“You’re not stocking infinite supplies of a collector’s item?! How DARE you!!!”

Since Jones crossed the proverbial bridge to munch the proverbial greener grass, it’s been pretty quiet.
No more scandals, no more accusations, no more shiny cloaks of privilege being flapped about with wild abandon.
Old Cosgrove clearly isn’t as brave without Jones to egg him on – or maybe he’s just a little smarter?

So this new issue comes not from Xenophobes, overzealous MPs or boycott fanatics but the disillusioned average Joe and Jane.

I don’t think there is anyone across the country who doesn’t at least know about the Dreamworks Heroes promotion and how popular it has been.
Even if you yourself aren’t collecting them, I’m sure you know at least a few people who are.

From the start the promotion was advertised as a “limited edition collectors’ set”.
Limited Time Only. Get Them Before They Run Out. First In, First Served. While Stocks Last.

Well, you get the idea.

Now the albums have inevitably sold out cross the country, and scores of unhappy people are taking to social media to complain.
Don’t get me wrong – I sympathise with these people. Missing out sucks, especially when you’ve got small children who find it harder to accept the concept of an item being sold out than adults – especially when all their friends have one and they don’t. I barely scraped in myself, it seems – I’m collecting the cards for my son and bought my album just over a week ago.

Did you know Woolworths in Australia ran the promotion first,  in March? They also (of course) ran out of albums. Again, people were unhappy.

Countdown have done what they can by making the pages available to download off their website. Unfortunately it’s not the same and many people are not willing to settle for second best.
They want more albums printed, and they want it done NOW. Or they will NEVER shop at Countdown AGAIN. And they’ll tell ALL THEIR FRIENDS how mean and bad Countdown is for not printing the same number of albums as they did cards.

This is what irritates me – how can they supply more of something that was a limited supply in the first place? They weren’t even made in New Zealand.
If you look at the back of the album they were made in China and manufactured by a company in Amsterdam.
So no, Countdown can’t ‘just make more’.

The same thing happened with New World’s Little Shop promotion – the supermarket chain offered limited edition accessories to go with the little grocery items. People went nuts for these things. The craze swept across the country.
There was a shopping basket, a stand, scales, tins, a little trolley and a cash register, a pretend fly buys card and paper money to collect.

Some of these sold out quicker than others – if I recall correctly the shopping basket and trolley in particular and also the stand flew out the doors – and once they were gone those who missed out demanded MORE accessories. But once they’re gone, they’re gone – and people start turning to sites like Trade Me.
Oh, and Little Shop sets are still being sold on the site.

Which brings me to the next peeve – greedy assholes who stockpile limited collectors’ items which they know are going to be hugely popular, just so they can make a profit.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the listings for the albums and cards. Early this week a listing was bought to my attention where the seller (a new account) wanted $170 for a completed album.
Really?! $170?! What the hell is wrong with some people?!
I asked if they were taking the piss. They had the audacity to accuse me of being rude.
Yeah, because it’s not rude to blatantly and shamelessly try and extort people in their desperation for something they’ve missed out on.

Unhappy customers are also complaining to Countdown about the prices on the trading site.
But really, what is the chain supposed to do about it? Complain to Trade Me? Demand the listings be removed?
Countdown doesn’t have any control over what customers do with their purchases once they leave the store. Once you’ve paid for it, you can do what you like with it. The store isn’t responsible or accountable, nor can they influence the owner in any way.
The sellers aren’t breaking any (written) laws around copyright or ownership, so there is nothing the site could do even if complaints were made.
Could they have imposed a ‘per customer per purchase’ limit? Maybe, but then there would be an uproar from those who wanted to buy multiple albums complaining that it wasn’t fair they couldn’t buy all the albums they wanted (at least, not all in one purchase).

Bottom line is – you’re either forced to pay the price on Trade Me (or the buy/sell pages etc where I’m sure you could also find them listed), download the album and make your own along with pocket sleeves to hold the cards, hope you can get given one somehow or just resign yourself to having missed out this time.

It’s hugely disappointing¬† for those folks that missed out, especially the kids. But such is the way of things that are limited edition collectors items. Nothing lasts forever.