Hastings Thread v2.0

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  • #2821

    Hastings is merging with toy maker/distributor NECA’s parent company. [LINK]

    AMARILLO, Texas, March 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Hastings Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAST), a leading multimedia entertainment retailer (“Hastings”), today reported that it has entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (the “Merger Agreement”) with Draw Another Circle, LLC (“Parent”) and Hendrix Acquisition Corp. (“Merger Sub”), which are each wholly-owned, directly or indirectly, by Joel Weinshanker. Mr. Weinshanker is the President and sole shareholder of National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc., which holds approximately 12% of Hastings’ outstanding shares (“NECA”). Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, Merger Sub will be merged with and into Hastings, with Hastings surviving the merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Parent, and each share of Hastings common stock held by a shareholder of Hastings (other than Mr. Weinshanker and his affiliates) will, upon completion of the merger, be converted into the right to receive a cash payment of $3.00 per share.

    Hastings’ Board of Directors, acting upon the unanimous recommendation of a special committee of the board directors consisting of independent directors (the “Special Committee”), has unanimously approved the Merger Agreement and the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement and has resolved to recommend that Hastings’ shareholders vote in favor of approving the Merger Agreement at a special meeting of the shareholders called specifically for such purpose.

    “NECA is a significant supplier of movie, book and video game merchandise and collectibles to the Hastings superstores, and we’ve had a close and growing business relationship with Mr. Weinshanker over the last decade. Mr. Weinshanker, through his affiliation with the estates of Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali, and his company’s management of Graceland, is one of the leading drivers of the lifestyle industry, and we believe Hastings’ business will continue to benefit from our relationship with him and NECA,” said John H. Marmaduke, Hastings’ Chairman and CEO.

    It kinda makes sense – NECA undoubtedly has a lot of stock in Hastings, so they definitely have a horse in the race. They’ll be trying to keep the chain around instead of just liquidating it… unless the stores simply become too much of a dead weight to drag along.

    Not sure what effect, if any, this will have on Hastings carrying Doctor Who merch… though I will say that a lot of the Who-related stuff they are carrying anymore has veered sharply into what I’d consider the lame category. I have no real interest in plushies and throw pillows, but undoubtedly the buying public’s mileage almost certainly varies.

    #2822
    Steve W
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    I believe that there were a few locations of Hastings in the Dallas/Fort Worth area back in the ’80s, but they were kind of forced out by the rise of Sound Warehouse, which started out here. Then Blockbuster bought them out, changed the name to Sound Wherehouse, and ran them right into the ground, killing the entire chain. After they were dead, I wish Hastings would have bothered to move back into the area. Now that the Denton location has closed (and I discovered last week that the storefront is now a Movie Trading Company, and makes good use of the extra large floorspace) the only one within a reasonable distance is down in Waxahachie, which is still a 45 minute drive at minimum. Hopefully this merger will strengthen Hastings and they’ll start opening new stores instead of closing old ones.

    #2823
    Steve W
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    I went to the Waxahachie Hastings location today (with new signage on the building), and in their always chaotic action figure section they had a few new Doctor Who items, like Captain Jack’s Vortex Manipulator (which, in the package, is closed shut so it looks like an ugly brown plastic wrist wrap with a bulge that may possibly conceal a watch, but since it’s covered you don’t really know what’s in there), some of the newer smaller figures, and various odds and ends. One thing I did pick up was the Cyberman mask. I found it just abandoned on a back aisle with no price tag on it, was a bit upset to find out it was $15, but bought it anyway since it was the end of a long day of flea market shopping that was fairly pointless (the only video game stuff I bought was at GameXchange stores I came across on the way) and I wanted something interesting to show for it.

    The Cyberman mask will hang nicely next to the Bender from Futurama mask I bought when that show first hit the air and that mask was one of the earliest pieces of merchandise from it.

    #2824
    Steve W
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    I stopped at the Hastings in Alexandria, Louisiana last Saturday. Not that many figures, all different sizes too. I had come across the TARDIS cookie jar there once before but couldn’t believe how much they wanted to charge for it, apparently those are gone. They had “the other Doctor” figure with McGann’s head you can snap on. Honestly, I found better merchandise when I was in Shreveport at the 2nd and Charles store that had just opened up. They had Tom Baker scarf-colored neck ties, for example.

    #2825

    I went to the local Hastings the other day to score some Minecraft stuff ahead of the boy’s birthday, and… well, their selection of a lot of stuff was dismal, not just Who and Minecraft, though they did have some of the ReAction figures (action figures based on retro properties, done in the same style/scale as the Kenner Star Wars figures), and I can’t resist those.

    #2826

    What a bizarre turnaround – Hastings must’ve closed a Missouri or Oklahoma location and shipped their unsold stock to Fort Smith’s store. I went in Tuesday after a really trying day at work, and thought “After the way the past week has gone… I’m gonna buy myself something.” I was thinking itd be another one of the retro-style Twilight Zone characters (a ten dollar tour! a ten dollar tour!). I took a shortcut through where the Minecraft toys and merch had been for months, only to find that itwas now all Doctor Who, and quite an impressive selection at that, including one of the 5″ multi-figure box sets I have been wanting for months (Claws of Axos). Long story short: there was no need to go any further into the store, and it was definitely more than a ten-dollar tour, but I now haveall of the “Brigadier box sets” (already had The Three Doctors and The Daemons), which is a rather large thing to check off of my collecting list.

