Comic-Con is all about bringing fans close to the artists and properties they love — after navigating crowds and waiting in line. But what do collectors get out of the event?
Looks like toys, figures and still more toys. Promoters will make and sell very limited edition issues that are available only at the convention. And those limited editions can fetch a nice price.
“You buy it here, you sell it on eBay and it pays for your whole trip,” said Chris Schultz, a 26-year-old from Edmonton, Canada. After shopping at the Marvel booth, where he bought “Guardians of the Galaxy” merchandise in multiples, he was set to “give up all night in line” to earn a spot inside the 6,500-seat exhibition hall where movie and TV studios present exclusive previews of anticipated properties.
“For Hall H, it’s worth it,” he said. “You can’t get this stuff anywhere else,” said Lionel Torres, 47, who traveled from North Carolina to buy collectible toys and indulge in community fandom. “People are fighting for a place in line, but there’s camaraderie out there.” But are there serious toy and action figure collectors? You better believe it. And if you are a doubter, check out Action Figure Insider (www.actionfigureinsider.com) to learn more.
The perception or manufacture of scarcity is what is at work here. Like the tulip market of old, if people believe something is valuable and will pay for it then it is.
Expand your figurine collections
Three-dimensional printing will allow fanboys and girls the opportunity to make their own toys and figures without ever leaving home. A company called 3DS will be displaying and selling exclusive, limited edition Star Wars, Alien, and Marvel figurines from its Gentle Giant Ltd brand. Each figurine was scanned or digitally sculpted by master artisans with the collector in mind. No detail has been forgotten in these stunning collectibles that remain faithful to the original artwork.
This sounds like less fun than actual collecting. Where is the hunt, scarcity or bargaining that real collecting delivers? I doubt that 3D printing for all of it use and appeal will ever replace those.