Being from the rainy isle of Britannia, I’m used to a great many disappointments. Our terrible weather, our reality TV shows, the Kinder Surprise (which is a double-whammy of disappointment) are all things that sadden me when it comes to my little country. But the thing that irks me most is being a toy collector on this side of the Atlantic. So please allow me to descend into madness over my meager woes.
I realize a lot of people reading this article may be American and I envy you, I truly do. Right now, you could walk or drive down to your local Target, Wal-Mart, or Toys-R-Us and find dozens of brand new toys you could buy. I went to my nearest Toys-R-Us over the weekend looking for new Transformers. Did I find anything from the current Generations, Hunt for the Decepticons or Power Core Combiner lines? No. I found a myriad of old toys stretching as far back as three damn years ago! Sure, I found some Generations figures at the Forbidden Planet in the same city but they were nearly twice the regular retail price. I’m not against paying such a price (Hell, the Drift toy I reviewed a few weeks ago was £8 over the RRP and ordered online.) but when a high street chain has the gall to charge that price, it just makes me turn to online retailers, which is another can of worms all together.
I’ve ordered a fair few of my more recent toys (specifically from the Generations line) from online retailers and more often than not, I’ve paid over the odds for them. I can rationalize the price away as the convenience of actually getting what I want delivered to my door rather than traipsing my ass over different towns and cities just to not find what I want. But sometimes even this is shockingly expensive, with some retailers charging upwards of £20 for a deluxe figure that should be half that.
That’s if they get over here at all. Sorry to bring up Transformers again but I’ve known entire waves (a certain number of toys in a certain line) to never make it to these shores at all. Distribution from Hasbro UK is piss-poor for us. Well, that isn’t fair. Star Wars gets LOTS of distribution. I’ve seen entire shelves filled to bursting with those Super Deluxe AT-AT’s (which I should take a look at one of these days) and the space they take up is easily three times that of a deluxe Transformers figure that would be far cheaper and easier to sell. Let’s not forget that some stores are still trying to sell stock from three years ago before they’d even consider ordering new stock.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, be thankful when you can find what you want for a decent price, my American friends. You guys have got it made in that department (You’re also the only ones to get DVDs of Justice League Unlimited too but that’s best not brought up here.) So please, go enjoy what you have for those of us who never will.
Next Week – The Marvel and DC Superhero Collections!
- Richard Sharpe
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