Author Topic: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!  (Read 1517 times)

Offline DualSaberMaster

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WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« on: March 20, 2004, 07:44 PM »
I'm not sure if this is the appropriate forum to post this,or if this belongs in the Junk Yard.  Moderators,please move or do your thing,as you see fit.  Posted this over at RS of my day at WW:

The LA WW convention sold out it's WHOLE weekend alotment of Pilot bust 10 minutes after opening Saturday morning 10 am.  I was in line 1 hour before gates opened and I estimate about 500+ people in line before me. When I made it inside I was about 10th in line at the Wizards booth,about 4 people in front of me away from snagging a couple of Pilots.(2 per person limit)That's when the people in the Wizard booth shouted out the words no one wanted to hear: "NO MORE CLONE PILOTS" "WE ARE SOLD OUT FOR THE WEEKEND" Unfreaking believeable!  :o  I was not even inside the Con 5 minutes and SOLD OUT for the weekend. :'(
There were people in line who already bought pilots the night before(preview night) and had some in hand,and were in line again to purchase more pilots!   ::)
I walked around in utter disgust,and to no surprise most of those Fat,Smelly,Greasy,Low-life scalper Comic book/Vendors had about two pilots each selling them for a minimum price of $200!!!!!! Eventually and painfully found one for triple retail price of $125 because I had to have one,as that is the only reason I went to that geek fest. A couple words of advice I can offer from experience to those going to their respective WW conventions: Go to "Preview Night" and take a sleeping bag because your sleeping over to ensure yourself a pilot. ::)

On a lighter note meet and had lunch with Matt(JediMAC) and Jared(Tydirium)  Great,friendly,and forgetful guys(wink,wink  :P ;D)  Nice meeting/hanging out with you guys today!



-Ricardo

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"#1 Hater of PT Haters, OT+PT = SW Forever."

Offline Boba Binks

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2004, 08:30 PM »
Well it looks like I will not be getting this bust to add to my collection.  >:(

I would of though after the Blue Clone fiasco they would have learned and produced more for the shows.

I know it is a long shot but I  hope that the starwarsshop acquires some.
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Offline BigDumbWookiee

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2004, 08:50 PM »
This was pretty much the nail in the coffen for me. I'm now selling all of my AOTC mini busts, and will now collect strictly OT.
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Offline Darth Kenobi

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2004, 03:30 PM »
I think it sad that the bust fisco happened againlike it did with the Blue clone.  I have mix feelings on having them re-release them again if they do another run as alot of people think they should.  I my opinion I think if they do another run that there should be a difference in the bust (wouldn't be necessary if they just used new numbers like 2501 on) so that no one can claim that this was a WWLA bust and may get more money if the low number bust get more money in the future.  
I wasn't there at this show but I'm wondering if anyone who was there saw any dealers buy these bust from "collectors" which happens alot with exclusives that I have seen.  I ask this because in someways, some collectors, end up causing these problems to try and get one over the scalpers which will end up causing the scalpers to sell them at higher prices.  I saw and heard "collectors" talking about this over at C2 with the Sacul and kept on buying them just to sell to the scalpers for $25+ over the three days.  
Just my 2 cents.

Offline Boba Binks

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2004, 10:07 AM »
I have heard that this bust is going for as high as $400.00!!  :o

I am thinking of dropping out of this line. It is to frustrating.
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Offline Morgbug

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2004, 11:41 AM »
I have heard that this bust is going for as high as $400.00!!  :o

I am thinking of dropping out of this line. It is to frustrating.

Wow.  Now I'm really regretting passing on the one on ebay last night for $149.99 shipped!  Oops.  Couldn't justify it though, the redlines didn't bring in the cash I was hoping for.
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Offline jokabofe

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2004, 07:00 PM »
i think it's disgusting that they allow dealers at the show to sell them for 3x and 4x what they were selling them for hours - minutes - earlier. that's absurd. why wouldn't all the dealers in the place grab 2 - or 3 - each? i mean, look at it this way - a dealer rarely goes to a show alone, so he usually has a buddy or two with him/her. so let's say they grab 4 busts @ $50 each, and sell them all @ $200 each. easy money... totally absurd. they should have limited it to 1 per person, or per badge.

now, one thing i haven't seen, is this the end of these busts altogether, or are they supposed to be selling them at the other cons later this summer?

Offline JediMAC

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2004, 07:23 PM »
now, one thing i haven't seen, is this the end of these busts altogether, or are they supposed to be selling them at the other cons later this summer?

