Hasbro Customer Service Part 1 – Chatroulette

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Back in March I purchased a Marvel Legends Infinite Series Captain America figure. This is the version with his S.H.I.E.L.D. S.T.R.I.K.E. team (yes, they are both really long acronyms) uniform as seen in the first half of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Everything was going fine until I noticed that this particular Cap figure has a defect: he has 2 right feet. After checking to confirm that this was indeed an error and not a previously overlooked detail I concluded that I just can’t let it stand there with it’s weird feet staring back at me.

Luckily I still had the box, the receipt and, heck, the bag it came in. So returning or exchanging it shouldn’t have been an issue unless… Marvel Legends figures barely get stocked anywhere. Even though these figures are pretty expensive as far as toys go ($19.99-$21.99) they tend to sell well. Especially when most places only get *1* case and each case has *1* or 2 at most of any given character in the wave. The S.T.R.I.K.E. suit Cap figure had been very well reviewed and most collectors wanted it which meant if they saw one they were going to buy it for themselves and if they saw 2 they were going to buy one for themselves and put the other on ebay at a marked up price hoping to recoup some or all of the cost of the one they bought for themselves (not me, this other guy you don’t know who doesn’t live around here).

I went back and checked the store I purchased it at but knew that they were very likely not going to get another case of figures and that my only options were to either keep it, exchange it for a different figure or return it altogether. I decided to go right to the source to see if Hasbro Custom Service could do anything to help me out.

The following is a transcript of the conversation I had with a Hasbro customer service via chat:

Mike : Welcome to Hasbro CHAT, this is Mike, how may I help you today?
Mike: Hi Daniel. How can I help today?
Daniel Larson: Mike, I purchased a Marvel Legends Captain America figure recently and discovered that it is defective as it possesses 2 right feet (this is not screen accurate). Is there a way for me to correct this via Hasbro? The store no longer has the figure in stock.
Mike: I’m sorry to hear about that, Daniel. Is the figure from the current Infinite Series? If so, which Captain America is it?
Daniel Larson: That’s correct, the Infinite Series. It’s the version with the S.H.I.E.L.D. S.T.R.I.K.E. team uniform (not the Marvel NOW version or the re-released First Avenger WWII uniform).

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Mike: Thank you. Can you please provide me with the number that is printed on the figure’s leg? Can you also verify the date it was purchased?
Daniel Larson: Absolutely. One moment…
Daniel Larson: Leg # 40021
Daniel Larson: Date of purchase 3/6/14
Daniel Larson: I still have my Target receipt.
Mike: Thank you. I’d be happy to mail a prepaid shipping label to return the figure to us. When it is received, a replacement will be sent. These figures are part of an assortment, so if the same figure is not available, a different figure from the Infinite line may be sent in it’s place. From a collector’s standpoint, if you would prefer, we can issue a refund check when the defective figure is received so that you will be able to purchase the exact figure separately.
Mike: Can you please verify your full name, address, telephone number and email address?
Daniel Larson: Uhhh… That doesn’t sound like a good solution to me. It’s hard enough to find these figures to begin with. This is the only figure from the line that I had intended to purchase, so not being able to guarantee me the same figure is not satisfactory. And since stores run so low on Hasbro’s product to begin with, waiting to purchase a new one is not an option either since there is no guarantee that a store will stock it again.
Daniel Larson: If you can’t guarantee that Hasbro will be able to replace the same figure, I’m not going to send this one back.
Mike: I can certainly understand your frustration. Regrettably, a replacement or a refund are the only options we have available. We do not keep inventory on replacement pieces, such as limbs and other body parts. If you’d like to keep the figure, I’m still happy to send a coupon that you can use towards your next Hasbro purchase.
Mike: Please contact us again if you require additional assistance. Chat is open until 3:30 pm EST. You can expect delivery of your coupon in 5-7 days.

Thank you for contacting Hasbro Consumer Care. Have a fun day!
Mike has disconnected.

