Store exclusives...only Target seems to get it right.

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by SentinelPrime, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. SentinelPrime

    SentinelPrime I NEEDED THAT!

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Posts:
    1,216
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    /wave

    Hi there!

    Well, as I continue to deal with the frustrating need for Animated Arcee, (how annoying is it to find those 2 Cyb-Ratchets hanging there? :sly2: ) I began to reflect on store exclusives and how mind boggling the distribution can be on some items and how different stores deal with them.

    I concluded that looking back on the past few years, Target seems to be the only store that really does Store Exclusives right. They seem to consistently order plenty of any exclusives, from TFs, to Joe, to Star Wars, and typically features them prominently, often times on an end-cap of their own. Not to mention they REALLY know how to clearance stuff...other stores slowly peck away $1 at a time, but Target says BAM! 50% off! Get it out of here! (but that's another story)

    I mean, sometimes other stores will get in good amounts of exclusives, but it's so random...and why does it seem like Wal Mart only orders big amounts of exclusives no one wants? (I'm looking at you ROTF Ramjet and Skywarp.) This Arcee situation is a perfect example. They could have made a mint off of this one figure...fans of ALL continuities seem to want this thing. Putting her on tru.com alone would have had staggering sales, I'd bet.

    It's crazy, I'll be wandering through a tru, and find a lone cybertron mode ratchet, yet walk over an isle and find 40 of something that NO one wants, like a stack of die cast marvel figures or maybe a big stack of DC IH 5-packs. If anyone needs the ROTF mixmaster 2 pack, I have a secret line on about 50 of those, lol. Why do people that order for toy depts seem to understand so little about the nuances of their product lines? I'd want employees to understand what they were doing, not order 10 cases of stuff no one cares about while other people are wandering the isles in frustration, not spending money.

    I swear I read somewhere a few years back that the strategy with exclusives isn't necessarily selling tons of the exclusive per se, but getting people in the store, with the idea that they will buy something else anyway if the figure isn't there. That concept is broken, though, as most of us typically check multiple stores, or at least camp one in particular if more aren't available.

    What are your thoughts on the subject?
     
  2. QmTablit

    QmTablit Disguise: Check. Robot...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Posts:
    9,428
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +2
    My thoughts are pretty simple: it's hardly Toys R Us' fault that you're getting beat by scalpers.

    TRU typically gets trucks in on the same day every week. Talk to an employee. Tell them you're looking for a specific figure, and that it's a store exclusive. And ask if you could have them hold one for you.

    Some will do it, some won't.
     
  3. Sage o' G-fruit

    Sage o' G-fruit Critics gonna critique

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2008
    Posts:
    7,108
    News Credits:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +11
    Amen @ the title. They also have the best exclusives IMO. Superion, Bruticus, Leo Prime, the Comic 2-packs, and they can be found easily. :D 
     
  4. SentinelPrime

    SentinelPrime I NEEDED THAT!

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Posts:
    1,216
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    You seem to miss my point altogether...why would a store want to have to make customers go through that kind of a process just for a figure? If I were a manager, and someone explained to me that they had to stake out the store, find an employee and try to get them to somehow hold back a figure, IF they can even understand what you talking about, I'd be blown away! As I said, I've never had an issue with scalpers attacking most Target exclusives, they order plenty, make it available, and display it. If for some reason the first wave of something sells out, it's no big deal as I know Target will restock it, whereas with say, Arcee, I feel like if I don't get the one shipment, it's not coming back at all.

    "Talk to an employee" you say? If you can find an employee that seems willing to help you, I find it hard to believe most employees even fathom something like "this figure is store exclusive", that will likely get you a blank stare and perhaps a confused look. Believe me, I've attempted to ask the dazed, messy haired guys, or the confused old ladies...most toy dept employees simply unpack boxes, the nuance of something like Animated Arcee is lost, and any type of detailed question on a product just confuses them more. I'm 35, and this is based on my collective toy buying experiences, so I don't want ya to think I'm just talking out of my tailpipe or being grumpy.

    Again, Target makes them visible and available. That seems to be the issue with Arcee for example. Scalpers are nabbing them because tru puts out like TWO of them. If they put out say, an end cap of 30, and could restock if necessary, this wouldn't be an issue. I don't get it, it's a TOY store, and you have a product from a franchise that is hugely popular right now, and you have an item that people can ONLY buy at YOUR store...wouldn't you want to promote that item and have it available?
     
