Help create new toy terminology

Hello, readers! We have a challenge for you today.

You know how the final wave of figures in any given series never seems to show up at retail? They're solicited and you wait for them to come out, checking the shelves every time you do a toy run, but they don't come and they don't come and they don't come, and then whatever the replacement toyline is hits shelves and you just have to give up? It happens a lot with Hasbro products: think about how the last Reveal the Shield Transformers never seemed to make it to stores, but all of a sudden Dark of the Moon toys were all over the place.

It happens because stores don't want to order more "old" product (ie, a pre-existing SKU [the codes by which stores track their inventory]) when a new product is on the way. As collectors, we see each wave of toys as a separate entity: Series 1 has figures ABCD, Series 2 has figures EFGH, etc; but to your local retailer, those figures all fall under the SKU of 1234. They don't want to order figures IJKL when they know that the company is ending SKU 1234 and starting SKU 5678 in its place. They'd rather have figures ZYXW from 5678, because it's "newer."

This becomes particularly frustrating when there are figures in those final waves you're really been looking forward to. You might see the figures at online retailers, or through the company's own site (or heck, even at discount closeout shops, like Ross or TJ Maxx), but you won't see them in real stores. If they were ordered at all, it was in very low numbers. These figures thus tend to develop a real mystique about them, and the prices for what few samples are available skyrocket, and remain high even as time passes.

Anyway, you're familiar with the phenomenon. You've probably been bitten by it before. But what we want from you today is your help in finding a new, better way of describing it. We can't very well put all that text in a review every time we want to talk about it, can we? So get creative. Come up with something short and pithy. How about "The Series of Shame," maybe? I don't know, come up with something better. Share your ideas in the comments. Whichever term is best, we'll add it to our Toy Glossary and start using it in reviews. So get posting!

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23 Responses to Help create new toy terminology

  1. yo go re says:

    It's not a wave, it's a series:

    A toyline is designed in series.

    Each series ships in waves.

    line > series > wave

    If you're asking for people's help, you could at least get the terminology right...

  2. Soundwinder says:

    The Phantom Wave.

  3. Brentosaur says:

    The Ted McGinley Wave

  4. immaculatewang says:

    I always called them the Last Gasp Wave. The final reflexive attempt to breathe before death. Morbid, but apt.

  5. T16skyhopp says:

    The Cursed Wave
    The Cosmos Wave
    The Wave That Never Was
    The Wave of Legends
    The "Everywhere Else" Exclusive Wave
    The Warehouse Wave
    The "Hey there's a new movie so eff you guys" Wave
    The "Retail Reset" Wave

  6. googum says:

    Ghost Wave, I'd say.

  7. Mechasatan says:

    Wave of (wallet) Mutilation?

  8. Soundout says:

    The wave that doesn't exist.

  9. Josh says:

    Curse of the Movie masters wave (the final waves of TDK and GL both struggled/are struggling to get out)
    The ugly red headed step child wave
    Lame duck wave
    Bruised apple wave (still totally edible, but no one takes it because of a little bruise)
    Skid mark wave
    The chuppacabra wave
    Yadda yadda yadda wave
    Crisis of infinite resets wave

  10. Joe says:

    The Scalper's Wave

  11. PrfktTear says:

    The Omega Wave --- The last of a series; the final development

    The Trough Wave - a trough is a hollow between two crests or considered a low leverl of economic activity. A region around the minimum on a curve of variation of a quantity. A point of low achievement or satisfaction.

  12. Battle Catman says:

    The Missing Wave.

    That way when you do find those figures, you can say "I found the Missing Wave!"

  13. Stormtrooper53 says:

    Phantom Wave
    Creeping Wave
    The Wave that Should Not Be
    Disposable Waves
    Waveister of Sorrow
    The Frayed Ends of Waveity
    The UnforWaven
    The Wave that Failed
    Wave Nothing
    The UnforWaven II
    Wv. Anger
    The Wave that Never Comes

  14. BILLIUM says:

    The InvisiWave - A toy-line or series where the figures barely hit retail. Just because we don't see them, doesn't mean they do not exist.

    "I never did happen to find Fantastic Four Classics Series 2 before Hasbro took over the Marvel toy liscense from Toy Biz; I've never seen a Dragon Man in person. It was quite an InvisiWave, to borrow the Invisible Woman's codename."

  15. Annihilus says:

    The Annihilation Wave.

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