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View Full Version : If more than 1 Collector shows up at your store at the same time, what do YOU do?



Tycho
04-08-2002, 04:53 AM
Midnight Madness is coming, and we can honestly say we know what YOU are doing in the stores. As our 'Collector Etiquette Series' comes to an end, let's see if we can't review what we've learned and then predict what will happen on April 23, 2002 and for a while thereafter.

Here's some interesting statistics you might want to consider:

59% of our readers buy 3 or more of most soldiers, aliens, and droid figures.

But ironically 58% of our readers think something's wrong when a person is seen buying multiples of any figures - like me, walking out with 10 Clone Troopers at a time. - And the Geonosian Warrior is next, Baby!

Next, only 16% of the readers here are out at 7 or 8 in the morning when product is freshly stocked, and they are buying figures in the quanities of their preference, while 23% of our readers who have a choice would rather be sleeping - and only dreaming they got the Tusken Raider mother with child.

But while 42% of our readers think there is nothing wrong with wiping out the racks of every army builder in sight, if 16% of them are there first thing in the morning, then only 4% of our readers are getting ALL of the soldier figures shipped to their retailers!

(Don't you have enough Imperial Officers, yet?)

Some quick assumptions made in the analysis are: our readers who voted in each poll are the same survey sample.

59% OF the 42% who think wiping out the entire stock is their priviledge if they get to the store first, will actually put their morals into practice. That means 25% of you will wipe the racks clean of any Imperial Officers, Biker Scouts, Clone Troopers etc.

And of the 16% of you who are out waiting for the stores to open, 25% of those collectors will wipe everything out so that by 7:05 am there will be no more troops left at Wal*Mart, and by 8:05 am there will be none at Target!

That means 4% of all of you will have 100% of all the army builders until those four percent of collectors are completely saturated with a certain troop, alien, or droid style.

When asked to list your figures and how many you had of each, the majority of you had over 20 stormtroopers, and similarly rising quanties of other army builders, most notably soldiers for the Empire, with interest in Battle Droids and Clone Troopers on the rise. The Gungan Warrior saw some of those sales records, too. The Geonosian surely will !!!

With that in mind, and Midnight Madness just 2 weeks away (at the start of this poll) we want to survey each of you on how your overall experience in the retail chain stores goes down for you.

As SirStevesGuide draws together its final numbers about the current trends in "Collector Etiquette" out there, we're asking you, our readers, the really tough one: exactly how nice are you when you're out there in the toy isles?


If more than 1 collector shows up at your store at the same time, what do you do?

1) Share everything equally until the demand is best satisfied.

2) Run down the isle and hoard all that you can!

3) Hoard first, check that you got it all, then share with whoever's there.

4) Hoard all that you can! - then only give up stuff for trades (at that time or later)

5) Get what's left over, or count on other collectors to be kind to you.


Well, "Here we go again!"

Vote now and then let's talk about how "Mad" this is going to get!

Tycho
04-08-2002, 05:01 AM
Personally, I'm out to build my armies.

I'll share equal amounts in proportion to how many people are there looking for figures while I am.

If anyone doesn't want multiples, I'll take as many as I can get.

And I'm not counting on anyone being nice, so I'm getting my pile of Geonosian Warriors and Clone Troopers together first - and you'll just have to beat me to them!

(but if you're there and you're nice, and you ask - versus complain -I'll be happy to give you some of mine. And actually, I asked everyone by the Star Wars figures before I even leave for the check-out lanes.)

If not they are GONE by 7:05 am and tough luck if you can't make it!

(Yestertoys.com is the best Online seller, shipping fast, and with prices better than any I've ever seen! - I've ordered from them 5 times.)

2-1B
04-08-2002, 05:11 AM
Based on my past collecting history (when I was a near completist and sometime multiple buyer), I voted "Hoard, then share".

But I think "Hoard" is the wrong term here, because if I am out to buy one of each figure from a particular wave, how can it be hoarding? We're probably only talking about 4 figs, I have every right to buy those 4 even if if there are only 1 of each on the pegs. :)

So hypothetically, if I'm standing at the pegs, 1 of each of the new ones in hand with NO more left while another collector arrives, I'd have to wish him or her better luck next time.

BANTHABOY
04-08-2002, 08:07 AM
The best way to get the stuff is to "horde" when you first get in there, but as everyone will admit some figs are just 1 a case so you have to grab them quick. Its not scalping but at the end of the day like the previous poll, If you want the figs early you gota work to get them.
Star Wars collectors on the whole are a really good bunch, so if they can help you they will, but if they have a taun we and you dont it just means they got there first

Wolfwood319
04-08-2002, 09:41 AM
I agree with Ceaser that it isn't exactly "hoarding" if your only getting one of each new figure. Take for instance the Bo Shek wave, if I happened to be at a store and they had just happened to put out a case, I'd take one of each, regardless of whether or not someone else was there. Unless there are army builders involved, I would only get 1 anyway. Other than that I'd take what to do into consideration for each given situation.

I think for the most part all of us would agree to sharing the find. Most SW collectors are good people, so I wouldn't have a problem giving the last Clonetrooper to the other guy, especially if I have 6 already.

So, when armybuilders aren't involved, I'd only get 1 of each anyway, so there wouldn't normally be a problem if another collector was there. If there were army builders, I'd take 1 of each to begin with, and then ask the guy if he wanted more than 1 and if so, I'd try to work out an agreement so as to split the remainder of the armybuilders 50/50, or something.

Mandalorian Candidat
04-08-2002, 10:45 AM
While I understand the "hoard first, then share" mentallity (probably brought on by fear of scalpers grabbing everything), I'm disturbed that so many SSG forumites are doing it. I see nothing wrong with getting what you want to get for trading or for your personal collection, but when there are other collectors there at the same time the attitude should be "share and share alike." If you are willing to split everything up evenly, who knows, you may just make a friend who down the line is willing to give you a hand when you show up at 8:01 after everything's gone.

jedi master sal
04-08-2002, 11:58 AM
Unforunately it is not only the scalpers but my previous experience which lead me to vote hoard then share. I look for the best sculpt not card while one of my collecting buds is a carder (looks for best card and keeps in package). we have planned on getting at least two of every figure for each of us and have further planned to bring my fiancee and his wife along to midnight madness. We will assign specific fig/vehicles and anyother misc items to our group so that we only have to look for 1/4 of the entire list with the instruction to get 5-6 of each item so that after the "HARVEST" we can go to the back of the store and sortout who gets what. I always get best sculpt he always gets best card. in the case of a tie we sort everything out and the ties are then done as a choice by choice selection. I did this exact method with 3 collectors for the EPI mid/mad and it all worked out fine. everyone got what they wanted and we put all extras back were we found them. No other collectors seemed to get angry (there were others doing the exact same thing).

good lick all on the 23rd and definitely MTFBWY! but don't push.

GeneralKenobi
04-08-2002, 01:21 PM
I voted to share equally but mainly because I have found most of the figs early...It will be less demanding on my wallet as well.

bigbarada
04-08-2002, 01:37 PM
My experience at MM99 was a great one. Sure there were the greedy "collectors" who heard about how Ep1 toys were going to make them millions on Entertainment Tonight, then literally ran into the store and fought for every figure they could get their hands on. Fortunately there were only about 2 or 3 of them at the TRU I went to. (Plus, we had an on-duty policeman who just happened to be a collector also. Just his presence, in uniform, kept everything calm; even though he was filling his basket like everyone else.)

To those "collectors" who got bit in the behind, because they believed the hype about "E1 toys=early retirement:" GOOD, you deserve it!

Anyhoo, back to my point. Overall it was a very friendly atmosphere and there was a real sense of community, as everyone was pointing out figures someone had missed or digging for that extra Darth Maul for a lady with a child in the back. In fact some people had even grabbed extras of the "hot" figures to give to the people, like me, waiting patiently in the back for the madness to die down a little.

I went into the store with $60 and walked out with Anakin, Maul, Watto and Anakin's Podracer. Sure it is not an impressive collection and all of them became some of the most reviled of pegwarmers. But it was the sense of friendship and the feeling that we were all on the first step of a brand new adventure. That is what I remember most about MM99.

So, think of MM02 as sort of the poor man's Celebration2. Don't go there for the sole purpose of cleaning the racks, go there to make friends and just enjoy being a part of the Star Wars phenomenon.

bigbarada
04-08-2002, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by sithmagic21
but some of you guys really need to get a life.

