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TNI Guest Editorial: Cancel Culture in Action Figure Collector Communities: Necessary Evil or Cyberbullying? By Chip Carroll


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2 hours ago, kILLMonger said:

Ugh...we have just bought about the end times by all of us agreeing.  1,000,000,000% love with this!

The author is a tool and is playing victim over some stupid ish.  Bruh got a Masters in history but forget everything he learned writing this puff piece.  There are VERY good reasons he got the reactions he did (especially with Joe figs).

So instead if actually giving an well thought out response as to why you disagree you resort to name calling. Yep I think you are making his point nicely.

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3 hours ago, DrLava said:

except it wasnt just 6 that he bought, it was 13. if youre really army building to that degree its for display to do something beyond epic and thats what you would take pics of. this man bought 13 vipers, took pictures of them all still carded, and wrote in the article that he did this solely to brag.

So your saying as long as its only 6 its ok? Who gets to determine what the official cut off point for army building is? You, me. Im just curious. I dont totally disagree that if you buy 13 of one figure as soon as they are out and post pictures of it online you should probably expect some negative responses. But this idea of who gets to determine what for others is also something I don't think is so cut and dry as you make it out to be.

 

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Yeah, I mean, sure. Buying several of the same and bragging is one thing and probably shouldn't be shamed upon. 

But why would you complain about price shaming? You're not doing any favors to anyone if you're re-selling a figure that is currently hitting the market. If that's why you're doing it, just leave it on the shelf.

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I can understand buying one for out of box and one for in box as well as one for trade fodder. I dont do that but I understand it. I even understand buying more than one for an army build. Buy all you want, but understand that if you post them still in boxes online for all to see, you will potentially get more of a negative response than a positive one. ESPECIALLY hard to find figures. It will come off as  not so "humble" brag that no one wants to see. I belong to a bunch of figure groups and almost always when someone shows off a pic of a bunch of still in box hard to find figures, they almost always get negative responses because its not an innocent post. Its a gloat post. Ive seen a ton of them on forums and groups. Some even outright admit they are doing it to piss people off and its VERY easy with posts like that to do so even if its genuine. However, even if you arent a scalper, no one is going to congratulate you for buying up all the stock of a hard to find figure, even if it truly is for your collection. In a way its how its presented. Because if you post them all out of box, posed, or in formation or anything, people would be alot more appreciative of the content and it would be displayed as more genuine than showing off a haul that could be potentially used to sell or profit instead. Its how things are perceived or depicted that matters. Also to state that you would sell a figure thats STILL in the market for retail and think its right to upsell to fellow collectors and act like its an act of charity is absurd. That is literally doing it for profit and is scalping. Its not doing anyone favors but yourself. How dare you not sell that still at retail figure for retail instead of profiting because scalpers scalping up all the stock for a higher price, so why shouldnt you?!  

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1 hour ago, JayC said:

So instead if actually giving an well thought out response as to why you disagree you resort to name calling. Yep I think you are making his point nicely.

One: I think (based on recent events) its far more newsworthy that certain people who have gone back and forth here...have joined in solidarity to reject the premise of that editorial as a spurious and  ridiculous endeavor.

Two: Do you want a "well thought out" post on why I think he is a tool for writing this?   I can give you one.  I can pick that ish apart and have a spectacular time doing it.

But I was more elated that I could quote Mako...and AGREE wholeheartedly with him. 

Three (since it was thrown out...here's a preview of how it would look): I think because this dude is your friend, he got you in the feels.  That's fine, but the rest of us are left wondering some things.  What the hell got into this dude that he came to the conclusion that the rebuke he got for cleaning out a HTF line was "cancel culture?" Like is he THAT out of touch? He wants to be oppressed that badly? No one told him to shut up.  He wasn't removed from anything.  He just lacks the insight to see how no matter his intentions...the optics on what he threw up were wrong and he got a reaction based on that.  He comes across as self centered missed that lots of people have yet to find ONE.  He found like 13, bought all of them, took pics for the likes and was perceived to be bragging. Private collection or not...that is just a real tool move with that line.  And then writing a puff piece about hurt feelings just makes it more comical.

