Best places to shop for figures?

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Best places to shop for figures?

Postby trustfulguy9100 » Thu May 29, 2014 6:16 am

Anyone have any tips on purchasing figures? I feel like they are really expensive and I feel like there has to be a place out there I'm missing. Even if I have to buy by the bulk, is there a good place to pick up some figures (or individually)?

I currently hit up local stores like Roses, Big Lots, Maxway, Five Below, Ollie's Bargain Outlet, etc... I also shop online at eBay (Amazon is typically too expensive).

Toys R Us has decent ones but they are kind of pricey and are typically out of stock of anything good. People get there when the shipment hits the shelves and I'm out of luck (I have to work and can't get there when shipments come in).

In fact, last week I was looking for Marvel Universe Hulk at TRU. I was there alone for about 10 minutes looking. I went through every figure on the hooks. No hulk. Bummer. I take a phone call and step to the side. 2 other dudes walk up, go straight to a random bottom shelf, slide boxes out of the way and start pulling out a secret stash of figures. There he was... Hulk. $9.99. I was like... NOOOOO!!! I told the dude I've been looking for that and didn't know people hid things like that. Basically long story short, it was my loss and he walked away with the figure. Lesson learned. Look behind other random toys on the shelves for the good stuff. I asked a guy who worked there if there was more. He said no, that was the only one they had. I watch him walk away and he goes straight to those guys that had the secret stash and they are all talking and laughing. I was played! The guy that worked there knew them and hid the rare ones on the shelf when he stocked them on the rack.

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Back to my original question of where to find cheaper figures. I don't mind if they are used and opened (loose).

Any good eBay sellers I should probably know about?

Thanks. Just a dad building his son's collection (and my inner child wants them too... maybe even more than my son... but that's our secret). Wife just thinks I'm a good dad ;) .
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Re: Best places to shop for figures?

Postby triggerrick » Thu May 29, 2014 12:59 pm

What exactly are you looking for? Scale size, toy line, characters, etc? Lmk cuz I have lots of figures new and loose, mostly 6" scale.
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Re: Best places to shop for figures?

Postby trustfulguy9100 » Thu May 29, 2014 1:06 pm

I'm looking for the 3.75" size range. Marvel Universe (or anything Marvel really) as long as they figures have good articulation. Marvel Universe figures are good examples of what I'm looking for.
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Re: Best places to shop for figures?

Postby The Vintage Nerd » Thu May 29, 2014 1:30 pm

Yeah I worked retail, at one of the big box stores, as a manager for 10 long years and it's the most unfortunate part of the collector's game; but indeed they keep this stuff away from the people it was really intended, kids.

We had a term for these instances, we used to call it the "Nerd Lay-Away." The best way to combat it, really, is to just try to think like they do. Look high and low and behind. Big box play sets, pulled right to the lip of the shelf are a good tell that something is stashed behind it.

In answer to your question though, one of my favorite places to look these days is at the local swapmeet and yardsales. Its a pastime that I enjoyed with my father when I was young; and share it with my 4 year old son now. It's like treasure hunting and you really can't beat the bargains either. I can see the excitement on my sons face when he spots something that I didn't.

Hope this helps; one dad to another. Good luck. :)
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Re: Best places to shop for figures?

Postby Wolverhulk ISS » Thu May 29, 2014 2:14 pm

I look on eBay for loose stuff constantly, and every time I'm in a grocery store I slip over to the fig aisle. Comic books shops are more expensive but they seem to have what I need more than Walmart, toys r us, and target. And some even buy/sell/trade. If you live near a big city go to comic con there. I was blown away by the figures at Dallas comic con. I made plans to go super last minute. Got there and was in heaven but with no money. Next year I'm walking out of there like a pack mule.
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Re: Best places to shop for figures?

Postby therapist » Sat May 31, 2014 2:23 am

sadly this doesnt apply for 99% of people but I shop at the frank and sons collectible show down here in cali and its great. But yeah if you dont live here its like your SOL :(

My only advice would be check ebay ... alot
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Re: Best places to shop for figures?

Postby trustfulguy9100 » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:34 am

Thanks for the tips everyone. I will indeed be searching behind big boxes on the shelf going forward. I've always been interested in Comi Con but I've never been. Do you get great deals there or something on figures? Like in my example in my original post, can you get something like that under $10 (which is what Toys R Us would sell it for)?

I do think I will start searching yard sales. Grandmas are selling old boxes of toys, but sometimes you find some cool stuff in there... for cheap!! Its been a while but I need to go again and take my 4 year old. He'd love it.

Thanks everyone!
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Re: Best places to shop for figures?

Postby Purity » Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:49 pm

Ebay and amazon are good. Also online sites for retail stores may help. When searching ebay, exhaust every search title(misspellings, lots, vague titles, etc). Also, flea markets, garage sales, and comic book stores may have loose, and occasionally new figures. Sometimes you can get lucky on craigslist. And BST forums and Facebook groups can yield good results. Bigbadtoystore and other figure-centered online stores are also fantastic.
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Re: Best places to shop for figures?

Postby supersizeme » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:12 pm

The best advice I can give you is that you must be patient and relentless. To find figures for cheap you must invest a lot of time searching online and in person. I check my local craigslist at least once a week and it has yielded many finds. Just last month I found a listing on CL for a garage sale that stated they were selling ML figures. So of course I went and I found many figures including ML Infinite Black cat and Black widow MIP for 10 bucks a piece. I picked up tons of other loose figures and it was a great find. From the way the guy was looking longing at the figures as I was leaving it was apparent his wife was making him sell it. I really felt for the guy but the guilt quickly dissapated when I got home and un packed my figures. But for every story like this I've gone to dozens of yard sales and swap meets to find nothing. So you just have to keep going and hoping.

I go to Frank and Sons's whenever I go to Southern Cali but I find it hit or miss there. Sometimes I get really good deals sometimes everything is WAY over priced.

Another way is to find friends and network both online and in the real world. I've got working relationships with many dealers at the Swapmeet and I know a local guy that buys tons of ML and DCUs off of ebay. They all text me whenever they get a good haul and I get first dibs before they sell it on Ebay or at their booths. And I also have been lucky enough to find friends here on the Realm from all over the globe and it has also yielded many great finds.

I think the best deals I've ever gotten were at Comic book conventions. They sell TONS of loose figures at extremely reasonable prices. And its great to hit them up before the end of the con because they rather sell it for cheaper than haul it back.

Just remember the more time you invest the better the rewards. To me finding figures is more than a hobby it's a life style.
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