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In store or online: Which is better?

Discussion in 'Action Figures' started by redmans, Jan 26, 2003.

  1. redmans Member

    I was wondering about something. With a toy line like this, is it better to order them online or to buy directly from a store? You can usually get better deals online, but wouldn't it help the line more to buy them from a store? That would encourage retailers to continue ordering future releases and would bring in new fans who happen to see them on a store shelf. But then you run the risk of not being able to find what you're looking for.

    There's a pretty good overview of collectors on the boards here, so I'm curious as to what you guys (and ladies) think? And with reps from Palisades here as well, I'm especially interested on their take on this.

    Tony
  2. WiGgY New Member

    It's best to buy them in a store for many reasons.

    1. You can pick your own. If you want a near flawless figure you can see it before you buy it.

    2. Easier to return it if you have a problem.

    3. Keeps the next series in the stores.

    4. Helps to put the figures in a better place in the store if more people look for them and buy them. That happened in my TRU with series 2. They got a huge part of the action figure section. Too bad TRU won't have them anymore. :(

    Now if you can't find the figures anywhere, then buy them online, but I think everyone should try to buy the playsets in the stores just to show retailers that we LOVE the playsets. Beware of online buying though. You can get figures that are all banged up or that are flawed or even the wrong figure. Some online stores may not know there is a difference between red and blue floyd or red and yellow zoot. One online store is setting up a preorder for series 3 but it says a set of 4 figures. So, how do i get red zoot? Or will I get red Zoot and not yellow? Online is good when you can't get them anywhere else, or if you think they will sell out as soon as they hit the store
  3. ResidentLilly Active Member

    I completely agree to a point. I usually buy two of each item that I hardcore collect. One to open, one to keep in the package. So at the store I usually buy the "one to preserve" and then I want and get that "one to open" set online, through a trade, or wherever.

    There is a better chance of handpicking a good one at a store. BUT...there are some really **** good online retailers, run by collectors for collectors, who are very careful about what they send out. Heck, Big Bad Toy Store, one of the best, TELLS you the grade of the package you will be buying. I have bought from them and KBKids.com and The Store on 44 and Entertainment Earth and AisleSniper and all of them are really good at sending good stuff. (Only have one problem ONE time with KB, but they settled it with me to my complete satisfaction.) There are a few other online stores I have heard good things about.

    If you ever want to find people who have dealt with these guys, go to a pure action figure forum and post a "Have you ever bought from BLANK"? thread. You will get TONS of feedback.
  4. WiGgY New Member

    Big Bad Toy Store looks good, and I'm sure it is, but they don't make mention of red Zoot in the pre-order section. Hope they figure out there are two zoots soon.
  5. bc-fraggle New Member

    I tend to like buying instore better than online. I bought one figure online, and was worried on how the paint job would look. Luckily everything was fine. I also bought an exclusive fig online as well. My thoughts are buying exclusives online are okay, as it is easier, but otherwise I like buying them at the store. Just the whole experience of finding the figures and looking at them, picking out the one of your choice really adds to my collecting experience. Sadly though... TRU and EB have stopped carrying them here is Canada. Sucks! Hoping for a new retailer! Anyone have any ideas what is happening here? Is there a new retailer to be announced?
  6. Stryder Wolfe New Member

    I've bought them all from storesso far, aside fro ma couple of exclusives that didn't make it to canada ,and of course the collectors item stuff. However, if I was going to buy online, I would definitely rank Bigbadtoystore as THE place to go...Joel is great and really awesome at solving problems if they should arise, which they almost never do.

    The only real problem I ave with them is not with them at all, but with the candian currency and customs problem...so for canadians, I would order online from theouterreaches or silver snail instead....

    but mostly I like buying htem in stores...my local comic store orders them pretty much because I asked them, and the owner takes a set from the case as well, leaving a few left over in stores that are always sold out right away...the only thing that hasn't moved is one miss piggy and one lab set....
  7. bats1972 New Member

    Thanks for the info on online ordering. I ordered series three online through EBgmaes.com since TRU is no longer carrying them and I was thinking about what to do with series 4. I may just have to order through Bigbadtoystore.

    But it is great food for thought.

    Thanks!
  8. Phillip Administrator

    Don't forget Ken has mentioned that another major retailer will begin carrying the line with series 4. So there is another avenue for planning series 4 purchases.
  9. bc-fraggle New Member

    So I guess this means I'll need to buy series 3 for sure online ( at least the ones that I want) and pray to the retail gods that a store like Walmart ( only because they multiplied here in Canada like rabbits) will start to carry series 4. Anyone know when Toyfair is, and when we may here more on the new retailer?
    I am very anxious - sorry.
    So to add a twist to the question - in some cases like us Canadian folks, there really is no choice between buying online and instore as no large stores here in Canada will sell series 3 instore. Bottom line: have to buy series 3, series 4? online if we want to stay in the collecting circle.

