Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Comic Con Attendee Exclusives 2011

I wasn’t at Comic Con. I was across the pond here in the UK, jealously drooling over the images and announcements coming out of San Diego. More than that, dreading how much I was going to have to pay on eBay for all of those damn exclusives. Read on for a run-down on what LEGO exclusively sold at the event, some well publicised… some less so.

The big talking point seems to be the LEGO Superheroes Batman and Green Lantern mini-figs being sold. There were only 1,000 of each and you had to get lucky in a raffle to have the opportunity to buy them. They were mounted on an exclusive backing card and look rather good. But we’ve had Batman mini-figs before, so he’s hard to get all that excited about.

Star Wars had the other interesting exclusives. One being a free mini-fig poster given away, which is really frustrating as how are you supposed to buy one from eBay knowing it will be nice and crease-free??
The other being the LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar, which shows that LEGO have realised what a big deal this will be for fan boys. It is the exact same advent calendar that will be available to all in a few months, but in a snazzy outer box. It is a limited run in the outer box of just 1,000.
The final Star Wars exclusive was very quietly given away at the premiere screening of the LEGO Star Wars TV special, The Padawan Menace. When this special is released on DVD and Blu-ray, it will come with an exclusive Young Han Solo mini-figure. That mini-fig was given out exclusively at the Comic Con screening.

There was also some Harry Potter stuff, but that’s Harry Potter and doesn’t hold much interest for me. The question I get to wondering, is why do LEGO sell exclusives at Comic Con? To examine this I am going to consider this LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar exclusive as the example.

The obvious answer is, to reward loyal fans. But do they? 1,000 is an extremely small number. So to ensure that these didn’t sell too fast, LEGO jacked up the price to $50. The regular retail price when the product hits will be $29.99. So that’s $50 extra for a box. For a box?! This is a product they were manufacturing anyway, and they stick $20 on top of the regular price?!
This is such a shame, because it means for those of us who didn’t the secondary price is even more inflated. It seems that there would have been a much friendlier way for LEGO to handles this exclusive. Since it’s the EXACT SAME product that they will be releasing anyway, sell it at Comic Con, in the exclusive outer box, for a couple of dollars extra. And don’t sell 1,000, sell 5,000. 5,000 is still a very small number in terms of production for a toy. Everyone is so eager to get this set that it would still easily sell out over the event, and collectors wouldn’t feel so jaded at having to pay way over the odds for the product. (And don’t get me started on how the price of LEGO advent calendars have increased anyway over the last five years…)

Unfortunately, LEGO event exclusives seem forever mishandled. They are produced in such small numbers as to be nothing but frustrating as so few people have the opportunity to own them. If the production runs were a bit higher, the price a bit lower, more fans would own them and create more of a positive buzz about LEGO the company, and the product itself. 5,000 people owning the calendar in advance would have given great word-of-mouth for when it gets released worldwide. At least this year the products will be available in another format.

So another bunch of LEGO event exclusives that are over-priced in the first place and are going to be expensive to track down. On the bright side, buying them from an eBay seller is still cheaper than return flights and a hotel in San Diego…


  1. my brother in law got my 6 year old a advent calendar at comic im feeling bad about the fact that I had planned on letting him open it.

  2. Not at all! The best place for LEGO is in the hands of a 6 year old :)