At the end of last year’s New York Comic Con, partwork publisher and toy manufacturer Eaglemoss alleged that thousands of dollars worth of prototypes and other products had gone missing on the Sunday night ending the convention. Frank Patz, organiser of the neighbouring comic con, Eternalcon in Long Island, New York, attending NYCC as part of Michael Carbonaro‘s Vintage Movie Posters booth, was arrested by NYPD Special Forces on charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen goods.
However, Patz accepted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal of the charges. This means that so long as Patz doesn’t find himself involved in any more such incidents in the next six months, all charges will be dismissed and stricken from his record. The security company working the convention had recorded video showing a number of suspects taking boxes from the Eaglemoss booth to their own booth. It’s common practice at shows for the trash to be raided by other vendors to find things left behind. However, Eaglemoss representatives were still in the process of breaking down their space, and the items taken were still inside the booth and not trash.
What was taken was remarkable in that there was little chance it could be construed as leavings or trash. Most of it was irreplaceable prototypes:
- Mega Harley Quinn
- Mega Hulkbuster
- Alien Xenomorph
- “Dallas”, “Hicks” and “Johner” from Alien
- Prometheus “Engineer”
- Two Predator Creature protypes
There were also six models of the SS. Yorktown, and a surprising pile of other non-prototype merchandise. All in all, the items removed had a value just under $20,000.
The security team caught up with Patz, and most of the items were returned right there, but Patz was then arrested and charged with grand larceny in the third degree and criminal possession of stolen property in the third degree. Weeks later Patz accepted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal of all charges. No other charges were made, not even against all the other people who participated in the booth raid.
The New York Comic Con and the Javitz Center (the place where NYCC is held) aren’t necessarily buying the idea that it was all a big misunderstanding, though. They’ve barred Frank Patz and everybody else associated with the incident from ever again entering the Javitz Center, and show organizers Reed POP have issued a blanket lifetime ban against Patz and associates from attending any of their events, including the New York Comic Con, C2E2, ECCC and anything else they may do in the future.
Patz will still be allowed to run his own convention, but whether it was a genuine theft attempt or just a massive misunderstanding and lapse in judgment, there are still consequences to his actions. Fortunately for him, this time Eaglemoss basically just wanted their stuff back.
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