Kassandra : Welcome to Hasbro CHAT, this is Kassandra, how may I help you today?
Kassandra: Hi Daniel!
Daniel Larson: Hi Kassandra, I was just chatting with Mike but Mike decided he didn’t want to talk to me anymore so he ended the chat early.
Daniel Larson: I thought everything was going well.
Daniel Larson: I have a defective Captain America Marvel Legends figure.
Daniel Larson: He said that Hasbro could not replace my defective figure nor offer a refund but did suggest that he would send me a coupon. Before I could accept the coupon, he disconnected. I need that coupon.
Kassandra: I am sorry to hear about your recent experience. I do see that he did process the coupon request.
Daniel Larson: Ok, that’s what I wanted to confirm.
Daniel Larson: How much is the coupon for?
Kassandra: It will take about 7-10 days to arrive. I will look into the amount.
Daniel Larson: Thank you.
Kassandra: The coupon is for $10.
Daniel Larson: That sounds reasonable. Maybe I can get a Spider-Man foot or something if there aren’t anymore Captain Americas. Thank you for checking.
Kassandra: Thank you for contacting Hasbro Consumer Care. Have a fun day!
Daniel Larson: I really appreciate you chatting with me Kassandra. I have a pretty great toy collection and Captain America has always been my fav-

Kassandra has disconnected.

Coming soon… Hasbro Customer Service Part 2 – Couptopia

36 is now *44*

Did Boba Fett offer FREE shipping to Jabba the Hutt?

Did Boba Fett offer FREE shipping to Jabba the Hutt?

Last September HtF brought this ebay listing for 36 Vintage Star Wars Slave 1 vehicles and Boba Fett figures to your attention. The listing states that the auction was ended early because “the item is no longer available.” USUALLY that means that the seller either took an offer that someone made outside of ebay or… they decided to keep it. In THIS case, it looks like the seller not only decided to keep it, but has ADDED to the collection. What was 36 Slave 1 ships and 36 Boba Fett figures is now *44* of each. And it only costs $700 more!

Star Wars Vintage Slave 1 Ships Boba Fett Vintage Figures 44 44 Lot KENNER1980   eBay

But… there’s less than 44 in those photos.

Don’t miss this very rare second chance to be the owner of the single largest Slave 1/Fett figure collection!

Also I would like to state that the last time the seller listed this collection he had *1* more Fett figure than me. As of this writing, I currently have him beat by 4. In your face no.1stewie!

They're worth a lot to me.

The Boba Sett stands at 48.

Tales of Craigslist!

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Most of our interactions on Craigslist are the same; Pretty mundane in fact. Craigslister posts an ad, Kate or I reach out to them with something like:

“Hello, is this [child’s toy] still available? If so, I’m very interested in setting up a time to meet with you. Thanks! [name/phone #]”

I’m just throwing out rough numbers here but I’d say 20% of the time we don’t even get a response. Another 20% of the time the items is no longer available. Usually that email just says: “sold”. More typically there’s a polite back-and-forth where we get a sense of what is actually being sold and whether the seller has some room to move on price. If everything looks good we set up a meeting and either buy it or don’t once we see the stuff in person.

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*2* Boba Fetts? *2* sweet ’70’s vans? I NEED THIS.

That’s exactly what happened yesterday. I saw a listing for some vintage Star Wars stuff on Criagslist. The listing isn’t up anymore otherwise I would post it here, the important thing you should notice is that there were *2* Boba Fetts in the batch so you know I was going to press hard to get this lot. The seller listed a phone number which usually means they would prefer that you call instead of emailing (or they want you to text if they specifiy). I called the phone number and left a message stating that I was interested in the collection and would like to pay cash and pick it up today if it was convenient for them. To be safe, I texted them as well. The seller called me back and we set up a time for me to head over to his house to have a look.

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The figures. Looks like I can start The Obi-Wan Set, The Stormtrooper Set, The Han Solo Set and The Tusken Raider Set.

