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A G.I. Joe Horror Story


darthhenning
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Well, we're all familiar with scalpers and how hard it is to find Joes at the best of times. Many of us are also still hunting for our first sightings of Wave 9 singles. So I thought I'd share my experience from yesterday:

 

 

Up until yesterday, not a single case of G.I. Joe Wave 9 had hit Calgary, so I was going on toy runs with a friend for the last few weeks after work on MWF. Yesterday (Monday, July 28) I strolled into TRU in the neighborhood and was greeted with the eye-popping sight of the HUGE new Clone Wars set-up (oddly enough they had everything except the MF). My friend being only a Star Wars collector picked up most of the figures, and I picked up a couple of favs. So, on to the G.I. Joe aisle; sadly no luck.

 

So, on to Wal-mart. In the aisle outside the toy department was a display of 8 brand new boxes of Falcons that had just been put out, "Look at the size of that thing." While my friend oogled the box I continued towards the single peg near the back of an aisle reserved for single Joes. To this point they haven't restocked in almost 5 weeks so I was hoping today would be my lucky day. Standing in front of the Bat-man pegs is an elderly fellow with his back turned to me. I smile that he's probably picking up a couple Bat-mans for his kids (or grandkids).

 

So I round him, getting my first look at him; he's about 70ish, pot-bellied, wearing a white T-shirt and jeans, with a round, balding whit hair fringe and hitler-esque white mustache. I continue to look towards the G.I. Joe shelf. Hanging on the pegs are properly carded (ie American) Wild Bill and Torpedo. I'm highly excited; Wal-mart Canada's been getting the crappy international cards until now.

 

However, this elation quickly turns as I notice the old guy's hand snaking away from the peg clutching a pair of Snow Serpents. My eyes travel up the length of his arm and see, clutched close to his chest, EIGHT wave 9 figures, Hawk, Bazooka, what I assume was Barbeque (only saw the back of the card), Ninja-ku, and a pair of BATS. At this point my eyes must have widened or bulged or something to show my interest in what the man was holding as he looks at me, furrows his brow, and quickly turns away and hurries down the aisle. My mouth drops open watching his hasty retreat.

 

Suprised at this reaction I follow him down the aisle where he almost collides with my friend who is coming from gazing at the Falcon. My friend starts to say something to me, then winds up staring at what the man is holding; he knows how long and hard I've been hunting for these Joes. Because he's a nice guy, he starts to ask the old guy "Hey, are you a Joe collector too?" The guy ignores the inuendo and hurries first towards the back of the store, still clutching the joes in his arms, and turns into bedding.

 

I'm throughly defeated by this point, and my friend asks if those were the only ones. I can only mutely nod. He shakes his head and leads me to the front of the store, kindly grabbing a couple cokes from the vending machine on the way out. Just as we're about to leave we see the old guy, with the Joes now bought and paid for walk out the doors inches in front of us. He does a double take (actually) at seeing the two of us again, and continues at a faster pace into the parking lot. My friend and I head for his car. As we do so, we watch the old guy glance over his shoulder at us twice, and zig-zag through 3 rows or parked cars before reaching his van.

 

After this I lost sight of him, as I was getting into my friend's car. Despite the fact that the other Wal-mart is about 15 kilometers (8-10 miles I think) out of his way, he offered to drive me over there to see if they got the same wave. I initially refused, but he insisted, citing that he was still looking for the new Saga Figures (neither TRU or Walmart had had them). At the second Wal-mart we hurried in, already late and found that although there were four palets of stuff sitting outside the toy department, not one had a box of Joes. My friend was at least able to find his Saga figures, so the trip wasn't wasted.

 

After leaving I commented that I should have tried to say something to that guy at the first Wal-mart, and my friend looked at me and said "What could you have done, if you'd gotten into any kind of argument with him, you'd have lost. Who's security going to believe an 'angry' teenager claiming he collects kids toys, or the old man who's 'just buying some toys for his grandson's birthday next week? You'd be lucky if they just kicked you out and didn't ban you from coming back for some period."

