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Darth Detori
09-15-2002, 05:48 PM
I used to go out in the early morning to get new stuff; I never really found much at all. Then over the last two weeks I've been working at Toys R Us (I quit though, for a plethora of reasons) in clear view of the Star Wars section. I also went by Target in the morning and during my lunch break (around 12).
this is what I've noticed.

-Toys R Us gets trucks in near the ends of the week, at least around here. They aren't really that informed on what's coming in, unless it's something they've been anticipating for a while. I remember reading (or maybe I was told this) that when they get an urgent item, in this instance star wars, they put it out immediately. This isn't so. I THINK it only applies to exclusive items. Every morning there's a meeting, and when they got trucks in they'd tell what was basically on it. What they pretty much mentioned was what was already unloaded. As far as when they put stuff out it's generally AROUND 10-1. I've only seen them stocking the figure section in this time frame. The front of the store, mainly candy and things of that nature- those displays are changed FREQUENTLY, and they're almost always doing that in the morning, 9ish. So more or less, getting there at 9:30 won't do you much good at all. In the back, in the break room they have a bulletin board. On it they update weekly (or so it seemed) information regaurding what they'll be getting in. As a collector I can tell you it's pretty much old news. Like for example the last one I saw said that they'd be getting in the Silver R2-D2, but they didn't say when or for how much. More or less, what these postings say is what the employees know, so never expect them to know too much about upcoming releases (unless there are collectors that work there, but I haven't noticed much of that). Also, with stuff like reserves, interactive R2 for example (a lot of R2 examples in here ;) ) they're never quite certain of when they'll be getting stuff in. Their 'expected' release dates aren't even close most of the time; we got an R2 in (there's probably more in the back but they only want one out) about a month earlier than what the reserve slip said, so take those with a grain of salt.
If you want to know about video games, their release lists are atrocious. I asked two of the guys to check and see if they had any info on some upcoming games; resident evil 0 for instance. he showed me a print-out of all the gamecube games they knew about till the end of the year- it was PRETTY bad. No RE0 anywhere as well. I think what it generally applies to is what they'll be reserving, and thusly it also generally reflects what they'll have knowledge of.

-Target, as far as I've seen, stocks during all times of the day, so there's really no best time to check there. The only time going there in the morning, at opening, was successful was when I got the accessory sets. What happened with that was the night before I was there and I saw the pegs for them. This probably means that if they've got empty pegs then it's their priority to fill them. One time I saw them stocking one end of the toy section, and then when I returned on my lunch break they were about half-way done, and this was over a two or three hour period, so clearly they're given plenty to do. When I got Deluxe Yoda (the ONLY time I've seen him) it was around 2 and I them opening boxes; I asked if I could check it out, and they said sure, and that's how I found it. So basically Target is one of those up-in-the-air kind of places.

-KB, in my area at least, gets stuff in on wednesdays around noon, and that's when they stock it. There was, although, this one time when they got two shipments in apparently; one on a tuesday night and one on wednesday. That was odd. But basically just help yourself out and find out when the KBs you shop at get new stuff in; there hasn't been a wednesday yet when I checked in that they didn't just get a shipment.

-Wal-Mart. Of this I'm not so sure. I live by a 24 hour wal-mart and they've got guys stocking at all times of the night (though I know about four of them grab stuff for themselves :p), but I've also gone there around 11 and they were still stocking stuff. it MIGHT have been seasonal things though. So I guess wal-mart hunts are best done in the morning.

LTBasker
09-15-2002, 06:45 PM
Wal-Mart I know has been kinda eh on stocking new Star Wars stuff lately. It's cause the warehouses are sending down holiday stuff before they restock toys and such like they normally did. When they did restock normally though, usually it would be every few weeks or so on Friday nights/Saturday mornings. (around 1-2am)

rynobot
09-15-2002, 08:09 PM
The Target I visit only stocks before they open up at 8am so if I go there I go at 8am

Dar' Argol
09-15-2002, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by LTBasker
Wal-Mart I know has been kinda eh on stocking new Star Wars stuff lately. It's cause the warehouses are sending down holiday stuff before they restock toys and such like they normally did. When they did restock normally though, usually it would be every few weeks or so on Friday nights/Saturday mornings. (around 1-2am)

Not really true LTB.

