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Star Wars Figure Reviews


Whitewolf
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I wish to open a forum here on an issue that has just recently raised its ugly head...and I want it to remain clean, constructive and flame-free. For a while now, I've done reviews on various figures I've acquired, and have done so usually weeks or months after everyone else already has them collecting dust in their own collections. Before working in a major retail toy store, I was like everyone else...unable to find anything until quite a while AFTER its been released at retail. Doing reviews in this manner sort of turns into a yawn-fest when those reading them have already moved onto newer figures.

 

But now, I'm in a position where I can get ahold of new Anniversary Collection figures as they are released...allowing me to do reviews of figures before many people are able to get them. This allows collectors to draw their own conclusions about a figure and whether or not its worth throwing money at. Of course, this also means that I get first crack at brand new cases when they first hit my store's stockroom...and sometimes, that even means that the case in question doesn't even make it out to the floor. But normally, additional cases of these figures always show up in the next few truck shipments anyway.

 

The problem is that I've apparently ruffled quite a few feathers in my local area because of this. Since posting reviews of Wave 2 figures, my store manager has received no less than 3 complaints from the same few customers that we are hording away everything so that collectors never can find anything. Just this afternoon, one of these customers apparently complained to the manager on duty over these Star Wars figures to such a degree that I was told that we are no longer allowed to hold items for ourselves. It's been getting to the point where in-store complaints are coinciding with each review that I post. I hate to break it to a lot of people...but working in retail environments such as toy stores or big-box stores doesn't exactly offer that many glamorous fringe benefits---and being allowed to get "first dibs" on highly-sought-after merchandise has almost always been an unspoken privilege for those who work in retail. Now before anyone becomes incensed over what I have just said, I should clarify that I am NOT attempting to open myself up to inflammatory remarks here. I'm simply bringing to light a truth that is a sore spot with many, many, MANY collectors everywhere. I do understand that there are those unscupulous retail associates who do stash items for literally months on end in hidden recesses of stockrooms. But that is not the case here. The longest we have been allowed to hold items is a maximum of 2 weeks at a time before it has to be returned to the floor. I have been getting ahold of figures only a week or so before the public can...and posting them here on TNI for your benefit. But the customers who have been complaining know that we've been holding the very figures they have been searching high and low for...and are pissed that we got to them first. What surprised me most was the level of anger that associates buying up the first case of Wave 2 figures has generated. They're just little pieces of painted plastic, folks...and besides, we're getting more in soon.

 

Of course, some (if not all) of the recent flak my store has been receiving is my own fault. In an effort to both drum up traffic for TNI's Star Wars forums and to assist customers in making purchase decisions where SW figures are concerned, I've been telling customers about my reviews. In effect, I've given a face to a name that, thus far, has only appeared online...and that usually equals to a big red bullseye in situations like this. At no time in my reviews have I tried to come across as rubbing it in the TNI community's (or other forums') collective faces that I have what everyone else wants before they have it. But that's exactly what seems to have been misconstrued here. One customer went so far as to accuse me and other associates as being the very reason why eBay sellers can scalp exhorbitant prices for hard-to-find figures. The extreme amount of bile in remarks like that would not be difficult for me to understand...IF we were only getting one case of the aforementioned figures in stock.

 

JayC and JoeRhyno both have asked if I would do reviews for Jedi Insider.com and Goodtogocustoms.com in addition to TNI, so snagging figures right off the truck seems to be appreciated by a few at least. But now that my [insert sarcasm here] "illegal action figure ring" has been shut down because of these few disgruntled customers, I'm effectively back to waiting until the entire collecting community has had its fill of a particular figure and reclassifies it to pegwarmer status before doing a review on it. I'd be interested to know if my good friends here in the community feel that my reviews are good enough to continue with or whether I should just allow a few angry people call the shots? I truly felt like I was making a major contribution to TNI's Star Wars forums with my reviews...and enjoy doing them very much. But at what cost? I'm just amazed at how one person's hobby can piss someone else off so bad...

 

Now that I've ranted, let the discussion begin...be gentle... @grumpy@

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I like your reviews, Whitewolf. I don't see the problem if you get the first case of figures, since more cases will come out in the future and you are not hoarding multiples of each figure to sell on Ebay.

 

It's nice to get a "first look" of what is about to come out. Your reviews help me determine if I want to get a specific figure or not. I agree that if your reviews came out later, when most people got the figures, then your reviews won't be as effective.

 

That's pretty crazy that people complained to your store about your reviews. Toy collecting should just be a fun hobby. I don't see why people should get so stressed or upset if they haven't gotten a certain figure yet. There's always Ebay if you really, really want something. Or better yet, just be patient and wait a while longer. Ever since I started collecting Star Wars figures with the episode II figures, I've seen every figure at least once (not counting the 30th anniversary figures), although I've had to wait a couple months to find some of the rarer ones.

