Note: Before I begin this post, I just want to take a moment to say, I totally nailed it when I guessed when the toy store would open this year. Also, apparently, there are people out there who are getting fed up with corporate greed (not enough to make changes…but maybe).
Now to the real story, the promised Skylanders Wave 2 release day.
It started off as a day like any other. An unassuming Wednesday. To put it in perspective, Tuesdays are commonly new release days, though Nintendo likes Sundays (Arkham Origins came out on a Friday). I don’t play or follow Skylanders. So when a mob of people streamed through the door as soon as we opened, I was confused. And worried.
They made a beeline for the electronics department and my manager asked if anything came out. That’s when I remembered that we had a few boxes of characters not yet seen on our shelves. I groaned.
Skylanders players are like rabid wolves. You think Hot Wheels collectors are bad? These guys make them look like puppies.
I walk to my department slowly, trying to gather my calm. Silently praying to fall deathly ill before I get there. Unfortunately, I’m very healthy. That didn’t mean my life didn’t flash before my eyes, however.
A crowd gathered around the Skylanders wall. As soon as they saw me, they asked, “Do you have wave 2?” I said, “They’re in the back, just give me a minute.”
They followed me like bloodhounds. And waited at the counter like I was a dying deer. I walked out with the first box and arms, hands, and fingers flew at me. Grasping, clawing, yearning. I closed my eyes. I wanted to drop the box and run. Questions and needs rose from every side. Specific Skylanders were, as usual, more sought after than others.
Minutes, hours, days passed. Sweat poured from my pores. My mouth and throat dried. I felt like a man handing out water to people lost in the desert.
Two fellow associates came to my aid. I had a reprieve from the writhing mass of fingers threatening to drag me back to whatever level of Hell Skylanders comes from.
As people began to collect all four of the new figures, the crowd began to disperse. Thankfully. I checked my clothes for tears and holes. I had none. I breathed in and out. The worst was over.
And, surprisingly, the crowd was sated. Everyone got who they were looking for.
Next time, I think we’ll need to have them form a line. Then hand out the figures one by one…or at least know when the release…you know, like all the other new release boxes, just put a date on it, Skylanders.