But what I've learned is that in the end, one way or the other, you'll get your figures.
That's exactly how I feel about it. Having patience pays off in the end almost 100% of the time.
If you are the type of collector that feels they "must
" have every new figure and in the quantities they would like the second that the figures hit the pegs, and you have the resources to do so, more power to you. I hold no ill will towards anyone else in the collecting world.
I, on the other hand, do not have alot of disposable income/free time to buy everything in the quantities that I want, but I do have something that alot of collectors do not- patience
I had been missing 4 Saga (2002-2004) figures for quite some time (McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper, Ayy Vida, Walmart Cantina Set Momaw Nadon, and the blond Imperial Officer). While aside from the rather lackluster Concept Stormie, none of these figures are actually "hard to find" or "desirable", these basic figures never showed up in my area in any kind of decent numbers. Then take the Cantina Sets (I just wanted Nadon as he was the only figure to have new parts that actually looked decent, I eventually ended up with a couple of Ponda Babas from the K-Mart Sets and the Greedo is identical to another release so I really don't care about him), there was only 1 Walmart in all of North NJ when the Cantina Sets hit and they stocked 1 case which ended up in the hands of a disgustiongly dirty known scalper who had them on his table at the Wayne Toy Show the following weekend marked up to $24 each
Needless to say, I never found any of the above at retail and I refused to pay e-bay prices or outragous shipping from etailers. I just aquired 2 of the 4 figures (1 Concept Stormie, and Ayy Vida- in multiples no less!) last summer in trades I did with members here and on other boards. I finally got my Cantina Momaw Nadon last week in a trade with someone over at JoeCustoms. I still need at least 1 blond Imperial Officer, which I'm confident I'll get eventually. Total cost for me on these figures- some random pieces from my Swap Shop and the cost of shipping them to my trading partners. Total headache involved in aquiring said figures- none
Here's an example of army building patience:
I've been planning an Imperial Garrison diorama for about 8 years that I plan on getting around to building in the near future and really would like to have about 2 dozen Deathstar Troopers for it. At the time of his initial release, it was impossible to find even 1 of them in my neck of the woods. Through trades (strangly, mostly from European sources) I was able to aquire about 5 or 6 of them, far short of my goal, but a start none the less. I have recently aquired a few more in trades (the exact number is unknown at this point due to everything still being packed up from the move) but I'm sure the number has not yet reached even the first dozen I would like. Am I disappointed, I must admit that I may be, slightly, but I know that my collecting (and my dioramas/displays) are an ongoing, constantly evolving thing. If I don't have my full 2 dozen by the time my diorama is built, I'll just leave the spaces for them open and fill them in as I get more. No harm, no foul. I collect for myself, not to show off to anyone else
Another army building example:
Even though my dislike for all things Clone-related is well known in the customizing community, I would actually like some Scorch figures. Not to make Delta Squad as is most people's reasons for aquiring multiples of this "hard to find figure" (well, right behind ripping people off on ebay anyway
), but because I always grab a quartet (or better) of any new armored trooper/character that comes out for customizing purposes. I happen to feel that a repainted/modded Scortch with a different head/helmet/accessories would make an awsome armored Merc squad, or Bounty Hunters, or just about anything. Just imagine a customized Scortch body with a "Halo" Master Chief head- how cool would that be? I have yet to see a single Scortch that is not in the hands or on the show table of our local scalper scum, but I'm not dismayed because I know that eventually I'll get my 3 or 4, even if it's years down the road and there's no "deadline" on making customs