Coming home from San Diego Comic Con is a reflective exercise. As it is for me, I’m sure it is for you. We’ve spent the last 9 months planning exclusives, preparing production lines, prepping tools, creating packaging, refining products, getting sign offs, booking container space, photography, marketing materials, product setups, crew assignments, truck rentals – a herculean effort to bring 17 items in short order, maintaining TLS quality standards, detail, collectability, and nuances inherent in Action Vinyls - this is our number one priority. 16 hour days are common. Like the last 5 miles of a marathon, you can’t feel your legs but you still drive towards that ribbon, knowing that finishing with your chest out is truly the goal. We love the #TLSArmy – it’s the community that drives us to meet you at your expectation, no matter the obstacles, or the time it takes to create programs for this very special show. When I come home, I spill my books, my tools, my photos all over my dining room table, reminding me of the great times, the friendships, the excitement, the job well done by the TLS crew, the love and connection we have with our community, the raison d’etre! To give yourself to the process, to build something, to pull all of your passions, experience and love for creating imaginative and meaningful experiences to share with folks that have open hearts, and demand a fun, real, genuine experience. So, here I sit, amongst the polaroids, memories of the conversations, the hugs and handshakes, the excitement and wonderment in passionate people’s eyes. A marathon complete just to wake the next day, strap the running shoes back on and tackle the following week’s task. Reflection flips to “there is more hill to climb”. It amazes me the efforts for this one single event. Of course, the event is unique, not like any other. The resources, the time commitment, the manpower, I get it, it’s a production! A live movie set with customers meeting Manufacturers without having to be buzzed in, nor needing an appointment. Fans greeting movie stars without having to peer or peek-a-boo from a thousand yards away. SDCC brings the experience to the culture and it is our strict job to deliver our responsibility to the experience for those who paid the admission deserving their bang for their buck! We take it seriously.
It’s not our mission to sell just another gimmick or plastic part with paint, with a logo slap from some nostalgic or trending studio property. TLS is not the patronizing guy – “Buy this hunk of plastic”. We want to turn you on – ignite your imagination, peak your interest, break down those velvet ropes of “this is us beyond this line, and this is you on the other side of this line”. TLS recognizes that our best offer to YOU are experiences, relationships, friendships forged – a real community orchestrated from the tent of our Blue Logo, down the handle of Action Vinyls, into the sandpit/blanket fort of our house of brands. That’s where we all play! Where we trade, where we laugh, where we create stories, where we share – All for One and One for All! Comic Con is the manifestation of the heart filled intent and connection between TLS and those who are open to the TLS experience. No truer than Fan Jam – the literal manifestation of the community, not just ours, but the community of pop culture at large, of craftsmanship, of rich experiences forging great memories. TLS is just the communicative object that brings people together for meaningful relationships – it’s about YOU! Not Us! I’m not here to get you hyped up on some chest pounding poser’ish, disingenuous press release aimed at other businesses – “Look how great we are….we sell plastic crap and it’s booming!” We’re all cut from the same cloth, there’s nothing slick about me or our message. Our message is community brought together by imaginative products that are artful, collectible, and meaningful. Simple.
The Community pushes TLS, the #TLSArmy has our hearts. We want to exceed your expectation, to be your modern toy box, making it ok for us all to play, for us all to suspend reality, to use those tools that made summers as a 10 year old the greatest times on earth – we still have that in us, we just need to sharpen those blades of belief! Each year we see these goodwill feelings grow around TLS, each SDCC TLS takes another step bringing more people into our message, because the message is “It’s all about you!”. This is what I’ve concluded after having time to sift through the photos and conversations from SDCC – TLS is no longer mine, it’s everyone’s, that’s why TLS is great, it’s all of us.
Plans are underway for SDCC 2019, including a bigger Fan Jam. Highlights from Fan Jam 2018 coming this week. Stay tuned to the blog. It was the best event to date, big feels and heart filled love! Please check out the video below for a full SDCC recap! Also, some candid crew polaroids, and an interview from the loveley Noelle Foley from Ringside Collectibles, daughter of WWE Star Mick Foley!