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 August 12, 2001

KANOHI Pain Part 3
Purple_Dave: So far I've found the 8525 pack at four different retail stores. Meijer and Target were selling them for $1.99 and Wal-Mart was selling them for the low, low price of $1.94. (Hey, a nickel in my pocket is better than a nickel in theirs...at least to me.) None of those stores keeps them stocked for long, and I'm sure they've received some shipments that I've never even known about. I've yet to find any at the local K-Mart, though they do have the TOA, TURAGA, POWER PACK, and CCG.

So who's causing undue pain? Toys"R"Us. I don't know if this is a nationwide problem, but the local TRU is charging $2.99 per pack. A one dollar price difference wouldn't be so bad on something like the MANAS, which are very expensive to begin with and won't result in tons of duplicate sales, but with a multi-purchase item in such a low price range, it tranlates into a whopping 50% price hike on something that you're likely to be buying in the dozens. Even if you're dating Lady Luck and manage to pull one each the masks that are only shipped in the KANOHI packs with no duplicates and none of the ones that are available in other sets, you've bought a bare minimum of 29 packs. (12 masks come with the TOA/TURAGA sets, the INFECTED HAU comes with KANE-RA, the orange RURU comes with the MANAS, and the blue PAKARI comes with the TARAKAVA, which leaves 58 Pack-only MASKS.) That means you would spend at least an extra $30 once you've added tax. It comes as no surprise to me that TRU is the only store in town that manages to keep these on the shelves for more than a few days. Well, more than a few weeks, actually.

I asked a store clerk who seems to really understand the LEGO line, and she said she'd check into it. A few days later she got a response back to me. She was told that they are only running about a 15% markup on the packs, which means that they would have to be paying about $2.60 per pack just to get them in the store. Since LEGO S@H sells them for $1.99, I find it hard to believe that they'd charge more to sell them to TRU since usually retail stores require that any Direct Sales setup sell stuff at higher prices than they do themselves. I suspect that somewhere in the reply chain someone either responded with faulty information, guessed, or flat-out lied.

I would be interested to hear what prices you've found on KANOHI packs at your local TRU stores so I can see if this is a nation-wide problem, or if my local store is the only place doing this. Any other relevent information would be welcome as well.

UPDATE: So far I've been told that about a dozen different TRU stores are pulling this stunt, and none are selling them at a fair price. KB also got one report of $3 prices, but it's a known fact among Star Wars collectors that they either sell it dirt cheap as discount merch, or a bit high as new stuff, and this is new stuff. It also seems that TRU is hiking the price of MUAKA/KANE-RA by $10. If you don't want to throw away money, here's the prices you should be looking for:

$01.99: KANOHI
$02.99: TURAGA
$06.99: TOA
$14.99: NUI-RAMA
$34.99: NUI-JAGA
$49.99: TARAKAVA
$69.99: MUAKA/KANE-RA
$89.99: MANAS
$14.99: CCG DECKS
$14.99: POWER PACK

With the exception of the POWER PACK, everything on that list can be ordered from LEGO Shop @ Home. Catalogs are free if you call 1-800-453-4652, and once you request one, they'll keep sending you all the new ones. If you're looking at buying lots of stuff and you can't find them at fair prices, call for a catalog. You'll probably save money even after S&H costs are tacked on, as long as you don't mind the extra time it takes for them to arrive.

 
Items Related To This Story
8525 KANOHI Masks

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