The San Diego Comic Con has become a mainstream event with people travelling from all over the world to get hold of loads of exclusive products, meet other comic, sci fi and pop culture fans and meet stars from those worlds.
Last year Disney headed to Comic Con for the first time and displayed some of the up and coming series that would be available in the coming months along with handing out special limited figures featuring a Wreck it Ralph and Frankenweenie logo. Other figures available at the event included a range of So Tasty figures which ended up being made available on Disneystore.com the following week but quickly sold out. They also had a few limited edition items available to buy from Disneystore.com such as the Park Starz Squid Variant, the Urban Boy/Girl twin pack, Black & White Popcorn Mickey variant, Alice in Wonderland King/Queen set and the Up Pixar twin pack. The Up set was a instant sell out with the other figures hanging around on the site so long they ended up being sold for just $5 each.
Then we fast forward to this year and the scene has changed a little. First off, Vinylmation never really made any announcement about being at the event, with Funko mentioning that they think they will be at the booth with them. SDCC arrives and we start seeing pictures of the Behind the Masks Series 2 and that 2 figures every day will be available.
These figures look fantastic and the artwork is amazing, this is what series 1 should have been and fans across the world are looking at these and thinking “I want them”. The same couldn’t be said about series 1 and it seems a shame that such a fantastic series has been almost demoted to being shoved away into the corner. One of the biggest issues with this series is again down to communication, are these limited? Is this just a preview release? Will they be available in stores or on .com after the event? Will they be at the Villains 13 event? So many questions, no answers.
They have been successful in creating a buzz about this series and they have been selling for a small fortune on eBay, but while I would more than happily buy the entire series, I just don’t trust Disney enough with “Exclusives”, they have proven on too many occasions that anything “exclusive” can just turn up in any location and at any time.
Still after a few days of the event, we still hear nothing official from Disney, which isn’t surprising, as since this series has been done by the Disney Store side rather than the Theme Park side, news is extremely rare. If you look back at this years news, almost every bit of information that has been released prior to release, has been from the Theme Park side, with news slipping out about Disney store releases either when people in store or cast members spot something new or the artists themselves post a image.
Disney Store’s communication about Vinylmation can only be described as dreadful, in today’s world, getting information out there is probably one of the most important things a company can do, especially if they are selling new products, its simple business sense. The use of Social media now has made it so easy for companies to be able to communicate with their customers, the use of Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, Instagram, websites etc are all there to help a business make money. Simple put on a image and a little information such as date, time, price, etc and boom, customers know what is going on.
Comic Con is without doubt one of the biggest showcases to show off new products and to the mass audience, Vinylmation should have had a booth or at least put a little effort in, as just sharing a part of the booth with Funko just makes Vinylmation feel like it couldn’t be bothered. Funko have really made the most of Comic Con, using it to boost their brand with loads of exclusive items (and announcing them before the event) and getting the word out using social media that they are there.
This was the perfect place to make a big deal about the upcoming Marvel series 1, they could have had a big banner up with them on display and maybe even for sale, link in with the Thor 2 and Captain America 2 movies with special figures and really got the comic crowd into Vinylmation. They could have even had a display stand with a few preview items like they did last year or maybe have some of the last couple of releases like Star Wars 3, Monsters University, Beauty and the Beast and Muppets 3 (and available to buy, especially the Star Wars ones). That would have been at least something to tie in with Comic Con.
But I think the real problem isn’t that Vinylmation has been scaled back nor that they don’t want to spend as much money on Vinylmation, its because of D23. Disney are throwing so much at D23, especially when you look at the amount of special edition items being made for that show. Now there is nothing wrong with making a big deal out of D23, it’s a big event and should be celebrated but that show seems to have also overshadowed the Villains 13 event, which is supposed to be a celebration of Vinylmation and Pins. But that’s a different issue all together.
Comic Con was a great opportunity and I honestly thought after last years show they would have put even more effort into it, instead they went backwards to the point of would have it been better if they hadn’t have turned up at all rather than a poor showing.
I’m really surprised at how poorly Vinylmation was shown off at Comic Con, but as we got closer and closer to the event without any information, my expectations got less. For me, Comic Con was a missed opportunity, there could be lots of reasons why Vinylmation wasn’t represented such as running costs like the staff, the booth, accommodation etc, but its not as if Disney is a small company and can’t afford to promote its brand. I still think having the two big events over the summer like 13 and D23 is the major reason why Vinylmation wasn’t represented at Comic Con.
What do you think?