Last weekend was the grand start of another new line, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Call em Bionicle, Bayformers, Ugly, or just plane Awesome, they’re here for the next couple of years. With the demise of Animated confirmed at Botcon, and Universe\Classics 3.0 a long way off, how many of you will drown your sorrows in the sultry seductions of Bay’s bug-eyed bots?
I know I will.
The first time around, I only got a concept Bumblebee, Ironhide, Bonecrusher, and Salvage. Ironhide is a bit regrettable, Bonecrusher is small but lovely, concept Bumblebee remains awesome, and Salvage is to mark a memory.
See, I used to drive an old F-150. Now, I know Salvage is a repaint of Dropkick (a more annoying urban style deco), but without the bed cover (giant pliers, wtf?) and if you need glasses and you squint a little, it reminds me of my old red and rusted truck.
I had passed on most of the line because it didn’t appeal to me. Prime was ugly, chunky, and had way too much kibble, and Starscream had more undercarriage bulk than any jetformer I’d seen in years. (Bear in mind I’m also the guy who likes Animated Blitzwing….) There were a few I liked almost enough to get, but passed for one reason or another (Barricade, Leader Brawl, Landmine, etc), but for the most part I’m glad I held off.
That was not the case last weekend.
After being tempted by early reviews for months, and lusting after K-Mart’s Deep Desert Leader Brawl, I was ready more and more as the weeks drew in to the the 30th. Then there were reports of stores breaking the street date, even Walmarts doing it, and then, almost two weeks before release date my local Walmart had emptied shelves and pegs and placed upcs announcing rotf toys! Bigger than the animated and universe\classics section combined, but empty!
Surely they’d be putting them up soon… Surely Walmart wouldn’t have empty shelves for nigh on two weeks… Surely some stocker would set them out…
Maybe I shouldn’t have called him Shirley…
When the announcement came that all Walmarts were to release stock early at midnight, I showed up but they didn’t have stock on the pegs still. The night before, you’d think they’d at least put out the friggin stock. Nope. I even politely asked a couple of stockers when they were going to get them in.
One of those stockers turned out to be the assistant manager, and they were in the middle of putting out girls toys, so I figured it would be kind of a good time to ask.
Apparently they didn’t realize that it’s not a nice thing to be fucking rude to someone who is much bigger than them, because they were assholes and I punched them in the face.
Apparently they thought it was uncouth of me to politely ask when they were getting ROTF toys in, as they glared at me like I was a hotwheels scalper. The stocker spat, “They’ll be out tomorrow evening, when they are supposed to be out.” Meanwhile the assistant manager somehow scowled her already hagged up face to furl a hary brow above two bitter eyes. Already akin to pinpricks as they drowned in the folds of her angry scrunched up sag, her eyes bore utter disgust at me as I politely said, “Well, thanks. I appreciate the help.”
Man, I really wanted to punch them in the face.
I was too polite to punch them in the face.
Rude people fucking piss me off. I try to be as nice and polite to people as I can, and I usually have a pretty long fuse on my temper, but I guess it’s just one of my buttons.
A few hours sleep later and it was time for work, but I had just enough time to swing by and see the trash bag of ROTF goodness had settled into the toy isle, adorning itself with an ‘on sale at 5pm tonight’ sign. At least it wasn’t empty, but all day at work was spent wondering how to handle the crowd that big black barrier would attract. I’m a big guy (close to 17-inch biceps, long-ish hair, hand tattoos, and about 6’1″), so surely that would scare off some scalpers. Surely moms wouldn’t let their kids hang around for 30 minutes before it went on sale, especially next to the man with the jagged smile. Surely…
I had to stop calling them Shirley.
So it rolled around to 4:00pm and there we were, standing by the toys with a good position next to the voyagers, leaders, and deluxes, on the opposite end of where the legends, fabs, and gravity bots were pegged.
And we were the only ones there.
Just me and my Melody.
And that, dear readers, is the point of this whole post.
Sure, based on the title you might think I was just gonna talk about getting Leader Prime, Breakaway, Sideswipe, Rampage, and Starscream, but that’s not it at all.
The real haul, the real treasure, was the awesome woman who waited with me in the isle, awkwardly making conversation amongst ourselves as lookieloos wandered by. No scalpers, no other fans, and definitely no crowd.
For the whole hour, mind you.
Sure, there was the occasional mom with kids, who had hers look a bit through the plastic until she read the sign, then pacified them with bakugan (I did not know that was so popular), and Melody discovered a thick layer of dust on the tops of the crappy Batman: The Dark Knight toys, but for the most part it was just us standing there.
She’s a bit shy anyway, and to be standing there next to a ‘look at this!’ marketing strategy, for an hour, just so I could have some toys staked out in fear of scalpers, well that’s not just awesome, that’s… That’s just another example of how wonderful she is, and I want her to know I appreciate her.
So, sneaky post title, and rambling lead up to it, but still. :)
In case anyone cares, I found preview Bumblebee and a better painted Sideswipe at another Walmart that night, found Skids and Wheelie at K-mart, and later found Soundwave at my local Walmart.