Thanks for the pic.
Heres the deal as I see it; there’s two scenarios here and while there’s a LOT of potential nuance to the second scenario, I’m more inclined to believe the second.
Also, I’m not sure where any confusion came out of this figure with regards to it being exclusive as Hasbro clearly stated/showed it was a Walmart Exclusive back at ToyFair in February. However, with Hasbro producing literally over 100 legends figures a year at this point, I can see how people’s memories can get muddied. I personally keep a running inventory/checklist on everything I collect (which is a lot more than just Legends) so I can keep track of everything at all times. If I didn’t do this, especially given all the lines I collect, I’d most likely go insane trying to remember everything.
Also, I know for a fact (due to an extensive former career in retail and store management), that Target (nor other retailers) would be able to return an item that wasn’t in their system, specifically speaking Target as their DPCI system (and each of these 80th figures would have/will have their own DPCI as they are solid cases) is pretty rock solid. Long story short, definitely not a return, even though it’s a similar product. For example, take an item like Tide Laundry Packs. Have you ever noticed that while practically every retailer carries this item, the size and/or count of the item is different at each retailer? There’s a reason for this; due to the volume/size of the chain, the manufacturer strikes a deal with said retailer in what size/count of the product they think they can move. A high-velocity retailer like Walmart can move the most Tide and therefore they are offered the biggest pack size, let’s say 110 count, at the best price. A low-velocity chain like Walgreens, can’t really move that much bulk so the size they get, is tailored to that retailers shelf space and demand for the item, so therefore Walgreens may only offer Tide Pods in a pack of 35 count for example. Next time you’re at a drug store, grocery store, Walmart, Target, etc, go check the Tide Pods and look at the size of the count. You will 100% not see the exact same size/count at each store, minus the non-bulk sizes like a 10-count bag for a buck or two. Wow I’m off the freaking rails here but incredibly long story short, that 76 count bag of Tide pods you bought at Target will not show up in Walmart’s system, because Walmart sells a 84-count bag or something and vice versa etc.
Scenario 1: This photo is fake/doctored. Period. Personally, I don’t believe it is.
Scenario 2: Hasbro has (and without any communication/confirmation...which is not saying that much at the end of the day) offered this figure up as a shared retailer exclusive, to at least also include Target. I mean Target already has 5 Legends exclusives this year so a 6th isn’t that crazy to think about. OR...this figures NEW home is Target and Walmart has been cut out at zero hour.
Here’s some of the aforementioned nuance and to anyone that’s relatively new to collecting or to anyone that just collects marvel, this could potentially be informational.
#1 Hasbro will shop around an exclusive to other retailers, when they see on-hand stock levels (this is more from DC-Distribution Center level side of things) and sell-through of a particular retailers exclusive, not performing the way they wanted, for whatever reason. Far from the only example of this but I’m just picking a quick one for easy reference, would be the Gamestop Exclusive Deadpool/Venom figure. That figure was solicited, pre-orderable and sold at, exclusively GameStop. However, as time went on, and for whatever reason (Gamestop ordered too many, Hasbro shipped them too much, etc etc pick one) that figure was then solicited to practically every other retailer and they all bit on it (probably an easy sell to them because the box office was so huge from the first movie, it didn’t take much “incentive” for a retailer so sign off on getting an “exclusive deadpool”). As the months went on, this figure was sent to Target, TRU and literally every toy etailer (I cant remember if Walmart took it too). Again this is FAR from the only example I can provide (etailers like EE getting Walgreens exclusives like yellow daredevil, black series c-3po to quickly name some more, etc) but it’s definitely one of the biggest examples.
#2 This is where I really think what may have happened: So over the course of the last year, Hasbro (in an attempt that could almost be construed as they are “listening to us”...hahaha) has been letting other companies save or “rescue” a lot of Walmart exclusives, that Walmart has...(wait for it)...blundered. The companies in question that have primarily been doing the “rescuing”...has been EE. This all started around this time or so last year when Star Wars collectors (myself included) were becoming really peeved about Walmart getting not one but TWO Vintage Collection 3.75 figures, a TLJ Island Journey Rey and an awesome Mimban Stormtrooper from Solo. The thing was, was that the Rey was already supposed to have came out in the spring and it just literally never did (not dissimilar to how the Walmart Binary Captain Marvel was already supposed to have been in out in the spring, just like the Target Starforce version was). So as the months went on and on we got to SDCC, the (former) design director for Star Wars (Steve Evans) was directly asked about this and his response was that “the figure had already been on Walmart shelves for months”. When Steve was confronted with the realization that umm yeah...that didn’t actually happen and the figure still doesn’t “exist”, he seemed genuinely puzzled and said he would look into it. A couple months (if memory serves correct) after SDCC and low and behold, it was announced that EE was the “new home” for this figure. Case in point, I bought 3 of those figures from EE and one of them even had the Walmart exclusive sticker on the blister window...
EE also took on last years Amazon exclusive MCU 10th Iron Man 3 set. EE has since took on another Star Wars Vintage Collection (TVC) item, the formerly Walmart exclusive large-wing Tie Fighter. There are still more examples I could give but suffice to say, this has been a very reoccurring trend within the last 12 months.
To that end, this is why I think Target may also be getting the Walmart 80th Cap, as a retailer rescue partner. Target has REALLY stepped up to the plate with exclusives in the absence of TRU, across many different lines and have minimum tripled the exclusives they now carry (specifically Star Wars where they’ve really gone all in). How has Walmart stepped up to the plate since TRU collapsed? By being Walmart and continuing to mismanage all their exclusives...business as usual. I think this could (potentially) be no more complicated than Hasbro simply rewarding Target for stepping up as a retail partner with their product and buying in on soooooo many exclusives post TRU demise.
Who knows though, this might not be a shared exclusive, Hasbro might have just stripped it from Walmart all together and just given it to Target! Really hope that’s the actual case here.
At any rate, I’m VERY curious to see what the real deal is with this figure and with the 8/1 fall retailer toy resets around the corner, it won’t take long to find out.
I implore EVERYONE on this site to post a sighting of this figure as they seem them, so we can quickly figure out the story on Mr. Rogers.
Lastly, please be sure to give this video a like if you want to see more dedicated coverage of Tide Laundry detergent analysis!