  5. Omega Jolt

    Omega Jolt Hunter

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Posts:
    606
    Trophy Points:
    101
    Likes:
    +0
    This whole issue generally bothers me as well.
    You're right in that Target usually gets the widest variety of interesting exclusives but it's also because they are targeting a different part of the population.

    Wal-Mart: Baby-Boomers and old folks

    Toys R' Us: Small children and the parents therof

    Target: "Hip" twenty somethings who are into niche things (like TFs)

    As an interesting tid-bit after discussing things with my local TRU people, and Wal-Mart for that matter (because of Target's DCPI inventory system they seem to be exempt from this) I have discovered that the employees and even the manager often do not have control over what stock, and how much, comes into their store's toy department and that for the most part those decisions are made at the corporate warehouse based on regional allotments, so it's not often the fault of the employees. In many cases Podunkville gets slightly fewer of item X so that Bigcitytown can get more.
    (Keep in mind I'm on personable terms with these people so I'm pretty sure they aren't yanking my chain just to make excuses.)

    In regards to Arcee, I have mine siting right here next to me and I have it because I got there on truck day at opening time and was pretty much nose to nose with scalpers of all kinds. If you want something badly make time to get it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2010
  6. QmTablit

    QmTablit Disguise: Check. Robot...

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Posts:
    9,428
    Trophy Points:
    176
    Likes:
    +2
    Animated is a dead line that Toys R Us agreed to carry. Other than the new case, they're probably shelfwarming Freeway Jazz' and ES Soundwaves. Last wave(s) of a line, store exclusive, action figure of a female character... it's pure scalper bait.

    Target is less of a niche store and can afford to overstock on toys because they can later clearance them out to make back the wholesale cost, or sell stock to stores like BigLots.

    Not to mention that Target is second to only Walmart when it comes to toy sales.
    Right. You should know, or at least have a good idea, about the employees at your nearest TRU. You should know which person is the manager, or who you can recall has been there the longest.
     
  7. Nightrain

    Nightrain Senior Villain

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2002
    Posts:
    10,354
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +34
    The OP is dead on. I don't care what the reasons are. At the end of the day, Target tends to get much more of my money than the others because their stuff is readily available and accessible.
     
  8. ComicGuy89

    ComicGuy89 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Posts:
    3,356
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Likes:
    +5
    For me Walmart is the worst in my area. I was lucky to grab that one Devastator, and none of the THREE Walmarts have yet to bring in Masterpiece Skywarp. In a way, I'm happy TRU is getting Grimlock. They may be slow but they are slightly more reliable than Walmart.

    Nevertheless, Target is definitely the best.
     
  9. netkid

    netkid Where's my Goddamn shoe!

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Posts:
    11,217
    News Credits:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    267
    Likes:
    +42
    You know it's a problem when Aaron Archer can't even get a Masterpiece Starscream and he's head of Transformers at Hasbro. He had to buy his online (eBay, if I remember correctly).

    Apparently the reason was that 1. MP Starscream wasn't produced in high numbers, and 2. Wal-Mart only sent MP Starscreams to stores that move high volumes of toys, to ensure they all sell at full price.

    I noticed the same problem with Classics Devastator. And I REALLY wanted him. *argh!*

    Having lived in Rhode Island my whole life, we have at least 12 different Wal-Marts. I did not see 1 single Starscream, and I checked all 12. Rhode Island got jack shit.

    Luckily, this wasn't the case with MP Skywarp. This time Wal-Mart got things right, making enough product and supplying almost all stores. However, they might have overproduced a bit since many Skywarps were left over to be clearanced out at $30 each. But they still ended up selling.
     
  10. Pun-3X

    Pun-3X Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Posts:
    4,963
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Likes:
    +24
    Gotta give my hat off to Target as well. FINALLY got me an Arcee last week, but it definitely feels like you have an extremely limited chance with them to get anything exclusive. Walmart is much better, but there are tons of WMs out here. As a result, even if they only get one shipment of an exclusive I'll find something off them most likely.

    But Target gets their exclusives and treats them like regular stock. No one cares why or how different stores treat their exclusives, it's that they make them available or they don't. And beyond even the exclusives, the last three times I've been looking for newer items, Target has beaten Walmart to the punch. In fact, I got my HA Barricade from a Target store and have yet to see another anywhere in my area.

    Of those three, TrU exclusives are the ones that worry me the most. They'd be better off going with Walmart or Target, but Target first and foremost.
     
