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Specifics: Boxed Jumpstarter on a drug store shelf in 1990, or something.
This article is about toys from a long time ago that still haven't been sold. For toys that have lots of kibble, see Shellformer.

Shelfwarmer is a colloquial term for a toy that either fails to sell well or is over-produced, leaving residual quantities on store shelves for months or even years after its original release, generally far in excess of other toys from the same waves.

The term is doubtless a reference to the theoretical lessening of potential heat rejection from a shelving unit covered with a layer of packaged products, as compared with a bare shelving unit. In other words, Perceptor, it's a joke. Alternately, it could be based on the sports term benchwarmer, referring to an athlete who very rarely enters the field of play, spending most of his time (you guessed it) warming the benches.

A related term is pegwarmer, used to refer to toys packaged on cards (which thereby hang on pegs), rather than in boxes.

On occasion, a toy that's considered rare and hard to find in the USA can very well end up as a shelfwarmer in other countries. Usually, this is due to the toy being only shipped to US stores in limited quantities, oftentimes even shortpacked, whereas European stores get those toys in solid cases (as in, cases only containing multiples of nothing but the same one or two toys).


Beast Era franchise
Robots In Disguise franchise
Armada franchise
Energon franchise
Cybertron franchise
  • Metroplex in Germany
  • Mudflap
  • Vector Prime in Taiwan, and the golden "Galaxy Force" Deco in The Netherlands.
  • Quickmix in Taiwan, (even packed with Vector Prime as a value set) and The Netherlands
Classics franchise
Movie franchise
Animated franchise
Universe Classics
Revenge of the Fallen
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