It’s November… It’s 4th Quarter… Release the hounds!!!

Technically, it’s been 4th Quarter for a month now, but November is when things start to get ugly. Yes, my job tends to put me through the ringer this time of year and when you add that to the fact that the Holidays have a way of draining me both emotionally and financially, it can sometimes have a negative impact on the doings here at FigureFan.

Last November, the FigureFan bus not only went on hiatus, it actually hit a speed bump, lost control, swerved off the road into a pile of babies, blowing up that pile of babies, and then sank into a flaming tar pit. This place came to a dead stop for the entire month of November and most of December. It was because my life was the Perfect Storm of stress and complication. Work was running me ragged, there were relationship issues, and the Holidays were seriously stressing me out. When I wasn’t at work or fighting with my psychotic ex, I was planted on a barstool somewhere drinking myself into oblivion and watching cat shows on Animal Planet. Folks, you know you’re spending too much time at a bar when you can ask them to turn the channel from Football to Animal Planet and they’ll do it for you.

Patron to my left: “Hey! I was watching that! What’s with the cats?”

Bartender: “Are you going to drink an entire bottle of Glenlivet? No? Well this guy is, so shut the hell up and watch the cats!”

I don’t think that’s likely to happen this year. I’ve made some positive adjustments in my life. I’m a lot higher up on the food chain at work and my ex has thankfully fled the state to locations unknown. Sure, I’m still bound to get preoccupied with work here and there, but I really plan on using this place as a safe harbor in the stress storm. I also plan on doing most of my medicinal drinking right here at FigureFan Central with FigureFeline so I can positively channel my drunken ramblings into content.

Ok, so with that behind me… let’s talk some toys…

November also means Marshalls and Ross set up their super clearance toy departments! Yes, these havens for budget clothing and home décor expand their usually pitiful offerings of clearance toys just in time for cheap well-intentioned grandparents to get their grandkids all of those toys that were on their Christmas lists… and by that I mean last year’s Christmas list. Last year, these stores were an absolute cornucopia of things that I needed to fill in my collection. Not only did I find almost every Reveal the Shield Transformer I needed, but I also got all the GI Joe 25th Anniversary vehicles and comic packs that I was missing. It was amazing!

Well, I dropped in to both stores on Friday and was pretty disappointed. Ross was just like Ross at any time of the year. It’s always hit or miss. The only thing they had of note was some of the 6-inch Thundercats. I blew out of there pretty quick hoping for better luck at Marshalls.

Last year, Marshalls was the better of the two. They had about six tables loaded with cast offs from the big box’s  action figure aisles and the usually sparse shelves of their Toy Graveyard were now bursting. This year? Not so much. In fact, it wasn’t much better than Ross on a really good day. They only had a few extra tables set up and those were all devoted to Barbies and other dolls. The action figures consisted of a metric shit ton of Iron Man 2 figures, a bunch of Dark of the Moon Voyagers and Deluxes, and more Ban Dai Thundercats.

I was going to pick through some of the Iron Man 2 figures and get a couple of DotM Voyagers, but for some reason the lines were ridiculously long, even at 10:30a on a weekday. I decided that I’d poke around a little more, but unless there was something better, like something I absolutely needed, I would just come back another time and see if they put more out.

Yeah, I did find that one item that made me stand in the line, but I’ll get to toward the end of the week. This week’s features will be back to a state of glorious randomness. Look for some Star Trek, Transformers, Hot Toys, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and even some GI Joe. For now, I’m going to go brood over the fact that my three-day weekend is more than half over.  

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