Friday, July 16, 2010

So You Want To Talk Toys On The Interweb

Really? Are you sure about that? What are you, some kind of masochist?

Look, if you insist on proceeding, I can't stop you. You're free to make your own decisions, despite being cautioned against this activity. If you're determined to do it, though, at least familiarize yourself with this glossary of words you'll need to know. Sooner or later, you'll be glad that you did. Please note that these definitions are specific to members of toy-related interweb forums. If I provided you with the actual, correct meanings, this guide wouldn't do you a bit of good in your toy board adventures.
  • "AFA" - Or Action Figure Authority, a scam masquerading as a thorough and complicated grading service for action figure collectors, designed only to rob them of their money and taunt the "real" collectors who open their toys.

  • "Bender" - Remember how "real" collectors remove all of their toys from the packaging? This is the realest of the real, the guy who bends cards in retail stores so fake collectors who keep figures carded won't want them.

  • "The Children" - Strategic contrivance employed to induce guilt. "You bought more than one of that figure? What about the children?" "Why is Hasbro/Mattel/Target/Wal-Mart/whatever selling these for so much? What about the children?"

  • "Death" - The inevitable result of anything deemed unsatisfactory by the individual using the term. Usually expressed as, "death of the line."

  • "evilbay" - Disparaging term for eBay used by people who feel entitled to anything and everything for retail price, despite the secondary market value determined by actual demand.

  • "feebay" - Disparaging term for eBay used by people who think the pennies eBay charges for exposing their wares to an entire world of shoppers is too much money.

  • "Greed" - Adjective used to describe any action that would add more to one's collection than the individual using the term deems appropriate or generate profit from the sale of a toy. See "Scalper" and "Hoarder." Also applied to manufacturers after rising costs of materials and labor result in MSRP increases on those companies' products.

  • "Hoarder" - Anyone who acquires more of something than the individual using the term wants for his/her own collection.

  • "Internet" - A series of tubes used exclusively to bitch, whine, moan, complain, and throw tantrums.

  • "Kids" - Young, small humans who are only interested in playing video games. Toy manufacturers don't know what they're talking about when they say these kids account for the overwhelming majority of action figure sales. Adult collectors know better than professionals who do actual research; those collectors know THEY ARE LEGION.

  • "Loose" - The only acceptable method of displaying any action figure.

  • "MOC" - "Mint On Card" describes an action figure that was never removed from its packaging by the phony collector who purchased it.

  • "Nerd rage" - Used by some of the few rational, level-headed people who frequent such web sites to describe the hysterical fits thrown by contributors who often use the other terms found on this list.

  • "Opener" - The "real" collector who opens all of his toys, as anyone who leaves anything in a package is inherently inferior and should probably die in some excruciatingly painful manner.

  • "Prototype" - This word is used incorrectly by the overwhelming majority of collectors at least 100% of the time to describe any action figure from any stage of production prior to the factory run that actually spits out the retail figures.

  • "Rape" - Any attempt to sell a toy for a price considered unreasonably high (which means anything above retail) by the individual using the term. This can also be what is done to one's childhood when licensed characters are reimagined for modern adaptations. Sensitivity to victims of actual sexual assault is not to be expected.

  • "Scalper" - Anyone who buys something the individual using the term wants for him/herself, but is currently having difficulty finding, regardless of whether or not the purchaser intends to resell it. Used by Toy Trotskyists who find the most basic principles of capitalism offensive and/or inconvenient.

  • "Theif" - Anyone who sells a toy on eBay for more than retail price. See "Scalper." Despite what you may have learned in English class, the plural form is theifs, as in, "I often get raped by eBay theifs." In the never ending battle to mangle the language, this is used by people who never grasped, "I before E, except after C."

  • "Value" - Never more than original retail price. Anything else is "rape."