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View Full Version : Repacking Old Figures to Fraudulently Return Them



Tycho
09-17-2008, 11:03 PM
At my Target, there is a Ganner Krieg / Antarres Draco comic 2-pack with 2 Luke Coruscant Guard Disguise figures (from 1996 SOTE). I've taken to the attention of one of the employees in toys there. What happened? It's right back on their racks for sale - as the rip-off that it is (unless you need those SOTE figures - but it doesn't even have their helmets and they got packed with Darth Vader lightsabers. :rolleyes: )

Hasbro made it so you essentially get 2 figures and a comic book for about $12. That's a great deal. The comic is regularly $3.25 and figures are $7.20 approximately. 2 plus the comic would be $17.65 otherwise (plus tax on the comic book - the figures are after-tax for California)

So saving $5 is not enough? That just looks really cheap. I guess Target's cheap too - because if it's any kind of conscious decision, they're waiting for an unwitting mom or grandmom to buy it for a present and then be rid of it.

It's about time we'd be rid of guys who do these kinds of return-frauds. Grow up people! :mad:

DarkJedi5
09-18-2008, 12:23 AM
Part of me wonders if Target and places like it doesn't put these figures back on the shelves for some reason. Is it possible that there's nothing they can do about it so they put them back on the shelves so that when they don't sell they can send them back to Hasbro? I would assume that any merchandice that is still on the shelves when it comes time to do a reset and it won't sell they get to ship it back to Hasbro? In which case it shows Hasbro what kind of tampering happens with their figures so they can come up with better packaging. And if poor fool buys it, it's no skin off of Target's nose. I'm not saying it's honest but I guess I can see why they may do this from a business standpoint, but I do agree with Tycho. Figure switchers are perhaps the worst thing for this hobby. Period. Imagine a shelf where all the figures had been switched and your local retailer doesn't care and puts them back out. People would never buy them and the store would never reorder because the pegs are full. And thus no new figs, ever.

jediguy
09-18-2008, 06:05 AM
I have seen the figure swap out a few times as well
knowing that most of the big box store employees could not care less about something like that, I take the bad item and hide it elsewhere in the toy aisle, hoping that it won't be found until the employees do the reset and maybe then one of them will notice and care enough to remove the item from the sales floor

JetsAndHeels
09-18-2008, 09:49 AM
It is definately a growing problem, I have seen it a few times in the past couple of weeks also. Not just with Star Wars, but also Transformers. I have brought it to the attention of the employees, and so far I have not seen any back on the pegs, so it may be working.

Also being a sports card collector, this reminds me of how some folks bend and feel packs to try and spot jersey cards. I have seen these people standing there just feeling packs and then they put back what does not appear to have anything and they buy the ones they want.

To me it is just like stealing. The collectors who want to buy packs and hopefully get something good are being robbed of the opportunity. Just like these people who repack old figures are doing to someone out there who may not know they are buying someone's leftovers. Hardcore collectors like us will be able to spot it, but what about a mother buying a toy for their child, or a grandparent buying something for their grandchild? I doubt they would notice, and in the end they are the ones getting ripped off.

cookiemonster
09-18-2008, 01:38 PM
Hey Hasbro does it all the time, lets put these old figures in this new set, they will never know, and then people wonder why the staff at the toy shops dont realise, after all Hasbro does it to them.

But in all serious yes this is wrong and shouldnt be done, however can you see the point here, people can get away with it because Hasbro themselves re-pack old figures, so now the average punter doesnt know if he's getting re-packed Hasbro figures, or if someone is re-packing old Hasbro Figures.

Mr. JabbaJohnL
09-18-2008, 01:55 PM
There has been discussion throughout the board here for many years about this. I've seen it many times myself, but thankfully not for a few months now. Usually it's whenever new clones come out, or at least new clone multipacks. But it makes me angry every time.

pbarnard
09-18-2008, 02:18 PM
I haven't seen figures yet, but I have seen one solitary instance of a droid part being returned, it was for an R7 droid pack in returned with what appeared a Escape from Naboo leg badly mangleded in its place.

