Opinion: The State of the Transformers Fandom…Such As It Is
So, a few days back, Hasbro posted a video on the official Transformers Facebook account. They talked about Hascon. They didn’t really tell us much about it, but did announce changes to the autograph policy that so many people were pissed off about. I have to give it to Hasbro. At least they are listening. I even asked them a question about having art signed since it is not official product and got a response in the affirmative.
Then I made the mistake of attempting to engage in discussion. I posted my opinion on the pricing and was immediately attacked by, let’s call him Asswipe. He’s not worth my posting his name. Clearly this guy has his lips so firmly attached to Pete Sinclair’s ass (I won’t speculate where his hands might be) that he can’t see which way is up let alone have a constructive conversation. I am giving Hascon a chance, just like I gave Fun Pub a chance. Frankly, if it had just been Asswipe and one of his cronies who joined to conversation last night, I really wouldn’t have cared. But it wasn’t just them.
Out from whatever rock he lives under slithered Pete Sinclair. Now, I never used to blame Pete for Botcon. I blamed Brain Savage for that. Maybe I should have been blaming Pete too, because it’s very clear he is totally on the same page them them. Silly me for giving him the benefit of the doubt.
So Pete starts with me, completely ignoring what I said for what he wanted me to have said so he could make his point about how great Fun Pub did Botcon, probably jacking himself off as he typed.
The problem is, this wasn’t about admission prices. Pete made it personal. After a few back and fourths, I tried to let it go. Someone once said, “when they go low, we go high.” I even wished him luck on his convention. (I actually do, or did before he kept going.) I was content to walk away from it. But Pete just couldn’t let it go. So this was my response to Pete:
Let’s talk about Fun Pub’s business practices. So, you’re saying that for $400 you get all that stuff. How then do you justify charging $400 for a non-attending preregistration package where you don’t get the free attending figure, the casino dinner night, the autographs, the pictures with the guests, access to the exhibit hall, and access to all the panels? Oh, and charging shipping on top of that. How about charging $75 for for an UNPAINTED pre-assembled custom class toy? Brian just had to get a piece of the money people were making on eBay selling the unbuilt kits, didn’t he? How about when you receive your boxed set of toys you find that they are not assembled correctly, or not painted correctly, and the only answer you get after paying so much for them is, “well, that’s Hasbro, we can’t do anything about it”. No other business in the world would get away with providing defective merchandise and shrugging it off as too bad. What about raising prices to pay for a registration system that broke down every year? How about using systems so cheap that people got their credit cards stolen. Or how about my favorite. “We said you’d get two guns for SG Drift. We never said you’d get one of each.” (I’m paraphrasing). That was what you said, wasn’t it? That was YOUR answer to people who didn’t get what they overpaid for. Fun Pub’s business practices are deplorable. Anyone paying attention can see that. There is more, I can go on. I think I will. How about opening the club store before the dealer room, so Fun Pub could make some quick cash by selling stuff other than exclusives before the dealers who had paid to be there could even start selling? Revenge of the Fallen First day issue stickers. Don’t bother actually putting them on the toys. Hand them out so people can put them on any toy they want effectively making them worthless. Brian Savage used this fandom like an ATM machine. Do you really think the only reason Hasbro took the license away was because they wanted to do Hascon? Once in the last few years registration started, stopped almost immediately due to technical problems (that happened more than once) and Brian sent out an apology and pointed out that it wasn’t a reflection on the brand. Do you expect me to believe that wasn’t because Hasbro was tired of Fun Pub making the brand look bad? Hasbro can frame it nicely all they want, but if they were honest, I think they would tell us that they were as sick of Fun Pub as I and so many others are.
I eagerly awaited Pete’s response, expecting an impassioned defense of Fun Pub’s misdeeds. That isn’t what I got. If you wish to read it verbatim, go look on Facebook (it won’t take you long to read). I’m not sure of the etiquette for quoting someone’s Facebook comments off of Facebook, but here’s the gist. I got a very short response. One saying that it was too long so he didn’t read it. He claimed to have skimmed it. He said he wouldn’t relitigate the past. And then went back to say my comparison of pricing was not accurate, which it was in the context of that I actually said. I never said anyone had to agree with me.
