Mr. Rant asks
“What would you do?”

We’re going to do something a little different today. Usually, I write my articles about something that frustrates, annoys, or upsets me. Since a lot of things in this world fit into those three categories, I’m never without something to talk about. But, every great once in a while, something happens in life and I don’t quite know how to react. This is one of those times…

Last Friday, the ItsAllTrue Crew headed up to Kansas City for the 2009 G.I. Joe Convention. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Even I had a pretty good time, except for one thing: the parachute drop.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the parachute drop itself was very interesting. I’ve never seen seven hundred toys thrown from a forty-story building before. As the Crimson Guard soldiers floated down to the waiting crowd, I had flashbacks in my mind of the opening sequence of G.I. Joe: The Movie. It was very cool. My friend, and fellow colleague on this site, Adventure Vault, was lucky enough to catch a Crimson Guard. This is something he had been talking about for a couple weeks before the con. He really wanted one of the Crimson Guards.

In a perfect world, you lucky readers would have had as extra review to read this week. You could feast your eyes on a twelve inch Crimson Guard review with some wonderful close up pictures and probably a funny line or two. But, as we all know, this isn’t a perfect world. I watched as Vault’s prize floated straight to him, he reached out his hand and grasped the strings of its chute. I was standing near him, and the first thing he did was turn towards me with a ridiculously huge smile on his face. Before I could even congratulate him though, a nearby Hasbro employee barked at Vault to give the toy he had caught to a kid nearby.

Keep in mind that all of this took place in a matter of seconds, and AdventureVault isn’t the type of person to argue about something like this. If I would’ve realized what was happening sooner, I would’ve argued in his stead. But I didn’t, and Vault turned and handed his Crimson Guard to the ten year old next to him. The Hasbro Employee was walking off by then, without even a thank you for Vault’s generous, but unnecessary act. None of the remaining Crimson Guards came anywhere near for either of us to even try for. The wind had changed and our luck with it. Talking with him about it later on, Vault said he was disappointed to not get one, but he was glad it went to a kid at least.

Here’s my problem, and maybe my intelligent readers can help me out, I don’t know how to feel about this. On one hand, some kid was given the chance to own an awesome toy. On the other hand, I feel like the Hasbro Designer overstepped his bounds when he felt it necessary to try and force my friend to give up something he rightfully caught. All around us, many adults were running around with their 12” prize. They weren’t asked to give theirs up. Not to mention all the adults who were outside with us waiting for the drop and didn’t even have passes to the Con. I even saw a few people walking away with more than one paratrooper. No Hasbro staff interfered with them either.

So, dear readers, what is your opinion? Does Hasbro have the right to tell us who gets to “catch” their free figures? Or do the fans have the right to say no, and walk away, clutching their prize?

17 thoughts on “Mr. Rant asks
“What would you do?”

  1. I wish I’d been over there with you guys, I would’ve caught up to the guy and said something even after Vault gave up his CG.

    It’s definitely not a bad thing that Vault gave his away, but the Hasbro Designer shouldn’t have been out there deciding who got what. That’s not his job. Once the Hasbro guy put Vault on the spot, there wasn’t a lot he could do other than give it away or be a jerk to a ten-year old. It was a bad situation, one that the Hasbro guy shouldn’t have put in motion.

  2. That is total and utter crap. If they didn’t want adults to have these things, they should cordon off the area to only parents with children. If they let you in the area, then you should have the same rights as everyone else.

    If you know the name of the Hasbro employee, you should send in a complaint. At least so he’s aware that he shouldn’t put his personal feelings out there for everyone to see. It’s good to know what at least one of Hasbro Designers thinks of collectors.

    If he thinks “it’s all for the kids” then he should switch to the Playskool division. It wasn’t kids that kept the franchise alive through DTC back when.

    And do they think they struck lightning with kids because the figure suddenly became updated versions of the originals? Yeah, that’s it.

    Vault, that’s a terrible thing to have happen. You are owed, sir.

  3. well i think it’s great that it ended up with a kid. i mean the fact that he lost it is sad and yeah i agree he didn’t need to give it to the kid but it was a really nice thing to do. i’m sure a lot of those people running around with handfuls of them would have told the hasbro guy to stuff it and not give up a single one.

    in the future maybe hasbro should give a couple to each of their employees to go around and give out to the kids if they really want to make sure kids get them or they should hold tickets to give to the nice individuals that willing gave theirs up to a child that would entitle them to come and pick up one from hasbro’s booth later.

