Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I may be robbing some kid of childhood memories when I buy toy robots at ShopKo, but damnit they should have bought them before they went on clearance

i HAVE THIS MORAL CODE THAT guides my toy robot buying. It's that no matter what the toyline is, toys are actually for children. They're marketed at children and intended for children. Especially in the case of the Transformers Alternators, which are intended for the average four year old who can appreciate 1:24 scale transforming cars at a $20 price point with robot modes that are homages to characters from an over 20 year old cartoon and car modes that are vehicle makes and models licensed by current car manufacturers. Yup, not once in my mind am I ever convinced that these Alternators toys are meant for anyone else but the kids.

So given that it's all about the kids, I think it's pretty selfish to buy multiples of any toy robot unless you're selling/scalping the extras off on ebay, which I find ethical as long as you're sure you're selling/scalping to the children, who it's all about in the first place. However, buying another one of a robot I already have just for the hell of it is pointless, especially given the limited amount of space I have for my collection. So I was pretty comfortable with my one Alternators Optimus Prime I found last year at the Ellsworth base exchange. I never for a second considered buying the five or six other Alt Primes I saw subsequently on the shelves here and there after I got mine. But hot damn last week I broke the rear view window on the passenger side door of mine and I had to superglue it back on. Breaking toys? What am I, twelve?

Thoughts of my broken Prime were in my head today as I went back to Rapid City's ShopKo to return those Signature Edition McQuarrie Stormtroopers I was writing about yesterday in the hopes that I would get an Alternators Skids, which is what I thought I really wanted. But lo and behold I found another Alternators Optimus hidden away in a different aisle of the toy section and it was clearanced down to $16.25 (although the price tag was only reflective of the first markdown). Even though I intended to trade in the Stormtroopers for Skids, I got the Prime instead. I figure I'll grab Skids after the next markdown brings him down under $15, or even better-$10. Somehow visiting ShopKo to see how low the Alternators prices have gone has become the high point of my week. Four months ago I was watching giant Air Force planes landing on airfields of ice in Antarctica. Now the most exciting thing I have to look forward to is playing clearance roulette with robot toys nobody wants. What happened to my life?

Between this Prime and the $8 clearance Alternators Smokescreen I found at a Wal-Mart in Colorado last year I'm beginning to wonder if the children aren't actually interested in these Alternator toy robots. I know it can't be true, though, because somebody is willing to pay up to three times original retail for them. If those aren't four year olds on ebay I don't know who they could possibly be, because of course, everybody knows toys are for the children.

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