How To Find Almost Any Toy!
God knows that I love to find toys. And I also like to get e-mail. However, I sometimes get swamped by requests from people asking me where they can find information on this toy or that. Many times, I do actually know where they can find some info about certain lines of toys. But often, people are looking for a place to purchase toys at the best prices. This is where my knowledge breaks down to some extent.
I can give you this much: Try Our Sponsors! Yes, this is a blatant plug, but we're very proud to have these fine establishments as our sponsors .
OK. Now that the plugging is out of the way, here are a few tips you should try on your own.
Much as I would love to answer every e-mail I receive, I am afraid I can't possibly respond to everyone. In an attempt to avoid the periodic flood to my mailbox about where to find information on specific lines of toys and figures (and buying them as well), I have prepared this simple guide for you. This is what I would do if I were wanting information on a certain toy. I'm sharing this information with you to save us both time. It cuts out the middle man! *grin*
I've always believed in the saying, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime." Consider this your first fishing lesson.
The best sources of information on toys are the Usenet Newsgroups. No matter how obscure your toy quest may be, I bet you can find at least one other kindred soul to share your obsession. Many people will be willing to point you in the right direction when looking for toys. Whether it be web pages or offers to sell you the item you desire, Usenet is the place to try first. Be patient. It can take several days to get a response. Also, be sure you are posting in only the appropriate group or groups. I'm sure the people in rec.toys.vintage don't want to answer your question about the latest X-Men or Spawn figures.
Information on all the relevant Usenet toy-related newsgroups can be found on the Raving Toy Maniac page (probably where you cam from!). If you do not know how to read or post to Usenet newsgroups, check with your Internet Service provider for help and instructions. And if you are brand new to Usenet, be sure to check out the articles in the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. This newsgroup contains tons of great information for the beginning Usenetter. A must read for all first timers (and some old timers could stand a refresher course!).
Another great resource is housed at this site: The Internet Toy Off-White Pages. This is the Internet's largest collection of toy-related links. Links are categorized by type (fan pages, industry pages or sales pages) and are alphabetically listed with some special categories. Check this page out first when looking for Web resources. With over 500 exclusively toy-related sites and more being added every month, this is surely one of the most valuable resources you could ask for.
Of course, if you do ask for more, then the Web is set up to accomodate you. There are several very popular search engines designed to help you find exactly what you desire. Of course, the more general you are in your search, the more sites you will find. And if you are too specific, you may not find any sites at all. Be sure to check your spelling, because spelling counts with a search engine. Here is a list of some of the more popular search engines:
There are many other search engines out there. Try a few and see which one you like the best. Here is a new way to search: Search the Search engines! There are several search services that will search many different search engines for you at once. Here are our two favorite:
Finally, if you are looking for new toys, you might want to check out Eric's Tips for Toy Hunters. This is a guide to some of the techniques I have picked up for finding the latest toys. Even the so-called "hot" toys. You can do it too! Just give it a try.
So, take a look at these resources before dropping me an e-mail. You may find that you can do a better job of locating what you are searching for than I can! These are the same tricks I'd use anyway, so now my secrets are out of the bag.
But if you have tried everything and are at your wit's end, you can always still drop me an e-mail at [email protected]. I can't promise that I'll have the answer, but I'll definitely lend a sympathetic ear.
Best of luck in all your toy adventures!