This morning, Friday March 28, 2008, I went to Target in Mira Mesa at about 10:35. I had the DPCI number for the Target Exclusive vehicles in my hand ready to punch them into the thingie. The "thingies" at this Target, as it turns out, are all scan-in only. Then, I proceeded to ask an employee about these items. He was only filling in for someone, or something like that, in the toy department, so he called the stockroom. While he was doing this, I got an uneasy feeling... as though that would be the dead-end for my quest. The stockroom guy over the C/B said "they are not availble for sale until April 13," and that was it. Old news. Dead End.
Then I had the idea of going to the customer service booth to see if they could give me some details! The lady there punched the number into her hand-held "thingie" and said that they have 21 units in stock (I'm guessing that's only 7 of each), to which I said in vain, "if you have so many in stock, then why aren't you selling them?" Curious and somewhat confused, she called the stockroom for me and it was the same voice as before. He said they are "street dated". I asked the lady in front of me what that meant, and she said that they often do that with a movie release or book release. I thought out loud, "There isn't any GI Joe movie or book coming out on April 13th... why would they do that?" She looked at me and shrugged, but her face was like a deer caught in headlights.
Then a few things occured to me. First, I remembered they had already done a little bit of filming on the movie, and a teaser trailer might be due out right about now. Maybe they want to time it up with the trailer, but that is kind of far fetched. This was the first thing that came to my mind, though. Second, I thought to myself, maybe there is a new Comic or something... maybe the collection of comics will be compiled into a book? Then I thought this was a very trivial thing to hold off on selling them for, even in the unlikely event that it did happen. The most obvious, and yet only the third thing that occurred to me, was that they are likely waiting until the next major set of waves of the series to be available at the same time.
Before I left, I mentioned inquisitively to that lady that the Target in Elk Grove, CA was selling them off the shelves already. This was in a futile attempt to see if she had any power to make a provision, but it ended up making her irate instead. "That is a completely different Target from us," she said in a tone that an employee should not be giving a customer.
I know a lot of people are going to Target today to check out the scene. I just hope that you have better luck than I do. Maybe your Target is more like the Elk Grove, CA store. If nothing else, maybe I've saved you a trip. One thing is for sure: Target employees are going to get really familiar with that DPCI number.