I think this is a really neat-looking item.

§ July 15th, 2009 § Filed under retailing Comments Off on I think this is a really neat-looking item.

Light-up base, removable rings, extremely nerdy…it’s a wonderful thing. The description says the rings aren’t meant to be worn, but you know anyone who gets their hands on this are going to try. I wonder if we’ll hear about any incidents about someone who misjudged the size and ends up getting a Blue Lantern ring cut off their finger?

But at $250 I don’t see myself picking up one of these just because it looks neat. Not that I’m going to be down on anyone who does — I have two Swamp Thing statues, need I remind you — but someone for whom Green Lantern is his or her favorite character, I can see where this might be tempting.

I believe it was Tom Spurgeon who wondered in an entry linking to an End of Civilization post of mine about the sales feasibility for high end, limited-use novelty items like this in our currently suffering economy. And that’s certainly something worth considering…we’ve never done a whole lot of business in statues and props, but I know stores that do, and I’m wondering how their sales are on them. I wonder how orders on items like this are in general. At a time when comic readers are looking for reasons to cut their funnybook expenses, you would think that high end merchandise would take a hit, too, but I still see them on Diamond’s sales charts, and they’re still showing up in the catalogs.

‘Course, it’s not as if these were ever enormous sellers, and it’s not like there are a large number of consumers buying every prop that turns up in the catalog. (I do have a fellow who orders a Marvel bust or two out of every catalog, but that’s probably more the exception than the rule.) An economic downturn would cause anyone buying lots of these to cut back a bit, I imagine, but probably wouldn’t affect the guy who’s been saving up for that one high-end goodie he has to have.

I do know merchandise in general has slowed down some. We’ve cut orders on DC Direct and Marvel Select figures, and cut McFarlane Toys entirely (selling the shortpacked female figure, and that’s it, time and time again was bit of a discouragement). In this case, it may be more due to overproduction (“oh, look, another Superman figure”) and disinterest (“hey, look at all these Spawn characters I’ve never heard of”) than anything relating to current economic issues.

You know, my intention for this post was just to say “look at this, I think it’s neat,” but I ended up running off at the mouth anyway. Sorry about that. But so long as I have your attention…how have your comics merchandise-buying habits been lately? Have you bought any real high-end statues or props recently? Have you cut down your action figure habit? Is it the economy encouraging your decisions, or have you simply had enough? Please let me know in the comments section.

(You know, doing a post on New Comics Day asking people to think about the amount of money they’re spending on comics stuff isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done…!)

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