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!