Come on Hasbro! Please play fair now
Since 1977, I have been collecting every Star Wars figure I can. From my very first figure I ever bought from the range, Luke Skywalker, I’ve been in love with them. The look of them. The feel of them. The new smell of them when released from their plastic prison. Just to hold them in their packaging or out of it is such a small thrill for me. It takes me back to my childhood when I would go into the local toy store and gaze at the figures on display.
From the Six Million Dollar Man figures to the Starsky and Hutch pose-able figures, the classic Batman 1966 and 1970s animated show figures up to the Star Wars ones, I could spend hours looking at them, my pocket money burning a hole in my pocket, aching to go into the cash register as a new figure was rescued from the toy shelves and was on its way to its new home with me. I lived for those Saturday mornings and my weekly toy store visit.
My collection is now into its thousands. I have figures from almost every one of my favourite films and TV shows ever released dating back to the early 1970s. From a corner of the room, Michael Myers will stare at you. From another, The Smurfs stand in peace outside the doors of their village. From a third, a Stormtrooper stands ready to shoot (and miss you) in a heartbeat.
To some people, these are just toys. To me, they are an accumulation of many years of hard work, dedication, and love of collecting. Which brings me to my plea… WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US? The new Vintage Collection figures are among the best figures ever released. The look of them and the sculpts are amazing. Lovingly presented on retro cards hearkening back to the originals back in the ’70s, these figures are a must have for collectors like me. They will be lovingly displayed and given much love and affection. So why can’t I buy them in the U.K? They are readily available in the USA.
In fact, many unscrupulous people are snapping them up and selling them at vastly increased prices to other consumers the world over. Surely this is an unacceptable practice. Do your research. You would make more money letting the figures reach other territories so collectors can buy them and put money into your coffers. I’ve had three figures from the second wave of vintage collection figures on order for months now and I’m still waiting for them to arrive VIA IMPORT from a re-sell vendor. This shouldn’t be a normal practice in retail. The U.K and the rest of the world are being treated like second-class citizens when it comes to these figures AND others like them.
I have recently been to Spain on holiday and took the time to visit toy stores and retailers out there looking for any figures that are not available in England. To my extreme un-surprise, almost all the retailers I spoke to said it wasn’t cost effective for them to get any of the new figures into their stores even though there’s a huge demand for them. You will find no figures from Solo: A Star Wars Story anywhere. You will not find any of the Vintage Collection figures. All you will find is peg warmers from The Force Awakens gathering dust with a supplier demanded retail cost of £14/$20/€16.
This practice needs to stop. Penalising collectors around the world is not good business. All it’s leading to is extreme frustration and hatred towards the companies concerned. True collectors don’t mind paying a bit extra to get the figures and merchandise they desperately want. What true collectors don’t like or refuse to do is line the pockets of these unscrupulous dealers who buy in bulk and then offer them at greatly inflated prices. Make the figures widely available worldwide. Don’t penalise the suppliers who want to stock the products for their consumers by charging extortionate prices to buy them in and sell them on. Treat the fans with the respect they deserve. Treat them all equally. And more importantly, don’t let the joy of collecting die out just to make a few extra measly dollars. Don’t prevent the next generation of collectors from experiencing the pure exhilaration of seeing these products on the shelves, looking at them lovingly and experiencing the joy of taking them home with them.
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Carl Roberts is the News Editor of The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!