Round 2 Models: Wonderfest Wrap-Up!
The show is three days gone and I’m still feeling worn out. It was a great show for us. How can we judge that (since we weren’t actually selling anything)? I’m judging it based on the response we got from you, the modeler. I knew (hoped) some of the stuff we had brewing would be exciting to you guys and the people who stopped by seemed to hop right on board with what we could show so far. I actually didn’t hear any severe criticism (please don’t start now 🙂 ). At our first year at the show the response was “I thought you guys went out of business” with a look on people’s faces of “and who are you?”. Last year was positive but we were still getting tons of “suggestions” and a few had some legitimate complaints and a few bad reactions to our announcement of the planned new movie Enterprise. That’s not to say that we get everything right. We do honestly try though.
The show went by quickly even though we spent the whole time on our feet. I made a few trips around the dealer room but limited myself so I wouldn’t overspend (I did anyway) and made it over to the guest room for a very quick lap missing a chance to talk to John Eaves again. I was able to look around the contest room for about a minute and a half before they started kicking people out for the awards ceremony. I feel a little incomplete for not having a better chance to look around. I’ve had to look around online but it just isn’t the same and being able to really get up close to a nicely detailed model.
We did a little “social media” experiment on Saturday. I’d been dropping hints around to follow us on Twitter while at the show. We tried to take a cue from comic book artist, Jim Lee. At a recent comic convention in Chicago, he left sketches here and there and “tweeted” their locations. So we took along a few special prizes to try the same thing but we genuinely had no idea how effective it would be. Were modelers on Twitter? If they were, would they pay attention during the show? The answer was “yes”… a little bit. We planted the prize around noon time and started dropping hints here and there. As the afternoon went along, we started to worry that we’d just need to go pick it up the next day unless someone accidentally stumbled across it. Late Saturday afternoon, a gentleman stopped by and a said a little birdy told him to stop by. So, congratulations to… You know I just realized we didn’t get his name. But our heads were about us enough to take a quick photo of him. So, congratulations mystery winner on receiving a 1st edition Enterprise Tin (one of six uncovered in our warehouse. Hopefully Bob and I can take home one of the other five). We had a few more prizes to give away but figured we’d try again next year to see if we had more interaction.
I checked out the Aurora documentary Saturday night. I never took the chance to build them when I was a kid. Even then I didn’t like the sculpts. But after seeing how they were sculpted, I have a much better respect for those old kits. The selling power of James Bama’s illustrations put me in awe. After the show, I helped judge Iron Modeler. I wasn’t sure what to expect, now I’m not sure what to think. The final builds ranged from whacky to meticulous. My hat is off to the participants for taking up the challenge and putting their hard work in.
As in past years, we had a questionnaire to fill out. After some trouble interpreting the “data” last year and having two sheets worth of questions the year before, I’ve learned to simplify and I hope it helped not to take too much out of everyone’s busy show. Some people responded out loud that some of the questions we asked were difficult because they could only choose one option. My response was that we have to answer hard questions like that all the time. As a “reward” we handed out 1:72 scale Robby the Robots complete with a mini box on the back of the header card. We only had a limited amount and ran out around 1:00 on Saturday. We also handed out previews of the mini catalog that we’ve started including in our latest kits and everyone was entered into a drawing for some free kits.
Congratulations to this year’s winners. Your prizes are on their way.
Bob Bleber of Elkhart, IN (my home town oddly enough) won a regular edition Batmobile.
And Kevin Bessey of Omaha, NE won a Batmobile Collector’s Edition Tin
Many have asked if they could fill a questionnaire online and we’ve tried to find a way to allow that without requiring too much time or expense. We finally decided to make it available as a .pdf for you to print off and mail back in to us. Other bigger, less busy companies can incorporate it into their system and keep it completely online. I’m sorry we can’t do that at this time. If you weren’t able to hit the show but want your voice to be heard, this is your chance. Feel free to take a look at some of the pics of our booth and fill out our questionnaire. We’ll add your input to our data from the show. It won’t be an open-ended thing so fill it out and send it back in the next few weeks. Sorry no prizes for this, just a chance to join the crowd.
For those who couldn’t make it this year, feel free to come see us next year. We’ve already booked the same spot. It’ll be a long year until then.