Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Collectors' Strife: Toy Hunt or Online Purchase?

The true meaning of toy hunt began again!
It's been a long time since I actually went out on the field and performed what many collectors like myself call: TOY HUNT. There's no hidden meaning behind the phrase, it is as the said words imply: It's the act of hunting for toys. For us collectors, there's more to it than just that! While yes the main goal of toy hunting is indeed to acquire figures that would add more zest to one's collection display, to some it's also the 'act' of driving hours and hours to every retailer to find some rare action figure. That was me some time ago before life took all of my spare time away so here I am now collecting through the means of buying sets online or just buying anything online that I find note worthy to add to my collection. While I can pretty much access anything I want to add to my game room, there is one slight problem: prices sometimes gouge instead of save! So when the new Marvel Legends for the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie was finally confirmed to have retail release dates(also named Infinite series; and all ML's from here on with the exception of the Jubilee BAF will concur with any major Marvel movies), I decided to jump right back to the thrill of toy hunt! Great idea? Bad? Saved some money? Lost? Well… let's scrutinize.

Shartimus Prime is a toy collector/reviewer that is VERY adept at the game and he almost always have luck in grabbing sets. He was kind enough to provide me the item number that Target uses for these figures(Thank you Shart!) so suffice to say I jumped right on that, calling target damn near everyday to see when they will be receiving these things. It was a pestering six days of calling and following up, appearing on the scene or what not, inquiring, so forth, etc. and finally on their new floor set, I found four out of the six(Amazing Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man, Beetle, Electro). What made things even sweeter is that I got them for the 'older' MSFRP price and not for the current price that Hasbro is asking for their figures. So what about the rare Black Cat and Carnage? I decided to merely wait on them since I thought that Target would be replenishing their supplies. That and perhaps other local retail stores would be able to provide what Target(my two close targets) didn't have! Walmart and Toys R Us did very little to aid my quest for these guys, sadly. So what the heck did Target provide for the next coming weeks?

An empty peg with that clearly labels: Spider-Man 6 inch Build A Figure on the new marked up price of the said figures! For weeks this is what I have seen and I called a couple of times just to see if they would replenish it from their shipment. Turns out that it wasn't even scheduled to come in! Now I don't really give a damn if it's the old price($14.99) or the new price, the fact of the matter is that they never stocked up! Why is that? And why is it this is all I see in my local target damn near everyday:

These are the new 'Super Hero Mashers' that Hasbro seems to be going on a trend with since the Iron Man 3 assemblers. They seem to be better quality than the Iron Man 3 one, but these things are obviously for the younger audience and not for collectors like me(or you if you are one). These parade the toy section along with:

More than enough 3.75 inch Spider-Man toys that are clearly not for collectors! All of these gadget filled, function exuberant 'action figures' are great for young children! And it's not big secret that I'm no longer a huge fan of Marvel Universe and their 3.75 pint size toys but they are a collectors' favorite in many places of the world! For a while that was the only thing we go when 6 inch was out of commission! So why do they ONLY get this much attention now?

I mean…. come on! If we are truly going for the whole what kids love and what is cheaper for parents to buy, aren't these guys fit that description? Or wait! There's no functions or gadgets right? Three dollars isn't worth to cough up for more details and more characters? No. Here's the bottom line that I see: retailers like Target doesn't seem to cater much to collectors. The shipment of the Amazing Spider-Man BAF only came in eight pieces(yes, I was told the number of what they are receiving), and since that time I bought those four, I never once saw them again in my local target. I DID find Black Cat at another target an hour or two away from my location. So what does that say? Do some Target order more than others because of demographics? Demand? Management calls? Or perhaps the true shipment will arrive during the release of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie? I don't know the answer to that right now but I do know is that I did spend quite a bit of time and gas searching for the set when in the end I ended up depending on eBay to finish my set.

So what does that really say? What is the better option as a toy collector? Speaking for myself, I don't have the patience(or the time) as I used to for toy hunting. Hell, I don't have patience, PERIOD. So will I get my next BAF set on sites like Amazon and BigBadToystore? Probably. Is that a better option for everyone out there? If someone has the money up front to SPEND THAT much all at once, then I personally feel that it is the more viable option. Driving around is tedious, takes up a lot of time and never a guarantee(unless you call in advance and hold, but even then). One always has to factor in gas money and again TIME! But there are some things about online shopping that makes it fallible like perhaps you get a defected item, or the delivery takes too long, or perhaps you end up buying into a not so legit seller…. who knows?! Personally I will always go the route of online buying. 

I'm loving this set of BAF don't get me wrong but… it was a freaking headache finishing it. And still is(yes I'm done with it but… yeah.) Anyways, hopefully some reviews coming up soon here!

So fellow collectors, what route is better? There are a lot of factors that will decide which is more adequate for you.

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