GameStop's Skylanders Action Figure Grab-Bag Shenanigans

December 2, 2011 -

GameStop has put a questionable practice in place for adults seeking to purchase single action figures for Activision's Skylanders from its web site. In case you are not familiar with Skylanders, the game features a portal peripheral that you connect to your console of choice to scan in action figures which then become playable in-game. There are 30+ action figures but apparently supply is low because Activision didn't anticipate the demand for them and the supplier is overseas.

So what is GameStop doing? If you want to buy an individual action figure you can only buy them at random. In other words, they are using a grab-bag approach to these figures where they pick which one you get. If your children already have Skylanders figures they could hypothetically end up with one they already have. And you can forget about picking out a specific action figure at all.

The same applies to the three-pack sets they are selling online.

I guess the point of this post is to warn consumers not to buy Skylanders action figures online at GameStop - unless you like getting something randomly selected.

[Note: the opinions in this post represent the author's and not the opinions of the ECA or GamePolitics.]


Comments

Re: GameStop's Skylanders Action Figure Grab-Bag Shenanigans

Or, it could be the fact that Gamestop uses a single SKU for all the single packs, and another SKU for the 3-packs. The "Hex" character is the same in the system as the "Stealth Elf" character.

A quick search shows that Best Buy doesn't let you choose a specific character, either. And neither does Target, with the exception of their exclusive "Whirlwind" character.

I hope GP journalists do a better job of their research in the future, instead of singling out a single retailer to justify their hate-boner for Gamestop.

Re: GameStop's Skylanders Action Figure Grab-Bag Shenanigans

As far as I've seen, Best Buy is the only other retailer doing that (though, of course, I haven't checked them all).  Target, near as I can tell, isn't offering the single or triple packs online (or even their exclusive, for that matter).

It's also important to note that each figure does have a unique UPC so it's pretty lame and, I feel, worth pointing out that GameStop, Best Buy and possibly others got lazy with their skus and are selling them at random.

Andrew Eisen

Re: GameStop's Skylanders Action Figure Grab-Bag Shenanigans

While on the subject of research, how short is supply, really? These things have not moved all around here. Gamestop's got a shelf full of them that's become sufficiently unpopular that there's a giant Gears of War 3 cardboard stand up in front of it, and the locally owned game store that stocked them on release day is already marking them for clearance (at the same price, but it's a trick that works) and including them in the buy 2 get 1 free weekly sales.

 
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Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
ZippyDSMleeIf SF dose not start building upwards then they will price people out of the aera.04/15/2014 - 10:59am
Matthew Wilsonthe issue rent control has it reduces supply, and in SF case they already has a supply problem. rent control ofen puts rent below cost, or below profit of selling it. rent control would not fix this issue.04/15/2014 - 10:56am
NeenekoRent control is useful in moderation, NYC took it way to far and tends to be held up as an example of them not working, but in most cases they are more subtle and positive.04/15/2014 - 10:24am
PHX CorpBeating Cancer with Video Games http://mashable.com/2014/04/14/steven-gonzalez-survivor-games/04/15/2014 - 9:21am
Matthew Wilsonwhat are you saying SF should do rent control, that has never worked every time it has been tried. the issue here is a self inflicted supply problem imposed by stupid laws.04/15/2014 - 8:52am
 

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