One collector’s recount of 27 hours
by Arnie C
April 4-5, 2005
Part 1: The wait. 12 p.m. 4/1/2005 – 12:01 a.m. 4/2/2005
At noon I arrived at the local Toys R Us. It had been a debate of where to go for midnight madness; Toys R Us may or may not have had the Holographic Yoda, our (non-tent) Wal Mart may or may not have had Titanium vehicles and Early Bird box sets. Wal Mart was an indoors wait, Toys R Us an outdoors one. Still, I felt pretty sure Wal Mart would not have the toys I was looking for, so to Toys R Us I went, Game Boy in hand with the Lego Star Wars game for entertainment.
I did a quick walk through of TRU before my camping. I found the Risk game and Stratego games on normal shelves. $60 spent and two less things to worry about at midnight, I checked out and put the games in my car.
I stood outside of their entranceway, out of the way of anyone else. Unfortunately I had not brought a chair, planning instead to sit on the ground. This was fine, but I am not as young as once I was. When I was 25 sitting on the ground for 12 hours worked fine. Now, at 30, I found my back started to hurt. Lots. So I stood. Then I found after about 6 hours my right hip began to hurt. Lots. I endured. I took no bathroom brakes, sipping slowly from a Diet Pepsi bottle in my pocket. The employees came out and asked me why I was there, and told me the line would not form until 9 or later. Most were amused by my dedication (insanity?), but one was nasty, saying “I know why you’re here and you can just go home.” A very nice front line manager told me I could go sit in some benches and just watch for people to start arriving, not realizing I had a car just a few meters away, but I was there with purpose.
The wind picked up and it got quite cold, and I just had my polar fleece on. Fortunately the employees were kind enough to let me stand inside from time to time to warm up. When it rained (which it did for about 30 minutes) this was a saving grace.
The top person at my office (a senior VP) drove past a couple times, finally asking if I was stranded and needed a ride. I think many others thought I was a homeless man…except for the GBA and the cell phone where I kept a constant Pope-watch.
Around 6 an employee who knew what was going on showed up. He told me there were 12, yes 12, holographic Yodas and they had not decided how they would give them out, but he thought there would be coupons handed out before they opened. I was happy, I was guaranteed my Yoda.