So user punksraven at the Funko Fanatic forum did some research:
Hey guys, I’m new here. After those ebay pics surfaced, I did some investigating. Got a UPC off the Hound’s box in the ebay pics. It’s 849803039127. They’re in TRUs system but no stores in my area have them yet. I’ve also called three barnes and noble stores in my area. They all are telling me that these aren’t in stock in those specific stores (or any in my area) YET, but they have all said they have a very strict RELEASE date of 2/15, which is Saturday. They told me they will probably get them later in the week, but wouldn’t be able to sell them until then. Of course, if the shipping boxes aren’t labeled, or a worker just happens to miss that date, they’ll obviously get put on accidentally. Judging by others finding/buying them, it doesn’t seem like the registers are flagging them with the release date, so if they’re on the shelf, shouldn’t have any issue purchasing them. Hope this helps guys!
That makes sense and matches with Brian M.’s comment that the figures would hit the exact same time as Toy Fair. I think the idea was to have a big flashy reveal of the figures at Toy Fair and then be able to say, “And these are on sale RIGHT NOW!” – which, you have to admit, is rather awesome and practically unheard of in this day and age (and still is, of course, thanks to the leaked photos).
I still wonder if BBTS and EE and perhaps Amazon are sitting on these things in their warehouses, waiting for the release date. But it’s quite possible B&N has some sort of temporary exclusive deal. We just don’t know.