Last week I was at WonderCon in Anaheim. I considered it to be my prelude to Comic Con in San Diego. It wasn’t nearly as big, but was a great chance to pick up a few choice items. All so I wouldn’t have to lug them around the chaos that is Comic Con. I picked up my Alien Egg Pod by Kotobukiya (see pic); which isn’t available in stores yet. Those damn Doctor Who glasses (see pic) were nowhere to be found. My last little item was a Jayne Hat from Firefly. It might the geekiest thing to have on at a Con, but I wanted one for the real world. What I discovered instead was so much better.
Like many of you, Fox never really allowed me to watch Firefly when it was on. I had to watch the complete series via Netflix. Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a die hard Browncoat but wouldn’t mind owning some paraphernalia from the show. When a show reaches the cult status of Firefly, tons of companies try and produce items they think we’ll want. In many cases, since products are scarce, we buy tons of crap and overpay for it. The reason being that this is all there is. If we don’t get it now, when it’s gone, the mark up price really puts it out of reach. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of cheap crappy figures and overpriced collectibles. Enter QMX.
In my search for a Jayne Hat my eyes caught an incredible assortment of Firefly/ Serenity T-shirts. I remember a few of the prints hitting the web after Firefly caught on (post cancellation). I picked up a Blue Sun (top left) Shirt and a Fighting Elves for a buddy (top right). I went back a month later to get a Fighting Elves shirt for myself and they were gone. The site wasn’t officially licensed, so Fox shut them down. While checking out this incredible stand at WonderCon, a rep came over to me and asked if I need any help. Andy was a delight and informed me that all the products were officially licensed. I told him my tale about getting a Fighting Elves shirt and he told me that I need not worry as they were in stock.
The other big Firefly/ Serenity item you couldn’t miss was the collection of character prints by designer Megan Lara. They featured the entire cast and even had one for Saffron (top left). Now I am all for sites like Mondo that offer really cool limited posters such as these. The only problem is I never get one. I follow them on Twitter and Facebook and still lose out. I’m not in it for the resale value of the item (trust me, most people are). I want it because I like the print and want to see art like this up on my wall.
As the QMX rep, Andy, walked me around the stand I couldn’t help but notice two other really great items. The first one takes us way outside the Whedonverse, but has existed for decades. QMX has fully licensed Star Trek Phasers from the 2009 movie. Now I know many cosplayers want to be as authentic as possible, so these should help. Not only are these Metal-Plated, but also have a real weight to them. I didn’t feel like I was holding a toy or a piece of plastic that was going to break. No, it felt like what a Star Trek Phaser should feel like. Then Andy told me the price. It was only $49.99. From this point on I felt as if Andy was Bob Barker from The Price is Right. I was always over estimating what the price would be. Companies like Gentle Giant Ltd have put it into my head that really cool items have to have at least two to three zeros behind the first number. This isn’t the case anymore.
The final item was one of those perfect desktop items for collectors. Like Firefly/ Serenity there weren’t a lot of products for this property. Items like this make it all the more worthwhile and a Super 8 Argus Cube would make a perfect addition to any fan’s collection. What surprised me was how many people wanted to see it up close or hold it. Holding the item was the great part because QMX gave it a PVC shell making it have a squishy feeling. It was organic in the film, so why shouldn’t our prop replica be? “What is your bid?” Nope; only $14.95.
QMX will be at Comic Con this year and they look to debut several new products. They already have a Codex from The Guild coming, which will be 1/6 scale and realistic looking. They had a limited edition 11th Doctor Sonic Screwdriver already (it sold out) but there will be three more coming soon, The Master’s, River Song’s, and the Doctor’s. As we get older we want our toys (props replicas, statues, posters, and maquettes) to be of a finer quality. It’s nice to know that a company like QMX is out there delivering quality items at prices we can all afford.
Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.