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However it would always back fire and some employee would snag one and sell it ahead of time.
A month in advance though is kind of hard to believe.
Brickset member streeker reports seeing 4 boxes on the shelf at his local Toys R Us, priced at 129.99 euros:
That shop may have made a mistake in putting it out early but it shows it's around. Perhaps streeker should join the eBay profiteering!
Obviously, TLG has started distribution and while there is an official release date, some stores who have already received their allotments have consciously or accidentally decided to break the embargo.
i got a few of the black pearls when my local target put them out early. i hadn't seen or heard of them anywhere, so i put it up on ebay just to see how much it would get. i personally don't understand why someone would pay such a premium just to have a set a few weeks early. but i do know that some folks like that are out there. i was more than happy to provide the service for them.
in related news, someone in my LUG has reported finding the black pearl at Costco for $80.