I have been thinking about writing an article of this nature for a while and in the few places that actually cover Micro Land (or even just World of Nintendo figures), I have seen people expressing frustration about trying to collect this series from Jakks Pacific. I have a few challenges myself that I want to share even though I am enjoying collecting them so far and will continue to do so in the future, I want new collectors to know what issues they might run into before they jump into this fun hobby.
Challenge 1: Old Waves are almost impossible to find – I got into Micro Land late and so I suppose to a certain extent, this is my fault, but getting Wave One Micro Land figures at retail price is impossible near me. If stores have Micro Land, they have very few of the small figures and usually it is only something relatively new. To make matters worse, the prices that online toy stores and scalpers are charging are outrageous. With the exception of the Peach, Yoshi, and Bob-omb pack, all Wave One figure packs are about 5 or 6 times their retail price. So instead of $5-$6, they are $30! The worst offender by far is the Bowser pack which I’ve seen for $60 when it is actually sold online. The best way around this would be to look for these figures opened, but Jakks Pacific would surely be able to make some money by reprinting Wave One at some point for all the collectors who want Bowser in Micro form.
Challenge 2: Not Enough Stores Carry Micro Land – First off, getting Micro Land online tends to be very overpriced. Amazon and Ebay are full of scalpers and online toy stores are not any better except for when a product first comes out. Of course, you have to pay for shipping as well. Toys R Us is generally the best place to look for Micro Land products, but not all Toys R Us stock these well. The closest location to me has a lousy selection and they don’t carry any of the figure 3-packs. Another location that is 40 minutes away has a pretty good selection of everything Microland except for Wave One. Outside of Toys R Us, some grocery stores like Wal-Mart carry Micro Land, but it depends on each one. I recently was able to find a lot of figures (but no playsets) at a local grocery store chain called Meijer. I was thrilled to get some new figures for a reasonable price, but I still felt like this should not be this hard to know who is going to carry Micro Land and if they will actually have anything decent. I’m lucky to live in the Midwestern part of the United States where it is not as hard to find Amiibo or Micro Land like it is in Southern California, New York City, or even just rural areas and yet, I still feel like I’m jumping through a lot of hoops to buy what I want at a normal price.
Challenge 3: Lack of News on Micro Land – Not only are there few sites focused on Micro Land (which is one of the reasons why I started this site), but getting any kind of news about when new waves are coming out is incredibly difficult. I’ve found that the best location to find any news is by visiting online toy stores like http://www.toywiz.com which lists upcoming products you can pre-order. The dates get changed and sometimes there are decent pictures of the new product and sometimes not, but at least it is something. Jakks Pacific can and should alleviate this problem by letting fans know what is coming out and when. Even if there isn’t a hard street date, it would still be a huge help.
These challenges are much different than Amiibo, but are no less frustrating. Hopefully by getting these challenges out there, it will help old and new collectors. Jakks Pacific may take notice if enough people talk about it as well. What challenges or frustrations do you have with Micro Land? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!