Anyone else tired of the "you have to buy it now" culture that's developed?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by TheBeastman, Apr 28, 2021.

  1. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    Your phone doesn't make a ding when you get an email?
    You don't read the internet on the phone? That is weird in 2021?

    Let me tell you the situation for me regarding that Grimlock / Mirage pre-order. I'm a Software engineer.... roboticist actually. I was on the fabrication level talking to the design guys about refinements I needed done. I was in the very middle of of my work day. It dinged, I took out my phone, looked at it, and my face brightened. "Hey that finally dropped!" I thought to myself. I excused myself for three minutes "hey fellas I gotta make a call". I left the room, to the hall way and put in the order.

    3 minutes. Boom done.

    By minute 4, I was back talking about real robots, not plastic ones.

    Did I miss something where getting emails to your smartphone and opening web browser was suddenly this stressful, compulsive thing that means this hobby took over your life? Compared to folks who have been checking scores, standings, sports news, stocks or hell, Facebook and Twitter, every hour of the day, for the past decade and change?

    Gimme a break! You all can sign up for alerts and use your phones like citizens of the 21st century.
     
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  2. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    My idea, which I put in the other thread, is that Hasbro should make it so Pulse membership guarantees you access to all figures of a given line (including exclusives) within a general production period (let's say, one year from introduction, but that could make things weird at the end of lines). And after that period, which they will announce ahead of time it is discontinued. But so long as you order in that period, it will be manufactured (maybe at like, 3-4 intervals per year).

    For example, lets say this policy existed for for Kingdom, Kingdom Megatron, released in February 2021. It would be announced on that date he will be available to order until February 1st 2022. And he would be shipped in one more shipment to those people in September, one in December, and one in March 2022. Your pulse membership buys you that guarantee. It gives you one year.

    But beyond that, Hasbro should not do a single thing. That would make them the retailer of last resort.
     
  3. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Sure all of what you describe is possible.

    But just because something is possible doesn't mean it's reasonable to be set up this way.

    Again, this is a hobby. Yet somehow it has developed into a stupid competitive business.

    Even worse, it has become a lottery.

    Do we agree that toy shortages are a real thing? Do we agree that there are more people interested in a product than there are products being manufactured?

    Then that means no matter what, even if all of us were glued to our phones 24/7 waiting for that magical preorder window to drop, some would win and some would lose out. Just like anyone, but not everyone can win the lottery, some will always be faster than others, and if you seriously suggest using bots, then it becomes an arms race.

    In what's supposed to be a hobby about collecting toys.

    Do you seriously think this is a viable, sustainable model going forward?

    In the long run, a lot of people will quit the collecting hobby because they realize it's stopped being fun. Ultimately leaving only the hardcore competitive arms race collectors to fight each other to the bitter end about plastic toys.

    Is this the future you want?

    As has been implied over in the other thread: People shouldn't be struggling for the "privilege" of spending their money. Some of them will eventually realize how silly this is, and keep their money to themselves and find a new hobby that's less stressful.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  4. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    I've said repeatedly in this thread, that it exists, but it's also a joke to navigate so long as you take a proactive decision making posture (which is just a good life skill btw) rather than a reactive one.

    As I see it, most arguments in this thread to the contrary have been an ode to purely reactionary decision making... which I have to say is something.

    I mean... what... seriously... did you folks not expect Maximal Grimlock to use the Dinobot mold and do a riff on his Beast Wars paintjob? Did you folks not expect Kingdom Mirage to be a retool of ER Mirage? Heck I was surprised he is like 50% new! I thought he was going to have far fewer changes.

    I just honestly can't believe that on a fan site, in a forum, with a mountain of leaks about what's coming, and detailed "in the know" knowledge about how to go about things, that any of this is a problem. It's like folks want to be a fan, hardcore enough to partake in a community discussion about the hobby, but not actually take advantage of the tools at their disposal from "being in the know". Like... what? There is a massive logical hole here.

    The one thing I will say, and have said repeatedly, is canceled pre-orders or pre-order windows with no warning, are some bullshit. Case in point, I had no problem ordering Grimlock and Mirage, and I expected them to be coming sometime this year (they were leaked), but I didn't love that Hasbro didn't give a day's heads up that "hey, orders will open Tuesday at 1pm". Instead we got an email that as they dropped. That's not cool. But also, not the norm.



