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View Full Version : Views about purposely damaging figures to deter scalpers?



mrmiller
06-09-2002, 10:12 PM
Iíve been looking everywhere for the Bespin wave, and finally found them last week. I found 2 Lukes and a Vader, as well as a Pilot Obi-Wan. The kicker was, all were on damaged cards. I believe these were left behind by the scalpers who were looking for mint cards, as I found these late in the day at TRU. This got me thinking (not always a good idea).

Iím sure this has been discussed here before, but what are your views about damaging figures on purpose to keep scalpers from buying them all? I have heard of this before, where collectors will bend the top of a card when they find new figures. I usually buy 2 of each figure, 1 to open and 1 to keep carded. By damaging cards, Iíd be more likely to get 1 figure to open, but finding a mint one to keep would be more difficult.

I know I live in an area with a lot of scalpers, and if by some chance I was to find a new batch of figures before them, I could ensure that someone other than the scalper could get Ďem. Iíve never done it yet, but with the difficulty I was having getting the new figures I was more than happy to have one in damaged packaging. I wonder if other collectors would as glad to find one, regardless of condition, as well? Or does anyone damage the cards to help other collectors and the kids looking for figures to open?

I always start trouble when I start thinking. I think Iíll go take a nap now- my head hurts.

=MATT=

Jaina Solo
06-09-2002, 10:18 PM
Well...firstly I think if you were caught damaging the cards, the store employees probably wouldn't be too happy with you. Second, some people who aren't scalpers look for mint cards, so you'd be doing a disservice to fellow collectors too.

sith_killer_99
06-09-2002, 10:21 PM
This has been discussed before and few people are in favor of the idea.

1. It is ILLEGAL!

2. There are collectors out there that can only afford 1 of each figure and collect MOMC. This idea only multiplies the problem for them...and ALL MOMC collectors actually.

3. It is sinking to the SCALPERS level.

4. If I ever see someone doing it, a fist fight WILL ensue.

Have a nice day.;)

mrmiller
06-09-2002, 10:23 PM
I'm not talking about destroying cards, just a slight crease at the top or something- not more than what happens on pegs stacked too deep.

And I kow what you mean- I try to get a mint one too. I was just happy to have "any" figure after looking for so long. Just wondering what the majority of collectors would feel like too.

=MATT=

Dooku Fett
06-09-2002, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by sith_killer_99
This has been discussed before and few people are in favor of the idea.

1. It is ILLEGAL!

2. There are collectors out there that can only afford 1 of each figure and collect MOMC. This idea only multiplies the problem for them...and ALL MOMC collectors actually.

3. It is sinking to the SCALPERS level.

4. If I ever see someone doing it, a fist fight WILL ensue.

Have a nice day.;)

What he said

CrossWizard
06-09-2002, 10:26 PM
The only time I have done something like that was way back when the Sandtrooper and Snow Obi Wan came out and was because I left my ATM card at home and only had $5 on me, well since Im an opener I figured if I trashed the cards it would buy me some time until I got back home and returned to the store. I know it sounds selfish but when I got back 9 minutes later the whole isle was raided(3 cases worth), except for a crapload of Porkins and Farmer Qui Gons and the 3 figures I purposedly trashed. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Beast
06-09-2002, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by CrossWizard
The only time I have done something like that was way back when the Sandtrooper and Snow Obi Wan came out and was because I left my ATM card at home and only had $5 on me, well since Im an opener I figured if I trashed the cards it would buy me some time until I got back home and returned to the store. I know it sounds selfish but when I got back 9 minutes later the whole isle was raided(3 cases worth), except for a crapload of Porkins and Farmer Qui Gons and the 3 figures I purposedly trashed. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Or you could have done the wise thing, taken the three figures you wanted to the front desk and telling them you needed to make a run home to grab your wallet or to a bank and draw out some funds. Why go thru the trouble of bending cards, possibly getting in deep trouble with the store, when you could have just done that. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Darth Yambag
06-09-2002, 10:36 PM
I think most scalpers get to the store first thing in the morning or have side deals with an employee, so they can get their figures straight out of the box. Usually once a fig hits the pegs, he's out for the average collector (or some kid who just saw his first Star Wars movie).

I applaud your motivation, unfortunately, this isn't the way to go about it. Of course I don't have any better idea's but...

Brett3xmvpfavre
06-09-2002, 10:38 PM
when i need to come back for figures here is what i do.

1) get figure(s)
2) go to power wheels.
3) Make sure no ones looking.
4) open hood of power wheel.
5) put figures in.
6) Close top.
7) come back WITH money and buy them in MINT condition.

CrossWizard
06-09-2002, 10:44 PM
Well, you know what they say, in the heat of the moment its hard to think. Plus its not like I threw them on the ground and stomped them and used them as drumsticks over the isles, I just discretely bent the cards a bit while "reading" the back. ;)

Lord Tenebrous
06-09-2002, 10:46 PM
It's this type of immature shenanigans that makes me embarressed to even step into a toy section anymore.