  11. barrelks

    barrelks Captain Funtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Posts:
    9,109
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +12
    It is not TRU's fault, but rather the exclusive that they get. It wouldn't be any different if it were Target, but Target hasnt gotten any sought after exclusives in the past few years. I would say that the other TRU exclusives (Megs, Soundwave, Fallen), (Hoist, Mixmaster), (Whirl, Bludgeon), and even the Universe ones are pretty well stocked. The ordering manager generally isn't going to know what exclusives will sell and what will be turds, and based on the glut of garbage exclusives they still have on the shelf from the last half year (even the cybertron repaints from the first movie) do you think they are going to be leary about over-ordering some new shelf warming exclusive? Would you rather they get one load of 32 Ratchets and 32 Arcees and walk in and see 30 Ratchets sitting on the shelf with no hope of them restocking?

    Employees are not going to know what the hell you are talking about if you go in and ask if Arcee is coming in. The best way is to go in the night before the stock comes in with the item number (493859) and have them look in the computer to see if it is on the shipping manifest (usually the new stuff will only show up on the manifest the day before it arrives). If it is, I highly suggest trying to be as charming as possible to that employee (hell, if they are opening the next day, offer to bring them coffee if they would be kind enough to hold it for you), but if they don't budge, make sure you get there at opening, stretch, and wear your running shoes. But you would be surprised if you are prepaired with a stock number, and pleasant to the employees, how far that will take you. I have had them pull stuff for me in the past (without asking), and even know that the employees at my local TRU seem to have an affinity for the show Psych (helps to bs with them).
     
  12. SentinelPrime

    SentinelPrime I NEEDED THAT!

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Posts:
    1,216
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    I'm sorry, but that's just ridiculous. No one should have to deal with that. If Arcee went to Target or even dare I say, Wal Mart, it wouldn't be like this. If your chain decides to have a figure available at only their store, it seems crazy that they'd bury it, no matter what it is. And I don't think most store employees like being stalked around the store, with you taking note of their schedules.

    I mean, even at a core level, something like the Hasbro execs at ToyFair explaining to the retail people that it's a fan favorite character that many people have wanted in this form for over 25 years. Hasbro knows enough about the franchise to understand that fact. They do, at least lately.

    At the VERY least, offer it on tru.com in good numbers! Promote it in emails! Advertise it! Duh! Don't just do a "oh...yeah...well, yeah, you can only get it here...we got in like two. Whatever."

    Think of it like this: a comic shop has alot in common with a toy store, in that it's dealing with a very specific product to a very specific market. Yet, the freakin slackers at the comic store understand that Xmen #125 is going to sell more than Wonder Woman #125 and adjust the orders thusly. Same concept.
     
  13. chrisr291

    chrisr291 Master of the Unknown

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    Posts:
    12,356
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    227
    Likes:
    +33
    Ebay:
    Yeah, it really is a head scratcher when hasbro thinks its a good idea to give TRU an exclusive TF toy. I'd rather Hasbro just sell exclusive toys on their web site. That would save me money because I wouldn't have to waste time and gas driving to this dead life support franchise. Sure the deluxe would cost 17-20 dollars shipped but that is OK with me.

    Off Topic but how much longer can TRU survive? The Austin TRU still has a Platinum gamecube for full price.
     
  14. grimlock1972

    grimlock1972 "No Mas" My Wallet

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Posts:
    18,187
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +53
    Target does okay with Exclusives, Wal-mart is hit and miss and I have no experience with TRU so i can't really rate it.

    personally im very anti exclusives as it makes some figures unnecessarily difficult to find, I only have a Wal-mart and K-mart close by, the nearest Targets are an hour away and I was never able to get either target exclusive combiner and now they are going for 2 or 3 times retail on the secondary market due to the Superion add on set and the upcoming Bruticus one.

    I have gotten several of the Wal-mart and K-mart exclusives but not all, Id much prefer a wide/mass release for all figures.

    I do understand the reasoning behind store exclusives but it doesn't have to me i like it !
     
  15. barrelks

    barrelks Captain Funtastic

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Posts:
    9,109
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +12
    You really don't know if it would be this bad at Target or Walmart. Ask people who never got MP Starscream, or the Exclusive Alternators. Hell, again I point to the other TRU exclusives which are easy to find. It is just the case because this is the one that you want, the others have been no problem.

    And you don't need to stalk them around the store, just go up to the service desk and ask them to run a stock number. I just know about the Psych thing cause they seem to talk about it every damn time I am in there (but it is worthwhile knowledge to have). PS, if you look like a stalker, you probably arnt gonna get any help.