Don't defend this dude.  He's free to make a editorial...he's also free to get roasted for being that obtuse.

And yeah...still amazed that I'm high fiving Mako because he was spot on with his reply.  Props to that dude for that one.

 

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22 minutes ago, EvilHayato said:

I can understand buying one for out of box and one for in box as well as one for trade fodder.

Not me. If I want to keep it in box, I'll keep it in box. If I want to take it out and play with it, ditto. But I'm an adult, I know you can't have your cake and eat it to . . . especially if your taking cake from somebody else.

Toy Galaxy guy was right, If you see two, leave one for the next guy.

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14 minutes ago, mako said:

Not me. If I want to keep it in box, I'll keep it in box. If I want to take it out and play with it, ditto. But I'm an adult, I know you can't have your cake and eat it to . . . especially if your taking cake from somebody else.

Toy Galaxy guy was right, If you see two, leave one for the next guy.

Its definitely more a grey area for me but i understand to an extent. Ive had moments in my collecting where i bought 2 of a figure i really really liked and kept one in box. It was a rare instance that hasnt happened in like 10 years. I dont trade but Ive seen it in other groups as acceptable and make sense to me even tho I dont do it. 

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OK, first let me just say I don't agree with the OP at all.  

I believe if you purchase anything with the intent to immediately resell at a higher price, you are scalping.  If you are buying up all of the stock, creating a false sense of demand with the intent to drive up said price, you are scalping.

If you are army building, or the items are for your own personal use or consumption, then more power to you.  You found the goods, it's your score.  Enjoy.

The one question I do pose to you all is this:  What is the timeline for it to be determined scalping?  I'll give you an example.  Nearly 14 years ago, I was fortunate enough to purchase a BAF Sentinel right here on these forums for $40 plus $12 shipping.  I have owned that figure for that whole time, and it has been an enjoyable part of my collection the whole time.  Recently, I decided I would let it go.  Checking the current market on it, I see it's going for well over $100 now.  So, if I sell it now for the current market price, am I still scalping?  I feel as though I am not.  I did not buy this figure with the sole intention to resell it.  It is no longer something that can be purchased at retail.  And I did not buy it at retail when I bought it.  So, is there a statute of limitations on scalping?  I would honestly like to hear the community's opinion. 

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1 hour ago, DrLava said:

the author of the article is trying to do just that. he wrote the article saying he was salty that the toy collecting community werent happy for him that he bought 13 of the hardest to find figures and took pictures bragging. he said he was mad that he was being called a scalper for army building and reselling a few at "retail plus gas". army building is a term for loose collectors, not carded.

the main problem is that all 13 are carded in the pic. thats not army building. thats buying 13 carded figures. whether hes keeping them or scalping them its definitely not army building if theyre packaged. now if he makes some revisions to his article and adds a cool display pic that has all 13 out of the box, posed in a cool way then he'll probaly get that positive response hes looking for and he wouldnt be getting roasted here and at the other places he originally posted this picture and story.

But this isnt about the author. We arent here to defend the author or any one individual. We are talking about generalities. The author felt a certain way which motivated him to take the time to write the editorial, but for the sake of discussion lets keep it to something more general. So your saying the numbers dont matter as long as they put them in a cool display?

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1 hour ago, DrLava said:

this right here says it all. i honestly thought the whole point of the article was to bring us all together

This is about discussion. not bringing anyone together or keeping them apart. You dont have to agree with someone to have a respectful debate about something. If someone doesn't agree with you its doesnt actually mean they hate you or something. If there is any other point to the article other than what is specifically stated, I would say its to try and show people can and should be able to come online and discuss things without taking it personally or getting mad our outraged about it, even when its a topic that perhaps has more grey areas than black and white ones.

