Disney is infamous for being a company that doesn’t leave money on the table. If there is a marketing opportunity out there, then Disney is going to take advantage of that. We’ve talked about the Star Wars brand ending up on some of the strangest places, but there are also the marketing opportunities that fail because someone wasn’t thinking.
However, let’s back up for a moment and go back to the Marvel booth at Comic-Con International in 2015. In a booth that was already lacking in girl fit shirts, it was a relief to see something like the Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel exclusive shirt pop up. It was a deep navy blue v-cut shirt with Kamala outlined in yellow on the front. It was a dynamic shirt that we all knew was going to be hugely popular, but Marvel was not prepared for the demand. The shirt sold out on Thursday, which was a devastating blow to the female community that wants shirts that fit. However, fans didn’t know this until Ryan Penagos hosted a Marvel Unlimited panel on Sunday and told us we didn’t know the shirts were completely sold out because Marvel put in an emergency order to get more made for the rest of the convention so their fans would walk away happy.
Flash forward to the present day and Star Wars Celebration Orlando and the various debacles that happened over the course of the weekend. We already covered the giant mess that was the Del Rey and Barns and Noble booth problem but it didn’t just effect the books. The Celebration store was a mess from day one and never really got itself under control even by the end of the convention.
The book situation was one that could have been easily fixed. Aside from the fact that they didn’t expect the demand to be as high as it was as soon as everything sold out on Thursday they should have put in for an emergency order of more. It was just a sleeve that went over a hard cover book and there is no excuse as to why more of those couldn’t be made on the fly. There were thousands of people that wanted a copy of that book, the demand was there, and there was no reason why more fans couldn’t have walked away happier.
The Celebration store ran into the same problem as the Marvel booth did in 2015. They had shirts, such as a shirt featuring BB-8 as an orange, that were hugely popular and they could have printed more. They were completely out of hats by day two, and the fact that you couldn’t find shirts that just say “Star Wars Celebration Orlando” or the shirts with The Last Jedi logo on them is ludicrous. The empty shelves were there from the start and once it became apparent that things were getting out of hand steps should have been taken. A fan shouldn’t have to wait 180 minutes in line only to be greeted by mostly empty shelves.
We all know that exclusives sell out and the stores are going to be empty come the end of the con but the “sold out” list should not have been as long as it was on Friday or Saturday. The shelves should be empty by 4:00 on Sunday when the floor closes at 5:00pm not 11:00am on your only day that sold out. This is Orlando, Disney’s home turf, you cannot tell me they couldn’t make more on the fly if they really wanted to.