Toy Aisle Trolls > I Am (not the right) Iron Man

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 Also, please note: I’m deliberately being over-the-top with my condemnation of these people–I don’t actually wish bodily harm upon them. Just severe mental anguish.

Poester FM sends along this gem.

The figure that is actually in the package is from Toybiz’s ill-fated “Super Hero Show Down” line– an attempt in 2004 by the then-current manufacturer of the Marvel figures to dip into the 3.75″ market. The figures were almost “snap kit” in quality with simply ball sockets for joints made of light weight plastic. They were touted as “poseable game pieces” for a figure-based game that utterly failed to take off. (Some retailers such as still have them in stock at clearance prices.) The line wasn’t widely embraced by retailers and eventually ended up at close-out prices at stores such as Big Lots. The figures were prone to loose joints, breakage, and frequently had shoddy paint apps.

What was replaced was the new Iron Man movie “comic series” classic Iron Man figure– part of Hasbro’s current Iron Man 2 line of figures. He’s remarkably sturdy, poseable, and appropriate bulky– things that the SHS figure was not.

Intended figure
Replaced figure

Someone took an old most-likely clearanced figure from their collection and “upgraded” him with a better more recent classic Iron Man, returning the craptacular SHS version in the process.

Karmic Payback: Every time he hears a single bar from Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” he pisses his pants and forgets who he is for a while.


She-Ra packaging reveal


Pic of the Day


  1. jimm

    This ones kind of a push, I still have not replaced any old SHS with MU. Geez look at some of those new headsculpts, ugh

  2. dayraven

    "Karmic Payback: Every time he hears a single bar from Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man,” he pisses his pants and forgets who he is for a while"

    doesn't ozzy already do this?

    well, if we needed a poll, we don't know that any of the perps of these crimes are retailers, BUT we know you have what, three, four, regulars woh are currently employed in retail? so for right now, what we know is, you're doing a service. the litmus test is repeat offenders… IF you were drawing an audience of offenders who were getting off on seeing their handiwork get published, they would EASILY be so tempted by such fame to do it again… and thus, you'd be getting multiple submissions from the same parties again and again.

    but it does seem the rate of these has been nuts this past week or so… must just be spring spreading that's drawn out the shut ins.

  3. @Poe: Yeah I feel ya. I don't think you're promoting the practice of repacks, I just find it odd that so many people are coming across them.

  4. Poe

    By the same token, it's also possible that a feature like TAT will help make store employees and managers more aware of the problem.

    It's not as likely as the perpetrators coming across this site–which I still think is unlikely in and of itself–but it's possible. I think it's as valid–and specious–an argument, at least.

  5. nerdbot

    I enjoy the feature; keep 'em coming, Mr. Ghostal!

    I find the argument that it is somehow promoting and instigating the practice to be fairly specious. The obvious subtext of the feature – when it's not stated outright – is that the people doing this are total d-bags. These TATs are doing this to scam unknowing big box stores out of toys, not because they crave attention in the form of anonymously received contempt. And I don't believe they need help from this site to get ideas about pulling off their pathetic little heists. (But if anyone out there is newly contemplating running this scam, know this: You are being a first-class a-hole.)

    The feature serves at least two purposes. Firstly, it amuses most of us with its tales of "can you believe what this f—stain did?" And it also offers a reminder to be vigilant when we're out there haunting the aisles. It is a lighthearted look at a curious and unsavory aspect of our hobby that we should be aware of.

  6. I mostly collect Transformers, and typically what I tend to see is broken or really badly mistransformed figures shoved back into boxes. Probably the work of some kid's parents more than collectors.

    ~Matt Booker

  7. Thomas B

    More and more repacks have crept into my area. Both really bad ones and ones I didn't even notice at first glance

  8. Poe

    @Newton Gimmick: I just put 'em up as people email 'em. Sometimes I'll do two or three in a week, sometimes I'll go a month without receiving any.

    I still maintain my humble blog is not nearly well-known enough for these thugs to deliberately be trying to get noticed.

    That said, originally I did try to write my karmic paybacks in such a way that I would genuinely insult them if they ever read it. I pulled back on that a bit because they tended to venture into fat-bearded-geek-who-lives-with-his-mom stereotype land, but maybe I should bring it back.

  9. DO4M

    @Newton Gimmick: They happen more often than you think…

    Sometimes the trolls can do you a favor… My 25th Ann Cobra Commander (Blue Hood) instead of ROC CC comes to mind…

  10. Dead Man Walking

    @Fengschwing: Thanks, bro. Consider the same tip when you see one of my comments.

  11. Not to support the theory of DMW, but I have to admit there sure seems to be a lot of really good repacks going on here lately. In my experiance repacks have generally been really crappy ones.

    And to be honest, I've probably seen two, maybe three repacks in my entire life. I'm baffled that this can be a daily feature here, but maybe I just don't live in the right parts of town.

  12. americanhyena

    Okay…maybe I'm in the minority here but…once again…I think I'd have rather had the replaced figure. For their size, the Toybiz figures were incredibly well articulated (on par with their larger Legends counterparts) and generally better sculpted and painted.

    And wait…where are these clearanced? Because I'm looking for some of the X-Men ones to pose with my Legends Sentinel.

  13. Fengschwing

    Dead Man Walking, here's a tip;

    When you see the words 'Toy Aisle Trolls' don't read the article beneath them.

    How cool is that?

    You'll also find that if you see something on TV you don't like or hear on the radio, you can change the station too!

  14. Dead Man Walking

    @GOD: What an asinine way to take my statements about a specific set of acts and apply them to all crimes. Congrats.

    I maintain what I always have: Look, we all know this type of stuff happens. But 99.9% of the time we don’t think about it, unless we see it for ourselves IRL. So why would you want to expose yourself to it online, and get all riled up?

    On top of that, if any of these miscreants have caught wind that their crimes are being posted online, they are probably getting a huge kick out of it, and it may be prompting them to keep doing it for the attention.

    Not to mention, it may be putting the idea in some collectors’ heads to do this too, since they see how easy it is to get away with.

    Plus, it's not really funny anymore. Maybe it was funny the first couple of times–like watching people trip–but now it's just monotonous.

  15. The Flash III

    I'm pretty sure the people who do it, do it for (essentially) free action figures, so I don't think this feature is affecting it one way or another.

    With the glut of Iron Man figures on the market and the creation of hundreds of armors to sell more figures, I don't think you can blame the store on this one.

  16. GOD

    Yeah, right…Whenever someone does something wrong or bad, we should just ignore it. Sounds like a bad parent talking or one of the perps themselves. Either way, it's a stupid statement that bears ridicule.

  17. Dead Man Walking

    Maybe the Poesters who are sending these along are actually the perpetrators and are just doing it for the shits-and-giggles of having their crimes posted online.

    Either way I seriously don't see the value in giving whoever these criminals are publicity.

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