    In most cases, you can fill in the blanks before even seeing it, regardless of leaked pictures. Case in point, Shattered Glass Megatron. We knew he was coming. Someone made a custom. They got it 90% right. Was their any doubt that Target exclusive T-Wrecks, not officially announced yet but leaked (with images) looks like a red-centric redeco of Kingdom Beast Megatron?

    And if you are *truly* undecided, pre-order now, decide later. I have such a pre-order in for SG Megatron right now because although I'm interested in the figure, I don't know where it belongs in my collection and I have a lot of that mold already. Maybe I 'll cancel before he drops. You know how many times I've canceled MP Transformer pre-orders because I'm not really a MP collector but just want to put my name in line in case it jumps out as me as one of those special figures I really *do* want. My FansToys Sovereign in metallic colors is a testament to that decision making process. But the ACT OF ORDERING should never be when you decide. That's a mechanical action to put your name on the list. You decide before by being savy, or you decide after and either keep or cancel your order.



    No. It's not an ego thing. What are you talking about? It's simple definition. If you come to this website once a week you are better informed about the future of TFs than people who don't. If you deep dive the leak threads and the twitter guys here, you are better informed than people who just read the front page. If you're a collector partaking in this forum, who knows that BBTS and Pulse exists, you are better informed - and savy - than the 99% of people who buy these toys that don't.

    So take advantage of that. That's simple definition. We're in a place to be better informed. Putting that information to good use is simple pragmatism to beat the rat race that is competing with the wider audience in the marketplace. Who actually wants to go back to the bad old days of having to drive around to 10 stores to find the TF you want? That's crazy. That's inefficient. Not when we know how the strat to get our name in line.


    Also you can directly address me when addressing my points, rather than talking around me. Thanks.
     
  5. deaddude

    deaddude Well-Known Member

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    This explains a lot. It suggests a high likelihood that you enjoy many benefits that you seem to think everyone in this fandom shares, when there's no reason to believe that is the case. For example, you are more likely to have a reasonably high amount of disposable income, flexible work schedule, and more time spent in front of a screen for both work and pleasure.

    Not everyone in this fandom actually can afford to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on toys. Not everyone in this fandom even has a cell phone. Not everyone in this family can afford to be seen buying toys at their job. Not everyone in this fandom spends that much time at a computer. Not everyone in this fandom spends time on this website, or any websites related to Transformers.

    People who don't have as much time or money to spend on Transformers aren't less valid fans. The original post was about how modern collecting is made more difficult because it's harder to get specific figures. You've basically agreed the entire time by extolling the benefits and ease of pre-ordering, but seemingly have no problem with the difficulty of getting figures outside of pre-ordering. The implication here is that there is a 'right' way to collect, and everyone who isn't playing the game right is doing it wrong. In a practical sense, it is true, but it tells us nothing about whether it "should" be this way.

    Try having some sympathy for people who don't have the same benefits as you. Not only with regards to money, or even time, but with regards to knowledge. Do you know how many countless fans there might be out there who like Transformers but have never heard of this site? Or who discovered a cool new figure while casually browsing the internet only to find out that they never stood a chance of buying it? Or worse, they are new to the fandom, go to Amazon or Walmart, see the inflated 3rd party prices and just give up on the fandom before they even started due to the cost? In a bleeding heart hippie sense, it's wrong to ignore these people's situations. In a cutthroat capitalist sense, it's a bad idea to ignore their wallets.
     
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  6. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    It all boils down to the classic "I succeeded (not least due to my very specific situation, circumstances, position and privilege), so nobody else (who isn't in that exact same situation, circumstances, position and privilege) has an excuse for not being able to succeed as well (in a situation that's artificially set up in a way so there are inevitably more participants than potential winners)".
     
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  7. AyaToyBox

    AyaToyBox Member

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    As i can see during pandemic everything hobby related toys (espesially cardgame) produced in lower quantity and shipped to store not as much and yeah seems scalper increase because scalping stuff more promising business than stocks,crypto and the sort during pandemic
     
  8. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    With the caveat that canceled pre-orders should not be a thing, I think it's perfectly reasonable. So long as all pre-orders are fulfilled, the routes to hardcore fans like anyone in this forum getting what they want are plentiful and accessible. And as I said, i would go a step further and truly make Pulse the retailer of last resort by having figures with "issue dates" and "retirement dates" and year long ordering windows through pulse, with guaranteed fulfillment.

