What a week for TOYS! I mean, for me personally…there wasn’t much in the way of new product that caught my eye this week. So I made up for it by going hog wild on a global scale. We’ll get into that shortly.
But first…this column is brought to you by Outrun Collectibles and that you can visit them HERE and use code BIFFBAMPOP and get 15% off your order. In my prior installment you may remember that Outrun was opening a physical location right in Toronto! That’s right, the Maple Apple! Since I was unable to be present, we dispatched area man, Torontonian, and EiC of BBP Andy Burns to cover the event and, most importantly, make it rain Loonies and Twonies (Toonies?) at the Outrun Collectibles grand opening.
Take it away, Andy!
Hello, friends! It really was great to be one of the first into Outrun Collectibles’ new location on Queen St. here in Toronto. It’s a great space, and so many of the figures I’m looking for (Marvel Legends, AEW) were right on display, and there were lots of them. Chris and Madison, the owners, know their stuff and have made a comfy store for collectores and general toy fans alike. I walked away with a Doctor Strange Marvel Legends Walmart exclusive, while the Princess scored some Demon Slayer Funko Pops. The store was busy, in fact there was a line-up when we arrived shortly before its 11 am opening, and I think that bodes well for its success. There’s a community of toy fans out there ready and willing to support stores like Outrun Collectibles. I’m sure we’ll be back there shortly…and often.
What an absolutely thrilling account of the event. It was like Hunter S. Thompson had returned from beyond the veil but was instead really into Rush, Yes, The Monkees. The above except should be nominated for a Juno.
Since that’s a tough act to follow I’m tempted to end things here but my contractual obligations won’t allow me to. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the toy collecting game.
It’s very well known that I am a great person and not at all an isolated misanthrope that hardly every leaves their house except for supplies. With that in mind, I gladly agreed to not only drop off a friend at the airport but also to pick them up when they flew back to Michigan. I did this of my own volition and not just because they would owe me two favours to be redeemed at a later date.
Generally, I enjoy the airport as a weird little microcosm of society. Most people at the airport are the worst possible versions of themselves and everything inside the airport costs three times as much as it does in the real world. The novelty of paying as much for a Burger King combo meal as you would for dinner at a halfway decent restaurant because you were too busy packing to eat the night before is one that cannot be experienced hardly anywhere else. Sublime.
After coming to a rolling stop and throwing my pal’s luggage out after them, I decided to hit some area Targets, Walmarts, and a Mall to see what was out there. Not terribly much that I was interested in, but I did manage to score another Buzzworthy Bumblebee figure that had been marked down to $11.49, which is basically free when you think about it. It was nice to see that other stores had the same peg warmer figures as my local stores.
For a multitude of reasons I don’t do nearly as much toy hunting in the wild as I used to. I could blame current fuel prices or the demoralizing effects of striking out at five Walmarts, four Targets, and a comic shop you’ve never seen before on why I don’t get out and pound the pavement. Truthfully, I’ve become 1) pretty reliant on preorders and B) my interests are so niche I’m not collecting the volume that I used to.
Case in point: I have been waiting for about a year for the SH Figures Luke Skywalker from the Mandalorian to become domestically available and it hasn’t. It’s on eBay for an inflated price, a questionable website out of Hong Kong had it available for a time but I was hesitant to order from them. I had put all my hopes and dreams into my friend’s comic shop getting them but the current state of some import figures is you have to “know a guy” that can order them and I was crushed to find out that the shop wouldn’t be getting any.
The other half of Figure Friday, Josh, artfully broached the subject of ordering from Amazon Japan. Now, I don’t quite travel in the same toy circles as he does but I had heard from a couple of reliable sources that it’s possible for Americans to create separate Amazon Japan accounts and have items shipped internationally. As luck would have it, they had exactly TWO Luke Skywalkers left and our path was clear.
As a rule, I don’t like giving the Great Satan that is Amazon more money than I have to, but Josh informed me that the domestic retailer we usually order from had already gotten some Lukes and promptly sold out of them before they could even advertise them. It also didn’t hurt that the cost of the figures plus shipping to the US along with the Yen to USD exchange rate somehow came out to less than the cost of the domestic retailer’s price.
It’s a truly troubling development that I now have the power to order almost directly from the source at a discounted price. Now, as I type this I haven’t received our figures just yet so there could be a tragic postscript to the story…Not for me, I already have Josh’s money.
So, watch this space I guess.