Once I find a Steinbach Vader, I'm through.

Jedi Juice
06-09-2002, 11:08 PM
Well, I wouldn't go for anyone purposely bending figures, no mater if it's a scalpor or a loose collector, it's still the same. I do, however, hide figures if I cannot purchase them right away, such as my old grammar school friend taught me to do when we were collecting wrestling figures, but that's another story........... ;)

mrmiller
06-09-2002, 11:30 PM
Like I said, I know this has been discussed before. Being new to the forums I wanted to get in on this discussion.

In the last paragraph of my opening statement, it does sound like this is something I would do. I have not ever done it, nor do I ever plan on doing it. I was just wondering what everyone else thought of the "Idea" itself.

Where I live, I have a very persistant scalper. He is not a "scumbag scalper" as I have met him. He will gladly give you a figure out of his loaded basket if you ask (and of course if you find him). He checks the super Wal-Mart twice a day- once late at night and once early in the morning. And since the first night (when I met the guy) I have not been able to find any of the new figures there, unless they are damaged. This coupled with finding the damaged figures at TRU prompted the idea of this thread.

I don't think this practice is harmful to everyone, as some people are glad to have anything they can find. But it would hurt some of the collecting community and all of the scalpers. That's the reason for the disscussion. Help some collectors vs. hurting all the scalpers? The way some people talk about scalpers, I wonder why they have such a hard time with this topic?


=MATT=

Jedi Juice
06-09-2002, 11:33 PM
I like that..... you spice up the discussions around here.

TIE Pilot
06-09-2002, 11:41 PM
Being someone who lives in an area where just about ANYTHING is hard to find. And also being someone who opens ~all~ his carded figures.. a damaged card really means nothing to me.

In fact, that's how I found most of my wanted figures.. on a damaged card that no one seemed to want.

Darth Yambag
06-10-2002, 12:11 AM
Mr Miller,
sometimes you have to break rank and do what you must. Like quigon. If you do it for one figure and then go back and get that figure...all is well that ends well.

personally, I open so I would buy a figure that is on a bent card. Just don't damage all the figs.

Darth Detori
06-10-2002, 12:18 AM
I liked the idea of how target used to punch a hole in them. It's small and it's a relic of a specific time, while deterring scalpers

figrin bran
06-10-2002, 12:41 AM
i've benefitted from finding figures on damaged cards so i can't totally denounce the practice but i wouldn't damage the cards personally.

JediTricks
06-10-2002, 03:16 AM
When stores do it to the packaging, I'm all for it. When individuals who don't work there do it, I roll my eyes because they're risking arrest over a piece of cardboard and a plastic bubble; and the kicker is, many of those figures would be mangled by little kid hands, knocked on the floor, or put into TRU/WM bins which will do the job for them anyway.

2-1B
06-10-2002, 04:56 AM
I do not advocate this behavior.

But 2 observations:

1) While I understand the reasons that it is illegal, I think that given the way employees throw the things around (yes JT, that's a good example with the kids too) they would be hardpressed to prove you had any malicious intent. Unless they had you on camera, wrenching the card backward . . . but you'd deserve such attention for being so foolish. :crazed:

2) Every time this issue (as well as hiding figures) comes up, I am baffled by the number of collectors who go to a store without enough funds to purchase what they want. Yeah, I know some people don't want to use credit (I don't blame them) but if it's just a matter of running to an ATM, why wouldn't you go prepared? :crazed:

BillyJAck
06-10-2002, 05:36 AM
I bent figures before. But only one.I was at wal mart by chance to buy so charcoal. Took a lil trip to toys(unplanned) found a 4 potj sandtroopers. I had to bend the corner on one. I went back to get him next day later on. Because the area is full of scalpers. I'm vastly outnumbered in this county area. But all those i hadn't bent got bought ,all of them gone the next day. So I'm so glad i did that otherwise i'd never had gotten a sandtrooper in my LIFE in a store. I love that figure...well anyways. Sorry if that upsets people but i knew i'd never see another one. which i haven't ever....what is all this talk its illegal. What is it vandalism? Nobody is going to arrest you for bending a card. maybe and i say just maybe give you a trespassing warrant. But they might just make you buy the item. Do you think if i bent the box of a grill or for a box of cookies it would be considered ILLEGAL no way. Besides you could just pretend to fall and land on it. LOL j/k

its too bad if my story upsets people desperate times call for some desperate measures. Had to be done. But after that i always carry $20 in my pocket as a emergency figure fund so i could avoid such actions. That fund has saved me quite a few time....I recommened everyone do it..


billy

bigbarada
06-10-2002, 07:44 AM
I don't really see how it can be illegal. We're just talking about the packaging here not the actual product. I'm sure that's how the store sees it too. I'm not talking about crunching the figure up in your fists or throwing it on the floor and stomping on it; but accidents do happen.