    But that is it. That's far and reasonable enough. Because casual consumers are non the wiser for missing out.

    It's not just this. It's everything. Per my post upthread, try and get an XBOX lately? Or a PS5? Or a new computer video card? Or a 2021 model car? Yeah. Just in time manufacturing has taken over everything because it makes supreme business sense, and services the majority of consumer numbers so long as there is not a supply disruption. When there is, there are shortages (see PS5, Xbox). When there isn't, the overwhelming needs of consumers are met.

    This is the Transformers symptom of a larger phenomenon that is not going to change because it's optimal business. So hardcore fan's ordering approach needs to be modified to operate optimally within that framework.



    As I said, canceled pre-orders is indeed BS. But being able to put in that pre-order in the first place is most certainly not. If people are too rigid to not be able to whip out their phone and order on it, so they can decide if they really want it later, then the fact they get outcompeted by people who are that flexible is entirely on them.


    I think its difficult to say because of the pandemic skewing numbers and because orders put in by retailers are tightly bound to overall availability. Case in point, last year with ER and Studio Series- I wrote up a whole thing about this in another thread a few weeks ago. Short version is a whole bunch of Studio Series landed on either side of the supply disruption caused by the start of the pandemic - just before it and just after it, so there was not really any shortage, except for Overload (who was VERY hard to find and I missed at retail and had to get on Ebay), because there was a glut of Scavengers from unsold inventory over the spring/summer. So Studio Series faired well. By contrast, ER got screwed. ER Wave 1 landed just as the pandemic hit and into April 2021. Wave 2 was in shipping then and delayed to the late summer. This meant Wave 3 (speaking generally here, it wasn't really this uniform), the first post-disruption wave, got sandwiched up against Wave 4 and there was a huge amount of Wave 1 and 2 on shelves still. So Wave 3 was hard to find. And Wave 4 wasn't ordered much because Kingdom was next. More or less, that's what happened.

    So is that symptomatic of anything other than the confluence of events and desire to launch Kingdom on schedule in 2021? Doesn't seem so. Siege, the line just prior, was readily accessible. So I don't think there are shortages which can't be reasonably explained.

    That said I do think it is clear there is more interest in WFC/Generations than retailers ordering rate of figures. But that's on retailers. It also shouldn't effect us at all, because hunting for a toy in a store is for (or at least, should be fore) people who do not partake in TF fandom. We, the informed collector, should know to use Amazon, Pulse, BBTS, Chosen Prime or something else. Except in the case of pre-ordered canceled on us - which is a practice that must stop - we should never have trouble getting everything we want. Scarcity should be mostly a concern of people who don't visit this site and aren't savy on the optimal ordering strategy.


    As I said, I wasn't glued to my phone. I was in the exact opposite of it. I was in the middle of a conversation. I could have ordered it an hour later and still been fine (I checked). I felt my phone vibrate and make a noise as I got a new email.

    Tell me that doesn't constitute being "glued to our phones for 24/7 now waiting for that magical preorder". Because it doesn't. I ordered my Transformer, like my brother checks the Yankees score or my girlfriend checks facebook. It 2021. Heck, that was normal behavior 10 years ago.


    Yeah. And so is people tweeting. That's a hobby. Or posting on Facebook. Or doing Fantasy sports. Or trading memestonks (or real stocks). They're all hobbies. They all involve that magic black rectangle now. What point you trying to make? It's no different. It's the exact same. Yes.... you engage on your hobby... on your phone computer thing... if an alert comes up. Takes 3 minutes. It's nothing.


    One hundred percent. I wouldn't actually be surprised if 10 years out the shape of toylines at retail is completely different, and as the GenXers and Millenials who grew up with G1 enter their late 40s and 50s, the shape of collecting fundamentally changes. My prediction? For a G1 CHUG-centric collector like me, this hobby is going to look a lot more like NECA high end collecting. $50 "deluxe" class, collector centric toys, maybe 8 a year, mostly available through pre-orders on Pulse. In fact, I kind of think Hasbro see the entire WFC line as a "last hurrah" for millennial/GenX g1 fans who have spent our late 20s and 30s collecting ever better versions of the same characters. The only next step is a step between MP and CHUG, some kind of super-premium-but-still-more-toy level. And that means higher price tag and even more limited distribution. Transformers at retail will probably exist, but it's probably going to be very different.