I drove out at the agreed upon time, met the seller, he showed me the batch of vintage Star Wars stuff and everything looked good to me. I thought the price was more than fair (*2* Boba Fetts!) so I gave him the cash and was on my way. I don’t think I was at his house more than 10 minutes. He was polite, I was polite. He shook my hand and looked me in the eye (LIKE A MAN! You know, a man selling another man Star Wars toys). When I got home I photographed the lot for documentation purposes, added the *2* Fett to The Boba Sett and that was that.

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You know the rules: No knocking if rocking.

 

Every once in a while, things blowup.

I submit to you the following example as a less-than-typical interaction with a Craigslister. One that perhaps I escalated to a place where it didn’t need to go, but one in which I felt like my responses were fully justified. It’s possible that the Craigslister is correct in this case, perhaps I do take this too seriously. Please note that none of the emails have been altered in any way. I have copied and pasted all text as written with any spelling or punctuation errors (including my own).

The original listing (click to see full size):

1980 s GI JOE cobra collection

If you can’t see the photo it reads:

“COBRA figures 83-87 all figures except glider pilot.

Bought these over the years to complete this awesome shelf display. Selling them because I need repairs on my house. Don’t know quite how to price the whole collection so make me an offer. 

Note: Not all figures are %100 mint. Most are minty and complete with great paint. “

My opening gambit:

“Hello, 

Saw your listing for the Cobra collection on craigslist. Any chance this is still available? If so, do you have any other photos or a specific list of the characters? It’s a little hard to see every figure that you have in the photos. Do they have their file cards?
 
I know you said you aren’t sure how to price the whole lot, do you have a range?
 
From the photos it looks like there’s around 50 figures. I would be willing to go to $100 just based on what I can see.
 
Thanks!”
3 hours later the seller responds:
“$100.00?   Not even close “
OK, well… am I in the neighborhood? The state? The country? An hour later I respond:
“What would be close? You haven’t stated a price.”
2 hours pass, thinking that he’s not taking my $100 offer as a “serious” offer, I suggest that I would be willing to go up if he would give me some sense of where he’s at:
“What’s the least you would take? $200? $300?”
An hour later I get this response:
“Do some research on them if your serious about buying them first. I will say that each one of these figures cost me no less than $25.00 each on eBay and there are over 50 figures for sale. I am willing to take a loss but not that big.”
This is the part where I MAY have escalated things. You’ll have to be the judge and let me know what you think:
“I don’t mean to offend you or anything, I apologize if you got the wrong vibe from me. I’m a huge GIJoe fan and have an extensive collection. I know exactly what they’re worth and what a reasonable cost is. I buy and sell on ebay all the time. In fact, I just sold a Cobra Ninja Viper last week. Here’s the link to the listing:
 
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-GI-Joe-1992-Mail-in-Exclusive-Cobra-Ninja-Viper-Complete-Hasbro-Direct-/181322770574?pt=US_Action_Figures&hash=item2a37ade88e

 
I would be a serious buyer, but you don’t seem to be a serious seller. I asked you previously what figures you had either in the form of a list or better photos. You have not provided this. I asked you if they had filecards… you have not answered me. How can you expect me to make you a serious offer if you aren’t properly informing me on what you are selling? I’m taking this as seriously as you are.
 
I did the research. I used ebay. I used “sold” listings and sorted by “highest price” (I have to take your word for the condition of the figures. Let’s assume that they are the mintiest mint figures ever. Stark white Storm Shadow and not a scratch on a Cobra logo).
 
I can make out 46 figures in your photos (not sure because you didn’t tell me exactly who you had. Thanks!)
 
The grand total came out to: $1,092.00
 
Here’s a few things to keep in mind when drooling over that number:
 
1. Those prices are based on figures with the filecards. I still don’t know if you have any filecards.
 
2. Many of those prices are from right before Christmas when prices on ebay (and on the entire internet) JUMP due to people splurging to get that special gift.
 
