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Black Friday 2007

Black Friday Report: Breaking with my long standing tradition of leaving Black Friday to the seething hoards, most likely because the one-two-three punch of Hasbro's marquee franchises this year, I excitedly ventured out to a KB Toys in the middle of nowhere Massachusetts at the hour of *midnight* ... so the very earliest Black Friday possible opening. I was delighted to note on the KB flyer from today that 'select stores open at 12AM' and further delighted that one was not all that far away. The line at 11:30PM, when I arrived full of turkey, stuffing and apple pie, was comically long given the desolate nature of everything around this wet and dreary strip mall. At least 40 people were standing about in the cold, and you really have to wonder when customer #1 lined up.

The real draw that KB was running today was a 'buy one get one free' on their entire stock of video games. A pretty good deal, right? Well, I know that it varies store by store, but I think that KB doesn't always have the best selection of games, and I predicted that all of us early shoppers would simply be greeted by a wall of 'Hamsterz!' for the DS. Either way, I figured it was a good chance to check out the Black Friday, as well as the possible Gi Joe offerings in a new KB, since the Red Ninja from wave 3 still eludes me!

The benevolent KB folks opened the doors at 11:48 - a far sight kinder than the few late-night events I've attended at the power-tripping GameStop, and the line poured into the store. I had to stop and laugh at the giant, industrial, can-engulf-and-smother-a-teenager, clear plastic sack, emblazoned with their corporate logo, that everyone was handed upon entry to the store. Frantic parents were already stuffing all manner of basketballs and playskool toys into their sacks - I assume these things were on sale but you really never know given how crazy people get around this time of year. I stopped by the video games just long enough to see someone with a copy of, no joke, Hamsterz and a desolate look on their face which gave me the full picture. Heading to the rear of the unfamiliar store provided a similar experience - I guess I was hoping for a higher level of stock on the much celebrated Black Friday. The utter lack of Joes, well - simply a Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes (forgot to check the Timber color - oh no!) had me down as well, though I noticed that a huge stack of the Star Wars Saga vintage tribute figures were 50% off. Having not picked up any of these yet, I snagged all 6 in the series for a pretty good price. On the way to the counter, a break in the madness presented itself around the videogame hovel, and I discovered the only mildly palatable items to be PSP Ultimate Ghosts 'N Goblins and PSP Taito Legends Power-Up, which allowed me to at least take advantage of their BOGOF offer.

While not a record breaking score or anything, it was fun to see some of the madness first hand, and since it was so late/early, and just one store, it was manageable. There was what appeared to be a rent-a-cop wandering around the store, trying to look interested in the legos, so I guess that's a good idea for a frantic midnight sale event. Most things seemed under control, though a favorite quote of the night was some guy talking to his girlfriend "I've had three people shove me out of the way already - I mean, are there not enough toys in this store for everyone" as well as "OOF! HEY!" as a woman was body-checked into the counter full of impulse buy items by the registers, as a shopper fled with their purchases, cascading motorized lollipops and YuGiOH cards to the floor. Muttered chants of 'fight' didn't even catch the notice of LaFours, but at least we tried. I think that the rest of Friday will be well spent playing Ghosts 'N Goblins and eating left over turkey - I hope everyone can do the same!
Posted by charlie on November 23rd 2007
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