Wal-Mart gets their trucks in every night except Saturday nights. They arrive at every store by 4pm. We unload them from 4pm till 1am. Then the skids go out to the floor. We stock 24hrs a day. Most of the frieght from that nights truck gets worked out to the floor between the hours of 1am to 9am, depending on how many trucks we get. But then we "pull from the back", meaning we take the old frieght that we could not get out before, and fill our shelves with it. IF we have it.

I will say this again, as I have said before. ANd I know it will not be the last time either. WM HAS NO CONTROL ON WHEN WE GET SW STUFF IN! We cannot order it, we cannot order more of one thing then another. Hasbro has the control there. So it is not the stores fault when they do not get the "new" stuff in. Contact Hasbro and complain there. Maybe then we can get stuff a lot easier.

Vortex
09-15-2002, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by Darth Detori

-Toys R Us gets trucks in near the ends of the week, at least around here. They aren't really that informed on what's coming in, unless it's something they've been anticipating for a while. I remember reading (or maybe I was told this) that when they get an urgent item, in this instance star wars, they put it out immediately. This isn't so. I THINK it only applies to exclusive items. Every morning there's a meeting, and when they got trucks in they'd tell what was basically on it. What they pretty much mentioned was what was already unloaded. As far as when they put stuff out it's generally AROUND 10-1. I've only seen them stocking the figure section in this time frame. The front of the store, mainly candy and things of that nature- those displays are changed FREQUENTLY, and they're almost always doing that in the morning, 9ish. So more or less, getting there at 9:30 won't do you much good at all. In the back, in the break room they have a bulletin board. On it they update weekly (or so it seemed) information regaurding what they'll be getting in. As a collector I can tell you it's pretty much old news. Like for example the last one I saw said that they'd be getting in the Silver R2-D2, but they didn't say when or for how much. More or less, what these postings say is what the employees know, so never expect them to know too much about upcoming releases (unless there are collectors that work there, but I haven't noticed much of that). Also, with stuff like reserves, interactive R2 for example (a lot of R2 examples in here ;) ) they're never quite certain of when they'll be getting stuff in. Their 'expected' release dates aren't even close most of the time; we got an R2 in (there's probably more in the back but they only want one out) about a month earlier than what the reserve slip said, so take those with a grain of salt.


Ok, this little statements get me. This is a small chunk of what's wrong with the world these days. General speculations, and this whole McDolands mentality where you need a quick fix and you get in a huff if you actually have to wait for it or if they just don't have it.

I worked at TRU my junior and senior year in college (97-98) as one of the back room stockers/truck unloader/bike assembler, and buddy you're general observations and quick fire assumptions are WAY off. I didn't really like working there, and I have no loyalities to the chain, but I can't read you're generalized statments and let them go. I'm getting tired of people on this forum crying about things they have zero knowlege of.

As for TRU, every store is differnt, I've give you that. I'll also give you partial credit about some employee's not knowing what's going on. Granted the bulk of people working there are in high school, elderly, or just folks who need a few extra bucks. This world doesn't revolve around star wars, and not everyone is going to know ever little detail or what you're looking for. Star Wars is just a small chunk of their over all store. Its not their bread and butter, and its not their main seller. They don't specialize in star wars, and they don't cater specifically for star wars. We had 2-3 people who took care of the action figure isles, they were the ones in the know, did the set ups, stocked the pegs, and clean them at night. Don't expect every employee to know or understand what you're looking for. Best bet is to bring a photo, befriend a worker, or just keep your eyes and ears open.