3. Nearly all of those prices are with FREE shipping which means that the seller had to eat somewhere between $5 and $10 to ship them to the buyer (per figure).
 
4. All of those prices have ebay transaction fees that the seller would have had to pay. I sell stuff on ebay every week and can tell you that the fees (listing, final value, paypal etc) account for about 20% of the final sale cost. So for figure that sells for $25, the seller AT BEST is only getting $20.
 
5. Ebay sales are available to the entire planet. That means that a bidder in Malaysia and a bidder in Mexico who both really want something can drive a price up past what it might normally be worth. It is very rare that Craigslist is used for making purchases from out of the country (very rare).
 
So, let’s start with that $1,092 figure and immediately take off 20% for ebay transaction fees = $877.
 
Now let’s take out another 20% because you don’t have filecards = $701.
 
Adjust for the fact that maybe not every one of your figures is worth the absolute maximum that those figures could draw on any given day (I’ll say 5%) = $665.
 
And lastly, because I would be buying them all as a bulk lot instead of individually, I’d be crazy to pay what each individual figure is worth, I’m going to knock another 10% off = $599.
 
I think that’s a full, retail market value offer for buying them on craigslist, as a lot, paying cash, picking up in person (no shipping issues) etc. If you can get that, you are the craigslist king and I applaud you.
 
The reality (in my opinion) is you are going to get a lot of offers like mine ($100, which is just over $2 per figure assuming up to 50 figures) or up to $250 or maybe $300. I expect that most of the people who are going to be looking to purchase this lot are going to be people just like me looking to break the lot up and try to squeeze every last penny out of it by listing each figure individually on ebay.
 
Personally, if I had been able to purchase it from you (and I know that we are not going to be able to agree on a price) I would have checked each figure against my personal collection and upgraded any that the condition of yours was better than the condition of mine.Then I would have sold the rest to buy the next batch of GIJoe stuff that pops up on craigslist.
 
Anyway, again, I hope I haven’t offended you in any way that’s not my intent. I just don’t like it when people assume that because I make a low offer I have no idea what I’m talking about. Craigslist is not an auction site. If you are asking me to name a price, I’m going to name MY price. If it’s not enough, then the seller has to tell me how much they want. As they say on American Pickers: “I can’t buy it and sell it.”
 
In the future, just be honest with your potential buyer. If they make an offer, just make a counter offer. Don’t play games.
 
Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Best of luck selling your collection!”
Sooooo… That was last night. This morning I got a response from him:
“Your right I’m not as serious about this stuff as you are apparently.  It’s just a dumb little nostalgic hobby for me.  F you and your rude comment about “drooling over that number”.
I don’t want your money.

 Good day sir”

87173-YOU-GET-NOTHING-YOU-LOSE-GOOD-COYG
Yeah but I-
aBSN374
Well… at least I got *2* Fetts for The Boba Sett.
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Star Wars Mission Series/Saga Legends Review

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Star Wars Saga Legends Boba Fett and Stormtrooper

Last year Hasbro introduced the Saga Legends and Mission series 4” scale Star Wars action figures. Both lines are essentially the same thing the only difference is that “Saga Legends” are single packed figures running around $6.00 and the “Mission Series” are 2-packs running around $10.00. Packaging is identical for both “lines” and I really don’t know why they even bothered to differentiate one from the other. The SL/MS series features characters from all 6 of the Star Wars movies and, pushing against the evolution of the market for last 30 years, features a max 5 points of articulation and 1 accessory per figure.

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Saga Legends Stormtrooper and Boba Fett

Hasbro is not alone in the turn toward simpler, less expensive figures geared more toward play (kids) than meticulous collecting (adults). The entire toy industry is trying to find a way to keep new, fresh product on the shelves in a highly competitive market and continually rising materials costs. The last few years has seen the cost of plastic go up significantly and business 101 says that something’s gotta give (that’s a quote from my business 101 textbook). Either you maintain the level of production and the price goes up or you decrease the cost of production and maintain or reduce the price (I have intentionally avoided using the “quality of the product” since that is so subjective. 5 points of articulation to you is “crap” but to me it’s totally fine).

