Scalpers are a serious problem when you want to purchase collectibles, video games, and toys. They build their entire web enterprises around buying up limited stock then extorting the rest from desperate consumers.
For the last few months, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures figures have been hard to come by and likely will be until later this year when the next game comes out. Activision is still shipping new toys, and even issuing limited edition versions of already common characters, but they aren't any easier to find on shelves.
This pearl Hex looks really cool but good luck finding one for a decent price. This figure is currently going for $430 on eBay.
Scalper culture is the problem here. Skylanders are very hard to find because people want them and online retailers are capitalizing on that. If you do a quick search for Sklanders on eBay or Amazon, you'll get hundreds of results at some fairly astronomical prices.
I'm not sure if Activision increasing production would solve this problem, but releasing "rare" and "limited" figures into an already hostile market just encourages unscrupulous Internet profiteers to buy even more. I suppose Activision doesn't care as long as they make their money, but they aren't making anything off the used sale. That is often 100 percent profit for the various second-hand retailers.
The ultimate solution would be to charge people for activating/re-registering used Skylanders just like online passcodes, but I really hope that isn't the future of Skylanders.
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