    They also had a 5″ figure box set of all female companions (Rose, Donna, Martha, a unique Sarah Jane variant, and Kylie Minogue’s Christmas special character whose name escapes me), a Pyramids of Mars box set (Mummies + Sutekh, which may yet tempt me back if/when funds are available), and two or three John Hurts. Also saw some surprisingly old stuff, such as Leela with the Invasion of Time Sontaran. It really did look like an entire other Hastings location’s stock wound up in FS, so the obvious question is… upon whom did the axe fall?

    #2827
    Steve W
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    @earl wrote:

    so the obvious question is… upon whom did the axe fall?

    Knowing my luck, it’ll be one of the remaining locations near me (the concept of “near me” has a different meaning in an area as large as Texas, it essentially means it’s within an hour or two drive from me). I’m guessing Waxahachie, since it’s now the store I’ve visited the most since the Denton location shut down.

    #2828
    Steve W
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    Went to the Hastings in Greenville, TX today. I poked around their action figure area but only found one old “melty face” Doctor in full size and two of the newer, smaller figures. But when I walked over to the magazine rack I came across a very large display of Who merch, none of which I could get to because a couple had taken up residence in front of it and were talking about all the stuff that was put on sale until Christmas. The TARDIS cookie jar was only $22.95, which is a good price, but I just don’t eat enough cookies to make it worth my time. But Hastings finally had Pacific Rim mechs back in, so I grabbed a Gipsy Danger figure. Bought a couple magazines and as I was heading towards the registers saw that they had the Intellivision and Colecovision Flashbacks for $39.99. My birthday is coming up in a few days so I bought the Coleco one for myself just to cheer me up over this dreary holiday time.

    Edit: One thing I saw at Hastings that really upset me was that they had a Firefly boxed set… of plastic dinosaurs. The ones Wash kept on his console, specifically. And they wanted $19.99 for cheap plastic toy dinosaurs in a nice looking box. Whoever makes Firefly merch must have been drooling over themselves with the possibility of making a crazy markup on slightly-higher-quality-than-dollar-store toys.

    #2829
    Steve W
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    Wow, the Greenville Hastings has really turned it around with their Doctor Who merch, they’ve got a massive display of it now, lots of things I’ve never seen before. I almost bought a Silurian foam mask, but $18 was a bit too steep for something odd to hang on the wall. Some of their merchandise is just stupid – a steel water bottle with a sticker of a Tom Baker scarf around it means I have to pay twice what a design-less steel bottle would cost? I did like the inflatable Dalek remote control toys, I had a flashback to seeing those inflatable robot R/C toys in all the catalogs in the early ’80s (along with seeing it in a gift-unwrapping scene from the movie Better Off Dead).

    #2830
    Steve W
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    Well, this will probably be my last entry into the Hastings thread. I stopped at the Alexandria, Louisiana location yesterday. It’s now 60-80% off, and they were pretty empty. I did however buy an Intellivision Flashback for $25 (it was only 50% off). I thought about buying a refurbished iPad Mini for $112 but decided against it. I almost bought a Tom Baker sonic screwdriver too, but again decided against it. I also like how the woman behind the counter just didn’t care in the least to act happy. Most places you go to have people fake acting cheerfulness, it’s kind of refreshing when you get somebody who’s moody (because they’re about to lose their job) and doesn’t give a damn. What’s the manager going to do, fire her?

    I haven’t whether or not I’m going to stop at another location or two later on this week (I’m having to burn off my vacation time since my manager won’t let anybody have vacations starting October due to the holidays and the employee base being stretched tight). I might hit the Longview or Tyler, Texas locations later this week if I can get going early enough.

    #2831

    I went to the Fort Smith store after running my dealer table at Konsplosion on Friday night and picked up an MP3 player for Little E, which was tagged as being a $30 item and I took home for less than $10.

    It was pretty sad. They had one of those 11 Doctors action figure box sets, still marked as $90, which I’m sure would’ve been much less. I seriously considered buying it, marking it back up to near retail, and putting it out at my con table on Saturday, but elected not to do so. If anyone wants me to pick it up for them, just let me know and we can talk Paypal and all that good stuff.

    #2832
    Steve W
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    The Alexandria, LA location had probably 40 to 50 of those 11 Doctors sets. Seriously. They overordered like crazy.

    I stopped at the Tyler, TX location on my way home today. Bought a couple packs of socks (!) and a mini arcade cab that has one of those terrible micro Famiclones inside that’s mostly graphic hacks of Atari Flashback 1 and Intellivision 25-in-1 games.

    There was a woman working at that location that was dressing as an elf. Like a Lord of the Rings elfen princess or something. And like the woman at the Alexandria location, she couldn’t give a damn about the customers. I want to imagine that she’d gotten flack from her boss about not wearing the proper work uniform, and in these last weeks she thinks “screw it, I’m going to dress however I want”.

    I was shocked at how many clothes they had at the Tyler location. Yoga mats, scarves, lots of different kinds of socks, kid’s clothes. Massive amounts of slippers. Very weird.

    And now this will most likely be my last entry into this thread. Goodbye Hastings, you were a good little store that I never had enough chances to visit. I’ll remember you fondly.

    #2833

    They say dress for the job you want.

    She clearly wants to be an elf.

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