This is the circle of life for the toy industry: balancing the cost of producing complex, highly detailed pieces for the adult collector (who they hooked with inexpensive, simple toys when they were kids) versus trying to attract new kids (who will one day become collectors) with a lower price point that their parents don’t mind paying. For the most part, there is a balance in the product available on the shelves (virtual or brick-and-mortar). While Star Wars has the new, less complex SL/MS line they also have the very complex Black Series of 4” and 6” figures (higher detail, more accessories, $10.00 for 4” $20.00 for 6”).

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Star Wars Black Series 6″ figures Han Solo, Stormtrooper and Boba Fett

As an adult collector I have purchased a few of the very detailed 6” figures from the Black series (Boba Fett, Sandtrooper, Han Solo). They’re huge, have incredible attention to detail and lots of accessories. But I was also curious about the SL/MS figures. I’m old enough to have purchased the original line of Star Wars figure when they were on the shelves in the early to mid-80’s so the idea of a more back-to-basics Star Wars figure intrigued me. I was very curious to see what nearly 40 years of advancing production and design technology would result in if Hasbro was to revisit the simplicity of the original line (5 POA, 1 accessory). This line SHOULD be the spiritual successor to the still highly collectible line of original Star Wars action figures. Color me EXCITED.

Where they lost me was initial assortment of figures. Wave 1 was chock full of characters from Episodes I – III. The only character from the Original Trilogy was Darth Vader and unfortunately, he was part of the Mission Series (2 pack for $10.00) with something called a “Seeker Droid” (I don’t know, look it up). To me that meant I would be paying $10.00 for a Darth Vader figure which I wasn’t willing to do. Fortunately, Wave 2 took a turn for the Original Trilogy. 2-packs featuring Han Solo and Chewbacca, C-3PO and R2-D2, and single packs featuring a Stormtrooper and the figure I knew would make or break the line for me: Boba Fett.

Now that the stores have recovered from the Holidays and are starting to refresh their toy aisles, Wave 2 is starting to pop up in various places and, like Wave 1, will soon be everywhere. So if you haven’t found a Fett or Solo/Chewy 2-pack, don’t freak out. You’ll be tripping over these things in the next 2 months. That said I was able to pick up a Fett and a Stormtrooper for $6.00 each at a Toys’R’us. I can’t tell you when the last time was that I was able to buy 2 new figures for $12.00 without a sale or a coupon or theft (j/k I don’t steal anymore). The price point alone has already scored major points with me.

While the articulation has been sacrificed *I* don’t personally care because it’s just going to stand on my shelf anyway. Whether it has 5 joints or 55 doesn’t really matter. It just stands there. And when I get tired of looking at it, I put it in a bin and stand something else on the shelf. Like I said, I have some of the highly detailed, highly articulated (highly expensive) 6” Black Series figures. They’re REALLY nice, but I really like being able to purchase a nicely sculpted, nicely detailed figure and NOT spend a lot of money. The nostalgia factor on these figures is really high. The reduced articulation, single accessory and lower price point makes them feel a lot like the original line (and the Power of the Force 2 line from the late ‘90s/early 00’s) but produced with today’s technology so there is a much higher degree of detail and the paint applications are done well.

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Evolution of Boba Fett. V 1977, POTF2 1995, VOTC 2004, VC 2010, SL 2014

Boba Fett looks almost as good as the figure produced in 2009 (Legacy Collection) and then repackaged in 2010 (Vintage Collection). Fett has the Mandalorian skull emblem on his shoulder, his helmet is worn and the tools in the pockets on his shins are actually silver. He comes with a removable jetpack and his trademark blaster which, for my taste is a bit flimsy. 20 years from now people will be advertising “unbroken” Fett blasters on their ebay listings. Where the last few versions of Boba Fett have featured a shoulder cape that was actually made out of cloth, this figure returns to the sculpted cape which I like much better. I’m always afraid that those cloth pieces are going to rip or detach. I can’t imagine they survive actual play (wouldn’t know, just stands on my shelf).

