October 5, 2001WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT BEFORE...
It makes the old heart swell to see the bad events of last month can't keep us good ol' Modeling Homeboys down for long!! This week I have four areas to talk about.
The first is the unbelievably uncanny ability of the average American Merchant to take a bad situation and still achieve their Capitalistic goals!! You've all seen it! Where So&So merchant announces, in big, bold, red, white & blue letters how they're having a sale and proceeds (or a percentage thereof, in most cases) will be donated to one of the numerous relief funds set up since the events of September 11th!
Even the modeling community wasn't spared. Quite a few held similar specials. What got my goat was when you went to this special page and looked at what constituted the sale items, it turned out to be a bunch of non-selling shit that's been rotting on their shelves for the past three years! Now that's good old American greed for ya!! Here are a bunch of consumers just aching to help out in some way, even if it's just giving over their hard earned money to help the relief effort, and all these low-life Mo'Fo's tugging at those emotions in a vain attempt to deplete their non-moving items!
Gotta love this country!! I just hope everyone was smarter than that, and these dick-weeds didn't move or earn a red cent!! You want to contribute to the relief fund, go on the web pages, find a reputable charity and just give!
The next item is the news that George Stephenson will be closing GEOmetric!
Yeah, yeah... I know you've heard this already. But just remember, not everyone around here has been around the hobby as long as your ancient asses, so it's news to them!! Give em a break already!
I haven't had the pleasure of meeting George, face to face, yet. We've passed emails back and forth over the years, but what impressed the hell outta me all these years is that whenever George comes up in a discussion, I don't care who is doing the talking, or who is doing the listening, I have NEVER heard a bad word said about the man!!
In this hobby, that is quite a benchmark!!! Now George has been quoted as saying that GEOmetric will close it's doors near the middle/end of 2002. And yes, George has been knocking this idea around since at least 1998... but like you and me, this guy loves this hobby of ours, and he enjoys producing a great product at a VERY affordable price! He's been doing so for a pretty long time now... and doing it extremely well, IMHO!
Back during the bloody crash & burn of LAPCO, we talked a bit and it was around this time that he learned he hadn't been selected for Judge, and was pretty down about it. He always stated that if a judgeship came around he figured he wouldn't have the time to properly devote to the kit company. I jokingly told him that he'd probably have more time!
Hey! I've watched 'Night Court'!!! The damn lawyers are doing all the hard work! All he has to do is sit way up there on his mighty bench and say Yea! or Nay!! And if he got word that a new sculpt just arrived in the post, all he has to do is call for a thirty minute recess and go running back to his office and admire the piece for a spell!! What's the problem?!?!!! :)
But seriously, if George does ever decide that GEOmetric's doors have to close, it will be a sad day for our hobby. Personally I think the kit bug is embedded too deeply under his skin for this day to ever come around! And I hope he never proves me wrong!!
Also coming under the heading of 'Where have I heard this before...' is Paul Antonelli's newest 'Close-Out' Sale! Okay, okay... stop laughing!! Like George, I've never met Paul face to face... at least I don't think I have. I've heard him state that he's been at some of the CHILLER THEATRE Expo's, but to my knowledge, if I did see him, I didn't know who it was. And unlike George, Paul's reputation and the stories I've overheard have ranged across a more... uh, colorful spectrum!
I can tell you that he use to have a store called 'The Character Shop', as well as a website of the same name. Back about 2 years ago he stated he was done with the hobby and closing the store, and had a big close out sale then. Later he revised that and said he was only closing the store and moving it strictly to a web run enterprise.
The web site wasn't updated much back in the day he still had the store, and even when it was exclusively a web front, many months went by with no change in any of the pages. About the latter part of last year the site got a pretty good face lift and the updates got better. The name was changed to 'GarageKit.Com' and although his prices weren't the lowest, they were usually in the top five of the best prices around this hobby. The majority of the folks that dealt with him feel they were treated well. An occasional email of "Where's Paul?" was heard, but on the whole I'd say many were happy in their transactions.
