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View Full Version : Horrors of Star Wars hunting!!



silentsteel70
03-21-2004, 04:15 PM
Let me tell you a little story:
yesterday we decided to go off Star Wars hunting...trying to track down some of the figures that have been eluding us!! Weeeeeellll...we started out in our home town..well sorta..we have to t...ravel 15 miles to the nearest store!...we looked in all the local stores including WM..and NOTHING!..so we went another 25 miles to the next town...we visited 2 walmarts,1 target, 1 K-mart and a couple of DG and NOTHING!! SOOOO..we decided to go to the capital...lol of kansas Topeka...somewhere you don't want to go on a saturday afternoon!!..so we started out on the 70 mile trip...halfway to Topeka we got a major blowout...in the middle of nowhere..we didn't even have a good spare tire...we had to use the crappy small hotwheels size temporary tire!!!...so after a lengthy discussion with a local sheriffs deputy (who was real nice) we continued on to Topeka...against the sheriffs advice, because of the tire.
We got to Topeka...and after 2 WM super centers, 1 Target, 1TRU, 1 super K-Mart, 2 DG and we even tried tuesday morning store...ABSOLUTLEY ZILTCH...NOTHING SQUAT!!!!...everything was gone...thats even if they had pegs for Star Wars...one store (WM) had 3 pegs...squeezed in between LOTR and marvel figures...that had 2 hoth soldiers...and thats it!!...So after 8 hours and way over 200 miles we finally got home with a couple of figures we already had, but we got them for some peeps on here coz they needed them, sometimes we wonder if it is worth all the hassle...we almost got to the point of putting everyting on ebay, and be done with it!!..But of course we are not...although we could do with the space LOL :) (so my wife says)
Has anyone else had any huge probs trying to get these things??? I am just real happy there are a few nice ppl on here that will trade and not rip you off!!

Sidiously Darth
03-21-2004, 04:21 PM
Wow! I really have nothing to compare with that. Since I live in Orlando, there are plenty of WM's, Targets, TRU's, KB's & a few K-Marts. Things have been really dry lately but with help from a few friends, I've found most of it. Although, I have resorted to ebay for my last 4 figures.

I would probably put in as much or maybe more mileage if I did a wide circle around the Greater Orlando area. Probably would come up dry, too. :rolleyes:

Kidhuman
03-21-2004, 05:56 PM
For three months I found nothing. When I drop off the step kids to go to their dads ouse, I sometimes hunt on the way back hitting 2 K-marts, 4 Wal-Marts, and a Target. Usually find nothing. It is heartbreaking and nausiating at the same time, ubt that one time when you do find new stuff, it makes it all go away. Trust me, patience will pay off. And dont put them on Ebay until you offer them here first. :D :beard:

stillakid
03-21-2004, 06:22 PM
Back when I had a little more time, I could hit 4 Targets, 3 TRU's, 2 Walmarts, and 3 KB's to kill a morning. But after consistently coming up empty handed, I logged into KEBco's One of Every Figure Club and those frustrating wasted days are a thing of the past. Now I only really go out when Army Builders or Exclusives are afoot. Do yourself a favor and order online. The dollar or two you think you're saving by waiting for retail sales is wasted in the gas and time you spend driving around with nothing to show for it.

plasticfetish
03-21-2004, 09:22 PM
...so after a lengthy discussion with a local sheriffs deputy (who was real nice) we continued on to Topeka...
First up let me say... a while ago when passing through your lovely state, somewhere between Wichita and Topeka, I got nailed for speeding. Your cops are scary. Never speed in Kansas!!!

Anyway. (That sucks about the blowout.) Seems things are slim all over. With gas prices the way they are it hurts to drive around for nothing. All I can offer, is to pick one or two good stores and then hit them in the mornings on a regular basis. The only positive flip-side to living in LA and paying 2.20 for cheap gas, is that we've also got a bazillion Targets, Wal-Marts and TRUs. Problem is, we've also got a bazillion scalpers. They can't be everywhere at once though and some mornings they can be a little slow to leave their hive... that's when you'll score.

B'Omarr Monkey
03-21-2004, 09:26 PM
I don't bother to check the stores nearly as often as I used to since it seems to be a major disappointment 95% of the time. I only pop into one if I happen to be by it anyway. I find that the long despairing times are punctuated by sudden windfalls. I've posted elsewehere about my huge finds when I visited my inlaws in Michigan.

