Statues and stuff.

§ September 29th, 2006 § Filed under Uncategorized Comments Off on Statues and stuff.

So one of the primary topics of discussion in the End of Civilization comment section wasn’t, surprisingly, thin-skinned Firefly fans raking me over the coals, but rather the potential audience for the high-end superhero statues and busts.

A couple years back, about the time I was beginning the whole “End of Civilization” thing, I briefly discussed Marvel’s Demogoblin statue, and…well, here’s what I said if you don’t want to make with the clicky:

“…Really, a Demogoblin bust? Are there 2,000 (or 3,000) Demogoblin fans out there who have to have this? Or Spider-Man fans who buy all related merchandise? Or, as pal Dorian suggested to me, are there enough Marvel statue completists to support the production of pieces based on even the most minor character?”

And I’m still not sure what would drive the sales of an item like this. The more I think about it, the more I think it is as Dor said, that it’s completists (of either Marvel or just Spidey varieties) who must buy every statue that’s churned out. I can see a Professor X bust selling, or even a Quicksilver bust…but Demogoblin? C’mon.

I do know items like this (well, okay, maybe not like Demogoblin) can sell well…as I understand it, some stores south of us, in the Los Angeles area, can easily move several of each new statue that comes out. In our area, statues and prop items are harder sells to our particular customer base. We get special orders for them, but just buying random statues for store display, hoping to sell them on spec…well, most of the time they just sit and gather dust. Just a regional thing, I suppose.

I haven’t moved many of the prop replicas…I think I sold at least one Green Lantern…er, lantern, and we sold a bunch of the Transmetropolitan glasses. I was hoping someone would order the Batman utility belt replica so I could run around the store in it check it out, but no dice.

The average customer for statues seem to be in their 30s or older, and they don’t tend to make the statues regular purchases. One fellow has been getting Silver Age-related Marvel busts, about one every few months, and another customer is committing to buying the Peanuts statue line from Dark Horse, but for the most part, statues tend to be a once in a blue moon purchase by our customer base. I know I could only justify one statue purchase (one guess what it was). (Well, okay, two…I got the mini-version as well.)

The most of any single statue I’ve sold was, believe it or not, the hideous Miracleman statue from Todd McFarlane/Image. We had a number of preorders, and we figured, well, if so many people are looking for it, we should carry some extra for in-store sales. And, sure enough, we sold those too. My primary memory of this statue is that some of them were flawed (yeah, I know, “‘course it’s flawed, just look at it”), and that the posts on the feet of the statue didn’t set properly into the notches on the base. We were able to get replacements, but still, it annoyed us and it annoyed the customers.

There was also this one elaborate (and imported) anime statue we ordered for a customer, with lots of little bits and sticky-out parts and stuff like that. We regularly pop open the statue boxes to check for damage, and, sure enough, the tiny curly and thinny bits were busted. We sent it back for a replacement, and when we received it…sure enough, the same bits were broken. A third try at replacement…same problems. (It wasn’t the same copy of the same statue being returned to us over and over, in case you were wondering.) It took four tries before getting a statue that was in new condition.

So, anyway…statues! We all have our weaknesses, and I told you mine. What character finally got you to drop a bill or two to take home a three-dimensional representation of him/her/it/them? Not an action figure (or the cheap plastic statues that are passing for action figures nowadays), but a $50 bust, or a $100-$300 statue. REVEAL YOUR SHAME.

In other (Mike) news:

Spandex Justice finally gets to me in his Blog Roll overview, and says some nice things in the process. Thanks, Vincent!

Roger Green takes questions from his audience, and here’s one of them:

“Mike Sterling: pro or con?”

“Well, when he’s behaving himself, he’s OK. But when he’s being a great big cheater pants, to the pits with him!”

Well said!

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