Comic-Con sounds like a fandom members dream come true, for some people it might even be termed Nerd Heaven. But as always there’s an underbelly to all things bright, shiny, fluffy, and good– and I don’t just mean the ass end of your sweet, unassuming pet cat, I mean something else entirely. I feel like the conversation should start like this, “cool story bro, my cousin went down to Comic-Con in San Diego last week or so, and came back with all this free Hunger Games shit…, he even got some of the cast of the sequel to sign stuff for him!” And the person this person is talking to says, “ah, that’s cool man, I bought all that stuff off ebay two days ago.” Aye, there’s the rub– the exploitative, and shady nature of it all. I mean we knew it would happen, it was as they say, inevitable. But it still stings, y’know?
Right now there are four pages worth of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire merchandise that was exclusive to Comic-Con 2013, up on ebay. I know this because I just looked over them all. It’s not news to those of you who regularly read our stuff here at Victor’s Village, but I am not a merchandise kind of person, unless it’s an original Macintosh chair from the late 19th century, which no one can afford– including me. I do however realize that there are people out there who love all that stuff, all that Mockingjay laden, orange fire detailed, poster-y stuff. Some of you would even call your selves collectors, and some of you are going to be willing to fork over $10 to $30 for a Mockingjay pin that was procured at Comic-Con. What I can’t fathom though is this: There were, or actually are people who willingly stood in line for hours, put up with the screaming, pushing, and pulling hoards, as in the hoards that were disbanded three times by the Fire Marshall, to get their hands on a pin made out of cheap metal, and are now exploiting the fervor for the symbolism behind that measly little pin off on willing and likely a little bit ignorant Hunger Games fans. I say ignorant, because in all likelihood the pin will be made available in a matter of weeks or months to everyone, and buying it off ebay will have made you, well… a sucker.
So we covered that people in those long-ass, noisy, and reckless lines were not all Hunger Games fans. At least that’s the assumption that I’ve made as evidenced by such prized merchandise being put up for profit on an online auction site. I said there are four pages worth of merchandise, right? Well, this is the worst bit, or at least what I personally think is the worst. Remember how certain cast members were on hand for part of the festivities, and that they signed a Mac truck load of posters, books, and possibly babies, for people? Yeah, well some of those posters have made their way online to ebay. This means that
some of those people who stood in those lines, and took time and space away for people who would actually keep, and prize those posters, and those pins, and those minutes with the cast– went and turned around and exploited the time and energy that people like Meta Golding, Bruno Gunn, Stephanie Leigh Schlund, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright, and Willow Shields put in– and are attempting to make money off of them. Essentially they’ve been used, and it was without their immediate knowledge, or their permission. Think about it, they probably looked those people in the eye, smiled, exchanged hellos, maybe even had brief conversations with them– and now those experiences have been for all intents and purposes tainted for the cast members who participated. Currently a combo pack of three posters signed by Bruno Gunn, Meta Golding, and Stephanie Leigh Schlund, along with a Catching Fire Mockingjay pin is (sorry, was— bidding ended, and no one bid), going for $99.00 US. Don’t do it kids, save your money, ask cast members via Twitter if they have fan mail P.O. boxes, get your posters signed without having to go through a middle man who just wants your money. Or, wait until after the premiere in November, we’ll likely have prizes for you all if you participate in one of our many content based contests. You have to win of course.
Winning is half the battle, and not just a catch phrase of Charlie Sheen’s.
Them There Eyes