This is the end of these busts for the States.  No more for the other Wizard World conventions later this year.

Wizards did supposedly allocate something like 1,000 - 1,250 to foreign markets in Europe and Asia (to Attakus and Tomy, I think).  No idea if that portion has already been released yet, or if it's still coming down the pipeline.

But yeah, Wizard's handling of the distribution absolutely SUCKED.  They did the EXACT same thing that Gentle Giant did last year at SD Comic Con - sold 2 per person throughout Preview Night.  Absolutely stupid.  GG has proven to me that they could absolutely care less about their bust fans and collectors.  It's disgusting that they just allow these things to be handed out to about 80% scalpers, and 20% actual Star Wars collectors.  They should be ashamed of themselves for letting the same thing happen all over again, after they swore up and down after SDCC that they saw their mistakes and would learn from them.  Yeah right!

I fully realize they handed the whole bust lot over to Wizard to distribute as they so desired, but they should've done so with some stipulations on their distribution, or at least some general advice or guidelines.  Damned idiots.

The few that were leftover from Friday night were gone within 10 minutes Saturday morning, as Ricardo and Jared already mentioned above.  A lot of people had no idea that they'd sold them ALL the night before, and made long trips to this con with the sole purpose of attaining one there on Saturday.  I really feel bad for those folks...

I was trying to snag from 1 - 3 of these Pilot busts for some forum buddies who collect this line.  Due to Wizard's ineptitude, one of my friend's has now decided to sell his whole Prequel bust collection, including the Blue Clone I snagged him at SDCC last year, another friend had to shell out $140 for his on eBay this morning, and the third guy who posted immediately above me here is equally unhappy.

Way to go Gentle Giant (and Wizards).  Way to screw your fans once again...   >:(

Offline SilverSpyder

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2004, 04:39 AM »
Hello All.  I'm new here, so please take it easy on me.

But, what exactly would you have had Wizard do?  I mean someone said that its all their fault for allowing 80% of the busts to go to scalpers and only 20% to collectors.  How are they suppose to decide which person is a colector and which is a scalper?  They could have lowered the limit from 2 to 1 sooner, but I highly doubt that would have affected the end result much.  Not trying to be a jerk, just curious what people's thoughts were.

Offline DualSaberMaster

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2004, 05:25 AM »
I am by no means an expert,and I know you can't please all of the people all the time but....

Here are some suggestions to ensure a little more even distribution:

Limit vendors/retailers to 1 bust per booth for the entire weekend(Tough Cookies)

Limit 1 bust to each ticket holder per night and punch their ticket so they can't get back in line for that night.

Issue wrist bands for the people in line for the allotted number of busts for the night,and use different color bands for each night.  No wrist band,NO bust.

Most importantly CAP OFF Sales and/or allocate a set in stone amount of busts for each day. Preview Night,Sat,Sun.

I know all the people who would like to get their hands on a bust won't,but atleast REAL collectors and the little guys would have a better chance.   Instead of those who really don't care about the bust,and are only in it to make a quick buck of us poor saps.  My .02 cents.

-Ricardo

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Offline Snively Bandar

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2004, 04:53 PM »
But, what exactly would you have had Wizard do?

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure it out.  It's quite simple really.  Start with dividing up the 1,200 or so busts between the 3 days of the show equally, that way people who attend any day of the convention would at least have a chance to get one.

But much more importantly, you HAVE TO limit the busts to ONE PER PERSON.  That's the easiest solution of all.  Why give all the dealers and non-Star Wars collectors two busts each, rather than giving more of the Star Wars collectors a chance the rest of the weekend.  If dealers and other people had to wait in a 2 hour line to get just one bust, they might be less inclined to.  But double the profits, and they'd likely not give it a second thought.

Sounds like Wizard just blew these things out as fast as they possibly could, to anyone who would take them.  That's pretty much like handing out free money, so I'm not surprised to hear that virtually everyone at preview night took their alloted two busts so they could make a quick and easy $300.  You'd be pretty dumb to just pass up free money like that.

Think that's fair to the Star Wars collectors who traveled to the convention during the weekend just to try to get themselves a Clone Pilot for their GG bust collection?  No.  The bottom line is that Wizard blew it, but I agree with the sentiment above that it seems like Gentle Giant should've at least given them some selling guidelines for their busts, to keep their promise from SDCC about having "learned their lesson" after the blue Clone bust fiasco.   ::)

Offline JediMAC

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2004, 03:40 PM »
I think Grant summed it up pretty well there.  Wizards should've allocated the busts evenly over all 3 days, and limited them to just one per person.  Sure, some people would've still missed out, and a lot of the Pilot busts would've still wound up on eBay, but at least it would've leveled the playing field a bit, and given a lot more people a shot at one.

