Author Topic: The Original "Midnight Madness"  (Read 5325 times)

Offline JediMAC

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The Original "Midnight Madness"
« on: March 6, 2003, 05:06 AM »
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...?
« Last Edit: March 6, 2003, 05:12 AM by JediMAC »

Offline dustrho

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Re:The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #1 on: March 6, 2003, 12:24 PM »
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").
dustrho

Offline Mikey D

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Re:The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #2 on: March 6, 2003, 12:31 PM »
You won't believe this, but I didn't do the "Midnight Madness."  


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.
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Offline CloneF13Y35

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Re:The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #3 on: March 7, 2003, 09:47 AM »
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.
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Offline Snively Bandar

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #4 on: May 7, 2003, 08:30 PM »
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

Offline Morgbug

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #5 on: May 7, 2003, 11:47 PM »
I passed on midnight madness in 1999.  Only TRU did it up here and I had no interest.  Actually, my whole collecting interest had waned a fair bit by then.  

I opted to go to Walmart the next morning in a town of about 10000 people.  Everything was there and easy to find.  Lots of stuff gone, but I picked up one of everything and two of Maul.  Me and one other guy in the aisle.  Quite serene it was.

There was no midnight madness up here at all for AOTC.  Most figures had already been leaked out by TRU.
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Offline Darth Kenobi

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #6 on: May 8, 2003, 03:02 PM »
I wasn't a collector before the day of "Midnight Maddness".  I ended up going to TRU after school and grabbing some of the stuff that was left ; Palpatine, Watto and Sidous plus the Stap and Kadda.  Other then that stuff the shelfs were empty.  A day later I went to a target after going to the movies and picked up all of the main figures.

 I did go to MM2 and was one of the first ones in line and ended up finding out why they called it Madness.   :o

Offline Nicklab

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #7 on: May 9, 2003, 11:23 AM »
I admit I was roped in by Midnight Madness.  At least the hype.  I didn't attend, but I was certainly curious.  I had only gotten mildly back into collecting the previous year when I bought some Action Fleet pieces.  This, after my Star Wars hiatus from 1984 to 1998!

So, instead of attending Midnight Madness (I had to work the next day at 6 AM!), I went after work.  I decided "You know what?  These are kinda cool.  I'm going to get some figures".

So, I got Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Anakin, Darth Sidious, Palpatine, and Queen Amidala.  Then, I asked one of the guys at the store "Do you have any more Darth Maul's?"  He disappears for a couple of minutes, and brings one back to me.  And that's how this mess all started for me, all over again!
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Offline jadesfire

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2003, 10:15 PM »
Oohh.. memory lane...I love this topic!

MM - 1999:  Just got off the plane in Green Bay after leaving Dagobah (aka: Denver) from the first SW Celebration and decided to see if TRU was really going to be open at midnight.  We pulled in at 11:00 and had about 25 people in front of us with news camera's and radio stations galore.  When the doors opened at midnight the crowd was probably around 200 and it was a frickin' ZOO!!  Luckily (?) my husband was at his wits end with all things associated with Star Wars (not a fan) so he pretty muched plowed over everyone to get me the 12" dolls and then at the checkout I told the manager how I wished I had gotten the Amidala dolls and he said he never put them out as he was afraid they might get crushed (good call) so he went to the back and snuck two up front and I went away very happy.  After the two hour ride home, I was still so wound up about everything I was at our local Walmart at 7:30am sharp  to fill my basket with all the rest of the action figures, ships, bandaids and whatever else they had in complete solitude.

MM 2002:  Didn't go back to Green Bay and had to wait for our Wal-mart to open at 7:30am, but did have the whole store (well the toy isle anyways) to myself and proceeded to buy one of everything all over again  :) .

Sad thing is...it's May of 2003 and the same AOTC figures are still hanging on the @%&* pegs!!!!!
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Offline Sith Lord Cosmo

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2003, 09:56 PM »
This is a great topic, can't believe I didn't see it earlier

MM 99
It was the summer after my freshman year of college, I had managed to get a decent paying job for the summer.  My friend Vo and I went to the local TRU.  We must have looked like an interesting duo.  Vo is a 6'4 black guy who, at the time had a big fro.  I'm a 5'8 little white guy who looked like crap from doing yardwork all day.

We get there probably about 11:00.  There's about 20 people ahead of us in line.  We even see a couple local news crews covering the event.  The NBC news guy comes over to us and asks if we want to be on tv.  We say sure.  He asks a couple questions about why we're here, how many toys we each have, etc.  After the NBC guy is done the Fox News guy interviews us.

They're letting people in 20 at a time.  We're the last people in.  They just had bins of the figures.  We decide on a system.  Vo grabs a cart.  I grab handfuls of toys from the bins and dump them in the cart.  Vo sorts them out and hands me back what we don't need.

And, we get on tv one more time.  As we're checking out, the CBS crew films us.  I had a number of people tell me the next day they saw me on tv ;D

MM 02
My senior year of college.  I was doing an unpaid internship >:( so I had no money.  So what do I do, buy lots of toys.  When midnight rolls around, I get a friend and we head to Meijer, the only store in the arena that's open 24 hours.  None of the Wally Worlds are, and TRU wasn't doing a midnight sale.

We get to Meijer.  No toys.  They didn't get their shipment.  So we go to another Meijer, same result.  Another toy hunter at Meijer tells me Media Play is open for selling Star Wars stuff.  We drive a half hour to Media Play.  They've got all sorts of Star Wars stuff, except the figures.  I end the night empty handed :(

I did drag my ass out of bed the next morning and hit up wal mart.  
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Offline dustrho

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2003, 08:41 PM »
Hey Sith Lord Cosmo, did you find anything at Wal-Mart the following day then?  I'm sure you did, but you didn't finish your story.

It sucks you had to drive all over the place and not find anything anywhere.   >:(
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Offline Sith Lord Cosmo

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The end of the story (its lame)
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2003, 09:38 PM »
This is why I shouldn't post at work.  I start to write something, then have to do something for work, and forget to finish my post.

Anyway, I get out of bed early, go to Wally World and stare in shock and awe at all the new toys.  Since I was on a limited budget, I picked up all the jedi except Luminara Unduli, they didn'th ave any of her.  All in all, it was a good morning ;D
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Offline dustrho

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2003, 03:34 PM »
Well, that's good to hear then.    8)
dustrho

Offline Scott

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2003, 03:48 PM »
I'm in the same boat as Chris and Mikey, I didn't go either time. '99 because I wasn't whole heartedly into it yet, '02 because JediMAX was around 6 weeks old and staying up past 10 was a push.  Both times I went to the local Wal Mart in the morning and picked up everything I needed in '99

'02 was different, local scalper was there trying to pluck Dooku and Yoda.  I managed to get what I neede except them and then went crazy for three days trying to find Dooku.

Offline Sith Bounty Hunter

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Re: The Original "Midnight Madness"
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2003, 09:03 PM »
I didn't even know until mid night madness til recently, but I was only 7 when Episode 1 came out. But if I did I would force my mom to take me and be the first one to get my hands on Darth Maul
« Last Edit: June 30, 2003, 09:05 PM by Sith Bounty Hunter »
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