I understand the urge to just drop the hobby as it has become increasingly hard to come by product (I was just thinking about how prior to the Mon Mothma wave I could leave stuff on the shelf and come back to pick it up on another visit. Try doing that now.). I've come to that point myself on several occassions, the last time being in the Fall of 2003 when I hadn't found much of anything new since the initial Saga waves. I was tremendously far behind and didn't see how I was ever going to catch up if nothing ever came to the stores.

I'm now down to being behind by about a dozen figures, the Eopie w/Qui-Gon, the two AOTC speeder bike sets and two ships (one being the Shuttle). I've found that stuff that's over four months old can be found for prices comparable to what you'd pay for it if you found it at retail. When the heat dies on the new waves, the prices go down. So, the stuff that I haven't found since December, which includes R1-G4, who's been on my want list for years, will be mine eventually. I just need to have some patience. I waited until two weeks ago for the Commtech R2 w/Leia hologram, and only had to pay $12 including shipping for it vs the $50 it was going for a couple years ago.

I use the time and money that I'm not spending when I can't find stuff in the stores to fill in any gaps that I have, and I usually end up spending what I would have if I'd found them in the stores to start with.

I'd join Kebco if I didn't work a freelance job with peaks an valleys in income. I can't predict that in 4 months time that when 2 waves, a deluxe wave, 3 vehicles, and a scene pack all come in at once, that I'll be able to pay for them all at once, so it's more commitment than I can give. If I could though, I'd join in a flash. I love the hunt. There's nothing more satisfying than turning that corner in the action figure aisle and finding something you don't have and being able to take it home that day. But, now that those finds are becoming more and more infrequent, why continue to bring so much disappointment into a hobby that's supposed to be fun?

The experiences we're all having make it sound like we're collecting paper dolls from the 1880's instead of toys that are new and allegedly mass produced and available to anyone who wants them.

silentsteel70
03-21-2004, 09:29 PM
Thats very true, by the time we put gas(which prices are horrendous) and a new tire on the car, we could have bought two full cases from entertainment earth. thanks for a good tips I'll check out kebco:D

Darth Jax
03-21-2004, 09:30 PM
First up let me say... a while ago when passing through your lovely state, somewhere between Wichita and Topeka, I got nailed for speeding. Your cops are scary. Never speed in Kansas!!!

never, ever speed in kansas you will get caught. i frequently drive from denver to stl. i'll see maybe one cop in CO and MO and pass 7 within the first 15 minutes of being in kansas. they also don't give much of a cushion, if you're above the posted limit then you're speeding.

i've found that shopping in any mid-sized or larger city is not the area i'd like to be on a weekend afternoon.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
03-21-2004, 10:11 PM
Wow that's quite the amount of area you covered ss70. I guess that is the drawback of living in rural America. Retail Stores aren't centrally located like they are in big cities and mid-size cities as well. If I wanted to, I can probably hit the same amount of stores while making a round trip of 45-50 miles.

Another thing is to anticipate failure. Coming away empty-handed is a common occurence. Before I go on hunts, I always keep a few nonStar Wars items that I might need, in mind so that my trips aren't total disappointments. You might not have found that Rappertunie you wanted but hey, the maxi-pads you need will always be located in aisle 12. :D

And it sounds like you carpool which is a great way to share the burden that traveling has to offer.

The 'Xir
03-22-2004, 02:05 AM
I live in Syracuse, and we just got our first Target store, don't ask my why it took so long 'cause there's like a million of them around us, even in dinky little towns you've never even heard of...so... hopefully they'll bring a better selection of SW figs! However, Syracuse has always sucked for getting new figs and it doesn't matter wether or not it's WM TRU, BigK, or wherever! Suppossedly, we have one of the top TRU in NY state(TRU has some weird way of grading their stores(kinda like hotels and restaurants with their star system)) and yet it is always the last to get anything in, let alone the really good stuff! So when I make my Bi-weekly trips down to NYC to buy merchandise for my business, I usually stop at this one TRU in Jersey on the way back home to check what they have! But due to the lack of figs in the past 8 years in the Syracuse area, I pretty much have stopped chasing down stuff unless I stop at a store in an area that I'm working in after my day is done and I'm heading back home. I pretty much just resort to picking up the new figs that are released around the release of the movies and big events , when they are plentiful, and am happy with just that and then try to pick up what I can here and there as the year(s) goes on! Once in a great while one of my Importers will get some cases of older figures(meaning, whatever last years releases were) that I'll pick up because I know there's valuable figs within, and then just sell the others or just give 'em away, although usually they just end up in my wharehouse or attic to collect dust with everything else!!! :rolleyes:
What's worse is I couldn't tell you what's what in SW figures anymore, I picked up a couple of the new clone wars cartoon figs, but mostly I've been buying the newer Transformers stuff more than I have SW!

