Is it really that easy? Really?
April 23, 2008

Like most denizens of AFI, I’m on the hunt for DC Universe Classics Series 2.  As you may have read, I have Black Manta and Superman Blue, so far.  The only other figure I’ve seen is Superman Red.

The Target closest to my house is usually a disaster area by 5PM, but it doesn’t seem to be quite as strip-mined as some other stores in my sphere of collecting, so I’ve had some luck there.  Last week, I checked there for DCUC 2 a few times.  No dice. 

The last two times I was there, I noticed there were Stormhawks Deluxe figures on the DCUC pegs.  I let it slide the first time, putting it down to the usual messiness of the story but, when no one moved them and I saw them there again, I moved the Stormhawks to their proper pegs, as much by way of experimentation as anything else.

Sure enough, when I returned to that Target this past Monday, who was on the DCUC pegs but…. 

…you guessed it, Black Manta and Superman Blue.

So, not only are the employees of that Target so clueless (or apathetic) they can’t be bothered pegging stuff where it belongs but, when jackass me does their job for them someone else gets their grubby mitts on Aquaman, Firestorm, and Harley Quinn.

I don’t actually begrudge whoever bought those figures their toys, but it does annoy me that it took a customer who knew, or cared (or both) more about the store than the employees to allow them access to what they wanted. 

I know it’s a smaller scale (than Target, not the toy department) but, when I worked at Tower Video over a decade ago, I knew every movie we had, where it was, and a good bit about what was coming out and when.  I know it makes me just another Grumpy Old Man, but I see nothing resembling that in stores today.

 Any ideas on why that might be?

-JJJ 

Jason "JJJason" Chirevas
Jason Chirevas is a toy collector whether he likes it or not (and he often doesn't). This former Would've-Been Action Hero is as interested in the humanity, psychology, and psychosis of collecting as he is in the action figures themselves. Fun guy.
Read other articles by Jason "JJJason" Chirevas.

 

 

 

5 Comments »

  • Erik superfriend says:

    I’ve been told that, when there is no product to fill certain pegs, to make the isle look fuller, product is spread out over the empty space.

  • bnjmnrlyr says:

    I feel exactly the same way. I started to notice this trend in “laziness” close to 9 years ago now when I was leaving the Comic store I managed.

    So many of today’s youth have grown up with a sense of privilege that none of them has a “work ethic”. Gone are the days of starting in the mailroom and working your way up to become CEO. Now, positions of authority and rank are traded among the elite like baseball cards. I watch my nieces and nephews handed everything they ask for because parents are made to feel guilty for denying their children. I watch as the students I work with never fail at anything because it would be demoralizing and destructive to their development into adults.

    Well, here is the flipside. WHen nothing is a challenge, when nothing has to be earned, when no one is told that they aren’t doing well enough and need to try harder, when their is little to no accountablility, we breed apathy, laziness, and sloth. And I have a bad feeling it will only get worse as each generation becomes more accustomed to thier privilege.

  • Jeremy SpyMagician says:

    Actually I think it’s still early to worry too much about DCUC being hard to get.

    I’ve been buying my Wave 2 soley at retail based on what I can find (barring one Firestorm I got on ebay) and thus far between Target and TRU I’ve found:

    Superman Blue (pass)
    Superman Red (purchased 1)
    Aquaman Classic (purchased 1)
    Black Manta (Purchased 2)
    Firestorm (Purchsed 1 at retail, 1 ebay)

    Which means I’m only on the hunt for Harley (not interested in the Modern variants of Firestorm and Aquaman).

    Considering the wave is still in distribution I’d say that while frustrating the quick sell through bodes well for DCUC overall.

    It sure beats the retail logjam Hasbro has created out of ML!!!

    Spy

  • Lord Chaos Ogre says:

    I used to work at Target myself, and being a toy collector, I got to see how the store works. The computers at the store did automatic ordering, and when you scan stuff up front, it goes to the computer that says “1 of this purchased, 4 more still on shelf” Well, it is not always foolproof. Through people being pricks and just dumping stuff off wherever they don’t want it, and people shoplifting, the aide of human ordering was needed.

    I know what goes where. But the first comment was right, when there isn’t anything to put in a peg, and there is no more in back, we “flex” items into those empty spots, until the next shipment came in.

    Now, comes in the human error. Person doing the ordering goes down the aisle. They look at the shelf tag, and see that an item if full, well, then it must be full. So no need to order.

    So, you think that all the Target employees them become stupid, because they can’t know exactly about what you collect. You know where items go, because you pay extra attention to that aisle. But not a single person is just assigned that aisle, and they maintain it.

    It is a rotating section, so, yes, someone like me could get it and it would be perfect, or, some 22 year old girl could get it. Or a 60 year old grandmother… what do these people know about it?

    When you go down these aisles, “zoning” them so they look good, you pick up all the stuff that has been thrown, either from kids playing with it, or people just picking it up and say “hmm, this goes here now”

    Pick all those items up, and put them into a cart. On a good night, in the toy section, you would have 1 packed cart. On a bad night, 3 or 4. Now put it all back where it belongs. The action figure would be cake, right, you know all the boy stuff. Now comes the Barbies, Littlest Pet Shop, Board Games, Little Tykes, Disney, so on.. do you know everything about them?

    Now, let see you go into the towel aisle, which ours had 5 different aisles of, pick a random towel up, and find it’s spot. It’s all on the label, why can’t you figure it out?

    The towel collectors would have gotten it.

    It is such a good thing that you helped out with that one item, because, hey, Target employees are so stupid and under worked they never would have figured that out.

  • Jason JJJason says:

    I understand and appreciate your perspective, but I stand by what I said. Those Stormhawks were on the DCUC pegs for about a week before I moved them and as soon as I did, DCUC Series 2 appeared in their place.

    Whether that’s your fault, a 22 year-old girl’s fault, a 60 year-old grandmother’s fault, or Target’s fault for not implementing a better system for familiarizing employees with stock, it shouldn’t happen.

    -JJJ

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