Ed. note– We at Death Ensemble are opponents of price gouging on the convention circuit. Considering X just got Stallone’s auto at the SDCC for free, this news is preposterous. This is just another bad sign in a series of them. Let’s hope what Chad suggests is not where conventions are headed.– P.F.
News is surfacing that Hollywood icon Sylvester Stallone will make a very big appearance at this coming New York Comic Con in October. Pretty big announcement to be assured. Sly will always be a huge star and draw an audience, no matter what he does. Until the day he dies, he will be Rambo…and Rocky…and Judge Dredd…and Barney from THE EXPENDABLES… and the guy from STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT!
Now, you can have the exclusive, rare experience of meeting the legend himself in a very intimate setting. Sure it may be 30 seconds, but it’s a chance that you’ll never get again. There’s a catch though. Before you start thinking you can meet Sly by just entering the convention center, stop right there. Yes, you can meet him. But only if you have a good $845 in your pocket.
You see, Sly is being brought in by an autograph company called “Celebrity Authentics” who specialize in obtaining the signatures of huge Hollywood names that you wouldn’t be able to meet or obtain any other way. They’re a very reputable company that represents the celebrities you’d never be able to meet at a convention or even dream of. Just to name a few of their clients: Michael Keaton, Christian Bale, Burt Reynolds, and obviously now, Sly. And while they’re very reputable and very successful at what they do, asking fans who attend NYCC for $450 for a photo op with Sly and $395 for an autograph from the man is downright ridiculous. Considering things are taking a bad turn in horror conventions with Christopher Lloyd and Carrie Fisher charging $60 for a signature and no photo op, this is a sign of worse things to come.
A lot of people who attend these shows usually save their money for these weekends far in advance. And let’s face it, $845 is a lot to pay for anything that’s not absolutely necessary and vital in your everyday life. And yes, it is a once in a lifetime chance to meet on of your heroes, but is it really worth it? Sly is at best a marginal actor that got lucky at a time when big, hulky, action stars were what was hip. Now, he’s not. He’ll always be a huge star, but he’s nowhere near worth $850 to meet.
Agents and handlers at conventions are the problem, not really the stars themselves. But then again, the problem is also people paying these exorbitant fees. If you keep paying, stars will keep hiking the prices up to the point no one will be happy, and you’ll be lucky if you get a handshake. Where does this trend end? Hmm? How can we stop it? Eventually Ari Lehman will see it appropriate to start charging 50 dollars for him to look in your direction.
The way things are going, conventions are going down a deadly route. I’ve heard more stories of people passing on the stars they were excited to meet due to the rising prices and just hanging out. But, how can shows continue if people are just paying to hang out in the lobby? Promoters need to be taken to task on this behavior and to be called out. And a lot of promoters get defensive because they know what they’re doing is wrong and they’re essentially screwing the loyal customers. And then they use the excuse “oh, well, we have no say over what a celebrity charges or if they refuse to take photos”. This is downright silly. Promoters are essentially a principal and at the end of the day IT’S THEIR SHOW.
But, let’s allow this behavior to continue and we won’t have horror conventions anymore. And quite frankly, there are a couple of agents and handlers that understand fans concerns and have decided to keep the prices low and include a free photo. But, for every Terry Kiser charging a relatively low price, there’s a Carrie Fisher, who seems to jack her price up every show. Companies like Full Empire Promotions and CandV Promotions are just two examples of fan agents that get big names and keep their business booming by their fair prices.
In the convention world, money talks. But maybe it’s time to change things up, otherwise, it’ll get worse. And thanks to Sylvester Stallone and Celebrity Authentics, I can’t see this trend ending.
And before anyone asks, I highly doubt he’ll be dressed like Judge Dredd…
-Chad E. Young