As I see it, doind this to deter scalpers is not a good idea. However, if you are in the situation like some here have mentioned and you are only bending the card to increase your chances of finding it when you come back then who can really tell you that you are wrong? In the grand scheme of things whose going to go to their deathbed saying, "My only regret is bending cardbacks on Star Wars figures when I was young. What was I thinking?":stupid:

Forhekset
06-10-2002, 09:44 AM
I've never bent up cards before, but other people doing it wouldn't deter me, since I open everything I buy....

icatch9
06-10-2002, 10:11 AM
I think its a horrible idea. It sucks when scalpers do it to try and rise the price of theirs, but it's so stupid for them to do it. As if 1 less than mint Obi Wan Pilot is going to make his worth more. Considering there are probally a million of them in the world.

I think that some store employees damaged two Bloody Luke Bespins to try and stop scalpers. I think this is wrong to becasue it hurst a regular collector who might just stumble in there and find them.

Its bad news and bad carma too.

bigbarada
06-10-2002, 10:26 AM
What is this karma thing that everyone keeps talking about?:confused:

neimoidian85
06-10-2002, 12:26 PM
Everyone around here thinks they're Hindu.

Jonna
06-10-2002, 12:33 PM
Why? If you damage the cards then aren't scalpers just going to make more money becaue the MOC figures will be rarer?

bigbarada
06-10-2002, 12:36 PM
I order to actually affect the rarity of the figures you would have to damage several thousand of each one.

Darth Annexis
06-10-2002, 02:00 PM
ANY ONE WHO DAMAGES A CARD SHOULD BE CASTRATED...DAMAGE A CARD AND YOU SHOULD BUY IT. THIS IS WRONG WHETHER YOU DO IT TO DETER SCALPERS OR IF SCALPERS DO IT TO DETER COLLECTORS....


JUST PLAIN WRONG!!!!

bigbarada
06-10-2002, 02:08 PM
Let me guess, you're a MOMC collector Darth Annexis.:p

I stand by my statement that damaging the card isn't damaging the actual product. Like denting a box of cookies all you are harming is the packaging. I'm not condoning the practice of damaging the card to deter scalpers or make a figure more rare; I just think that we all should put this in perspective.

JON9000
06-10-2002, 02:41 PM
I am an MOMC collector. I have about 60 duplicate figures opened - mainly cantina, main character, and Jabba's Palace figures. What can I say? I like them on the card! This conversation is insane. SCALPERS BEND CARDBACKS. If you bend cardbacks, you may be helping some collectors (those who open) and scalpers, but you are simply ruining it for other collectors. Moreover, some seem to be forcing their viewpoint, some holier than thou idea that all figures should be freed, on everyone else. Please leave them as you found them.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
06-11-2002, 01:15 AM
Scalping -- a wrong

Damaging Figures -- a wrong

Last time I checked, two wrongs don't make a right.

And as stated before, there are tons of nonscalper carded collectors who would be awfully mad at people who do these things. Yes you may be hurting the scalper, but you are probably hurting more legit collectors in the process.

JediTricks
06-12-2002, 02:27 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
I don't really see how it can be illegal. We're just talking about the packaging here not the actual product. I'm sure that's how the store sees it too. I'm not talking about crunching the figure up in your fists or throwing it on the floor and stomping on it; but accidents do happen.
While you and I may believe the actual product is what's inside, and the stores will claim that when they try to sell you an item with a damaged package, the fact is that the packaging is part of the product's sales point and most certainly the store's property - you damage that packaging and they'll have a harder time selling it and you'll be marring their property.

And they do watch you with those cameras, if one bubble gets slightly smooshed by accident while you're examining the figure, that's just an accident; if they spot you doing it to a dozen figures every 3 days you come in, they're going to eventually bust you.

LTBasker
06-12-2002, 02:29 AM
Not yours? Don't break it.

Darthpost
06-12-2002, 06:22 AM
I personally wouldnt do it because there are scalpers in the area and because it just doesnt look good to be in a toy store smashing toys when
1.you are an adult
2. there are children around
3. its just not cool
so the scalpers are going to get a few new figures. good let them waste their gas to travel all over the place

jdmarlow
06-13-2002, 12:11 AM
Don't ruin figures at all. Scalpers will cannot be avoided by simply crushing figure intentionally. I am a carded figure collector and I want my figures MOMC. It's helping scalpers out and taking away from those who want their figures mint.

-JD

Bel-Cam Jos
09-09-2006, 04:25 PM
Today in W*M, I saw a Luke X-Wing VOTC figure, which obviously surprised me considering how rare it's been lately. But upon closer inspection, the outer blister had been cut open, and the mail-away tab and certificate removed. That's not all. The figure-sized blister on the card itself was separated from the cardback, the lightsaber was missing, and LUKE'S HEAD WAS DETACHED FROM THE BODY, inside the blister. :upset: What is the deal with this?!? :mad:

Darth Instigator
09-09-2006, 05:06 PM
thats dedication! I would just buy the damn figure