Army building. The chance to get ten or twenty versions of the same character. In the past, it was simpler time. Figures where six dollars or even less than that, times have changed. Figures aren’t that cheap anymore and simple army building can be too expensive. Consider this. The latest G.I. Joe figures run at the cheapest seven dollars each. Now buy one simple Cobra Officer times five that’s thirty-five dollars spent. But what about ebay? There are a ton of army building sets out there, but in reality, if you buy three B.A.T.s they’ll probably cost you twenty dollars (not including the shipping). Some maybe able to afford that, some may not. For those who can’t that’s why I’m writing this article. To give you those extra troops and save that dollar.
Now for those army building for G.I. Joe there are two ways for you to save your pennies. Both ways involve Toys R Us. Now Toys R Us has had some nifty little exclusives sets in the past. These where the Red Ninjas versus Snake-Eyes (four Red Ninjas and a repainted Snake-Eyes), and Night Watch (repainted Cobra Officers). Recently, they’ve release two new exclusives groups: Firefly versus rookie Joes (nameless Joes) and Crimson Guard. All four sets run about twenty-five dollars and all have five figures each. Now let’s rewind the clock to when Hasbro released the first five-pack wave. They go for thirty dollars. Add to the fact that actual figures cost around eight dollars at TRU then you’re beginning to see the money being saved by buying these sets. Buy just two and you already have ten figures and it’s only cost you forty-five dollars (plus tax). A real good buy no?
Now it’s true two of these sets have a repainted Snake-Eyes and Firefly, but really it’s a small price to pay for getting four figures for a lesser price. Which is why if you’re willing to stomach the fact of buying a single character twice of the other TRU exclusive, the three pack. The first wave of these weren’t released not too long ago with three sets; two of them included a Cobra Commander in them (one in toon colors, the other a hooded version recolored crimson). The other is a General Hawk figure. Two figures besides the important ones where Cobra Officers, Crimson Guard, and no name Joes. Unfortunately, each figure isn’t the same as the other having a slight repaint. Regardless, for the meager price of fifteen dollars I say it‘s a rather bargain. Buy two sets of these figures and you have bought six figures for thirty dollars (not including taxes).
Now consider, the two packs and how much they are (twelve or nine dollars) you’re saving some dough there (ok save for the nine but that‘s only at Wal-Mart). Good deal no?
Now for those on the opposite side of the coin, Star Wars fans. Well, you have an easier time save this one warning. Avoid Target’s exclusive two packs (released this past year with a clone trooper and Jedi/Sith). Sure they seem tempting, but come on two figures for TWENTY DOLLARS? That’s a rip off.
Which if you’re buying at Target, wait until the time is right and buy the figures when they’re marked down. Or for all the above (including Target) you buy the army building sets that been released of Clone Troopers.
The other choice you have is at conventions and attempt deal making on the final day with dealers. More often than not if your kind and try and make deals with them they might bite at the offer. Take for example this story of mine at Wizard World Chicago this past year. I wanted Shadow Troopers, just four of them. The day before the final day I scouted the entire floor and gazed at all the prices each dealer had. Some had them at twenty dollars, the lowest coming around ten.
When Sunday came, I went after the ten buck one first and got them for eight dollars (someone already beat me to the punch taking two off the dealer’s hands). So then I went to the twenty buck dealer’s and began the bargaining and got three for thirty dollars. Considering their original price was twenty I made off with a nice deal.
Now in the future for those looking for Foot Ninjas or Elite (Necca is making comic accurate versions). I say you might want to lay off or go to ebay because there might be a chance you’ll get a good deal unless there’s a sale at your local comic shop during which I say go buy them. If not wait till the conventions and work on those deal-making skills.
As for the Indiana Jones line with Nazis and Soviets? Well, the best you can do is just buy them single packs at Wal-Mart since they’re going for five dollars, which isn’t bad really.
So there you have it, army building for the cheap bastard.