Creating personalised collectibles for Comic Con Fans

From 28-30 October 2022, London played host to MCM Comic Con (Winter Edition); the convention that covers comics, television shows, movies and other forms of mainstream art and fiction. Based in the ExCel Arena, the UK’s largest flexible auditorium, the TCG ME exhibit covered over 1000,000m2 of event space. Multinational e-commerce company eBay – the home of collectibles – invited attendees to immortalise themselves as avatars within bespoke trading cards.

Celebrating so many universes

Collecting cards is a passion of many attending comic conventions, but they are always of existing characters. eBay, in collaboration with digital agency DEPT® offered attendees the chance to be the stars of their own story, immortalising their MCM Comic Con 22 experience within a personalised trading card. TCG ME was present for the weekend of Comic Con, and free to all attendees. 
At eBay’s stand, participants were able to customise their cards by inputting their name and selecting their title (The Slayer, The Magnificent, The Trainer, The Sensei, The Trickster, The Answer, The Wanderer, The Messenger, The Treacherous) and to then choose from six different styles of avatar; RPG/MMO, Futuristic, Anime, Superhero Retro and Classic Adventure as well as their card design. The interactive photo booth then takes their picture and uses all of their content and image to create their personalised trading card. Each card received its own unique print number; this serial number ensures that users can guarantee their cards’ authenticity and adds collectability. If a participant was one of the first 100 people to create a card, their card reflected that. Each card was then printed on-site at the eBay stand, placed in a card sleeve to be worn on the Comic Con lanyard and taken home as a physical, personalised collectible. Each TCG ME user received a digital version of their card in an email which could then be shared across all of their social channels with the hashtag #ebaycomiccon22.

DEPT® developed a Snapchat lens to tease the activation and garner hype as well as an OOH plan, art direction and assets for the Custom House TFL takeover during Comic Con at Excel. Borrowing from the OOH designs, experience agency Experience 12 designed and created the eBay stand – ensuring a visual thread that ran throughout the work, online and offline. The development of TCG ME was possible through DEPT®s collaboration with tech suppliers, Noonah who developed the technology behind our concept following DEPT®s direction, creative concept and design/art direction.

The Snapchat lens was a huge hit. Live across the UK, it generated: 6.1M impressions, +216K shares (3.54% share rate), and an average camera play time of just over 23 seconds.

Collectibles customers are a vibrant community of enthusiasts and we set out to bring their passion to life with TCG ME. Comic Con celebrates so many universes and it’s been an exciting challenge to ensure our concept is not only engaging on the floor, but transcends into digital and OOH channels.

Eve Williams, CMO, eBay UK

$54 billion spent on virtual goods

The world of gaming is morphing into what we’re now calling the metaverse. In 2021, 2.5bm chat messages were sent and 17m friendships were made on Roblox daily. Every year, $54 billion is spent on virtual goods in the metaverse. Over 50% of metaverse players use it to socialise. 60% of Gen Z and 62% of Millennials think how you present yourself online is more important than in IRL.

At the beginning of 2022, DEPT® launched their Web3 practice, to help brands into the Metaverse; a  360 service from consultation to delivery. The international digital agency is bringing global fashion brands into the metaverse, and creating bespoke virtual worlds to showcase real world and digital goods. Using Blockchain’s core technology for simple and secure transactions and management. Payment and treasury infrastructure to create the future of national digital currencies. 

The metaverse is growing. Yes, it’s a minefield, but there are many fantastic opportunities for brands to integrate with this new world. Combining the physical and digital worlds together is an excellent way to do this. By using the essence of its business ‘trading’ and coupling this with Comic Con’s original roots, Comic characters, eBay’s TCG ME is  able to bring these two elements together and appeal to fans past and present, creating content that is not only fun, but helpful and wanted

Lauren Chester,  Head of Tech, DEPT®


VP of Marketing, EMEA

Mellissa Flowerdew-Clarke

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