Anyone who want to read my convo -- I'm sorry "WAR OF WORDS" -- with 1701 D/David Ellis, it's on Twitter. (In between, David keeps asking @jvancitters to give us the license for more Trek, so I apologize if I misunderstood the level of vitriol behind his words.) My responses were only meant to be explanatory and matter-of-fact, nothing else. I do not see myself as driving a wedge between DST and Trek fans, only trying to maintain a bridge in between releases, where the ill will tends to peak all on its own. If a question is accusatory and I answer it, I will always appear to be defensive.
I gave a bunch of reasons why we weren't at STLV, but none of them were adequate for David. We have a pretty small marketing budget -- at one point before my hire, there was no marketing staffer due to budget cuts, and the entire staff did Internet promotion and copywriting, just like we all still do booth setup and staffing at cons. We can't afford to attend every convention, either through money or the time taken away from other tasks like product managing, approvals and factory communications.
In a PERFECT WORLD, we'd attend every convention, especially a 50th anniversary convention for a line we make, but we have to weigh the cost vs. benefits. "Looking good" to the fans is not really calculable; you can't even do the math based on new items on display, as we put out a small number per year. We could show non-Trek items, but why? We just did a show in the US Southwest with 130,000+ attendees, and I'm assuming at LEAST 10K of them were Trek fans, which is how many attended STLV just one state over in Nevada, only five hours away. I bet there was a decent amount of overlap. Our next show is in NYC, where I'm fairly sure MOST attendees have not been to the Southwest recently.
As with SDCC, selling products could cover our costs, maybe even turn us a profit, but we need to pay to ship it all in, plus a larger booth, and we need to analyze what sales would be like, and how many of those attending already have our products. At a con like STLV, where I personally feel you have to be a pretty big Trek fan to attend, since that's all there is to see, I'm assuming a high percentage are DST product owners -- anything we bring, they'd either own, have pre-ordered, or are aware of the option of ordering from somewhere, for home shipment and perhaps below SRP. Plus, you have competing retailers there on the floor, I assume.
I could go just to do a panel, but I am not so sure how that would go, to be honest.
I think the key to any toy line is making it look like it could be played with... not sure dst has that same aim.
I understand the argument about articulation -- I prefer articulation myself, and we are trying to incorporate it in future figures -- but it's ironic that this rule only applies to figures for some people. Others would like to see fun things like dialogue removed from ships, and I just saw a request to make the C with no lights at all, just to get one. (Manufacturing minimums are the same, not sure cost or price would vary all that much.)