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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