HoTS Exclusive On The Elvira Funko Pop Mess

Spooky EmpireFor those who attended Spooky Empire Con this past weekend (review of the show itself is coming tomorrow), there are two words that will make your blood curl. Elvira Pop.  By now, there are thousands of versions of what happened.  So what really did happen?  As strange as this sounds from an eye witness, I don’t think any one really knows.  Here is what we do know.  On October 15th, eleven days before the show, Spooky Empire and Elvira made an announcement that there would be an exclusive Halloween variant of her Funko Pop exclusively at the show.

Spooky Empre

I arrived at Noon on Friday and got in to the building at 2:30.  When I got inside, the line for the Elvira Pop looked like the outside of a Best Buy at 3 AM on a Black Friday.  There were fans who had allegedly camped out the night before to ensure their place in line.  The staff and volunteers announced they would begin selling the Pop at 4 PM.  This didn’t make a lot of sense because Elvira was scheduled for a costume photo op at 5:30 and I was told she would not be signing on Friday.  On a side note, the Pop line and the photo op line for Elvira nearly blended into each other and made for a giant mass of people in the hallway.  What happened next is where this gets really strange.

A little after 6 PM (maybe it was closer to 7, the day ran together on me and you will understand why), there was an announcement made by the staff that the Pops had not arrived in the building.  They “might” be there by 11 PM.  The Saturday allotment would also be delayed because they were stuck in Chicago.  From what I gathered from several people in line, they announced they would be selling the pop in the form of a ticket and the ticket would get you the pop.

Please note, this is hearsay, as I was in the photo op line for 80% of Friday night (not kidding).  They also announced that they were only selling X amount for Friday.  That meant several hundred people who had been spending hours (8 plus from several sources) in line would not be able to buy their pop.  This of course angered a LOT of people.   Things got physical allegedly and a mob mentality formed.  Apparently some Pops did arrive and be collected on Friday.  The whole issue was such a mess, Elvira herself (as her alter ego, Cassandra Peterson) addressed the issue on her social media.

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

I did confirm that there are/were several of the Pops signed and unsigned going on eBay for several hundreds.  Is that illegal?  No, not exactly.  These re-sellers were able to find a loophole by buying the limit and then having their children wait in line too so they could buy the limit.  Do I agree with them?  I don’t, but it will happen no matter what.  This is what will always happen when an exclusive anything goes on sale somewhere.

Clint NarramoreQuietly, a final shipment did arrive on Sunday and the fans who were at the show were able to buy them and were limited to two until the shipment ran out.  Elvira did sign these (as included in the price).  The signed pop did not include her personalizing each one (and that is OK, because there were 400 people with one).  It was a giant mess all the way around for this exclusive Pop, limited to 1500.

So, who’s to blame?  That list is longer than the suspect list in 1963 of who killed President Kennedy.  There is so much blame here, I think almost all parties involved can share equal parts.  To her credit, Elvira/Cassandra is the ONLY one who addressed the issue.  To date, Spooky Empire, Funko or the company that failed to get the delivery on time have all been silent and I do not think that will change.

On social media, more than one person put out that Spooky Empire staff members were rude about the incident and told fans, they knew the risk when they came to the show.  Assuming this was in fact said, is there truth to there being a risk?  Of course.  Was that the most diplomatic way to handle this situation?  No.  A lot of people look bad.  There were memes and jokes over the weekend making fun of the situation.

This makes Elvira look bad as well.  But voicing my opinion from what I saw, I think she is the only one who does not need to take blame on this.  Elvira was not in charge of delivery or distribution.  Elvira agreed to have her likeness used and agreed to sign each on as a part of the price tag.  She could not pre-sign what did not arrive.  She was also the only one in this mess to address it instead of waiting for it to go away.

Now I know it is easy for me to sit here and write this after the fact.  Someone asked me how I would have handled this.  Spooky Empire HAD to know that this was going to get ugly.  If not, someone is asleep at the wheel.  I walked in on Friday, saw the line and immediately decided I was not going to wait in it.  I knew there were hundreds of people and most of them were going to take the max.  Here is what I think SHOULD have happened.

Spooky Empire and Funko knew how many Pops were allotted for Friday.  They should have had tickets and given that many tickets when the line formed.  There should have been 1-3 people who’s job it was to hand out tickets.  When the tickets were gone, CAP THE LINE!  That hall was a fire hazard ready to happen.  That line would have not only been capped, but they could have told ticket holders when they could pick up the Pops.  How do I know this would have worked?  Ask any con who has a major celeb come in for signing.

HorrorHound is a perfect example.  They had tickets with times on them for Robert Englund and Bruce Campbell autograph sessions.  When they were out of tickets, the line was capped.  The fan is then responsible for holding his/her ticket(s).  When they get to the front, they turn in their ticket and money for the (in this case) Pop.  Would people have been upset?  Of course.    Would they have avoided the cops being called?  Yes.  Would they have had people stand in line for 8 plus hours, only to receive grief?  No.  Funko could have communicated better with Spooky on the delivery and the delivery could have been made on time.  BUT, had those last two things have happened, you still have a giant mess.  Two fans took to YouTube to explain what they experienced.

All in all, this was a failed experiment.  It was easy for people to blame Elvira, when in the end the blame goes much further.  Her only involvement other than putting her signature on the Pop was using her likeness.  People will argue that she made her money.  Sure, she probably did, but at the same time had nothing to do with the mess that ensued.  The delivery company dropped the ball on making a timely delivery.  But at the end of the day, the execution of getting the Pops to the fans falls on Spooky Empire and for that they have to take their lumps.

Overall Grade on the Elvira Funko Situation: F


Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint

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