LEGO San Diego Comic-Con 2004: The 8601 Toa Vakama Exclusive that never happened
San Diego Comic-Con exclusives are quite the stir these days. What got us curious is was when did LEGO start to dish out the exclusives? Turns out based on Brickset’s list of exclusives, 2004 was the year that it all started.
The very LEGO’s first entry into exclusives for SDCC was somewhat a boo-boo. We tracked back to the time of when LEGO started to issue Exclusives and Brickiest records that it all started back in 2004. The planned exclusive was supposed to be the special Kanoka SDCC disc to be issued with Toa Vakama in a special canister. The image below (via BZpower) is what was supposed to be issued with the unique SDCC logo printed on the disc. However, it never came to be.
From this news report on BZpower, there were 5000 pieces made to be issued at the convention. However in a followup post it seems that there was an error in the production run and the discs were not available for distribution at the event. The followup update from the same source mentioned that the Toa Vakama canisters with the printed exclusive external labels were being sold at a discount which is what you see being sold on various platforms like eBay and Bricklink. According to the seller who has a SDCC canister version, the LEGO folks on the floor were apologetic towards fans.
In summary, looks like the plan didn't go well for unknown reasons but well, folks did get somewhat of an exclusive canister that sells pretty well the after market!
Here's a review of the 8601 Toa Vakama set on Eurobricks
If you're interested in the build instructions for the 8601, they're available from LEGO