Collectibles > Episode 1

The Original "Midnight Madness"

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It's only been almost 11 months now since many of us toughed out the wild late night crowds for the AOTC (& Saga) version of Midnight Madness (Part II) last year, but what were your experiences, if any, related to the original Midnight Madness back in 1999, corresponding with the release of the new Episode 1 figure line?  Did you go?  What was it like?

I had earlier staked out a local Toys 'R' Us in Orange County, to swing by at midnight to pick up the new Ep. 1 figures.  I had my wife stalking our local KayBee up by our house for the Midnight release as well (just to cover all bases).  Little did either of us realize what was in store for this event...

I swung by the Tustin TRU around 11:30pm to hop in line a little early just to be safe.  What I saw as I entered the parking lot was a site to behold.  The line was already several hundred people long and wrapped all the way through the entire shopping complex.  After regaining my senses following this surprise, I immediately jumped on the phone and told my wife she better get over to her KB quick, as this was going to be far bigger and more crowded than I ever expected.

I hopped in line, disappointed at my prospects at this point, and waited.  Finally, at around 12:15am the doors opened, and all madness broke loose.  No crowd control or plan was initially implemented at this TRU.  Hundreds just bumrushed the SW section, and grabbed at anything they could get their hands on.  Total insanity!  By the time I finally made my way in and through the crowd, the majority of the figures were gone, and people were starting to brawl over the last few pathetic little "Battle Bags" - that's how bad it was.  I didn't even attempt to find anything.  Just gave up and took the whole scene in for posterity's sake.  A true spectacle to behold.

After a good 45 minutes to an hour of pure bedlam, the TRU employees asked everyone to make their purchases and exit the store.  They said that they'd quickly clean up the mess, restock the pegs, and let us all back in for round 2 if we were interested.  With nothing in hand, I bolted for the door, and a prime spot at the front of the line, while everyone else was proceeding through the checkout lines.

When they re-opened about 45 minutes later, the TRU employees had developed and implemented a game plan to keep the chaos to a minimum.  Single file line, grab one figure from each peg and keep moving in a slow and steady manner.  It surprisingly worked quite well the second go 'round, and I got pretty much all the loot I was looking for - completely filling up my small hand basket (no room for carts) and overflowing items out of my shirt, arms and anywhere else I could stash stuff.  I unloaded my figure stash in my car and went back in for round 3 to pick up more figures for the loose set and the vehicles and larger items that I couldn't carry earlier.  I eventually wound up with everything, so all in all, I was pleased and can look back on that night with some very wild and fond memories!

Not so much for my poor wife though, as there was a similar scene, though in a much smaller and more confined store at KB.  She dove in there like a real trooper, amidst a good 75-100 guys, and grabbed whatever she could.  Took one helluva beating in the process too...  Worked well though, since she wound up with some nicer cards than I had found, so we combined the goods, picked the best stuff, and returned the extras.

What a night!  So how 'bout you?  What are your memories of Midnight Madness back in 1999...?

You won't believe this, but I didn't do the "Midnight Madness."  I wasn't a hardcore collector at the time, and I just decided that I would get the figures when it wasn't pure chaos at the stores.

You see, I didn't like the POTF2 and POTJ figures back then that much, and I was hesitant about the EP1 figures.  Well, once I saw them up close and personal I instantly became a hardcore collector.  Now I can't stop buying them (almost sounds like a Pringles commercial -- "once you pop you can't stop").

Mikey D:

--- Quote from: dustrho on March  6, 2003, 12:24 PM ---You won't believe this, but I didn't do the "Midnight Madness."  

--- End quote ---

Same here, only I was a hardcore collector.  I was in Niagara Falls with the girlfriend (now wife) on vacation.  I was still in school, so I really didn't have any money.  I remember watching the news and them reporting on it.  We went to Walmart the next day and there they were.  I was mad I didn't have any money.  That problem was solved when my that years tax return came.  I think most of it went to Episode I toys.

I didn't do the midnight madness either but both times in 99 and 2002, I went out durning my lunch hour and got stuff. In 99, I went to a TRU, got about 5 figs there then went to a walmart and kmart on the way home and found 3 more, especially the elusive darth maul! Then I collected a couple at a time over the summer and end of the year.
I actually rememebr this time last year when the sneak peaks came out. I found them at a Target and picked up the CLone Trooper and Jango and later traded for Zam, they are still in their plastic cells to this day. Then in April, I headed to a walmart, picked up about a dozen figs and a dooku lightsaber for a little more than a C-note! Then as usual, I get things here or there overtime. Even being able to get the slave1 and republic gunship now on sale.

Snively Bandar:
Boy do I ever remember that night!  Insanity, I tell ya!  I managed to scrounge up a few figures that were mostly bashed to death by the masses in the chaotic bedlam.  I guess what made the whole thing so surreal, was that we were all acting like the figures would never again be available after that night.  That's the sense I got anyways.

It was strange to walk back into that same ToysRUs the next morning to find a calm, peaceful SW toy section.  Fully stocked at that.  Made me wonder what the heck I was doing there the night before.  But it was a memorable collecting experience I guess, so I'm glad I attended.  Was crazy enough to hit up MM2 three years later as well!   :D


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