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Old 2017-08-22, 04:31 PM   #1
Grimlock1980
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Default How do I collect these days?

I have been a lifelong Transformers fan. I grew up in 1980s at the very beginning height of the toys popularity until now. I fell off at different times in my life for various reasons such as just outgrowing them for a time, starting a new career, etc. I want to get back involved but it is just too difficult to keep up with demand in the stores. I know I can order online but I don't like to wait. It seems like all of the good ones are gone way too fast. Stores don't keep product promising enough to come back to. Help me out with any suggestions about keeping up with a lifelong joy of mine!
 
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Old 2017-08-22, 07:14 PM   #2
Clay
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Simplest way is to order online, really. Hasbro have been distributing transformers in a wave system since 1996, but most retail stores still haven't gotten the hang of it and comically overstock waves one and two of each line.
 
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Old 2017-08-22, 08:50 PM   #3
Warcry
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Simplest way is to order online, really.
Honestly, even this is getting more and more difficult. Smaller online retailers are increasingly forcing you to buy a full wave's worth of figures or nothing at all, which is a hard sell unless you're a completist. And bigger online sellers like Walmart, Amazon or Toys'r'us (at least up here) skip over two or three waves at a time, and when they do get in something other than waves one and two, they sell out fifteen minutes after someone posts the sighting online and never restock. So if you want stuff from the later waves in a line, you're still stuck looking for it in stores more often than not.

If I'd relied exclusively on online ordering for my Titans Return collection, I'd never have gotten half of the figures I own.

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Hasbro have been distributing transformers in a wave system since 1996, but most retail stores still haven't gotten the hang of it and comically overstock waves one and two of each line.
I don't think that's the problem anymore. Certainly this was the case five or ten years ago. I remember stores being swamped with five cases' worth of WFC Prime, Drift and co. when Generations started, and how badly overstocked the first waves of ROTF figures were. But nowadays I don't hear complaints about old stock flooding the shelves to the point that there's no room for new stuff. For the last few years it seems like the more likely problem is that the shelves are flooded, but bare. That's certainly the case here, where almost everything sells out almost instantly except for the big, expensive Leader figures.

And looking around the toy aisles, it seems like this is a Hasbro problem. Because I see the exact same problem in the Star Wars and Marvel sections: the shelf space where the more collector-friendly sublines (Generations, Star Wars Black, Marvel Legends) are supposed to be are frequently left empty for three, four months at a time. I never see that with the neighbouring action figure lines from other companies. DC Multiverse shelves are always full, the wrestling section is packed and I'm always noticing new stuff popping up, the Turtles and Power Rangers areas rarely have bare pegs, and the stores are always flush with Lego...but the Hasbro lines are always sold out.

Initially I grumbled about retailers not knowing what sells and not stocking enough of the popular lines, but once I caught on that it was always happening to Hasbro stuff, and that I never noticed it going on with anyone else, I had to rethink that. Retailers under-order sometimes, yeah, but this many retailers on this many lines (all made by one company) for this long? Something's got to be up if everyone else can keep their stuff on the shelves but Hasbro can't.

I wonder if the company's newfound devotion to the Asian market is causing problems for the rest of us. Maybe they just don't have enough production capacity to keep up with demand across all markets? It would certainly explain the anecdotes I've heard lately from small retailers about Hasbro shorting their orders.
 
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Old 2017-08-22, 11:46 PM   #4
Heinrad
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For me, I guess it depends on what I want for the character/figure. I wound up getting Blurr not because I thought it was an amazing design, but because I already had Hot Rod and Kup. And I got Kup because of LSotW.

But as much as I love Nightbeat, I can't bring myself to get the TR Nightbeat, even with the knowledge that I could also get Siren and just swap the faces, then get an adaptor port to attach him to his Generations body(after adding some yellow paint to Siren's face), and BOOM! a modern Headmaster Nightbeat. But is it really worth it? Not really.
 

As a professional tanuki (I'm a Japanese mythological animal, and a good luck charm), I have an alarm clock built into me somewhere. I also look like a stuffed animal. And you thought your life was tough......

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Old 2017-08-24, 12:28 PM   #5
Clay
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I don't think that's the problem anymore. Certainly this was the case five or ten years ago. I remember stores being swamped with five cases' worth of WFC Prime, Drift and co. when Generations started, and how badly overstocked the first waves of ROTF figures were. But nowadays I don't hear complaints about old stock flooding the shelves to the point that there's no room for new stuff. For the last few years it seems like the more likely problem is that the shelves are flooded, but bare. That's certainly the case here, where almost everything sells out almost instantly except for the big, expensive Leader figures.
Really? Here in the US, it's more of a problem than it was in the past, at least with Titans Return deluxes. Every walmart within a hour's drive's radius is overstocked with Blurr, Scourge, and Chromedome, and has been since December. Even the TRU, which had the Misfire wave last week, had that wave on top of a bunch of wave 1.5 figures.