  4. I’m still ambivalent. Vault was just as excited as these kids to get the crimson guard. So he wasn’t grabbing it to sale it or ebay it, he WANTED it. Also maybe that ten year old should have tried catching one instead of standing their and doing nothing. We shouldn’t reward them for being lazy :p

  5. dude, in my humble estimation, that was complete bullshit. AV won that, hands down… if he had pulled the thing from the hands of someone else, or there was any doubt as to who laid hand on it first, sure, default judgement to the kid. but since they didn’t have a “No Adults” policy in place, or apparently, any real policy is they had walk-ins, then fair’s fair, whoever grabs first scores their guard. that douche put AV i na really tough spot, and i hats-off to him for making the right call and surrendering the toy, cuz i’m sure there were bigger douchebags there that told that hasbro rep to fuck off. and frankly, while those people are pricks, they are totally w/in their rights in this case. i absolutely would complain to hasbro, and frankly, after some shit like that, i’d consider a boycott for a while. that is just ass-backwards of how you treat a fan AND a paying customer who played by the rules.

    1. It’s hard to boycott them after they had us drooling that panel.

      I’ve been to cons before, but this one had a special feeling. There was no DC vs Marvel or movies vs comics. It was a bunch of people all there for Joes. I’m sure there’s some ROC vs 25th going on, but it wasn’t as evident.

      But boycotting some of that would be financially sound, but very difficult after seeing it in person.

  6. I mean, you guys are talking about a toy, right? Who cares if it’s a collectible, it’s still a toy. Morally, you should’ve just gave it to a kid anyway. But if you really wanted it, you should’ve just said, “No” and walked off. I mean, you had it in your hand already, right? What were still doing there? Waiting to get a second like those dealers you were talking about? Seriously, all it takes is a, “No” sometimes. He isn’t gonna tackle you.

    1. I’m not comfortable with the idea that it is somehow more “moral” to give it to the kid.

      It might be nice, sweet, polite, kind, generous – but I wouldn’t bring ethics or morals into it. I wouldn’t consider someone that gives stuff way to children more morally superior than someone who doesn’t.

  7. Here’s the thing though. It was stated at the opening of the con that kids got first dibs on these. That was a set rule. What makes this year’s drop different is that in the past the event was only open to pre-registrants while this year it was open to the public (probably to promote the film).
    IMHO, that was a HUGE mistake. Not only does that mean that there are guaranteed to be more kids than free toys but it also means that *paying kids* are going to leave empty-handed. They should have made sure that their underage *customers* got first dibs, then non-paying kids, then adult members, and then the general public.
    There’s a woman on YouTube who wound up getting *five* of these figures by complaining to staff every time an adult member nearby caught one because she insisted that all five of her kids get toys (actually, only three were hers). Neither she nor the kids were paying members. There should’ve been a limit of 2 figures per family or at least for non-members families. I could see perhaps raising the limit if more than 2 in a family were paying members. I like the idea of handing out figure vouchers to persuade adult collectors to part with figures they catch in the drop. That’s an excellent idea. As such, it’s very unlikely that Fun Publications (the organization behind the convention) will do it.

  8. FIVE? Seriously?! WTF? If I had caught one of these toys, I’d make sure I gave it to a kid – just not any of hers.

  9. It was for sale for $50, so in the people holding the event’s eyes, the adult is suppose to buy theirs. It’s been an unwritten rule that it’s suppose to be “for the kids”.

    However, it’s not said that it is for the kids. It’s also not said anywhere that the toys are for the kids either. Because of that, nobody at the even has a leg to stand on really. Vault could have walked away and not even said anything if he wanted to. He wasn’t stealing. The whole “be nice to kids” is a joke to me. We were once kids and now we get crapped on as an adult. What’s a few more years early to show a kid what their going to get later on in life?

    Really they should have 2 drops. 1 for kids and 1 for adults. By doing that, they can keep these type of things from happening. They can rope off the area and keep the people that’s meant to be for their drop in that area.

    Another thing that went wrong with this drop is that it was announced on TV before the event. People that were not even going to the convention showed up. They should have made sure that only people wearing the convention name tag was at the event. All others thould ahve been turned away. THat alone wasn’t fair to anyone.

    1. Sorry about the bad typing on that… I didn’t realize I hit some wrong keys until after I made the post…

  10. I’m still unclear as to why they changed the format this year. Was it because of the movie? Correct me if I’m wrong, but this event has never been open to the public before has it? I was under the impression that it was for members and *their* kids only…not open to the general public. They should do it the same way they’ve done it in the past. Section off the drop zone until the figures land (so no one gets hurt), allow the kids with Aides membership packages in first, then the paying adults. When I went in 2007, my kid couldn’t even attend the drop because we were only walk-ins (day pass) and the event was only open to weekend preregistrants. In the future, they should only allow members at the drop. Opening it to the general public just creates all sorts of problems and it’s not fair to the kids who paid to attend and walked away with nothing.

  11. i bet the kid is scalping the figure on ebay already….
    no offence to the kid not like he pulled it out of his hands or anything….and it was prolly one of the hasbro employlee’s kids or maybe even the kid that that hasbro employee set up so he could get the figure…

    am i missing any more conspiracy theories

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