    On my knees praying real hard. Tears of pain and deperation are streaming dowm my face! LOL
  10. Luke Active Member

    I doubt it's Walmart - they are having the same internal problems as TRU right now.
  11. uncleduke New Member

    Actually, and please note: this is pure conjecture on my part,


    I suspect that it is Walmart.
    They have had a ton of exclusive toys in the past 18 months, and with the new vendor getting exclusives so frequently, they are a logical choice.
    Also they sell more toys than Toys R Us (or at least they were a couple of years ago).

    They are building up their toy sections, while Target seems to be trimming theirs down drastically.
  12. ResidentLilly Active Member

    As much as I really, really, really wish that were true, it's not WalMart. But MAN the line would explode if that were to happen. WalMart is the biggest toy retailer in THE WORLD.
  13. Luke Active Member

    Yeah i wish it were Walmart too - they own Adsa over here, we might see some discounted Muppet figures ! *wishes*

    Walmart i think have about a 5% greater share of the toy industry in the states than TRU, maybe it went up last year too. I wasn't aware of how big they are toy wise internationally.

    They do have the financial advantage over TRU obviously because they can be more discerning about the lines they buy and buy them in greater bulk, and not being a specialist can just move those lines in/out quickly and more economically than a dedicated store like TRU that have to hold large amounts of slower moving more specialist stock. So if the financial situation in the states goes even more belly up they have less to lose than TRU, but at the same time they are by all reports being cautious, their toy sales were down (i think) by the same percentage points as TRU. The whole industry was down 1% last year in the states compared to a 5% rise in Europe. I've heard both companies are being cautious about buying in even the stock that they are pretty sure they could sell, incase things change i guess and they're left with a large inventory.

    So i guess it's all about shifting the stock they already have first, and being more conservative even when taking new heavily promoted and popular lines from the bigger companies in the toy business. I guess that leaves little hope in these bleak times for the smaller toy companies and any products geared toward a more niche market than say Harry Potter, Bratz or Transformers.
  14. bc-fraggle New Member

    Okay so Walmart is out for us all - sad news Canadian folks... it is looking bad.
    Any idea that it would be a retailer that is also based here in Canada? Like Zellers or some other speciality type store similar to EB games. Why anyways are us Canadian folks getting dealt a bad hand anyhow with the loss of TRU and EB? Are our Sales bad here?

    "Feeling sad once again and running out or prayers!"
  15. Luke Active Member

    What are the price points for these like in Canada ? Here in the UK we pay almost the equivalent of $19 for just one regular figure. Apparently it's the sales import tax but exactly the same distributor is bringing in Simpsons for just a tiny bit more than the states prices. Seems like Playmates are willing to lower their prices to get these into the UK cheaply but i guess Palisades has a lower profit margin or something because of the smaller distribution.

    It really jips me that i can buy them from the states AND pay international shipping and it still comes out cheaper than buying them from the local shopping mall. Plus they get placed next to the Simpsons on the shelves and i guess the big difference between the two doesn't look that great for the Muppets - they still sell out though.
  16. GPrime1 Member

    There really isn't much of a price difference between the Canadian and US stores. When series one came out EB was selling them for about 10.99. TRU was a bit more expensive, selling their figs at 14.99. However, with series two (EB the only store selling them), they were going for 9.99! In the States I saw them being sold from anywhere from 7.99 to 9.99, so there really wasn't much of a difference.
  17. Luke Active Member

    Thanks for the info, glad you are getting em at a decent price. Hope you can find a retailer near to ya !
  18. bc-fraggle New Member

    Hey GPrime! Are there any comic stores that you know of in our area that are pre-ordering series 3? Do you know if Golden Age is still selling the mupppets?
    Thanks for the imput, and help!

    Online I payed with shipping included $30 bucks canadian for one figure, that was after the exchange rate. That is liveable for some figures but I fear that playsets will be up real high like $90 with shipping and the US exchange rate.
  19. Stryder Wolfe New Member

    Luke, if you were to convert those figures, we have always gotten the figures cheaper than the US. Even at $14.99 CDN, that's only 9.86 USD....with te exchange rate, we pay the same or much less...basically series 2 was half-price...

    That's why I don't understand a lot of Canadians complaing about having to buy the figures in smaller stores for 15 bucks...basically they're paying market value now, while for the first two waves we were getting discounts...
  20. Fozzie Bear Moderator

    I'm just buying what I can from Suncoast Motion Picture Company. I've FINALLY been able to send off for my collector's club membership. I need my invisible Fozzie (of course).

    FOZ

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