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Evolution of Stormtrooper: V 1977, POTF2 1995, POTF 1999, VOTC 2005, SL 2014

Stormtrooper is WHITE. Time will tell if his color starts to shift toward cream like so many previous versions of Stormtroopers. Like Fett, the sculpting is great. Not much to say about the paint apps since there really isn’t much paint applied. He’s got his imperial blaster and I can’t stress enough how much it really feels like a modern version of the vintage figure.

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The original and the latest.

I like both of these figures. I am officially IN on this line (Original Trilogy characters. Prequels can eat a bag of sticks). I love the price point and the lack of articulation doesn’t bother me at all. If you need more articulation take one step back and go recollect the last 2 lines of Star Wars figures. Hasbro has over-delivered on assortment of characters and quality the last 5 years. I’m ready for the shift back to simplicity. I’m psyched that they are producing figures from the Original Trilogy while still taking care of the Prequel generation. Taking a look at the next Wave, it looks like I’ll be able to get a Darth Vader when he’s re-released in a  2-pack with Bespin Luke Skywalker. I hope they can continue the line long enough to get the rest of the Bounty Hunters, a Scout Trooper and Kate would love to have some Ewoks.

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1977 and 2014.

If you’re a kid, these are great figures. If you’re a parent with kids, these are great figures. If you’re a collector who likes the original line of Star Wars figures and can get over yourself and the fact that the toy industry does not exist to satisfy your increasingly more specific needs (god, you’re so high maintenance), these are great figures. Trust me, don’t sleep on this line. They look good, they’re inexpensive and they’re fun (to look at on a shelf).

Social media presents. Er… I mean presence.

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Kate and I have been considering whether or not this traditional WordPress template blog works for our blogging needs at HtF. The reality is that we have a pretty good social media presence… it’s just that it’s mostly on Instagram (@htfblog). Nearly everything we post on Instagram gets pushed over to Tumblr (@hardtofindblog) and then a very small portion of those posts actually get pushed out to our Twitter and Flickr (we might be the only ones still posting things on Flickr, I haven’t checked in a while to make sure). We really only use our Facebook page to promote blog posts that we write here… and that almost never happens (maybe we average once a month over the course of a year).

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So, if you aren’t already on instagram, head over there and check us out! And check out the list of people we follow and who follow us. There’s a lot of cool people out there who are really enthusiastic about toys and action figures and they post really great stuff all the time. And since we’re talking about it, if you’re reading this and you’re one of the folks who follow us and are feeling spurned because we don’t follow you, take this opportunity to consider what the ratio of pictures of toys vs. pictures of you or what you’re eating you post. I (Dan) run the HtF instagram account and I just have no patience for pictures of the people on the other end or their food (or their babies or their pets most of the time. I love cats and there are a few cute dogs out there). I want to see pictures of TOYS that’s the ONLY reason the HtF account exists. There are some exceptions of course, but for the most part, if I look at your feed and see the occasional toy picture thrown in with pictures of people, places and food or even worse, NO pictures of toys (or toy related items: comics, posters, cartoons, the kinds of things WE post)… I’m not following back.

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And since we’re talking about it, I’m pretty snobby about the HtF instagram account and my personal experience there. I won’t hesitate to stop following you if you post too many things that I don’t want to look at even if it IS toy related. Some people can’t help but let their political or religious affiliations spill over into their pictures of Transformers and Batman action figures. I don’t want to name names, but I can think of one specific account that I unfollowed because he started to use instagram as a way to share his opinions on the President and the new Health Care Law. Whether I agreed with him or not (clearly I did not) I unfollowed him because instagram is a place where I don’t want to worry about that kind of stuff, he made it political so I voted to not support him by unfollowing. I’m sure I follow a lot of people who have differing opinions of stuff related to issues across the board, but they keep it to themselves when it comes to instagram. Maybe if we ever meet in person we can talk about Obamacare, but for now, I just want to see pictures of your Masters of the Universe figures.

