Y’all know how Arti Shah is? Neither did I until this promo came along. LEGO really wants you to care though because they are raffling away a Maz Kanata minifigure sealed in a case complete with a picture signed by Arti Shah, the motion capture double for Lupita Nyong’o. Yes, it is as lame as it sounds.
I was waiting since the beginning of March to post this. The promo briefly popped up on the promotions page, but once I clicked through to the VIP Rewards area, there wasn’t a mention. Probably an error on LEGO’s web team since the Comic Con exclusive Shazam! minifigure drawing was still active at the time. I had written up a whole post detailing why this was such a terrible idea but held off because I couldn’t figure out whose signature it was on the photo and wanted to wait until the promo went live. A small part of me was hoping that someone would have second thoughts about it and that it would get cancelled. Sadly, that did not happen.
The promo sounds kinda neat, right? It’s a graded minifig! With an autographed picture! But once you really think about it and look closer the appeal tarnishes rather quickly and the idea falls apart. The picture above was the thumbnail posted back at the beginning of March. Since no details were available at the time, I couldn’t figure out whose signature it was. Enhance!:
Since that signature clearly doesn’t resemble Lupita Nyong’o, my initial guess was that it was the signature of LEGO’s in-house designer, whatever his or her name may be. LEGO has offered signed sets before at geek conventions. At Comic Con a few years back, they offered 21311 Voltron signed by the designer. It sounds like a good idea but really, unless they’re a Hollywood celebrity, famous athlete, or political figure, no one cares. They should have sold those sets as damaged boxes.
I mean absolutely no disrespect to Arti Shah, but unfortunately, because of the way Hollywood is, unless you’re Andy Serkis, no one’s heard of you (and how the heck Andy made a name for himself as “the mo-cap guy” is beyond my comprehension). LEGO is stepping into a weird subculture of offering autographed goods and if they’re going to do that, at least get someone famous to sign it. The motion capture double? Really? What’s next, Best Boy Grip? If you end up winning this and sharing your misfortune with others, I guarantee you their response to you saying who signed the picture will be, “Who’s that?”
Look, I’m not perfect here. I fell victim to this “autograph” mentality myself. Years and years ago, during a Star Wars Days weekend at LEGOLAND California, I got this signed by the set designer:
I couldn’t even guess what the name is. I can’t even sell the set now because no one wants a signed set by someone they’ve never heard of. Again, no disrepect to the guy, but this was stupid of me to get. The only saving grace was that it didn’t cost me anything. The Maz Kanata raffle is going to cost you 50 of your precious VIP points per entry, and you can enter up to 15 times. I’m showing you my worthless Snowspeeder set as a warning. Don’t do it. Don’t be like me. You’re better off spending those points on LEGO Trash sets.