ItsAllTrue.Net Toy Run: Case of the Missing DC Classics…

We’re going to try something a little different today. Well, it’s not really different then what we normally do, but we don’t usually take pictures. You know the drill. You get up and you think you could get lucky today. You get ready and put on some nice clothes so you can at least feel presentable if you happen to get checked out. You hop in the car and travel to whichever place you’ve deemed best to satisfy your desires. You arrive with giddy anticipation. It’s now or never, you tell yourself as you round that last corner. What awaits? Will it be great joy or intense dissatisfaction?
That’s right, you’re on a Toy Run!

Our humble journey begins today at the nearest Wal-Mart to the IAT Offices. We’re not far from Wal-Mart HQ and it shows because we have one of the highest WM’s per person of anywhere in the country. We have a dozen within thirty minutes of us. Some are good, reliable Wal-Marts and others are reliable in that they never have anything. We each have our favorite, but all of the IAT toy hunters can agree on one thing – we hate this one most.

Our beloved “Discount City” Wal-Mart was demolished probably twenty years ago now. I lamented its loss as it was a regular source of MOTU, Super Powers, Cops N’ Crooks, and all the others eighties goodies I was raised with. This supercenter was built behind it and has never lived up to its predecessor. We’ve discussed at length why this Wal-Mart is so terrible and none of us our sure. The last time any of us can even remember finding something there first was back in 2006 when they had a Marvel Legends Apocalypse Series endcap. We were excited at first, but then some of those became the worst pegwarmers ever and I don’t think we ever found Marvel Legends there again. Vault remembers picking up Teela and Orko on Black Friday one year before they became pegwarmers (with VHS tapes!) the following Spring. That’s how it goes there. It gives sometimes, but never really coughs up a prize.

Still, we go. I’m sure every collector has a store like that. One that never seems to pay off, but that we’re too afraid not to check. On this day, we weren’t really looking for anything new, so much as checking out the new 2010 reset. It’s always good to know the lay of the land. If you’re looking for a certain toy line, it helps to know in advance which Wal-Marts aren’t going to bother carrying the pegspace you need. One of the big things we have to keep an eye on this year is DC Classics. Unfortunately, that also seems to be one of the lines where the pegs come and go. Last January, only one of the dozen nearby stores put up pegs for DC Classics. In the Fall reset, ten of the other eleven started carrying them and that one lost them. We don’t get it either.

So here we have the reset toy aisle. The aisle starts off normally enough. Transformers led off, but were cut out of our picture. They were followed by Star Wars, and then Joes. After that, you have some knockoff Joes, and more than halfway down the aisle Mattel finally makes an appearance with Toy Story and WWE merchandise. For us comic fans, there’s a column of Marvel Universe set to plan at the very far end and a couple pegs of Infinite Heroes in the four feet of flex, but that’s ti. This Wal-Mart has lost the pegspace for DC Classics.


But, this Wal-Mart had a chunk of DC Classics a few days before though, so we hunt…

A few aisles down we find a clearance aisle. A clearance aisle is always a danger for us. There are a lot of toys we passed on over the year, but when they rear their head again at a lower price, our resolve is weak. In this particular aisle, we found a lot of clearance Transformers. I picked up an Animated Shockwave, but talked myself out of Blitzwing. We saw a bunch of half-price Fearswoop 2pks, and while a tiger-stripe jet with no head is cool, we were strong (this time). A dozen or so Masterpiece Skywarps lined the bottom shelves, but at $60 our wallets are safe for now on that front. Sadly, there were no clearance Legos, and still no sign of the DC Classics…

We moved on. This isn’t the only clearance aisle at this Wal-Mart. There’s usually one up near the cosmetics and pet food. But this year, that aisle isn’t set to clearance. Instead, there is a large sign enticing us to visit the garden section.

But in the garden section, we felt lied to. There were no clearance toys. There was… garden stuff. And a legion of Rubbermaid tubs. Aisle after aisle of Rubbermaid tubs. We’d show you a picture, but we get shaky around that much Rubbermaid, anyone would. We headed for the door, wondering what awaited us on the outside half of Lawn & Garden.

Outside, we looked left and there was nothing but an exit. We looked right and there were more “not toys”. In fact, we were getting seriously disappointed by the sheer amount of “not toys” we were finding. Plus, the DC Classics were still MIA. Vault suggested we head back into the store – that we might have missed a random clearance aisle. They’re in various locations at all of our Wal-Marts and surely this one could have been anywhere. But I was undaunted. There was more to this garden section.

