The Great Lego Conspiracy Of Comic Con

The Hobbit's Azog for $1750, Green Arrow for $800, Superman for $600, Spider-Man for $550, Spider-Woman for $525, Bag End for $200… you can see why everyone wanted exclusive San Diego Comic Con exclusive Lego toys this year.

And with such demand and so few figures, something was going to give.

Dan writes for FBTB;

So after Thursdays craptastic attempt at giving away tix, they FINALLY learned their lesson and just moved the ticket giveaway upstairs. This turned into a pure dream as people were orderly, friendly and in one single line. The line was long, and I mean LONG…from the middle of the convention center at the sails pavilion down to the Marriot Marquis long. But the one beauty of the line was that it was extremely fast and fluid. No one was pushing, shoving, getting squished or anything of that nature that was experienced the day before. Just follow the line and pick up a ticket. There were two people with bags of tickets and tickets in their hand ready to give out to the people who walked through the line. But no one was scanning badges, so guess what happened. Yes, people would go through the line again. Granted the lines were long, so one would have to travel down the stairs to go again, but the line was also very fast, so it would only take a few mins to go through the line again. After announcing badge scans on Wednesday, that actually didn't even happen til Sunday. The very last day. Nice job Lego team…last day? what a crock.

Now we get back to where this initially started – the Lego Giveaway was RIGGED!!!! You must think I'm joking or just some conspiracy theorist, but after the facts are shown, it's very likely it was rigged. Which is a shame, but it's probably true. How does one rig a drawing/raffle if tickets are handed out with #'s on them? Well, simple, they know the #'s BEFOREHAND. The number ranges that would be announced later in the day, were already known BEFORE the tix were distributed. The raffle winners were based on ranges, generally in chunks of 50. For example, 10,051-10,100 are winners. They would have 4-8 ranges of numbers based on what figure was assigned to that day.

So what do you do with a rigged drawing? Well, you give winners to anyone you want, primarily you give winners to kids. Lego loves kids and kids love Lego. Kids don't resell figures on eBay. They play with them in their sets, swap body parts and get them dirty. So let's target the winning tickets to kids. I wouldn't have thought twice about this rigging if I didn't see some fishiness w/ my own eyes. And believe you me, it was fishy. The ticket givers already had tickets in their hand ready to give out, when an adult walked by for his/her ticket, they were given a ticket out of the bag…even though they had tix ready to give out in their hands. As a child walked by, the ticket in his hand were given to the kids. Early on, they wouldn't give out those tickets in their hand unless it was to a kid. Now this could only start off at the beginning of the giveaway as people would walk too quick to continue doing this the entire time as you gave out tickets. But that also doesn't mean they could have the winners stashed away in their bag that's in a different manner than most of the losing tickets too.

If you're gonna do a raffle, make it a true raffle. Select the winning numbers AFTER the tickets are given out. Or allow them to grab a ticket out of the bag themselves. And the reason they didn't allow that, well, people would grab multiple tix. If you saw the size of this ticket, good luck grabbing two without anyone noticing. These were like concert size tix. Not your normal Office Depot tickets.

I don't think I would have thought twice about this fiasco if it wasn't for the fact that the winning #'s were drawn well before the tix were given out. That just doesn't make sense to why they would do that.

They might not have rigged it, and it could be my conspiracy theorist mind going nutso, but that's how I see it. When I know about 40 or so people trying to win these figures. It just so happened that the people with kids won it more than the adults.

Is that a tip for the future? Take a kid – or someone else's – and get in line? Not so fast… Lego responded;

Regarding the SDCC minifigure raffle, we can assure you that, contrary to the speculation, the giveaway was in no way rigged or predetermined. After several years at SDCC where minifigure giveaways have left room for improvement, we did implement a new system this year, which was then adapted at the request of the SDCC organizers. Many of the things that are being discussed online about the manner in which we conducted the raffle are not based in fact.

We acknowledge and regret that there were crowd control issues on Thursday, but those were rectified, and the new process for the raffle ran smoothly for the remainder of the show. We did not distribute specific tickets to specific consumers, nor did we favor children over adults. The raffle was managed randomly in an attempt to be as equitable as possible so that the largest possible audience at the show had a fair chance to win. We are unable to control who wins, and we have no interest in a pre-determined outcome. Our goal is to offer a limited edition collectible to as many fans as possible in a fair and equitable manner. Given the nature of a limited edition giveaway, we understand that fans may be disappointed with the results. We are equally disappointed that there is an audience who receive limited edition figures and then sell them at a premium online; this is not in our interest, nor is it the intention of our activity at SDCC.

It is unfortunate that fan disappointment is manifesting in a proliferation of misinformation about our intentions and/or the manner in which we conducted the raffle. We have worked hard over the years to improve our SDCC raffles and we always seek to learn by doing. As we consider future plans, we will carefully review this year's experience and the valuable feedback that our fan community shares, in order to continuously deliver a positive brand experience.

Unless we find a smoking gun, that appears to be the end of it… oh wait!


Duck and cover!

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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