First Toy Run of 2009
January 6, 2009

I found myself on an errand today which put me farther away from home than usual.  And close to a Target store.  And thus began a toy run unlike I usually make.  You have to understand.  Usually I only go to a store if I am passing by.  I don;t normally go out of my way to go toy shopping.  Yet today, by taking a number of extra turns, I managed to ‘drive by’ 3 Targets, 2 Walmarts, and a Toys R Us.  In Rhode Island.  Your milage may vary.  Here are the highlights in order of the stores visited.


Target 1
DCUC Wave 4, at least 2 full regular sets.  No variants, gold Cat Atom or Artemis.
Marvel Legends, at least a full set of the Red Hulk wave.
Ben 10 – saw Kevin figure for the first time.
JLU – new Sinestro, Bizarro, the 3packs with Question, Galetea, Capt Atom.  Apokolips 6 pack.

Toys R Us
Star Wars Galactic Heroes Rancor Monster set, amoung others.
DC Infinite Heroes a plenty.  Green Lantern/Manhunter 6 pack.  Luthor/Metropolis 8 pack (why is this 50$ ?).  Some older 3 packs on sale for 12.xx$. 
DCUC. Cyborg was the only single.  Cyborg & Mongul 2 pack.  Batgirl & Azreal 2 pack.
Met a very nice fellow collector and his son.

Walmart 1
Batman Brave & Bold – Deluxe figures Batman, Blue Beetle, Aquaman.
DC Inf Heroes – 3 packs of several types.

Target 2
DCUC Wave 4, 1 full regular set.
DCUC Wave 2, 1 full set – both Supermen, modern Aquaman, Jason Firestorm.
JLU – the usual 3 packs, Stargirl singles, Apok 6 pack.

Target 3
Ben 10 – saw Goop figure for the first time.
DCUC Wave 4, at least 2 full sets.
JLU – the newer version of the Grodd/Joker/Luthor 6 pack.

Walmart 2
I was here just a few days ago and saw
DC Inf H singles – Black Lightning, Spectre, Dr Fate, Batman, Superman, Green Arrow.
DC Inf H – the only singles were Black Lightning and Green Arrow. But… they had the 3 packs with Jay Garrick and Bizarro.
Batman Brave & Bold – 2 packs of Blue Beetle vs Kanjar Ro, Batman vs Black Manta.  Even my daughter knew that match up was wrong.  Single packs of Batman, Kanjar Ro.

So what did I get out of all this?  Two questions.

1. A set of BAF or CNC figures costs 50$ or more if you buy it all at once.  But if you see them and don’t buy them, you might never see them again (I still have not seen Nightwing from DCUC wave 3).  How many people actually have 50$ to plunk down and buy these all at once?  I know I couldn’t.

2. What other segment of consumers drives to so many stores looking for the same product, which is actually unlikely to be there?  Are we crazy?

Erik "Superfriend" Skov
"Gathered together from the four corners of the universe." Oh, wait, that's the show, not me. Erik "SuperFriend" Skov never actually got to appear on the show, although he did watch it every week. Erik spent 6 years working for Hasbro in Pawtucket, RI before leaving for a job that paid more (Why else would a collector leave the company that was making Star Wars, Transformers, and while I was there Batman). I used to post all over the net. These days I tend to hang my hat at AFI.
Read other articles by Erik "Superfriend" Skov.





  • In answer to question 2, just so we toy collectors won’t feel like we are the only crazy ones, my wife’s Grandfather used to collect soda cans and bottles. His wife was telling me the other day how he used to “ruin every vacation” because if he found something new at a gas station he had to drive up one side of the street and back down the other side looking in every gas station and grocery store. At least when we go toy shopping the wife can look in the clothes or movies!

  • Z Man says:

    I’m still looking for Nightwing too. Waited to long to pick up a JLU Grodd set for my nephew for Christmas, had to settle for the Apokolips set. Ah well.

