Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Review: Memorabilia, Nov 2011

For those not in the know, Memorabilia is 'the ultimate movie, comic and sports show'. Since this will mean absolutely nothing to most people, I shall explain further. A big hall at the NEC is filled with famous people signing autographs and a bunch of stalls selling various 'collector' things. The 'collector' bit varies from vintage toys (usually action figures and related), trading cards, comics, posters... In recent years, in order to reinvigorate what was a dying show, there has been added a few 'extras' such as live wrestling matches and Robot Wars fights.

There is a rule regarding Memorabilia, which we (ie those people who I first started going with over ten years ago) soon discovered: no matter how much money you take, you will always spend it all. There have been some really crappy Memorabilias in recent times, the show having been hit hard by the rise of ebay and internet shopping, but the rule has always held true.

Apparently these people are from Doc Martin. I only really know the
couple who have been in that other series about a GP.

I could go on about the history of Memorabilia, tell you how I once gave Brian Blessed a haircut there, but really this post is to show you some of the stuff I bought, then got home and wondered where the hell I was going to keep it.

As always, as soon as I got there I get a quick initial sweep (yes, it is a bit like a military operation) to see what stalls were where, who was selling what, and taking note of their prices. No purchasing at this stage unless there is a complete bargain.

Second pass, and I thought I was going home with nothing. I didn't really see anything that caught my attention. A bit annoying when you've paid £15 to get in.

Third pass and I start paying more attention to the stuff displayed under tables, or hidden beneath other things. Now things start to get interesting and I finally spot something I'd quite like. And once the first purchase is made...

The Trap Door gang (also got Boney, but the children appear to have hidden him somewhere).

Always seemed daft that Echo Echo was sold in single packs. Anyone who's seen Ben 10 knows Echo Echo comes in lots, that's the whole point of him! 

Caught playing with his sister's new pony.

Much younger-looking in real life than he did in Tron Legacy (he blames the food poisoning & 3am shoot).

FIGHT! Always had a soft-spot for Mortal Kombat. These figures, while generally okay, are missing some key accessories. Where's Scorpion's skull head? Or some clip-on lightning effect for Raiden?

Filling in a few gaps in the Lord of the Rings collection. Can't wait for the Hobbit figures which will be in a completely different scale and far less detailed. I had a nice chat with the man selling these figures, though he didn't seem to understand that I would simply rip them out of their packaging as soon as I could and therefore didn't care at all about variants in the backing cards.

Ssssh! Secret Christmas present for the boys. Finally they'll have a baddie to fight against with their Power Rangers zords. From the same seller I bought a bunch of Rock Lords which she basically threw in for free. Which was nice.

Remember James Bond Jr.? No? I forgive you. And now I have a near complete set of the toys, bought for not very much (note figures did not remain mint on card for very long...)

In what was a record, we were there for 6 and a half hours, wandering round and chatting to the stall holders. A nice bunch, most of them although there are a few that... Let me just say it's a bit disheartening when you see sellers on their mobile phones, reporting back to their stalls on the prices of their competitors. Fine, if they're lowering prices but raising them? I noticed things on one stall go up by a fiver or more once the sellers realised no one else at Memorabilia had the same stock. Then there were the sellers who'd added an extra £10 to something that cost £15 on their website.

I know renting a space at Memorabilia costs a lot, but overpricing isn't going to generate more sales. In many ways you have to view this kind of event (as a guy I spoke to last year said) as a promotional event to publicise your shop/website. It did surprise me how little a lot of the sellers made to advertise themselves, seemingly content just to sell things. This seemed like a really, really stupid thing to do, if I'm honest. If it were me, I'd have had a giant sign stating who I was and handed a business card to everyone I possibly could.

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