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The social media experience is something that this generation is being asked to deal with for the first time in the history of humans. I think there are a lot of people who lose sight of the fact that YOU are the one who controls YOUR experience. I’ve been seeing a lot more “I think I’m going to delete my Facebook page for good” posts from friends in my feed and I can’t help but wonder if they are actively participating in the editing of their own feed. If Facebook has become a burden to you, consider the real reasons. Are you checking it too often? You may actually have addiction issues. Are you experiencing depression or anxiety from the things people are posting? You need to either “hide” or “unfriend” those folks. You don’t need that negativity in your social media life. If the other person takes it personally, that’s THEIR problem. They can pick up the phone and ask you why you stopped following them or, if they can’t pick up the phone and call you, maybe it’s because you aren’t actually friends.

If you don’t have the Testicular Fortitude (my Dad insists he invented that term, until I can prove otherwise I will have to assume he did. It means “balls”) to unfriend the negative people in your social media experience then at the very least take advantage of whatever tools exist to properly cater the experience to your needs. Google+ and Facebook have “circles” and “lists” respectively to allow you to set up groups of people that you do or do not want to send or receive information from. Take the time to fine tune what you are seeing on a daily basis so you can control the amount of negativity that you have to deal with. Users need to learn that part of the social media experience is being your own social media experience director. Control the flow of what you want to experience and you will enjoy it far more than before. Don’t be afraid to edit that flood of content heading your way to make it a positive experience.

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Things that I didn’t care about that I suddenly care about: Littlest Pet Shop

There's a VERY spoiled little girl out there somewhere.

There’s a VERY spoiled little girl out there somewhere.

I can’t even believe this is real, but it is. Right there on the ebay.

I tend to give Kate a hard time about some of the things that she buys to resell but I will stop giving her a hard time about Little Pet Shop. This isn’t our listing (I WISH!) but if there’s that kind of money to be made off of *1* brown collie dog… then I say keep on buying! I’m trying to profile the collector here, are we talking about an adult buying for themselves (thereself?)? Are we talking about an adult buying it for a kid? Is this a store? It’s blowing my mind. I mean… a set of the last 17 vintage Star Wars figures that came out in 1985 (nearly 30 years ago) and are sought after BY EVERY STAR WARS COLLECTOR ON THE PLANET recently sold for only $850.00. As a SET. WHAT’S WITH THIS DOG? I’m going to have to do some research.

$1.99? I’ll take 10 thank you.

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Ugh, can you believe in 1979 Star Wars action figures were sold for $1.99? Even if you account for inflation, that’s only $6.41 in 2013 money. The modern equivalent of this line would have to be the newly released Mission Series of figures and next years Saga Legends. 5 points of articulation just like the vintage line but with a modern look to the sculpting and paint app. You gotta buy 2 figures for $10 but hey, that’s only $5 per figure which TECHNICALLY… is less than the $1.99 back in 1979. Wave 1 is pretty heavily Prequel loaded… but Wave 2 brings Solo, Chewy, R2 and 3PO into the mix and then NEXT YEAR we’ll get the Saga Legends series which will have Boba Fett.

A Bigger Boba Fett Enthusiast… For Now

Did Boba Fett offer FREE shipping to Jabba the Hutt?

Did Boba Fett offer FREE shipping to Jabba the Hutt?

Alright, maybe this guy (and whoever wins the auction) has me beat when it comes to being a vintage Star Wars Boba Fett enthusiast. He has *1* more Boba Fett figure than me… but 36 more Slave 1’s.

Who does that?

36 Slave 1′ s and 36 Boba Fetts

HtFBlog Reformatted

Lotus at the flea market

A Lotus at the flea market?