    And when this happens I think it will be welcomed by many of us fans, who will be planning for retirement and not wanting to spend a couple thousand a year on TFs like we did in the 2010s-2022 era. Instead $400 on 8 premium figures? I can see it being popular. Shouldn't happen now. But it's the way Hasbro keeps getting money from us aging G1ers I bet.
    I mean, to be blunt, I've been collecting for over 20 years now with only a short break during the Unicron trilogy era, and I've never lost my enjoyment in it. This is one of the few selfish things I do in my life. This is about me. It's a way for me to relieve stress and escape a little. For my brother it's music. For my father its wines. For me, it's Transformers. My collection is as much a part of me as my hand at this point, and I like my hand, and I like my collection.

    But I have seen plenty of people in this forum who this hobby has made absolutely miserable. And I do not understand why they do it still. It's okay to quit things. We all do it. But if this hobby is becoming odious, people should walk. That's fine.

    I'm gonna tell you why I think this. A number of years ago now... maybe 5 or 6... there was a collector interview at TF Source with some guy... some big collector. ANd it was the most miserable fucking ting I've ever read about Transformers. The guy was like "collecting sucks, don't get in this hobby, you won't be able to flip it, it's all pointless". He collected many other things outside of TF... but it was clear collecting combined with a personality defect annihilated this person's ability to enjoy even things tangential to this hobby. I resolved then to say to anybody I came across: if this makes someone unhappy, walk away with a smile on your face. Because there is really nothing enduringly negative about this. It's not that important in the big scheme of things.

    But I don't think that's going to happen to nearly as many people as you may thing. And here's why: because all we're describing here, as I relayed in one of my prior posts, is that this is the Transformers symptom of a larger phenomenon going on in consumer goods. The process that you describe is odious is already normalized. That's why it will continue. Because people will grow used to it, if they haven't already.

    Probably not? But I mean that ship has already sailed. I had a nephew born last year. He will never know the joy my brother and I knew of walking into a TRU. Target and Walmart are no replacement for TRU. Or KB. Or FAO Schwartz on Fifth Avenue. Those were big things in my brother and mines life. Formative in a small sense. I still remember the vast wall (well to a 7 year old) of TMNT on the Child's World Wall. My nephew will never know anything like that.

    Were it up to me, those experiences would endure. But it's not. TRU was assassinated by a hedge fund. KB and FAO have been dead for years. My nephew's toy store will be learning express or a local chain.

    It's a sad reality. But I also realize TRU, as we think of it, was a rather novel creation itself that wasn't timeless. Specialty "topic stores" arose in the 1980s and 1990s and displaced the old time department stores like Woolworths and Sears and JC Penny.

    In short, that mode of retail that I knew most of my life was purely a matter of perspective. I was prejudiced only to the way I knew to be "normal" or "better". Which is very different from how things were 20 years before me. Or now, 30 years after me. For my nephew, ordering with a few finger movements on his phone, and probably delivered by drone or something (one day), will be his "normal".

    In short, it's somewhat egocentric to presume the way we knew is optimal and we should lock it in place, or that it's better than what's ahead. The road we're walking now... this thing hat evidently incenses people in this thread, is only the road to something else. What is that? Unclear. But there was no Hasbro Pulse before two years ago. There was shitty HTS, which was the road to something else. To further make that point, consider the availability of Titans Return Arcee (a canceled Hascon exclusive) on HTS vs any old Selects today. Arcee was a Selects-before-Selects. And you had to be pretty much on your phone, for that specific afternoon, to get her. Now? It would be much easier. But Same deal with Grotesque. But we could only have gotten here, where we are with Selects, through there. Pulse directly carrying Takara exclusives is further evidence that the manner in which we are able to get our products is still evolving before our eyes.

    Come back in two years, and it'll probably be different still.

    Then I'd wish them well. $10 says it's gonna be a lot less people than you might expect. People always make that threat. They almost never follow through.
     
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  9. Superquad7

    Superquad7 OCP Police Crime Prevention Unit 001 Super Content Contributor

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    I've seen this attitude so much in our fandom and our hobby. It sucks, just to be blunt.
     
