Toy Aisle Trolls > MOTUC Mer-Man found at Toys R Us!

Toy Aisle Trolls is a feature highlighting acts of vandalism to in-store toy items. If you find a ruined package, a stolen figure, a swapped-out figure, or any other such acts, take a photo (cell phone photos are fine if they’re not blurry) and email them to poe AT

This is a first for Toy Aisle Trolls. Monkey Boy sends in this absolutely bizarre find.

Writes Monkey Boy:

hey poe, attached are two files that depict by far the oddest TAT i’ve seen yet. i’ll set up the story: i was at TRU and i came across this MOTUC mer-man, weirdly just kind of tossed onto a shelf somewhere between transformers and GI joe. it seemed strange that this figure was at TRU since i had never heard about MOTUC being in stores except as part of the MOTUC/DC 2packs,, and although i don’t collect MOTUC, i thought hey, might as well see how much TRU wants for it. so i scan the barcode at the price finder and it comes up $34.99. i almost laugh out loud but then i notice that the product description on the screen says “MOTUC/DC 2 pack” or something like that, and that’s when i notice things are looking fishy (no pun intended). while as far as i can tell the figure looked fine and the package itself didnt seem to have been tampered with, i did notice that the “only at TRU” sticker seemed to be peeling a bit, and the barcode i had scanned was a separate sticker placed OVER the normal barcode on the insert beneath the blister. soooo i carefully peel the barcode sticker off and attempt to scan the actual insert UPC and it comes up not found.

here’s what i think happened: somebody bought a MOTUC/DC 2pack, possibly the mer-man 2pack for all i know, and then put the sticker barcode for it as well as the “only at TRU” sticker on their sealed mattycollector mer-man, which they returned to TRU masquerading as the original 2 pack they had bought. for whatever reason whoever scanned the return didn’t think it odd that a single 7″ figure would cost $35, but hey, that’s retail i guess. what i don’t get is why someone would return a perfectly good mer-man. the figure’s sword, trident and both heads were included and the figure didn’t seem broken at all, and honestly i probably would have bought it if it was a reasonable price, but dang. you’d think the guy would have just tried to sell his mer-man on ebay rather than scam TRU.

since i was on a lunch break at the time, i didn’t get to notify any sales associate, besides i’m not sure any employees would even understand what i was talking about if i tried. i can’t imagine anyone would want to buy it, so i assume it’ll just sit there for eternity.

-monkey boy

Bizarre…BUT, awesomeness of the MOTUC Mer-Man aside, no one wants to pay $35 for him. And the truth is the guy got at least $10 off his Mer-Man and Aquaman. So he’s still a troll, pure and simple. But he sure goes to great lengths to prove his trollness.

Comments now closed (27)

  • this is weird though… i bet people would gladly buy him for 35.00 since he comes with all his stuff

  • Interesting, just today I saw a similar report on another forum, but the figure was reissue Faker.

  • Yeah, has the link and images of the Faker figure which someone did this same exact thing with. I can't understand this, as factoring in shipping, I can't imagine that you could get most of these single carded figures inexpensively enough to make this worthwhile. Maybe this is Mattel's marketing division testing out the waters…..

  • I find this weird, for one reason. I went to my TRU and there was stacks of DCUC with a 17.99 price tag, the thing that intrigued me most was that they were those bright green mom-and-pop stores type stickers, I scanned them and they were the usual 14.99.

  • OK that's weird…. I hate to say it but I'm getting used to hearing about the guy who stick's the generic toy in the name brand package. This make no sense to me. This Troll reeks of guilt! "I feel so bad about what I'm doing that I'll give the store a more expensive toy in exchange."

  • so, let me see if i follow this… this dude dumps 28.70 to get a MM… he keeps is MOC. he eventually buys a 37 dollar (rounding for local sales tax) MM/AM 2 pack and decides he likes that MM better… he's spent 65.70 thus far, and has three figs to show for it.

    so he swaps across the barcode for the two pack, and returns the single pack fig (since they won't refund sales tax) so he's reduced his total expenditure to 30.70 and for that, he has two figs, minus a trident and extra head… am i reading that right?

    i think he should have to watch his parents make a porn in nightvision as his punishment.

  • those tags are, according to this chick at a local TRU, leftover from TRUExpress stores. a lot of the Express stock is being dumped at TRUs at lower prices

  • Over at the Matty forums someone posted the same thing about a Faker figure showing up at a TRU w/ the "only at TRU" sticker and the replaces UPS symbol.

  • Weird. This seems like a ridiculously complex plan for returning toys. What happened to the days of just tossing an old animated Spider-Man into the pack, barely taping it back up, and calling it a day?! 🙂

  • i visited the same TRU today and didn't see mer-man (though i didn't look that much to be honest). the theory i posited is just the most reasonable one i could come up with for how mer-man ended up in TRU scanning as a $35 two-pack, but i agree that it sounds insane. the fact that a similar incident with faker is also being reported just makes it weirder.

  • Ok this is rather interesting i wonder way someone whould of done this and to be honest if he actually scanned in closer to lets say $15 i would of grabbed him up in a heartbeat.

  • Well, that's a new one… I can't wait for the day someone finds a Ghostbusters II 4pk with the original, Matty-exclusive team in the box.

    Improbable? Yes. Impossible? Definitely not after this.

  • Having watched "Intervention", all I know is that junkies will do strange things when they need quick cash for a fix.

    That is the only possible explanation for this poor troll.

  • I think it's a set-up by the troll that probably knows his work gets posted on the internet so he had to make something bizarre to garner some infamous E-popularity.He's probably chuckling right now and all warm and fuzzy that people talk about him for a change.

  • @dayraven: Yup, that all sounds about right. The details on swapping the bar codes still puzzle me. The two-pack's bar code is probably printed on the package insert, right? (That is, on paper under the plastic.) Did the culprit scan the bar code and print a sticker copy? Or did he simply cut it out and glue it in place over the Mer-man's UPC?

    It's a bit impressive, really. Absolutely devious, dastardly, and deceptive, to be sure. But somewhat impressive. And at least this schmuck did not return a swapped out, broken, or incomplete item that might fool an unsuspecting buyer.

  • I hope it didn't sound like I was suggesting that what he did was OK. I was merely pointing out that a single-carded Mer-man is not likely to fool an unsuspecting buyer as much as a swapped figure might.

  • Word is spreading around some forums and the /toy/ boards on 4Chan that several Mermen and some Fakers are being spotted in TRUs across the country. So this is not an isolated case, but may be a bigger issue, such as Mattel releasing these to retail surreptitiously.

  • @Reis O'Brien: That seems unlikely, given the fact that the troll stuck the DC vs. MOTU sticker on it, and the actual Mer-Man sticker didn't ring up.

    What seems somewhat more plausible is a coordinated, concerted effort by MOTU fans to show Mattel and retailers that the figures can sell at retail.

    That, or this is overstock that got away from the Mattel outlet stores.

    I'm just tossing theories around–I think the idea that it's just the work of a few random TATs seems the most likely.

  • it's been in the back of my mind that perhaps mattel did this on purpose, but even i find it somewhat hard to believe they would stoop so low. i mean, HOW could they possibly justify charging the same price for a 2-pack as they do for a single figure?

    of course this is the same mattel/TRU team-up that came up with the $65 ghostbusters 4 pack, so maybe it wouldn't be THAT surprising.

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