 

PharmV

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Dude, you know I love your reviews.. in fact.. before reading them.. I wanted to get like 20 McFetts for custom mandos.. but after seeing closer pics of them and reading your reviews.. I'll pass and only get one for my collection.. same with the new wave 2 Luke.. at first I was like.. BLAAAAH.. another Luke.. but now.. I'm seeing so much custom fodder potential for a couple different things out there...

 

I think it's sad that someone would complain that you're taking advantage of it and taking ALL THE FIGURES.. they're just using that as an excuse cause they cant find them.. so if they know about you, they'll attack you.. but guess what, when they finally get their fat little grubby sausage fingers on them.. I bet they'll forget all about it.. and not care about when you got them..

 

I usually dont get figures till a month or so after they're "out" so I say go for it and keep doing them, like I said, I love your reviews.. I'd like to see them cataloged and kept in one spot so someone could always click and read them... hmmm.... @hmmm@

 

anyway.. keep it up, talk to your boss.. what if you don't take a whole case.. just one of each for the reviews and then if you need doubles for say army builders, or getting Joe a McFett or Luke or two.. then you can get them when they're out for a while...

 

but that's just me.. I know nothing about the collection community.. I've only been collecting SW figures all my life, from getting them as a kid to re-collecting them as an adult and then buying probably 90% of everything that's come out from 95 to present.. so..what do I know...

 

 

Oh.. and print all the responses out for your boss ;)

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Sometimes finding pieces of waves (IE: Tons of Obi-Wans/R2-D2 from 30th Wave 1) can be frustrating and finding all of Wave 2.. except for Boba Fett makes me sad. But you work at a retail story and I would thing first dibs would be a perk and can rightfully so accept that. Now if you were buying up all the Storm Troopers and Boba and selling them on screwmeoverbay I might be perturbed, but you're a collector and put yourself in a position to (until recently it seems) get a first look basis. And I think jealousy has stabbed you in the back. Stupid angry collectors.

 

I enjoy your reviews and would still like to see them because you'll probably be in the position to get hold of them before me anyways. Keep on doing what you do. Don't let the man get you down.

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I like your reviews and hope they continue. I think its sad that people cannot get over the fact that these are toys we are collecting and not some fine piece of art. They complain to your managers about you buying the figures before them? They really need to get a life and get on with things. If they want the figures that badly then maybe they should just get a retail job. I worked retail when I was younger, and let me tell you its a thankless job that really doesnt pay worth a damn. You getting the figures first is really about the only benifit you get.

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As a collector who chases all over the damn place to get figures right when they come out, I've got to say I'll gladly wait in line BEHIND employees who collect so long as they buy what they need and leave the rest for the customer.

 

If you're doing reviews, more power to you.

 

If you collect a line because it makes you happy, keep it up.

 

If you snarf all the McQuarrie Troopers and Boba Fetts to sell on Ebay, well, there's a special place in hell for you. If you do that and rationalize it away by saying "working retail doesn't pay me enough" well, get a better job out of retail.

 

When the Order 66's hit my local Target, I was there with my boys (it was the morning Spidey 3 toys hit), there was a VERY helpful employee who asked if we were looking for Star Wars, I said yes and he ushered me to the camera counter and produced a full case of these babies. They didn't have the end cap where they were going ready, so he let me buy them out of the case. And no, I didn't buy the whole case, just the one set and left the rest for other collectors or fathers who wanted to spread the joy to their kids.

 

Please print these responses and share them with your boss. There's no harm in what you're doing. Keep it up. #US1#

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I dont live in the U.S so what you have been doing doesn't affect me, but It does sound like an abuse of your position.

 

This is just my view so feel free to ignore it.

 

The figures should be out on the pegs for the customers, not being intercepted by employees. Afterall, if the customers stop visiting the store you wont have a job anyway.

 

Your saying that more stock will arrive eventually doesnt really cut it. People start toy runs when the items are reported to hit retail. Keeping them for yourself, leads to wasted journies and disapointed customers.

 

As for reviews, well there are always threads about new stuff where people can post there own reviews and pics. Trying to justify taking stuff for yourself with reviews is just lame. Put stuff out for the fans, you can always buy yours from one of the later deliveries when there are plenty on the shelves.

 

You can print this one too. ;)

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Anybody who is irritated about this, is simply jealous of the position that you are in. I have had this happen to me numerous times where I go into a store and find a complete wave, with the exception of the one or two that I am after. Ya know what? TOUGH FRIGGIN LUCK! If I cared that much about it, I would get a part time job there. Keep doing what you are doing, because we would all do it if we could. If you ain't scalping, I ain't bitching! :P

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Thanks for the input folks...for better or worse. I'll keep on keepin' on with the reviews...but instead of stashing the new figures until the end of the week, I'll simply purchase the ones that I want the day that we get them in. This way, no one can accuse me or anyone else at work of "hording" a single figure. Problem solved...at least according to the complaints that have been lodged against us.