I can say, from experience, that having a life is waaaay overrated. I had a life for over ten years. It was called the Army and I am so glad it is over now. So, I think I will just content myself with being a no-life loser, thank you very much.:D

Dryanta
04-08-2002, 01:58 PM
Hello sithmajic21.I bet I am happier to hear that than your wife is.J/K:D :D :D :D .
I have a life it just seems to be a fun thing to go do.
I personally would share and worry about anything I missed later.You're right they will be everywhere.To me I'd be trading my dignity for a toy.Oh well that's just me.I would hope to be able to have the experience BigB had than some of the others I've heard of.Good luck everyone and try and make it a good experience for everybody(except scalpers)!!!!

aikman
04-08-2002, 02:22 PM
My goal as a collector is to get one of every figure.
So , if i happen to be there when a new box is opened and pegged, i grab one of every fig.
I occasionally grab a couple extra army type figs but not anywhere near like some.

That 4% statistic is probably right , its tough getting the new ones when the pegs are always empty of new stock.

Ive never happened to see a 'builder' buying figs when i was there, typically because I buy at normal times. (i work and find it a little sad that some people would actually wait in line on a daily basis for toys that can be gotten eventually by other means.)

Dryanta
04-08-2002, 02:27 PM
welcome to BANTHABOY, sithmajic21, and aikman.Your post numbers suggest you may be new and I just wanted to recognize you.have fun.And share your toys(so's not to this post moved get moved)

aikman
04-08-2002, 02:33 PM
thanks dude, happy to meet fellow collectors.
I like hearing others views on star wars collecting
gotta admit though, i thought i was a nut buying one of every figure, ive notice here there are a few doooooozies ;)

2-1B
04-08-2002, 02:40 PM
Ooh, sorry Tycho - I wasn't considering the fact that you were thinking of Midnight Madness with this poll. I still vote "horde then share" because there are only a handful of items I want. However, if I was going for the full complete set of available goods, I would definitely share until demand is best satisfied.

bigb, I like your '99 story, I had some similar experiences and it was a fun time.

Wolfy, that BoShek story is the perfect example of what I meant by grabbing what I want and then sharing. :)

eliwankenobi
04-08-2002, 02:57 PM
while i'm looking forward to the release of E2 figs just as much as the next collector, i have agree with sithmagic21 - at 12:01 on april 23rd i'll be peacefully enjoying my shuteye and not even thinking about messing with hoards of collectors and scalpers.

i have no doubt that there will be ample supplies of figs and toys up to and well after the release of the movie and i'll be able to find whatever figs i want at my leisure. i personally think the whole midnite madness thing is just a marketing gimmick to get everyone into a needless frenzy. remember E1? same thing - there was no shortage of anything, save the last wave, and those are still easily found in some TRU's clearance bins.

i would hope that all you hardcore, army-building collectors would realize this and have the decency to limit your initial binge, allowing everyone the opportunity to purchase some new E2 figs before building your armies. if you're not starting your own star wars/hasbro timeline diorama museum, what do you do with 20 stormtroopers or 30 geonosian troopers anyway?:crazed:

lapork
04-08-2002, 03:38 PM
Being dealt the misfortune of living in N.Y.C. where there's very little of the very few & highly in demand, where there's plenty of competition among genuine collectors and $*%!@&*!! scalpers, I usually have to count on the blessings of kind, bona fide collectors and the leftovers, if any, of "the bleeped out" ignants!!!

sithmagic21
04-08-2002, 04:09 PM
Don't get me wrong, the midnight maddness thing will be a hoot! I actually attended the one back in 99 and had a good time...I let the other "little boys" run down the isles while I patiently waited for the things I was looking for. I guess I have a problem with some collectors...I don't like the thought of a bunch of grown men running down a childs toy isle to rip and scratch for a childs toy...just something embarassing and creepy about it.

Let me tell you why I have a problem with SOME collectors...mind you I said "some" collectors. Back in 96-97 when the new resculpted Boba Fett was released, I was all over creation looking for this figure. The hobby had not caught on yet to the majority of the collecting community so it was very easy to walk into any Target or Wal-Mart and 9 times out of 10, find what you were looking for. This "golden age" I like to call it came to an abrupt end one day when I realized who I was sharing this hobby with...

I was at Target one morning around 9:30 with my friend Chris, looking for that treasured Boba Fett when all of the sudden, I found him. There he was, in all his glory, Boba Fett! Only one left...I kneeled down to pick up the figure from the low lying peg, when "it" showed up. A grown man came up, TOOK the figure from out of my hand, said "I've been looking all day for this" and took off...me and chris stood there stunned. He TOOK an item from my hand....didn't ask,.....I don't think he even took a breath the whole 8 seconds he was there. Suffice to say, I wanted to know who this guy was and what was going through his mind when he TOOK and item from my hand...an item I was going to purchase! The guy walked like there was a fire somewhere..we followed him out..he was completely oblivious of our presence. He got into his mothers beat up toyota and took off...yes, it was his mothers..we found out. The stockboy we talked to later said his name is John and that he comes into the store every morning at opening and pesters the stockers about star wars...we thought only the hot wheels guys came in that early(no offense hot wheels collectors...got no problem with you)! He was about 35, overweight, unshaven, badly dressed and rude as hell...typical.
Anyway, the stockboy said he had some more Boba's in the back so me and my friend were still able to purchase one.

After that day, I noticed the trend....as months went by I noticed more grown men running for the toy isle, passing up mothers and thier children, hiding items.....basically making a fool out of themselves. Eventually I stopped going in the mornings because I was embarassed to be associated with "those guys". Soon I noticed associates in stores stopped being friendly about toy questions, collector restrictions popped up, toy companies started releaseing "chase" figures (playmates, mcfarlane) and stockers stopped stocking items first thing in the mornings. I realized that this hobby was not going to be fun anymore....and it hasn't....till online stores came around. I would rather pay ten to twenty dollars more for an item, than be in competition
with "those guys" and lower myself.

Not all collectors are like this...some have gone through the same thing I went through.

To the collectors who do this kind of thing, thanks for destroying the toy collecting hobby...and John, I know you read this post...there are things you just don't do John...pray you never take anything out of my hand again.

Now you know why I have a problem with some of you.....

aikman
04-08-2002, 04:13 PM
you actually let someone take it out of your hand?
I understand the shock but if anyone did that to me they would be laid out on the floor

Tonysmo
04-08-2002, 04:24 PM
I recall the last midnight madness as the staff at Toysrus gave a less than appealing attempt to dress in character while we waited for the doors to open.
I shall be there again, wielding my saber in hopes to zone in on the vast array of new figures.
I voted to share cause the last thing I need is a young kid who stayed up way to late looking over my shoulder as I try to hoard all the clone troopers I can until I see that look of desperation in his eye.. cant do it..
Last time they had a setup where the toys were spread all over the store. I hope they do the same this time. I think I will concentrate on the 12" figures and maybe one set plus a few doubles for my kid... regardless, it will be fun as the anticipation builds...

c_richards
04-08-2002, 04:36 PM
You know....these past few questions have been a bit difficult for me. In a perfect world, we would all get equal amounts, and be happy about it.

I'll stick to my vote which is to disburse the products equally. In my view, it's not worth getting upset, or worse off, getting into a fight (Seen it happen too) over a figure. I'd rather wait a while and get the figure versus going in guns blazing and coming out looking like a jerk.

I am not saying that the people that chose hoarde then share are jerks, far from it. Many STAR WARS collectors are rather nice and generous. It's the few people out there that make it hard on all of us.

I am looking forward to getting a lot of the new toys on the 23rd. I know that when Episode I stuff came out in 1999, it only took me about 36 - 48 hours to have all the initial wave of merchandise. The toys will be there, it will be up to us as collectors to make sure that we get what we want and need. As the saying goes, "if you make it...they will come." I know it was if you BUILD it....but come on....allow me a little room to play here. :)

If any of you have Episode II figures already, CONGRATULATIONS! to everyone else.....keep the words of Red Leader in mind..."Stay on target!!!!"

April 23, 2002 will be a great day in STAR WARS history. I hope everyone here is able to get what they want, and what they can afford! :)

MTFBWY...
Take care everyone!

bigbarada
04-08-2002, 04:40 PM
I think the one question that everyone needs to ask themselves in reference to Star Wars collecting is, "Why am I doing this?"