I don't like scalpers anymore than anyone else here. From my personal dealings with Chip in the past however there has never been anything to suggest he is a scalper. He helped me find all the MOTU Origins stuff when they were Walmart exclusives at cost plus shipping. I didnt even ask him, he volunteered.

The reason why I personally find this an interesting topic worthy of discussion is because I have seen people who aren't scalpers labeled as such in public groups. On the flip side I have also seen scalpers blatantly flaunt their scalping ways in public groups as well. Again to me this isn't something were there is a clear cut right and wrong way. Many of these types of things are dependent on the individual circumstances and people involved.

 

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57 minutes ago, JayC said:

 

The reason why I personally find this an interesting topic worthy of discussion is because I have seen people who aren't scalpers labeled as such in public groups. On the flip side I have also seen scalpers blatantly flaunt their scalping ways in public groups as well. Again to me this isn't something were there is a clear cut right and wrong way. Many of these types of things are dependent on the individual circumstances and people involved.

 

I'll say it again...what got this dude is:

Buying 13 HTF figs in one fell swoop, snapping a pic to "brag", and posting his swag to people who haven't found one

Expecting high fives from people essentially (metaphorically) starving because he's at an all you can eat buffet chowing down with 13 plates.

Getting his feelings hurt because no one is stroking his ego.

Writing a bs editorial trying to justify greedy nonsense that is criminally out of touch and lacking any insight into the error of his actions.

Trying to justify scalping/hoarding with bs excuses about gas/time and effort to get sympathy.

Dude messed around and found out.  Don't act like he's the first person who did that (buying a whole stock and bragging about it) and got called out.  He knew the score (or should have).  Zero chill on him.  The best thing he could do is offer a few of those up to folks at cost, take a few back so others can have a shot, or maybe hold some raffles with the extra cash above the price to ship and for the fig going to charity.  

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5 hours ago, JayC said:

There is a two page discussion going on right here. What do you call that? You dont agree with it which is cool, but wanting it shut down which is what your essentially suggesting at least from my POV is kinda ridiculous.

What do I call it? I call it one person (you) who happens to run a popular website, allowing his buddy a forum to whine and complain about how he is some sort of victim and how terrible it is that people get pissed at him online when he is choosing to post photos on the internet for the sole purpose of bragging about how he has thirteen of one rare item, while practically everyone else struggles to the point of frustration trying to simply find one of said rare item.

"The Genius", Chip Carroll doesn't have to post pictures of his thirteen Viper's, but he chooses to do it anyways, thus opening the flood gates for everyone who feels like it to rightfully condemn Chip's thoughtless, inconsiderate, braggadocious behavior.

The only debate I see going on here is between you, the owner of the website who decided to post this editorial, who appears to be trying to stick up for his buddy and attempting to justify the posting of this article, which describes the actions of a self centered, thoughtless individual trying to spin himself into a martyr, a just and righteous victim of cancel culture. Poor, poor Chip...

Meanwhile, on one level or another, Chip's actions are literally being condemned by practically everyone posting here that isn't named Jay Cochran.

I mean seriously, what does this guy expect? It's the equivalent of a bunch of people, dying of thirst, being stuck in a desert, and one of them decides to announce over a megaphone: "Hey! All you desperate people who long for water, look at me! I've got plenty of water, isn't that fantastic?!"

No Chip... No... It's not.

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10 hours ago, JayC said:

 Now it was different when the Viper came out. For that one there was a group of people waiting when they brought out the case. We all agreed we each would only take 1 and the 6 went to the first 6 people who arrived at the store and waited for them to bring it out. If someone under those circumstances had tried to grab more than one or someone tried to jump in line then that would be a totally different thing.