DarkArtist
09-18-2008, 02:33 PM
i just think the stores need to have employees who are going to check to see if the figures match the package art on the the box. i mean the comic packs show the figures on the back of the package and most of the single card figures do this as well. how hard is it to see that if the figures don't match up then it's tampered and therefore can't be returned.

i can remember when stores would refuse to accept any type of merchandise that was opened. if the buyer opened it, they were stuck with it. perhaps we should return to that way of retail and these figure swappers would be stopped cold in their tracks.

Qui-Long Gone
09-18-2008, 02:45 PM
I can't say I've ever seen this happen, but that's not to say it doesn't around here.

Sometimes I feel a little (just a little bit) like a loser for collecting figures in my 30s, but when I hear of stuff this, I take comfort to know that there are bigger losers than me doing something that would probably be too juvinile for a juvinile to do.


Can't these idots be content with living in mom's basement rent-free and downloading porn because they can't get laid by one-legged hookers with crooked teeth?

What a bunch of morons.......:rolleyes:

Can't you just see these dweebs (man I miss that word) at home giggling like 13 year old girls. They probably feel as proud of themselves as that fat goon Francis did when he stole Pewee's bike (man I love that movie).

Seriously losers, get a life. To paraphrase Woody, You are a Tool! These are toys were talking about not stocks and bonds and life savings! At least elevate your crime to something respectable.

I bet the Joker would shove a pencil in your head for your lack of vision....

Umbra
09-18-2008, 03:05 PM
I must agree with the hatred towards these individuals, I've I guess been lucky up until now, i haven't had the misfortune of seeing this until just recently. I ordered the Rebel Pilots Legacy 2 off amazon since I had no luck in stores and didn't want it to become another Revan for me (never finding it and realizing too late to find it online) got it in the mail, and found Luke Wedge and Han (which i think might have been the 95 deluxe Han) I was ****ed, but luckily I returned it for a replacement and got a legitamate pack this time, yay.

LTBasker
09-18-2008, 03:57 PM
To play Devil's Advocate, when Hasbro does it it's a "greatest hit," but when someone else does it it's criminal. ;)

Seriously though, it is pretty sad when someone does it, considering that it just makes their chances of finding something new even worse. Until someone who doesn't know any better picks it up, it's an item that isn't going to sell, so it's going to decrease the chance of restocking if the person does it enough. So, not only is it hurting the collecting community as a whole, it also hurts the idiot that does it.


i just think the stores need to have employees who are going to check to see if the figures match the package art on the the box.

Sometimes Hasbro uses the wrong promo picture on the back though, so even a legit figure might not even match up to the packaging's pictures. It's even worse if it's a variation of a figure that they wouldn't modify the packaging for.

Qui-Long Gone
09-18-2008, 04:13 PM
To play Devil's Advocate, when Hasbro does it it's a "greatest hit," but when someone else does it it's criminal. ;)


I think it's clear then that the jerks who do it in Hasbro also live at home with their mothers rent-free, download porn, but can afford sex with one-legged hookers with crooked teeth, while the ones who do it "criminally" cannot afford such tricks. :mad:

And if anyone asks, the rest of us may/may not live at home with mom, may/may not download porn....but none of us are into those types of skanks....am I right, or am I right?.........who's with me?

El Chuxter
09-18-2008, 04:34 PM
The guys at Hasbro don't release a Greatest Hits Clonetrooper card with a Crowd Control Stormtrooper in the bubble, either.

DarkJedi5
09-18-2008, 09:13 PM
Here's my take on the greatest hits; they may be old rehashed figures but you are getting what's on the package. I don't buy greatest hits but I don't complain that Hasbro puts them out. They don't interfere too much with the line of new product and apparently they help keep prices down. But with them, there's no bait and switch, you see what you get. With a swap it's sometimes only close enough to fool the clerk and like some one said earlier, the parents or grandparents who buy this for their youngling only to have them be super disappointed.

cookiemonster
09-19-2008, 10:14 AM
Guys relax I was being funny sarcastic, hence the but serious mentioned after it. My main point was that a lot of people dont realise that those figures arent the ones hasbro packed unless obviously they are on the wrong card.

