Shipping from Hasbro's bigger retail partners to fan's doorsteps has been a problem for a while, and we've largely ignored the issue with the occassional post to raise awareness, and the occasional interview question for Hasbro to find out if this problem was known to the team, and if it would be fixed (listen to episode #10 of JBT, 14:55 minutes in). But time went on and we all figured that we are better off ordering through a specialy retailer such as Entertainment Earth or others if we want to receive figures in a good condition.
Ordering from a specialty retailer is fine as long as one of the bigger retailers doesn't carry an exclusive item which can only be obtained through them. This past week was a reminder that Target, Gamestop and even Hasbro Pulse's shipping is inadequate. Hasbro Pulse in particular is a head-scratcher because they specifically cater to us fans. Let's take a look at this week's arrivals.
Hasbro Pulse's San Diego Comic Con exclusives (or Hasbro Pulse Con exclusives) arrived this week. The Black Series Heroes Of Endor multipack was shipped separately without any protection in a box which was too big. If it rattles it means it's not packed well folks. The Wampa and the TVC Arc Trooper set were cramped into a box which scratched the packaging of both items up (the glossy foil packaging doesn't help much in this case either, those scratches love to shine on that kind of packaging).
Shipment from Hasbro Pulse, no protection inside the box (Black Series Hero Rebels, $109.99), Black Series Wampa $29.99 arrived in a separate box with dinged up corners and scratched surfaces (the ARC Trooper set is not pictured, but had similar surface scratches on the front and back, along with a bent top flap)
Target had a great deal last week on the Black Series 40th anniverary figures with their spend $50 get $10 off, or spend $100 get $25 off deal. Those figures arrived in the studio today and out of eight Black Series 40th anniversary figures not one arrived in normal condition. The emphasis is on normal, which takes into account some creasing or maybe a slightly dinged bubble. The shipment arrived in two boxes, but both of them had no protection on the inside. Again, when it rattles folks, it's not packaged well. The figures had scuffs on all corners, creases and non-removable stickers on them. Needless to say that those $200+ of merchandise will all be returned to the store.
40th Anniversary Black Series figures wave 3 (Boba will arrive later), all eight figures had issues, from dinged up corners, creases, torn-in cardboard or non-removable stickers.
The last shipment was from Gamestop which included two Black Series Credit Collection IG-11 figures. Those figures were packaged well with air bubbles and not a lot of room to wiggle around in, and yet one figure looked as if it had gone through a shredder.
Who has ever seen a figure arrive in such a poor condition? It looked like it was shredded, although the packaging seemed fine.
If a figure is not exclusive to a particular retailer we have options through specialty shops, but if an item is exclusive to a specific store we need a protective case. Amazon, Walmart or the retailers mentioned above are not going to change their shipping procedures because of a small collector crowd, and that's why this change needs to happen on Hasbro's end. Remember the clamshells the Vintage Original Trilogy figures were shipped in? Those worked well for the 3 3/4" line back then, something similar is needed so that fans can get those figures in a good condition.
As a reminder, this is how Walmart shipped out the 3 3/4" Empire Strikes Back Retro Collection earlier this year.