Thursday, October 30, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014


I don't know which will be sadder, Finn growing up or Finn dying. I hope the show will last long enough to explore both. There's nowhere else more epic to go. It will be mathematical!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The second problem

There will be no peace. I pray for something and somebody else prays for the opposite. I came across a toy review that views the low price of a toy as a problem.

A facepalm is not enough to express all my thoughts, I look up "napalm" on Google. I also look up the blogger's resume because his word is not simply a product, it's his lifestyle.

It's easy to figure out why. The first problem is that he is a salesman.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Natchios on the toy shelf

I tried to look for more discounted Barbie fashion packs in other malls but I wasn't interested in the ones left. I tried looking for more Skrulls but they were not sold in the store I visited. Luckily, I saw an Elektra Marvel Universe figure and immediately grabbed it.

This figure is being sold for around US$19 on local eBay. That's just a dollar mark-up from what the other sellers sold it for last year. I got it just last night for around US$13.

Based on hearsay from the toy community, it was only now that these figures reached local toy shelves because the distributors didn't want the Marvel Universe toy line to compete with the Avengers toy line. They only made it available to selected collectors and hobby shops to help build up an appetite for the majority (via blogs and FB reviews). The distributor with the help of the scalper-collectors and hobby shops resell it for a higher price as they have connived to make it appear rare. These transactions usually doesn't involve a receipt so the tax portion also goes to their pockets. (No wonder a lot of MU collectors are pissed and decided to stop collecting.)  This is also what happened to other figures like Dagger, Thanos, Rhino and Abomination. The remaining inventory were just released recently in local toy stores, others on a later date.

There might not be many Dagger and Elektra figures left since a lot of collectors have hoarded these figures to customize.  (15Jan2015 Update: This figure and others from the same wave are still in stock. This has 5 units in one major department store.) A lot are impressed with the new articulation compared to the old female figures. Personally, I'm torn.

New and old body comparison

Yes, the new body has better articulation in most body parts except the hips. The new female body can't do a side split! Others also like the proportion but to me it's not comic nor sexist enough, so unlike how they are represented in the comics. I like the rounder boobs of the old female figures. I also like that their feet seem smaller. The new figures are also more leggy. These are all subjective, of course.

So, I'm not really sure if I like this Elektra figure just because of the added articulation. Maybe I can do a posing showdown between a poorly articulated figure like the Black Widow and this Elektra. I'm so glad that I didn't have to pay that much just to get something I feel lukewarm about.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Price is Right

In preparation for the Holidays, malls left and right are having a sale. Locally, people who are smarter than what's trending find October as a really good time to shop. Stores are making way for the arrival of the new items for the Christmas season. The discounted items may be from two years ago but unlike most fashion, a lot of toys retain their (play) value.

Barbie set-of-3 fashion packs normally costs US$22 are 50% off. I'm willing to pay for only 50% because, half of what's in the pack is... I can't really think of a kind adjective that means "crappy". But there are really great pieces, my favorites of which are those that shows a certain character other than being a fashionista.

There is not much price movement in the Marvel Universe figures, except for the Skrull figures from 2 years ago. Sold initially at US$12, they lowered it to US$8 last year but I felt that it was still not worth it. They are now being sold at US$4. I might just build an army of Skrulls.

One of my smart purchases is Fashionista (In the Spotlight) Nikki. She originally was priced at US$34 last year. They have it on sale at most toy stores for US$22 but I was able to control myself. I luckily found one for US$18 only. Like most fashionista dolls, I only want their bodies. I want this specific Nikki because she has a very interesting armband and bracelet.

Another toy that I have been wanting to buy is this Adventure Time action figures and comic book pack. They originally go for US$19 but now they are only US$9. I look forward to playing with them but for now, they'll stay in the pack.

Shopping this past weekend validated my belief that you can get the toys you want at a reasonable price if you just wait. Even if it eventually sold out, you can still get it from the secondary market. Someone will eventually let go of the toy you want. Time shouldn't matter. If you really want it bad, you will still want it bad years from now, especially if the price is right. If not, maybe you didn't want it that much at all.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Courtside Toy Store Mystery

Courtside is a local toy store that sells dolls, trading cards and action figures among others. They have branches in different malls in Metro Manila. I can't speak about their other products but they sell most dolls and action figures (including Lego clones) at higher prices compared to the major toy stores. Toys that they are trying to sell two years ago are still on display. Needless to say, a lot of what they are selling are no longer available in the major toy stores since major toy stores try to dispose of their inventory right away.

The mystery to me is how Courtside keep their shop open. I'm curious about their business model. I have no business background but I do know that they have to sell something for them to earn. If the toys are not going anywhere, what are they selling? Maybe those Magic Cards are really magical! I didn't bother to find out what the going rate for those cards is and how much Courtside is selling them.

These cards don't really occupy too much shelf space. When I visit their branches, most of what I see are action figures. If those figures are not selling, how are they earning off those pricey shelf spaces? Mall space is expensive. I gotta give it to those people behind this toy store. It's hard to keep a store like that open for business.

I have bought a couple of figures from their shop but I eventually found out that it was a bad decision as I could have bought the same figures at a much lower price (50 to 70% lower) somewhere else. As much as I am impressed by the brains behind the business, I have stopped buying from them. I feel good every time I visit Courtside especially when I see their toy tag prices. I always feel proud of myself knowing that I bought the same figure elsewhere at a lower price.


14Nov2014 Update

The Trinoma branch is closed.

The SM North branch has little toys left, almost like it's closing shop as well.

It took some time but I'm glad someone learned a lesson or two.

Friday, October 3, 2014

New Marvel Universe Recruits

custom Beast and Kitty Pryde action figure

custom classic Rogue action figure