You may have noticed that yesterday, there were no updates here at Infinite Hollywood. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have an inkling as to why, though. Sunday night I began my cyber camp out for the unleashing of Sgt. Slaughter to Hasbro Toy Shop. It’s been well documented here on this very site, just how much I wanted both versions of the Sarge figure.

Every year Hasbro brings a fair amount of their exclusives to their online store from the SDCC. They have always launched on Monday, with varying amounts being updated through the week based on what was left from the con and stock levels. It can be a tricky game at times, but if you’re persistent, you are usually rewarded. Armed with that knowledge and a high amount of faith and dollars desperate to throw at Pawtucket, Rhode Island’s economy, I waited for Sgt. Slaughter.

I wasn’t alone. Over at HissTank, arguably the largest GI Joe online community out there, a thread was started of people staying up all night waiting for Sarge. Why stay up all night? Well there had been a few odd instances in the past of SDCC exclusives showing up randomly at night. So we waited. It wasn’t just people waiting, though… It was an atmosphere. Nicknamed SlaughterCon, it started out with games, even giveaways, as people were cheery all night long waiting for the opportunity to purchase Sgt. Slaughter. It was truly the epitome of everything that’s right and wonderful about this hobby. Fans had truly come together in an amazingly upbeat way as we began our wait.

Waiting being the key word. I personally have waited for Sgt. Slaughter since the 25th Anniversary toy line debuted. I’ve made customs, I’ve bought customs, but most of all I just wanted that official figure. Hasbro had finally answered all that waiting though, by giving us a glorious figure in two variants and I couldn’t be happier with final results. I knew I needed one of each, if not a couple of spares to add to my collection. I have literally bought thousands of GI Joe figures in the last couple of years all to more or less surround the crowning jewel that I had been waiting for, my Sgt. Slaughter figure.

But somewhere, somehow, things took a turn for the worse. Yesterday morning, Hasbro finally began uploading the SDCC exclusives. First it was Mighty Muggs Prowl, who without a working picture, sat on the website for well over an hour all by his lonesome. Slowly, each and every figure popped up for sale. Sometimes only one product at a time, other times five or six up at once.

As the wee hours of the morning turned to later and later, there was still no sign of the Sarge, but then it looked as though all of our patience and cheery spirit was about to be rewarded. Both versions of Sgt. Slaughter appeared on the website, curiously as SOLD OUT. This immediately frazzled some fans, but those of us who had watched every other exclusive pop up, knew it was simply a rouse. Several other figures debuted on the site with the status of Sold Out, but eventually when the stock levels were right, went live.

So what happened? What made this turn from cheery, happy SlaughterCon to bitter, defeated SlaughterGate? Sgt. Slaughter never showed up for sale. I was the first person waiting Sunday night and I was last original person to finally give up and leave Monday AFTERNOON. After over 15 hours of constant waiting, refreshing and missing out on other exclusives in the hopes that I would be rewarded with Sarge, I got nothing.

Nobody got anything. What happened? Where is Sgt. Slaughter? How is it possible that every single other Hasbro SDCC product has made it online, but not the Sarge? Every year I have been able to get the GI Joe exclusive from Hasbro’s shop. He’s advertised right there on their banner for the exclusives. He’s up on the site, but “Sold Out” even though he was never available. Why?

Transformers, Star Wars, Iron Man, Marvel Universe… All with huge fan bases, tons of collectors and yet, all of their exclusives appeared. Most with hours if not days of availability. But the one figure myself and countless others have waited not just hours for, but years to have the opportunity at, is pulled right out from under us. The largest thread in such a short time in the history of HissTank, over 700 pages, went from a jubilation filled celebration of the fun spirit of GI Joe, to dejected anger and sadness.

While there was a smattering of “nerd rage”, for the most part fans were just confused. How could Hasbro be so short sighted? Why even list the figure if he was never going to be made available? Why not make an announcement one way or the other, instead of having people wait? Was Slaughter coming or not? Disappointment was the most popular emotion, however. Fans truly had faith that Hasbro knew just how popular Sgt. Slaughter was, so there was no doubt that he would be readily available at decent quantities… But it just never happened. That’s where we stand today, with Ebay prices on the Sarge hovering around $100 a piece.

As news began to spread yesterday of Sarge’s non-arrival, stories began to surface that he had been up, but sold out quick. That fans were full of the infamous “nerd rage” and that it was just another case of sour grapes. Not only is that false (Sarge was never on sale, not even for a second) that’s a pretty poor and inaccurate representation of what went down yesterday. Eventually people did become upset, but that’s not at all what the majority of yesterday was and most if not all of the people who actually waited for Sarge, weren’t like that. Disappointed and confused, certainly. But not full of nerd rage.

What went wrong? Can Sam Beckett fix it? Sadly, I don’t have the answers. As a guy who’s had Sgt. Slaughter as his favorite GI Joe since his debut in the early 1980’s and as the man who owns the handle of Sgt. Slaughter on every major GI Joe toy board on the internet, I’m at a loss for words. I don’t know what to tell fans, I don’t know what to do for my own Slaughter figure needs, all I know is that SlaughterGate has been a sour spot on this year’s SDCC and ultimately the biggest black mark on the history of my relationship with Hasbro’s boy brand. I keep a small flame of hope alive, but it grows dimmer each and every hour that passes by without some semblance of satisfaction.

And now you know…

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