Is it to impress your friends? How can you do that when you've already alienated and run off all of your friends in your single minded-quest to "collect them all?"

Is it to impress people on message boards such as this one? I for one have never been impressed with people constantly flaunting their collection, which is supposedly 1.2 million times better than mine since they have that one elusive, super-rare, variant of a minor background character.:rolleyes: **ahem-vinyl caped Jawa**

Is it to impress a future wife/husband? Hah! I know, but I just had to throw that in there.

Is it an investment for your future? It's highly unlikely that any figure released from 1995 on up will ever gain a significant market value. All the Mint in package collectors hoping to pay for an early retirement by holding onto all their figures in the vain hope that they will be worth money will be thwarted by all the Mint in package collectors hoping to pay for an early retirement by holding onto all their figures in the vain hope that they will be worth money.

So ask yourself that one question, and then ask yourself if it is really worth shoving your way past kids and parents and fellow collectors just to add that one little chunk of molded/painted plastic to your collection?

Sebulba524
04-08-2002, 04:48 PM
If you have enough time and money to build armies, then good luck. However, when you're 14 and can only get out when it's convenient, then you can't get out at midnight. I'm stuck at home, lucky if my parents pick me up something during lunch at work. I save my money for one of each fig, so I want them there at 6:00 pm on the 23rd. Luckily, there aren't that many collectors in my area. I had no problem last time. And my TRU isn't opening at midnight, so I should be fine. But there's one thing you should never do. If there are only a few of a certain fig left, leave one for someone else. It's the best thing a collector can do.

c_richards
04-08-2002, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by sithmagic21
I was at Target one morning around 9:30 with my friend Chris, looking for that treasured Boba Fett when all of the sudden, I found him. There he was, in all his glory, Boba Fett! Only one left...I kneeled down to pick up the figure from the low lying peg, when "it" showed up. A grown man came up, TOOK the figure from out of my hand, said "I've been looking all day for this" and took off...me and chris stood there stunned. He TOOK an item from my hand....didn't ask,.....I don't think he even took a breath the whole 8 seconds he was there. Suffice to say, I wanted to know who this guy was and what was going through his mind when he TOOK and item from my hand...an item I was going to purchase! The guy walked like there was a fire somewhere..we followed him out..he was completely oblivious of our presence. He got into his mothers beat up toyota and took off...yes, it was his mothers..we found out. The stockboy we talked to later said his name is John and that he comes into the store every morning at opening and pesters the stockers about star wars...we thought only the hot wheels guys came in that early(no offense hot wheels collectors...got no problem with you)! He was about 35, overweight, unshaven, badly dressed and rude as hell...typical.
Anyway, the stockboy said he had some more Boba's in the back so me and my friend were still able to purchase one.

SithMagic 21 - I know all too well what you described. I had a very simular incident happen to me when the JAWA wave came out in 95. I was at Target waiting for it to open, both my mom and dad were with me, but we were separate and crowded out by these rude older men that wanted these toys.

One of the guys kept pushing my dad out of the way, and my dad looked at him and told him that if he pushed him again, my dad would knock him on is @$$! Suffice it to say, he moved away from my father, and came up towards me. He tried to push me out of the way, and I told him to back off. He kept pushing and pushing, so when the doors opened, I did something that got a great laugh out of the crowd.... I TRIPPED THE S.O.B. The guy landed on his face, and I looked at him, and said, "If you wouldn't have pushed...you might not have fallen!" I then took off and got my toys.

While getting the toys, I had a guy put his hands on my Jawa set and acted like he was going to take it. I told him that if he thought about taking it, I would break his freaking fingers! That seemed to have worked. But I can't tell you the number of men grabbing toys out of other peoples carts, ripping them out of kids hands, and doing it all without a single ounce of guilt!

These people are insane! So I "1-uped" them all. Being that I was a Target employee at the time, I had a mother tell me that she could never get her kids any Star Wars toys, and wanted to know why it was like that. About that time I guy, "toy pirate" walks out with a stack of figures from his mid chest to his chin in his arms. As I saw him, I pointed him out, and said people like him....TOY PIRATES.... are the reason why people like you can't get the toys...since they get here and RAID the store of everything!

Anyways...I digress....I hope you are able to get what you are looking for, and no one takes toys out of your hands again! :)

Take care, and MTFBWY!!!

Tonysmo
04-08-2002, 05:07 PM
As I read through some of the posts and see how each one of you feels about collecting its nice to see that feelings are pretty much the same across the board when it comes to grabbing from others stash.. its not a good thing..
I do have two comments to add though.
1st, when you say older men, what does that mean? does it mean that I as an older man cannot collect the things I am a fan of? ( yes, moderation is the key.. ) I guess my response is, and I know you guys are only jaded by a few.. but dont give the older guys who have their own kids to much trouble if they are abiding by the collectors set of golden rules.. ( I let my child enjoy opening most of the 99 collection )

my 2nd response, spoken as a shareholder in HASBRO, and a quote from Jack Buck from the '82 Cardinals World Series...
" GO CRAZY FOLKS GO CRAZY!! "

c_richards
04-08-2002, 05:23 PM
Tonysmo-

Not at all. There are a few older men out there that are just plain rude. Being that I have never met you, I'm sure you are a very curtious and polite individual. My problem lies in the fact that many of these fools are sooo pushy and edgey, that they make it hard on the entire collecting community as a whole!

I am glad to see that people are letting the figures be used for what they were meant for. As for me I usually put them in boxes, and then put them under my bed. :)

dr_evazan22
04-08-2002, 05:48 PM
I voted for hoard then share. I collect 2 of each and I don't think that's a lot. It's not too often that I see another person looking at SW fig's while I'm there, but when I do see someone I'll start a conversation w/ them. If I have a double, I'll share if there's not another of the same.

Going to MM is a lot of fun just to meet other people. In Denver I went to TRU w/ a couple other C1'ers. We got all our fig's and ships and stuff. We went back to the hotel and opened them all up; we opened our lightsabers and went down to the parking garage and "dueled" w/ each other. It was a blast!

I'll be going agagin just to be part of the community. The only thing I REALLY want to get my hands on is the TIE Bomber. I'll also get the book and soundtrack on the 23rd.

I still ahven't completed my E1 collection of 3-3/4" and 12", and part of the reason is the pushing that was going on. At the time I figured that there would be plenty later on. Nope.

I'm looking forward to getting an electronic "Obi" saber, I missed out on it w/ E1.

I saw a list on TFN of TRU's that are doing MM and my local Christiana store is, but I noticed there were no PA or MD listings. Are any of the SE PA or NE MD posters/forumites coming to Christiana?

Good Luck to you all!

Tonysmo
04-08-2002, 05:50 PM
A L -

Thanks for the comforting response, now I wont have a complex as I stand and wait...

and fear not, I still have a few hidden away in boxes so that my kid doesnt open ALL of them. I figure, hey, I played with them when I was a kid, he should get to play with them as well..

Having a collection you can touch is half the fun...


smo

Dryanta
04-08-2002, 05:55 PM
I am truely sorry to hear of so many really bad experiences.
I'd like to invite all of you up here.I'll take you shopping and that'll never happen:D .
Seriously,Star Wars is a bit of a closet thing for me.Not because being ashamed to be associated with you folks but because of who I am.
I am a truck Driving Biker.And that is the truth.You wanna see some strange looks,come with me to Wal mart and watch everybody just stare at me going through the toys .Star wars is my "secret" indulgence.I give up amost of my unpleasent vices along time ago.
So can I say it's happened to me? No I can't and I really wish you all could say the same.Please don't give up on all of us because of a very small number of folks.
I am a grown man and don't run anywhere.I certainly would never never deprive a mother or child a toy because I thought I needed it.And no else would in my presence either.Believe me the vast majority of the people you'll meet here will be able to truthfully say the same things that I've said.

Wolfwood319
04-08-2002, 05:58 PM
Let me give a "Hey All" to all the new guys. I hope you like it here.:D

Its great to see so many collectors here are nice enough to "share and share alike." But there will always be people like in Sithmagic's story. I think that thos MM99 stories give us hope though. Sure there were scalpers out there during 99, but hopefully most realized soon into it that they couldn't make 2 cents off of early E1 toys. Hopefully, most scalpers this time around will realize this, and for the most part stay away. I also hope that Hasbro keeps suppy up too, I hear its even more then E1 at this point, but lets hope it continues throughout the year so everyone can get what they want.

