NYCC 2016: What Worked & What Didn’t Work for the Funko Lottery

In years past, we’ve seen Funko roll out new booth procedures for New York Comic Con that later show up at San Diego Comic Con. This year at NYCC, Funko tested out a new lottery system, where attendees knew before they stepped foot in the Javits Center whether or not they were going to be able to get into the Funko Booth for the chance to pick up exclusives.

Signing up for the lottery system was a painless process that required attendees to provide an email and select the dates they would be in attendance, but not the timing of the ticket, which could have been for times at 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 4 PM every day. People who won tickets were randomly assigned a day and time from those indicated when they entered the lottery.

Here’s what worked and what didn’t for this new process.

What Worked

Funko Exclusives Lottery Announcement

In my opinion, the announcement of the lottery was handled well. It was made with enough time for those who had tickets to submit their information with some control over the day they would enter the booth and Funko was good about reminding people to take the thirty seconds to fill out the form during the timeframe it was open. Fans of Funko, who followed any of their social media accounts, or who began looking up the exclusive announcements for NYCC would have been made aware of the new lottery system and had the opportunity to participate.

Confirmations before the Convention

A week before New York Comic Con, attendees knew whether or not they would be able to get into the Funko Booth based on an email from ReedPOP detailing the results of the lottery. This confirmation came with a unique ID, QR code, and the date and time of the attendee’s entrance to the Funko Booth. With that much notice, it allowed for people to adjust their schedules around the booth entrance and make plans for the day around the Funko Booth. It also eliminated the previous lines at NYCC for the booth or wristbands to the booth. The only lines near the booth were “unofficial” and consisted of people waiting for their time to enter the booth.

Ease of Transactions

At this point, Funko is a well-oiled machine when it comes to these large scale conventions with multiple exclusives. Upon having your ticket scanned and entering the booth, attendees were handed a one page sheet and a pen to mark down the exclusives they were interested in purchasing. If they were sold out, they were sold out, but it was a quick, painless process (mostly, I wish I’d gotten that NYCC Exclusive I heart NYCC Dorbz) to have someone in the booth collect everything on my list that was still available and hand it over to me.

What Didn’t Work

Checking IDs

When signing up for the lottery, one of the rules was, “Tickets are not transferrable and ID will be checked.” The bolded text was done by Funko and was re-iterated on winning lottery tickets. My personal experience at the booth was that no one checked my ID to ensure that I was the one who had actually won the ticket, so I can imagine there was a lot of swapping and forwarding tickets to different people. This lax security measure could have allowed for access to the booth by people who may not have won the lottery themselves.

Following Scheduled Times

I can’t speak for any other day besides Sunday, because my ticket was for 1:30 PM on that day, but I was able to enter the line around 12:20 PM without any waiting. People were already being processed through at that time, so I’m not sure how early the 1:30 PM group was able to start. I was actually out of the booth with my purchases by 1:00 PM, a full half hour before my time and despite Funko asking people not to line up before their queue time and insisting that the lottery ticket was only good for the time noted.

The Allotment of Exclusives

With three ticket times every day, 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 4:00 PM, the booth was fully stocked in the morning for the first wave of lottery ticket winners. For the 1:30 PM wave, the consensus seems to be that there was a small restock of some of the exclusives, but by 4:00 PM wave of people it seems that the booth was relatively sold out and not restocked until the next day. This was partially because the booth opens up to anyone after the 4:00 PM wave, but it’s also not fair to those with the last time slot in the day.

As someone who has been attempting to get into the booth at both San Diego Comic Con and New York Comic Con since 2013, I greatly enjoyed avoiding all lines except the one through the actual booth and while I got none of the exclusive exclusives that I had marked down (but by 12:30 PM on Sunday, I had low expectations for them anyway), I did pick up a few shared exclusives that I had had my eye on – including the Indiana Jones jeep and Shane Walsh from The Walking Dead.

Check out the recap of New York Comic Con presented by Funko themselves and let us know about your experiences with the booth in the comments!