Saturday, September 08, 2007

Battlestar Merchandisica - the Techie Invasion

TV techies have invaded a local comic store, and they are here for merchandise – their own.
I was moseying through the Brentwood Town Centre in Burnaby today on my lunch break. It’s near my new workplace and it’s been a couple of years since I’d been in that particular mall. I was pleasantly surprised to find a comic and gaming store, Comic Land (part of a small local chain), nestled up on the second floor. It hadn’t been there the last time I was in, so I decided to check it out. Had a nice conversation with the manager and found out that location had opened only about a month ago.
But a month has been more than enough time to stage an invasion.
While poking through the various figurines, models and toys I asked the intrepid merchant if he had any of the Titanium line of Battlestar Galactica ships. I’ve been looking for the Galactica itself for months, but haven’t been able to find it (or any of the other ships released in the line, for that matter). Yeah, I know I could probably find a couple of vendors on e-bay within a few seconds and feed my fanboy fetish, but I’d rather buy from a store around here – support the local guy who’s busting his hump, ya know?
This is where it gets interesting… The manager confides that he hasn’t been able to keep them on the shelves. Not because of lineups of ardent fanboys peeling themselves away from their TV sets to venture out into the strangeness of sunlight on an odyssey of toy-buying (like yours truly). Oh no. The Battlestar toys are getting scooped-up by the crew who work on the set of the show just down the road at the Vancouver Film Studios. Seems they descend on the joint like locusts (and have even been known to phone in beforehand) on a very regular basis to buy up all the merchandise they can get their hands on.
I guess it’s good for this guy’s business, but what about the rest of us? First come, first serve I guess.
Makes me wonder why they’re doing it.
Is it because the crew themselves are huge fans of the show? And why not? Seeing it from the inside, they must know they’re part of a good thing and may have an affection for something they’re crafting that no mere viewer can match.
Is it because they want some memento of the show because it’s going to end soon and they’re too straight-laced or cautious to bother snatching a souvenir from the set?
Or, more cynically, is this an investment? Knowing how great Battlestar is, and knowing it’s coming to an end, and knowing how devoted fans can be, are they sucking up all the merchandise in an effort to corner the market? Are they taking possession of all the, well, possessions so that they can sit on the ships and figures and whatnot for a while, let the fan nostalgia – and the merchandise value build, then sell it all for a bundle and put their kids through college or pay for a trip to Cuba? Think of the value if they could get the merchandise signed by cast members. If that’s their game, I can’t really say as I blame them. I mean, there’s not a lot of difference between the collectibles market and antiques or the stock market. It’s just, I do kind of blame them ‘cause I’d like to buy one myself.
Or is there another reason that hasn’t occurred to me? (entirely likely)
Maybe one of these days I’ll get lucky and wander in sometime just after the new stock has arrived, and just before the crew who shoot the show that inspires it.

Fleeing from the studio techie purchasing tyranny, a Battlestar fanboy, bloginhood, continues on a lonely quest – a shining collectible, known as the Titanium series.

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