1/19/13

Little Green Army Men...Imaginext Style!


Fisher-Price's Imaginext toyline has been pumping out Toy Story themed figures and sets for a while now. I see them whenever I look for the Imaginext DC superhero offerings, which is often. Lots of cute and cool stuff, but nothing has 'jumped out at me.'

Until now.

My limited familiarity with the series meant I was taken completely by surprise when I saw these Imaginext 'Army Men' the other day. Even though the ubiquitous Little Green Army Men have made many appearances in Toy Story themed toy sets (including Lego) over the years, it still never ceases to amaze me when they transcend their original cheap plastic forms and appear re-imagined yet exactly how they should be all at the same time.

So meta!

Like most red blooded American boys I had hundreds, maybe thousands of Little Green Army Men throughout my childhood, so seeing them re-imagined in the Imaginext style tickles me to no end!

The set comes with a Medic, a Soldier, a mine detector, binoculars and a cot. Each figure also has a removable 'base' so they can appear like your regular green army men or it can be removed so they can be used in Imaginext vehicles and playsets. Brilliant!

No weapons, but what do you expect from a pre-school line in 2013? Regardless, the play possibilities are near endless with these guys.I can just imagine them sweeping the living room floor for mines and hauling away the dead undead on their cot. Good times!

By now I know you are wondering: what is up with that price tag? Now THAT'S a story:

I found these at Target a couple weeks ago, just lying on a random toy aisle shelf. It was the only set of Imaginext Army Men and I did not see a shelf or peg with a price for them (and at the time they did not have a price tag on them,) so I sought out the 'price checker' machine to see what they were going for. The price checker showed that the figures were not in the system.

Pro tip: if a toy you want is not in the system, take it to the front. Sometimes you can get a better than retail deal if the checker can't find an actual price and just throws a number out to make the sale. Although sometimes they find the right price, and sometimes they throw a higher number out too. It's a crap-shoot, but it can pay off, and what's the worst that can happen? You alerted them to an item not in their system. Good karma. It's a win for them (they find out about the item,) and for you (you sometimes get a good price or good karma at the very least.)

This time it payed off for me, but in a very odd and unexpected way:

So I took the figures to the front. The checker couldn't find it in the main system either. She was very helpful, asked the other checkers around, and offered to go to the back etc to find the price. By then the effort wasn't worth it any more, so I said 'no thanks' and proceeded with my other purchases.

I returned to the same Target the other day and while perusing their clearance aisle, I saw what I assume was the same pack of Army Men with a clearance tag on them. And the price? $1.26?!?! The tag even says 'Was $5.00' which is off by a few bucks to begin with.

I suppose an employee later found the set up front behind the registers and thought it may have been a return or that there was something wrong with it. I can further speculate that they saw two of the 'same' figure in the pack and without looking any closer figured that a customer had pulled the old 'Toy-Aisle Troll' switcharoo before returning the set (see cardback below to further cement that theory), but that's all mere conjecture.

Either way I guess not finding it in the system led them to come up with a ridiculously low price and they just tossed it in with all the other clearance toys, where I later happened onto it again and GLADLY paid the buck twenty six! I'd almost feel guilty but for the fact that all I did was ask about the price of a product that was not in their computer system. They did the rest and I could care less what their mindset was now that I have these cool Army Men!

To add oddness to non-injury, I wonder how Disney feels about shilling the characters of their now direct rival DC Comics? I don't know how 'across the board' this error is, but it's funny to see 'Disney/Pixar Toy Story' logo above Batman and friends! This isn't a mere packaging error, it's a fulll on print error, and a big one!

Until I look into this error further and determine how common it is or isn't, I think I'll keep this set packaged up. Heck, maybe the error is why Target put the set on clearance? Does anyone know what's up with this? UPDATE: I've personally seen this set now on three occasions; each time it has the Batman line image on the back. I have not noticed this error on any other Toy Story themed figure sets.

Whatever the case may be, I now have a cool toy, a cool error package, and a cool story...all for $1.26. CHEAP!

11 comments:

  1. I don't think it's a print error. ImagiNext has licenses for both properties so it would only make sense for them to pimp their own product.

    I did get a deal at Target back when the SLUG Zombie Xmas sets came out. None of the stores I found them in had them in the computer yet. I got some for 2.99 when they were still supposed to be full price of 3.59. They apologized for making me wait 10 min for someone to come to the register and the mgr said just put them in at 2.99.

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    1. I just think it odd that there's a Toy Story logo and you look down and see a bunch of Batman toys in the image. Seems like they'd want a Toy Story image - especially considering how tight Disney keeps a reign on their trademarks!

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  2. Overall because I bought so completely into the Mattel Toy Story Buddies series, I mostly ignored the Imaginext sets (with the exception of some of the vehicles and playsets, that I'm waiting to see on clearance or second-had somewhere).

    But this set is so cool!!! I love the removable bases especially. I don't know why that little extra detail makes me really love them... but it's the part that wins me over.

    And I also really appreciate irony behind the fact that Toy Story made a "character" out of Little Green Army Men to the point where you can now find them in new toy versions of themselves. Meta indeed.

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  3. Great deal on these, Bubbs- VERY cool!

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  4. What a great story! I love getting deals on toys!

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  5. These are very fun. I like them and I love when an item is not in the system. I always take it to the front too, and the majority of the time always yields great results! It is such a great feeling!

    And I am also loving the clearance rack in the Target toy department right now. A lot of good stuff can still be found, though probably not for very much longer.

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    1. I look forward to the Target post-Christmas purge every year!

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  6. I found the exact same item at a Kohl's store and it had the exact same card back error. I've been scouring the internet to see if anyone else had the same problem and this was one of the few articles I could find. If you ever find out anything more, please be sure to update!
    Thanks,
    -Gary

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    1. Hi Gary - thanks for the reminder - I've updated the post to mention that I have seen this 'error' three times now, but never on any figure set besides the Army Men set.

      So far all I know is from personal experience and now your account of seeing the 'error' yourself.

      Thanks for commenting!

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