October 24, 2008
Story by Laura Goodrum a.k.a. Taurs

 

FORBIDDEN PLANET EVENT 2008
Despite Gentle Giants promise that there would be less exclusives this year on Friday the Gentle Giant team held an event at Forbidden Planet in London. The 3 exclusives that were being sold were the Clone Wars Coruscant shock Clone Trooper maquette limited to 800, the Galactic Marine mini-bust limited to 3000 and the bronze effect Boba Fett classic bust.

I arrived at Forbidden Planet at about 10am and was pleased that I wasn't the only one there the line had already started. There were about 10 people there the first guy had been there since 2am! They were all people who I knew from last year so it was great to see them again and catch up with what we had all been up to. As the morning wore on more people arrived. Jamie joined me around midday and just after that we saw Ian (a.k.a. Homerfett), it was cool to finally meet him in person. There was a really nice Dutch couple next to us the the line and we spent most of our time chatting with them, it was nice to talk with people our own age. 

So the afternoon went past standing in a freezing cold dark alley behind forbidden planet, last year the staff came out to check that we were ok and gave us drinks and sweets but this year the ignored us for most of the day appearing only mid-afternoon to hand out some free bust ups. The line was way shorter than last time, probably about a quarter of the length and the atmosphere was not as good either. I think that what Gentle Giant failed to realize when they planned this was that last year when they did this it was a warm summer day and it was the day before the start of Celebration Europe so loads of fans were in London and in a party mood. This time was a very different story and it was a pretty big flop really.

When 5 o'clock drew near the staff came out and counted us and then told us that the Marine bust would be 5 per person which was a true testament to how low the turn out was. When we entered the store it was pretty manic, staff kept shouting at us to hurry up but trying to pick up 5 busts and a maquette and carry them across the store was not easy and took time. Once again Karl Meyer was signing the boxes but no one really seemed to care especially not him, he doesn't seem to have any interest in the products that his company turns out, I don't know why he was there really.

I think in the end as much as Forbidden Planet and Gentle Giant wanted to replicate the success of the Commander Bly event last summer they just didn't pull it off. The poor turn out makes it unlikely that they will bother doing it again next year I think. The Galactic Marine and Coruscant clone maquette are both awesome pieces and they were worth the wait in the cold but in a way the best part of the day was hanging out and chatting with fellow collectors and in the end that's what its all about.