As we approach Memorial Day and the beginning of the summer season, the question on many collector's minds is when will new stuff start hitting and old merch clearanced out. With stores still carrying January stock, it's about time for a refresh.
There have been sporadic sightings of the latest waves at the brick and mortars. Jedi Temple Archives is reporting finds of Vintage Collections Wave 3 and 4 at Walmart and ToysRus. Darth Malgus remains to be the figure capturing the most interest, going for over $50 on eBay and continuing the great demand and scarcity of Expanded Universe video game action figures. Speaking of in demand video game figures, I lucked on a Darth Revan at my local comic book shop this weekend for $17. Granted , the card was in okay shape, but seeing how he and Malak are still going for a premium, it was too good to pass up. I encourage you guys to support your local comic shop. There have been a lot of collections being sold lately and you may find a piece or two to fill holes in your collection at decent, better than eBay plus shipping prices.
K-Mart has clearanced their exclusive Vintage B-Wing Fighter in stores to $29.99. At only $10 bucks off, it's not the greatest deal in the world, so I advise you wait until K-Mart has their additional markdowns on clearance merchandise, where you can get up to an extra 50% off. If you're collecting the B-Wing for its beautiful vintage inspired packaging, you may want to buy one sooner than wait since these don't wear on the shelves too well. Shelf space will hopefully be cleared soon for their new exclusive Vintage boxed AT-ST. I have to admit that after having been re-issued a few times in the past 5 years, another AT-ST isn't that exciting to me on the onset, aside from the retro Kenner packaging, but we'll have to see what new deco or tooling Hasbro has updated this latest iteration with.
HasbroToyShop is now taking pre-orders for the new and controversial Bespin Battle and Duel On Naboo Battle Packs for $22.99 each. They're about as articulated as a Kenner figure but their sculpt and paint are awesome. Toy junkies like Adam Pawlus give them a thumbs up from the aesthetic yet simple retro design standpoint. Others are crying foul for their limited poseability.
Where does Hasbro stand? While perusing the old and everlastingly on hiatus Collector Q&A, I came upon this one answer from November 2010, which is sadly the last time they've updated the Q&A section. While the answer was addressing a question regarding Saga Legends, it kind've applies to the younger audience this "less is more" approach is targeted to and summarizes what their retail segmentation and marketing philosophy is about:
"Many people assume that Saga Legends are targeted toward collectors. That is not the case. Saga Legends are targeted toward a kid audience and have been for a number of years. While we have done Saga Legends fans' votes, most notably in the 2007-2008 30th Anniversary line, the large majority of figures are designed to keep the most popular characters out there in circulation. Kids are much less concerned about articulation or how old a figure is; in fact, the more articulation a figure has the harder it is for young kids to manipulate, which is why we select the figures we do. Another fallacy we are happy to address: that we keep forcing figures out to retailers instead of figure segments that sell better. Saga Legends has been a hot segment since the release of the new packaging with the Galactic Battle Game, and we have been trying to keep up with the demand. "
I don't know if this answer makes you feel better about less articulation and kids, but there you go.
Target is going to have a BOGO 50% sale on their Star Wars action and pre-school toys beginning this Sunday, May 27th according to Jedi Defender. This doesn't include LEGO, but Target is having a sale on bricks this week. It only works out to around a discount of 5% though, unless you also use your Target credit or debit card and get an additional 5% off. Also of note, the Class 3 Transformers Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker that normally retails for $39.99 to $44.99 is price dropped at Target to $29.99.
Remember that Target exclusive Battlefields of Naboo Battle Pack Hasbro announced at last year's Comic-Con? This was originally planned for the January 30th launch, but seeing the amount of Movie Heroes and Vintage Battle Droids hanging around, it may have been a wise move for Hasbro and Target to cancel or postpone it. With the way things have been going for exclusives lately, don't be surprised to see this at a discount retailer like Ross or Marshalls in a few months.
Finally, what do you think the chances are we'll see the Naboo Pilot, Aurra Sing, and Mawhonic re-issued on Vintage cards? It will be interesting if Hasbro manages to squeeze them in prior to the 2013 transition and Droid Factory. I certainly wouldn't pass up their Discover The Force releases in anticipation of a plan to re-circulate them on Vintage cards.
Happy Galactic Hunting everyone! Make sure to email us your store reports and finds at firstname.lastname@example.org!