 

 

So, now that you've heard the story, I have to ask: did my friend and I just over-react in the heat of the moment, and take the old guys actions to indicate he was a scalper when he was nothing of the sort, or did I just witness every Joe collector's worst nightmare? Also, does anyone have advice for how to deal with situations like this that might arise for collectors in the future?

 

Thanks for reading, mainly I just needed to share that with people who would understand the heart-wrenching frustration.

 

 

 

 

@can@

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you can't really say he was a scalper based on that. he was probably just like you looking everywhere for these figures and then finally sees them at retail and gets them and then hurries away from you fearing you might ask for some of the figures or start arguing with him. plus you know most collectors out there are paranoid weirdos :D or he could have just been a scalper... there's no way to really know.

 

also... wth... why is canada getting wave 9 and my walmart is just now getting the freaking vehicles!!!

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I might have reacted the same way as the old man too.

 

If I see a teenager eyeballing me with mouth dropped and wide eyed I might panic and take off too. Who knows, next your head could have split and an alien would pop out and try to control my mind and then Hancock shows up and puches it out then puts on his sunglasses and get jiggy with it.

 

To top that off you and your maybe Skrull friend follow me through the store and parking lot. That's creepy.

 

Seriously he might have been a legit collector looking for these too and thought you were the scalper and was afraid he was going to get jumped and have them stolen. I'm not getting any younger and I plan to collect for a long time to come. Eventually I will be an old man collector like Viper Hunter but I don't want people thinking I am a scalper. I am a bit overweight and going bald too so I'm screwed. At least I bath and wear clean clothes.

 

If he had told your friend he was a scalper and not a collector that would have been different.

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I feel ya pain bro......

 

If he had bought like 8-10 BATS and only BATS then I would almost say he was a scalper but then again I've gone in and bought 8 CG's at one pop because I like to army build.

At least now you have evidence that the store is receiving wave 9, #$## I have yet to see any traces of wave 8.

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What kind of scalper picks up Ninja-Ku?

 

 

Lmfao, yeah thats like running away with 5 Buzzers N 4 Serpentors

If scalpers really wanted to help us collectors like they say they do they should do that and clear that crap out for new stuff. (I wish I could have fit the word "they" in there one more time)

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I might have reacted the same way as the old man too.

 

If I see a teenager eyeballing me with mouth dropped and wide eyed I might panic and take off too. Who knows, next your head could have split and an alien would pop out and try to control my mind and then Hancock shows up and puches it out then puts on his sunglasses and get jiggy with it.

 

To top that off you and your maybe Skrull friend follow me through the store and parking lot. That's creepy.

 

Well, first of all, it was just a look of suprise, but I can understand how he may have found it creepy. But as for saying that he had to run in reaction, thats a bit ridiculous. My friend and I do research in the Neurology department at the hospital so we're dressed in shirts and ties, not someone who looks likely to jump you with a switchblade. And we didn't follow him to the parking lot, we went straight to the car which was right in front of the door, he cut left one row, then behind us, then to the right two rows , and then back one row to his car. That doesn't strike you as suspicious.

 

Seriously he might have been a legit collector looking for these too and thought you were the scalper and was afraid he was going to get jumped and have them stolen. I'm not getting any younger and I plan to collect for a long time to come. Eventually I will be an old man collector like Viper Hunter but I don't want people thinking I am a scalper. I am a bit overweight and going bald too so I'm screwed. At least I bath and wear clean clothes.

 

I'm not saying his appearance made him a scalper, his actions did. I'm sure there are lots of older collectors out there, and I know in time I will be one. But if you were just leaving and a well-dressed kid walked up to you and asked "Hey, are you a Joe collector too?" (also, for the record, my friend is always smiling), would you ignore him and run, or at least give a brief acknowledgement and maybe a conversation.

