I'm happy to report that my local Toys R' Us did have the McFarlane 3 inch figures. Quite a few of them actually. I can tell you that they are painted up nicely, detailed to the extreme, and have wonderfully dynamic poses. I can also tell you that they are $5 each. And the last thing I can tell you is that I left every one of them hanging on the pegs. I actually feel bad about this. They were very cool... but $5 each... I just can't legitimize it.
How much is a toy soldier worth to you? Lot's of factors go into that. Here's a few that I look at when deciding whether to purchase something new.
1. Is it cool? All right, very subjective, as we all have a different definition of cool. I guess you can simply ask, does this bring that feeling of "I've GOT to have this, or I'm gonna blow a gasket!". If it does, then it's cool. The McFarlane figures had the cool factor in spades.
2. Does it fit with my collection? Not everything does. And when something doesn't, is it worth starting something new so that you can add this one piece? The McFarlane figures don't fit with what I do. They are painted, just a touch big, and modern.
3. Will it go up in value? Ah, the speculative part of our hobby. I'll be the first to admit, this isn't something I think about too often. Every once in a while I'll take it into consideration, but most of the time, it's a toy first, and a collectible second. In fact, sometimes if it is obviously a collectible, it takes away from the fun of it. You might feel bad if you were playing with it and you accidently caught it on fire.... hey, it happens.
4. Is it too expensive? Too often, the over-riding factor. Even if it passes the other three tests with flying colors, it might just be too much to swallow. In the case of the McFarlane toys, this is a big factor. Now, I can afford to shell out $5 here and there, but a whole set of these figures would get pricey, and what would I have to show for it. Two handfuls of figures that don't go with anything I already have.
So there you have it. That is how my subconscious played out while I was standing in the Toys R' Us toy aisle. My thrifty ways won out. But.... I read on the Groundpounders forum that there might be some McFarlane WWII figures on the way. Whole different story there....