RooJay
04-08-2002, 08:07 PM
Oh, and more on the topic: I'm one of those weirdos that collects figures for the sheer joy of it, and could care less about the package since I'm only gonna tear it open anyway. That being the case, I usually only buy one of each figure (I do try to build reasonably sized armies later on when I can find appropriate figures more easily.) so after I leave the figure aisle there is always more left for other kids and collectors; providing there was more than one when I get there. However, there is this one guy that lives in the area who makes the rounds to all the stores (I've seen him at just about every store that carries action figures in the surrounding five cities!). I have seen him on several occasions purchasing carts full of newer figures, and finding when I get to the figure aisle, that he has completely cleared the pegs! He also shows up on the local convention circuit with plenty of all of the figures that nobody in the area can find at retail, and is more than willing to sell them to us at 20 dollars+ a piece. My girlfriend used to work at Toy 'R Us and says he used to come in all the time. She believes that he knew, or was paying someone to hoard figures for him (against company policy, I know, but you'd be deluded to think it doesn't still happen!). This man is evil. I once saw him at a local convention with a McFarlane Angela figure on display at his booth at the time when that figure was the Holy Grail to collectors. He only appeared to have one at first which was displayed loose, and in fact he proceeded to say so to everyone who inquired about it. Lots of people made him offers, but he seemed to attatched to the thing, and none of the offers was apparently high enough. Then this one poor kid, who just HAD to have her, starts haggling with him. He finally agreed at 90 bucks! The kid walked away happy and much poorer after having paid about eight times the price for the figure mint in package. Soon as the kid was gone this jerk starts pulling out CASES full of nothing but Angela figures (I KNOW they didn't ship from the manufacturer that way!) and proceeds to sell them left and right at much less than 90 dollars, but much more than the $7.99 the figure retailed for at the time! Apparently, he opened the figure to check her out close up, then figured he'd sell it for as much as he could possibly get. Whenever I see that guy at the store I RUN to the figure aisle and try to hide anything I can from him! He will most likely burn in Hell. The poor kid, however, will have a special place reserved in Heaven for him just for being such a simp!:stupid: :mad:

Sebulba524
04-08-2002, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by RooJay
Oh, and more on the topic: I'm one of those weirdos that collects figures for the shear joy of it, and could care less about the package since I'm only gonna tear it open anyway. That being the case, I usually only buy one of each figure (I do try to build reasonably sized armies later on when I can find appropriate figures more easily.) so after I leave the figure aisle there is always more left for other kids and collectors; providing there was more than one when I get there.

My views exactly. I can't say anything else, cause this sums it up for me.

Tycho
04-08-2002, 10:21 PM
Hi everyone. And welcome new members.

At the same time I want to tell you I'm glad you are here, I need to explain why 3 posts had to be taken down by SirSteve, in case a few people's responses to them don't seem to make as much sense now.

We try to maintain a "PG" type of environment here, as while our message board users often assume that those registered amongst us forum users are typically 14 to 40 years of age, there are those who are much younger logging on here.

They will undoubtedly become educated about a larger world, but not with information about an 'adult one' that they found out here, and you know what I'm talking about.

I appologize to those 3 people, new members I believe, who may have had one post deleted each. You are new and don't know "the rules," but I tried to explain to you the reasons for them, not just "don't post profanity or direct and blatant references to adult acts."

I will try to private message each of you and make sure you are feeling OK about that and that you understand why we do things that way around here.

Thanks for your cooperation and I'm glad to see you all have been enjoying the collector etiquette polls.

underdog25
04-08-2002, 10:24 PM
I use to be one of the ones out early in the mornings to grab what I could before the dealers got all the new/hard to find figures. It would take days, weeks months to find a figure. It got to a point that I was spending more time, gas, food, effort, etc. in finding that $6-$7 figure than it was worth so I just bought it from the dealer and paid my $20 for it. How times have changed for me. I now work on the inside and can get any figure that I want to and as many as I want. It might sound like a blessing for the Army builders but it isn't. It has taken the "thrill" of the hunt out of the game. I use to only buy one of each figure and put the rest out for whoever comes in. I will tell you that it is funny to watch everyone come into the store and run over themselves to get the new figure or ship:) It is kind of sad to me in a way to see how I was in the past. I have even gone so far as not buying any of the POTJ figures or Ep2 stuff. I still don't know what Midnight holds for me, my collection and my store on April 23rd. Are we opening at midnight or at normal time in the morning, will I buy stuff or not? I will tell you this much, everything that we have that is Ep2 will be out on the sales floor that night/morning for everyone to grab and enjoy. I use to be an Army builder but now I am lucky to have one soldier to stand guard over the collection.

Tycho
04-08-2002, 10:41 PM
CAESAR:

This poll applies to both regular days on the hunt, and MidNight Madness.

It is my experience that how a collector behaves around others on a typical release day for a new wave, is only further exemplified by their behavior during MidNight Madness, or 6 am at Toys R Us - as please note, some stores are doing that instead.

You should all ask about your store's opening time on April 23, well in advance.

Also please note: if you are going to Wal*Mart for 7 am, on the 23rd you might want to arrive a whole HOUR early.

The unwritten but often enforced rule amongst collectors is that the first ones there are the first ones through the door. Some managers actually cater to that as well, but so do some knock down fights when someone gets smart and arrives a few minutes before the store opens and tries to head off those that have been waiting longer.

The actual waiting times I've observed for MidNight Madness, were people getting there at like 8 or 9 o'clock and sticking it out. And once when I helped my friend's girlfriend collect her BeanieBabies, those people camped out at 4 am for a 9 am store opening. We went by 5:15 am, and we were No. 99, 100, 101 in line. (I got a free 12" Electronic Fett for helping them).

But yeah, normally I'd say these are just toys and there will be plenty to go around. Going to these sales are FUN for the comradery, the chance to create local collecting organizations, and just the chance to laugh at all the real madness you KNOW will be going down.


ELI-WAN KENOBI:

Most of us who do buy armies ARE building dioramas to recreate the movies, and we grab the multiples whenever we can so that we don't have to go back to the stores. I do have better things to do with my mornings, like get some more sleep before I work. So the sooner I finish my count of Geonosians I want for my army, the better I'll rest.

Like I said, I'll share with who's there.


SITH MAGIC, welcome to the forums.

A couple of things I noted from your story which I've seen myself:

sometimes the kids who's parents ARE scalpers run down the toy isles and grab things for their Old Man. Then he buys them one or so to play with, or Pokemon or whatever the kid is interested in as their reward. It's terrible, but some scalpers pimp their own children.

The other thing is yes, I've seen Target put up signs saying they won't look in the back, or people are limited to 5 figures each. I think that since 1999 they have forgotten about that as it pertains to Star Wars. It is also easier for them to stock overnight or before the store opens, so they're doing that again (by me anyway) too. So depending upon how things go with the Episode 2 story, they may or may not be collector friendly to their StarWars fans.

Tycho
04-08-2002, 11:10 PM
TONYSMO:

I wouldn't bring a lightsaber from home with you to MidNight Madness - or at least not into the store once they begin. They may try to charge you again for it. Regardless of whether the product is still shipping (such as the Darth Maul lightsaber most likely Will Not Be). Just wouldn't take chances if I were you, that's all. Put it in the car before they bring you into the store, but make sure you don't lose your place in line!

BIG BARADA: Is it worth it to add that next little piece of plastic to my collection?

Yeah - I'd say it is. It's more than my collection: I'm setting up a diorama I create with my artwork, my woodwork, my electrical work - a lot goes into these (or will go into those I make for Episode 2), so it is important that I get all the figures I want to put in my displays and that none are missing. It simplifies one step in a setup that requires many more complicated things to do at Home Depot than it does at Wal*Mart. (well actually you can get cheaper hardware and craft supplies at Wal*Mart if you remember to leave the toy isle once in a while - paint especially). But you know what I mean. Collecting is only the easiest step sometimes!

Tycho
04-08-2002, 11:33 PM
SEBULBA,

I'm sorry things are tough for you, being the age that you are.

When I'm in the store, I'm not going to leave behind anything I need for my armies. I'd like to get 20 Geonosians maybe, and find all of them as fast as possible. Then I won't need to be in the stores, taking them away from anyone.

I'll share with whoever is there. If I leave any I need, especially in multiples, I don't know that they won't be scalped. At least I know they will be opened and appreciated in my dioramas if I need them and I take them.