JediTricks
03-22-2004, 09:26 PM
The only positive flip-side to living in LA and paying 2.20 for cheap gas, is that we've also got a bazillion Targets, Wal-Marts and TRUs. Problem is, we've also got a bazillion scalpers. They can't be everywhere at once though and some mornings they can be a little slow to leave their hive... that's when you'll score.On point 1 there, LA is 40 miles across, the county moreso, and there's only 1 Wal-mart in the city itself (and it's in a baaaaad part of town), the rest are all in the outskirt areas, so that $2.20 basic regular gas plus wear really adds up fast. On point 2, "they can't be everywhere at once though"... you sure about that? ;) I haven't found jack squat, to the point where I've whittled my hunts down to 1 a week at best. It's awful right now being a SW collector who doesn't get up at the crack of dawn to kick scalpers in their shins during the mad dash to the toy aisle.


Here's a collecting horror story, in '97 or '98, a few collecting buddies and me would go to Frank & Sons collector show every week, and on the way back we'd hit various TRUs and WMs and whatnot along the way. Well, this one time, we took Rick's car - a beat-up, early '80s American sedan that he called "the Millennium Falcon" and even had the Applause Falcon dangler on his windshield, it was a real POS - and we get to Rosemead TRU, a real dump, just before closing. Anyway, I think we all struck out, the whole day was kinda weak for collecting, and we get into Rick's car and it won't start... not like before where it'd give us trouble, we work it like crazy but it's not starting. So we beg our way back into the TRU where there's a payphone and the 3rd friend has an AAA card, but none of us have ever used AAA before. By now, TRU has kicked us out and closed up shop, and finally the tow truck driver arrives at 10 at night in a part of town none of us are familiar with. He gives the car a quick look then says he'll have to tow it to a garage, and says that the AAA card only covers the first 5 miles and the garage this car has to go to is like 15 away, so we'll have to pay cash up front. They had spent more than I had that day, so I basically plopped down almost every penny I had, like $80 cash, and then the tow truck couldn't accomodate us all so I had to stay behind as well... later I discovered that the guy was a scumbag liar and AAA would simply bill us for the extra miles later! So they drive off in the tow truck and I'm stuck holding 2 or 3 large-ish bags of collectibles in the middle of who-knows-where with no car, almost no money, no phone, standing in the dark, and to top it all off, my mom virtually never answers her phone so she can't come and get me. Luckily, there was a skangy Denny's near by and she eventually answered the phone and came and gave me a ride, but that pretty much just sucked eggs. :p

silentsteel70
03-23-2004, 12:00 AM
Well Jeditricks I sure wouldn't want to be you at that time. I do feel for you man, at least you had other guys with you, I had a wife and a 19 month old kid with me, so you might know what I went through. (I have to watch what I'm saying, since my wife is hovering over my shoulder with a very heavy cup in her hand.:eek: )

Kidhuman
03-23-2004, 08:02 AM
(I have to watch what I'm saying, since my wife is hovering over my shoulder with a very heavy cup in her hand.:eek: )


He said that while trailing oiff in dispair.................... :beard:

JetsAndHeels
03-23-2004, 09:39 AM
I have long since given up the task of searching for new SW figures. One reason is because I am on a budget and the second is that NC is bad for not getting new stuff in its stores. I have also gone onto collecting the McFarlane sportspicks (which is a major hassle in itself) so I can't really commit to hunting more than that at one time.
Silentsteel-if there is anything you are looking for from the potj, early saga or episode I line, let me know. I have some stuff here I am looking to unload if you are interested. My email is stevenmccr@hotmail.com. Good luck to you all in your searches.

Lobito
03-24-2004, 12:10 AM
Spending a whole day on a SW hunt can be very very tedious...but sometimes the reward is worth the trip...sometimes...before these dark times...before the empire... :D

JediTricks
03-24-2004, 04:42 PM
Well Jeditricks I sure wouldn't want to be you at that time. I do feel for you man, at least you had other guys with you, I had a wife and a 19 month old kid with me, so you might know what I went through. (I have to watch what I'm saying, since my wife is hovering over my shoulder with a very heavy cup in her hand.:eek: )
Shoulda done what I did, hand 'em all your money and go to Dennys. ;)

Bosskman
03-24-2004, 05:44 PM
It's been over a year since I last got Star Wars figures at retail where I live. TRU and Zellers here are still clogged with the first wave of AOTC stuff. It's beyond pathetic. I agree totally on the waiting thing for buying on-line. The old desperate me would be paying 35-50 dollars Canadian for J'Quille and Elom right now, but the newer, more experienced me is gonna wait a couple months (when I'm done school and start at my new job) and buy all'em for cheaper.

