You may think I’m ridiculous but I can guarantee at least one of you out there has made one of these “geek buys.” A friend pointed out to me that George Lucas’ mission since Return of the Jedi was to merchandize his creation to within an inch of its life. And if you’ve been to any convention and seen the Yoda backpacks you know what I mean.
Now Star Wars may be one of the most profitable properties in the world but DC and Marvel Comics are leading the pack along with it. Who among us doesn’t own an action figure of their favorite character? In fact, I bet you own five. I’m looking at thirteen right now and those are just the ones within direct view. You might try and tell your coworkers they’re for your kids but we all know what’s up. Though, you may have graduated to busts and statues as you got older. Nothing wrong with that, right? It’s like, art. Or maybe you get a raise and decide to splurge on that $350 replica of Thor’s helmet. Before you know it you’ve got a Bat symbol at the bottom of your pool.
Geeks are one of the most profitable demographics in history if you adjust for our numbers. Besides the fact that Action Comics #1 sold for $1.5 million this past year (meaning, there’s one RICH geek out there), we buy mass quantities of merchandise. Slap the word “exclusive” on something and you make it even more tantalizing for collectors. If only we weren’t such a diminutive crowd maybe we could help boost the economy a little bit.
And it’s not just your normal toys and collectables either. It’s the “gimme a break” to the downright ridiculous. Hostess Green Lantern Glo Balls anyone? Recent film adaptations of our favorite characters have pushed merchandising to the edge with Iron Man, Spider-Man, the Hulk and Batman plastered on everything you can think of. I don’t know if you’re aware but there’s a line of Batman products at Pottery Barn for Kids. POTTERY BARN. Batman and Pottery Barn go together like Batman and Little Orphan Annie. Sure, if I had a kid I’d probably want to steer them in the direction of something I loved as a kid too. Some Batman sheets are great but once we get into talk of sconces, I’m out.
I can’t complain too much because the stuff I buy makes me happy. Consumerism at its best obviously. But a lot of people really can’t stand the overboard marketing that accompanies our favorite comic book characters. Too bad those people aren’t ever going to be satisfied. Supply and demand. They keep producing, we keep buying.
I won’t ever call my action figures useless (because as well all know, action figures rock) but I have made a few purchases over the years I am willing to call myself ridiculous for. Off the top of my head, the felt Poison Ivy I bought off Etsy because it was so damn cute. Told you. Ridiculous. But I just had to have it.
I’m a lost cause, but what about you? Are you a victim of geek merchandising? What’s your Holy Grail?What's the most ridiculous geek merch you have?