Oh, hello. Sorry, I’m just feeling a bit bummed. Why you ask? Well, we should be at the very start of con season right about now. Geeks everywhere should be putting the finishing touches on their cosplays, mapping out arenas, finalizing photo ops or signings, finding their most comfortable shoes, and most importantly, getting ready for the best weekend of the year. Except, we’re still living in a pandemic, despite whatever the hell Texas is doing, and COVID keeps proving why we can’t have nice things.
I miss going to conventions, Geeklings. I miss it so hard. There’s just something about being with a group of like-minded people and celebrating the things we love. Honestly, going to cons, especially New York Comic Con, help get me through the year. Up until COVID hit, I knew every year in October I was going to have a geeky vacation with my sister, my NYCC P.I.C., and it was going to be ten pounds of awesome in a five-pound bag. Now we live in a world of uncertainty where I’m not entirely sure if conventions will ever be the same. And that bums me out.
While we can’t have conventions, at least we have access to some of these convention exclusives. More specifically, Funko con exclusives. I may not have posted about my Funko obsession recently but let me assure you Geeklings, it’s alive and well. I’m still collecting and my collection is shaping up quite nicely if I do say so myself. All that money I saved by not going to restaurants and bars during quarantine really allowed me to make some find purchases. Granted, I’m a bit more selective with the pops that I purchase now, my wife would probably argue otherwise, but I’m still out there hunting. It’s all about the chase… and being able to display said item… and adding it to my Funko app, cataloging my collection.
This weekend was supposed to be Emerald City Comic Con and ECCC normally brings with it some pretty rad pops. Because I’ve become more selective in my purchasing there weren’t a lot of pops that had my interest this year. I had my eyes set on just one, well, two. They come in a combo pack.
That’s right, Billy and Tommy, a.ka. The Twins from WandaVision. Whether they’re real or just a construct of Wanda’s imagination is completely irrelevant (and yet to be seen). There was no way I was going to let these two slip through my fingers. And like any convention exclusive, one has to prep. One has to scope out what exclusives are going to what store. One has to prepare to be online at the exact moment they go on sale if one hopes to make a purchase. One has to be patient. One has to diligent. One has to hope the pops they want aren’t going to be lottery items or they can kiss their chances of getting said pop goodbye.
Luckily for this one, The Twins were an Amazon exclusive and yours truly has had some most excellent success when it comes to nabbing Amazon con exclusives. There are fond memories of being at the gym and getting a notification that a Thor Ragnarok SDCC exclusive was just made available and being able to snag it while on the elliptical. Good times! Needless to say, I was feeling confident. Of course, there’s the nervousness that comes before the purchase. That giddiness that hopefully you’ll be able to snag what you’re looking for. That’s what makes the collecting so fun or soul-crushingly brutal. It really depends on the day and the exclusive.
Most con exclusives drop around six o’clock Pacific, or more importantly, nine o’clock Eastern. Which means right at the start of the workday. Luckily, I’m suffering from a bit of a head cold these last couple of days and because of the new COVID rules, I had to work from home. No, I don’t have COVID again, don’t you wish that evil on me Ricky Bobby, my job just likes to take precautions. I’m all for it because I got to work in sweatpants and the world’s most comfortable cardigan all day. Seriously, this cardigan is made from a cloud. Not to mention it allows for better access when trying to purchase a con exclusive from the interwebs. Plus, a buddy of mine works for the same company so we were able to communicate back and forth on any and all updates. Funko purchasing is always made better when you’re able to share the experience with someone who understands the pain/stress.
Allow me to break down how this went.
2:05 am- I woke up because I needed to blow my nose (#headcold) and probably use the bathroom. It happens in the middle of the night more and more. I blame it on the obscene amounts of water I drink but it’s probably a mix of getting older too. I’m not here to discuss that. When I woke up, I checked my phone to see if there were any alerts to The Twins possibly dropping a little early. It happens. And yes, I get Funko alerts through a Twitter feed. They’re incredibly helpful.
There were no alerts but I did have a message from Ken, said buddy from work, with a link. For a minute I thought maybe they had dropped early and I would be able to make my purchase now, at two o’clock in the morning like a normal person, and then wouldn’t have to worry about it in the morning. I really could have done with that sweet relief but he had just sent me the link on Amazon for when it was time.
2:10 am- I went back to sleep.
5:55 am- Woke up to feed Hudson the Cat. Checked phone for alerts, there were none so I went back to sleep.
6:40 am- I hit snooze on my alarm clock because I wasn’t feeling well enough to work out this morning. I needed the sleep.
6:50 am- Hit snooze on my alarm clock.
7:00 am- Hit snooze on my alarm clock.
7:10 am- Hit sno- you get the point here.
7:40 am- Got out of bed, showered, started getting ready for work. Had to choose which sweatpants I would be wearing today. It’s all about comfortability but also confidence.
8:30 am– Start of the workday. Sign in to work, catch up on emails, and load up the link Ken sent me last night and get it ready for refreshing at ten to nine.
8:53- During a round of refreshing, the Amazon exclusives look to become available. Well, all of them except The Twins who are listed as “unavailable” implying that they sold out in seconds. Annoyance begins to settle in.
8:55-9:20 am- Search Twitter for any information regarding The Twins, find out that the Amazon links aren’t working correctly and that there seems to be an error with the Amazon exclusives. A little bit of a sigh of relief but not much.
9:20-11:00 am- Randomly refresh the Amazon page to see if there is any new information or if The Twins have been made available. There isn’t. The Funko account I follow says The Twins have yet to be released. There is hope. I tell Ken.
11:10 am- When you click on the image of The Twins it now takes you to their page. They’re still listed as unavailable, but it seems Amazon is getting ready to put them up for sale. Hope continues.
11:20 am- While refreshing, the load time slows down dramatically. Possible 11:30 release time? Nope, just traffic I suppose. Hope now mixed with confusion. Also, concern that my phone battery may need charging.
11:50 am– I begin to grow suspicious that The Twins could be released at noon. I start refreshing the page again.
11:58 am- The Twins are now available! I quickly throw them in my shopping cart and get ready to make my purchase. I send Ken a pre-typed message letting him know they’re live. I stressfully sign into my Amazon account, click Complete Purchase, and then am immediately filled with a sense of victory and relief. The hunt was successful!
Noon-5:00 pm- Work as normal.
Am I still bummed that cons are put on a seemingly permanent hold? Yes, of course, I am. Is that sadness put at bay by purchasing the one Funko exclusive I wanted from this con? You bet your ass it is!
How about you Geeklings? How are you dealing with the lack of cons? Did any of you purchase any exclusive pops today? Sound off with your experience below in the comments or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. We may not be able to celebrate together at a convention but we can celebrate in the infinite void that is the internet. And isn’t that just as good?