This is what I remember doing to acquire rare items that were not obtainable in any other way loose in the open market.
Buying whole figure only to get the rifle: SS102, SS056 and maybe SS076 soon
Buying the DAM M-27 IAR rifle only for the sling
Buying the whole Hot Toys GIGN figure for the helmet.
At least I could sell some “bycatch” to ease the amounts of money I spent so far.
In the end, I am not proud of this, but I would always want that item otherwise. I am just a bit annoyed this hobby is like this, when they could use their old molds and just sell remolded parts loose or boxed. I bet the MP7 from the SS083 would sell just great.
On the other hand the scarcity of some items is most likely intended to artificially build up hype and higher resell prices for older figures.
I have purchased three 21st century toys Spetsnaz in Afghanistan figures just for the BDUs
I don’t know about unreasonable, but this was definitely the most effort I went to for a set of figures I wanted. I’m a big fan of the original Hasbro GI Joes and AT figures. After missing out on the GI Joe Club’s 30th Anniversary AT figures I had to have the Walmart set. So, I contacted a retailer/friends from my early OSW days and asked if they could source some for me through their local Walmart. I offered to cover the cost and whatever markup they applied for their time and effort. They only charged me cost on the whole affair. However, when I received the set of 5 figures in the mail, all 4 of the Caucasian figures had noticeable QC issues from the factory. The bodies and uniforms were perfect, but there was paint slop and uneven flocking on their heads. I wasn’t about to give up that easy. I remembered reading about Club Hair for Joe, and contacted Craig, asking him to completely strip the paint and hair off the heads and “resurrect them to original 1970’s fresh hand painted spec on the flocking and paint.” So, a lot of time and way more money than what Walmart and my retailer friend charged to begin with, what I finally got were 4 figures that look like I swiped them from a 1970s toy store shelf using a time machine. I still have them and won’t part with them, but what long trip it was to get there.
Wanting to get figures that have few chances of ever being done by any brand, So I ended printing camos (depleting scores of expensive inkjet cartridges in the process), sewing uniforms (after thorough research for patterns), in some instances more than one time after failed trials, and creating or extensively modifying existing parts to suit the actual gear (I once paid $50+ for a HT vest just to have it modified and repainted). And I would’nt count the work hours because we’re talking hobby.
Unreasonable certainly, but so satisfying in the end.
That’s the important feeling. Makes up most of the time for spending time and money. But in the end you also gain knowledge about other bands and parts you had never touched otherwise.