As for trucks and new stock it all varies. It hinges on the driver, other stores it has to deliver too, and what the home office sends and how many people you have working to unload the truck. We got trucks any day of the week, and some times a few times a weeks or once ever couple of weeks. Some stores are like clock work, some are aren't. As for what's on a truck the manager and the red badge (their name will be on a red back ground sticker, vs. a new/young employee who gets a yellow sticker - if they still use this system) folks have computer access to manifests and what's expected. I knew what was coming weeks in advance, how many boxes and we'd even get specific instructions as to when it goes out and where it goes. If you ask a yellow badge you'll get this dumb look and the response of "I don't know". There's truck info, stock info, IF you ask the right folks.

Stocking items. Again this varies by store and manager, crew working, and how much is already on the shelves. At the store I mainly crewed at, and the other I helped out at, some if not all the new stock was put out when in came in the day of, or a few days after. New stuff won't sell if its not out, and if we did put stuff in the back, we'd get reports that we needed to re-stock. Granted star wars was a hot item when I worked and we packed old stuff up to make room for new stuff. Exclusive or not, it all gets put out and it does depend on who's working, how busy it is, and how much room or work you need to do to put it out. We tried to allocate everything off a truck in 3 days. There's no set time to stock. We pulled over nighters to stock, do set ups, and clean up, we stocked in the morning, we stocked at 3, 6:48, 9:30 whenever...it doesn't matter. As for posted release dates, its all general. In a paragraph below I talk about the pre-order some months prior. Release dates are very general. HQ did the planning, crunched the numbers from what they were given from the distributor back in the day, and about how long it would take to get to some store. Just because its in print doesn't mean its fact or set in stone. A lot can happen in that time.

Granted there are collectors who work there, and yes we did call 1st dibs, and yes we did buy the new figs, but there were always enough cases for us and for the floor.

As for the postings and old news, yes, compaired to this site or rebelscum. But it is current for at least a month or two as to what is actaully shipped or will be shipped. What you're refering to is the truck manifest. We post those the week of a truck or a week prior, so we have heads up in case we're shorted and in case there's some projected hot item we need to get out. The home office posts store reports when they actually get the items. This site posts up the moment, verified future figs, ships, and what's expected. If you haven't noticed there's a huge difference between what we see on this site, in Lee's or Tomarts, and when it shows up at the local stores. There are collectors who keep the rest of the workers posted about possible "hot" items what to expect, and we had Lee's and Tomart in the break room. Not every store has collectors, but I'd bet there's at least 5-6 who are, and trust me, they keep the rest of the crew informed. Most workers don't care about the toys, and most view collectors as freaks and problems. Some problems and headaches stem from collectors who come in like clock work, asking the same questions, getting upset, pestering employees, hiding figures and items around the store, and calling in day after day.

And this is the kicker. This should hopefully put it all into perspective for you. Stores like TRU, Target, whoever all pre-order this stuff anywhere from 4-8 months if not longer. The HQ or regional office orders so many cases of this or that, not knowing what the case break down is, or if it will actually sell, or when it will exactly show up. They work on quarters and general time frames. Its a huge crap shoot. Some one deals with the toy reps, check it out and makes a decision based on some of those test studies. Just because Hasbro or whoever makes a new star wars toy, there's zero guarentee that it will show up at your local store. It all depends on what was pre-ordered back in the day. Stuff like TC-14, Sio, Bo-Shek, etc are prime examples. Some cases just aren't pre-ordered or sent to certain stores.

History will repeat itself with this line. The line died quickly in 85(?) or so, the lined really faded out in 2001, and it will do it again in 2003 and 2004. Stores will stop stocking star wars, some took a beating from Ep I and only ordered the 1st few waves or ever small amounts of cases. Some take a chance and order quite a bit, hoping its a hit, some order very little and take a chance on something else.

The only advice I can give you is just keep checking, don't be a bother, don't give attitude, and find a secondary source to buy figs just in case, and please don't jump to conclusions by a few observations.

Darth Detori
09-15-2002, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by tjovonovich


Ok, this little statements get me. This is a small chunk of what's wrong with the world these days. General speculations, and this whole McDolands mentality where you need a quick fix and you get in a huff if you actually have to wait for it or if they just don't have it.

