Consumer’s Distributing

Canada is a strange and backwards country, and even until the mid 1990s, you could go to a lousy store, fill out an order form with a dull pencil, wait in line and proceed to be told “Out of Stock”. That was the experience that was Consumer’s Distributing!

Despite being a lousy store, it had catalogues with pictures of toys in them, and while they weren’t as good as Europe’s catalog photos, they’re better than what you’d expect! They carried the G.I. Joe line, and when you went and tried to get Storm Shadow or anyone actually cool, they’d be out of stock, and you’d often get told “We still have Baroness”


Check out the description of Zandar, it’s “Zartan’s Brother”. Dude didn’t even get named!

Also of note, is the fact that the rare as hell, and twice as expensive COBRA MOTORIZED TANK, was actually a dud, and wound up being discounted for less than 10 bucks! I feel that would be a vehicle far more common, if Consumers wasn’t a horrible place. I have never once seen one of those tanks, and I’m a Canadian who has been actively looking for one locally for twenty years.

Finally, it’s an often forgotten factoid, that Storm Shadow shipped for longer than most G.I. Joe figures, as he’s still a focal point, despite it being only 1986 figures. Really shows the popularity the white Ninja had in the 80s.

Oddly enough I live about three blocks away from an old Consumers Distributing building. In fact I still refer to it as “Consumers”. It’s now some Italian supermarket, and before that was an abandoned building for like 10-12 years.


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2 Responses to Consumer’s Distributing

  1. A-Man says:

    Sounds like shopping in a Warsaw Pact country or something. I recall watching FormBx257’s video on that tank and his experience with Consumer’s Distributing. (For some reason you can comment on his videos and then the comments disappear…where do they go?)

    Slipstream’s kamikaze attack on the Terrordrome!
    The joke about everyone forgetting Zandar’s name is for reals!
    I forgot the black Mobat include Cobra Consumer…er…Commander. I assumed the Retaliation HISS was the first vehicle he called his own.
    Other vintage ARAH figures that shipped for 3 years (not that ‘shipping, fans) were Gung-Ho, Snow Job, Torpedo, Destro and Cobra trooper (swivel arm). Including the straight-arm release, the trooper shipped the longest, 4 years. There’s something to be said for making the basic enemy goon readily available.

  2. Mike T says:

    We had Service Merchandise here. Most were form type stores like you describe. They had a glass case full of the boxes and you had to write down the number and go to the service counter before the item came out on a conveyor belt. (Got my Mauler there.) But, they also had some merchandise out on shelves. It was the only place I remember seeing the JUMP with Grand Slam. The stuff they put out must have been slow sellers as I remember it always being a year or two behind the current items. They went out of business in 2001 or so. But, had stopped carrying toys many, many years earlier.

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