DarkArtist
09-19-2008, 11:49 AM
Guys relax I was being funny sarcastic, hence the but serious mentioned after it. My main point was that a lot of people dont realise that those figures arent the ones hasbro packed unless obviously they are on the wrong card.


cookie, i get that you're being funny and sarcastic but it is turning into a problem that could have stores losing sales and business and thus this might impact a store as to whether or not they will continue to carry a line in the future.

i get ****ed when i see a small kid get excited about looking to get that new figure of Commander Cody and at the end of the isle is a annoying scalper with 10 of them in his cart. i watched a scalper the other day offer to sell an Ashoka to some mom out in the parking lot for $20 bucks saying that the figure has been recalled

Qui-Long Gone
09-19-2008, 02:48 PM
cookie, i get that you're being funny and sarcastic but it is turning into a problem that could have stores losing sales and business and thus this might impact a store as to whether or not they will continue to carry a line in the future.

i get ****ed when i see a small kid get excited about looking to get that new figure of Commander Cody and at the end of the isle is a annoying scalper with 10 of them in his cart. i watched a scalper the other day offer to sell an Ashoka to some mom out in the parking lot for $20 bucks saying that the figure has been recalled

Did you go up and kick him in the nards? That would have been worth $20 bucks! :D

I agree that some repacks are getting old, but others, like VOTC Biker Scout, or VOTC Fett, evolutions ROTS Anakin....well, I don't mind those because I missed 'em the first time around when they were $4 more expensive....

cookiemonster
09-19-2008, 03:55 PM
DA switching and scalping are not the same thing, scalping is some low life who has went and bought the figures and is selling them for a higher price, switching is some low life buying the figure then returning it and either getting there money back or gaining a new figure in its place (depending if the store is does money back or exchange).

Now dont get me wrong ten to one that scalper is also doing the switch routine as well, but you cant really lump them both together one is willfully stealing, while the other one is ripping you off.

Mind you I would have went over to the lady and the scalper guy and turned to the lady and said, I hope you dont mind I over heard what was being said and these figures havent been recalled, this gentleman has just bought the last ten so no one else could get them, I would wait and there will be more on the shelves soon.

LTBasker
09-19-2008, 04:39 PM
So, any theories as to how to combat the fraud menace? More secure packaging, more detailed pictures that shows exactly what the figure should be, or Hasbro reps looking into the matter at stores they visit?

Of course, secure packaging would be problematic since it would require likely more expensive packaging, such as the VTSC had. They could at least stop using tape though, it already feels a bit like it was patched up.

I suppose more detailed pictures of the product might help to an extent, but it still comes down to an employee identifying the difference. The majority probably couldn't care less though, both about the differences and the line in general. To the average retail employee, all Stormtroopers probably appear to be just white blobs that mean more labor.

The last bit I think is the only thing that could slightly help, with Hasbro actually getting involved. I really don't know how the whole thing works out with Hasbro reps, and if they visit every store or not. However, at the very least the items could be shipped to a main store for the rep to investigate, and hopefully determine whether or not a watch should be issued for the person that returned it. Of course, I assume they have a way of tracking the person that returned the item if the receipt was returned along with it.
Interestingly, I wonder if someone could or would actually be arrested over the matter if one were to involve the Police?

So, should people urge the stores to take a more focused stance towards preventing this, or should they urge Hasbro? Or both?

DarkJedi5
09-19-2008, 05:07 PM
I would say the solution is two fold. I think the most important thing is caling it to the attention of management at one of these stores. Unfortunately, we've seen that many of them just don't care and put these back on the shelves. I think they need to know what's going on and care enough to yank the items and train the return desk personel. I honestly think that if they really did compare the items on the package to the items in the package a lot of swaps could be caught. I think the other thing is that Hasbro has to know about it. I'm not sure if the Q&A is the best place or what other venue there may be but if Hasbro becomes aware of how big a problem it is then they can get their reps to watch for it on store visits and talk to toy store managers about it too.