We poked our heads around the corner of the Wal-Mart, to the garden section beyond. It’s a segmented area that sits outside the south side of the building. A part of the store where surely no one but the true bargain hunters dare travelled. And eureka! Clearance toys!

Still, pickings were slim. It looked like the only score for that day would be an Animated Shockwave for myself and nothing for Vault. We all know, that’s how it goes sometimes on a toy run.

But we did solve one mystery. We located the DC Classics. They were here, scattered among clearance toys behind a blind corner in the garden section at the very far end of the Wal-Mart. Aisles and aisles away from the toy section. And the price?

$14.97, of course. We cleaned up a bit, did some facing to figure out what was there. They were a Joker short of one complete Imperiex. There was one Man-Bat, one Robotman, a couple Foragers, three Sonic Arm Cyborgs, and more Power Girls than anyone will ever know what to do with. All tucked away in a far flung corner at full price. No, readers, this Wal-Mart won’t be doing us much good for DC Classics this year. Of course we’ll still hit up anyway. That’s what we do.

But there was one bright side to our discovery. There wasn’t a single Captain Cold in sight!

56 thoughts on “ItsAllTrue.Net Toy Run: Case of the Missing DC Classics…

  1. Having us tagalong on a toy run? That’s a strange idea for an article.

    It is interesting to see a store different than your own. I just hope you don’t get a ton of folks asking for the Man-Bats, etc, unless you wanted that to happen of course.

  2. Yeah, that graphic is great.

    Reading this article makes me realize again that I am so happy I never started collecting DC figures. Seriously, it is just to much work, to many figures, to much money, and to much headache. I have enough of that with MOTUC.

    1. Thanks, dwal!

      I know. I always laugh when MOTU collectors complain and wish they had it as easy as the DC collectors. I always tell them to give it a shot.

  3. I think it’s hilarious that you cleaned up at the store and fronted the shelves.

    I don’t know, I think you guys have a good thing going with this article. I liked it, at least.

      1. A toy store worker, huh? One of those evil ones that bought the toys before they hit the shelves??

  4. You can tell by the pile of old design star wars toys, he lives in a poor area.

    That, and those are some peg warmers to give those ROTS Mon Mothma figures a run for their dust-collecting money.

    1. What a ridiculous thing to try and discern based on pegwarmers! Hmm, I’ll have to remember that for an Amusing Articulation.

      I suppose I could live in a “poor area” compared to where you are, but it’s such a relative term. I could make a day trip and do a Toy Run at a Wal-Mart an two or so hours from here that I’d consider to be in a “poor area”. To further correlate your supposition, they had General Rieekan warming the pegs the last time I was there so maybe you’re on to something.

      Anybody got any blue-carded Star Wars Saga figures pegwarming? LOL

        1. Since he is making fun of people living in “poor” areas…I assume he is my rich evil twin. Darn, I wish I was the rich one. 🙁

  5. Of course they would be where no one can see them…it’s the same reason our TRU held back Jakks WWE until after Jan. 1….they have no clue the different in Jakks WWE and Mattel WWE.

    1. LOL. It’s true, it’s true.

      They’re just off the planogram and they’re trying to be out of sight, out of mind I guess. I wish this Wal-Mart would clearance stuff at it’s discretion (it doesn’t). They’d be marked down and they’d clear out.

  6. My local Walmart has 4 empty shelf tags. They all read “DCUC 6” with the new 14.97 price tag. All the Captain Colds and Dr. Impossible’s have been releated to the top shelf of the clearance aisles…but without the clearance price. In fact, they now scan at 14.97 as well which is totally ridiculous.

    1. I really wish they’d grandfather in old toys to avoid new prices.

      A pegwarmer is a pegwarmer because it’s value is below the price the store is charging for it. By raising it’s price all your doing, despite some luck, is prolonging its shelf life.

  7. Arrgh I’ve been watching those Masterpiece Skywarps like a hawk for the past few weeks! They put them in the clearance isle but keep the original price! I know they’re gonna drop to $30, I just know it!