 

This level of cooperation is an alien concept for me.  I've been there when enough was brought out to give us all one but usually one collector would sneak off from the pack to grab the employee bringing them out before reaching the rest of us to claim the whole lot and run off to the register.  We'd complain and the employee would just shrug and walk off.  There is no honor among collectors around me.  I've heard the "sticking together" pep talk when there is nothing to be found and then see the back-stabbing when something is found.  That's my perspective on this, and probably many other's as well so that's why we're forming a certain opinion in our minds of this guy.  

I'll admit I don't know this guy from Adam.  Just because most of the collectors I know are asses doesn't mean they all are.  Maybe if Hasbro and Target had planned this out a little better we wouldn't be here.  I'd like everyone to get enough of what they want, be it 20 or 2 but that isn't the case now.  If people want the dude cancelled and removed from polite collecting society for this that's a bridge too far for me, but at the end of the day he has his prizes, what does he care what others think?  To me the prize is the prize!  Not the hunt and certainly not some false compliments from people I don't even know IRL.  I tempered my expectations given the amount of collectors around me and was hoping to just get one of each, but there were too many like your buddy and now I'm pretty much out of caring about the Classified Series, probably selling off my CS collection soon.  

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4 hours ago, Crimson Twins said:

OK, first let me just say I don't agree with the OP at all.  

I believe if you purchase anything with the intent to immediately resell at a higher price, you are scalping.  If you are buying up all of the stock, creating a false sense of demand with the intent to drive up said price, you are scalping.

If you are army building, or the items are for your own personal use or consumption, then more power to you.  You found the goods, it's your score.  Enjoy.

The one question I do pose to you all is this:  What is the timeline for it to be determined scalping?  I'll give you an example.  Nearly 14 years ago, I was fortunate enough to purchase a BAF Sentinel right here on these forums for $40 plus $12 shipping.  I have owned that figure for that whole time, and it has been an enjoyable part of my collection the whole time.  Recently, I decided I would let it go.  Checking the current market on it, I see it's going for well over $100 now.  So, if I sell it now for the current market price, am I still scalping?  I feel as though I am not.  I did not buy this figure with the sole intention to resell it.  It is no longer something that can be purchased at retail.  And I did not buy it at retail when I bought it.  So, is there a statute of limitations on scalping?  I would honestly like to hear the community's opinion. 

It wouldn't be considered scalping. You didn't buy the figure with the intention of selling it for a higher price. You didn't drive around buying all of the stock you could get your hands on in order to create false demand and try to "force" people to buy it from you for more than retail. The Sentinel is a figure that not only came out many years ago, it's also not in circulation anymore so the only way to obtain is second hands so to speak. It's understood that a lot of items go up in price as years go by so I don't think anyone would accuse you of scalping for selling that figure for more than what you paid for it. 

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7 hours ago, JayC said:

There is a two page discussion going on right here. What do you call that?

There is no discussion going on here. It seems like the everyone is in agreement that buying figures to immediately sell them for profit is scalping and based on what the author wrote it appears like that's what he's doing. There are a handful of people frustrated that the author is getting a soapbox to stand on so are writing harsh comments and there are a handful of people writing well thought out counter arguments. Then there's you, replying to all the harsh comments saying "it's supposed to be a discussion" without offering any arguments in the author's favor. If you actually want a discussion reply to the well thought out posts with counterpoints, try playing devil's advocate. If you just want to defend your buddy I think it's time to give up.

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There are a few other collectors that I'm on good terms with that have really hooked me up (I'm even OK with a little premium for the effort) at cost but have sold online for some pretty big mark-ups.  I won't say that "it looks like scalping but it's not" because they've hooked me up.  It does grate on me and it's probably hypocritical of me to let it slide but to me it's not worth dying on that hill and loosing a good friend over.  Maybe that's what Jay is doing here but who knows.  Still it's one thing to look down upon the practice and another to stalk the guy and make their life miserable but I don't think that's really the case here.  The guy may just be getting a few "hey, don't be a dick" when he's expecting "OMG, 13-Vipers?!  Your a collecting god!"   