On a side note, I think it would be really hard to arrest some one for figure swapping unless you could prove they were doing it on a large scale. It's only $8 a figure and you'd have to do a lot of swapping to get it up to a fellony. I would love to see some guy get arrested for it though, because you know they're the comicbook-guy type and I hate that guy.

Ando
09-19-2008, 05:19 PM
So, any theories as to how to combat the fraud menace? More secure packaging, more detailed pictures that shows exactly what the figure should be, or Hasbro reps looking into the matter at stores they visit?

Here's a thought:
Maybe Hasbro should go back to the simple packaging that they used on the VotC line and that they have been using for YEARS with the GI Joe line. The plastic window has more than enough room for the various packins (or they could eliminate them and save us all money) and accessories.

As I get older, I kinda start feeling guilty about how much plastic and packaging I throw away, especially when i am opening up 10-20 figures (I'm a loose/army builder) at a time. Plus digging through all that plastic and packaging takes forever.

Or they could use a shiny holographic security stick like the cell phone and various electronics manufacturers use. Once the seal is broken, you own it.

DarkJedi5
09-19-2008, 05:27 PM
Or they could use a shiny holographic security stick like the cell phone and various electronics manufacturers use. Once the seal is broken, you own it.

I think that is a brilliant idea and one that could solve the problem big time.

Ando
09-19-2008, 05:36 PM
Thanks. I think a simple card/bubble like the GI Joe and the old Kenner packaging along with a security sticker would be the best solution.

I know WHY the packaging is so d**n complex and fancy (other than keeping marketing people employed it's to make the product look "exciting"), but marketing people need to get it through their heads that if the product is done right and looks good, then that's all the excitement we need when we see it on the shelf, plus they can pack more figures into a case, and save money and resources on the packaging which leads to more profits.

The first thing I do when I buy a new hardcover book is chuck the book jacket. My wife cringes (she's in publicity for a publishing company) when I do that because all it is there to do is sell the book.

bigbarada
09-19-2008, 06:24 PM
I think the simplest solution is just gluing the card to the bubble again without all the tape. This makes it much more difficult to open the package and reseal it without it being noticed. Also make it really strong glue so you can't open the figure without ripping the card to shreds.

The returns clerk at major stores like Wal-Mart have to deal with so much merchandise in a day that it's nearly impossible to expect them to be up to speed on the latest Star Wars releases. They spend their days trying to combat fraudulent CD, DVD and video game returns and sorting through piles of children's clothing that don't fit properly. In light of all that, Star Wars just doesn't seem as important.

As for the ones who do know about the swaps, but don't seem to care, to them a Star Wars figure is a Star Wars figure is a Star Wars figure. As long as there is a toy of equal monetary value in there, they don't see why they should care. The long term collectibility of the Star Wars line doesn't matter to them, they just care about getting their next paycheck.

I think there is pretty much nothing we can do about this on the retailers end.

cookiemonster
09-21-2008, 08:02 PM
To be honest I would love to see them go back to the Vintage Style cards for all basic figures, and I also like the idea of the security tab, and once opened you own it.

The only packaging I collect is the Vintage Style Cardbacks, I am a loose collector of both Vintage and Modern, I believe a toy is to be displayed not kept in a plastic prison.

My next step in collecting is customising so the Cardbacks mean nothing to me, other than the ones stated - but that has to do with childhood and collecting them back then, its more a centimental attachment.

bobafrett
09-21-2008, 08:11 PM
I've seen this practice done many times over at the Wal-Mart I work at. Most recently two of the G.I. Joe packages had been opened, figures replaced, and taped over the old end sealing tape. A Joe coolector pointed this out to me, as well as how cleanly they had resealed the package.

Tycho
09-22-2008, 02:29 AM
The Imperial Knights Comic Pack (with the figures replaced by SOTE Lukes) is once again off the racks at my local Target. Whether it comes back, was sold, or counted as stolen merchandise, I don't know.

