Caelus wrote:Why the difference between the SDCC exclusive and the Botcon exclusives?
I'm going to disregard everything you said there because your last statement reveals that you don't really have a grasp of the production costs, numbers, or what you get for your money at BotCon.
It's economy of scale. The cost difference between the 1,100-1,500 of any given figure made for BotCon is significant even for the lower production runs of 5,000 or so for SDCC.
A small production run of shelf stock toys is around 10,000. Usual runs are 3-5x that.
Okay, ignoring the offensive tone of that response, I'll move on and point out that you didn't actually explain anything.
The price is affected by the number produced. Duh.
Why do they produce so few for Botcon compared to SDCC or simply HTS?
Now, all that aside. I am severely disappointed in your argument for bringing up Thundercracker. You seem to be well versed in Transformers and toys. I would have a hard time believing that in the past 2 years you have not at some point or another hear the explanations from both Hasbro and Fun Publications that Classics was OVER at the time Thundercracker was designed. There weren't supposed to be ANY Thundercracker toys made. Hasbro was wrong about Classics and its success. It happens. The facts are the facts though.
Frankly, I don't buy that explanation. "Hasbro said" on something like that, especially something so hard to believe, is simply not convincing. Even if they didn't plan to resume Classics (which I believe is B.S.), the fact that they didn't release Thundercracker when they were putting characters like Cliffjumper on the shelf, leads me to believe they intentionally reserved him for use as an exclusive down the road.
Now, ranting and rolling aside, let's run with Thundercracker. The 2007 BotCon set cost $275 for FIVE figures. 1 Voyager and 4 Deluxe figures...let's split that cost up evenly and we've got exclusives at $55 a piece.
$55 for a single deluxe class figure? That's obscene [see points in my previous post]. And I've yet to see Thundercracker available solo for that price, even if I was inclined to pay it.
Now, if you go to the convention, that $275 includes everything...BotCon, dealer room, panels, dinner, and toys. Not everyone can go to the show, so FP did something UNPRECEDENTED for BotCon, they allow for people to order non-attending sets.
Then what exactly is the rationale for charging people as much to get the toys as they charge people for everything else, plus the toys, if not greed?
Plus, the nonattending sets don't really resolve the crux of the problem I'm driving at - they're still limited to people who are either indulgent or foolish enough to drop nearly $300 at once on some Transformers that don't even approach warranting that price tag for any reason other than exclusivity.
BotCon and exclusives are more available to average collectors than EVER before.
So? That only reflects on the greater magnitude of the crappiness of the previous situation. It doesn't actually justify the current situation.
What are we dealing with here? Are we not adults who understand the differences between needs and wants?
Are we not adults who understand basic english?
Let me explain the grammar of my statement to you:
"Deprived" is a verb. It is what Hasbro did by producing far fewer of an item than what was desired.
"Needlessly" is an adverb. It describes "deprived". It means that Hasbro did not need to under-produce the items in question.
I said nothing about the toys being "needed" by the collectors as opposed to "wanted".
I'd rather play to win
Why is life automatically a competition?
In what way could it have possibly hurt you for these toys to have been available to the public for a reasonable price? Bear in mind the public includes you
. Are you so determined to minimize the people who can have them that you deem it preferable to pay more, unnecessarily? Are you really the sort of person who'd cut off their own nose to spite their neighbor?
Not have to make excuses for my situation.
should be making excuses for buying
them, not the other way around. Has it ever occurred to you what else could have been done with the extra money you forked out for those toys simply because Hasbro decided to limit their availability? Was there really nothing better you could have done with that cash?
You can try to vilify me as I enjoy my exclusive toys and the means to gather them, but honestly, I wouldn't notice...
So now we've plummeted into the part of the argument where you stick your fingers in your ears and go "lalalalalala"?
Why Counterpunch, how could I ever possibly hope to argue with some one whose skills as a debater are so cunning, so mature?
You see, people without the necessary means to get the toys have already contacted me and I'm helping them by getting the toys that they otherwise wouldn't be able to travel for.
Wow! You're selling them for $13 to people who've gotten shafted by the economy? People who have common sense with regards to how they spend their money? I take it all back, you're a saint!
I guess I'm a dick, but every year I've helped out people to make sure they can either go or have access to these toys at their Convention Retail prices.
You still don't get it, do you? My argument is that the convention retail prices are b***s***.
Still, thank you for turning this discussion into an opportunity to paint me as a poor, petty, irresponsible, immature welfare case because I don't believe artificially created exclusivity and rarity are justifications for paying five times what a toy is worth.
My day, which started with people insulting me, was in dire threat of not ending the same way, and where would I be without the symmetry?
Thank god Counterpunch was there in a pinch to turn this discussion of economic philosophy (already off-topic from the original news-item) into a directed, personal attack!
And to think I wondered why I stopped coming here for so long...
And for the record, those who want to be able to measure my response against my current situation, to decide for themselves whether I am biased in this matter and simply "making excuses for myself":
My wife has a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering, and three semesters of graduate school under her belt. She lost her funding in the same way that family and friends of ours have lost their jobs during this recession. If she could get a job, she'd be making between $50K and $60K per year starting out, but due to the economy, there are no jobs to be had. I have faith that won't continue to be the case forever though, and when she finally does have a job again, we'd have plenty of money to go to Botcon.
In fact, long ago she promised me that if they ever had it somewhere interesting we would. I decided some time ago though that I didn't have any interest in indulging Hasbro, so I have no intention of going when the money becomes available.
For my part, I have two bachelors degrees and am attending grad school. When I eventually get my doctorate, assuming I can find a tenure-track position, I can expect to get paid between $35K and $40K per year. Slightly more than half what she will get paid, for somewhere around ten to twelve years of hardcore, higher education. On that pay check, I could maybe
afford to treat myself with a guilt-free trip to Botcon. If my loans magically pay themselves off.
Now, the counterpoint I would wholly expect to hear is:
"But you two have worked hard to get where you are, you deserve to throw away money on frivolous things".
I used to think so too. That used
to be my motivation for getting such an education.
A couple of summers ago though, I had to make ends meet between relocation to our current residence. I wound up stuck in a minimum wage job trying to scrape together enough money to pay for my first month's rent up here in Colorado, since no one else was hiring in the middle of Summer.
That job was the hardest, most exhausting work I've ever done, including my current one. It broke body and spirit, and the pay was crap.
I was the youngest person working that job. Everyone else was old enough to be my father, or my grandfather. At least one of them was a veteran.
And they were all working as hard as I was, and working second jobs
Hardwork and success aren't the perfect correlation most Americans seem to think.
People who don't have the money to spend on ridiculous things aren't necessarily lazy. They aren't necessarily stupid. They aren't necessarily in any way less deserving of the finer things in life than those above them on the economic ladder.
So that's why it pisses me off so much when people imply that those who can't afford the ridiculous prices for this crap are just making excuses for their own shortcomings.