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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E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
AvalongodBesides, what better way to make her point for her than to respond to her opinion by behaving like a misogynistic asshole. Sure, it may be a troll account, but that doesn't make it "ok"08/29/2014 - 12:19pm
AvalongodWhether Sarkeesian is "right" or "wrong" is not relevant, neither she nor any other woman should have to expect that her opinion will be met with death threats or even just sexist language.08/29/2014 - 12:18pm
Andrew EisenOh, may as well. Zip, I challenge you to cite three specific examples from the TvW videos (use direct quotes and time stamps) and explain how/why they ring hollow or are over exaggerated.08/29/2014 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
 

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