Now here's a story I'd like to share with you that may help though: through helping a young guy like yourself collect his figures, I became a Big Brother about 7 years ago.

My "little brother" was 12 then, and he's 19 and a friend for life now.

I met him at a Dealer's when he was spending his hard-earned money from his paper-route to pay for figures at like $18 each. He was with his mom and I introduced myself and we talked, quickly all becoming friends. I agreed to help him make his scarce money go a little further, and I started picking up the toys for him too (when he was 12). I would take them over and drop some of my cache off and then I met the rest of his family. His father is a Highway Patrol officer and a good man. When they got to know me, they allowed me to take my 'new brother' out collecting in the mornings, and I taught him how to surf and started him and his family in an interest in jet skiing - another of my hobbies. Basically, I taught him there was more to life than Star Wars.

I've helped him with his homework through high school, and encouraged him to get started in college. When he was 16 and got his license, we split up and he covered a different Wal*Mart than I did, and a different Target - that way we got more figures than just what 1 store stocked.

He's since "grown up" more than I have, and his SUV, payments on a Jet Ski that he bought to race with mine, and a rather expensive video gaming hobbie, (as well as a high-maintainance girlfriend) have kept him out of the hobby - he quit with Episode One. But he's still interested in seeing what I buy, and I bet he caves in and picks up the TIE Bomber to add to his old collection anyway. (He likes my ship and doesn't shut-up about it...)

So the moral of the story, SEBULBA, is: maybe you can meet somebody that will help you collect. But make sure your parents meet them and they help you do the transactions and come with you every time you meet with them until you are a bit older.

For my part, I was happy to help a kid get a half-circle Boba Fett back in the day, just for the heck of it - but I ended up with a little brother (who's bigger than me now and on his way to becoming a cop) - and I got a friend for life!

Tycho
04-08-2002, 11:46 PM
Dr. Evazan:

I was at Aurora, Colorado's Toys R Us for MidNight Madness, the Sunday of the last night of Celebration One. I know there were a few Toys R Us' in the Denver area, but perhaps I saw you!

I was with SirSteve and Thrawn, but we mainly just wanted to watch everyone go crazy, versus actually shop. It's hard to check-in and carry-on too much stuff, especially when I had to leave the next day on a plane to California.

I also went for the Lightsabers right away. I had to have Darth Maul's. I have trained for many years in the martial arts in a black belt program and of course I learned my weapons. But (if you promise not to tell my Master), when I practice at home for the bow staff or broad sword, all my weapons make curious lightsaber hums and clashes...(he-he-heh-he).

I've knocked a fair share of my ceiling down with my sabers too, but it's better that I practice outdoors with my real weapons - for more space - and also so that I don't have to clean and polish them as much for when my Master inspects them. Explaining all the white chalk stuff from my ceiling would be a little embarassing (to him as well as my landlord...)

Anyway, I also bought the 3 Deluxe Figures so that me and my friends I was flying with could have our action figures "duel" on the plane while we were waiting to get back to San Diego. That was fun for a little while as well. A very little while. But hey - they're toys and they are supposed to be fun to PLAY with, right?

Anyway, Maul's double-bladed saber, the Deluxe figures, Anakin's Podracer (I just HAD to shove into my suitcase somehow...:rolleyes: ) and a few assorted figures I picked up and out from under the feet of those who trampled on them (Padme, JarJar, Senator Palpatine...that's it I think..) was all I got. True enough, I got all the rest over the next 2 days. No big deal.

But the comraderie, making new collecting connections, and just watching the real Madness was a lot of fun. So I'd go anyway! (if I were you)

OC47150
04-09-2002, 09:01 AM
At Midnight Madness three years ago, my friend and I tossed figures into a cart, went to an off aisle and went through what we wanted and didn't want. We got the basic figures at the time but no army builders.

I don't know if I'm going to Midnight Madness this year. I might just wait and stop at Wal Mart or Target on the way into work. Saving my money for SW Celebration 2.

wampa ems
04-09-2002, 09:44 AM
This has actually happened to me before. I have met at least 4 different people that collect Star Wars toys. We just share with whatever they have there.

OC47150
04-09-2002, 09:54 AM
Don't get me wrong, I have shared with people. My friends and I buy for each other. But there are those people (scalpers) who I have snatched needed figures out from under their noses.

JediMindTrick
04-09-2002, 10:16 AM
I voted hoard first and share later because with all the new Ep2 toys coming out, it reminds me of what happened in 1999 at the midnight TRU sale. I got to the store 45 minutes before it opened and was one of the first 10 there. By the time 12 am rolled around, there were 30-40 people behind me. When my buddy, who was the manager opened the door, everyone pushed, clawed, and broke their way past the first few people and attacked the SW sections like buzzards picking a carcass clean. I stood back, knowing full well that Walmart was opening there section up that night also. One guy, the first one to the section, got every Darth Maul and ran to the checkout. Others were filling up carts will everything from Jabba Globs to Jar Jar dolls. When I finally got to the figures, there was one Amidala and one Padme figure left. I bought these, so I could get that cheesy certificate, and went to Walmart. They had everything, even Maul, and at a dollar cheaper. There wasn't even anyone else on the aisle, so I got my pick of the litter. I am not an advocate for Walmart, nor a employee, but with the soaring prices on these figures and the hoarders, Wally world may be the way to go for some. I know I'll go there first to avoid the crowd.:happy:

underdog25
04-09-2002, 10:30 AM
Great collecting stories here. I was sitting in the middle of the CA desert during the last MM:frus: It was compliments of Uncle Sam and me being Active Duty:) I got the C3PO wave at the PX out there a week before they were suppost to be released so that was cool. I have shared figures with others in the store. I couldn't and still can't afford to build any type of Army. Although I do have quite a large collection of Sandtroopers(Ebay) and a VERY large Battle Droid collection(Army Reserves, quite a long story). Like I posted before, I am on the inside. I am a store Mgr for TRU. There has been alot of interest as of late for a MM opening but in my area they still aren't sure if it is going to be so. I really don't see a large rush even if we do. Mabybe 20 people at the most. Everything will be out for all to grab, hord, share, etc. I am going to be taking my video camera to tape the doors opening just to have something to look back at. AND I will only be buying one thing that first night, 12" Obi Wan. I am leaving it out for all to enjoy. I'll get enjoyment out of that.

Starfig873
04-09-2002, 11:35 AM
I won't lie, if I see another collector (at least one that I'm unfamiliar with, which, thanks to JediOKC isn't likely) I'll work to beat him or her to the asle and grab the figure(s) I'm after.
I wouldn't..y'know, take a figure from a kid's or another adults hands. BUT will he/she get the poopy eye look from me? You bet :p :D

That's not true. I wouldn't....well...okay maybe I'd give em' the poopy eye...but that's all. I promise. :)

Nothing wrong with a little running down asles to get figures :D Good excercise, no? ;)

Doikk
04-09-2002, 12:56 PM
Oh my.
I remember M/M from '99.

It was insane. All the people who were trying to get rich.. and QUICK off the figures. People who weren't even collectors.

My local ToysRus placed all the figures in those plastic kiddie swimming pools - good move on their part.

Doors opened... people swarmed the store like locusts. I got there an hour early, and there were already 40 people in line.

Neat that they gave out Pop-Tart sticks, tho.

At that time, I was still collecting pretty heavily (My chemistry teacher got me back into it - he also worked at TRU) but tended to be satisfied with only one of each... and sometimes only one of the ones I liked. I can proudly admit to having never bought one single Jar-Jar.

However, while people were digging like rabid dogs for that elusive Darth Maul.. and yes he was in my area.. I happened to find an extra. I said, "Darth Maul," threw it up above the pool - NEVER TOUCHED THE GROUND.

I found everyone I wanted except Mace Windu... and saw some guy walking out with 4 of them in his hands.... grrr. Found him, subsequently, at Walmart later that night.

M/M is fun for the rush. However, I'm not really a collector anymore.. I kinda quit after the 4th wave of Ep1 and only picked up a few here and there. I did actually buy the new Clone Trooper and Jango Fett, tho. Just couldn't resist.

To the army builders: Now I know why I could never find that stinkin' Biker Scout figure (my all-time favourite Imperial Stock Troop)... hehe. Knaw, I understand the method to the madness... but WHY? WHY? WHY?

