Pop culture retailers bank on big sales at comic con in Dubai
A lot of their popularity also stems from celebrities being seen holding up their characters on the red carpet.
Major pop culture retailers said that they are looking forward to record sales at this year's edition of the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC 2020), as a result of several customers holding off on their intended purchases so that they can avail the deals and bundle offers that have been launched at the show.
Speaking to Khaleej Times after the show's opening on Thursday afternoon, Nimit Deepak Palija, general manager at Geekay Group, described the three-day event as a "geek's paradise."
"At shows like this, there is something for every type of fan, whether they be into gaming, anime, movies, horror, TV shows, Marvel or DC," he said. "Geek Nation has been participating at comic con for years now. Every year, we try to bring more exciting things for our fans that are in line with the latest movie and game releases. In addition to action figures from the big blockbuster movies, games, and TV series, we also ensure that we cover several categories such as T-shirts, hats, and various other accessories."
He noted that pop culture fans throng to the Geek Nation stand because the retailer does its best to ensure that they have everything that fans can want. "Fans want merchandise of their favourite shows and games, and we try our best to make sure that we have it for them, especially during events such as comic con, where fans are in the mood to shop because they know that they are going to be getting unbeatable deals. We have deals all around; you can get two Funkos for Dh99 or buy two T-shirts and get the third one free. We also have discount bins where you can get items for as low as Dh25."
In addition to the discounts, Palija revealed that fans are also in a buying mood when they see the various activities that are lined up that will allow them to walk away with some freebies on top of their purchases.
Mostafa Hamdy, account development manager at Monkey Distribution, the official Funko wholesale distributor for retailers in the Middle-East & North Africa, said that the event, which is running until March 7, 2020, had steadily grown, along with its popularity among residents. "Before, we had events such as Games con and various others across the UAE, but this is undoubtedly the one big event that brings together fans from across the board," he said.
Speaking about the popularity of Funko, he explained that everybody is a fan of something or the other, and many end up wanting an item that expresses their love for it. "Our motto is 'long live the fan' and Funko's strategy is to cater to all the fandoms everywhere. Even if you are not a die hard fan or a serious collector, chances are that you will love something and that Funko will have a figure of it. Also, they make great gifts because people talk about things that they are passionate about and their friends will remember and get them a Funko. Right now Funko has more than 1,100 licences for different pop culture titles."
Asked what he thinks will fly off the shelves during the three-day event, Hamdy pointed to Funkos of Geralt from the Witcher, and said that the Netflix TV series had resulted in a surge in popularity. "Marvel Funkos have always been popular, and so have Funkos from Disney films and animes like Naruto and Full Metal Alchemist."
He added that a lot of their popularity also stems from celebrities being seen holding up their characters on the red carpet.
Daniel Jose, marketing manager at Al Tannan Group of Companies, whose portfolio includes The Little Things and Tsume, also agreed that Funko dolls will be one of the best sellers at the event since they are relatively cheap and the subject of several bundle deals at the event. However, he also pointed to serious collectors waiting for comic con so that they can get their hands on several high-quality exclusive collector pieces. "We have several collections that are Dubai exclusive and come in very limited numbers. In addition to that, we have several collector pieces from popular animes such as Naruto and One Punch man. Aside from this, Dragon Ball Z merchandise is also going to be very popular because the new game was recently launched and long-time fans are going to be coming for that."
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