I do remember Combiner Wars stock as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it affair, though.
 
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Old 2017-08-24, 08:03 PM   #6
Unicron
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Really? Here in the US, it's more of a problem than it was in the past, at least with Titans Return deluxes. Every walmart within a hour's drive's radius is overstocked with Blurr, Scourge, and Chromedome, and has been since December. Even the TRU, which had the Misfire wave last week, had that wave on top of a bunch of wave 1.5 figures.

I do remember Combiner Wars stock as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it affair, though.
The Walmart problem is a result of Christmas, at least around here. Back then they got one of those big cardboard displays on a pallet that would sit in the main aisle, full of those 'old' figures. The Walmart I frequent for other stuff still has some of those figures left clogging things up.

As for TRU, the local one of those has actually received those wave 1.5 from the warehouse on recent trucks. Probably the warehouse shifting old stock or not giving a shit since the different waves all fall under the same item number.
 
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Old 2017-08-24, 10:11 PM   #7
Warcry
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Originally Posted by Heinrad View Post
For me, I guess it depends on what I want for the character/figure. I wound up getting Blurr not because I thought it was an amazing design, but because I already had Hot Rod and Kup. And I got Kup because of LSotW.
There's a bit of that in my collecting too...buying figures that I'd be lukewarm on otherwise just so I can complete a team. Combiner Wars was the worst for it, of course, since there was a tangible benefit to having all the Aerialbots or Combaticons.

Luckily I managed to avoid buying Blurr so I didn't feel compelled to get a Kup. If I'd gotten my hands on Takara Blurr like I'd been considering, I don't think I'd have been able to resist, even though Kup is kinda m'eh on his own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clay View Post
Really? Here in the US, it's more of a problem than it was in the past, at least with Titans Return deluxes. Every walmart within a hour's drive's radius is overstocked with Blurr, Scourge, and Chromedome, and has been since December. Even the TRU, which had the Misfire wave last week, had that wave on top of a bunch of wave 1.5 figures.
I've heard a lot of people in the US complaining about being understocked as well, so it probably differs from region to region. Either way, I'm not hearing any people jumping up to say that their stores are well-stocked with just the right amount of current product, so it's pretty obvious that someone's making bad decisions somewhere in the supply chain.

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Originally Posted by Clay View Post
I do remember Combiner Wars stock as a blink-and-you'll-miss-it affair, though.
I'd say just the opposite. Combiner Wars was the first line in a while that was stocked reasonably around here. It wasn't perfect, since we only got the first and third waves of Legends figures and Ultra Magnus was so rare that I never saw one. But all the Deluxes were easy to find (although the Combaticon and Sky Reign waves came along in opposite order, causing some minor panic) and there were always Voyagers and Leaders around, even if they weren't the most up to date.

The Fall of Cybertron and Thrilling 30 lines were a lot like Titans Return has been, though, with several waves being quite rare and the shelves frequently being bare. Some wave were even skipped over completely. Remember how you had to send me one of your shelfwarming Rattraps because I never saw that wave at all?

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The Walmart problem is a result of Christmas, at least around here.
Even around Christmas time last year, most of the stores around here only had a couple Deluxes hanging around the pegs at any given time.
 
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Old 2017-08-27, 07:25 AM   #8
Skyquake87
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It sounds like you guys are experiencing what we have in Europe for the last 17 years!

Smyths seems to be the only place that seems to have a clue about the waves system in the UK, but again, stuff sells out so fast and then isn't seen again. And then I suspect experiences may vary. I have noticed that my local store, being fairly new, tends to have in a lot more update stock than the one in the next city, which has been around for a couple of years now.

Likewise, Combiner Wars has been reasonably easy to pick up at retail - and if you were prepared to wait (and take a chance), stuff like the Combaticons and the Grand Prime (or whatever its called) assortment could be found at less than their RRP.

I still use a mix of traditional retail and online, which I have done for about 7 years now. Online I tend to use sparingly, as I've noticed the trend for selling you a whole wave of figures too, and I just a) don't want that or b) can't afford that. Plus you're then left with figures you invariably don't want and have try and resell - or so I'd imagine. It's a trend I don't like as it means the secondary market prices on new stuff just get silly, as no one can get their hands on ... anything, which is equally off putting.
 
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