Monday, April 7, 2014

Package Deal

I recently got a new set of Marvel Infinite Series 4-inch action figures. They replaced the Marvel Universe toy line. I haven't seen these toys sold as a set except during special distribution sale.

Special distribution sales are held on a predetermined time and place. Avid collectors arrive early at the venue to be the first in line. One has to fall in line for a chance to buy the toys. There is a limited number available so those who arrive late have less chance. I tried attending a distribution once. I was at the mall waiting for the opening and when it finally did, I saw that there was already a long queue at the toy store. I didn't know how these people got in before the official mall hours. I wasn't able to buy any toy that day.

The individual toys are packed together to be sold as a set. This prevents the less popular toy characters from being peg warmers. There is usually just one or 2 toys a collector wants in the set but he is forced to buy a set of six (usually). This is an understandable marketing technique. The problem in this technique is that the scalpers just has to be early in one place and they can buy the number of toys they want. They usually come in groups since there is a limit to the number of set one can buy.

I don't know if this kind of sale is still being practiced. One needs to be in contact with a closed circle of collectors to know the details of the sale. I'm no longer in the loop so I can't say.

I'm just glad that I was able to come across this set on an ordinary day. I think that the distributor should do away with the special distribution sale altogether and just distribute the set in different toy stores. This way, the scalpers will have a harder time hoarding all the toys.  They just might entice someone who chance upon the toys to be a new collector. Who knows?

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