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Sorry, but he cant have it both ways. He can't post to a group of people that he knows will "care" and then feign shock when they, ya know... care.

If he wants to be a "part of a community" he has to be aware of the frustration other members are encountering trying to get these same items. Buying 13 brand-new super hard-to-find figures, all for himself, is kind of a dick move right off the bat. But to then post to that same community to boast/brag/gloat about having a baker's dozen makes him insensitive at best. And to expect anything other than blowback is beyond naive. 

So he's either a dick, a prick, or an idiot. But the truth is he's probably some combination of two or more. 

No one can stop him for buying a bunch of these figures for his own personal enjoyment. But then keep it a personal. Nobody owes him a thumbs-up. If he wants to show-off his little stash a year from now, fine. But he knows that NOW everyone else is coming up short. And a big reason why is because of man-children like himself with Cookie Monster levels of both appetite and self-control, contributing to the scarcity in the aisles. 

Is this guy a scalper? Maybe not. I mean he looks like a duck. He swims like a duck. And he's certainly quacking a lot. But even if he doesn't sell, as stated above, his hoarding contributes to an environment that makes scalping more profitable, and buying from scalpers more necessary. So he's far closer to the problem side of the equation than the solution side. He should examine that.

Then there are the true Scalpers. Those bold, smug assholes, who constantly pat themselves on the back for their "hustle" and who--funnily enough, much like Chip Carroll--always seem to be inflating the value of their time and the cost of gas. What pisses me off the most about them is the fact that they have the nerve to exploit their "communities" for their blatant profiteering. At 2 to 3 times retail they're not "hooking me up." If they wanna front like they're "businesses" go sell on a legitimate business platforms like ebay and man up to selling fees like the big boys. Personally, as a buyer, I prefer ebay. If I'm gonna get f*cked buying a toy, I'd rather get f*cked on ebay. At least there I don't have to pretend we're pals. 

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The guy who bought thirteen Cobra Vipers and decided to post a photo of the entire thing is pretty thoughtless, if not brainless. He knows that they are HARD to find. God knows, I wanted only one, and yet was beat out by scalpers/bots online. It's just hilarious how out of touch this "collector" is. Well, at least he's got everyone's attention!

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I have been a toy collector for nearly 30 years. I started with several lines, two of which were the very first series of ToyBiz Marvel Legends and McFarlane's SportsPicks. Long story short, I and others fought like hell to keep full-blown scalping out of the discussion boards where fellow collectors and I had a genuine interest in helping each other. It was about getting what you wanted AND helping others get what they wanted, without anyone unduly profiting from it. It was a passion for the hobby and the items for their own sake. We understood when there were super-rare items that warranted some special consideration, but overall it was people helping people and enjoying our shared passion for the hobby. We succeeded for a while, but enough people were willing to give in to the scalpers that "market value" based trading and selling eventually took over and became more of the norm. Even then, there were many who at least tried to keep things within reason, so it wasn't a pure profiteering arena. 

Regardless, even after years of that becoming more the norm, anyone with ANY sense knew that unless you wanted your head handed to you or your rear in a sling, the one thing you did NOT do is go buy ten or twenty of a highly-sought-after-but-hard-to-find item then rub it in everyone else's face by saying, "Hey, look at what I have so many of that I know the rest of you wish you had! Oh, as a special gesture of my awesomeness, I'm willing to help you have one of these if you pay me many times what I paid for it!" And that was especially true when things were first hitting the shelves for the first time.

So, I'm not sure if the OP is naive, someone with sociopathic tendencies (unable to empathize with others), or someone with a victim mentality, but the idea of this being a "cancel culture" thing and posting a lengthy op-ed on it in a space like this seems highly "tone deaf" and absurd. As someone else said, this is not that far removed from someone feeling like they are being criticized unjustly, when they are knowingly engaged in price gouging. In fact, I'd say that the OP's op-ed could be seen as his own attempt at "cancel culture", attempting to silence all his critics, because they are saying something he doesn't want to hear. Distaste for blatant scalping practices has been a part of the collecting culture for the three decades I've been involved, and the idea that it is going to go away is about as sensible as thinking that the desire to scratch an itch is going to go away just because you say it should. 

