Guess that Toy Store
October 5, 2009

Based on this list of products on display can you guess what toy store I visited this past weekend? My Little Pony, Strawberry Shortcake, Littlest Petshop, and Barbie. DCUC, Brave & the Bold, Movie Masters, DC Direct. NECA’s Twilight and Harry Potter. G.I. Joe 3 3/4 and 12". Marvel Legends, Marvel Select, Amazing Spiderman. Star Wars Legacy and Clone Wars. Secret Saturdays. Street Fighter, Gears of War, Castlevania and Final Fantasy. Give up? Here’s a hint:

There were also tons of HALO and Sports Picks figures. And a smattering of 90’s era Spawn figures obviously dug out of storage. Yup, I’m talking about McFarlane’s retail store!

After the Star Wars concert I decided to walk over and see what was new. Needless to say I was surprised to find lots of stuff that definitely was not McFarlane product. As I was scouring the pegs an employee walked over. I asked: "When did you start carrying all this stuff?" He replied: "A few months ago." Then unprompted he volunteered: "We don’t have enough product to fill the store."

I felt kinda bad. Its not my place to pass judgement on the current situation of a company like McFarlane Toys. Regardless of the various circumstances and decisions that have gotten them to this point it is none-the-less disheartening to see a company sputtering along seemingly with only their noses above water. But then I saw the price tags on the non-McF toys and my sympathy was tempered just a bit! For instance, I bought a NECA Street Fighter 4 series 2 Chun-Li for . . . $18.99. I only caved because I had been looking for her for a while and obviously missed her a few times at TRU. $11.99 for Clone Wars figures. $18.99 for DCUC. $30 for Marvel Legends Icons. But, really, they’re not trying to sell this stuff to you and I. The location of the McFarlane store is more geared towards uninformed and impulse buys.

Anyway, here’s a couple photos:





Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann
Action figure anthropologist, Professor Cantina Dan Neumann has been a scholastic contributor to the online community studying the complex world of parumplasticus populus {little plastic people} since the turn of this millenium. His primary focus is the visual cataloging of species exhibits through photo-journalism.
Read other articles by Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann.





  • Bill says:

    Man, that’s sad. On the other hand, I see they have toys I haven’t been able to find like the SW Commando Droid. When I go to the Sabres game in January, I’ll have to look through the store a lot more thoroughly than I usually do.

  • LOL so McFarlane can’t get his own stuff to sell and he fills the store full of products that would sell, but at prices that they won’t? Todd McFarlane really is a genuis.

    How much were Joes, BTW?

  • toychango says:

    In the interest of fairness; As I understand things, the reason we pay less for toys, especially at Wal-Mart, is because they sell toys at cost. This is why places like Rite-Aid may charge upwards of 20 dollars for Transformers figures and 9.99 for G.I. Joes. If you can pick it up, I recommend this great book “The Real Toy Story” to fully understand the power and influence big department stores have on the toy industry and pricing. One of the facts that stood out to me after reading this book, is that Wal-Mart makes so much money, that they could basically give the toys away and not have it affect their bottom line.

    • Danny CantinaDan says:

      I hear that and I appreciate your comment. Hadn’t heard about that book but will order it. Thanks for the heads up.

    • That’s interesting in theory, but doesn’t really jive with reality. Hasbro sells cases of Joes (as an example) at a certain price. Plenty of smaller E-tailers are able to purchase them and not charge more than say $1 than what the bigger box retailers sell them for. So there’s no reason for McFarlane to be selling them for $2-3 more. If that were truly the case, McFarlane would do better to buy from BBTS and stock his store with that. Walmart might help to set the intial price, but McFarlane isn’t paying any more or less for the price of Joes (or anything else for that matter) than Walmart does. Walmart also isn’t any cheaper than most places for most toys now anyway. When Walmart was undercutting everyone, a lot of what was in the book was true. Not really the case anymore.

  • chad says:

    as much as i do not care for Todd himself interestng to see that for him to keep his employees with a job that he winds up having to let the competion of his stuff be sold in his store. proving anything to these times

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