Wednesday, July 04, 2007

(Mostly) Off-topic: Toys, year-to-date.

Heh-heh.  'Somebody's poisoned the water hole!'Last year from January 1st to July 3, I spent $378.61 on toys. For 2007, I've spent $135. I'd like to be able to attribute this to my wife being a little more stringent with the finances, but she's actually bought me two of the more expensive items I've picked up so far. (Sebastian Haff/Old Bruce Campbell Elvis and Grindhouse Cherry.)

No, last year had Toy Biz making their end run on the Marvel license, and they released a pile of toys I had to have. By this time in 2006, I had bought figures from three different Marvel Legends waves, a Legends box set, and comparable figures from the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man lines. Under Hasbro, the FF and Spidey figures are a different scale, so I haven't been buying them; and have only wanted some of the current Legend assortments. For example, I still haven't picked up She-Hulk, but $9.99 for a figure with no comic, and a hunk of the Build-a-figure Blob I have no intention of completing, just hasn't quite grabbed me yet. (I saw her on sale for $8.99, and still feel like I should hold out a little more.)

On the other hand, lots of toy fans will also tell you Mattel's distribution usual for me, I'm going to be diplomatic: let's say, "spotty." I would probably buy Steel and the blue-outfit Supergirl DC Heroes, if I ever saw them. Still, even if it's only based on what I've seen, I don't think Mattel has put out as much product this year.

In fact, overall the toy shelves seem a little short to me of late: lots of Spidey or Transformers movie stuff, Star Wars figures, wrestling toys, a line of Cars toys in the action figure aisle. (The Oldest loves those, and has built himself a pretty good set...but I wouldn't call them 'action figures.') Target is the only store I've seen either the FF movie toys or DC Heroes of late.

I've only hit the Comic Book Shop for one figure so far this year, but that's less to do with them, then with my general dissatisfaction with paying fifteen bucks or more for a toy, unless it comes with a DVD (ala Hellboy) or is just so unbelievably cool I must have it. (Or, like the Warlord, is a concept I have entirely too much loyalty to.)

Booster Gold may be a good example: back when my son and I were pretty regularly buying the JLU figures, we couldn't find the single-carded Booster, which came with Skeets. Booster was available in a three-pack, but we already had plenty of Superman and Martian Manhunter figures, and after the classic episode "The Greatest Story Never Told" it would be too disappointing not to have Skeets. So, we bought nothing, and it kind of put us off the line. Now, Booster only recently (and finally) got a DC Direct figure, probably $15 to $17 in my area...if I could find one. I like Booster, but that's a good chunk of my comic/toy budget for any given month. If I saw him at just the right time, with a pocketful of cash...maybe. Someone like Animal Man, though: a character I like, but not that much, I probably wouldn't pick up unless there was a pretty severe sale involved. Ditto similar lines like Stargate: SG1 or Star Trek: they're nice figures, sure, but not at sixteen bucks a pop.

At any rate, I was thinking about this earlier today, and knocked it into a halfassed blog post. And all this complaining, and I might have some new toy in my pullbox Thursday, if I'm lucky. Have a Happy Fourth, and if you've picked up a toy everyone absolutely should have, or are fed up with high prices and crappy distribution, let me know.

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