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View Full Version : The thrill of the hunt?



DarkJedi5
10-22-2009, 02:24 AM
I've read in a few Q&A responses over time that Hasbro seems to think that we collectors enjoy "the thrill of the hunt". I'm not sure where Hasbro gets this idea and as new product becomes tougher and tougher to find, I become more and more frustrated. I have only seen two new figures on the pegs since probably some time in July. I have had to buy perhaps 75% or more of my figures online and only go to stores when I'm looking for extra figures or for exclusives. I have become so sick of going to stores and coming home empty handed.

So what does everyone else think? How much of your buying happens in a store and how much of it happens online? I know everyone's having the same general distribution issues and thanks to online shopping it hasn't slowed me down too much but what about the rest of you?

Mr. JabbaJohnL
10-22-2009, 02:42 AM
I got really frustrated when the ESB wave wasn't showing up a few months ago. I kept going to multiple stores, occasionally (but rarely) finding remnants of the repacked figures from the cases. It bugged the hell out of me, so I got them online after several weeks of looking but finding nothing. I also got the AOTC wave online when it was relatively new, just to save myself the grief. Since then, I've seen these figures in the stores, but the AOTC wave was still pretty rare. With the TPM wave, things seem to have gotten back on track a bit better, but it's not in good supply like things used to be.

Anyway, it's always quite exciting to find something new in a store. It always has been and I imagine it always will be. So yeah, I do enjoy the thrill of the hunt. It's not always fruitful, though there were five days this summer/fall when I spent around or over $100 in new Star Wars stuff in stores, along with several other instances of spending significantly less. To me, it's just more satisfying to find the stuff in the stores. Hopefully the distribution stuff will work itself out and things can get back on track soon.

jonthejedi
10-22-2009, 04:50 AM
...retail is a wasteland right now. I haven't seen SW restock at TRU, Target or WalMart for months! What's going on, Hasbro? Are we waiting for Black Friday or something?

pbarnard
10-22-2009, 10:35 AM
When the ESB wave and later never showed, I didn't even bother to bike to Target and the closest walmart anymore. I only drive to places when I'm there to buy other things. There never was any thrill. I'd have to say the past 2 years have shifted to more and more online, mostly through Hasbro using the yearly coupon code (under multiple emails) or the occassional holiday code.

Mad Slanted Powers
10-22-2009, 11:40 AM
I pretty much just check on Saturday morning. Driving to the other side of town through all the traffic and not finding anything isn't that thrilling. The only time I might do that is when I feel there might be a limited exclusive, such as what was available on Black Friday in recent years (Imperial Shuttle, Ultimate Battle Packs).

I agree with Mr.JJL, though. It is always exciting to find new stuff on the pegs and shelves. I've even had dreams of being in a store and finding new stuff, though in the dream it is stuff I don't recognize, as if it is from a new movie or something.

Scackmgack
10-22-2009, 12:35 PM
I hate the hunt. One of the biggest reasons I gave up SW collecting for a year or so and concentrated on my tabletop wargames is that when I want to purchase product for my games, IT IS THERE.

If I want an Ahsoka with Huttlet figure, I want it. Period, end of story. I do not want to waste gas driving around looking for it, I do not want to show up at store openings in the morning to check for new stock, or develop relationships with store workers to get cases opened for me and the new figures picked out for me (if they're not doing it themselves already to make money on eBay).

My only option then becomes paying exorbitant prices on eBay for the goods I want. Ahsoka with Huttlet is going to run me around $25 with the shipping. I will not pay $25 for a figure that would cost me $8 with tax in the store.

So I don't get my figure, I get ****ed off at Hasblow, I purchase less of their product.

It's an interesting sales technique...but they're making so much money on SW that they will never change their ways. The only way to hold a company's feet to the fire is to speak with your wallet.

pbarnard
10-22-2009, 12:40 PM
I don't get this...why are people still resorting to eBay and not HasbroToyshop when looking for stuff that has been released but hasn't shown up locally?

I sort of understand with stuff before released (although it's stealing, but another issue another day), but if not Hasbro, plenty of other places that would allow you to either buy by the case or singles and not have a huge mark up.

Dark Marble
10-22-2009, 01:16 PM
I still love finding stuff in the store. I would rather find it on the pegs then buy it on-line. The thrill of the hunt used to be my primary reason for collecting. Finding stuff in the store that was rumored to be impossible to get was a joy for me. In 12 years of collecting I have bought hundreds of figures and only a hand full have come from on-line shops or ebay.