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I understand buying 3 Vipers or Cobra Troopers for that essence of guards.  Or open one and keep one in the box.  However, not allowing others to have one figure as you buy 13 of them, that is unfair move.  Unless you know of 12 other collectors or kids that have been seeking them out and give those 12 out, that will be nice.  
 

I had the chance to buy 2 Beach Head and 2 Baroness.  However, I decided not to be greedy because they were being scalped, so I only got one each for myself.

buying more than you need if not fair to others, especially when you turn around to sell them at $80+.  This makes people like me to start to be disappointed in the series.  I have not seen nor had a chance to get Cobra Trooper, Roadblock v2, Viper, Firefly, Red Ninja, Cobra Commander (dark blue).  I think my pre-order of Flint and Lady Jaye might be my last. I never seen it this bad before.

Collectors are not greedy, but what you did is greedy.  Stop playing the victim when you buy 13 and not being fair to others.

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8 hours ago, Crimson Twins said:

The one question I do pose to you all is this:  What is the timeline for it to be determined scalping?  I'll give you an example.  Nearly 14 years ago, I was fortunate enough to purchase a BAF Sentinel right here on these forums for $40 plus $12 shipping.  I have owned that figure for that whole time, and it has been an enjoyable part of my collection the whole time.  Recently, I decided I would let it go.  Checking the current market on it, I see it's going for well over $100 now.  So, if I sell it now for the current market price, am I still scalping?  I feel as though I am not.  I did not buy this figure with the sole intention to resell it.  It is no longer something that can be purchased at retail.  And I did not buy it at retail when I bought it.  So, is there a statute of limitations on scalping?  I would honestly like to hear the community's opinion. 

Figures tend to have about 6 months to a year shelf life being sold at retail. I feel during that time that these figures are at retail, if you choose to sell figures that are still being sold at retail, but for a higher fee, that is scalping. After market pricing and selling is not, as those products are much harder to find since they are really only found on the after market. When scalpers pick up the popular item that just hit store shelves, they are creating a false demand by buying all the stock up and jacking up the prices.

After market, most people that wanted those figures already have them. Going to markets like ebay and looking at the prices on sold items are a great way to gauge what the appropriate pricing would be to sell in the aftermarket. What you are doing is not scalping. I have sold many of my collection for more than I paid years prior due to demand. Say if you sold your sentinel on ebay as an auction that started at $10 and it went up to $200 with the final bid, would you consider that scalping? Because that is essentially the same idea as selling it in aftermarket and letting the buyer pay what they want (which would be more than the msrp that it was when it was originally on sale). 

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I quite literally made an account just to post on the sheer ridiculousness of this. Longtime reader of TNI, used to post ages ago fairly regularly. Been a long time! This will be addressing the original article and nothing more. 

Cancel Culture, eh? The ignorance of its meaning being displayed in the original post is...astounding. I saw the headline and immediately assumed it would be on topics like: 

- Multiple Cara Dune figure cancellations due to the Gina Carano hubbub. 

- Lego bowing to the mobs and taking their Jabba's Palace off the shelf because it "apparently" resembled a mosque. 

- Slave Leia being deemed taboo now and its forced re-labeling to "Hutt slayer." 

- Old toys like the vintage Kenner Alien doll or the talking Matchbox Freddy Kruger doll being deemed inappropriate. 

- The utterly bizarre parental outrage over the McDonalds Batman Returns Happy Meal Toys. 

