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 Post subject: JLU fans - Why are we so damn impatient?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 11:58 am 
Killer Mothman
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I'm like the rest of you who are having difficulty finding JLU figures - haunting Big Lots and TRUs and Targets and ebay for Blue Devils and Hawkmen and Volcanas and Stargirls without any luck.

I know that eventually I'll find these figures or I'll be able to order them online or some generous board mate will eventually hook me up or if I wait it out, I'll be able to find these guys in 3 months or 6 months or a year.

I believe patience is the key to action figure collecting (it's worked with Star Wars) but what is it about JLU figure collecting that makes us so damn impatient?


Last edited by Scott Rogers on Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:12 pm 
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for me, its not being able to find stuff even months after others have.

this goes directly against my internal model of toy distribution (which is based upon my own flawed definition of history) which says that if I wait a month after stuff starts to show up, I should be able to walk in and pick it up off the shelf any day of the week.

And in my mind, toy distribution used to work like that. Haven't seen anything since Lightray/Nemesis.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:21 pm 
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JLU has become, for me anyway, one of those "Buy it when you see it, or else you won't see it again" things.

If I didn't buy that Vigilante single, I'd still be waitin' for it. Same with the Hawkman three pack and all of the other newest three packs. Never did see the Volcana one.

Impatient? Not so much. Desperate and somewhat lucky...maybe so.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:48 pm 
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I'm actually not impatient at all. I've just never had to wait this long for a new figure, so my collector "clock" keeps telling me it's past time. It's now been 10 months for me, which I do think is a long time...


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:14 pm 
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For me it's not so much impatience, but the "fear" (and that's in quotes because I know it's not something that I should really fear at all) that I'll never get them.

I've hit the local Target several times and much more often than not, I dont' see anything new. They have the Target specials and a Zatanna three pack most of the time and seemingly unlimited Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman packs (which I know makes sense from a retail perspective since they're the most popular and have the widest audience). But only once did I find a recent release: last week I saw a Joker three pack laying on top of some other stuff. The same goes for the local Walmart and Toys 'R Us.

So I go to the web and eBay to make sure I get the newest releases before they're sold out and really expensive.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:33 pm 
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Rebis wrote:
I'm actually not impatient at all. I've just never had to wait this long for a new figure, so my collector "clock" keeps telling me it's past time. It's now been 10 months for me, which I do think is a long time...

Its the same for me, i didnt see anything new for half a year and for the past 8 (almost 9) months ive only found the joker. its extremely hard to not get impatient

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:40 pm 
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Part of the problem we all suffer with is a limited number of retailers.

Back when I was a kid (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) there were many more opportunities because there were more retailers. You had Sears, Montgomery Wards, JC Penny's that each had a permanent toy department. You also had local/regional chain department stores that had permanent toy departments (Macy's; Gimbel's; Frederick & Nelson; Woodward & Lothrop; etc.) plus you had 5 & dime stores like Woolworth's; Kresgee's; Newberrys that had toys.

Even as a kid with limited transportation options - going shopping with your parents - there were a multitude of places to look for that "special toy" be it a Mego Spiderman, Captain Action Phantom Suit or Major Matt Mason moon walker.

Now we have a couple of big box retailers (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us - and to a lesser extent K-Mart) as our options. This means there are fewer buyers to buy toys and consequently small production runs. For better or worse the places like the internet toy sellers don't have a significant impact on sales.

Mix into this equation, the significant jump in the number of collectors of toys. I never saw an adult in a toy department unless they were with a kid when I was young. I sure there were some collectors out there, but they were few and far between. I grew up keeping my comics and some of my toys and the habit continues some 50+ years later. And I am not alone. Look at the crowds at SDCC and Chicago and any large convention and you will see collectors. Go on line and you can find numerous sites related to what ever it is you collect.

SOOOOO, we now have to constantly be "on the hunt" for the figures we want because there are (1) fewer of them produced (2) fewer retailers to find them at (3) more collectors than before.

So, we fret and drive around endlessly seeking the elusive (fill in the blank) figure for our collection.

