The Mothership Glass Drop Experience
The Hype is Real.
Campers patiently await the Mothership drop at Gotham Smoke in New York
Camping out for hours to nights at a time for the release of a product used to be almost unheard of 10 years ago but since has somewhat become commonplace in the consumer electronics industry. Media coverage of such events is highly prevelant and there seems to be no single demographic that attends these events.
The widespread interest comes not only from the product or products that are available, but the opportunity that presents itself. From connoisseurs that have waited months for these product to come out, to loving parents (clueless of the product) of interested children, to the 'eBay businessman' that is going to turn a quick profit, everyone and literally their mother attends these types of product release events.
There are even webpages offering tips to attend such an event:
The most common of these events are Black Friday year after year, anytime Apple Inc. releases a new product, or in the video game industry whenever one of 'The Big 3' (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) release a new video game console. As most of these consumer goods are released for the holiday season, many people stand in line in the worst of weather. Many come prepared with heavy clothing, iPads and tablets to watch movies on, and many even pitch tents.
The act of waiting in line for more than just a few hours has become somewhat commonplace in the mainstream consumer electronics and other goods industries, It has now started to find its way into the high end functional glass industry.
Recently I was given the opportunity to attend a Mothership Glass drop at Gotham Smoke in New York. Experiencing the excitement over this highly sought after glass brand was a great time, highly educational, and very eye opening. I arrived a little past midnight and was not even close to being the first in line. Just as Step 1 states in the 'How to' guide, everyone in line already knew what piece their eyes were on. Due to some of the customers in line having been local, they were able to share with the rest of us the pieces that were going to drop as Gotham had them on display the day before the drop.
Unlike the consumer electronics and other events previously listed where release dates are known months ahead of time, the dates of 'Mothership Landings' are generally kept very secret to most and the retailer generally will announce their landing less than 24 hours to 48 hours before the pieces 'drop'. Mothership Glass collectors and potential first time buyers flock to the store at the sound of a potential landing. Gotham Smoke announced their drop less than 24 hours before it took place.
As the night went on a few more people showed up for the Mothership Glass Landing. The line basically doubled in size by the time Gotham Smoke opened its doors at 10:00am. People drove from out of state, others booked hotels; there was even someone there all the way from Ohio. Throughout the night, the atmosphere morphed from stress of people arriving and ensuring their spot in line, to a big awesome hang out session. Everyone became friends and the conversations surrounding functional glass were astoundingly detailed and progressive. I had never had such in depth discussions about specific styles of art, different artists, the history of functional glass, and much more. It was a great to see a group of complete strangers with one common interest coming together; sharing snacks, seats, and much more with eachother. As the night grew colder and rainy, line-standers with vehicles allowed others that may have arrived by foot or taxi (such as myself) to sit and even sleep in their cars. This accidental 4 second clip really speaks for itself in regards to the nature of our conversations throughout the night:
As the night came to a close, everyone assumed their place back in line as others began to show up in the morning. The aura changed to more of a serious vibe as the moments of the drop finally arrived; it was game time.
The handling of the drop went much better than what I have seen of Apple releases and Black Friday. There was absolutely no pushing, shoving, swearing, or non-sense. Two people were allowed in at a time to regulate traffic in the store and make sure this got done right. Although there were a few disrepencies and everyone did not end up with exactly what they wanted, the store owner Roula handled the event in the most fair manner and ensured that everyone that came to wait in line ended up with at least 1 item from Mothership Glass.