Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Batman Return's Index

I have seen toy prices do a lot of ups and downs this past year but lately the ups are starting to stay. I usually gage toy prices on the Batman Returns index. That’s about the time I started collecting toys instead of using them in toxic chemical experiments of Dr. Mindbender’s and Lifeline’s ‘Medic Mixes’ in the bathroom. The standard price I have always excepted is 5.99 for a regular robust action figure, and 10.99 for a deluxe action figure with some extras. Sometimes that varies plus or minus a dollar, but for years that was the norm. Lately though, toy inflation has finally caught up. There could be several explanations, maybe it’s the extra standards for lead checking, or maybe its the addition of an 80 points of articulation on Spiderman, or maybe it’s the Transformer that is so complicated to transform NASA was needed to develop it.

Best example are the new DC and Marvel 3 ¾ figures. 7.99 for just one small figure minus a stand and extra weapons. Not even a mini comic? I find that price a little high for a figure size that’s below the Batman Returns index. They are great figures, but man buying just a few will set you back farther than the fun that they generate. I do see stores having sales more often though, setting the price high and then offering 10-15% off every month or so. That doesn’t help though when you really need that toy fix in between sales.

The scareiest example I saw was Shopko’s prices. Wow, what happened there? Can you believe they are selling the Comic 2 packs of GI Joe figrues for 21.99! If the comic is worth 2 bucks, that’s about 10 dollars per the little sized figure!!! Actually I guess that’s what keeps that store in buisness since no one is ever there.

Another price gouge is the mini Transformers. I was buying a lot of those eariler because they are super fast to transform, work well on a desk, and for about 3.99 you can get the whole collection (cybertron) for a fraction of what they cost to get the regular sized ones (of course I still bought the big ones DOH!) Now I see prices for 5.99 for a mini?!! That’s insane, they aren’t that great at that size per cost ratio.

At least Hotwheels are still about a dollar. Whew! Those are perfect emergency buys.

I’m hoping toy sales slow because of these prices, and stores have to start lowering them. For the time being I am buying less anyways, I don’t have much room left in my toy closet, dresser, back yard, plastic bins, car, attic, work drawers, boxes, storage shed, crawl space, walls, shelves, pantry, Barts litter box, airport storage, wife’s work desk, and ceiling.

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