But another big thing that I take issue with is that Dustin was probably going to be down at Comic Con anyway, working for Phillip at Official Pix (on Phillip's dime too, probably, like when he went down to Dallas). Dustin's probably one of the last people who needs some freebie comped Star Wars collectibles as well. So this all expenses paid trip, with free swag, is going to someone who was probably already going to get a free trip to SDCC, and already gets plenty of goodies as it is. Instead, all this cool free stuff should've been going to someone who would REALLY appreciate it, and likely not get it otherwise, and not just take it all for granted. It's kinda like a millionaire winning the lottery, instead of a poor family who needs it 1000x more.
Everyone keeps missing an even larger point on this item. Yes, there were probably fans with a bigger need for the trip than Dustin, but to me - and to Dustin - it doesn't matter one iota who is paying for his trip...it was free to him anyway. The true beneficiary of the cost savings on the trip is Phillip Wise. He can scoff and say that he gets nothing but a good time out of all of this, but lets do some quickie math:
180ish subs at a $2 spiff apiece = $360
waiver of airfare that he would have paid for D anyway = $500ish
waiver of hotel that he would have paid for D anyway = $600ish
waiver of con pass that he would have paid for D anyway = $65
I'm not sure if the prize covers meals, so lets leave that out...we're already up to $1525ish
kicked right back into Uncle Phil's pocket just by having Dustin win. Rumor is, too, that some of the prize swag will be given away as prizes on Scum...don't be fooled into thinking of that as some kind of benevolence. Prize giveaways = traffic and traffic = dollars.
As for Dustin, I know some people think he's an ok, upstanding guy. Hell, I even used to think he was up until a little over a year ago. But for some of us, namely anyone associated with JediDefender, we now know otherwise. This is a guy who summarily, and inexplicably (at Phillip's request, no doubt) starting banning from RS anyone who had anything to do with this site - staff members, forum members, or otherwise. Phillip started seeing JD as a threat, so he laid down the law over there, and had Dustin personally impose it for him. Phillp's very own version of Rick McCallum, if you will. Dustin may only be the puppet, but he shares equally in much of the blame for their idiocy over there. There used to be one, large, relatively happy online collecting community, but thanks to Phillip's sterling and greedy efforts, it's now been essentially fragmented into 3 seperate pieces.
He's been an assbag on any dealings I've had with him too. I pmed him a question after a thread of mine had been deleted right after the TRU spamfest and the best answer I could get was "because I said so." Dustin is the prime reason for me pulling out of Scum long ago.