Now the Hoth Battle Box (with Han Hoth, the Probe Droid, etc.) has had it's R5 Droid replaced with another, so someone could get their hands on the R5. An R4 Droid seems to be the choice for a replacement.

DarkArtist
09-22-2008, 01:17 PM
spotted these beauties this morning in Walmart's GI Joe section... looks like Cobra Commander is employing the help of Mandalorians, Tuskan Raiders and the Empire's Pilots.

i reported it to a manager and he took them into the stock room, with a shocked expression on his face that someone would actually except them as a return. i also spotted another repack - this time someone removed the Iron Grenadier from the comic pack and replaced it with a Kamino Escape Jango Fett.

Neuroleptic
09-22-2008, 05:39 PM
Please tell me you pointed that out to a sales associate.

DarkArtist
09-22-2008, 06:01 PM
Please tell me you pointed that out to a sales associate.

oh i did. I gave them to the toy department manager this morning... i mean i know some associates don't care and are only working for the paycheck and could care less if it's GI Joe or Star Wars but to just ignore and then for the toy department stocker to simply put them back on the shelf it's insane.

i think that if they hire someone to work in certain departments that person should have at least some idea of the merchandise and know ok this are not the figures that belong in these packages let me point it out to my manager.

TheDarthVader
09-22-2008, 11:06 PM
What is sad is that, more than likely, some parent will buy this for his/her child. I bet you money that someone has swapped and some parent has bought whatever was in the box after the swap. And who are we to judge? Maybe the child enjoyed those other figures more.


Just playin devil's advocate. ;)

Adam
09-23-2008, 12:37 AM
In my store, I saw two of the Order 66 Non-Tatooed Anakin's swapped for the tatooed version with a Jango cloak on. As well as a Sev switched for the POTF2 Jabba's Palace guard and the clone swapped for a clone pilot.

Admittidly, I've even bought an Evolutions (dirty) Sandtrooper that had been swapped with a TSC Sandtrooper. I thought I had found an unheard of variant, but then saw the bottom of the package retaped.. since it was the only figure from that Evo set I wanted, I really didn't mind buying it.

Blue2th
09-23-2008, 08:56 AM
I saw a GI Joe Lt Torpedo replaced with an Elite Force figure at Target the other day. They didn't even try to be careful about ripping the package open and re-taping it.

TheDarthVader
09-24-2008, 02:13 PM
I saw a hoth recon pack with a C3P0 in for a K3PO, an R2-D2 in for the R5 Droid, and a POTF2 probe droid in for the snow deco new Probe droid. This person did a good job because it looked factory to me at first. Then I realize it had been messed with. Scumbags!!

DarkArtist
09-24-2008, 02:29 PM
I saw a hoth recon pack with a C3P0 in for a K3PO, an R2-D2 in for the R5 Droid, and a POTF2 probe droid in for the snow deco new Probe droid. This person did a good job because it looked factory to me at first. Then I realize it had been messed with. Scumbags!!

i saw the same thing a few weeks ago here in Jersey. i wonder if someone from up here bought it shipped it down to someone in Texas and then it got returned. i doubt it but it's would be kinda funny and messed up if you think about it

TheDarthVader
09-24-2008, 07:04 PM
Hmmm. Who knows? Stranger things have happened. I am intrigued by this thread.

KEEP THOSE POSTS COMING. And if you see something at a store, post what you saw in what. This thread is making me laugh. This thread was a great idea, Tycho! :)


A long time ago, I saw a POTF2 skiff guard lando in a VOTC package at a Dollar store. I also saw a monkey face leia in a votc package.

Tycho
09-25-2008, 02:53 AM
This thread is making me laugh. This thread was a great idea, Tycho! :)


Thanks. Unfortunately, I don't find it all that funny. It might create stagnating product on the pegs if the employees don't remove it and everyone who might be interested in purchasing the product sees the substitution and turns it down.

For example, I still want the Rebel Pilots Evolutions #2. If a Padme Evolutions was returned with a Monkey Leia, an old Mara Jade, and Mon Mothma, it would be that much longer until a retailer's auto-ordering system determined the inventory on 3-packs were low and called for more.

