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Bringing Darth Vader Home

Email: KJ@starwarsselect.com
Website: StarWarsSelect.com

July 31, 2004

Man, oh man, when I walked into Comic-Con International on the final day, Sunday July 26, 2004, I never would have thought I'd be walking out of there with a lifesize cardboard Darth Vader standup.

Okay, so here's how it happened. In the Star Wars pavilion at Comic-Con, one of the retailers was selling lifesize cardboard standups of Star Wars characters (ex. Darth Maul, Yoda, Darth Vader, etc.), along with standups of other movie characters and celebrities. I passed by their display several times throughout the four days of the convention, pondering the "what if..." briefly, and then moving on.

Now I don't mean to imply that twenty five bucks, the initial asking price, is unaffordable, it's just that I had a limited budget (which I well exceeded by the final day) and I would rather have put the money toward buying other stuff, like the $38 Comic-Con exclusive 0.45 scaled replica of Obi-Wan's lightsaber in A New Hope.

When Sunday, the final day of the convention, rolled around, many retailers slashed their prices, probably because they wanted to drag as little of their inventory as possible back with them to where ever they came from. This lifesize standup display cut their prices down to twenty dollars. Not a bad deal, one that truly tempted me. But how in the world was I supposed to drag that puppy around for the rest of the convention? I could have used the coat check, I suppose (it was only a dollar per item). Nah.

  Darth Vader standup on display at a booth at Comic-Con International 2004
Photo © StarWarsSelect.com

Darth Vader standup on display at a booth at Comic-Con International 2004.

I passed by the lifesize standup booth a few minutes before the convention closed, and noticed that they had, once again, slashed their prices. Now, all standups were only fifteen dollars, and all display standups were only ten. Again, a tempting offer. Then, I remembered a bit of advice that my mom had given me: at the end of the convention, make the retailer an offer. She is an experienced convention goer, although the conventions that she usually goes to are business oriented.

I offered a retailer twelve bucks for a lifesize Darth Vader (bagged, and folded so that he was half size, but still an awkward three feet tall). The retailer said done. Then, I overheard the guy next to me make an offer of ten bucks for a standup. "Will we go for ten?" one of the retailers asked. "Sure." Naturally, I asked the retailer I was dealing with if I could have my standup for ten dollars too. He said sure.

Darth Vader was quite cumbersome to carry, and I got a few odd stares on my trolley ride back the car. Nevertheless, Darth Vader survived his strange journey, and is now home. So now, here I am, telling the story of my ten dollar lifesize Darth Vader standup. A pointless story to tell, perhaps, but on the other hand, I like to think that there is an underlying moral: stick around conventions till the final minutes, make an offer on an item you've had your eye on, and you just might be able to get it for a steal.

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