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  10. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    First, there are about 300 million smart phone users in America, for 330 million Americans, a number that includes young children . So the whole access to a phone counter-argument? Bullhonkey. There is broad enough usage to generalize that the overwhelming majority of hardcore fans have smartphones. Proportionally, it'd be 91%. You can have a free gmail account and open up a website too. So there is actually no excuse to not be able to do that.

    In terms of limited finances, that's a separate thing entirely. In that case, it only advances my argument about decision making, because with limited discretionary spending, you'll want to plan ahead longer to be more carefully. At which point educating yourself to make decisions early, or pre-ordering (with no downpayment) to make a decision later, are both even more important strategies. Collecting them all will not be for such a person.

    As far as time goes, there is no argument to be made on that topic for anyone who stepped foot in this forum. If you're here (and I don't mean simply checking the front page) you've moved past any sensible "time investment" argument, and more into "how you spending that time". Because before I come and blow an hour arguing the finer points of collecting strategies, I go check one of the leak threads and twitter to see if I missed something. Again, takes all of 2 minutes.

    You know, the way you people talk about this time thing is actually something else. You act like it's reading a book or doing in depth research. It's literally checking a thread for a few new posts (and salient data is in the top post anyway) and a twitter account or two. It's a bullshit argument in the age of social media. It may have had currency like, 15 years ago. But today? Hell no. The internet is too quick, to efficiently organized and too searchable, for there to be any legitimacy that whatsoever.

    To be clear, you got one part of me right: i have no problem with figures being hard to get out of preordering. I wish it were different, but I accept that it is not. I'll say once again, the figures we find hard to get are irrelevant to the casual fan at general retail. To them (and to Hasbro and the retailer) product is product. It is the hardcore fan that looks for the specific product. And if we choose to engage in that side of buying from hasbro, it comes bound with adopting a strategy to make that as reliable and as easy as possible. To repeat the point I made in the other thread, it doesn't really matter to little Timmy if he gets Kingdom Mirage, since he already has ER Mirage or Combiner Wars Mirage. But it matters to someone like me, who wants all earth modes in their 1984 display in their detolf. Since I want, it is incumbent upon me to do what it takes to get it. That means that means the entire pre-ordering thing I've repeated at length.

    That's perfectly reasonable.


    And while there is no "right way to collect" because a collection is an almost artistic creation and totally subjective, there is absolutely an optimal way to get the product into your collection. That is not colleting. That's a mechanical action. That "collecting" part is the deciding you want it, and purchasing the the mere mechanical execution of that decision.

    It is suboptimal to be looking at a product and deciding you want it, in almost every case. And that's nothing new. 20 years ago, when Mom and Dad put in a pre-order for Playstation 2 at four different stores to make sure you got it for that first launch Christmas, they made the purchasing decision independent of the actual purchasing action.

    So I'll repeat myself:
    -decide way early via staying informed, so pre-ordering is mechanical.
    -pre-order reflexifly and decide if you want to keep your pre-order later, since there is no downpayment.

    Either way you're covered. And that applies to everyone, at all income levels.
     
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  11. Insurgent

    Insurgent The Amazing Tango Mysterio

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    I would like for pre orders to be open longer than one or two minutes. It may be fine in the us, but in the uk, items tend to go within moments of the pre order going up of late. And that's on all the independents stockists. Amazon is a crap shoot as they are just as likely to cancel on you if you do manage to get one. And that's to say nothing of if you can even get on the site without it crashing from the traffic. Theres been stories of people who jumped on at the time, got the item in their basket, went to checkout and the item went out of stock while loading the payment page, meaning they missed out. That is what needs to stop. At least pulse has just opened here so it may be better with exclusives now, but only time will tell.
     
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  12. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    So apparently having a cellphone in 2021, with an email account I used to sign up to Pulse, make a noise and vibrate, and then anytime within the next hour finding 3 minutes to place an order, is now "privileged" and a "unique circumstance".

    Exactly how far down do we want to define privilege?
     
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  13. StrifeZ

    StrifeZ Well-Known Member

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    Yes. This needs to be the case. Absolutely agree.
     
  14. imfallenangel

    imfallenangel Well-Known Member

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    psst... just think about every post you've done here...

    To believe that one NEEDS to register to get warning and alerts for TOYS, that you should JUMP at every thing revolving said TOY.... to believe that one isn't a "fan" because they aren't like this.

