[OPINION] The SDCC Outrage Is Getting Out Of Control

Deadpool Duck from SDCC, picture courtesy of Brickset

It seems every time Lego does something at San Diego Comic Con, a mob forms. Well, two kinds of mobs. There’s the small mob of Con goers who charge like stampeding rhinos to scoop up eight grams of molded plastic, and then there’s the internet mob of angry people who rant and rave about the “horrible figures” and the “horrible after-market eBay prices.”

Granted, this is a gross generalization – I’ve seen people on both sides handle this like mature and reasonable people. Then again, it seems the problem is getting worse and worse each year.

First, I want to slash down the argument that Lego should stop the exclusive minifigures. What many Lego fans forget to realize is that San Diego Comic Con is an exclusive event, and every other company and organization and studio that is there is handing out exclusive tokens. It is not unreasonable for a special event to treat its special guests in a special way. What the Lego community does not understand is that not everything about Lego’s presence at Comic Con is about the fans – a good portion is about the fans who visited Lego at Comic Con.

Vixen from SDCC, picture courtesy of Brickset

Think about it for just a second – the SDCC Lego fans are fans who have deliberately taken time to interact with Lego at the event, at the expense of tickets, line-waiting, and sometimes travel expenses, airfare, accommodations, etc. It’s a big event and for the fans who take the time to interact with Lego, it does not seem unreasonable for them to walk away with a special token commemorating their time.

In simple terms: it’s not all about you.

My hands are not entirely clean when it comes to SDCC ranting – I was very unhappy with 2016’s ATOM minifigure from the DC CW shows. It was only when I sat down and asked myself why I was so freaking upset that I realized I was making a big deal over something not so significant. I’ve had my fair share of turning down Lego sets because I could not afford them, or realizing there and then was not the place or time. There are hundreds of minifigures I’ve missed out on, and the ATOM was one such minifigure. I know Lego will probably not produce another one like it, but I can live with that.

I don’t need one more minifigure, let alone one more SDCC minifigure, as much as I tell myself I do.

That experience changed how I viewed this years’ Vixen minifigure, yet another character I enjoyed from the DC CW shows. Instead of ranting about why I cannot have it, I’ve decided to be happy for the SDCC goers who got one. I’m sincerely happy you had a good time and have something to commemorate the event. Would I like one? Yes. Am I going to storm around the web raving about why the whole system is horrible? No.

Finally, one more dose of savagery – or insight, your choice. Lego does not owe you a thing just because you’re a fan. That’s right, Lego does not owe you anything because you engaged in a monetary transaction for a box of bricks and minifigures. Lego does have a right to thank engagers – the VIP producers, the Ambassadors, the event attenders, and, yes, the SDCC goers. Lego does not owe, or have to give, the regular fans a chance to get a piece of the action at SDCC. In fact, the Twitter giveaways are generosity in and of themselves, yet people still complain about the exclusivity!

Truly, it is sad to think that some people allow eight grams of specially printed plastic to ruin their day.

I won’t take the time to go into after-market eBay “scalping” as that is another animal of its own. I understand there will still be angry, frustrated, people after reading this who will disagree vehemently.

I don’t need one more minifigure, let alone one more SDCC minifigure, as much as I tell myself I do.

My dad always gave me an eye roll when I mentioned how I wanted to get (insert exclusive set) and always said “funny how everything’s an exclusive …” It’s a comment that, to my shame, I’ve mocked on occasion. He was right, though – there’s always a new exclusive, a new trinket for fans to emotionally attach to as they lament the struggle of getting it. But then again, when was Lego so much about collecting trinkets as it was creativity, inspiration, community, and the joy of creating and innovating with what you have in front of you?

Maybe that’s worth much more than a $299.95 after market Deadpool Duck or a $170.00 ATOM.

 

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