I chose to hoard then share because it's always best to look out for #1... but it's also nice to help someone out if they really look a genuine fan. It's also nice to hand someone the figure they want when they're behind you and you're among the lucky people pressed against the shelves with people pushing your eyes closer and closer to those pegs (true story.. nearly got blinded by some large, burly fellow). I completely and totally hate scalpers. It's a dirty dirty business. Especially when you sell jacked up prices for contempory figures to wee ones. Thank God for the internet places who get figures in pretty close to street date and sell at reasonable prices.

With Ep2 approaching.. who knows? I may get back into it. Then again, Jedi Knight 2 has been calling my name all week to upgrade my system so I can run it - I own a Dinosaur of a computer. Guess once you're a fan.... you're always a fan.

bigbarada
04-09-2002, 02:28 PM
Just to set the record straight, what is the minimum amount of time that has to pass after a figure's release before it is OK to army build?

I once found over thirty Commtech Stormtroopers at TRU for $2 apiece. I bought thirty of them and left the store happy as a hog in....well, you know. Two reasons I think this may have been justified:

1. I found them in March 2001, almost a year and a half after their release date. I figured whoever really wanted them had ample time to get them. (I had just got back from Korea, I had no idea they were rare)

2. Well.....I had just gotten back from Korea, where I spent an entire year without seeing a single figure. I decided I deserved to splurge.

What do you guys think?

Wookie Boy
04-09-2002, 02:38 PM
Last midnight madness there were about 60-75 people at the Toys R Us that I went to. All went well. There were more than enough figures and they brought out more as some of the pegs were emptied. People were asking for others to hand them certain figures and all were happy to help. I don't know of anyone in Indianapolis that went out within 24 hours of the release of E1 figures that did not find what they were looking for. I will be going with freinds who collect as well. I may grab a few of each figure and then share with friends (especially since it will be my best friend's birthday the 23rd). I will keep 1 of each and then put the extras back on the pegs. It should not be a problem this time finding each figure. There will be many places to get the figures in Indianapolis with 4 Toys R Us doing midnight madness, 4 Wal-Marts that are open 24 hours and 4 Meijer stores open 24 hours. Then 6 Targets and 4 K-Marts opening the next day at 8. And if you want to pay a little more than the $6 the figures will be going for at the previously mentioned places, there are several Kay Bee and Kay Bee Toy Works to buy the figures. The key will be to buy them that first day. Have fun and be friendly.

c_richards
04-09-2002, 02:47 PM
BigBarada....

You got 30 of the COMM-Tech Stormtroopers? Dang....you go! :)

I have stated in the past that Army building in my view is not necessarily a good thing, but I would like to clairify or rather amend my stance.

While I have been guilty of building armys...(does 5 stormtroopers count...or is that a platoon or squadron?) I at least give it a good month or 2 before I start buying mulitples of figures. In the case of you snagging all the Stormtroopers at TRU in the $2.00 bin....GOOD FOR YOU! That's the way to do it.... I have to admit, I think I may have pulled out another 4 - 5 COMM-Tech ST's for me too...but I always made sure to leave some behind for others.

I would say that it would be cool to start snagging figures for armies after you notice the figure hanging or about a month or 2 after it's release. I would like to say wait till it hangs...but let's face it...some of these figures are so freaking hard to get....CM-ST for example...and well, you can't be standing around waiting for someone to come up and want one. If I was in your situation, and I had the money for it...I would have done the same. If a kid wanted one, sure, I would of given him some....but still, I would of bought as many of them as I could.

I hope this doesn't make me a hipocrite, but I have done serious thinking on this subject. It's the law of the land and he who dies with the most toys....still dies! :)

I commend all of you on building your armies and the really ambitious people that make dioramas or scenese out of them. I have no talent like that. I'd rather recreate a lightsaber duel with the electronic sabers, or have a blaster battle... I just can't make a model or drawing that detailed for a small sized figure....I guess it's a sign that my imagination is slowly starting to deteriorate.

HELP ME NOT TO LOSE MY IMAGINATION! :)

Take care everyone, and MTFBWY!

Wookie Boy
04-09-2002, 03:56 PM
You are absolutely correct about the Commtech Stromtroopers. But they were never hard to find and they had been out for forever before they were at that price. But the Clone Trooper preview figures are a different story. I bought 1 online to keep in the package. When I was lucky enough to find 1 at a Wal-Mart in a small Indiana town, I bought it and opened it up. I would not have bought any more than 1 if there were several on the shelf, because they are still hard to find unless you pay a little more online.

Tycho
04-09-2002, 07:04 PM
Those of you defending your Stormtrooper legions by saying "Well they were out for over a year..." really need to re-evaluate your arguments.

Trust me, as I AM one of those in the morning crowd: the troopers were nowhere near as plentiful in the original retail price release as they were at the clearance sale time.

Realistically, that was the first normal quantity released of them. The fact that there were tons of them meant nothing to the collector who arrived late after an army builder or a scalper had been there.

Still, I defend the army builder, because if he wants them, he'll make sure he knows when to be there to raid the bins for 50 of them, or whatever he wants for his army.

I'd do that myself. But figure out a set amount, if you want 30 and there's 25, by all means take them if no one else is there to contest you. Share equally as best as you can if someone else arrives looking for them.

But if there's 50 of them, you want 30 - then make sure there are 20 left when you depart. You're done - now let another army builder or single / double-taker collector have a chance.

But just don't think that since the figure was a year old when you bought piles of them for 2 bucks that the figure had originally seen a fair release. Especially in the numbers that army builders wanted.

RooJay
04-09-2002, 07:17 PM
Tycho, it appears as though one of my posts may have been one of the ones deleted. First of all I'd like to apologize, though, for the life of me a cannot remember what I said that might have been offensive. I pride myself on being a pretty stand-up guy and consider myself to be the most polite person I know. I respect the decision to delete my post, but I think I made some very valid points in it also. Wouldn't it have been better to just have censored it, or to have given me the opportunity to censor it myself? I would have gladly done so. Maybe I'm mistaken and it wasn't my post that was deleted. If it was, then no apology is neccessary, but I would've loved to have been notified personally than having found out about it in the forum itself.

Tycho
04-09-2002, 07:24 PM
It wasn't you that I'd first noticed when I read them. I had to visit with a friend who came over at the time though, and Steve said he'd take care of it.

I don't think you said anything, though you might have quoted someone who did? I don't recall. But I appologize for both Steve and myself if you lost a good point you were making.

I haven't had time to send the letters to 2 people I identified as posting bad language or descriptions of their marriages :rolleyes:

That's what I saw.

And normally I DO go in and edit out the bad stuff and leave the message point someone is trying to make. But Steve and I both had limited time, so to get it down, it was probably just deleted (if yours was touched at all - it's grown into a big thread now...)

But we have to keep the site "Child Safe" so keep that in mind: if you don't make more work for us, we probably won't delete your message. And be fair to the kids and especially their parents. Thanks guys!

-Tycho

underdog25
04-09-2002, 09:34 PM
BigBarada:
Congrat's on your find. I would have done the same myself and did. After 3 years in Germany 1995 to 1997 I was overwhelmed with what I could buy when I got back. I missed out on so much that I couldn't help myself either. I built quite a collection of sandtroopers when I got back

Commtech Stormtroopers for all? I will admit that I did buy quite a few of these guys when they came into the store, 50 to be exact, but I ensured that I ordered enough for everyone to get their fair share of these guys. We got in over 1700 of the assortment of these guys. With 3 per case that comes to 432 if my math is right. That was just the first shipment. I was lucky to be able to order as much as I did but I knew well that everyone and their brother would want them and it took almost a week to clear out of the Stormtroopers, R2 holo Leias and Vaders. The lukes, greedos and hans hung out for quite some time but are all gone now.

As far as finding those hard to find ones on clearance, I never saw a swimming jar jar in a retail store! I know they were out there but never had the chance to get one. How about admiral motte and hooded leia? I never saw those either. Build your armies. If you can afford it and find them, then congrats and build away. :)

stillakid
04-10-2002, 12:15 AM
Originally posted by sithmagic21
Don't get me wrong, the midnight maddness thing will be a hoot! I actually attended the one back in 99 and had a good time...I let the other "little boys" run down the isles while I patiently waited for the things I was looking for. I guess I have a problem with some collectors...I don't like the thought of a bunch of grown men running down a childs toy isle to rip and scratch for a childs toy...just something embarassing and creepy about it.

