Convention Exclusives, and What Exclusive really Means!
With Comic Con San Diego wrapping their convention up on Sunday, July 12, 2015, I thought it an opportune time to discuss convention exclusives. The first Comic Con was held back in March 21, 1970, at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. Ah, the good old days. When the air was clean, sex was dirty, and exclusive meant exclusive.
It wasn’t until the new Millennium that action figures and “toys” (I hate that word!) began to be sold at Comic-Cons. And with these action figures came the word exclusive. They were marketed as the “2000, 2001, etc. Exclusive Action Figure”, whether it was an exclusive Superman, Batman, etc. I have always assumed that if I wasn’t at attendance at said comic con that I would never be the proud owner of that exclusive figure. And it wasn’t until I was clued in by a close friend that this just wasn’t the case. One can get these “exclusive” figures anywhere. One need not perform an exhaustive search to find plenty of places to order these “exclusive” figures.
A simple search at my favorite web site, Big Bad Toy Store, reveals most of the figures are available for sale. Despite most of these being sold out, if my timing was just right, I could have ordered these whilst sitting in my underwear, never being a cosplayer, never leaving my mother’s basement! Yay! I could remain asocial!
I’ve always considered the word exclusive as special. Why, we’ve all seen members only clubs, exclusive clubs, exclusive memberships, exclusive what have you. The word exclusive denotes, well, exclusivity. It suggests that whoever has the exclusive whatever is special in some way, because not everyone can afford (whether in money or in timing) exclusivity. Being able to order “exclusive” figures anywhere suggests anything but special.
So, if the word exclusive is being used with a new definition, I am forced to think of what other words can now be used with a new definition. How about monogamy? Sitting on the couch with the love of my life, she turns to me and says “I love you so much, you are the only one for me”. I look at her and say “baby, you have the key to my heart”. I look to my opposite side and say “Sweetie, you have the duplicate key”. How about pregnant? I walk into my patient’s room and say “Ms. Jones (This isn’t her real name, so I may keep her anonymous) I have wonderful news: You are almost pregnant!”. Perhaps literally? I was coughing so hard, I literally coughed up a lung! And my brother thought it was so funny, his eyes literally popped out of his head. I mean literally….popped….out…of….his….head!”
Perhaps I have this all wrong. Perhaps exclusive is being used as a synonym for expensive. Because I really can’t see how this word can be used in good faith when these figures aren’t exclusive at all. “Come to Comic Con star date 26257, held in San Diego, ‘Merica, where we have the most exclusive high prices, guaranteed!”
Tell me your thoughts below. I look forward to hearing them. And allow me to close with a modified saying by the great Syndrome, from The Incredibles. “When everything is exclusive (insert evil laugh) …..nothing is”
Stay tuned next week when we discuss the brutal truth of limited edition products.
Editor’s Note: For a more in-depth look at Convention Exclusives, you may also want to check out our very lengthy article here.