That said, after this year all I think I will be chasing is the movie figures. No more vehicles or playsets as space becomes in issue. I am not so sure, with current distribution, that I will continue buying at the store. I don't want to miss a wave, and the hunt isn't as important as the product to me now. It will be interesting to see what the future of collecting will be like with Clone Wars being in the spot light and the movies fading out of view...

Mad Slanted Powers
10-22-2009, 02:03 PM
I don't get this...why are people still resorting to eBay and not HasbroToyshop when looking for stuff that has been released but hasn't shown up locally?Because quite often when I try to find stuff on there, it is out of stock. Also, if it is still early, I expect that it will eventually show up in the store and I won't have to pay shipping. Did the Scramble on Yavin Battle Pack ever show up on there?

pbarnard
10-22-2009, 02:06 PM
Because quite often when I try to find stuff on there, it is out of stock. Also, if it is still early, I expect that it will eventually show up in the store and I won't have to pay shipping. Did the Scramble on Yavin Battle Pack ever show up on there?

Don't know. I've only seen it twice. Once as a pre-order in a case from BBTS, and the other with the R5 unit missing at TRU. And not knowing the distance or frequency of your searches, how much is the cost of shipping different from the cost of gas in start and stop traffic (probably)? I know when I was looking on just toy searches my cost of gas was 0 because I was pedalling.

DarkArtist
10-22-2009, 02:16 PM
hard to say really. i love the thrill of finding new figures on the pegs and in the past havehad lots of luck with finding whole waves of figures on the pegs. recently pickings in stores haven't been all that great. i think the last few Legacy waves were all ordered off HTS and the Clone Wars line has been hit or miss with finding 1 or 2 new figures (searched for weeks it seems till i found Cad Bane).....

I would love it if Hasbro released more product regularly on a weekly basis thus making it easier for the collector to find the new figures and enjoy them. I haven't relied on Escalp in the longest time (unless of course it is an older toy line that is not sold any longer, vintage Kenner, Vintage G.I. Joe, etc).

Tycho
10-22-2009, 02:44 PM
I'm buying online now mostly.

Mad Slanted Powers
10-22-2009, 02:53 PM
Don't know. I've only seen it twice. Once as a pre-order in a case from BBTS, and the other with the R5 unit missing at TRU. And not knowing the distance or frequency of your searches, how much is the cost of shipping different from the cost of gas in start and stop traffic (probably)? I know when I was looking on just toy searches my cost of gas was 0 because I was pedalling.
Since I usually just look for figures on Saturday when I might be getting something on that side of town anyway, It's not costing me that much in fuel. Some quick estimating with Google Maps of my usual route was less than 20 miles round trip. That's less than a gallon of gas, which means less than $3 a week for a trip I might need to make anyway. It would be even less if I took the shorter, more direct route on the freeway.

Darth Metalmute
10-22-2009, 03:12 PM
What ticked me off a few years ago was all the Target exclusives Hasbro released. They never had them online and the Targets in my area would only get one box of them and they would be gone unless you were willing to get up at sunrise and wait. And if five people were there, you better know shortcuts to run to the toy department, which always seemed petty to me. This additude made it easier to quit.

Snowtrooper
10-22-2009, 03:34 PM
I'm buying online now mostly.


I do the same, since I'm nowhere near a WM or Target(tells you how far in the boondocks I live). As for the thrill of the hunt, I get just as much gratification coming home and finding my order waiting for me as I do finding something new on the pegs. I've had pretty good luck finding coupons and codes to help offset some of the shipping costs too.

Ando
10-22-2009, 06:58 PM
Done with the hunting. If I happen upon something new during a random lunch break trip to TRU or Target then so be it, but no more hunting. The Portland area Wal-Marts typical Admiral Ozzel style bungling of their exclusives did me in. I wanted the new Exclusive EVO sets, but my MULTIPLE trips to 3 are WM's were fruitless. I didn't even see EVIDENCE of them ever having them let alone being sold out.

Rumor has it the people that work in the toy departments at these stores hate collectors and literally turn stuff (exclusives) around and say they can't put it on the shelf because they don't have room. Needless to say, I don't shop at WM anymore.