    Then blame Hasbro, don't expect some regional ordering manager to know that a specific product E is going to sell 10x as much as exclusive product A, B, C, and D that have been sitting on the shelves for the past half year collecting dust. They likely are placing orders on thousands of products from 100 comanies and do not know exactly what specific item from a company is going to sell like hotcakes. It is just mass retail.

    They did, even if it was briefly, and it will probably be back at some point:
    Edit, guess the listing was taken down today, but like the insecticons and perceptor, chances are it will show up again.

    As far as advertising it, have you seen how many exclusives they carry, imaginext, GI Joe, sports figures, DC, Muggs, etc, etc. How do they choose what to promote and what not to.

    This is a poor arguement. Most comic shops have a much greater knowledge of the product than a big-box store. Hell most of the comic shops are owned by comic fans and not chains (is there even a comic shop chain that has 100 stores). Comic shops are a niche. Walmart (I think) carries some comics, do you think they know to order a ton of some specific comic over another if Superman has some special edition or something?

    Even if TRU doesn't get a glut like Target or Walmart, I have rarely (if ever)seen either of those stores ever restock their exclusives after their initial batch. I have already seen my local TRU restock 3 times on Arcee/Ratchet, which is nice if you miss the first one (I didn't). It doesn't come down to distribution as much as supply and demand. Target and Walmart would be wiped clean in a few hours if they got a gang of them in, that is how scalpers work.

    I have given you my advice, use it if you want, and I wish you luck on finding an Arcee. Talk to your locals in the sightings forum, I know we have had a lot of luck with that, and I currently have another Arcee (hopefully without stress marks) waiting for me to pick up.
     
  16. Deceptichage

    Deceptichage Decepticon Land Pirate

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Posts:
    2,606
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    186
    Likes:
    +7
    Target exclusives do seem to sell well after they hit 50% off and above. Most times I will see them warm the shelves. Leo Prime, Burning Fallen, Legends 5pack all warmed the shelves until Target started to clearance them out. If TRU had followed the same, they would definitely fly out the door.

    Animated is going away at Target and they have already clearanced the deluxes. TRU is still going to carry them as exclusives, but still stocks them with the regular stock. It doesn't help any that Arcee is in demand and has to compete with her box assortment companion Ratchet, in addition to the ones already on the pegs. If Hasbro boxed Arcee by herself in large numbers, then maybe we wouldn't have this problem.
     
  17. SentinelPrime

    SentinelPrime I NEEDED THAT!

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Posts:
    1,216
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    I think the first real taste I got of this kind of thing was back in the tru RID Scourge days. THAT was a tough toy to come by.

    It seems this conversation has developed into two mindsets: one group is saying "yeah, Target does it the best, the figures are available" while others seem to want to say "No, it's fine and expected to have to case a tru and bug the employees and study the shipping schedule and know dcpi codes or whatnot".

    It seems like a pretty clear cut scenario to me, at this point.
     
  18. Computron34

    Computron34 Butt + Hurt = TF Fans

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Posts:
    3,564
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    Likes:
    +13
    Ebay:
    Twitter:
    You see the problem is the item number for Arcee and Ratchet are the same for the other Animated deluxe figures. Much like Targets DPCI system. So guess what, you still have some animated on the shelve, the system probably won't send in to order more until the remaining stock is gone. And yes, it is computer controlled inventory. And I don't remember Target advertising the Leo Primes and Bruticus'. You just gotta be kinda lucky I guess. I got my Arcee on a Saturday, at like 1pm in Houston (was there on a day trip).

    EDIT: And if the TRU exclusives bother you that much, hey, you are on a giant Transformers message board. You could just ask if someone would be willing to pick up an extra if they see it, then you don't have to worry about finding them and worry about more important things.........like monkeys taking over the world........
     
  19. SentinelPrime

    SentinelPrime I NEEDED THAT!

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Posts:
    1,216
    Trophy Points:
    161
    Likes:
    +0
    Ebay:
    MONKEYS?!?!?

    Oh crap!
     
  20. Computron34

    Computron34 Butt + Hurt = TF Fans

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2002
    Posts:
    3,564
    News Credits:
    12
    Trophy Points:
    207
    Location:
    Waco, TX
    Likes:
    +13
    Ebay:
    Twitter:
    See. Worry away!!!!!!!!
     

Share This Page