Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Few Random Thoughts...

We got a case of Marvel Legends 10 on Wednesday – this was ordered before we swore off of Toybiz products. They’d already been in mass market for a couple of months, but very limited. So, of course after I said how much I hated dealing with Toybiz we actually get a case with variant figures in. That NEVER happens! We guessed that the variants and the one/case figures would sell, but the rest would sit, since they’d been out for a while. But we were quite surprised! They’re all gone today--sold a few on Wednesday, a couple more on Friday and all the rest today. Now we’re thinking, gosh, we should get Marvel Legends, look how well they sell. Yeah, we’re suckers, aren’t we? We’ll fall for it and the next time it won’t go as smoothly, I’m sure. But we won’t order more than a case, unless someone walks in and pays up front for an entire case—then I’d buy one for us and one for them. But otherwise one is great. We can almost actually sell one case, provided we get them before the mass market is completely flooded with them—like we did with series 9—still have a ton of those darn things.

It’s always funny when people come in and buy a couple of comics and then look at us with concern and say, “are you guys doing ok here?” When we tell them we’re doing very well, some look surprised, others relieved. I chuckle because most of the people that ask come in very infrequently, which makes me wonder why or if they really care. The people who care come in more often—some every week, even if they don’t have anything specific they’re looking for. Sure, sometimes we’re slow in the store—we’re a comic shop in a suburban area without any major retail attached. Comics are a specialty that not everyone shops for, so we’re not busy non-stop. And somehow customers here seem to have some kind of device that lets them know when someone else is in, and then they all come. Often I wish for a steady flow, but more often than not it’s busy or empty. Either way, we do OK here. Sure, a location next door to Kohl’s Department Store, or right off of the freeway, or in a more urban area might do better. We’re fairly sure that our second location (once we open one) will be busier than this one. But back to the point, WHY do people ask that questions? I think next time I’ll ask that when I get the question. See what they say.

What the HECK happened to Serenity? Before the movie came out it was all people could talk about. I can't tell you how many people insisted we see the show once they found out I'd never watched a single episode. We did give in and rent the DVD's, and got almost totally through it (one DVD left). It was pretty good. I probably would have watched it if I knew it was on and there wasn't something else on I wanted to watch more. The old west meet the future is a wierd concept for me to get used to, but still it's decent. Whedon does a good job with dialogue I always thought. The comics we had here in the store sold like NUTS. We put some on ebay and they sold well over cover price. People were begging for action figures, magazins, trading cards... Then the movie came out and there were people waiting for a midnight show. It was in first place after that weekend, but only with around $10 million. The next week it dropped to 9th place and barely eeked out $5 million. I saw it the first weekend and thought it was pretty good. You didn't have to see the show to get it, but I do think that what happens in the movie means more after you have seen the show and developed some understanding of and feelings for the characters. I just can't believe that for all the fans and all the hype it did so poorly. Who knew Wallace & Grommit had a bigger fan base that Firefly?

What is it with Yu-Gi-Oh players? (NOT all of them, ok.) There are a bunch I know that are perfectly normal *geeks* like the rest of us. But a strange proportion of people, often kids or young adults (under 21) come in and look at Yu-Gi-Oh cards and singles and there is just something not right about them. For most, it’s a strange lisp or other speech impediment. Others it’s something I can’t quite pin down, but they’re just not quite right. Makes me wonder if these types are drawn to the game for one reason or another. It’s probably good—it teaches math skills, strategy, and social skills that come with playing another person. Yet it seems strange that so many children who play Yu-Gi-Oh have a speech problem. They are usually boys too. The gals that play are few, but seem pretty normal, unless they are grown women--that's a completely different story.

October’s been a good month! My sister’s wedding is over, so I’ve got time to actually think about things other than her. I hardly get any emails from her here at the store, where before the wedding it was non-stop. The sales are back up – always a retail slump in September, so it feels good to be out of that. And the huge Christmas product dump hasn’t started yet, so we’re feeling good about the lower invoices. This week in particular was great- Infinite Crisis and House of M have both sold very well here. I guess our competition down the block ran out of Infinite Crisis really fast and were actually sending people here to get it. We’ve got plenty!! Kids are back in school, so I don’t have to rant about how they come in and trash the place while their mom is across the street at Kmart spending her money and letting me baby sit for free. And the South high kids come in now, on their way home, and pick up stuff. Next weekend we’re going to Fort Wayne, IN for a comic book and games retailer’s conference, which should be very cool. They’re supposed to be very informative, as well as a fun time. While I really enjoy working here—it’s the best job I’ve had, except the pay sucks—it is nice to get a break from it every once in a while. So, if you stop by on Saturday the 22nd, don’t be surprised to see someone else behind the counter. We didn’t die or anything, we’re just off learning how to be an even better store.

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