Bosskman
03-24-2004, 05:51 PM
It's cool some of you guys seem to have actual other people who you hang around with who collect stuff too. Most of my friends don't. Only one does and he's nowhere near as hardcore as me. I check one Walmart and Zellers everyday, and the other walmart and TRU atleast one a week. I haven't found squat. The only thing that's here that I want is the Jedi 4 pack at TRU, but I don't want it bad enough to shell out 40 bucks for it when that's about half my monthly income right now (especially since I only want the Nikto and the geonosis detention device). Once june comes along I'll be in the money! Can't wait for that.

Mandalorian Candidat
03-24-2004, 07:21 PM
Seeing the degree of pegwarmage in your area, bosskman, makes me feel better about the drought here. Thanks. ;) Hope things get better soon.

It's crap like this that makes you wonder why Hasbro won't sell direct to the public.

Lowly Bantha Cleaner
03-24-2004, 09:39 PM
I know this has stated before but I cannot reiterate this enough. Eventually, if you are patient, you will see just about every wave in any of the SW line and almost every figure they offer.

I can see a constant complaint about pegwarmers. The problem with them is that prevent future waves hitting the shelves in a timely manner. However, speaking from experience, this is not a new problem, and this has been plaguing the line for years. The only time that I recall that waves were skipped was back during the Episode I debacle. Even then, those waves did hit the store, just in too small numbers and were snatched up by collectors quickly.

Currently, there are a few odd figures that are MIA, such as the Sketchtrooper and SA Clonetrooper. I've seen that wave on the shelves, but not those particular figures. Some fellow WNY collectors have scored them, so I know at least a few have trickled down to the collectors and not just the scalpers. It helps to hook up with these collectors, as many heads are better than one.

I'm I worried I won't find them? A little. But I'm crossing my fingers. Once they clear out the Ack-Meds, Barrisses, and Securas, I'll hopefully spot a few. Until then, I'll be patient, stray away from E-bay and hope for the best.

silentsteel70
03-24-2004, 11:14 PM
Ebay...now there's a subject!!...ebay can be good if you look hard enough...fair enough the single sa clone troopers, red arc troopers and concept troopers are going for silly amounts :eek: ..not to mention the new yavin wave!! If you look real hard at some of the lots ppl have up for sale, you can sometimes spot a couple of figures you have been wanting for eons and there hiding in the description somewhere you will find a new VHTF figure and you get the whole lot for less than $20 including shipping :p ..we have scored a couple of times with that method, and filled in some holes in our collection in the process! (give all the credit to my wife who spends a lot of time on ebay while I am at work...looking for things that I have been needing, she has done a real good job lately!!) :D

silentsteel70
03-25-2004, 01:33 AM
[QUOTE=silentsteel70]Ebay...now there's a subject!!..

We just bought a nice little lot...we didin't save anything on retail but we saved a heck of a lot of running around!!! we just got Rappertunie, Tie Fighter Pilot, Captain Antilles, Holographic Luke Skywalker and General Jan Dodonna all for $28!!!...now how much gas did I save???? ummmm thinking about last weekend...lots and lots of gas...and I didn't need to buy a new tire either!!! :D
I plan on keeping all these figures, except one...the Captain Antilles I am going to trade...coz I already have him...so if anyone is intrested PM me and I will get back to ya, if I like what you're offering...lol :p
So shopping on Ebay aint all that bad...just look on the right days, and at the right time...when most normal ppl are in bed!!!

Kidhuman
03-25-2004, 06:38 AM
Heck of a nice purchase silentsteel. That was a good deal considering all the gass you saved.

Bosskman
03-25-2004, 01:55 PM
LBC, there are pleanty of figures and other stuff that never made it to retail in Canada. I think we're worse off than anyone else. The funny thing is I can't figure out why. The market is definately here. All the new figures (those that actually make it here) fly off the shelves. Then the pegwarmers come and inudate everything. Then the pegwarmers stay on the shelves. Then the stores stop ordering new figures because they think nobody wants them. Then Hasbro changes the name of the line (like from POTF to ep1 to POTJ to Saga, etc) Then the new figures fly off the shelves. Then the pegwarmers come and inundate everthing. Then the pegwarmers stay on the shelves. Then the stores stop ordering new figures because they think nobody wants them. Then Hasbro changes the name of the line......it's a viscious cycle. I can't figure out why people don't get fired over this incompetence.........I need a drink.