 

Even if he was a collector, I wouldn't expect him to share what he had found, but talking to a fellow fan couldn't hurt, could it? For him to run as he did, screams (to me at least) that he was a scalper afraid of talking to a real collector whom he couldn't rip off via the internet.

 

 

@can@

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I might have reacted the same way as the old man too.

 

If I see a teenager eyeballing me with mouth dropped and wide eyed I might panic and take off too. Who knows, next your head could have split and an alien would pop out and try to control my mind and then Hancock shows up and puches it out then puts on his sunglasses and get jiggy with it.

 

To top that off you and your maybe Skrull friend follow me through the store and parking lot. That's creepy.

 

Well, first of all, it was just a look of suprise, but I can understand how he may have found it creepy. But as for saying that he had to run in reaction, thats a bit ridiculous. My friend and I do research in the Neurology department at the hospital so we're dressed in shirts and ties, not someone who looks likely to jump you with a switchblade. And we didn't follow him to the parking lot, we went straight to the car which was right in front of the door, he cut left one row, then behind us, then to the right two rows , and then back one row to his car. That doesn't strike you as suspicious.

 

Seriously he might have been a legit collector looking for these too and thought you were the scalper and was afraid he was going to get jumped and have them stolen. I'm not getting any younger and I plan to collect for a long time to come. Eventually I will be an old man collector like Viper Hunter but I don't want people thinking I am a scalper. I am a bit overweight and going bald too so I'm screwed. At least I bath and wear clean clothes.

 

I'm not saying his appearance made him a scalper, his actions did. I'm sure there are lots of older collectors out there, and I know in time I will be one. But if you were just leaving and a well-dressed kid walked up to you and asked "Hey, are you a Joe collector too?" (also, for the record, my friend is always smiling), would you ignore him and run, or at least give a brief acknowledgement and maybe a conversation.

 

Even if he was a collector, I wouldn't expect him to share what he had found, but talking to a fellow fan couldn't hurt, could it? For him to run as he did, screams (to me at least) that he was a scalper afraid of talking to a real collector whom he couldn't rip off via the internet.

 

 

@can@

I was just having fun with you.

 

His actions did sound scalperish except that he had Ninja-ku. He could be a dumb scalper. There are lots of those.

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I was just having fun with you.

 

His actions did sound scalperish except that he had Ninja-ku. He could be a dumb scalper. There are lots of those.

 

Sorry, I'm still not used to taking things as jokes online. There should be a special font for that or something.

 

 

 

 

@can@

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whats wrong with ninja ku... its an all black cobra ninja.. don't let the name storm shadow scare you away. armybuild those mofos up.

 

He's not bad, but I already have my red ninja team. One ninja group enough for me on my budget, but I'll probably get one anyways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

@can@

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Well i think the one thing to keep in mind here is that I don't think most scalpers think of them selves as villians like most of us do. They don't see anything wrong with making money off toys. Its not like they are running around twirling their mustaches and tying damsels to train tracks. They don't feel remorse about what they do and I don't blame them. It I had the time and resourses to spend my time snatching up rare toys and turning a tidy profit, I can't say i wouldn't. Scalpers are just a part of the collecting game... And I have altered my routine to combat it. I get my self up every morning and hit the target by my house as soon as the door opens. I have been hitting the one target by my house for 10 straight days and counting every morning as soon as the doors open. I'm not gonna let anyone, either scalper or collector or mother or kid, steal away wave nine from me. I got lax on wave 8 and have had a b!tch of a time finding them and I'm not letting that happen again.

 

My target stalking actions might seem very scalper-esk to an out side observer but i know I do out of my collecting obsession. I'm a pretty personable guy and i have meet several other collectors on my early morning and lunch toy runs but I'll tell you something... Toy collectors are a pretty socially inept bunch a lot of the time. This guy may have just been excited about his hot find and was paranoid you were gonna try and take it away from him. He may have never had an experince like that and didn't know how to react.

