Monday, April 06, 2015

Variant Complaints & Cameo Importance

Post divided into 2 parts.

There's a recipe for success in business:
"Find what works & then do more of it",

which, sounds pretty good on the surface. Probably, it would work in lots of situations. However, fans are finding that Archie Sonic is using that recipe to excess, not success. The problem is the over-abundance of variant covers. There are several types of people who collect comics including:

The newbie - just getting into the series
The completist- must have everything the series makes or is dissatisfied
The avid collector - sticks with the series through thick & thin
The casual buyer - likes Sonic but doesn't need all the issues / may drop series
The explorer - likes comics in general, decides to check out the series but is on the fence
The little kid - tries to get comics because Sonic is great

There are probably more types of collector but when almost every comic has 2 or 3 variant covers you run into

"If everything is special, then nothing is special"

And you will annoy the following kinds of collectors:

Newbie - can't figure out which comic to get/too many confusing covers
Completist - why do I have to spend oodles of money buying the same issue but...I'm a completist!
Explorer - confused by gobs of covers, turned off of becoming a completeist due to clear cash-grab
Avid collector - may be annoyed OR happy - they lack the completist's drive to 'catch em all', so variant covers can spice things up

The little kid won't care, they don't discriminate tastes as long as it's Sonic. The casual buyer won't care because they're just casual...let the series do what it wants, I'll pick up an issue if it's interesting. With too many variants the chance goes up on annoying more people than you please. Of course it SOUNDS good to be able to force everyone to buy 2 or 3 copies of every issue (whoa double or triple your sales without actually getting new customers!11!) but is it really worth worth while making nothing special because everything's a "Special Variant"?

Positive example:
Doing "Worlds Unite" after the success of "World Collide". Timing for it is fine, it wasn't just mashed in after the first arc. All variant covers were made easily obtainable through ordering on Archie site. It's still finite so it feels special, they're not just converting the book to it "all the time because it was a success". Special things are good if you treat them that way, and use smart planning/timing/availability/positive pricing.

Isn't it cool to see Sonic products in ads that ARENT for Sonic products specifically? Catching a glimpse of Sonic tees in a Burlington Coat Factory TV spot, the Sonic Spinner machine in this week's Chuck E Cheese ad update, or even Sonic stuff/games highlighting "compilation" releases. It illustrates what a big selling point he WAS and also still IS because he continues to appear as a cameo or a headline/draw type item.

This was even true of Sega, earlier on. In this example, Chuck E Cheese changes the lyrics of "On the 12 Days of Xmas", so something more fun 'n games related, and includes Sega in their lyrics. You can watch the...presentation? at

Chuck E Cheese Youtube Ad

Which was discovered by Crystal SonicFan. It isn't a TV spot as it's about 5 minutes long, it seems to be someone video taping their show thing? Which, is probably a good idea because such things are finite (holiday only/may change every year) and should be preserved in this way so anyone could see them.

Yes 5 Nights at Freddies IS pretty accurate, isn't it?
The bird woman creature really does have Chicka The Chicken vibes going on (at least before she took her eyes out...or whatever happened) The FNAF guy must have watched something like this to get inspired for his game. They really do have those big creepy gaps around their eyeballs. I guess this is a case of art imitating life a little more than one would think.

Next week:
Likely more stuff for the show media section as items keep popping up. Hopefully some of the spring line tees will begin to appear, as it's april now as well.