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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ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
prh99No, but I looked it up and it's basically spyware. Their privacy policy says their apps tracks among other things your location and browsing habits via cookies.02/28/2015 - 8:20am
Ryan RardinHas anyone here heard of an app called iCitizen? It's basically Yelp for politicians.02/28/2015 - 5:16am
Andrew EisenAh, not linked in the way you (and everyone else) want and expect. That's true.02/27/2015 - 10:06pm
Matthew Wilsonthey are not linked in a way that tracks purchases though. the fact that they have to send a code for the other system shows that they are not linked in the way it counts.02/27/2015 - 9:39pm
Andrew EisenAccounts are already linked. Have been for quite a while. Also, Mario vs. Donkey Kong was announced as a cross-buy title during last January's Nintendo Direct.02/27/2015 - 9:25pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/20…/…/27/olli-olli-3ds-wii-u-cross-buy/ I wounder if this is a sign that Nintendo may finally link accounts across the 3ds/wiiu in the near future.02/27/2015 - 9:18pm
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MechaTama31I don't even want to know...02/27/2015 - 8:22pm
 

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