I had been looking forward to this event for a long time, even despite all the hiccups along the way. I may criticize Hasbro a lot, but there’s something awesome about going to a midnight madness event. One aspect is that I have always done these events with my family, and they also feel super fulfilling. I’ve always been able to find everything I want, without any difficulty what-so-ever. This Midnight Madness definitely leaned in the other direction.
The evening before MM, my friend Matt and I’s game plan went south. After re-grouping and Jack in the Box tacos, we ended up going to Glen Carbon, IL Walmart. They had the 18 ft train and the aisle ready to go at almost exactly midnight. The staff there was absolutely awesome. I showed the girl guarding the aisle my phone at 12:01, and was allowed to go in. I grabbed Rey’s Speeder and was ready to go because that’s all they had from my “buy list”. There was a lot of stuff stocked, just not enough Hasbro items. My friend and his wife Sierra ended up picking up about $40 worth of stuff, and the only other person there was a bald guy who was super rude, who absolutely wouldn’t talk to us. “How are you doing tonight man, excited?” was met with total silence, as were all other communications.
We then jetted over to Woodriver, IL Walmart, but the staff there was a bunch of “good ol’ boys”, and they didn’t have anything out. When I asked the guy about the time line for getting stuff on the shelves, he told me it could take a while. It was already like 1:00 by that point, so we left and I took my friend’s home. We decided to hit up Target that next day because of the coupons, $10 off a $50 purchase, or $25 of $100. I mean, it’s was probably a better deal anyway, and their displays would be freaking awesome.
When I got home I stayed up for another 3 hours or so reading reports and stuff from the forums, and chatting with other local collectors. After seeing a lot of Toysrus stores not receiving hardly anything, or hearing about kids crying because Target didn’t have what they wanted, I ended up ordering the bulk of my stuff from Amazon. They were offering the same coupons at Target, so I definitely wanted to make sure I got the stuff I wanted: a desert speeder, and some Snowspeeders for my photonovel. I wanted three; however Amazon had a limit of two per customer. I also had to add Rey’s Speeder to the order because there wasn’t anything else I wanted, and couldn’t make up the $100 coupon minimum, so I have to return one of them to Walmart sometime.
My friend and I then met up again at around 9:30 Friday morning, and went to Edwardsville, IL Target. They pretty much had everything but the 2-packs, Falcon, and big TIE. We talked to a guy named Austin for about an hour, which also gave me time to think about buying the Poe’s X-Wing or not. I went back and forth a hundred times, but decided to pass on it because of how poor the reviews were.
I was able to purchase my third Snowspeeder for the photonovel while we were there, so I was pretty much done. Matt bought 5 Funkos Pop!’s for $2.68 a piece, which made us wonder if that was a pricing error in the system, or just a great deal. He also got the 12 inch Kylo Ren, which had a great head sculpt, but looked as if it was wearing goucho pants.
Overall, I’m happy that I got everything I wanted (that made it to retail); however the lack of product was really apparent as I read others’ reports. Some people took their kids to the event, and even being one of the first 10 people in line didn’t ensure they were able to buy any figures. Likewise, Walmarts didn’t receive any ships bigger than class 1 deluxe, so they missed out on a portion of their buying publics. At the same time, I have to mention that reviews of some items, like the X-Wing were so bad they influenced me not to purchase them, so maybe not stocking them was a good move afterall. I really did want one; however I just can’t justify something that doesn’t scale well with past items, has flimsy rubber parts, or see through plastic in area that shouldn’t be see through. I also didn’t buy one figure because of the lack of articulation. Walmart did announce they’d continue the Black Series articulated line as a store exclusive, but the first three figures are repacks, so that’s great.