 

As for a new review, tomorrow's is going to be a doozy! I don't exactly want to let the nerf out of the bag, but I'll give one hint:

 

I won't VEER you in the wrong direction during our IMPERIAL March through the FOREST with a full MOON overhead...

 

C'mon people...a 5th grader could figure this one out...lol

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Thanks for the input folks...for better or worse. I'll keep on keepin' on with the reviews...but instead of stashing the new figures until the end of the week, I'll simply purchase the ones that I want the day that we get them in. This way, no one can accuse me or anyone else at work of "hording" a single figure. Problem solved...at least according to the complaints that have been lodged against us.

 

As for a new review, tomorrow's is going to be a doozy! I don't exactly want to let the nerf out of the bag, but I'll give one hint:

 

I won't VEER you in the wrong direction during our IMPERIAL March through the FOREST with a full MOON overhead...

 

C'mon people...a 5th grader could figure this one out...lol

I really enjoy your reviews...I think purchasing figs instead of hiding them @grumpy@ is a fair solution (and I think the main reason your customers had beef). Keep up the reviews and I'll keep reading them!!

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people can be real jerkoffs sometimes. working at tru sucks. i worked there back in the day during christmas time, it was plain aweful. screw what other people say and stash the toys for yourself. why should people feel entitled to toys? you find it you buy it. you don't find it, you move on (or in the case of some people, you go on rebelscum and complain). they are toys after all, why get bent out of shape for them.

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Whitewolf, is your store at least getting more than one case a truck? The TRU I work for, I have the fun duty of unloading the trucks. When we were doing the trucks at 5 pm, I would just pick up the figures I need just after we closed--which almost always was one case a truck. Since they have changed the time to unload the trucks to 4 am and I usually am only able to work to 8 am in order to get to my post office in time to deliver the mail, I can no longer do that anymore (cahiers aren't in until well after 9 or almost 10). I would love to know why it is so hard to find them, and whose fault it was not ordering these in an appropriate quantity.

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I work at Target and I stash stuff

 

Most of the time when the items come in i'm broke and have no other choice but to

 

The people who complain about this would do the same if they were in my shoes

 

Well poor old you.

 

No choice?

 

What a load of old bollocks.

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I am on your side 100%.The sad thing about the collectors that are complaining is I bet they are all adults.Adults who should be acting like an adult and not some 8 year old kid pitching a fit in the toy ailse for something he wants.These are the same guys that race you to the toy ailse and block access to a section until they pick it dry(you guys know what I mean @pow@).

I don't see anything wrong with what you're doing.In the retail chain I work for a sale = a sale.It shouldn't matter if it's an employee or joe somebody off the street.

Keep the reviews coming and keep the faith brother.

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I work at Target and I stash stuff

 

Most of the time when the items come in i'm broke and have no other choice but to

 

The people who complain about this would do the same if they were in my shoes

 

Well poor old you.

 

No choice?

 

What a load of old bollocks.

 

 

What is your problem?

 

I didn't ask for anybody to feel sorry

 

Yeah I have no choice either I stash them or lose out

 

WTF is a bollock?

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"Bollocks" is a slang term meaning testicles in British English, but more often used figuratively. It is rarely used in the singular. It has come to mean rubbish or 'Crap' or even used in a similar way to Bullshit, and this usage is international. One of its singular forms is used to describe the malfunction of an operation, or messing up something "Dropping a Bollock".

 

I think EG is a bit bitter cause people don't honestly know how lucky us americans are.. most of us can drive 5 mins and hit a walmart/target/kmart/toysrus/kbtoys...etc.. yeah, some of us live in the sticks.. and have to drive 30 mis to an hour.. but we dont realize how readily available stuff is to us, and that's not including all the internet stores out there, where our "mates" across the pond usually have to spend $15-20 on a single figure.. they don't have 400 walmarts in their area and most online retailers that do ship to them rape them on shipping and/or have inflated prices that dont even make it worth it... trust me, I know, I've probably helped EG get at least $2,000 worth of stuff here... and even with the stuf I got him, it cost him extra cause of shipping... so for someone to be complaining about not being able to get a figure and having to resort to stashing it till he gets paid.. might sound a little trivial to someone who has to pay $20 plus being raped for shipping on a single figure.