So a guy playing this game is doing me and other collectors a big disservice and he's stealing in the process - even if he's giving the retailer something back - it's still "a trade" that no one else agreed to. Pretty unilateral selfishness if you ask me.

Blue2th
09-25-2008, 09:46 AM
Like I said in another thread regarding the same subject. The Walmart closest to me recently stopped completely the stocking of 21'st Century military toys.
I personally had found up to six switched figure-vehicle 1:32 playsets there, notified the toy manager, who freaked.
Later when I asked about them getting more in, she explained that she was trying to get the whole line out of the store, because they were not moving gee I wonder why. Well she got her wish. I think it was directly related to the guy who was building his D-Day Invasion force with switched figures and vehicles. This guy was more prolific than any one I had ever seen in any toy line.
Like Tycho alluded to, who's suffering now? Me!!!!!

Bib Un-Fortuna
09-25-2008, 12:45 PM
Thanks. Unfortunately, I don't find it all that funny. It might create stagnating product on the pegs if the employees don't remove it and everyone who might be interested in purchasing the product sees the substitution and turns it down.

So a guy playing this game is doing me and other collectors a big disservice and he's stealing in the process - even if he's giving the retailer something back - it's still "a trade" that no one else agreed to. Pretty unilateral selfishness if you ask me.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is called "hitting the nail on the head."

I've been noticing an escalation of swapped figures in my area since the walmart Droid Factory sets started hitting, and it is beginning to become a much larger problem. I suggested a QnA about this a few weeks ago & got shot down, but I really believe that Hasbro needs to be made aware that we as collectors are being negatively impacted because of this. We are getting less new items on the pegs, kids and parents are losing out because they don't realize they are buying a swapped product, and the stores are losing because they are getting items returned that will most likely hang there like a glob of saliva off Jabba's mouth until they get sent back to Hasbro or clearanced.

I have always hated the tape-on bubbles, and I will continue to rail against them until they are gone or until Hasbro's SW contract ends.

Amen, Tycho

FundingMyAddiction
09-26-2008, 12:30 AM
The most noticeable repack I've seen recently was Saesee Tiin. It was at a Wal-Mart. Someone bought the new Legacy Saesee in armor and then put a TAC Saesee back into the bubble. The lightsaber is snapped clean off the hilt, but the hilt is included. It's very clearly been taped up. Not even done cleanly. At least no one has been unfortunate enough to buy it. It's there every single time I've gone. Every time, I rip it off the pegs and throw it down on the shelf.

TheDarthVader
09-27-2008, 12:28 AM
It is funny what people will try to get away with. That is what is funny to me. You guys need to lighten up a little bit. Have a drink! Its like the guy who buys a grill at WM and tries to return it without a receipt a year later because it doesn't work as well any more. That is funny; the idiot-tendency of these people. They think they are replacing gold with iron sulfide. That is why I think it is funny. It's $8.00 for a new figure! Get a life jerks and just deal with paying for it. That is why it is funny. I can make $8.00 in my sleep.

NerfTW
10-02-2008, 11:56 AM
Part of me wonders if Target and places like it doesn't put these figures back on the shelves for some reason.

Sorry I'm just responding without reading the entire thread, but the reason is that most managers are docked for shrink. (theft) Items that are damaged or stolen results in them losing part of thier paycheck. This includes sending things back, to keep them from doing things like ordering hundreds of perishable food items and just sending them back when they spoil.

Anyways, they usually look at it this way. Most people will look at the product they're buying, and as long as they can see what figure is in there, (as opposed to hiding in a box) nobody is going to accidently buy it thinking it's something else. So they try to get someone who doesn't care that it's in the wrong package to buy it, rather than affect the amount of shrink in the store.

Blue2th
10-02-2008, 01:28 PM
Sorry I'm just responding without reading the entire thread, but the reason is that most managers are docked for shrink. (theft) Items that are damaged or stolen results in them losing part of thier paycheck. This includes sending things back, to keep them from doing things like ordering hundreds of perishable food items and just sending them back when they spoil.

