To the hundreds of thousands in attendance, and the millions at home on the internet…
Comic. Con. Is. Crazy.
It’s crazy. I’ve been going to this con yearly for, well, longer than I care to remember. But it is now crazy. Crazy huge. Crazy crowded. Just plain nuts. It’s so big, with so many people, things to look at, smells (mostly bad) that it’s just total pop culture overload.
And then there are the exclusives. They are both the highlight and the bane of my comic con experience. It’s funny, but there’s so much here that I find I default to my main passion, toys, and ignore most of the rest (ironically ignoring the very comics the con is named for.)
This year, the "winners" for most painful exclusive experience are once again Hasbro and Mattel.
First Mattel. Which actually ended up a bit better than in the past. Reason? Seemingly higher production numbers and NO LOTTERY!!! Sure the Lottery made stuff less hectic but it was frustrating for shoppers and left Mattel with unsold products. And they started selling on Preview Night!!! But there was no King Grayskull and no Lobo until Thursday, so despite being able to get Giganta and Lightning McQueen, that meant lining up again… And that led to the inevitable encounters with surly "Red Shirts" telling you "this line is CLOSED." Repeatedly. But then finally, just when you have given up, you go by and they say, "Oh, no it’s not closed, go ahead and line up."
Then it’s a matter of slowing winding your way into the booth and hearing the limits set in. Preview night started with NO LIMITS, and I saw a couple walk off with THIRTEEN CASES of McQueens. Thirteen. O___O So me, Fresh Monkey and Brian-man make our way up and literally get there in time to get the last of the Lobos for the day. Whew.
Hasbro however beats Mattel hands down for the worst run Exclusive sales at the con. They have an entire separate Hasbrotoyshop booth, but its IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FREAKIN SALES FLOOR. And the lines are obscene. Like Disneyland on the 4th of July. And disorganized. You’d stand in line, then be told after 20 minutes that you were not actually "in" the line and had to leave. Nice. Finally, after having 2-3 hour plus waits, they started passing out tickets. But they passed out so many that the lines were the same.
Hasbro and SDCC has to change this. They need to put the Hasbrotoyshop booth in a seperate area, preferably in the Sails Pavilion so the lines won’t spill out and block aisles. It’s unsafe.
But in all fairness a lot of the early crowds were due to initial panic. Preview Night and Thursday morning lines and crowds were awful, however by Thursday Afternoon, we were able to stand in line for only 30-90 minutes at Hasbro and Mattel to get what we wanted.
So my exclusives want list is finally done as of Thursday Afternoon! The tough ones were Cobra Commander, Lobo and King Grayskull, but all is done. ^____^
Funniest thing? It’s really all about demand.. The "popular" exclusives (Mattel, Hasbro) are far more plentiful than stuff like the SOTA Street Fighters. But then no one really cares about Street Fighter any more… (Except me! ^o^)
So all in all it’s been a hell of a SDCC, and it’s only Thursday. Of course this year I’ll be leaving Friday Night, as I just can’t hack the weekend crowds anymore… Too old.
But the best part, was and still is connecting with online toy friends in the real world. Or at least as real as the craziness that is Comic Con can be. And though I’m leaving early, I’m not missing our traditional dinner at Bucca di Beppo tonight. It wouldn’t be Comic Con otherwise.