Orlando,FL. – It seems once again Orlando is making news in the Funko community as Spooky Empire, self listed as one of the “most respected” horror event promotions companies, holds their annual Halloween event. But this year came with a twist, the Orlando horror con will have it’s very first exclusive pop!. An Elvira, mistress of darkness pop! was being offered at Spooky, with a new twist. Each pop! was to be purchased for $55. Well above any other retail price for a pop!, but this would also include a personalization from the mistress herself. Sounds pretty cool. And it is answering many Orlando collectors questions, since they seem to host some sort of con every month, “When are we gonna see an exclusive pop!? Well, you got one, well, sort of.
For the past few years Funko has had a Funkoween Pop! released somewhere to celebrate the holiday. Usually limited to 1500 pieces and always a hot seller for both the venue and resellers, or what we refer to as flippers. This years is, or should I say should have been no different. Oh boy, is that an understatement.
It seems the only thing that was the same from years past was the number of releases. What happened with this years Funkoween pop! , the supposed handling of the crowd by the staff, and what transpired on Friday is why we are writing this article.
Now this isn’t the first time the “Mistress of the dark” Elvira has been featured as a Funkoween pop!. In 2016 she was sporting her sexy red dress, and big orange sticker as that years 1500 piece funkoween exclusive, so we were excited to see her back this year. And she just happened to be showing up in our own backyard! We all knew this was gonna be a big one. Shit, the resale value on the one sold in 2016 is around $320. So to say the “flippers” were going to be out in full force was an understatement.
The Shit Show Starts
It started late Thursday night, when reports starting coming in about people already gathering. Now, according to Spooky Empire the pop! was not going to go on sale until Saturday, with a 3 per person limit. This is where things get a little cloudy. As the week went on, and the event grew closer, things started to change.
It was being said that now you would go get your pop! on one day, then be given a voucher to come back the following day and get it personalized. For flippers, or ones like me who aren’t into the whole signed pop! this was sort of welcome news. I could grab my pop! or in their cases they could grab their 3 and be on our way. Well, remember I said things changed as the event grew closer.
By Friday morning I don’t think the hotel or Spooky Empire was prepared for what they saw. I am pretty sure all those that waited 8 hours in line were not aware of what was going to transpire in this time frame.
Now let me first make something very clear. For the past 3 years I have been sharing stories of scam “con” companies and how lucrative the whole industry has become. Many of these promoters cover the event from head to toe in small print and rules you “abide to” when purchasing your tickets. So before we go on, let me be clear, I DO NOT support any CON. What once was a great way to meet like minded people, make new friends and check out all the local shops in one place, has turned into a million dollar business and as you will see by the end of this article, they have free range to do what they want. OK, I am of the soap box, let’s continue.
We are In
As many started making their way into the venue, paying their entrance fee of $40 and heading in, news started to fly around.
In one Funko group the post read “Oh boy ! All Hell’s gonna break loose ? Elvira funko will not be at spooky till 11:30 pm ! People are pissed. #Facts “
As this news spread across the social media networks, many were still making their way in, and they were collecting that $40 entrance fee all along while guest where being left in the dark! Even with the word from some that the Funkoween pop! was delayed, guest still piled in, paying their $40 entry fee. All under the assumption that the pop! would be there TODAY!
At one point they were telling ticket holders that the delay was supposedly caused by UPS, everyone always wants to blame big brown. (18 year UPS driver retired) But now in this 2 hour time frame there was more news and more posts were coming from inside Spooky Empire,
“Still in line they are going to give us vouchers so we can come back at 11:30 tonight or tomorrow or Sunday” said one paying guest.
And then came the announcement that no one wanted to hear…… as one post said,
“Apparently they stopped the vouchers”
That’s right, with just a few hours into the event, with HUNDREDS of paying guest coming in to grab their $55 pop! They just stopped selling the vouchers. What happened next is still a mystery. I have reached out to my media contact at Spooky Empire, but it seems my email has now been blocked? But that would go hand in hand on how people at the event said things were handled.
So Now What
So as of today, Saturday the message is a mixed one. Sources have told us that VIP’s from Friday night, with about 40 GA were able to get the coveted Elvira pop!. Others that are asking if they will be sold today? are being told NO, and that they are getting sent back to Funko to let them deal with the fuckery.
Take Away From This
What I think is many are furious over the lack of trust and feeling like they were scammed. Not to mention the money!
At what point did the event know they had no pop! to sell? And yet they kept selling vouchers to about 400 people.
Also, if that announcement was made well in advance, how many would not have paid that $40 entrance fee?
We can do that math for you, we love breaking down the numbers. It is guestemated that around 1200 guest were there to purchase the Elvira Pop!. So that would be an increased revenue on just entrance fees of…..$48,000. You starting to understand this aren’t you. And as most cons they of course protect themselves with the following NO REFUNDS!
Now let’s break down the Pop! voucher sales numbers. I still chuckle writing out this price tag….. $55 per Pop! and they are said to have sold roughly 400 vouchers. That’s $22,000 in pop sales. With no product. Amazing!
As I stated in my little soapbox rant above, what once use to be a place to meet like-minded people to share in a fun event, has taken a back seat to money and greed. yes as a collector myself I do understand the non cosplayer market that these events attract. And sure you can still enjoy yourself at a Con. Remember I said I was tattooed at many different Cons. But it now includes a hefty price tag, a no refund policy, and at the end of the day, they are just a business trying to make as much as they can off of your passion and creativity instead of having that same passion and creativity.