I'm sure I'm forgetting many others examples, but that's Cancel Culture applied to the subject of merchandising. It's nothing new to mass-produced toys. Topics of that nature would make for an extremely interesting sociologically insightful article; Real-world controversies over toys that resulted in their removal from selves or end of production. Now that could be fascinating and deep. This is what I expected from the article. That's not what I got. It's clear I expected too much. If you're going to attempt a pseudo-intellectual yarn on the contemporary boiling point of opinionated entitlement and the (sometimes unfair) forced censorship that can result from over-sensitivities, you might want to do more research. If you want to touch on sociopolitical stemmed harassments due to presumed damning forever offensiveness through the lenses of plastic toys and collector communities, you might want to learn what Cancel Culture means. You literally cite the official definition and yet don't seem to grasp the context of its meaning...

Instead I got an article from a borderline narcissist downright tantrum-throwing at playing the victim. You made it about...YOU! Considering you bought that many Vipers, it seems everything is about you.

The sheer amount of self-pity in the original post is...staggeringly pathetic. Let's get one thing straight: Snagging a horde of the same rare toy and getting a level of backlash is not Cancel Culture. It's an "occupational" hazard; rather in this case a hobby one. If you're going to excessively horde particularly rare pieces, a supposed "intellectual" like yourself should be well-aware of a percentage of what the response will be. I don't think anyone is inherently anti-army building...but it's in the intent that produces the response. You speak of entitlement and yet are immune to your inherent hypocrisy. You seem to think you're deserving of inherent praise and worship for your cheap plastic commercial material. Like, thumbs up, hearts! Way to GO! The shallowness projected in the pretty blatant "Look at me!" attention grab is disturbing for an adult. I expect a teenager to place such obsessive importance on such surface level superficiality, the misconstrued delusion of "I got more likes" competitively juvenile popularity, but not from someone who professes to be matured. Then to go on a pity party sympathy ploy article rant over it? Wow...just wow. 

I think I can speak for many in just three words: Get over yourself. Claiming it's Cancel Culture because your feels were hurt is downright self-centered. Way to make a mountain from a molehill. No one is inhibiting your ability to horde. No one can "cancel" that. You're not being stopped. You're not getting "fired" from collecting action figures, you're not losing your precious toys, you're getting critiqued for being a self-centered and gluttonous braggard. Those are your consequences. No more and no less. The irony is that if you'd have just dropped it, shut your mouth, and let it pass...most probably wouldn't even remember in under a week. The internet is fickle. It moves onto the next "offense" at rapid pace. Your conceitedness made it a big deal. Think this is Cancel Culture, you lost your presumed relevancy status, why don't you tell Gina Carano that and see what she has to say about loss. But poor thing still got his much required attention to feel valid, the comical part is it's not those up-votes he so desires. I'm not sure even a few dozen more Viper figures can mend an ego this size. 😄

This is quite possibly the most embarrassing post in the history of TNI. 

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In regards to defining what scalping is, I think it's when you buy something with the intent of selling it above market price to a stranger - that's scalping. Especially when Firefly, the Viper, and now Zartan, are hitting secondary markets the day of release for $40-$80. But if you work out a deal with a friend, or someone you simply know, to get these figs for them and charge these kinds of high prices, then I think you can consider the sale as nothing more than a hookup. For whatever reason you needed to charge as much as you did, that's between the two of you for any and all reasons you might have, and it's not for me to judge. And if you have a moral center in you that thinks you should leave figures on a shelf for other collector's to find, then that's great 😃 But your morals shouldn't define how other people should collect (especially if they're collecting to another type of fairness).

For example, there's the case of buying what you seemingly don't need. I got lucky with a Baroness trade because I made a troll post about how my Target only got in a bunch of Marvel Legends figures one day, and no GI Joe's. And by chance (and luck), someone messaged me about picking up a Punisher on motorcycle set he saw in my pic for an even trade with a Baroness he had. Did he buy the Baroness even though he doesn't collect GI Joe? Did he buy a bunch of GI Joe toys to try and afford Marvel Legends stuff that were way over priced on the aftermarket? I don't know. But he traded me evenly, and the only extra money I had to pay out of pocket was the shipping expense, which was something he shared in as well. I don't consider that scalping at all, and honestly, without him having the Baroness to trade, I'd barely have any Joe's worth mentioning in my collection.

