Guest Mission Report by Ian MacPherson
What a weekend! I’m absolutely shattered. That’s 7 troops since last weekend. And the Hamleys weekend was just mind-blowing.
Hamley’s have been advertising this weekend for weeks, on their website and facebook page, plus the St. Enoch Shopping Centre had also been advertising it. There were also adverts in last weekends Scottish Sun, and Sunday Mail. All that topped off with the Daily Record story, and the Real Radio stint on Friday morning!! I think everbody in Glasgow must have heard about the event. And it sure felt as if every one of them came in to see us over the weekend, TWICE!!
Friday’s event was busy. The school’s were still open, so most kids couldn’t come along. But we were still a lot busier than we have been on previous occasions. Myself and Jason did the armour talk at 1pm. It had been planned to do 2 talks, 1 at 1pm, and another at 3pm. But we were so busy, we were there from 1pm right through to 4pm.
We had 4 Rebel Legion buddies with us on Friday, and it was great to see Keith Armour wearing his Commander Cody for the first time. What a cossie! Simply stunning. A pity the R.L guys couldn’t have stayed all weekend, but they were doing 5 seperate events over the country. Kudos to them for that.
Saturdays event was………..hmmm, I can’t think of a word to describe it. Chaos comes to mind, but that paints the wrong image. Quite simply we were swamped with people coming in for photographs, and to meet their favourite bad guys. The Hamleys staff said they had over 9.000 come through their doors on Saturday. And their sales was a whopping £22,000. A normal Saturday’s take is between £10,000 and £14,000. And the bulk of that was on Star Wars toys.
After spotting all day yesterday, I was keen to get into costume, so I donned the TIE for the day. As per usual, I had the occasional “There’s Darth Vader!” qoute aimed at me. that was until Lord Vader arrived in the shop.
Hamleys had organised with a local photographer to be with us all weekend. And the had a stage area where the public could queue for photos with us. The queue seemed to snake all the way through the mall. Some people queued for over 2 hours to have their photos taken. There were a few complaints to the Hamleys staff from some irate parents, but their hands were tied. There were simply too many people in the store. (good for business though LOL)
I went onto the Armour/Prop table again. It was all going ok, until I heard that familiar “clunk/snap” sound. Someone had dropped my E11, and the pistol grip had broken off. (easy fix). Soon after that, the helmets and props were put away, and no more prop display for Saturday, much to a lot of people’s disappointment. But we explained that there had been some damages, and we needed to do repairs. TBH, it was just too busy, and we had to rethink the set-up for Sunday.
Sunday’s troop started a bit slower. But there was still a queue starting to form for Vader photos. I put on my Tusken for the morning, and he got a good response from the public. Vader was still the man in demand. Poor Alan must have had thousands of photos taken over the weekend.
For the prop talk in the afternoon, we changed the location, and we made a queuing lane, so that our tables wouldn’t be swamped with loads of people at once. This worked really well. Kids could select one helmet and weapon to wear/hold, and their parents could take some photos. This was very popular, and the queue seemed to never end. But everyone was well behaved, and respected the fact that we didn’t want any more accidents with our props.
We had our collection buckets with us all weekend, at the photo area, prop talk, and walking though the mall. The kind shoppers donated £942 over the weekend. Plus we’ve still to get a donation from Hamley’s too. So a great weekend was had by all.
I just want to thank everyone who trooped at the weekend. I hope you all had a great time too. You all did a fantastic job. Thanks guys!