I really don’t want to be that person. We have all met one before. You know, that collector who buys a collectible and then complains about it as they complete check out online for the next big pre-order. Yet, here I am. I am talking about the recent news of DC Collectibles Deluxe Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile coming our way. Last thing I want to be labeled is a “Complaining Charlie” here, but I have to ask, am I the only one losing faith in some of these toy lines?
Am I the only one who is looking at my Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile like a second place awarded bowl of chilli at the Springfield County Fair? Is anyone else experiencing buyer’s remorse lately? Is this trend ultimately going to hurt or help the adult collector industry? Join me as I dig further and discover if there is a pattern emerging here and debate what implications it may or may not have on our hobby we call collecting.
We have all been there before. That moment of excitement when a new collectible is announced and we head to our online retailer or comic shop to pre-order. Then the countdown begins. Weeks turn into months as we search for any news on previews and delivery dates. I have even been known to go to sleep at night contemplating where I will display my item once it arrives. Sad, I know. Then once your item is shipped, we watch the tracking online like an obsessed geek with high anxiety as our special brown box falls off the grid for a week after your local mailman already marked it as “delivered.” We have all been there.
Once our package arrives, it feels just like Christmas morning. You sign for your package and make sure the coast is clear from the Mrs., as you grab a pair of scissors and begin to unbox it. Then, like a holy beam of light from the clouds during a thunderstorm, you pull out that item with its amazing box art! Ah, isn’t that half of the joy of our hobby? You take it out, carefully unbox it without damaging the box (since we love to keep those boxes in mint condition that usually take up more space than our collection) and jackpot! After months of waiting, it is finally here. Then you come here to Pop Critica and you see a report on a better, badder, and more expensive version of what you just spent half a year of your life waiting for.
This is one of the most frustrating experiences in what we call “toy collecting.”
Isolated incident? I wish. I remember when the Takara Masterpiece Rodimus Prime was announced. Pre-ordered that too. Same cycle. Waited, watched, waited, unboxed, and displayed a Rodimus Prime that would not have his back lock into place. Then guess what happened? You got it, ladies and gentlemen, here is Masterpiece Rodimus Prime version 2.0 available for pre-order now.
Want more examples? Okay then, how about Hasbro’s Star Wars 6-inch Black Series. I have purchased just about everyone one of the figures that I would be willing to bet that a 70-year-old intoxicated ice skater would have a better chance at standing up without falling flat on their back than these Star Wars Black Series figures do. I can’t tell you how often a small piece of my soul and wallet cries when I see the latest Kotobukiya or MAFEX Star Wars figure pre-orders staring me in the face on my computer screen.
It’s not just toy lines either. I sadly admit, I am that guy who bought three separate copies of Street Fighter 4, Street FIghter 4: Arcade Edition, and Street Fighter 4: Deluxe Edition. Let’s get a show of hands on how many of us bought on X-Men: Days Of Future Past the week before X-Men: Days of Future Past – The Rogue Cut was announced? Oh the anxiety…the cruel torment of buyers remorse.
One might simply suggest to not pre-order and wait. Sounds like great advice. That is until you do finally decide the time is safe to finally buy that collectible a year after its release and discover it is sold out. Now you are looking at after market eBay prices, which are usually double the original price. Ouch!
What is a collector to do in this crazy hobby of ours? Are toy companies aware that collectors are losing faith when it comes to clicking that pre-order button? Will this ultimately hurt the industry? I don’t know the answer to that. All I do know is I can no longer look at my Batmobile the same knowing it is now inferior and there is something better and more awesome that I will now never get to own since I can’t in good conscience buy the same item twice.
Don’t get me wrong, the DC Collectibles Deluxe Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile is very cool. It is not the item itself, or the price increase I have an issue with, it is the timing. As consumers, we want to have a well-informed choice on what we spend our money on. Similar to Al Bundy in that Married With Children episode when Al bought a soda pop for a 5 cents and was then informed by the seller that the bottle opener would cost $5 dollars. Bottom line, we no one likes to feel tricked. Tell me I am not the only one with the buyer’s remorse blues?