You never know what’s hiding in the shadows. Never. Well, OK, sometimes. But mostly: never.

So yesterday I hopped in the car with my good friend Robert, and we trekked out on our annual pilgrimage to the Canadian Action Figure Expo. Robert is a giant collector of all things GI Joe, and with my own oft-professed love of Transformers, this is one of the few shows we make it a point to hit up every year.

Something strange did happen this year though. Something that’s never happened before. I didn’t buy a singe thing.

Though the show was bigger this year, and there were toys from every line in every shape, size and condition you could want, I couldn’t bring myself to pony up the dough on anything. Normally when I go to toy conventions, I’m looking for imports or exclusives. This year though I would have to say 90% of the stuff at the show was stuff that I could find at the retail level, and much cheaper.

One thing that I noticed more of this year though were the “amateur” dealers. You know these guys, they’re the ones that have a thousand things on their tables that may or may not be in sandwich bags and are in terrible condition. These are the guys that look like they are having a garage sale, instead of selling collectibles.

The other thing I noticed more of this year was a huge gap in pricing. There were things for sale on one table for, say $80. But then I would walk across the room and find the same item for $50. Does no one do a walk around of the show floor and see what the competition is doing? You’d think so many dealers in one place, selling essentially the same stuff, would drive prices down, not astronomically up.

Any way, in other retail news, the Battle of The Used CDs continues. I went to yet another store yesterday afternoon after the Toy Show, but this time I had a surprisingly good reception. Not only did they buy most of my CDs, but they did so at fair prices and with a great staff. So, with that said, should you ever be near one of their fine locations, you should go into The Beat Goes On.

Oh, and if you find a slightly used copy of Britney’s Greatest Hits, it totally wasn’t mine. I swear.