Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Learning Journey Strikes Back

I'd like to say that I've been as flat out as a lizard in the sun, but it makes me think of flopping lazily getting toasted, and that is definitely nothing like my life.

I've been so preoccupied I haven't had time to check my lovely Post Office Box, the one that gives me fantasies of just pissing off, leaving this all behind, and having this one point in space at which I can be contacted. I know that will never happen, but that's why I love having a PO Box.

The nice people in the PO send me emails every day to say

Dear Valued Customer,
Please be advised that there is mail waiting to be collected in PO Box 392.

And if I'd paid attention and taken five minutes to check, I would have found, a lot earlier, a card that lead to this:

3D darth

Something that Bumblebee thinks is amazing and I think is incredibly generous -- sent by Lord Sedgwick and his delightful granddaughter. I'm assuming this is the down payment of her dowry, but B thinks it's heaven. I can't thank you enough.

Which leads me to the other thing I haven't blogged: the response from Hasbro...

A couple of days after he sent the letter, I got an answering machine message from a nice young lady wanting to speak to me about B's letter. The next day I rang them back, got their answering machine, and left my mobile number. Within an hour I got a call from a woman who told me that they'd got B's letter, and they'd all had a lovely giggle about it, but that they felt dreadful, because as a distributor of international goods, they couldn't actually do much, and they felt they should warn me that the letter back would be a bit impersonal. They wanted to do a bit more than that, so do I think he'd like a little something popped in with the letter?

'Yes, I think so, that would be lovely,' I replied, with the polite side of my brain whipping out its lightsabre and cutting off the hand of the other part, the part that wanted to yell 'don't be so patronising, you multinational stooge!'

'We will be sending his letter on to the US branch; they always like to get feedback.' ['About how crap their toys really are, but of course they'll do nothing about it,' muttered ex-Resistance member part of brain, clutching its arm stump valiantly.]

'OK,' said nice brain. And so I waited a few days, not telling B much more than a letter was coming.

Those multinational stooges are wily. They know how to bribe kids. They sent a large parcel (not as large as the nice Lord Sedgwick parcel, but) that generated a lot of happiness. Apologies for the poor photo quality that follows, but it was hard to keep things still.


Inside the parcel was a Darth Vader figure -- one that B hasn't got, even though he has at least 5 of the buggers -- and the piece of resistance (heh), a George Lucas figurine in fancy dress as a stormtrooper.

The goods

I remember seeing this in the shops and thinking 'that's one for the fans'. Well, yup.



happy 2

['Probably wasn't one of their bestsellers,' grunts uni-educated Lefty brain, watching its new silver hand being attached.]

And, true to his Collectors-watching instincts, B has decided that George should stay intact in his box, forever. (He plays with him like the old Prospector in Toy Story 2, making him direct proceedings from in the box.)


Darth, however, came straight out of the box, and hasn't left his side since.

Sigh. He's learned a few things: complaining is worthwhile if something is substandard; that if you REALLY want to change things, your options include: go straight to the top, make a lOT of noise, boycott, or infiltrate and change from within (we've been talking about this a lot).

He's also learned, and this is the most valuable thing in my mind, from reading your responses, that a problem is worth sharing, and that for the most part, people are really, really kind. And he's uber-impressed with Lord S. B is a very lazy writer, and it takes a lot to get him motivated, but there'll be a letter in your mailbox pretty soon, I'm sure, Lord S. Thanks again. And thanks to all of you who got riled upon his behalf. I guess the best we can do is keep complaining. And don't buy those shitty BIG transformers! (The little ones are pretty cool, though...)

POSTSCRIPT: Here's another reason to get cranky at Hasbro, at least for US and Canadians...


Cozalcoatl said...

Thats sooo cool.
Glad they responded and sent loot.

You think if i complained to Fox hard enough about canceling Firefly they would send me Nathan Fillion?

Martha said...

That's great, that he inspired a personal response!

By the way, I don't know whether Hasbro nets good or evil on the international front, but in their hometown of Providence, Rhode Island (coincidentally also my hometown), they founded a very nice children's hospital.

You might be amused by this other Star Wars fan:

Ampersand Duck said...

Worth a try, Coz ;)

That's good to hear, Martha. Thanks for telling me. I like children's hospitals, they're simultaneously nicer but more heart-breaking than general hospitals.

And WOW for the link! We love the Darth Vader made from type! That's going straight to the blogroll...

Fyodor said...

All's well that ends well.

However, I don't think I could resist tearing open that GL-as-stormtrooper package and mercilessly torturing lil' Georgie.

GL: Nooo, Fyodor, not the magnifying glass!

FMB: Yes, Georgie, the magnifying glass. Jar-Jar Binks was bad enough, but making Greedo shoot first? That's unforgivable softcockery. HAN SHOT FIRST, GEORGE. Now buuurn...

naomi said...

So wonderful! And now Bumblebee's mother is the designer of the cover of a Booker prize nominated book!!

Ampersand Duck said...

I know! But only in Australia :)
They use a different cover for the UK and US. But still...

(That's why I left the lower right hand corner of the front cover empty, to hold all the gold stickers. True!)

lucy tartan said...

Magnificent, and I learned something too. Don't know what to say about the George stormtrooper except it's very good that Bumblebee likes it.

Ann O'Dyne said...

I am so touched by the lovely child and his pleasure that I cannot speak

genevieve said...

He's a totally splendid child all right.
I have a househusband friend, a very phlegmatic kind of guy, an engineer who does some work from home while his wife works as a masseur - he entertains himself by routinely complaining about stuff and getting freebies back. I suppose it helps to pass the time for him - he clearly doesn't have as substantial a complaint as BB had. Hurrah for a good result, anyhow.

Anonymous said...

We are so happy for you BB as mum said you learn as you go in life. Also message for you Mum Great parenting!All is well that ends well. Corney I know but way to go. Aunty Lou