I know some folks might be down on TRU, but they've consistently had what I have wanted and without much jostling or usual collector pettiness. It helps that I don't go on Saturdays at opening anymore. Usually on lunch or before they close.

I used to enjoy the hunting, but then it became a joyless chore, so I gave up. Besides, my main collection (clone army) is finished and I am moving on to SW LEGO's and Galactic Heroes (not as hard to find and less product out that I feel the need to get right away since I only collect the vehicle packs).

morpheus282
10-22-2009, 09:24 PM
I've read in a few Q&A responses over time that Hasbro seems to think that we collectors enjoy "the thrill of the hunt".

A friend of mine once said I should go deer hunting with him. He said it was fun, so I asked him to describe it. Boiled down, he spent a ton of money on a rifle and scope, then bought camoflage, blaze orange vest (sorta undoes the camo, eh?), tree stand, deer bait, knife, backpack, ....

In three years he shot one deer. I wouldn't say that he was ever hunting, he was just freezing his @$$ off in the woods waiting for a deer to walk by.

When it comes to Star Wars toys lately, I'm going shopping with my wife. If a toy happens to show up then I got lucky. There is no thrill anymore since hunting implies there's something out there to be found.



I don't get this...why are people still resorting to eBay and not HasbroToyshop when looking for stuff that has been released but hasn't shown up locally?

I sort of understand with stuff before released (although it's stealing, but another issue another day), but if not Hasbro, plenty of other places that would allow you to either buy by the case or singles and not have a huge mark up.

HTS has been sold out of everything that I really want every time I've looked there - most recently the slave Leia figure. If I don't find something this weekend I'll probably put in an order for the R5-C7 figures and maybe something more.

Devo
10-22-2009, 11:57 PM
I order everything online now. I too would only go to a shop with the intention of impulse buying. Its cool to go into forbidden planet and see toys and figures everywhere but I prefer to specifically order everything I want rather than hoping that the shop will have it only to maybe be disappointed after the commute into town.

mark2d2
10-23-2009, 01:13 AM
The problem with the Thrill of the Hunt is that all too often out here in LA there is nothing there. I have seriously given up. I order online now. I sometimes do miss the 'thrill" though. And got a taste of it the other day when I popped into a random Target halfway between here and Palm Springs.... and I found all the ROTJ figures I wanted. That was a nice moment. Yeah, I miss that. I admit it. The problem is this will only happen to me if I drive sixty or so miles out of LA... in the end, so not worth it.

tagmac
10-23-2009, 10:07 AM
Thanks to scalpers, I gave up on the hunt a long time ago. These days, I keep an eye on HTS and order from there whenever I can, as if uyou order 3 or more figures, the shipping comes out to less than the gas you would spend driving around looking. The ANH wave was up two days ago, so I preordered most of those (forgot about the jawa until it was too late, and so to avoid excess shipping for one fig, I'm hoping it will still be there when the next wave comes in stock). Speaking of which, the following wave (w/ Jeremoch Colton) was listed as "coming soon," but is suddenly "out of stock," leading me to believe they were never available, but will be soon.

sebillba
10-23-2009, 10:41 AM
It's always exciting to find brand new figures on the shelves, but probably the last time I saw anything new (ie, in store before I'd bought online) was with the initial launch of the Legacy line. I used to often find new stuff in Woolworths, but since they closed down at the start of this year, there's really nothing near me that sells many toys - there are a couple of supermarkets, that may stock a dozen figures or so, but the most recent TLC wave I've seen is the ROTS wave. There is a TRU I go to now and again, but it's out of the way, and is rarely worth a special journey.

So yes, I pre-order all my basic figure waves online (StarActionFigures) - I don't have to worry about going out looking for something I'll never find, it's free shipping, and they usually end up slightly cheaper than retail. Plus, I don't have to worry about picking out good paint apps, as the guy from SAF does that for me... he'll even email me and say things like "I have to warn you about so and so's eyes... they're looking in slightly different directions, but I've been through 20 cases, and you've got the best one!"

The only things that cause me a headache are all these exclusives, but fortunately there are some great people on here who help me out. :D

El Chuxter
10-23-2009, 12:57 PM
The term "thrill of the hunt" implies there's something to be hunted. You can't hunt something that's gone extinct.