 

I hate how everyone just assumes that because someone else got YOUR toys, they are automatically a scalper. And you know... There is a very blurry line between what we do and what scalpers do. They are obviously just as dedicated to toys as we are. And how many collectors NEVER sell any of their collection to make a little extra cash? Why is it okay to sell a figure 3 years after you buy it and not the day after you buy it?

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So, now that you've heard the story, I have to ask: did my friend and I just over-react in the heat of the moment, and take the old guys actions to indicate he was a scalper when he was nothing of the sort, or did I just witness every Joe collector's worst nightmare? Also, does anyone have advice for how to deal with situations like this that might arise for collectors in the future?

 

Yes, you have over-reacted.

 

 

Look.............unless you are a mind-reader, how can you tell what the "other guy's" motivation is?

Even IF he actually is a scalper......how can anyone assume that?

Did he have the words branded on his forehead?? Were the words "scalper" floating above him like a halo?

Probably not, right?

 

Saying the guy is a scalper because he's an older consumer is like saying the woman who picked up the last can of spaghetti sauce in the store is a lesbian, or the guy that rented the last dvd you wanted is a pedophile ( and people have been labelled as such in forums like this).

Its EASY to sling barbs, slurs and insults and assume the worst of others and............well, that is the problem here.

 

Toy collecting attracts insular types. The geeky, nerdy, self-absorbed types of people, and all the rest of the human race along with them. The "other guy" could just be someone whose social skills are not very great, could be just another collector who is passionate about toys, could be someone who just happens to be intimidated by lil' ol unassuming YOU. Hey, that can happen.

 

I'm 46 years old.

Does that make me "every collectors' worst nightmare" because I'm older than most here?

I know of collectors that are in their 50's.

The truth of all this is we do NOT KNOW if the other person is a scalper, and assuming such is unfair.

Would you consider it fair if someone assumed your were a virgin because you collected toys? Or perhaps homosexual?

Of course it would be unfair....and uncalled for.

 

Here's the other thing: As hard as it is........as much as it rankles......you lost out. The other guy got the stuff.

 

And he deserves it.

Unless the store imposes limits, its first come first served. Like a can of spaghetti sauce, does ANYONE #$#@# about it when they sell out of the stuff?

 

Nope, but they do with toys.

Its "automatically" assumed that is HAS TO BE fair when it comes to the selling of toys........pretty much because we all have this vested emotional interest in collecting them.

But not in cans of spaghetti sauce or any other product, and yet people will #$#@# about one and not the others.

 

Its really pointless to gripe, or even get upset if "the other guy" buys up the stuff before you do...because there's ALWAYS more stuff out there to be had, and ways to get it.

If you can afford to buy a stamp, an envelope and a money order, you can extend the reach of your commerce ( and your toy hunting grounds) to GLOBAL reaches.

If the store sells out, if the other guys gets there before you.............don't fret.

If you are reading this post I've written, then you doubtlessly are using the single greatest collecting tool ever created for collectors and have access to the largest pool of collectible goods ever seen.

 

And there's no reason to think badly of anyone or call people names with that in hand.

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Man, I take a little road trip to find some toys (ok, granted Calagary Canada was a LOOOONG "little road trip") and look at how I'm treated??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@smilepunch@ <------online joking font!

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Man, I take a little road trip to find some toys (ok, granted Calagary Canada was a LOOOONG "little road trip") and look at how I'm treated??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@smilepunch@ <------online joking font!

 

I make sure my wife hits as many Walmarts and TRU's as she can on her long-haul runs through Columbus Ohio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has that been a problem?? :rolleyes:

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"A G.I. Joe Horror Story, Every collector's worst nightmare."

 

That's a bit of an overstatement.

 

I can think of a lot of things worse to me as a collector than being beaten to the new releases. Fire. Flooding. Drunken idiot friends. Drunken idiot me. Mad girlfriend.

Having to wait a few weeks to pickup some new figures is not high up there.

