Monday, May 7, 2007

All Sold Out

The Transformers boards were virtually lit aflame this weekend after it was announced that the box sets for the 2007 BotCon exclusives were all sold out. On the good side, this enabled me to make an early update to my BotCon Exclusives Data Sheet, with numbers for the 2007 exclusives that we know so far. On the down side, it has given those who want to find something to complain about something new to accuse Fun Publications of having done wrong.

It doesn't matter that the number of exclusives made for this year's convention represents a 33% increase over previous years. It doesn't matter that this increase was made despite the fact that neither of the exclusive box sets from either of the previous years FP held the convention were able to sell out by the end of the convention (In fact, there were still over 200 box sets from 2005 available at the club store at the time of this writing! They only had 4 box sets from 2006 left as of Friday night, so those may be gone by now. I haven't checked.). It doesn't matter that FP was taking a huge financial risk by making a near-record number of these sets (there were years in which more of certain individual exclusives were made, although I'm not at all sure that even in those years did they sell as many as FP made this year, once you account for the loose sets added in. In any event, because FP sells these in sets of five toys, the only possible rivals for this distinction were far less expensive, so that's worth noting, too.). It doesn't matter that FP actively increased the number of these toys produced beyond their original plans after seeing the incredible response the first day or two after registration forms were first made available. No, all that matters to some people is that they don't have the option of getting the sets direct from the providers now.

I'm truly amazed at how little some fans understand the process. It's stunning how many people are asking FP to do another run of these figures to meet the (obviously still present) demand. It doesn't matter that it would be impossible to get such a second run done in time for the convention. It doesn't matter that it would be a slap in the face to the fans who diligently sent in their forms early rather than take their chances by waiting. It doesn't matter that there should be some difference in the definition of a convention exclusive versus a club (or any other kind of) exclusive. Or even that the word "exclusive" should have any meaning at all. No, there are just some people (many of whom complained about the set to start with) who are upset that they can't quickly and cheaply get some (admittedly pretty cool) toys.

Of course, very little of this is new. The one thing that I'd say is new about this whole thing is the fact that no exclusive toys have ever sold out before the convention before. But even there, most of the complaints are pretty predictable, and besides being strong cases of "sour grapes," usually represent absolutely no understanding of just how things work. I'm going to actually take a step out into "flame" territory and say that there are a lot of really stupid comments out there. I can understand that people are disappointed, but I really wish that people would at least try to understand what FP has managed to achieve here, and how these processes work.

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