One year ago, Funko had one of the worst convention experiences with their 2020 New York Comic Con event to help combat bots. However, Funko has outdone itself with this year's 2021 NYCC event, which included no lottery system, a new waiting queue, and last-minute reveals. After last year's fiasco, it seemed like these Virtual Cons were starting to get better with a smooth lottery system, winner and loser notifications, and a nice assortment of reveals. These past couple of conventions though have really gone downhill, starting with San Diego Comic Con 2021 with their lack of loser notifications, silly and pointless Fundays event, and last-minute Pops removed from their FunkoShop release. Things only got worse as time went on, and it seemed like Funko was more worried about pushing out content than having anything to really back it up this time.
Everything kicked off today at 12 PM EST, where all of this year's NYCC 2021 exclusive was releasing and without a Lottery System. This allowed every collector to enter the Shop and test their luck on try to get one of these Official Stickered Pop Vinyls. Funko then implemented a brand new Waiting Queue, and it was included for, I quote, "give as many fans as possible an opportunity to get exclusives." However, this was not the case at all, as entering the site at 12:00 PM EST put me to a 20-minute wait which only grew as time went on. Even though there were no Pops I wanted this time, I ended this terrible Funko Shop launch at 12:31 PM EST with a total of 55 minutes of wait time left with nearly all exclusives already sold out. I was not the only collector who experienced this sad NYCC launch which now forces collectors to go through Shared Retailer exclusive to attempt to get their wanted Pops once again.
I have been collecting Funko Pops since 2012, so conventions are always a blast to be apart of as it gives us some new limited edition pieces to our Pop sets. However, this is just sad, and it was one of the worst conventions I have experienced, from not a single Pop that piqued interest to the last-minute announcements. I understand that the bot pandemic has easily destroyed the internet, but I feel like the Lottery System was a simple fix. Before the pandemic, the only people who would have owned an Official Sticker NYCC Pop were attendees of the actual convention and obtained at the Funko Booth. Funko is already doing fans a favor by offering these exclusive Pops to the public, and it could have been done in an easier manner. The Lottery System was password protected and was at random, giving everyone a nice chance to enter.
I do not know what has changed, but Funko really rushed this convention, and it really shows with last-minute announcements and plenty of delays. Most toy companies have passed on going to the Official NYCC 2021 event, so it would have been perfectly fine to postpone an event like this until they knew all Shared Retailers had stock for these exclusives. No one is marketing a winter convention, so Funko's 1st Winter Wonderland Con would have been nice to see. From lackluster social interaction, money first and fans second concept, and the lack of FUN, Funko has really let me down these past couple of months. They can only learn from this blunder and make sure to update and prepare for their next launch. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled at each retrospective Shared Retailer for their NYCC 2021 exclusive dropping online, possibly tonight and tomorrow. Good luck.