But it isn't all bad. Now the toy companies and the retailers are acknowledging collectors and in some cases even catering to them. It will never be perfect. Frankly, if you could walk into any store at any time and find whatever it is you wanted, would you still feel the childlike delight when you spot that (name your figure here) on the peg. Face it, if you really want something chances are you can get it on ebay. But most of us only go there as a last resort.

Yea, it's frustrating at times, but all those weeks of frowning when you find the pegs empty or filled with the same stuff evaporate when you crumpledung thatfigure.

It is part of the thrill of the hunt. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: JLU fans - Why are we so damn impatient?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:40 pm 
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Scott Rogers wrote:
I've like the rest of you who are having difficulty finding JLU figures - haunting Big Lots and TRUs and Targets and ebay for Blue Devils and Hawkmen and Volcanas and Stargirls without any luck.

I know that eventually I'll find these figures or I'll be able to order them online or some generous board mate will eventually hook me up or if I wait it out, I'll be able to find these guys in 3 months or 6 months or a year.

I believe patience is the key to action figure collecting (it's worked with Star Wars) but what is it about JLU figure collecting that makes us so damn impatient?

When collectors can find figures every one or two months, that's not so bad. Waiting a year to find new figures? Patience has to have its limits, and I think that JLU's problems is that the fans have hit that limit.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 3:59 pm 
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I'm going to add to what Glenn said by saying that there were also more regional and local toy shops than today, for example in Louisville we had a 9 state chain called Thorsbury's and the Chicago-area had a fabulous place called Dispensa's Castle of Toys and I remember another small, mom-n-pop store in a Chicago suburb that was the ONLY place I ever saw that huge Micronauts carry case. Then there were all of the small, mall chains most of which got bought up by KB over the years.

Another thing is that we are so spoiled by the information system that we have in place now. Back then the only info we got came from packaging cross-sells, Christmas catalogs and TV commercials. Now, we have magazines like Tomart's , Lee's and Toy Fare and the internet just added to that. Even without manufacture announcements, the Hong Kong prototype sellers can keep us informed (to a degree) of what's coming looooooong before we'd have ever found out in the old days.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:14 pm 
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Well, I agree with Scott Rogers. JLU does make me inpatient and so disappointed and this is the only line that I seem to have difficulty with. DCSH just seem to come to me with luck, I've never had a problem with that line nor The Batman. This entire summer all I have found was the Joker 3 pack, and I got Huntress on ebay along with The Shade, and those are the only figures I got this entire year.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:59 pm 
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Ah yes the other toy stores. Who can froget Childrens' Palce or Kiddie City. Bolth giant toy stores like Toys 'R' Us but they always seemed to have stuff before and cheaper then TRU. Even when I lived in Parma
Ohio From 82'-87' There wasn't a TRU in the Cleveland area until about 86'. A small mall store I remeber was Circus World where it was the only place I had ever seen the Interchangables and wondered why my Micronauts were all funny colors. There was Big Wheel where I found the first of the 2nd and 3rd wave of G.I. JOE when I was a kid. Hell I even had all the Dreadnoks before any of my friends even knew they where coming out because of Big Wheel. Woolworth's; Kresgee's, Montgomery Wards . There was also Gold Circle which was a precursor of Target. I'm glad you brouhght these up especially Kresgee's. No one I have ever talked to about this outside of the mid west remebers this store. I still have memroies of my mother going to the back with employees to get the toys my sister and I wanted. When employees did that kinda thing and where encouraged to do so to make a sale. Also one last memory was the smell of Kresgee's especially by the Deli section. Kinda like a big burb. Oh and then there was Marc's Discount store where I had found a bunch of Super power figures on these smaal cards and always had great deals on toys current and ones ohter stores where trying to get rid of. Kind of like a Big Lots but better. Oh and lastly the Sears 2 minutes from my house still has toys but the selection sucks. Remebeer when they were the king's of store exclusives.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 7:04 pm 
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It's odd for me as far as being impatient for JLU releases and hell, even news updates ;) because I'm an avid saltwater reefkeeper. To keep a saltwater fish tank, let alone a coral reef, you need one thing...PATIENCE. If you don't have it, your livestock will die a quick death before the tank is past the "brand new" stage. So, why I'm impatient here when I've already proven it there is beyond me.