Let me tell you why I have a problem with SOME collectors...mind you I said "some" collectors. Back in 96-97 when the new resculpted Boba Fett was released, I was all over creation looking for this figure. The hobby had not caught on yet to the majority of the collecting community so it was very easy to walk into any Target or Wal-Mart and 9 times out of 10, find what you were looking for. This "golden age" I like to call it came to an abrupt end one day when I realized who I was sharing this hobby with...

I was at Target one morning around 9:30 with my friend Chris, looking for that treasured Boba Fett when all of the sudden, I found him. There he was, in all his glory, Boba Fett! Only one left...I kneeled down to pick up the figure from the low lying peg, when "it" showed up. A grown man came up, TOOK the figure from out of my hand, said "I've been looking all day for this" and took off...me and chris stood there stunned. He TOOK an item from my hand....didn't ask,.....I don't think he even took a breath the whole 8 seconds he was there. Suffice to say, I wanted to know who this guy was and what was going through his mind when he TOOK and item from my hand...an item I was going to purchase! The guy walked like there was a fire somewhere..we followed him out..he was completely oblivious of our presence. He got into his mothers beat up toyota and took off...yes, it was his mothers..we found out. The stockboy we talked to later said his name is John and that he comes into the store every morning at opening and pesters the stockers about star wars...we thought only the hot wheels guys came in that early(no offense hot wheels collectors...got no problem with you)! He was about 35, overweight, unshaven, badly dressed and rude as hell...typical.
Anyway, the stockboy said he had some more Boba's in the back so me and my friend were still able to purchase one.

After that day, I noticed the trend....as months went by I noticed more grown men running for the toy isle, passing up mothers and thier children, hiding items.....basically making a fool out of themselves. Eventually I stopped going in the mornings because I was embarassed to be associated with "those guys". Soon I noticed associates in stores stopped being friendly about toy questions, collector restrictions popped up, toy companies started releaseing "chase" figures (playmates, mcfarlane) and stockers stopped stocking items first thing in the mornings. I realized that this hobby was not going to be fun anymore....and it hasn't....till online stores came around. I would rather pay ten to twenty dollars more for an item, than be in competition
with "those guys" and lower myself.

Not all collectors are like this...some have gone through the same thing I went through.

To the collectors who do this kind of thing, thanks for destroying the toy collecting hobby...and John, I know you read this post...there are things you just don't do John...pray you never take anything out of my hand again.

Now you know why I have a problem with some of you.....


Wow. I could've written that. I too actually avoid going to the stores early because I have a personal aversion to being associated with lunatics like that. While I haven't built the armies that I'd like, I've managed to maintain a sense of dignity that would be easily lost by being a mid-thirties toy freak.

Like I said, aside from building huge armies, I've always managed to get the figures that I wanted even though that sometimes means paying a little extra online. It's difficult to compete with army hoarders when you've got a job and kids and real responsiblities.

As to the question at hand, as with any store item, I defer to the guy who got there first, just like a 4 way stop. It's only fair to let the first one in browse through. If I end up someplace first, I'm not usually graced with someone who I'll deem as polite as I try to be, but I'll at least ask them what they're looking for and if I run across it on the pegs, and I don't need it very badly, I'll hand it over.

There's too much selfish behavior in this world to have it spill over into the toy aisle.

snakeplkn
04-10-2002, 01:07 AM
Has it been 3 years since Midnight Madness? I didn't go, went to Wal-Mart the next morning, but Darth Maul was already gone. Didn't find him for nearly two weeks, at Service Merchandise in a heap of figures. Looking back, I can't believe I paid so much for the CommTech Reader and Battle Droids that would eventually end up on the cheap. However it was worth it at the time, seems like I was one of the very few who enjoyed CommTech.

A couple issues people mention ...

--outside of one encounter in 1997 and the opening of a Wal-Mart in 2001, I have never met another collector in the Star Wars section. I know people are coming because I see the remants of some wave or all the Jango Fetts within 20 miles disappear within a week. But who these people are, I will never know.

--BigBarda mentions the impossible find of 30 CommTech Stormtroopers! I never seen a single one at retail and I have looked through the aisles and aisles of the TRUs, Targets, and 'marts. Along with R2-B1, TC-14, Sio Bibble, the 2nd Naboo Amidala, Hooded Leia, Admiral Motti, Tatooine Skiff, Rebel Pilot 3 pack, Darktrooper, Spacetrooper, and Clone Emperor. Over the years I had to resort to eBay and still am not complete.

--This time I am going at midnight to Wal-Mart. I assume some Star Wars fans will be there, maybe I will finally know who these phantom people are. The TIE Bomber will be my top priority. I have a feeling it could end up shades of Y-Wing.

Snake Plissken
"A little human compassion"

dr_evazan22
04-10-2002, 10:10 AM
The TIE Bomber will be my top priority. I have a feeling it could end up shades of Y-Wing.

originally posted by snakeplkn


I've got the same feeling for the Bomber. I have 2 W-M's in my area and neither is open 24 hrs. I don't get off work until about 9a and I'm worried that it will sell out before I get there. A friend from work who comes in at 9 will pick one up for me.

RooJay
04-10-2002, 07:39 PM
Thanks for addressing my concerns Tycho. I understand what happened now and will be more careful in the future. You guys rock!

jdmarlow
04-11-2002, 07:20 PM
I must say, that in all my time of reading thread at sirsteveguide, I have never read one as entertaining as this. I love to reminisce about special collecting experiences. Let me tell you all a story about the Toys "R" Us Midnight Madness on May 3rd, 1999 in New York City at 14th Street Union Square (if anyone else reading this was there I wouldn't be surprised):

I arrived at approx. 11:00 PM and was on line in back of about 50 people. The line had extended around the block. I had just arrived home on a plane from the Star Wars Celebration in Denver that past weekend. I had seen some amazing things over that weekend, but nothing as astounding as what I would see in Toys "R" Us that early morning at 12:01 AM. As the doors opened they let in people about 20 at a time. I was the third lot of people to enter into the store. Once I arrived I ran up the escalator stairs to the second floor where they were located. Holy Moly was I shocked!! The figures were dumped into four separate bins and each one had 10-15 people hoarding around them. Every Darth Maul, Darth Sidious, and Battle Droid was GONE. Figure cards were ripped from the grabbing inside the bins and TRU employees were taking pictures in amazement from the sides. I got some of the second wave and a few in the first. The place was raided. In a town like NYC I expected something like it, but I could never have prepared myself for what took place that night. I have since learned how to deal with such an occasion. I know now what is neccesarry in such a competetive field to obtain the toys I want on that night.

First and formost I'm there to have fun and I will be fully aware of that throughout the night while on line and into the morning hours. However, I have an agenda to follow. I choose HOARD FIRST AND SHARE LATER because there is only so much preparation you can do. I am NOT an army-builder. Just a very strong variation collector. I most likely will grab more than one of the figures I expect to be slightly shortpacked throughout the series of cases or I deem to be most popular. However, once in hand I will most likely decide I do not need them, pending any variation found. I will then proceed to give it to anybody who needs. For example, Jango Fett, Clone Trooper, Super Battle Droid. New York collectors AS A FACT think that the value of popular figures are larger than life. Of course, they are not. However hoarding is then the end result of such an ignorant logic. I have made my plans for the night and hope to grab a full collection of figures. I collect with my brother (he and I are 15, will be 16 on Apr 27th) so we got two players on the same team. I will be visiting the TIMES SQUARE Toys "R" Us on 42nd Street in NYC that night. I'll probably be in the store at 9PM when they close and kick me out. So I'll be on line at the front door until they re-open at the midnight hour.

My question to the group of readers here in this thread is, DO YOU PLAN, WHEN THE DOORS OPEN, TO RUN INTO THE STORE FRANTICALLY? OR ARE YOU GOING TO CASUALLY WALK IN IN A CIVILLIZED MANNER? I have to say that when push comes to shove in my town running is the fastest way to what you want. But I'm curious to see what everybody thinks about the subject.

-JD
(phew, that was a long one)

lrd_drth_vader
04-11-2002, 11:55 PM
mm99 wasnt that bad for me either, the local wal-mart opened at 6:00 am and there were only two other collectors there, we all helped each other find what was desired. all in all a good experience (until i reached the cash register hehehe).

darklord
04-12-2002, 03:05 PM
hte true fact is at first the will be hard to find jango with removable helmet ani in duel jedi outfit and certian others but 6 months from now you will find a ton of genosis and clone troops in the 2 dollar bin at tru. I went through the hell of ep1 midnight madness my self and another marine. nothing is more depressing than watching people hoard so 3 weeks later they can jack the price up over 200%
I will be honest i have over 400 action figures same characters different varaitions with the excption of staps storms and guards but like i said you will find them in the dicount section in about six months. So i recomend get your hard to find now and wait on nonmain chacters until later

stillakid
04-12-2002, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by darklord
but 6 months from now you will find a ton of genosis and clone troops in the 2 dollar bin at tru.