Mad Slanted Powers
10-23-2009, 03:07 PM
I hate the hunt. One of the biggest reasons I gave up SW collecting for a year or so and concentrated on my tabletop wargames is that when I want to purchase product for my games, IT IS THERE.That's kind of my thinking as well. Hasbro says that they make certain figures and try to keep the main characters in rotation because that is what the kids want. However, lately that seems to be just Clone Wars and ROTS figures. A couple Christmases ago, I overheard a couple that had a list and were looking for a Luke figure, but there weren't really any available at the time. Perhaps retail should mainly stick to having iconic figures so that they will always be there when a kid or parent comes in looking for a Han, Luke, Vader, Obi-Wan, Anakin, etc. Then they could set up something that would allow collectors to order all the other figures that they want.

The other problem is that the average retail clerk can't distinguish between the Clone Wars, Saga Legends and Legacy cards. Wal-Mart had loaded their pegs when I went there yesterday, but it was mostly Clone Wars. I spent a few minutes moving most of them off the Legends and Legacy pegs, but they still took up two extra pegs. They had a lot of pegs for Legends, but not many figures on them. There were four pegs for Legacy, three of which were full. The fourth is where I put some of the overflow CW.

morpheus282
10-23-2009, 11:23 PM
The term "thrill of the hunt" implies there's something to be hunted. You can't hunt something that's gone extinct.

I've decided to take up Dodo hunting in leiu of Star Wars collecting. It just seems more fulfilling these days. If that fails, maybe I'll go for mammoth or saber tooth cats.

jonthejedi
10-24-2009, 05:42 AM
9 stores yesterday including TRU, WallY & Target...yep, found nuthin'. My HTS ROTJ order(minus Leia) arrived water damaged, and those that were dry had bent cards. Nope, I'm none too thrilled with SW collecting of late.

IG 8D8
10-24-2009, 08:02 AM
it's 99% online for me. Most of the stuff I get is from ebay. The cost is more important to me, you can find great deals online not to mention every item ever produced. I don't mind collecting loose figures, and you really save money. Once in a while if Target has a good sale I will get something - recently they have had ships for 20 dollars: the Magnaguard fighter, large vulture droid, and yesterday I saw Grievous' starfighter for 20 as well. I remember when the homing spider droid was first released for $15 there, easy buy.

When toys are debuting they will have sales, this is the time to go. Once in a while I will buy from an online retailer (Sears had the bmf for $50, imagine my surprise when I clicked on their page, thought it was a mistake at first). But mostly ebay for me, getting items in the mail is fun too.

Bel-Cam Jos
10-24-2009, 11:13 AM
The term "thrill of the hunt" implies there's something to be hunted. You can't hunt something that's gone extinct.Actually, I'd take a slightly different slant on this. When there's too much of something out there, but no one wants to hunt it, that's too dull.

I've bought maybe 10 figures in stores in 2009, I think.

Old Fossil
10-24-2009, 11:43 AM
These days, if I don't find something on store shelves, I don't buy it online, either. It's become too easy to spend money to satisfy my materialistic cravings, and I'm tired of being my own worst enemy when it comes to money.

I'm trying to change my patterns of behavior, basically. One way to do this is to focus on the "casual" hunt; that is, checking a store that I am already going to for other things, like groceries, or checking a store that is not out of the way. I don't drive around just looking for figures anymore.

In this manner I have gotten very few figures over the last month or so; only Rum Sleg, and three Biker Scouts. I probably average 1 figure every 1 1/2 - 2 weeks. That's really good on my pocketbook, and I don't spend any more on gas to go out of my way hunting figures.

I still love finding a new figure I want on the pegs, though. For me, online shopping can never replace that feeling. But online is great for out-of-production items that I never found at retail, like the Saga Landspeeder I got a couple months ago, and of course vintage toys like the Mego lines I'm currently infatuated with.

Darth Metalmute
10-24-2009, 06:07 PM
9 stores yesterday including TRU, WallY & Target...yep, found nuthin'. My HTS ROTJ order(minus Leia) arrived water damaged, and those that were dry had bent cards. Nope, I'm none too thrilled with SW collecting of late.

That blows. And since the majority of the ROTJ wave is not available on the site, all they can offer you was a return? That's why I can't do things on-line either. UPS, USPS, FED EX, they all suck because half the people who work there don't care. Every single Sideshow figure I have ordered comes damaged.
Sideshow replaces the box for free, so it all works out but its still the point of paying 75+ dollars for an item only to have it come damaged.