  • Spilldog says:

    Don’t bother with the Joker/Grodd/Luthor 6-pack… the paint jobs are terrible! The paint on the Joker’s face looks like a 2-year-old did it… and you can’t see his face until you buy it and open the box because of that stupid red hood on his head!

    And wow! I was worried that I was the only crazy person going on these “toy runs” looking for action figures I know won’t be there! Yes Superfriend… I feel your pain! I’ve put hundreds of unnecessary miles on my car and burned way too much gas doing this! I guess we’re all the same–we all hope to walk into a store and find the figure of our dreams waiting for us to take them home! It’s all part of what makes this hobby so much fun! It’s the thrill of the hunt!

    Don’t give up hope and keep the faith, my Super Friend 🙂

  • Jason says:

    You’re not alone Super Friend. I alwaystry to check out all the local toy stores when I go on vacation or travel. Spilldog is right, it’s all about the thrill of the hunt.

  • JoeAce says:

    On January 2nd I drove to 17 stores in 6 hours. It was 6 Walmarts, 5 Targets, 3 Toys R Us and 3 Kmarts. I was looking for new DCIH and DCUC figures and I didn’t find anything new that I was missing.

    The next day or two, one of the Walmarts restocked and I found the last Mr.Miracle figure on Monday. Other people got to the goods before me. Hunting for figures is no fun, I’d rather just get them all at once and be done with it.

  • Bunger says:

    My #1 rule…pick up the phone. And sometimes you have to be “rude” to get the store people to help you.

    I literally live 30 miles from the closest Walmart (a crappy one) and over 45 from the closest target or TRU. So I call. They know me by now that they’ll hold stuff for me (even though they aren’t supposed too)

    Gotta try that stuff…I can’t afford to drive all over the place.

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    Man, those Jay Garrick and Bizarro three-packs are haunting me! Everyone else seems to find ’em but I.

    Such is the lot of the lonely toy hunter.

  • Spilldog says:

    The Walmart in Goodlettsville, Tennessee (just north of Nashville) has plenty of them, Lt. Clutch. Not sure where you live or how far you’re willing to drive 🙂

  • Spilldog says:

    Still waiting for DCUC Wave 6 to show up in Nashville… where are they?? I’ve noticed that most of the Walmarts in my area have been reorganizing their toy departments. One Walmart, which had never before carried DCUC, now has an empty spot reserved for them. They already have a few DC Infinite Heroes in stock. Hopefully I won’t have to wait long!

  • wadsworth says:

    answers for superfriend.
    question #1 : unfortunately if you are lucky enough to see a full set of new dcuc or jlu on the shelf, you HAVE to buy them all at once. for two sad reasons, the first being the horrible distribution these things are getting makes them a rare find. and depending on your area you may never, ever see them again.
    the second reason being the scalper jerks. if you don’t buy them, they will. and not only one set. those *%@#heads will buy EVERYTHING on the shelf.

    question #2 – you are not alone. there are a bunch of people that make multiple store toy runs. myself included. sometimes i will hit a total of 20 stores on a good saturday. but i live in an area where these are all within a 30 mile radius.

  • Lt. Clutch says:

    Thanks, Spilldog. I’m across the country in southern California, though. Gas prices need to go down some more before I make that sort of trek 😉

  • Spilldog says:

    Made a toyrun to Walmart yesterday expecting to find nothing and guess what?? They had an ENTIRE set of DCUC Wave 6… variants and all!! I am one happy collector today!!

  • Darrell says:

    I was on vacation four hours from home and stopped into Target – almost had a heart attack when I found an DCUC Aquaman … only to realize, alas, that it was the modern Aquaman and not my personal Grail, the King of Atlantis Aquaman. My disappointment was profound … until I looked down and sound the JLU six pack with Silver Banshee, Shadow Thief, Atomic Skull and the rest … and looked next to that to find the six pack with Vibe, Steel, Crimson Fox, B’wana Beast and … the other new figure guy is escaping my mind at the moment. But needless to say, it was an amazing find. This was in a Target out near Rochester. I was thrilled!

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