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Though I don't agree with stashing I have done it a few times my self though not to a degree some people here do! In most cases I've only done it and then make a quick run over to my bank and pull out some cash & go back & get the stuff the same day :) . I allso have no problem with people who work in stores buying figures first, I would too my self if I worked in one! What bugs me though are the guys who say they "collect" but what they really do is stockpile stuff and sell it on ebay, those ar the guys I gota problem with! It annoys me too when people who work in stores buy stuff to trade online for other things as well... If they pick it up off the pegs at work at the end of there shift then thats fine but if other people like me don't even get a chance because of this?.. how is that fair? :S

 

 

Sorry for the rant I've actaully had stuff like this happen to me before around here though & even the same guys brag about the price they get it for and then offer it to me for more wtf? :P

 

ANYWAYS ... WW I say yeah just buy the figures the same day & keep up with the great reviews its not like you're the type of guy who buys everysingle figure that comes out all the time to scalp or build :) & if you must stash then try and keep the box in the back as long as posable with the figures you don't want in it still! That way the people won't even know the stuff is out to complain about it...

 

& yeah... you really shouldn't have blabed about it to other people ... but theres not much you can do about it now but ignore the biatchies complaining about it :S odds are you could find the figures before these guys even before you started working there heh!

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First off, I am one of the 3 whitewolf talks about earlier and there are many things wrong with his story that I want to clarify here. First off, only one person complained about you guys having the figures stashed in the office for over a week. I do know the guy who complained and admit to having a hand in him knowing you guys had the figures stashed in the front. The person who complained wasn't there the day the other two of us saw you and another person I'll leave unnamed divying up a case in the office in the front of the store. I was actually grateful that you let me get one of the Boba fetts from the case. I certainly wouldn't purposefully do anything to get you in hot water after you did something like that. If others had complained, I can assure you it wasn't Sean or I. The fact that you could see a stack of TAC figures sitting in the office when there are none on the shelves could have prompted others to complain, but that is in no way linked to anyone you taked about earlier. Further, this had absolutely nothing to do with your toy reviews and it is absurd to postulate that it did.

 

Having said all that, I firmly support the one guy who did complain. Having figures stashed some place means that the computer thinks they are in stock. This means no automatic reorders. So while you're scraping your pennies together to buy a few action figures, those of us who have ample disposable income to feed our collecting habit whenever we want are left with nothing to buy. Also, it's not like we come in once a week and expect to find new figures. I collect with a group of 3 others in the area and one of us hits every main store in the area just about every day. I will say, that I agree that one of the (only) perks of working a retail job should be a first shot at the stock...but only if you can actually buy them.

 

Please don't look at this in a bad way. I actually thought you were a nice guy when we met and I'd like to reitierate that I had no intentions of causing problems. You cannot, however, expect everyone to react the same way to employees of a retail establishment keeping the very product they are trying to sell for themselves and out of the customers hands.

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I like your reviews. They are very well thought out. I don't think it's right or fair your picking the figures from the case in the back. Regardless that your store will get more in a week or two, they should at least see the pegs. You work in the retail industry, your job is to cater to the consumer, not yourself. Now if you put them on the pegs and then take a break and buy them, I have no qualms with that. It just seems like a shady practice to me that you are just jacking them from the back.

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Well, heres the thing...unlike other toy lines star wars is really truly thinly distributed. its not like transformers where one will eventually get what they are looking for. even the hardest to find robots like classics jetfire saw some shelf life. but star wars is far more popular with collectors and thinly packed figures that tend act as "holy grail'' for some of you are never seen again.

 

right now I'm searching for one of 2 very long awaited vehicles; v-wing starfighter. this thing should have been out along with its other very popular counterpart darth mals star ship. these 2 are packed with the white tie fighter and another ep2 jedi star fighter. I've seen the latter 2 many times over but somehow I keep missing what is turning into my '' white whale ''.

 

the added possibility of workers hording toys in the back makes this search much harder.

 

the biggest expense in this hobby is gas. we drive from store to store hoping to find what we want. I should be lucky cos I have several stores that are in either close driving distance or even a walmart in walking distance. but you know what? I've scored nothing. now imagine all of those collectors out there who are not as fortunate as me. they have to travel 40 min to an hour away!

 

I'm sure your reviews are good (I havn't paid attention to who's writing what) but using your side hobby as the Rodger Ebert of toys to justify, why you can't just put the case out on the floor for the rest of the collectors in your area to enjoy, is just poor form, especially when discussing ethics.

 

I think it is about time for you to learn the real hard work that is involved in this hobby.

 

And since we are on the subject of cases here, what about the extra figures? are there not duplicates of each character in the case assortment?

 

but in hind sight there is a way around this; UPC codes. the target clerk just scans the upc of any star wars toy and bam! every star wars toy that came into shipment and not yet sold is there. if what I am looking for is on that list and not on the floor, you can bet I am not leaving the store until some one finds it in the back.

 

as far as ebay scalps, I've made a guy drop his case of multiple assortment of clone commanders from ROTS to get one of what I wanted, before he hit the register.

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