We’re changing the format of this blog.

The last time I posted was in June which sucks because I want to post far more often than that but I have this really bad habit of starting to write a very short piece, you know, like an observation about something we saw at the flea market (a Lotus? Really?) or irritating interactions with an ebay buyer (“NLARU” 3x on the same item) and then by the time I’m done with it 3 weeks have gone by and it’s 5000 words long and covers everything from the creation of ebay (Pez and wristwatches) to the potential economic implications of an air strike in Syria (guys, c’mon). And THEN I want add a comic strip and before you know it I haven’t posted anything since June.

Velvet Death Dealer.

An acquaintance of mine got to this just before I did. $2 for a velvet Death Dealer homage. This round to you, my friend.

There’s also nothing that says I can’t post stuff ALL THE TIME, like… more than once a day. So here we are at the dawn of a new day: less developed thoughts and observations, but MORE of them. Yeah!

Last Weekend Recap

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Little late on the weekend recap, but we’ve been late so many time that you (like us) probably don’t even realize this is a weekly thing.

HtF accomplished a feat that we have never attempted before, heck, we didn’t even attempt it this time… it just happened. It’s not unusual for us to hit 2 flea markets in a weekend; it’s not unusual for us to hit 2 flea markets in a day (we call that “Sunday”). But on this rarest of days, HtF manages to hit not 1, not 2 but *3* flea markets in one day. “Big deal” you say? “So what” You say? What if I told you we hit 3 different flea markets in one day… in 3 different STATES?

The day started in upstate New York, which, we’re starting to realize (even after living in upstate New York for a year) means “everything that is not New York City.” We always assumed that “upstate” was a geographic term synonymous to “northern.” We lived in Watertown, NY which is so far north in New York that (as we have joked) it is practically part of Canada. THAT is upstate. But if you interpret the term as “not New York City” then Albany, which is geographically in the southern third of the state, would qualify as upstate.

Our original intent was to go the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT. That plan fell apart when the wedding celebration we attended the evening prior prevented us from waking up at the planned 5:30 AM (at HtF we party all night or not at all). We decided that it would be better to find flea markets along the way instead of arriving at Elephant’s Trunk after all the good stuff was gone. After a quick Google Maps search for something in the area, we found ourselves at the Tilden Plaza Flea Market in New Lebanon, New York.

Tilden Plaza wasn’t a huge location, but they had a pretty good variety of stuff. Not a lot of the kind of stuff that Kate and I are interested in, but it was a good place to see a little bit of everything. There were tables with old books, old tools, some toys and collectibles, a nice selection but nothing worth buying. It was still early in the day so we pressed on to another flea market on our path back home.

We plugged Charlton Flea Market in Charlton, Massachusetts into the GPS but just before we arrived we decided to exit the Mass Pike one ramp sooner and head north to Rietta Flea Market in Hubbardston, MA instead. We’d heard about Riettta on a trip to Lancaster Flea Market back in March. Today was the first time we had been close enough to give it a shot. Of course… this would not be the best example of this Flea Market for us since we arrived on a hot-as-crap day at noon (the real deals had been made several hours prior). Most of the dealers we would have wanted to buy stuff from had probably long since exited, but it was nice to at least get the lay of the land and have an idea of what to expect the next time we go. I did get a Gobot and a few Joes… so that’s something.

Watch out for the '80s!

Watch out for the ’80s!

2 Flea Markets down and nothing substantial purchased, we headed back home to New Hampshire. Fortunately, there was enough time left to pay a visit to one of our regular Markets where our favorite vendor had held some stuff in anticipation of our arrival (we give him money pretty much every week). It was later in the day that we usually see him so he was a little worried that we weren’t going to show, but ultimately we were all happy to see each other and we picked up a few things that made the trip worthwhile. The trip back to New Hampshire, that is. You already know how we feel about New York and Massachusetts.

New Hampshire saves the day! Kind of.

New Hampshire saves the day! Kind of.