02/15/2013

I Got Sucker Punched At Toy Fair Because Of A Stuffed Sonic The Hedgehog Doll

by Matthew Hawkins

It’s been another crazy week; Toy Fair recently wrapped up, and the very first IndieCade East just kicked off. I’ll pass along reports for both when I have the time, but real quick, some clarification on something that happened at the former that you might have heard about.

So here’s the deal: I was going down the aisles of the Jacob Javits when a sign caught my eye. It was for a Sonic The Hedgehog plushie that allows you to roll him up as a ball. Which I thought was pretty neat! After all, half the time in his games, he’s all curled up. So I decided to investigate.

The booth was manned by one guy, who was in the middle of a conversation. I looked around for a sign that said no photographs but didn’t see one. And there it was, the toy in question. So I took the following picture…

… And immediately got punched in the back. At first I had no idea what hit me. I turned around and saw the guy (who was now by himself) ask, “Excuse me?” It’s not often I get sucker punched, so I was literally dumbstruck.

At first I thought it was an accident and his words to me were along the lines of “Oops, I didn’t see you there!” I looked around for some kind of object, like a pole, that would have caused the jabbing sensation. But it became immediately clear that what he was trying to say was “What the fuck are you doing?”

The dude demanded to know who had given me permission to take a picture. Again, I was totally stunned by what was happening, so I blurted out “Umm, no one, I suppose” or something to that effect. He then immediately began screaming “What the fuck is your problem?!?!” and the such.

I told him to call down and that there was no need to lay a hand on me. But when attempting to explain that I was simply a journalist, that’s when he got right in my face and I honestly thought that he was going to deck me.

“Listen asshole, I hear that bullshit all the time, from people trying to pull a fast one on me!” From the corner of my eye I could seem people in the booth next door, looking on, wondering what the hell was happening.

Again, I explained what I was doing, and that there was absolutely no reason for assault. I think the “a” word is what caused something to click inside his brain, and he apologizes. But it was clearly a half-hearted “I’m in big trouble here, gotta try to cover my ass”.

He stated that he was having a bad day or that he allowed his emotions get the better of him. Whatever. Still not much of an excuse. His name Tom Deluca, and he works for Fabrique Innovations Inc (at least he gave me his card when I asked for who he was). I think he’s the president of the company? What a douche.

BTW, my favorite reaction to the incident…

Again, will have my full rundown of Toy Fair 2013 sometime next week. In the meanwhile, and as mentioned last time, the episode of the Fangamer Podocast in which I talk about the time I tried making a dating sim for a New Jersey mobster and filled it with tons and tons of hot dog references is now available for download!

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