That's all people are asking for, is a chance.

Offline jokabofe

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2004, 08:44 AM »
it really pisses me off to see this guy on ebay who has 4 busts to sell, but i was even more pissed when i saw this auction for an 8-pack and this guy selling a case... both of them with sequentially numbered busts?? how in the hell did these people get 8 busts sequentially numbered? looks to me like the scum dealers at the show weren't the only ones hogging the busts... my guess? these people work for wizard.

**edit - okay, i take it back. those people aren't half as bad as this guy - he has 16 - SIXTEEN - of these available for sale as of right now, and i wonder how many he has already sold since he actually has it at a decent price. and you wonder why the "collectors" didn't get any of these busts?

but the worst part is i'm so tempted to purchase one, it hurts. but i just can't bring myself to do it.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2004, 08:50 AM by jokabofe »

Offline Morgbug

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2004, 11:00 AM »
Um, dumb question here.  

What did these things cost?  $49.95 or something like that?  Any CA state taxes to add to that?  Then what were tickets to WWLA?  $35 for three days I think?  So if I had gone, the bust would have cost me $85 or so?  

The reason I ask is I'd like one of these and recent auctions have ended fairly reasonably compared to a total of $85.  I never could have got down there, so not much of a difference to me.  

This is not to say I like what happened, I don't.  But this is nothing but the norm for these types of items.  The McFarlane board is rife with similar stories of guys with dozens of sets of superbowl exclusives.  One clown even tried to justify his right to have them because he had presold them ::)  

Part of the difficulty is the willingness of people to part with them at the show.  A guy gets his two and then offers up $75 each to other people.  He sells for variously $100-$200 and still wins, the guys who sold them turned a quick $50 profit.  You won't stop that.  But you could stop the multiple per person sales.  At least that way some of the collectors would have received them for retail.  
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Offline JediMAC

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Re: WW/Clone Pilot fiasco!
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2004, 07:10 PM »
What did these things cost?  $49.95 or something like that?  Any CA state taxes to add to that?  Then what were tickets to WWLA?  $35 for three days I think?  So if I had gone, the bust would have cost me $85 or so?  

The reason I ask is I'd like one of these and recent auctions have ended fairly reasonably compared to a total of $85.  I never could have got down there, so not much of a difference to me.

Yep - $50.  Not sure if they tacked on sales tax or not, but they did in San Diego though, so I'd guess probably.  That puts it at about $54.  And since you pretty much had to have the weekend pass to get these, tack on another $35 in secondary costs if you'd like ($8 for parking as well  ;)).  So yeah, I'd say getting a bust for $80 - $90 is certainly fair and reasonable.  It's just when they start approaching the $150 - $200+ range that it starts to look a little ugly.  Considering most of these busts have a starting price of $130 - $150, you can see what the true intention here really is though.

What Dave points out is true.  I heard and saw a few things at WWLA, and have since discovered from talking to some other local collectors, that there were some people who got away with quite a few busts - more than their alloted two.  I know someone who got FIVE (he won't tell me how).  Some people were even buying multiple weekend badges to grab a couple more (since the badges were getting punched).  The same dealers, vendors and media who got first dibs Friday night also wound up getting first dibs Saturday morning before the doors officially opened at 10am.  That's why they only had a small handful of them left at that point, despite cutting off sales late Friday evening.

It's all rather shady.  Just give the fans a glimmer of hope of obtaining one.  Give them no shot at all, and you'll hear gripes for the rest of the year.  If they had just given a few hundred away on Saturday morning, but sold out before I got to the front of the line, I'd probably just be blaming myself for not making the extra effort to get there a little earlier to have a better shot at one.

I think people just want to see some type of indication that some thought was given on trying to distribute the busts "fairly".  Show the fans and collectors that you could absolutely care less who gets the busts, and that you just want to get your $50 per 1,200 busts as quickly as possible, and you're going to see some pissed off collectors out there.  Understandable.

But Brent's point is a reasonable one - finding a bust under $100 isn't all that bad, considering the various costs involved in actually attaining one.  But getting one for the $50 actual cost would be even better though...   ;)