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I went looking for new joes on my lunch break today. Went to walmart and figured they wouldn't have anything, but I did find the remnants of Wave 9 on the shelf... Hawk, Bazooka, Ninja-Ku, and the repeats... I'm getting frustrated trying to find a Snow Serpent. I actually punched a wave 4 Scarlett that was hanging on the peg out of frustration.

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Also, does anyone have advice for how to deal with situations like this that might arise for collectors in the future?

 

Here's my suggestion:

 

When he was walking down the aisle away from you, your friend should've ran directly into him, making sure the collision was hard enough to knock some of the figures out of his grubby old paws. Then, act like you're trying to help him pick them up, but instead run to the checkout line with them. @wink@ @lol@

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Man, I take a little road trip to find some toys (ok, granted Calagary Canada was a LOOOONG "little road trip") and look at how I'm treated??

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@smilepunch@ <------online joking font!

 

I make sure my wife hits as many Walmarts and TRU's as she can on her long-haul runs through Columbus Ohio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has that been a problem?? :rolleyes:

 

 

You drinking tonight or missing meds Ken, because your snips are way out there in left field somewhere? Maybe it's just me, but what does your wife shopping in Ohio and asking if "it's been a problem" with rollingeyes and all....have to do with me joking with darthhenning that I was the old scalper guy in his horror story? @hmmm@

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You drinking tonight or missing meds Ken, because your snips are way out there in left field somewhere? Maybe it's just me, but what does your wife shopping in Ohio and asking if "it's been a problem" with rollingeyes and all....have to do with me joking with darthhenning that I was the old scalper guy in his horror story? soupson.gif

 

Nope, no drinking, and no snipping.........just having fun.......and missing the mark out here in the left field it seems. :-(

 

I'm joking with YOU as you are joking with darthhenning.

 

As an aside, as I have expressed above and in other threads in the past, I do find it ........puzzling how so many people complain about how hard it is to find this stuff and yet they sit in front of the greatest social access tool ever invented.

Sure people like to walk into a store to buy stuff and all, its just that such things have changed so much ( with buying toys) that maybe expanding to doing things differently is in order.

I do not lament going to stores as much as I might because I've not wanted for much in toy collecting, and have found most of what i seek online--either via retailers there or friends and contacts made.

 

Its why scalper stories seem more and more irrelevant ( to me personally) because, as I have long said, competing with them is so unnecessary. Unfortunately, not everyone has arrived at the same epiphany yet.

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my main reason for buying figures in the store is that its a lot freaking cheaper....hmm i can buy a hiss at walmart for $15 or buy one online for $20-30 plus shipping.. i use the internet to buy toys that are not being produced or sold in stores because, besides going to toy conventions or garage sales, its the only place you can get them.

Its why scalper stories seem more and more irrelevant ( to me personally) because, as I have long said, competing with them is so unnecessary. Unfortunately, not everyone has arrived at the same epiphany yet.

 

yeah why compete with them when you can just wait until they buy the figures and then you buy from them and not even have to leave the house. @smilepunch@

 

i can't really complain about scalpers because, well, whats the big deal really? how's it different from one of use deciding "hmm i think i'll sell off my collection..." and you put it on ebay and your figures go for the same price as things the scalper is selling. what's the difference? plus it probably helps some people looking for figures. if there wasn't someone buying them in dallas texas to sell online then the person who couldn't find the figures in phoenix, arizona wouldn't be able to buy them :/

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You drinking tonight or missing meds Ken, because your snips are way out there in left field somewhere? Maybe it's just me, but what does your wife shopping in Ohio and asking if "it's been a problem" with rollingeyes and all....have to do with me joking with darthhenning that I was the old scalper guy in his horror story? soupson.gif

 

Nope, no drinking, and no snipping.........just having fun.......and missing the mark out here in the left field it seems. :-(

 

I'm joking with YOU as you are joking with darthhenning.

