world! LOL
I need a Ms. Marvel and I know eventually that I will start picking up more "Dark Avengers" but the opportunity to make a profit, tells me that if I do rake in the big bucks I will be able to buy more figures that I need.
Figures that are "hot" like this one and the White Ranger from the 2010 power rangers line, sell for a lot because that's what people are willing to pay for it.
Just take a look at the Dark Knight Returns Movie Masters Joker. When that figure came out it was hard to find and kinda rare. But now you can find it in discount toy stores. You have to strike while the metal is hot.
When I got back into gundam, I was relieved from the pressures of running into a store trying to beat people to get some model kits. And that's how it should be. There are exclusive kits and figures in the Japanese market, but most of them are repaints. If you don't want the tamashii exclusive Trans-Am Exia, you don't have to buy it.
Granted if you wanted the Machine Decader, a store like Image Anime would have it for $100+
But you don't really need it.
So like they say on the streets.."Don't hate the player, hate the game."
So don't drink from the haterade, it just is. The fact that I work the overnight shift and I can get into stores early is just the way it is. Or if someone who works for a toy company is able to get in the store early and get some exclusives. Don't hate.
I've learned that if you want to be successful, it's better to imitate a good example, than to shake your fist madly at somebody.
In a wannabe perfect word we could all follow the rules of collect to collect. In a perfect world Hasbro would act like Bandai. So the next time you see a fellow toy collector out there hustling, don't hate.
There are some ugly things that collectors do That I hate. Like buying figures and replacing them with others and then returning them to the store. Or buying something on clearance, and then returning it to buy it again when the price goes lower. I will go into all kinds of jerkisim. I want to use profanity, but "think about the children!"
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