So, another night and another hunt for Skylanders.
I didn't even deem it worth to take pics as most of you know what my bare Skylander shelves look like at this point.
Let me first say that my local TRU must have not gotten jack in...
They had about 5 Drobots strung out across the display area and that was it.
I asked one associate I know if they had Empire of Ice yesterday and he said no, but they HAD the new one. He didn't seem to think there were any "new" ones as in Lightning Rod or Zook.
So that means that my local TRU not only had Dragon's Peak, but sold it. Does this mean they will not have this Sunday when it is suppose to "release?" Great question...How about Lightning Rod or Zook? Who knows.
I find it hard to believe that they had Dragon's Peak and sold all of them with the 1 per customer limit. I have said for quite some time that I think it should be easy to get Dragon's Peak given that TRU will have the 30 day window and should have mandated "X" quantity from Activision to cash-in on it.
However, I tend to forget we are dealing with Activision and Toys'R'Us here...I've probably given them too much credit.
Just as I anticipated 4 always full racks of Dragon's Peak I could easily see it being done with this initial batch and maybe 2-3 more small shipments over the next 30 days. It would be on par for this less than dynamic duo.
As bad as TRU missed the mark yesterday, I still think the blame should be up top with Activision. They are the ones responsible for producing and importing the Skylanders....If you are told months in advance to get ready for "x" release date and you promote it, you really haven't done much wrong...
When Nintendo releases a new game we know a date. People that want it really bad pre-order it to ensure they get a copy. The rest of us head in on the release date and pick one up. The game has to be HUGE to sell out. And even if that happens, a truck comes later in the week with the next round. Within another 3-5 days you will have not only landed your new game, but found it in stock everywhere it is sold.
Nintendo doesn't just send 4 copies of the newest Mario game and EA Sports doesn't randomly ship Madden to different stores. And when they say 3/21, the game is out 3/21.
I'm not sure how Activision continues to make these catastrophic blunders.
I once thought it was to keep hype up as they drug out the release of all 37 Skylanders. Now, I just think they have no clue how to manage things. Like I've said before, when you go to ebay and pay $75 for Lightning Rod, all Activision sees from that gouging is the initial retail price. They aren't making $66 over their usual profit margin off the $9.99.
That means they really aren't cashing in on the hype.
I assure you, they could have sent 100 of each Wave 4 Skylander to every TRU and sold them all...even the small markets would go quickly. Do you honestly think that having the initial "big day" sales event and leaving a stock of 15 for the coming days is bad? No! If it is on the shelf, it can sell.
If it is backlogged overseas and you can't get it to market you have failed. This isn't like they rushed these to the table. The game has been out since October. Sure some are just getting into it, but if you are like me, you enjoyed the game, but find the current state of things a bit annoying.
Go online and read about the 3/21 debacle. What should have been people hanging out with other die hards and enjoying playing with the new Skylanders turned into more people questioning why "nothing new" was sent to their store, or in other cases (and this would be on TRU) why they had Dragon's Peak taken away and the store 20 miles to the north sold it to customers.
Between Activision's inability to produce enough Skylanders to satisfy demand and Toys'R'Us being radically inconsistent from store to store, you have the perfect storm.
I will say it again, I really enjoy Skylanders. The game is actually really good. However, I do not enjoy being strung around with misinformation and lead by puppet strings...I would like Lightning Rod and Dragon's Peak, I'll give you the $35 to purchase them. I won't give up all my free time and burn gallons of gas going on a wild goose chase just to find I've been beaten out by scalpers.
There can still be the hype and hysteria over the "collectible" Skylanders...but do not drag the basic characters into the mix.
I haven't mentioned in this post that I have still never seen a Cynder or Empire of Ice in my local area...and they've been out for months. Am I going to suffer the same fate with Dragon's Peak and Lightning Rod? Keep in mind that I had to order my Wave 3 stuff in from GameStop.
This is just piss poor management on Activision's part and I am not the only one growing tired of it. Their inability to perform the most basic functions of being in business really start to suck the joy out of playing the game, or having the desire to purchase more characters etc.
Make Skylanders....ship them to your retailers...let the retailers sell them...keep your retailers stocked. How is that complicated? The excuse paraded around on their facebook of "Skylanders is very popular at the moment, we can't keep up" doesn't cut it. I'll let you apply it to Wave 3, but you HAD TO KNOW that when you produced Wave 4. And some stores didn't even get stock on Wave 4 which is more baffling.
It just blows my mind that there could be something so popular and the company has had 3+ months to adjust and has completely failed...especially when there is money on the line! The people turning to ebay and paying 2-10x retail aren't going to do that and then 3 weeks later pick up their 3rd Zook locally. The black market, as much as I hate it, does nothing for activision...they are loosing a ton of money and are still unable to adjust accordingly.
I'll say it again, but DO NOT BUY FROM SCALPERS! As soon as you quit paying those ridiculous prices, the sooner they will quit raiding the shelves. If they could sell Zook for $9.99 like TRU they wouldn't make any money and thus they will quit scalping.
The sad thing in that scenario is the scalpers understand the basic fundamentals and a giant company like Activision is either genuinely oblivious to it, or just lacks the leadership and intellect at the top to increase production.
Well, I will quit rambling. I know I'm not the only one who has to feel this way and is growing tired of the circus of blunders.
In case you cared for the rest of the update, here it is:
Are you seeing the pattern here?
Well, I'm going to call it a night. I might replay the T-Bone levels to prepare for recording the time goals. Like I've said, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is a great game. I'll gladly pay to enjoy new Skylanders and adventure packs, but I won't jump thru hoops to do it...that isn't asking for much.