Tales of Swapping Continued: POTF2 At Retail in 2010

By Adam Pawlus — Friday, October 22, 2010

We've seen tons of swapped figures over the years, but this particular case of fraud is a little different and devious. To even the trained eye, it looks like there's nothing wrong, but it really does show that stores should keep an eye on things like a copyright date on the package. What happened this time? Well, reader Ed found someone actually found a way to make stores take 1990s action figures but think they're new. More on this disgrace after the jump.

Ed had the following to share:


Have been visiting your site on almost daily basis for over a decade now! You seem to be the only one considerate enough to give concern to the predicament of toy/figure "swapping". I have had it here in Fayetteville/FT Bragg NC area.

I have spent literally hours trying to inform Wal-mart management of the problem. Recently I contacted our Hasbro District Manager [name redacted --AP] about this. She had nothing to add or say – zero comments and zero concern.

I have difficulty understanding this. My kids are aware of it as well and they likewise do not understand it. This is stealing, plain and simple and these nuts are getting away with it. What gives?

I am going to present the comments I previously made to the district manager below for sake of saving my energy.

I am also going to include photos I took in the store. I have seen the following (Will try to find photos as I remember saving them from phone as well):



I have seen 3 repainted G.I. JOE Tripwire figures in orange replaced inside an Evolutions Rebel Pilot Wal-mart Exclusive earlier this year, The Wal-mart AT-ST exclusive replaced with the Target Battle of Endor AT-ST (green/brown color on feet) and a usual assortment of odd figures. What I saw yesterday really takes the cake! Read on... (taken from email to Hasbro DM)

Yesterday I saw something that just made my head spin. I noticed figures that dated back to 1995-96 which were on the toy shelves!!! I took a few and scanned them in to notice they had actual current prices! I was puzzled at first. Couldn't be old store stock I knew because this Wal-mart opened in 2001. The product description on the scanner however did not match the older item in hand. So a Luke Skywalker would ring up a price of $7.99 but the descript would say Commander Cody (which is a newer figure). The other 4-5 figures followed suit yet with different and newer characters. What I couldn't understand was how a product decades old would still scan up even though it simulated new product descript. Was this an inside job with an associate corresponding the UPC's??? Well upon closer inspection, I found out what it was.

Whomever the nutcase was that did this, they were pretty intricate. It's crazy... They took a scan of a newer figure's card back, forged it, printed it out and carefully cut and paste it on the back of the card. It was well done because at first glance you can not tell it. But there is a ridge on the back of the cards and you can see where the pasted on back begins. Also the resolution is very shotty as it was obviously printed on an ink jet printer. They look like bootlegs and they are sitting at Wal-mart for sale along with current product. Due to lack of interest in the past and wasting almost an hour trying to convince them prior, I decided to simply walk away yesterday instead of inform them about it. Lord knows I wanted to but... I was with wife and kids and short for whatever time it would immensely consume. Course the kids knew it too and they walked away saying, "Hey, that's like stealing Mom!" We really didn't have time to be informative or upset by trying to tell people who have no concern and are (as previously witnessed) going to "look at us crazy".


Thanks for your report, Ed!



If anybody is still reading this thread, at my local Target today I saw the new Geonosis sets and someone swapped out the R2 and Threepio in that one set. Very well done I must say. I first noticed that R2 didn't have the "clear" eye, but more so the C3P0 had a different colored arm, and the swappable head taped to the back of the packaging was differnt too! I'm thinking it was the 2006 saga edition. Also the Shaak-ti set was just plain stolen with only the Geonosin warrior inside. No Rodian Jedi sets of course being the only one I was lookin for!

Wow, that is crazy. I wonder

Wow, that is crazy. I wonder if he has them up for sale somewhere. Could be interesting looking on Ebay for the taken figures at low prices in the NC area.

Crazy stuff

Last winter I found a TRU EXCLUSIVE 181st Tie Intercepter from the 30th anny collection at Walmart! Said to myself what the hell is this doin here. So I grab it and bring it to the register to see if it would even ring up. Turns out some idiot covered the UPC barcode with one from some electronic device and it rang up at $89.99. After talking to the manager she peeled off the fake UPC and of course the TRU UPC wouldn't ring up in their system. I explained to her what it was and she offered it to me for 25 bucks, I declined. Then she came back to me and said she couldn't sell it so she asked for 10 bucks, which I gladly accepted! So I guess Walmart lost out, but I got a great ship and pilot for 10 bucks!

absolutely love it

i absolutely love this and i was thinking about doing so myself. i wanted to do this with many episode 1 doubles that i got off ebay. now i know that i can do it for sure. excellent idea and a perfect trap. this guys are geniuses. if hasbro wants to play us and not stock the shelves with new figs, then we might as well stick it to them as best as we can. im glad the kids got to see this too because maybe they can see how its done and learn for the future so they can do it to. i chalk this up as a win for the empire. GOOD ANAKIN GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!

Swapping is not right

dude I have to say your comments are so not cool. I mean how can you post that you justify people stealing money from companies and then say hey I'm thinking of doing the same thing?

I have never even come close to wanting to swap out something for something else, and have never even thought about returning something that was not what i bought... I can't stand people who have this type of attitude. to me it's STEALING no matter how you look at it...it's Theft, it a CRIME.


In my opinion, if you want to get a Walmart manager's attention on this issue, don't discuss action figure and packaging characteristcs, simply tell them someone traded in a 10 year old figure they bought for $4 and got $8 back. I think it will then make perfect sense.

swap stealin'

Much like this clown a few years back;


Been livin'/collectin' in the Fayetteville area for 8 years and saw all kinds of swapping silliness. Bringing in POTF takes the cake. This clown will make a good chunk of change to feed his meth habit, no doubt. And he's obviously inspired by Mr Swanberg's technique of UPC label creation.
I agree with earlier comment, tell the management they're getting robbed. Too easy to check security camera. And with this much old product, this clown probably runs a table at the Raeford Rd or Bragg Blvd flea markets. Put it all together and smack this dude.

Knowing how much management

Knowing how much management doesn't care from personal experience as well, if I'd seen something this extreme in person I think I'd have just ripped the false upc's off the back as best I could and walked out of the store with as many of them as I could carry. Then in another month, into the toys for tots bin they'd go!