    Sorry, but it's about "hey, I really like this sort of toy, and I wonder what's new lately, let me go check and discuss"... and not a compulsive need, it's not something that life should rotate around, there's more to life than toys.

    It's a hobby, not a devotion, not an obsession, not a job.

    EVERYTHING you stated is unhealthy... I would never want to be like that and have to "OMG must know everything that's happening RIGHT NOW!!". If I was that obsessed about it, I'd quit collecting instantly. Sorry but if you'd see my collection you'd see over 40 years of "fun", of dedication on a hobby, and while it's quite extensive, it's never been a race or anything of the sort, it's done on my free/spare time only. I could quit it at anytime but I have a passion for it, not an obsession, and will probably outlast many that will come and go (the whole slow and steady wins the race thing?) simply because I know where to draw lines.

    When one feels like they need to excused themselves from work for a TOY, that's where a line is crossed. You might not see it, nor understand it, maybe one day you will, maybe not.

    But consider that you are on the line as coming off as condescending in your words, but I don't really think that you mean it as such, more that there's something else here at work, and note that I'm not saying this to be mean in any way.
     
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  15. The Madness

    The Madness News Credits: -13

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    Having a job where you're allowed to fuck around on company time to do personal stuff is probably a good start! :D  I'm astounded you think this is relatable to many of us.
     
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  16. Thundershot

    Thundershot Ratchet Fanatic

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    Siege Skywarp is a good example of people waffling on something and then getting mad that they “didn’t have a chance to get it”. That damn thing was up for preorder for a month (June 2019, released a month later). It was in stock for FOUR MONTHS and sold out before black Friday. People had plenty of opportunity for that set and so many waited for it to go on sale and it didn’t and sold out before black Friday.
     
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  17. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    I preordered Siege Skywarp on Amazon Germany the moment it was available for preorder. I got several delay notifications with excuses and promises, and then, several months later, a cancellation. By that point, aftermarket prices had already gone through the roof.

    It's not even the cancellation that bothers me. It's the repeated promises of fulfillment following the delays.

    When it comes to us international customers, the randomness makes it even worse. I was able to preorder the Mirage/Impactor/Aragon three-pack and even the Ironhide/Prowl two-pack from Amazon Germany and got them without any problem. Meanwhile, the Dirge/Ramjet two-pack or any of the Odyssey sets aren't even listed on Amazon Germany. There's no consistent system.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  18. Foster

    Foster Haslab Unicron Backer #10 Veteran

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    Anecdotes like this are why I'm wondering if Amazon oversells preorders, just like Target recently admitted to doing.
     
  19. evenstaves

    evenstaves you maverick renegade

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    This is me a million percent

    Only figs that ever reach clearance (or even hang around long enough for sales) are the "least desired"

    I'll look at a wave "hmm who will sell out fastest" and prioritize claiming who I believe will sell out
    And play the waiting game to see if the (perceived) shelfwarmers actually get to a point where they go on sale

    This is a big reason why I have two Kingdom wave 2 deluxes, but none from 1st wave yet (playing the long game)
     
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  20. RKillian

    RKillian http://www.rktoyandhobby.com

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    Something else people missed is that Skywarp did have a Takara release that was up for preorder at least on Anime Export for two weeks or so. I believe it would've been double retail by the time it landed in your mailbox but that's a sure sight better than the $200 it was, and $300 it is, on the aftermarket.

    But overall I do understand the retail availability situation is more insane than ever. I haven't been able to buy practically anything at retail this year because it just isn't there. I don't even look at exclusives from Walmart or Target (or Pulse if I find out more than an hour after it's posted). There's waiting for Ollies and then there's this Bermuda Triangle of Lost Distribution that's covering larger and larger sections of the US. All I can tell you is support your smaller shops because they have been the difference for me.

    Edit: Oh, and another software engineer here to comment on the smartphone bit. You're putting people on a relatively pricy treadmill there. Apps have _terrible_ support. They drop support for old Android versions very quickly and most phones get one Android update at most. I can't speak to Apple as I haven't found it reasonable to spend the premium most of their phones carry. Then there's the compatibility of mobile sites in general...yikes. Expecting notifications to work, people to drop what they're doing, hop on a $500+ phone, and hope the app/site/signal decides to cooperate inside of a window of a few minutes to an hour is a tall order.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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