This whole week, I’ve been following FBTB’s discussion about the LEGO exclusive minifigure giveaways at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con. To give you a backstory of the situation, there were individuals who thought that the whole giveaway was rigged. There were attendees who noticed various things that the LEGO staff was doing that was suspicious and made it seem that the giveaway was not a legitimate giveaway such as staff giving people raffle tickets from the bags while having the “winning” tickets in their hands already for when kids go by. Also, people claim that the staff already knew the winning raffle ticket numbers before they were handed out. An attendee also listed more things that made it seem like the raffle was fixed. As a result, a LEGO public relations person has responded to the accusations that the attendees brought up:
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.
From my personal experience, I was also one of the attendees who got in line for a chance to win one of these minifigures. Fortunately for me, I got lucky and won the Spider-Man minifig on the second day. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention that well to the employees but, I didn’t really “see” anything fishy going on. I didn’t ask for the guy to give me a ticket out of the bag or any other special requests. I just went up to him and two seconds later, I was done. Let’s keep in mind that LEGO wasn’t obligated to do any giveaways at this year’s SDCC. They were doing the raffle to provide a good experience for the attendees. I didn’t really mind that I stood in line for 2 hours for a chance to get a minifigure. I actually met some nice people while standing in line and that was part of the experience of attending a convention. If I didn’t get a minifigure, I wouldn’t be bothered by it that much. For individuals to bring up accusations like this could bring some major backlash for future LEGO related events such as the company stopping giveaways altogether and nobody is happy. We’ll see what happens now because the 2013 New York Comic Con is coming up pretty fast here in the next couple of months.
**LEGO response via FBTB.**