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  1. #31
    Registered Tycho's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    San Diego, CA
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    I've seen this before too many times, Sean.

    One time, on a Wilrow Hood card, I knowingly bought a customized Lando they re-carded for Wilrow.

    The Lando was made using a body from the Crimson Empire Royal Guards Training Pack and Lando, in this yellow armor, looked much like he's supposed to in Heir To The Empire, as the Nkklon Mining Colony Baron.

    So I bought it knowingly - because it would have cost me more (at least the price of 2 figures, though one comes from an EE exclusive on top of it) - to get all the parts to make this custom that worked for me.

    A lot of the time I was disturbed to find the packaging of the black Bespin Security Guard, only to see the old POTJ figure carded inside.

    This has to be the work of an OLDER collector - in his 20's to 30's. Why? POTJ was 9 years ago - the Bespin Guard offered about 8 years back.

    If the collector was even 11 years old when he got the original Bespin Guard (POTJ), he'd have to be 19 years old now - an adult.

    He could still be a cash-poor 30-something (or older) and obviously not a carded collector (unless he still buys multiples).

    But this is done because they're cash-poor

    - and they feel it's Hasbro's fault and they should be punished for releasing any non-definitive figure and then upgrading it. (I get mad about this too, but then I just don't buy the upgrades, not steal them).

    - and they also may run out of room and don't want to store their discarded figure pile when there are upgrades. (Toys For Tots etc mostly accepts UNOPENED figures - and it's somehow more cruel to give a child the wrong item. However that may happen when another child gets the figure as a present. BUT a poor child might be grateful to get any figure, even if it's 1997 on BAD Malakali's card.
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.

  2. #32
    Sean the Hutt
    I agree. It has to be someone in their 30's for sure. I just turned 40. I guess that is old around here!
    I have accepted most of my stuff is worth little. As it should be. I did not get in to make quick money. i love star wars, If I can sell it when i am old, great, if not, who cares. I have too much stuff anyway. I have been giving a lot away. Opening a lot, and generally buying less.
    I always want to make those dioramas, but never do. I realize that star wars is going to go on for a while. well into my 50's at least. My guess is for a long LONG time. So I don't have room for everything anyway!
    As for the thieves, it will always be a game. I just want to get to the day I can get my figures and vehicles out without having to untwist, or almost break anything trying to get it out. Not likely any time too soon.
    I wonder if the toys that were switched were mint or played in condition..., I will have to look next time. I am doing a profile on toy theives...and their dirty little secrets! They are the ones who drink out of the milk carton. They don't lift toilet seats, oh I could go on profiling...
    Have a good one, have fun collecting,
    oh, it was the ESCONDIDO target if anyone cares.
    I have started to open ships just to check and make sure things are on the up and up. I checked the AT AT.
    a tip. If something is the last one on the wary. Check it carefully. If there are a few. Pick up a few to compare weight and listen for loose parts rolling around. Now you know, and knowing is half the battle!
    Any other anti theft advice?

  3. #33
    Here's a link to a thread I posted back in June of a similar disgusting swapping scheme.

    And I thought it was bad when I spotted a K-Mart Jedi Temple attack set with the 501st troops replace by regular clones. I STILL can't believe they actually took these back!
    "I take orders from just one person - ME!"

  4. #34
    Registered Tycho's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
    San Diego, CA
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    The store employees do not care.

    Take this example for you parents out there:

    You have a baby.

    They outgrow their clothes.

    You save the receipts and tags for their 6 month old clothes.

    You buy the same clothes within your 90 return priviledge. Returning the new ones with the old receipt.

    Your new receipt doesn't expire for 90 more days.

    When it's time to get the 1 year old clothes, you return the 6 month old clothes (in as good of condition as possible) with your newest receipt.

    Now you've paid NO MONEY for your 1st year of baby clothes.

    Sick isn't it?

    A HUGE, MAJOR Star Wars fan works at the Returns Desk for Target when you do this. Oh - he'd catch a Regular Clone swapped out for a 501st in a heartbeat!

    However, for minimum wage ($8 / hr in California due to COL expenses) this Star Wars fan does not care about baby clothes and has no expertise in the area. He gets his $8 as long as he stands at Customer Service.

    Now the next level where the error could be caught (now that the theif has gotten away with it) is a Returns Adjuster (or Re-Stocker) - whatever they might be called. Again, for minium wage, do they want to really check the product? If no one buys it, it can be clearanced later - then someone will buy it (used baby clothes and all - hey - it's at garage sale prices almost).

    Would someone track down a creditcard holder who might have done this? Well, the item cost less than $25 in most cases (imagine a 1998 AT-AT swaped out for the new BAT-AT though! - And an employee not knowing or caring about the difference!) However, if caught, a lawyer to press charges against the shoplifter is $150 an hour (maybe the minimum extra for a retained attorney). And if the city or county criminal lawyer prosecutes this - don't they have bigger fish to fry than a theft in a swapping scheme over an $8 figure? Or any item less than $25 for sure! They probably wouldn't bother with the 1998 AT-AT for the BAT-AT either.

    So the best defense for a collector is to do what Sean The Hutt is doing, and really check what you purchase - and yes - even boxed vehicles!

    This hurts collectors because say the employees don't care, and they accept 1981 Twin Pod Cloud Cars as returns in modern Vintage packaging. Then these keep getting restocked and returned by unhappy customers meaning to buy the new Cloud Car. Well - simply put - the assortment won't be re-ordered and we'll have tons of the same Jedi Starfighters over and over again (never getting Jocasta Nu's Jedi Starfighter )

    I think it's just a recurring problem with no solution possible.

    It's one of the many problems within our hobby.
    BAD Pts Need: R5-C7 lf leg (x2), , R4-P44 right leg BAD Pts Offered For Trade: PM me - I have lots of parts now including BG-J38!. New Kyle Katarn is also available.


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