I worked at TRU my junior and senior year in college (97-98) as one of the back room stockers/truck unloader/bike assembler, and buddy you're general observations and quick fire assumptions are WAY off. I didn't really like working there, and I have no loyalities to the chain, but I can't read you're generalized statments and let them go. I'm getting tired of people on this forum crying about things they have zero knowlege of.

As for TRU, every store is differnt, I've give you that. I'll also give you partial credit about some employee's not knowing what's going on. Granted the bulk of people working there are in high school, elderly, or just folks who need a few extra bucks. This world doesn't revolve around star wars, and not everyone is going to know ever little detail or what you're looking for. Star Wars is just a small chunk of their over all store. Its not their bread and butter, and its not their main seller. They don't specialize in star wars, and they don't cater specifically for star wars. We had 2-3 people who took care of the action figure isles, they were the ones in the know, did the set ups, stocked the pegs, and clean them at night. Don't expect every employee to know or understand what you're looking for. Best bet is to bring a photo, befriend a worker, or just keep your eyes and ears open.

lol, chill man! I'm talking about two weeks of working there, and just what I noticed in those two weeks (that and shopping there) and that's just one location. I never said I expect people to know exactly what they have and what's coming in. Actually, funny story- this kid I was talking to today said that he was at TRU and was asking about the new star trek enterprise phaser sets; so the guy calls up one of the world leaders (that's what they call managers now, apparently). While he's waiting for a response, he says "I didn't even think we carried Star Trek stuff". He failed to notice that he was carrying a box labeled star trek enterprise ;).

other than that, your post was most informative- thank you! especially the part with pre-ordering stuff; I didn't really know that

Vortex
09-15-2002, 11:25 PM
sorry man, I'm getting a bit fed up with some of the stuff I read in these forums and how people just shoot their mouth off without and information. Granted some times its all misinformation or areas that funtion a little differnt, but I was suprised to see you make general assumptions after working there 2 weeks.

I wasn't trying to jump on you and I apoligize if I came off like that. I'm just reaching a high water mark on all this crying about stores, hasbro, ebay, or whoever.

I do agree some of the people that work there are dumb as posts. I worked with one kid in the back room that was about 2 days behind in any conversation, didn't know a mop from a broom, and even got locked in the store one night.

Darth Detori
09-15-2002, 11:33 PM
LOL! quality

Sinister Lord
09-16-2002, 08:45 AM
OK... I worked at TRU for four months back in 2000, and I can tell you that some of these observations might be true for some stores, but not all. At the store where I worked, the restocking of the floor could potentially occur at any time during the day, morning or afternoon. There was also an overnight crew that sometimes did restocking at night, and the results of that would be apparent first thing in the morning. In general, restocking does not occur after 6pm because that's when the employees need to begin straightening the store, and there is no time to restock anything after that point.

The one thing I can tell you for certain is that most employees are clueless and do not pay attention to what is coming in and when. And most of the time, it is not possible to even know. Often when the truck arrives, it does not even necessarily contain what was expected.

I can also tell you that during the entire time I worked there, I only obtained one item that I might not have gotten had I not been working there, and that was the EP I two pack with Maul vs. Kenobi... it was only there for a couple days, and I was lucky enough to be working during that time. I probably would have missed it if I hadn't been working there.

But other than that, my time working at TRU did very little for my collection. The main reason is that, as an employee, you are only a little bit less clueless than any of the customers. Having access to the storeroom is useful, but typically there wasn't much back there that wasn't represented on the floor. So being an employee has only a few advantages, not many.

My advice to all fellow collectors who are frustrated with store employees? Be patient with them. Until you take a walk in their shoes you really can't be too critical. They are often not very well informed about what is coming in, when it is coming in, and what exists back in the storeroom. It's just not possible for most employees to know all that information, and often it isn't necessary for them to know it in order to do their job anyway, since most of the customers that come into the store are not collectors and aren't asking for that kind of information. The employees are responsible for dealing with the contents of the entire store, not just the action figure section, so there just isn't enough time in the day to gather a vast amount of knowledge about that particular part of the store.

That's my two cents.

Jedi_Master_Guyute
09-16-2002, 09:30 AM
I know the TRU in columbus get trucks in on Thursdays and they unload it that weekend. I know a guy who works at one of them and he wasn't a collector, but he knew the toy bidness.

