Last week, we hosted what is certain to go down in Ozzie history as one of the more exciting Comic Con drops, and what turned out to be an exciting amalgamation of community spirit and true geeky pop culture passion. In case you missed it, we hosted our San Diego Comic Con drop, which took place for online retailers in Melbourne, Australia at 11:00pm at night, as an in-person, late-night drop at the Ozzie showroom. Here’s how it went.
The in-person event took place at the same time as the online drop, but saw excited Melbournians lining up as early as 10 o’clock at night: in the cold, in the dark dead middle of winter, the anticipation for the upcoming drop palpable in the air.
While they waited, collectors dropped selfies in the comments of our Facebook post. The team went out to say a quick g’day and deposit some snacks about thirty minutes before the drop. As everyone stood hunched together munching on midnight snacks—cookies, donuts and flavoured milk; where can you go wrong?—the anticipation only grew. Finally, 11pm rolled around, and as the video went up and clicks and orders started rolling in online, so too did the doors of the showroom roll up to reveal the eager faces of our crowd waiting just outside. Then the front doors opened, and the Pop! Hunt began!
The event ran for exactly one hour, between the 11pm drop and midnight. The energy inside was unlike anything we’ve experienced before from a Comic Con drop. For those of you who have been in the collectables game for a while, you’ll know that when Funko rolls out their exclusives just a few times a year for overseas Comic Con events, the official shared retailer drop brings with it a lot of anticipation and excitement. It can be a bit of a drag making sure you’re out of bed at one of the many crazy times scheduled for these drops, so that they coincide with the items’ release overseas—in recent years, collectors will know that midnight drops have become all too common—but it’s rare we get an opportunity to see the community truly going to some crazy lengths just in the hopes of scoring one of few exclusive items.
The Ozzie team worked tirelessly to prepare the event before the official drop on Thursday night, including setting aside some exclusives just for the in-store crowd. Seeing these snapped up by excited collectors, who had come all the way out to our showroom in Eumemmerring (some of them in their pajamas, hoping to score a promised 10% discount) warmed our hearts and made for a truly outstanding atmosphere. By the time the doors finally started to shut at midnight, we’d served upwards of a couple hundred customers—more than double the number of turnouts we’d expected. As the doors rolled back down, the team was left speechless. Tired, hearts pumping from the adrenaline of a successful Comic Con drop, and speechless. Not only had we done it, but our local community had totally exceeded our expectations.
For all those of you who came to support our in-store drop, we can’t say a big enough thank you. Getting to share in something we all love and care about with a like-minded group of dedicated collectors is unlike anything else. Since we first opened our doors to the new showroom in November last year, we’ve been blown away time and time again by just how much love and support there is in the community. One of our key goals was to bring a Comic Con atmosphere to the South East. Especially in the wake of Covid-19, when we were all missing community the most, it truly does put the biggest smiles on our faces when we have the opportunity to do just that. It’s just like Funko say: everyone is a fan of something. The collector community in Melbourne more than proves this true.
We can say with confidence that the entire team at Ozzie are now eagerly awaiting our next event, and for the next opportunity to join together with the community and celebrate Comic Con in the South East. For those of you who couldn’t quite make it, we hope you’ll be able to join us some time in the future—as there will no doubt be plenty of opportunities to experience something like this again.
Happy Comic Con season to all those who celebrate, and keep being awesome.