Is there really any good place to get an exclusive in this day and age? It seems like more often than not, each and every retailer is making it more and more difficult to get the items they've been given as exclusives by Hasbro. For example:
-TARGET: Is downright spiteful toward collectors, seeing them as the lowest form of scum. When the exclusives finally do show up, they sit in the back for weeks on end until the employees finally get around to doing a reset, at which point they quickly disappear, often times before anyone even knows the store had them in the first place. They also pretty much refuse to make them available online (the only one I know of that they ever did make available online was the Saga A-Wing back in 2003).
-WAL-MART: Is hit-and-miss in terms of when and how many (if at all) a particular store gets and they don't even have employees around to help the customers in the first place. Like Target, they apparently also refuse to make their exclusives available online (with the exception of the "AWESOME" Early Bird pack in 2005 which they probably still have a mountain of in their warehouses).
-KAY-BEE: The fact that Kay Bee continues to exist baffles me to no end, given their high prices, dwindling physical locations, and the huge backlog of 10 year old Robocop figures in some stores. At least they have made some effort to put their few exclusives (12" Chewbacca, Unleashed Vader) up on their website for people to order.
-TOYS R US: The only one of the retailer exclusive folks that actually puts their exclusives up on the website for people to order. Granted, the Amazon.com years were tremendously horrid as far as actually fulfilling those orders went, and so far the TRU.com as its own entity doesn't seem to be doing that much better, but the exclusives they've gotten (with the exception of the Grievous Battle Pack) have shown up in their stores more frequently and in larger numbers than they have in the past. That said, you can never tell if a trip to TRU is going to be a complete waste of time (9 to 1 odds in that favor), since their employees have perfected the art of the "Everything we have is on the shelves" mantra.
-HASBRO TOY SHOP: All I need to say is this: HTS cannot keep its own products in stock for months on end. Case closed.
So yeah, other than it being something that people could preorder and guarantee getting months ahead of time from a retailer's website, is there ANYONE that would be an acceptable handler of an exclusive?