...if you happen to live near one of the "blessed" TRU's that get the "dump" of figures.:frus:

short4astormtrooper
04-12-2002, 08:29 PM
If I find, I'm buying. However, in addition to buying one of everything loose and some to keep carded,I also pick up figures for some fellow collectors. If I have a cart full of stuff designated for myself and two other people, and another collector shows up, I would let him/her have anything that is not for myself. I have had greedy people with, say, a case of Fett 300s, inform me "I'm buying them all". How frustrating that is.

underdog25
04-12-2002, 11:25 PM
I have had that happen, "Sorry, I am buying the whole case." What a..................you know. As for the "lucky" TRU and the clearance dump bins. There are two things to find out. First is what type of volume they are. If they are high volume, meaning that they make big $, then they get tons of stuff. If they are low volume then they get only small amounts. The second is if they have someone tracking things like that. I look for the clearance stuff and try to get as much as I can into the store. That way I make big $ and everyone gets what they want. I can't be more specific than that. Sometimes it is luck. If you live in a small town with a TRU, forget building armies. If you live in NY, DC, LA, etc then you will be able to build away.

he-ro
04-14-2002, 11:41 AM
I would buy 1 of each figure, and a few doubles of some favorites like Kit Fisto, Shaak Ti, and Nikto Jedi. I am a nice person, and I am hoping others who are there on the 23rd will be nice as well.

brentfett
04-15-2002, 12:34 PM
I will fly above him with my jet pack and rain laser blasts down on him! :)

Tycho
04-27-2002, 12:05 AM
So did you all behave yourselves? I'm going to do a poll on the singular experience at Midnight Madness, however I am pleased to say that I got 7 Count Dookus and shared at least 3 of them in the stores with others who were looking for him when I was.

I shared 1 Yoda and bought 4.

I bought 11 Anakin Hanger Duels, and curiously everyone wasn't having trouble finding him, or were just passing over him. I left plenty of Anakin on the rack behind me, but I trust they all sold by 8:30 to 9 am.

RooJay
04-27-2002, 12:43 AM
Tycho, why would you possibly need with that many Dooku's and Anakin's? A better question is, why would you admit to such a thing when you know so many of us need either or both of those guys, and can't for the life of us find any?

Tycho
04-27-2002, 01:15 AM
Apparently, people who need these figures were not at my Wal*Mart standing next to me.

I offered what I found to collectors who were there asking for them. Those were the two that showed up late. Most of the first 11 people through the door at Wal*Mart the morning of the 23rd got these figures, or turned them down - as there was a whole isle of SW figures, and these particular figures were on the pegs everywhere. I couldn't move much but into what was on the racks directly in front of me. When I "came out for air" and many of the other people there had as well, there were still Anakins on the racks. Dooku was there too, but you had to dig for him. Yoda was gone.

I also left Anakins behind me, but they too were taken rather quickly by late-comers (would be my guess) though when I went to check out, I was on my way to another, later-opening Wal*Mart and not particularly concerned with what people were going to do after I left.

By anybody's observation, the less quantity there is of any figure, the faster they will sell. Most people reason they will have an opportunity to get the Super Battle Droid the next day, or the next week. But Dooku, Anakin, and Yoda were selling.

Meanwhile, Zam Wessel, who is actually a better figure than any of those, and ships only in their case so far, was left sitting. I only wanted 3 of her, but she is a darn-good figure.

They are all gone from my Wal*Mart now, as I went back yesterday to pick up an Obi-Wan for customizing and I looked to see what was left.

An employee I knew told me that they just got in a whole new pallet full of SW and would be putting it out that night after the store was closed. I didn't need anything, so I didn't go, but I'd bet that those Dookus, Anakins, Yodas etc all sold out the next morning at 7 am, too.

In another thread I listed the scenes, including a general statement of the 6 -step speeder chase scene I'm doing that explains why I bought what I did.

Oh well... I'll say it again:

1) Obi-Wan hangs on droid and Anakin catches him in speeder

2) Zam shoots from her car, damaging Anakin's

3) Anakin jumps out of the speeder and lands on hers, Obi-Wan follows

4) they crash and begin a foot chase...

5) in the bar, they search for Zam until Obi-Wan strikes her arm

6) a spoiler not seen in the trailers already occurs.

Well, there's justification for 6 Anakins, 6 Obi-Wans, 4 Anakin speeders, 3 Zam Wessel vehicles, 6 Zam figures (I use 3 of each),
and other accessories or characters I need to add to recreate these scenes.

A 3 way lightsaber duel and other spoilers not seen in the trailers at another point in the movie justify more Anakin figures.

The point is that some people collect the stuff, others buy 2 (one to open), and others build dioramas as that's how they always dreamed of playing with the stuff.

All these kinds of fans must contend with Scalpers, and even their own kind as competitors. It's first come, first serve. And I'm fair if you're there!

Please see the other collector etiquette polls in this section for some statistics on how people shop, and how much they buy!

aikman
04-29-2002, 09:41 AM
Tycho,
How many ep2 figs do you have?
Im just curious how many are doubles, and how much u spend on sw figs.
I love em but only get 1 of each and it still is pretty expensive

Tycho
04-29-2002, 01:12 PM
By my own accounting, I spent exactly $1089.30 on Star Wars Episode 2. This does include the comic trade paperback and a New Jedi Order paperback book, but the rest are Hasbro 3 3/4" line toys, or 12".

That was April 23, and does not include $253.oo I spent on my stuff I had about a month early - which also included 12", all the vehicles, and basically 1 each, of all the little figures.

It also doesn't include the Sneak Preview wave, which amounted to 24 Clones, 5 Fetts, 3 Zams, and 3 R3-T7's.

I have no idea what my April 23 count would be, but in another post, Thrawn added up my 3 3/4" purchases to be 191 figures.

It didn't matter, as any duplicates were to be used in scenes - for example, to create one Tusken Raider "micro-village," I estimated I'd need 4 females and I had kept 8 various male warriors from past waves (mostly POTJ) to complete my tribe.

However, any amount of figures over 27 total would be considered duplicates, so I pretty much bought seven times the amount of figures available - though not evenly split. For example I have a ton of E1 Battle Droids left over - and the energy blasts that come with other figures fit their rifles - so I bought only 1 E2 BattleDroid for my carded wall - which is also temporary, as these are also figures I plan to open after 2003, and I start a new "new releases" wall. I don't keep carded figures over the long run. If they are not from the 1980's, they will never be worth anything. That's not why I collect.

RooJay
04-29-2002, 04:22 PM
DAMN Tycho! Hasbro should give you some kind of award or something! We should all be thanking you for single handedly keeping the line going.;) Are there any more jobs open where you work? I wouldn't mind having that kind of disposable income!:crazed:

Tycho
04-29-2002, 04:33 PM
No there's several months being spent working to get this off my credit card! :rolleyes:

Wolfwood319
04-29-2002, 04:52 PM
All of the "army builders" so far have been very plentiful near me, even the red clone trooper. The only one I had to really search for was the Geon Warrior.

So far I've gotten the following army builders;

15 Battledroids (hate the E1 version, never got any security BDs.)
5 Super Battledroids
3 Geon Warriors
2 Red Clonetroopers (on top of 10 preview Cts.)

So far, with the exception of the Geon Warriors, every time I've bought army builders, there has been many more left on the pegs. I'm glad that the army builders this time around were shipped in the same over abundance with the first waves.

So far, everyone has been cool about everything, and I have yet to meet a scalper in the aisles.

the last jedi
04-29-2002, 06:12 PM
Hi all. as collector's we should try to help one another, and not let are fellow collector be cought by that jabba scum lord who puts prices so high not even the jawa 2nd hand dealer scum can afford. really dont buy from the 2nd hand dealer's and scalper's and that scum bag high priced jawa aka 2nd hand dealer or store or even high priced e stores, Wal-mart has been even with the force and target to. well as even as they can be. hmmm 5.88 v 10.99 you decide.