Monday, October 23, 2006

Wheeling But No Dealing

Although I enjoy collecting Transformers, I live under a significant financial crunch. It would be wiser not to buy any new Transformers at all, but under the often proven dieting philosophy that cutting things off "cold turkey" is a strategy doomed to failure, I have maintained a discipline of budgeting only $25 a month on Transformers toys. This is occasionally supplemented when I do an "odd job" outside of my normal 40-hours-a-week job, but even then I only put up to half of any money earned in such endeavors toward new Transformers, the rest going to ease financial burdens. However, any and all money earned by selling Transformers is fair game to getting new TFs! It sounds like a complicated system, but it really isn't. Suffice it to say, I've thought a lot about how to discipline my spending habits in a realistic way.

Since I'm trying to be wise about how I spend my Transformers dollars, I'm always rather keen on keeping an eye open for any sales or clearances that might be happening. This is especially the case right now, as the current "Cybertron" line is starting to die out, being replaced by the "Classics" line that will fill the gap between now and when the toys dedicated to the upcoming Transformers movie come out. When a rumor surfaced that Target was starting to clearance "Cybertron" toys in this way, it seemed as though the right time had come.

I had a (mostly) free day yesterday, so I drove around Southern California to the various stores that might sell Transformers, paying specific attention to Targets. I must have visited at least 5 different Target stores in my area. None of them are starting to clearance any Transformers yet! In fact, very few of them have even started stocking the new "Classics" toys in any significant numbers. I'm sure that "Cybertron" won't start hitting clearance until these stores have something to take their place.

But what was even more annoying was what I found at a couple of Toys R Us stores I visited. They're starting to repackage some of the "deluxe" toys (i.e., the size sold for $9.99 at Toys R Us) in 3-packs. I found two versions available, both filled mostly with toys that have no appeal to me anyway, but what was really surprising was the discovery that the 3-packs (with the label "Super Value" on them) are being sold at $29.99.

$29.99 for three toys that are already pegwarmers (i.e., no one wanted them the first time they were on the shelves. That's why they're getting repackaged.), that were originally sold for $9.99 apiece. Do the math. That means I'd be paying $29.99 for toys I could have already bought for $29.97. Far from being a "super value," I'd actually be paying 2 cents more to get the 3-pack! Someone needs to have their head examined.

Long story short, there were no "deals" to be found yesterday. For all the driving around I did, I bought no Transformers at all. (We won't talk about how much gas I used up in this endeavor) Still, it beats staying around the house all day....

1 comment:

  1. I caught my local Wal-Mart splitting up the Energon BOGO packs a few years ago. I kid you not.

    I actually found ONE BOGO set (Prime/Megatron) still intact, just sitting in the aisle waiting to be placed. When it wouldn't scan,I asked the manager about the price, telling him they were BOGO... and he proceeded to wheel and deal with me!

    "$60 for the pair -- that's a good price. We're selling the single figures for $44 each."

    I am serious.

    I declined, and watched as he split the pack and put them on the shelf individually.


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