As for Wal-marts, the earlier statement of when they get trucks in is accurate. Some WM maybe different though. I see a majority of the SW stuff going up at night rather than during the day. All the WM i've been to have been too busy with shoppers to even risk bringing out some skids of stuff. I used to hunt only after 2am and that's how i'd find stuff. I'd come in the next day and there wouldn't be a single pallet on the floor. Yet, then again, i'm sure all WM stocking procedures are different, i'm just going on what i've seen/experienced.

Dar' Argol
09-16-2002, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by Jedi_Master_Guyute
As for Wal-marts, the earlier statement of when they get trucks in is accurate. Some WM maybe different though. I see a majority of the SW stuff going up at night rather than during the day. All the WM i've been to have been too busy with shoppers to even risk bringing out some skids of stuff. I used to hunt only after 2am and that's how i'd find stuff. I'd come in the next day and there wouldn't be a single pallet on the floor. Yet, then again, i'm sure all WM stocking procedures are different, i'm just going on what i've seen/experienced.

No we don't bring pallets out on the floor during the day, but we do bring shopping catrs and L-Carts out to stock with. True that the majorite of the NEW stock that comes in does get put out overnight, but the old stuff that could not got out is done during the day. If we sell 50 SW figs and no new stuff comes in that nights truck, but we do have 20 cases in the back, someone would go back and get some cases and fill the pegs.

Just trying to help understand WM's way of working;)

Jedi_Master_Guyute
09-16-2002, 06:58 PM
Yeah...but.....they........umm.......k, .....you got me there.... :D

Turbowars
09-16-2002, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by tjovonovich


Granted the bulk of people working there are in high school, elderly, or just folks who need a few extra bucks. This world doesn't revolve around star wars, and not everyone is going to know ever little detail or what you're looking for.

With that said, I think I'll completely forget what my duties are at work and expect a pay check. The employee's at TRU are in customer service and I damn well expect customer sevice. Why is it in peoples heads that just because you make a low wage you can lag and be a moron. Granted that there are hundereds of toys there, an employee should have some kind of knowledge of each section. I worked for minium wage for a long time and I knew what my job was. No one should be able to hold a job and not know what their doing. In my work if someone has no clue ,they have no pay check.

Darth Detori
09-16-2002, 08:28 PM
Originally posted by turbowars
With that said, I think I'll completely forget what my duties are at work and expect a pay check. The employee's at TRU are in customer service and I damn well expect customer sevice. Why is it in peoples heads that just because you make a low wage you can lag and be a moron. Granted that there are hundereds of toys there, an employee should have some kind of knowledge of each section. I worked for minium wage for a long time and I knew what my job was. No one should be able to hold a job and not know what their doing. In my work if someone has no clue ,they have no pay check.

professionalism is a lost art, it seems :p

Exhaust Port
09-16-2002, 10:45 PM
I too was a 500 for TRU last holiday season and I put in my application for this one coming up. I had the same experience working there for those 4 months as the others here. Rarely did myself or others know what was going to be with any particular delivery. Sure during the summer months a store might get a truck a week or so and that's pretty easy to keep track of incoming items arriving. As Christmas arrives stores receive a truck a day and it becomes nearly impossible (at least it was at this store) to know what was coming in. Deliveries to refill out-of-stock items could take awhile to arrive as a week worth of trucks were already packed and on the way before those requested items make it on a truck. Several times we not only didn't receive anticipated items that were listed on a manifest but sometimes we got the wrong truck all together. Not that it matters, we just unloaded and everything was thrown on the shelves that night. The pace of toys being sold is so quick that no matter what we got off a truck it was sold before the next truck arrived.

My experience with the manifests was only concerning the expensive electronics such as PS2 or XBOX. Those were checked off as they were unloaded. Everything else was rarely noted since it was all going on the floor that night anyway. I know I have limited experience with the workings of TRU but as soon as Thanksgiving rolls around the only way to get the new stuff is to be there when the doors open.