And, for the off-topic picture...here's one of the reefs I had in New York before moving down here :

Image

Peace,

Chip

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 Post subject: Re: JLU fans - Why are we so damn impatient?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 8:19 pm 
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Scott Rogers wrote:
I believe patience is the key to action figure collecting (it's worked with Star Wars) but what is it about JLU figure collecting that makes us so damn impatient?


Collecting Star Wars figures doesn't seem to require as much patience though. Distribution is much better than JLU's and so it isn't that hard to get caught up on the latest waves. Even with the McQuarrie figures, should you not find them at retail, Hasbrotoyshop.com stocks them every so often.

For me at least, seeing the disparity between how much easier it is to get McQuarrie Fett than the Stargirl pack is a major factor in making me one of the impatient JLU collectors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 9:09 pm 
You hear that? We're using CODE names...
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Glenn2000 wrote:
Part of the problem we all suffer with is a limited number of retailers.

Back when I was a kid (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) there were many more opportunities because there were more retailers. You had Sears, Montgomery Wards, JC Penny's that each had a permanent toy department. You also had local/regional chain department stores that had permanent toy departments (Macy's; Gimbel's; Frederick & Nelson; Woodward & Lothrop; etc.) plus you had 5 & dime stores like Woolworth's; Kresgee's; Newberrys that had toys.

Even as a kid with limited transportation options - going shopping with your parents - there were a multitude of places to look for that "special toy" be it a Mego Spiderman, Captain Action Phantom Suit or Major Matt Mason moon walker.

Now we have a couple of big box retailers (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys R Us - and to a lesser extent K-Mart) as our options. This means there are fewer buyers to buy toys and consequently small production runs. For better or worse the places like the internet toy sellers don't have a significant impact on sales.

Mix into this equation, the significant jump in the number of collectors of toys. I never saw an adult in a toy department unless they were with a kid when I was young. I sure there were some collectors out there, but they were few and far between. I grew up keeping my comics and some of my toys and the habit continues some 50+ years later. And I am not alone. Look at the crowds at SDCC and Chicago and any large convention and you will see collectors. Go on line and you can find numerous sites related to what ever it is you collect.

SOOOOO, we now have to constantly be "on the hunt" for the figures we want because there are (1) fewer of them produced (2) fewer retailers to find them at (3) more collectors than before.

So, we fret and drive around endlessly seeking the elusive (fill in the blank) figure for our collection.

But it isn't all bad. Now the toy companies and the retailers are acknowledging collectors and in some cases even catering to them. It will never be perfect. Frankly, if you could walk into any store at any time and find whatever it is you wanted, would you still feel the childlike delight when you spot that (name your figure here) on the peg. Face it, if you really want something chances are you can get it on ebay. But most of us only go there as a last resort.

Yea, it's frustrating at times, but all those weeks of frowning when you find the pegs empty or filled with the same stuff evaporate when you crumpledung thatfigure.

It is part of the thrill of the hunt. :wink:



I find it totally hilarious, cause you sound like someone on the MOTU forums from a mere 3 years ago. I also find it hilarious because apparently your mind, like theirs is stuck in 1987. Back then we didn't know of something called the INTERNET. If you're that impatient, hit up bigbadtoystore, entertainmentearth, brianstoys, or some other online figure retailer. I got news for ya- it'll ALSO save you time and money. Y'know that money you spend on gallons of gas to go to these stores and buy these figures? Spend a THIRD of it, and fork over the dinero for shipping. There- problem solved.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:57 am 
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KingRandor82 wrote:
If you're that impatient, hit up bigbadtoystore, entertainmentearth, brianstoys, or some other online figure retailer.

But for many of us, it's not financially feasible to purchase JLU from online retailers, let alone Ebay. Finding a figure at traditional retail versus purchasing it online often makes a difference of at least $20. Maybe that's not a lot for someone like you "King" Randor, but it is for someone like me.

Also, there are plenty of companies out there that market specifically for online consumers. But Mattel Toys is not one of them. They are, as they repeatedly tell us, ever mindful of "Mom" in the aisle at Target or Toys R Us. So to a degree, the company itself has sold us the expectation that it would be a bit easier to obtain their products at retail outlets.


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