And like back to my original reply in this thread - I don't get mad at collector's who buy figures for whatever reasons they do. I just get mad at the toy companies who make this hobby miserable in the first place.

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2 hours ago, DiscoCougar said:

In regards to defining what scalping is, I think it's when you buy something with the intent of selling it above market price to a stranger - that's scalping. Especially when Firefly, the Viper, and now Zartan, are hitting secondary markets the day of release for $40-$80. But if you work out a deal with a friend, or someone you simply know, to get these figs for them and charge these kinds of high prices, then I think you can consider the sale as nothing more than a hookup.

Oh, how many evils in this old world have been committed behind a veil of situational ethics.

Not looking for a fight, just putting forth a couple counter-points.

Foremost, your definition of scalping is sound, but it applies whether you know your buyer or not. Bottom line, the only people who have any right to profit from the toys we buy are the company that makes them, and their duly licensed retailers. I'm not making a moral judgement, but it is what it is, no matter what you wanna call it.

Coincidentally, if a friend of mine tried to charge me 40-80 bucks on a 21 dollar figure . . . we probably wouldn't be friends much longer. 😏

Second, a hook-up is just that, a hook-up. When I bought a Batman vs Superman Wonder Woman figure for Yojoebro here on the boards, and he hit me back with cost plus straight shipping of his choice, THAT was a hook-up. I've done it before, and since, just as it's been done for me, before and since.

To me, that's collecting at its purist, no scalping, no mark-ups, just a couple of guys sharing the same interest and helping each other out.

Last, for the most part toy companies DON'T make the hobby miserable. They make the toys that allow us to make this a hobby in the first place . . . and I thank them for it.

Remember, hobby's are something we do for fun. If for whatever reason, you find yourself miserable, then stop, it's obviously not doing it for you. That's what I did. I quit for a little over a year. I had more money, I wasn't running my but off to every Big-Box in the Central Arkansas area, and I even got back into my first love, DVDs. When I decided it was time to come back, my batteries were recharged, I had a decent nest-egg saved up, and I've never looked back.

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On 3/8/2021 at 4:43 AM, JayC said:

See I would disagree. I view a scalper at least for our purpose here as someone who buys something at retail and then sells it with the specific intent of making a profit. That is different than if you asked a person to maybe help with something like gas. Some of this depends on the individual circumstance. If you just happen to pick up something for someone at random, asking for a little extra for gas might be extreme. But I see where some folks who live in areas that are much easier to find stuff get swamped with requests from people who live in areas where the stuff never shows up at constantly being asked if they can get some help. If your regularly going out and finding stuff for people, adding a little extra for gas and time I don't think is unreasonable. Now again a "little extra" is the key term there. If you get a $20 figure and want double or triple the price that is not the same thing as asking for a couple extra bucks for gas or such. If you jump one soneone's case and start labeling them scalper for a few extra bucks for gas, well I think that's not to cool, which I believe is the point Chip is making.

And I disagree with you. If I was going someplace to get groceries, figures, or whatever, why should you have to pay for my trip? I was going there anyways. Picking up an extra is just a matter of convenience. If someone specifically asked me to go out of my way to find something and agreed beforehand to pay a little extra to cover the gas, that would be different. If I were to go out of my way to find something of my own volition, why? I wouldn't do it. I'd stay home and leave it for the next collector to buy in store. No one asked me to. Asking anything over retail +shipping costs is scalping.

Now, I do agree that we all jump to conclusions too quickly because we don't know all the circumstances behind the multiple purchases, but for anyone selling a lot of a particular figure for even a little extra, they're still a jerk because that little extra adds up to quite a bit when you sell 13 of a particular figure.

Edited by SleeplessKnight
added point
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