Sep 17, 2011

A Short Rant on America's Got Talent

Begin rant - what in the world is with America's Got Talent!?!?

 For the third season in a row, a solo singer wins out over an ensemble group that displayed a  LOT MORE complexity, skill, and creativity! Last year, we got a blue eyed soul singer who is ripping off Joe Cocker and this year we get the Rat Pack revisited while exciting groups like Fighting Gravity, Recycled Percussion, and Team iLuminate finish third....THIRD?!?!?!?!

Check with New World Angi, I have been saying since the first Las Vegas shows two or so months ago that I cannot get behind Team iLuminate because they will get to the finals and finish third. Look what happens. I personally want to see the voting results, because I cannot fathom how the singer beats the group AGAIN. It almost seems like the group does not get it because it would be too difficult to split the million dollar annuity prize, AND it is cheaper to mount a show for a solo singer than a variety group (not to mention all the tutors for the kids in Silhouttes)

I love the show, but I have serious doubts about its credibility now.

End rant.

Sep 4, 2011

Comics and Everyday People

Having recently done a mall show with a non comic targeted crowd, I found it quite interesting how people outside the regular comic demographic view comic books today.  Some of the observations have a definite tie in to the current DC digital initiative while others are downright troubling when it comes to selling comics.

  1. The Kids Don't Care - so, here we are in the middle of a major metropolitan mall over the course of three days, and I can count on less than two hands how many kids under 12 came up and started looking at the books of their own accord.  Most of the time, they went for the action figures first and had to be pointed to the comics by their parents.   Additionally, kids do not like to dig in the boxes, so the "joy of discovery" was a non factor.
  2. "Hot" or "Not" - I had at least five adults who stopped by who identified themselves as former collectors, but they had not been following the books for a couple of years.  When I started talking about Secret Invasion, World War Hulk, and Blackest Night, all I got was blank looks.   Upon further investigation, a couple of years really meant the late 90s!   Even with everything done in the past four years or so to gain media attention, people still remember the Death of Superman and Mutant Massacre storylines.   I had one person (ONE!) ask if I had any of the new Death of Spider-Man issues (as one of the other dealers asked "Spider-Man died?").  As I tried to explain some of the recent big events, the dominant reactions revolved around the size and accessibility of the storylines.   The Big Two talk about attracting new readers yet these huge storylines appear to scare them off.   
  3. Signs, Signs, Everywhere There's Signs - Call it the Wal-Mart syndrome.   If there is not a price directly on the box that comics were in, I was consistently questioned on how much the books were.  Nevermind that there are 12 boxes with "Comics - 2 for $1" signs on every three boxes, if they were looking at a box between the signs, people had to ask how much it cost.   I even had questions about the post it notes on the action figures asking what the number meant  (Um, that's the price).   After doing so many shows, this really brought home how much I was used to the usual nomenclature and signage of the comic book show.  "Normals" did not have the same assumptions or base concepts.
  4. Scary Comment of the Day - From a passerby - "Comic books.  They still make those?"
Bottom line, despite their own insular best efforts, the scope of the comic book industry has greatly decreased. The characters are known, but the individual stories and issues are not.  I picked up nearly 500 issues, all DC and Marvel, from the past three years from one person for a sad 0.25/issue.   Considering the average $2.99 cover price, that is even a worse return on investment than the stock market for the past few years. Moreover, there is no interest to pick up the stories even by casual fans EVEN AT A BARGAIN PRICE POINT!  So, I will have to save these books for the next true comic show.

DC has realized that they will have to do what the rest of the print industry has been in the process of doing the past few years - "Change or Die".  If they cannot bring in the younger readers or the casual readers, then our industry, our hobby, our passion, is on life support, no matter how much we may want to deny it.
Marvel needs to get on a similar path as their continual churn of "The Next Big Thing" and "The Next Big Death" is only cannibalizing long term sales for short term spikes.   Marvel is trying to replicate the speculator frenzy of the 90s by creating events and hoping readers stick around.  We have been down this path before, and we know how it ends (hello, Wizard).  Instead, if they could use their big multi-media properties, movies, and TV shows, to promote the books and have more of an integration between the platforms, that would drive more sales.  The current new Wolverine and Iron Man series are great examples of this, yet I have not seen one single "Read the Book" ad on any of these shows.    Hopefully, DC's new promotions, even as limited as they are, will spur some action over at the House of Ideas.

While the sales from the mall show were nowhere near expectations, the experience was illuminating.   For the various retailers complaining about the DC digital initiative, they should try setting up at something similar to this and see how the world beyond their "Wall Books" views their product and presentation.  The occasional customer looking through the lines of boxes could very well be a preview of their own future.

Jun 24, 2011

Concord Mills Show

If you are reading this now, you might have met us at the Concord Mills Cards and More Show put on by Exceptional Collectibles.  If so, thanks for dropping by and make sure to jump to our Amazon storefront (see up there) for some more great stuff.

If not, and you are in the Charlotte region, come on by and see us sometime this weekend (June 24- 26).  I am not sure where we will be, but look for the black grid with all the action figures and a tired looking guy next to it.

This is our first mall show, so it will be interesting to see how things go with a "passing" audience as opposed to the "targeted" audience of a comic and toy show.  Hopefully, we can draw some attention and sales, and it is a very high traffic mall, so we are curious to see how things turn out.  

There are a number of other sports card dealers there, so I am afraid we might stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.  That could be a good thing though.

So, wish us luck, we hope to see you there, and one of us will be chasing after the baby.

Yes, I know I need to put together that summary of Heroes Con.  I really loaded up on some of the art.  However, do you every buy a bunch of stuff, and when you look back, you see something that makes you go...."What was I thinking?"

May 28, 2011

Time to Get Back in the Blogging Saddle!

Well, the last year has certainly been full of lots of fun stuff as we have welcomed the latest addition to the New World Family - Joanne!

One year down the road, and she is getting all over the place, but she hasn't squished any action figures yet. Give her time though. She also discovered a Spider-Man chair and apparently loves the color scheme.

However, if you are here and not a member of the immediate family and friends, you are probably not here to hear about the wonders of children growing up. Rather, you are here to read or talk about the wonders of keeping a bit of childhood with you!

So...let's go through some of the highlights, shall we?

!!New Arrivals!! We have acquired 800 plus Marvel and WWF figures from the mid 90s still in the original shipper cases. Highlights include some of the Marvel model kits, Marvel vs. Capcom two packs, Silver Surfer Cosmic Racers, WWF Finishing Moves, WWF Bone Crunching Buddies and many many more. The vast lot of these will be moving into our Amazon store over the summer while excess stock will be on our $10 or less sections at shows later this year

!!Figure Review!! If the latest batch of Iron Man figures is any indication, the revived Marvel Legends line is going to be a MAJOR disappointment. I saw the new Hulkbuster Iron Man and was laughing out lout at it. Keep a hold of those Toy Biz versions folks. These new ones are just going to drive up the value of their better ancestors.

!!Movies!! Thor was great and exceeded my expectations. If they do not get an Oscar for the costumes, then that is outright stupidity by the academy. Also, did anyone else dig the Rainbow Bridge effect as much as I did? (and did anyone else expect a Mario Kart racer to come flying on down it?) Green Lantern? Let's put it this way.....I will probably wind up Netflixing it.

!!Shows!! Finally, we will be doing shows again in the second half of 2011. While details on some are tentative, we will be setting up at the NC Comicon in Morrisville, NC and the Inside Pitch show in Greensboro, NC in November.