Yeah, what the HELL? I found this plus cases on pallets from the release in November 2008! With the little red box on the side of the case that says not to put out before Nov. 11 2008.
I have a bunch of Targets and Walmarts around me, and I've been going all over hunting for Talz Warriors, but I've only found the Talz wave at 1 Target, on 3 occasions, totaling 4 Talz warriors.
Hey Dressel - remember back a couple of years ago when it was announced that the Mattel/Disney Cars line had lead paint in/on them? And then there was a scandal where a lot of the toy factories in China were using lead-based paint? Well, that red sticker has nothing to do with shelf dates. That sticker actually reads "Production Date After November XX, 2008" - this sticker is an indication that it does not contain any product with lead-based paint.
Sorry, if that was preaching, I've seen a lot of collectors make that mistake and with those red stickers so eye-catching (I guess that's the point), it's hard not to see the date and think that it's a "do not put out until..." type of thing.
Of course it still doesn't excuse this type of thing happening.
The WalMart closest to me got in more Clone Wars cases and they were also from this same wave.
Earlier in the week, I checked a WalMart near my job and it too had received and put out about three or four cases of this wave.
I'd really like to know what the hell is going on with distribution that all of a sudden, WalMart is getting an unbelievable onslaught of product that for the most part are the peg warmers out of every new wave that ships. That's just what my local WalMart needed - when it's already clogged with Yularen, Jawa 2-packs, and Echo figures - more of all three!
While there are some out there who prefer to drink Darryl's kool-aid, I'm inclined to believe that this was the scenario:
Step 1: WalMart looks at sales data and decides that the comic-packs really aren't that great of sellers, so they scrutinize the three packs they are getting as exclusives and instead of picking on the two packs with droids and troopers, they look for something they can find "objectionable" about the Rebel Pilots pack - they find it in the last panel where the bald chick meets her cousin and that cousin proclaims that they are to be married. Even though around the world and in 24 states in the US you can marry even your first cousin (not something I condone, but whatever) they declare the comic unsuitable and don't want it anymore
Step 2: Hasbro lawyers get involved because now Hasbro has made the product, WalMart has paid the bill, and WalMart wants a refund. Hasbro isn't really inclined to do that since there is no guarantee that another retailer will pick up the Rebel Pilots pack. So instead of giving WalMart a refund for 1/3 of their exclusive comic pack order, the Hasbro lawyers instead offer to send Walmart, (drum roll...) Clone Wars product, because after all, that's the line that's kicking butt and taking names at retail.
Step 3: WalMart agrees. Hasbro in turn essentially screws WalMart over 'cause they've been sitting on a MOUNTAIN
of product from August 2009 - the 2nd wave of the Red/White Clone Wars figures. WalMart doesn't really care what figures are in the assortments 'cause it's product that they THINK
they can easily sell and gladly accepts it. Deal done, all is once again "right" in the Hasbro/WalMart relationship.
Step 4: Hasbro gets a win-win scenario because online retailers pick up the Rebel Pilots comic pack and they end up not stuck with those either.
While I know this sounds like I watch too much TV or some sort of fantasy, this kind of stuff happens all the time between businesses, the last thing Hasbro would want to do is refund WalMart their money and offering WalMart other product in exchange would always been the preferred course of action, since it means that the business making the product will still be able to declare that income come end-of-quarter - and for a publically traded company, all that really matters is how much income you can declare and whether or not you meet the street's expectations for your company so your stock price doesn't tank.
One more thing - because you think I'm crazy about why WalMart picked on the Rebel Pilots set and didn't seem to care about the two Shadow Commando set - take a look at the comic that comes with General Weir and the Shadow Commando - in it, a character we've even gotten a figure of before, Ten Numb is taken prisoner by General Weir, his hand is cut off and he is essentially tortured to death. The last time I checked, even though it happens, the Geneva convention states that you can't torture/maim/kill prisoners of war. So if WalMart was so determined to trim the comic-packs they were getting by 1/3, I would think that a story that features something that really IS illegal in our world as opposed to something that, in many places, actually is not. The truth is that they left the set with Weir alone because it is two troopers, and troopers sell. Same thing with the IG-97 pack - droids sell so they left that one alone too.