I first reported HERE, in late July, 2014, that Walgreens was about to release its exclusive “Boba Fett (Prototype Armor)” as part of Hasbro’s Black Series six-inch action figures. Fan and collector interest has been intense, and many collectors have pre-ordered one or more of the unique figures on Walgreens’ website. But there were just three huge problems: First, the website said “Release date 10/15/14”, so that meant three long months of waiting. Second, it does not appear that Walgreens had any intention of timely fulfilling the pre-orders (I had reserved two online in July, and as of November 7th, the orders were never fulfilled). And third, the prototypes started hitting store shelves in the U.S., nationwide, in early September – long before any online shipments would occur.
During the summer, I visited about a dozen different Walgreens throughout the Orlando (Florida) area. Based on a friend’s tip (complete with photo documentation!), I drove out to a rural Walgreens store in Ocoee, Florida, with promises that there would be numerous wave-two Black Series six-inch action figures. My full report from September 15th is HERE, but the photos below show the full story:
After expending so much time, and energy, and gas, I gave up and stopped looking. But then something remarkable happened on Twitter. Steven Anne, the lead toy buyer for Walgreens, tweeted that an amazing 40,000 more “Proto Bobas” would be hitting store shelves “starting in November”, just in time for the Holidays. I even wrote a reminder in my calendar. Yay, Steve!
Fast forward to 7 November 2014: I live in College Park, Florida – a neighborhood within Orlando. I strolled into my favorite Walgreens, not expecting to find much. And there in the toy aisle were several Black Series Six-Inch wave-two figures – #01 Sandtrooper, #03 Luke Skywalker, #04 Chewbacca – all difficult to find. Be still my heart! And yet, there was no Prototype Boba Fett. But as I was about to leave, one of the Walgreens employees, Joe, asked if I had found everything I was looking for. As soon as I mentioned Boba Fett, he knew exactly what I was referring to and found one safely ensconced in storage.
Joe advised me that about 6 or 7 of the more popular figures had been pilfered/shoplifted over the summer. Walgreens employees at the College Park store, therefore, were keeping a sharp eye out and control over the inventory. And so, for making my day and helping me to complete my quest, I have to give a shout out to Joe, the helpful Walgreens associate in the College Park, Florida, store. And to everyone else still searching, I say, “Hurry! There are still 39,999 Boba’s out there waiting to be found.”