With the announcement of there being several Celebration 4 exclusive items in the Ralph McQuarrie Concept Figure lineup, I couldn't help but feel some anger well up inside me. Not because I want those figures and can't live without them, mind you, but because of how their very existence will create the worst sucker-bait in the history of the 3 3/4" part of the hobby.
R2D2, C-3PO, and Luke Skywalker are part of a collection that many (myself NOT included) are really enthusiastic for. In the past Jorg Sacul and Darth Vader were stand-alone pieces you could live without if you weren't suffering from the worst completist syndrome. Not so, this time around.
There remains hope that all 3 figures will be summer con exclusives, and turn up at Comic Con, Wizard Con, and on HasbroToyShop or ShopStarWars for a reasonable price and quantity purchased limit so everyone can get one. "Exclusive" and "Restrictive" are two different descriptions for a collectible with limited outlets. Also, there is a carded Luke Skywalker in the TAC lineup, and the possibility remains it is just this figure with a different card and coin.
Well, my estimate of how worthwhile it will be to scalp these figures, or eBay them, fortunately doesn't make it fair too well for the exploiters in the hobby. It'll be nearly $1,000 for the hotel for 5 nights (or less for a shorter stay) plus money for parking, food, admission - not to intentionally think of that last. Sure many scalpers live in LA, or even live in their cars probably. But these figures might only fetch as much as $150 maximum, if you judge them by way of the 1997 Special Edition Theater Luke - of which there were likely a vastly smaller quantity prepared (the first 50 in line at each participating theater got them). So a scalper might just break even - might. In the case of the McQuarrie figures, Hasbro has to make enough and sell enough to justify their creating the injection molds according to their business model (which explains why we don't have a Sailbarge whereas Pirates have the Black Pearl - so they say).
With the Fan Club Store being open 24 hours, these figures won't be that rare. Perhaps they'll only garner half that previous price guess on eBay and wind up being sold at Star Tours as well (OK - so not with the nifty special coin you can decorate your little play album with - re-read with heavy sarcasm please).
Myself? I'm fairly certain I will not attend C4 in spite of being a veteran of the past three Celebrations in Denver and Indianapolis. I'm just not feeling it this time. Perhaps since there's no movie, and the TV shows have progressed to almost nowhere. As to the figures? I'd open them and use them for diorama fillers in Mos Eisley, Coruscant, and Bespin. But maybe by the time I'm setting all that up in a few years or so, the price for these figures (especially someone selling them loose) will have taken a tremendous fall. But I'll pay $10 a piece for them this year. Any offerings?