 

 

Well ok man, but I have to say I sure wasn't getting it. ^_^ Of course I didn't read all this, until I was already unraveled a bit from the whole "hard to find' fiasco, so that certainly contributed to a different frame of mind on where you might have been going with it, but i'm taking your word on it.

 

peace!

 

 

oh, and I'll delete the whole "dickhead" question in the other topic! ;)

 

 

As an aside, as I have expressed above and in other threads in the past, I do find it ........puzzling how so many people complain about how hard it is to find this stuff and yet they sit in front of the greatest social access tool ever invented.

Sure people like to walk into a store to buy stuff and all, its just that such things have changed so much ( with buying toys) that maybe expanding to doing things differently is in order.

I do not lament going to stores as much as I might because I've not wanted for much in toy collecting, and have found most of what i seek online--either via retailers there or friends and contacts made.

 

Its why scalper stories seem more and more irrelevant ( to me personally) because, as I have long said, competing with them is so unnecessary. Unfortunately, not everyone has arrived at the same epiphany yet.

 

But to avoid "scalpers" and their evil ways, wouldn't being able to buy at retail, for OURSELVES, be the best way to do so? Buying online, seems to be what's driving them to scalp even more and more. Those who are content to just stay inside, out of the elements of society and shop for almost anything and everything they can...ONLINE, hell, they're a scalpers wet dream.

 

It's been bad enough that there are those (in this kind of hobby) who demand a certain kind of "language" to specifically use or a certain kind of "attitude" to possess that's considered collector suave or appropriate, but now it's even spreading out into HOW we each choose to go about trying to obtain all these items and what's the best way in which to do so.

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You drinking tonight or missing meds Ken, because your snips are way out there in left field somewhere? Maybe it's just me, but what does your wife shopping in Ohio and asking if "it's been a problem" with rollingeyes and all....have to do with me joking with darthhenning that I was the old scalper guy in his horror story? soupson.gif

 

Nope, no drinking, and no snipping.........just having fun.......and missing the mark out here in the left field it seems. :-(

 

I'm joking with YOU as you are joking with darthhenning.

 

 

Well ok man, but I have to say I sure wasn't getting it. ^_^ Of course I didn't read all this, until I was already unraveled a bit from the whole "hard to find' fiasco, so that certainly contributed to a different frame of mind on where you might have been going with it, but i'm taking your word on it.

 

peace!

 

 

oh, and I'll delete the whole "dickhead" question in the other topic! ;)

 

 

As an aside, as I have expressed above and in other threads in the past, I do find it ........puzzling how so many people complain about how hard it is to find this stuff and yet they sit in front of the greatest social access tool ever invented.

Sure people like to walk into a store to buy stuff and all, its just that such things have changed so much ( with buying toys) that maybe expanding to doing things differently is in order.

I do not lament going to stores as much as I might because I've not wanted for much in toy collecting, and have found most of what i seek online--either via retailers there or friends and contacts made.

 

Its why scalper stories seem more and more irrelevant ( to me personally) because, as I have long said, competing with them is so unnecessary. Unfortunately, not everyone has arrived at the same epiphany yet.

 

But to avoid "scalpers" and their evil ways, wouldn't being able to buy at retail, for OURSELVES, be the best way to do so? Buying online, seems to be what's driving them to scalp even more and more. Those who are content to just stay inside, out of the elements of society and shop for almost anything and everything they can...ONLINE, hell, they're a scalpers wet dream.

 

It's been bad enough that there are those (in this kind of hobby) who demand a certain kind of "language" to specifically use or a certain kind of "attitude" to possess that's considered collector suave or appropriate, but now it's even spreading out into HOW we each choose to go about trying to obtain all these items and what's the best way in which to do so.

 

Please, vh, you just don't want to change your old ways and buy all of your toys online like everyone else. It must be harder for you to conform to this way of doing things since the internet and things like post offices didn't exist when you started collecting @smilepunch@

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