So then I responded again.
Too long? Didn’t read? You expect me to buy that? You’re going to tuck tail between your legs and run away and hide rather than attempt to refute a single thing in that post. I mean, I know it’s hard to refute the truth, but I can’t believe that someone who named a convention after themselves (Pete’s Ego Con must not have been available) is going to just skulk away. But then, your lack of response really does say it all, doesn’t it? If people wish to ignore all that I said and more about Fun Pub, want to be apologists for them, then fine. You are welcome to do that. But you can’t escape the facts. The facts speak volumes. Pete’s lack of a response speaks even louder.
He comes back with that he wasn’t going to relitigate about a former employer (no wonder he’s so bitter). He pointed out that Fun Pub is still a Hasbro licensee. Yes, Hasbro took away the franchise with billion dollar movies and left the one that is pretty irrelevant at this point. That says way more about how Hasbro feels about the GI Joe license than anything else. Then he went back to how my pricing comparison was wrong.
Then, Pete went on to thank me for all my club and convention purchases and thanked me for supporting both. He also said he hoped I’d enjoy the new show. (Sarcastically, I assume.)
So I replied.
You came back! And instead of refuting anything I said, you pointed out that I am a Transformers collector, and bought all the OFFICIAL merchandise from the club. You keep doing that as if it matters. Yes I did! I did! I collected All THE FUN PUB CRAP, all the OFFICIAL merchandise and toys. Scream it from the hills if you like. I have never claimed not to have bought it, because as much as it revolted me, it was all OFFICIAL and that’s what I collect. So what was that supposed to be? You came back to take, I don’t know, a shot at me because I bought all the crap? YOU MISSED. Try again, Pete. How about you refute something in that post?
I must admit that until now, I didn’t realize that Pete was THIS delusional. I have never once shied away from admitting that I buy all the stuff, that I have been part of the problem. It’s like he’s trying to call me out for something I freely admit to. I mean, I guess it is the only card he has to play, but damn, it’s a freaking deuce.
Then Pete goes on to say he can’t discuss things with me because I don’t stand by my principles. Really Pete? Because I’m a TOY COLLECTOR and choose to keep my COLLECTION complete by buying Fun Pub’s OFFICIAL garbage? And also freely admitting to it. I also buy awful toys from Hasbro. It’s not about him, but Pete doesn’t get that. My principles are just fine. Maybe if Pete had any principles he could understand that. But then, he named a convention after himself. What can you expect?
And as far as enjoying the new show, I’m only going because I live an hour away. I stopped wasting my time traveling to Botcon after 2009.
I had one last response to him.
Because I chose to. That’s really all you got?
So, yeah, this is what happens when you have principles. You get attacked for sticking to them. That’s fine. Attack away. I shall respond in kind.
What I find really interesting is how the Transformers Fandom has become a microcosm of the political situation in this country. (Though obviously way less import. I mean, that’s the world, these are…toys. But it’s a great parallel.) I didn’t realize it until Pete really showed his true colors. Our country also has a self import delusional whack job running it, who preaches underhanded dirty business tactics, and shovels manure while expecting everyone is so stupid that they believe it’s potpourri.
There is one difference. The Transformers Fandom has already had it’s impeachment proceedings. (Thank you for that Hasbro.)
I wonder if when our Creamsicle in Chief is tossed out on his ass, he’ll go buy his own island and declare it “Donald’s United States of America”.
The Transformers Fandom has always been fractured, but not like it has become in recent years. Just because I’m one of the few still yelling about it, does not mean the divides Fun Pub created are not still there. You want to fight for Fun Pub, go for it. My principles will not allow me to stop fighting against them.
“Sometimes it’s better to be known for one’s enemies.” – Blitzwing, The Transformers, “Five Faces of Darkness”