    1. I know! I totally don’t need one… but man, that’d be cool to pick them up in clearance.

      I’ll have to go to other WMs though. This one here just won’t do it. They had Masterpiece Prime for years at $63. I remember people finding them clearanced super, super cheap and being annoyed at that permanent $63 price tag!

  8. Walmart has become so unreliable for me in my area. They’re good for maybe 2 waves and then things pile up so they skip 2 or 3 waves. For example, right now they’re so loaded down with Power Girls and Cyborgs, it’s like all the Cyborgs cloned themselves a woman.

    On a side note, College Station, TX has 2 Walmarts. One of them is a normal Supercenter that had decent DC classics selection until they got an uber amount of wave 6 cases. The other one was small, old and had no room to grow next to an Albertsons. They also carried only Brave and the Bold in their DC section. Well now that Albertsons went out of business and Walmart bought the property so they are expanding the old Walmart out more into the parking lot on the front and left of the store. They’re also converting the old Albertsons building and the massive space in between into the store so this will be the biggest Walmart in Texas, and possibly in America. I’m very excited to see them finish it and to hopefully one day find some real toy aisles.

    1. This Wal-Mart used to be a halfsie with no grocery store. They were going to build a supercenter outright, but backed off when a handful of other companies built grocery stores. A few years later they added the grocery side back in, but it’s not any bigger.

      Did you ever see a Wal-Mart Hypermart? Those were huge (& huge failures).

      I hope they’ll make some space for toys for ya. Out of three in town, two of them have atrophied toy sections and there’s one nice one. But, like you say, WM is not the most reliable.

  9. I live in the DFW area, and have more walmarts than I can shake a stick at (typically only a few miles from one another). What amazes me about the clearance section is how they differ from store to store. Just because one walmart doesn’t have any legos, and they Marvel Legend figures are still $10.44, doesn’t mean the next store that’s a two minute drive away won’t have Marvel Legends for $6.00. I remember getting a G.I. Joe dvd set with the chrome headed Destro and Lady Jaye for $8.00, while they were still $19.99 at all the other WMs in the area. Recently I found a great Warrior Bionicle set (Tuma) for $9.00, but he is still full price at every other store I got to.
    Reasons like this is why I still check out the stores that never seem to pay off, because I’ve convinced myself that anything can happen.

    1. I know!

      There’s one about an hour from here (in a rich area no less!) and they are awesome for clearance. Last Summer, I picked up the Nemesis wave outright for $35 when they were just starting to show up in the area. I had to cheat a bit, the clearancing WM didn’t have Nova or Tigra, so I bought two doubles and then took them to the next WM – not more than a mile or two away – and exchanged them out for the two I needed. They were full price at the 2nd Wal-Mart.

  10. I forgot to add, that just a few weeks ago, one of the WMs near my apartment that has never carried DCUC had the complete Wave 11. They didn’t even have peg space for them, they were all set together on the bottom shelf between Star Wars and Ben 10 figures. They were also at the $12.97 price (but that changed the next day). I have not seen Wave 11 in stores since

  11. So how are the Targets and TRU down there?
    I told my sister the other day when I get my money from my car accident I’m moving down there because y’all keep finding things easy and I’m hard pressed to find up here in StL area. She laughed, “yeah, that’s a good reason to move: action figures.”

    I do have to ask, do you have your own DC in Springfield, or are you supplied out of St James, too? I never realized that it is a sweet spot, sitting between Bentonville and a DC hub.

    So how is the job market down there? ?’.’?

    1. The Target is usually good, but the TRU is awful.

      LOL. I tell Sil that we can’t move because we live in a toy nexus.

      I don’t know the distribution center for Target. For TRU, we use the one near Lee’s Summit. And for WM, we use the the one next to their super-secret computer facility, “Area 71”.

      I would guess we’re not on the St. Louis one because the Springfield Target and ours are very disconnected. Rare can one of the SF folk have a find and then I can run down there and pick it up like I can with WM and TRU.

      The job market? Well, I’ll let you know when I find one… 😉

  12. It’s strange how the same Corp can vary so much from store to store. I find the same at the 3 WM I frequent within a 20 mile radius. Very strange indeed. My local store still has the usual Capt Cold, SA Cyborg & Gotham City 5. But now they’ve brought more OW Aquaman & Ted Kord. At the new price, of course.

    1. We’re all Power Girl all the time down here. I couldn’t find Beetle, Booster, OW Aquaman if I wanted to anymore. In fact, they were barely here at all.

