Toy Maniac: Secrets Revealed About SDCC Exclusives (

By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008


One of the biggest lures or perks in going to San Diego Comic Con is the exclusive toys. All through the year leading up to the San Diego Comic Con I covered the International Toy Fair debuts and the New York Comic Con toy exclusives. Many of these toys were offered on several different companies’ websites available to purchase without even having to travel to San Diego. Several of you Maniacs have voiced your opinions on this matter. How can it be an exclusive if I can order it at home? Why do real collectors get hosed when dealers buy in bulk and jack up the price? Well, one of your comments caught someone’s attention. That someone contacted me and wanted to get the facts straight about the San Diego Comic Con exclusives. In this person’s best interest he wishes to remain anonymous. For the purpose of this column he will be referred to simply as the Toyman (hence the header picture). The Toyman works for one of the biggest toy companies in the action figure industry.
Robert: Why are exclusives at the SDCC sold online?
Toyman: The convention organizers don’t want any booth to have a long line at any time.
Robert: (laughing) Okay…
Toyman: No, seriously this is in the guidelines for vendors. If you have too long of a line they will come over to your booth and either remove people from line or they will shut down your booth. Now the reason for having long lines is because you have an exclusive. So to further make sure you don’t have long lines they have said if you have an exclusive that is purely for comic con you cannot just sell it to anyone that walks up. You have to have a raffle for it. You would hand out a ticket and then later in the day you would call out those ticket numbers. There are still a couple of booths that do that. It is a pain. This also makes it difficult for the buyers because you could miss the time when you could buy the thing you wanted to buy. To battle this if the item is now not exclusive to comic con then these restrictions do not hold. What the majority of vendors with exclusives do is offer it for sale on their website, then it is no longer an exclusive to comic con.
Robert: The raffle seems like it would be a nightmare.
Toyman: It requires too much organization and man power. There really isn’t an upside for the fans.
Robert: Do you feel as if the online selling ruins the mystique of comic con exclusives?
Toyman: Offers online, even in a limited number, give a lot of people a chance to get something they wouldn’t otherwise get at the same price as everyone else.
Robert: Ah, the EBay price gauge.
Toyman: Exactly.
Robert: What are your thoughts on the New York Comic Con and the International Toy Fair being back to back this year?
Toyman: Well we’re not doing the New York Comic Con this year. Most toy companies aren’t. From a toy manufacturer’s point of view it is a nightmare. If Toy Fair was first this year and New York Comic Con was second we could introduce the new stuff. See, the New York Comic Con is a local convention. It doesn’t get the coverage that Toy Fair does. You can’t introduce your stuff at the local convention. You have to do it at Toy Fair.
Robert Trate: Why?
Toyman: For Toy Fair we did around 70 TV interviews and probably 200 press interviews. For New York Comic Con about 5 television interviews and maybe 5 print interviews. So there is much more bang for buck at Toy Fair.
Robert Trate: Thanks Toyman and I’ll see you at Toy Fair.
Toyman: (laughs) You’re welcome.
Five Quintessential James Bond Toys:
James Bond Toys have never really established a foothold in this era of James Bond. Occasionally there are a few dolls. There is almost certainly a video game and a Matchbox or Hot Wheels tie in. The following are five James Bond toys that encompass both the kitsch and coolness of James Bond from years past.
Sideshow Collectibles always delivers and no James Bond of theirs has ever been better than the Thunderball James Bond in a wetsuit. Reasonably priced, this Bond comes with full diving gear and outshines any Bond figure in a tuxedo. As figures go, what Bond collection would be complete without a Jaws figure? Now it isn’t in the exact likeness of Richard Kiel who portrayed Jaws in Moonraker and the Spy Who Loved Me but the open mouth feature is Seventies sweetness wrapped in the Mego styling (see gallery). The Spy Who Loved Me did have the quintessential Bond car. The Lotus Esprit 269 not only looked futuristic, making the Aston Martin look like a Ford Model T, but it became a submarine as well. For some Bond fans this was the beginning of the tongue-in-cheek era of Bond. For others this is Bond at its best.
Believe it or not one James Bond film was influenced by Star Wars. A great rush was put on Moonraker pushing For Your Eyes Only to 1981. Bond had to go space to compete with Wookies and Stormtroopers. Outside of the spaceships and laser guns Moonraker’s movie cards by Topps were the other great Star Wars influence. These cards have a great life of their own and are a brilliant showcase for all the behind the scenes photos.
The most quintessential must have James Bond toy collectible is the 10 figures set from the Gilbert 007 action toy range. Produced in 1965 it comes complete with four Bonds, Oddjob, Goldfinger, Largo, Dr. No, Domino and Pussy Galore. With the box being its own display case it is a great Bond toy collection to have.


RETRO Toy Commercial of the week:
Since this week the twenty-second James Bond film be released I thought a Bond Toy Commercial would be appropriate.