…and the only words I can give you if you are not a WClub member are:
“You can’t touch this!”
Last year, the Integrity Toys convention sold out in 48 hours. The information for signup was given first to WClub members yesterday around 1PM PST. There were 500 spots open for the three day event and they were “gone baby gone” by yesterday evening. The unprecedented sellout speaks volumes about this company and the growing popularity of their products. It will be interesting to see if I.T. decides to open this convention up to a bigger audience. I am on the fence about it. On one side I would love to see the event grow to accommodate all who wish to attend. On the other side, I don’t want to lose the intimate family reunion feel of this collector weekend. Clearly, Integrity Toys is doing something right if their conventions are sold out within hours of announcing to their most preferred customers. Way to get people to sign up for your WClub next year guys….well done! Lesson learned…if you want to attend an I.T. convention…you really do need to be in the club…the WClub that is. If you would like to join the wait list for this event go to the Integrity Toys website or FB page. I would post the link but as of this posting, they have not updated their site or FB page. Just keep checking back, I am sure they will have a link for the waiting list soon.
Convention will be October 21-24th in Long Beach California. The theme is “Cinematic” and according to the literature it will be a mix of Fashion Royalty old Hollywood glamour mixed with Nu Face current brat pack red carpet Hollywood chic. This year Integrity Toys is celebrating 20 years of being in business so who knows what they have in store for convention goers. They have also changed up things a bit by offering a special bonus cocktail party and souvenir doll to people who signed up for the “early bird” registration. This type of registration requires you to pay your registration fee of $475 up front instead of in installments( installment method requires payment of $500 over a couple months). It is basically a perk for people who pay all up front. It is a smart business move on Integrity’s part because they get money with which to pay their convention costs earlier rather than later. They also let their WClub members know a couple weeks in advance that they would be announcing the convention registration. This was thoughtful on a couple of different levels. It let people know that it was coming up so nobody should have been blindsided with a big $500 fee out of nowhere . It also said “We care about our preferred customers equally”. It said “we want everyone who really wants to go to have an equal chance of grabbing a ticket. Lastly, it rewarded the people who have saved up to go to this event and could pay everything up front.
Another big change this year and in my humble opinion a good one was the removal of formal proxies for convention. A proxy is when you pay someone to attend a convention for you. In a typical “proxy” situation, a collector will pay the registration fee and possibly hotel and travel charges for someone to attend the convention for them and then they get all the convention goodies( gifts, dolls and convention collection) at convention prices without actually having to attend. Given the secondary market prices of some of these limited and rare convention goodies, many people did this. I always wondered why Integrity Toys would even allow themselves to act as the intermediary in these arrangements. In the past, you could register under your name and your “proxy” would pick up your stuff. The bookkeeping alone on these arrangements must have been a nightmare. From a legal standpoint, these arrangements are lawsuits waiting to happen ( calling all lawyers to jump in here with your opinions). If someone legally registers to receive a product and you deliver that product to their “proxy”, then their “proxy” doesn’t deliver…who is on the hook for the product? By my estimations, because Integrity Toys put themselves in the middle of that one…they are left having to satisfy both parties. WHAT A NIGHTMARE. From a business standpoint, they are smart to get out of the business of proxies all together. People can still proxy but it is a private agreement between two individuals. I.T. is not involved. As far as they are concerned, they give product ( convention goodies) only to the person registered for convention. Smart, simple, clean.
Integrity Toys is doing something else different this year as well. They are giving a special convention doll to the WClub…not just convention going WClubbers but all WClub members if they are interested. It is a nice way of saying they value their customers and a nice boost to those who want to go to convention but just can’t swing it. Let’s face it, not everyone can go to these events. I feel lucky and blessed to have been able to go these past couple of years. You have to give it to a company that understands their customer base and is trying to speak to it’s ever changing and growing needs. Maybe I am being too philosophical but I liked the way they are handling it this year.
So…did I manage to snag myself a ticket in the free for all yesterday??? What do YOU think?