Here's a question that I've had on my mind for a while, and with the news of the Republic Commando mini busts and the next World Tour
... I thought now would be as good a time as any to start up this conversation.
Does the fact that an item has a lower edition size or is an exclusive really make you want it more? Do you buy show exclusives when you go to shows (or even if you DON'T go) JUST BECAUSE they are exclusives?
Or would you buy the character item in question anyway?
Let me mention a few of the most notorious.
501st Blue Clone - the one that started it all! Would you have bought this if it was a regular retail release and not just an exclusive? I would have.
Blackhole Stormtrooper - the one that screwed over many collectors (myself included) who THOUGHT they had ordered it online, and had a credit card statement to prove it - only to be told later on "Oops, we messed up and oversold. Sorry. You don't get this piece." Yeah, once again, I would have bought this if it was at my local comic shop.
Clone Commanders - duh. OF COURSE everybody wanted this, and would have purchased it.
Darth Malak, Mara Jade... the list goes on.
I guess my point here is that I don't understand why companies like GG feel the need to make something that is available to a small market at a single convention, or make an item that would most likely be popular in such small quantities. Don't they realize that a good percentage of these items are bought not by collectors but by scalpers who are going to end up listing them on ebay BEFORE they have even picked them up at the show?
Do that many people that attend these shows buy these items ONLY because they are exclusive? I won't speak for everyone, but when I go to shows like NYCC or Celebration, I'm not going to buy EVERYTHING just because it's exclusive. I'm only buying the items that I like.
Everybody tries to say that the low edition sizes make for 'better collectability' or whatever, but that's BS. Something as popular as the Clone Commanders or these Republic Commando busts wouldn't be hurt by a larger edition size. Why not take one of Sideshow's approaches which was smart (too bad they don't do it enough, either) and allow people to pre-order for a set window of time, and then when that window is up, close the edition and make enough for everyone? Wouldn't they make more money that way? You can't tell me that if they opened it up to that type of system they would sell less than what they are making now.
If you look at Sideshow's edition sizes, I'm pretty sure that the Darth Maul 'inclusive' version has the largest edition size, because they allowed people to order it and then made enough to meet the demand. Isn't that the smart thing to do? Instead of making 2500 of something, half of which will end up in collector's hands and the other half will end up in the hands of people who don't collect but know they can make a quick buck or 300 by tossing it up on ebay before they even have it in their hands.