Anyways, they usually look at it this way. Most people will look at the product they're buying, and as long as they can see what figure is in there, (as opposed to hiding in a box) nobody is going to accidently buy it thinking it's something else. So they try to get someone who doesn't care that it's in the wrong package to buy it, rather than affect the amount of shrink in the store.
That explains why I would tell the toy manager about switched tanks and figures, and then see them back on the shelves the next day.

I wonder if the company writes that off on their taxes or the manager who gets the "shrink"?

DarkJedi5
10-02-2008, 02:48 PM
Sorry I'm just responding without reading the entire thread, but the reason is that most managers are docked for shrink. (theft) Items that are damaged or stolen results in them losing part of thier paycheck. This includes sending things back, to keep them from doing things like ordering hundreds of perishable food items and just sending them back when they spoil.

Anyways, they usually look at it this way. Most people will look at the product they're buying, and as long as they can see what figure is in there, (as opposed to hiding in a box) nobody is going to accidently buy it thinking it's something else. So they try to get someone who doesn't care that it's in the wrong package to buy it, rather than affect the amount of shrink in the store.

Sounds like our beef isn't with the store managers so much as with the way the stores run their operations. That and the suckers at the customer service desk who take these figures back in the first place.

DarkArtist
10-06-2008, 03:45 PM
found this one today at Target:

I mean these are some of the easiest to spot as being switched (especially with the large pictures on top of the box.

bobafrett
10-06-2008, 04:42 PM
I spoke with a Hasbro rep today about it, and she said she wasn't aware of it. She had seen where figures had been lifted from the packages, but not switched out for other figures. She was likely unaware of what was supposed to be in what package anyway. But I'm surprised with all the switching I have seen at my store alone, that someone hadn't brought it to her attention. I mean this has to be happening in other stores in my area.

El Chuxter
10-08-2008, 11:45 AM
Well, I got had, and it's a little baffling.

I finally bought the Transformers Classics Silverbolt a couple of days ago. Everything looked to be in great shape. I opened him this morning, and his weapons had been taken out and replaced with small lengths of piping that had the Rainbird brand name printed on them.

Silverbolt was still securely strapped in. None of the tape appeared to be tampered with. Yet these two weapons were stolen, and replaced in a fashion that, once I got into the packaging, was rather clumsy.

This is one I can't figure out. "I'm going to buy a $27 figure, take his gun and rocket, take extra pains to conceal this, and return the figure"???

I'll be taking him back tomorrow. I'm debating whether to try to explain this to the cashier at WM or just tell them I want to return him. I feel bad about considering not telling the truth, but I'm wondering if the clerk will get suspicious (it seems the more honest you try to be at a WM return counter, the iffier they think you are). Either way, he'll end up back on the shelf.

cookiemonster
10-08-2008, 08:40 PM
Chuxter I know your loathed to do it, but like you have said you try to explain something to WalMart and you become the guilty party as far as they are concerned.

Tycho
10-12-2008, 04:31 AM
Chux, it might have been bought by someone who's kid lost the parts that were lifted, so they replaced it the quickest way they knew how.

When I lost my BMF because space aliens came down and took it away from me, I bought a new one to replace it. But I couldn't really afford to get the second one, so I stuffed the USS Flag in the box and returned it to get my money back. :D

TheCivilCollector
10-12-2008, 05:31 AM
When I was in High School I bought a walkman tape player from Target. When I got home I noticed that someone had sliced open the bottom of the package and slipped in a broken one that was all crummy. Obviously a switcheroo. The store gave me a hard time when I returned it and kept asking questions like they didn't understand what I was telling them.

Another time, I took back a new detail sander that my Dad had gotten me from Sears. I didn't want it and I didn't have the receipt. I took it up to the counter in a paper bag and told the guy at the hardware department desk that I got it as a gift and wanted to exchange it. The guy took it over to a display they had full of them and there was LITERALLY only ONE missing from the stack. The guy came back and was glaring at me like I was the biggest thief in the world- which of course made me self-conscious and act guilty for nothing. He exchanged it anyway, but the whole time he treated me like an *******. I'm sure he thought I'd grabbed it off the shelf and taken it right over. I was ready to shout at him, "CHECK YOUR GODDAMN SECURITY TAPES, A-HOLE!"