  13. Was Wave 6 overproduced/overordered due to the mad scramble for Wally Wave 5? I swear; it’s the wave that absolutely refuses to exhaust itself!

    1. That wave got included in a handful case assortments. I think there were two different mixes of it outright. Then most of them were included in the first “Best Of” case (that one is still at my Target a year later). Then again, they were included in that 4/6 case that many WM’s loaded up on before wave ten.

  14. I have consistently found DCUC wave 11 in the TRU’s up here in Canada. It may be too early to tell, but in the past 3 weeks, they haven’t been moving. That’s what happens when a 25% price hike gets slapped on.

    At least some of the older DCUC figures have been moved to clearance to $9.99 each. Mr. Miracles and Kid Flashes are the only ones floating around there though.

    1. We’ve only found Wave 11 once here, but we all were hooked up online, so it’s for the best. This one is out, and the other two hvae a lot of Power Girls. I’m not sure how I plan to get twelve yet.

  15. That was a good and funny read. Thanks.

    I totally hear what your saying about the compulsion to keep checking at stores that yield nothing. It’s a sickness… 🙂

  16. My Target is stuck on wave 7, although it’s only half of the wave. OW Aquaman, Beetle and continuosly restocks Booster! WTF?! They must have received the ultra-rare, all-Booster assortment. Isn’t that just GOLDen? Aside from that they carry the Public Enemies Infinite Heroes. I’ve never seen the 6″ line there. I don’t care for Bats & Supes from that wave, but it would be cool to get the villains.

    Oh, yeah! They always have Dr. Impossible, too! Just like WM. I’ve been tempted to by him because I’ve seen him so often, but always fight the urge. I think he looks ridiculous and I don’t have any previous knowledge of him. Why don’t they clearance (or burn) those?

    1. lol. Sounds like a nightmare. My Target has 2 each of Cold, Marvel, Moth, Miracle, and Hawkman. With 1 Impossible for good measure. Sadly, they’re now marked $8 and still not moving…

  17. Unrelated to the main topic of discussion, you should go back and get clearanced Blitzwing. TF:A toys will alway be cooler than DCUC anyway.

  18. our wallies are slowly leaking DCU in (i’m in springfield) and brainlock, all i can say is, you’re not covering enough territory (which could make sense having been in an accident recently… hope all is OK there!) you have a crazy density of TRUs, walmarts & targets in your area… one of my peeps is up there as well, and i can tell you, he’s not a huge action figure guy, but if he’s after something, it’s usually only a week or two and he can find it.

    we sporadically get stuff here in town, but like i still have seen a single power girl… yet, if i mosey on over to target, i can have my choice of booster gold, booster gold, booster gold, booster gold, cyborg or cyborg. tru is still sitting on a cache of captain cold and more booster gold, and wal marts… the last one i went to i scored a red steppenwolf but outside him, i was leaving the batman and superman refresher. the others are still dcu less or possessing of the requisite captain cold only.

    1. No Power Girls at any of the WMs? All the ones here are holding five minimum. But that much divergence between Wallys isn’t uncommon I guess.

    2. DR – it sounds good, but I’m an hour west of StL. I have two WMs and we finally got a Target I guess almost two years ago, now?

      Washington WM finally carried DCUC had at least 60 w10 before Xma$, but most of those have disappeared with reset, leaving maybe one set-plus. Union has been sitting on a mix case, but finally got one case of w10 and nothing since. Neither has had MU Gigantic Battles, but WA did finally get a couple DCUC 5pks *AFTER* Xma$! Wash hasn’t cariied DCIH, but Union did get a case of singles, and it seems 2-3 cases of SHAZAM/Gotham anime sets, which have been collecting dust.

      I haven’t had a chance to hit Wash Target last three months, due to my ride situation (still looking for a car and having to twist arms to go to WM for groceries!), but last time I was in, they didn’t have much, either. JLU was clearanced over the summer, never restocked, but they did get the 6pks and PE stuff in, it’s barely moved. They had a mix case of DCUC (Firestorm, SHAZAM, R/B Superman, Manta) that’s been collecting dust, too.

      I only used to get in to StL County maybe once or twice a month and would have hit or miss luck with my finds. Either I found a lot of good stuff or, more often the last year, was lucky to find anything. Blue Beetle I only found at retail ONCE and that was at Union of all places!

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