In January of this year he addressed a pretty lengthy email to the Gremlins and Figurekits listings. Stated he was getting out of the business because it, 'wasn't fun anymore' and over the months following had a bunch of kits and equipment advertised on his site.
Not sure if this latest Clearance Sale is a continuation of that started earlier this year, or it's just like those huge furniture stores you see on television that seem to have a 'Going Out of Business' sale every weekend... for the past TEN years now? I must admit I usually get a chuckle whenever I see someone posting a message about the latest 'closeout sale' on the boards, as if it's the first one they've seen.
But the bottom line is, if Paul has something good up on his site, for a good price, and you want it, then buy it! Don't know any of us that are made outta money, and if a kit you've wanted for awhile now is too good to pass up, then I don't care how many 'Going Outta Business' sales he has! Grab it while it lasts!!
Last but not least, last Sunday was Larry Burbridge's first solo Kitbuilder's Show, and once again I've received a little over a dozen emails talking about the event. Although all of them... well, the majority of them, stated they had a fun day walking around and seeing old friends, the central discussion seemed to be centering around the infamous recasts (again!!).
Now at first, on the initial two or three emails I got, I chocked it up to the, now, familiar emails we all see right after every show. If you were here in my house, you'd hear me mumbling that the '...mother fuckers would be singing a different tune if they ever tried running one of these damn shows themselves, instead of just being a fucking participant with their damn rose colored glasses... who have nothing better to do then walk around and find fault where ever they can!! #$%!@ *@$!!"
But even the emails that stated they had a good time noted the number of recasts were a surprise even to them! And the folks writing some of these emails were folks I know very well!! They know what goes into running a show and one or two recasts spotted on a table is one thing, but they were saying it was worse than that!! But what really blew me away was that many were seen on Larry's table as well!!?!?!!!
Now I've known Larry for awhile now, and this didn't sound right!! Here's a guy who knows just how small this hobby is... runs one of the four magazines dealing with our genre, and runs this show?!! Naw, something wasn't jiving!!!
So, on Tuesday, I sent an email to Larry asking 'What the Fuck??!' He replied right back, saying...
So there ya go! Folks have to remember that this was Larry's first solo show, and I'm sure he walked away Sunday with some lessons learned that will be worked out in future shows.
The other point I think is noteworthy is the portion that states, "...nobody complained." So the question I throw out to all the email posters is, if it was a sore point with you, why didn't you complain??! If it wasn't a sore point, why mention it on the net?
Yes, those are rhetorical questions. You know the answers as well as I do! In fact, I just now got off Ed's Garage Kit forum after reading about 30 messages that haven't made it to my e-mail box for some reason, and they're all making similar statements!! Ban all recasters from shows!!
Shit, folks!! We can't even agree on what's a recast that everyone hates!!! Out of production kits are good, bad, okay today, maybe?!?! These over here are okay, those aren't!!?! Fuck! Give me a break! The point everyone is missing is that no one has the balls to bring it up DURING the show!!! Oh sure!! Everyone grows a healthy set of balls once they're all back home and safely tucked away behind their computer keyboard!! We have more chest-thumping keyboard operators around this hobby to fill Madison Square Garden four-fold. But have someone go up to a Dealer or a Show Promoter and point out a problem DURING the show??! Not with this group of pansies!!!
CHILLER is coming up in less than 20 days! Come the following Monday, watch for the first courageous keyboard motherfucker to come out and start bitching!! Let's hope this year that he/she 1) at least attended the fucking show in the first place before engaging their opinion! and 2) had the BALLS to say something to, at least, the Dealer AND one of the following: Diceman, Kevin, or Pete!! Hell, can you spell, 'S.T.A.F.F. ??! Look for those folks wearing the black t-shirts with STAFF spelled out in big, green letters on the back of um and they'll be happy to point you to one of the three above!
Shit! Who am I fooling!??! Ain't never gonna happen with this cowardly crowd!
Til next week...