So, I'm sort of glad stores will usually return stuff even if you have to put up with guff, but the real thieves can kiss my pasty white ***.

plasticfetish
10-12-2008, 06:28 AM
so I stuffed the USS Flag in the box and returned it to get my money back.That made me laugh really hard.

~~~~~~~~~~~

I've gotta say... in almost every case, these retail places are probably more than familiar with the fact that there are people switching merchandise around, and then returning the product. If any of us have spotted it a few times, then they have more than likely seen it a hundred times... but aren't going to admit it.

I'd bet money that the Hasbro reps have seen this also. (I'd also bet that they're the ones who come around and clean the stuff off the pegs.)

When a place puts opened merchandise back on the pegs/shelves without first checking to see if it's actually sellable, then it's just a case of them being lazy more than anything else. Most places expect a certain amount of shrink due to damaged returns, and though the customer service desk should be checking the stuff as it comes back, often times they probably let things slide rather than deal with the hassle of writing something out of stock.

Also, a lot of places assume that a $20 return will lead to a $50+ sale (now that they've got you back in the store), and as long as you've done whatever their return policy requires (have the receipt, etc.), they'd just as soon see you wander off to spend more money.

...which they know you'll do, because we (toy collectors) are primarily impulse shoppers.

wickwire
10-15-2008, 12:58 AM
This thread is interesting.. I've bought a few so far but I didn't think anything of it until reading this. The back parts of the star wars figures are all taped up .. everything on display on the pegs.. The commander gree figure's joints/limbs were especially loose, but I figured since it was the only one I've seen in a few weeks, I said the heck with it..unless the tapes are there to actually 'seal' the packaging and prevent switcheroos?

cookiemonster
10-15-2008, 09:06 AM
Wick the backs are taped shut, what we are talking about is pieces being removed from the packaging like the Droid Parts, or the figure actually being swapped for a different figure.

I think your gree is ok, unless its been swapped for an older gree, I wouldnt be able to tell you unless I saw the picture of the Gree you got.

But if the Glue was still intact on the figure and it says Gree and thats the figure you got with the Droid Piece then I would say it hasnt been tampered with.

El Chuxter
07-11-2010, 10:54 PM
Got taken again. Picked up a HISS 5 today, got home, and found that somewhere around half the parts were missing. The chassis assembly was gone, along with most of the guns. The figure, curiously, was untouched, as was the baggie containing the instructions and labels. After noticing all the missing parts, I checked, and, sure enough, there was a second layer of tape expertly placed over the first, broken, layer.

Can't figure this one out. That chassis, so far as I know, is useless. If someone bought a HISS that had a broken chassis, why not just exchange it for one that's working?

And, really, these things aren't supposed to be out yet. I've got to look at hot-off-the-truck stuff for tampering now? Jeez.

nohagent
07-12-2010, 01:57 AM
Yeah, this is nuts. My kid got the TRU exclusive gunship for his birthday and we were in the store an hour later because there was old bashed hALF gi joe hovercraft in the box along with a few bottles of water. I was like wtf!? TRU quickly replaced it but jeez. Anyway, I have been seeing the shadow arc-170 everywhere and have not seen one clean looking box, busted tape seals and all. My kid wants one but I wont be touching that craziness, probably stuffed with power rangers or something.

Ando
07-12-2010, 10:46 AM
A few months ago at the Beaverton Target, I saw a (very poorly) repacked Marvel Hulk figure stuffed back into packaging for Thing.

I took it over to one of the employees and explained what was wrong with it and he thanked me and I left.

2-3 weeks later, I saw it on the clearance aisle marked "REPACK".

Man I hate Target.

Tunnel Rat
12-11-2011, 02:19 PM
Check these out. It happens in Canada too! found these at a Zellers in Bowmanville!! They arent even trying anymore!!2566525666