Wizard World – Los Angeles March 17-19th 2005
March 20, 2005

 

This was the second year for WizardWorld Los Angeles, and while it is still a relatively small show, it’s still manageable and easy to get through in a day. Once again the convention was held in the Long Beach Convention Center in the re-vamped downtown section of Long Beach. CubanZod and I headed down early Saturday Morning to see the sites and grab the exclusives. it was drizzling that day, but that didn’t seen to scare away any of the local fans.

Wizard has high hopes for next year’s convention and will be moving it to the convention center in downtown Los Angeles next year which will be a much easier drive for me. Thanks Wizardworld!

 

 

 

 

The Toys!

While several toy companies flew into town to set up for the con there were several local companies that were conspicuously absent. SOTA, Dreams and Visions, even Mattel did not have booths at the convention.

Bandai

Bandi was mostly there promoting their new Teen Titans card game but had two display cases of current releases for their Titans line.

Diamond Select Toys

Diamond Select Toys was our very first stop, where we picked up our She-Hulk exclusives and ran into our old friend SDComics, who had made the drive up from San Diego. This was the first showing of the Serenity Figures. Also on display was the next wave of Star Trek figures that are now a joint venture between DST and Art Asylum. Buffy, Angel and Marvel Select were also represented with upcoming product.

Misc. Toys

Some other pieces of interest I saw around the convention center. I was really impressed with that roto-cast Chicken Little from the upcoming Disney Animated feature. It’ totally on model to the film. (I have high hopes for that film. My wife did quite a bit of temporary dialogue recording for it when she was working at Disney and really liked what she saw).

NECA

The NECA booth was kind of an odd one. It was a four sided display case showcasing their Sin City, Pirates of the Caribbean and House of 1000 corpses lines. It manned by a single guy that just kept answering the same question over and over again, "Oooo! When will these be out!" The figures were all laying down in a lit display case so they were a little tricky to photograph.

Palisades

Palisades always shows up strong at the WizardWorld conventions, and this year was no exception. Mike Horn, Travis and Kim were all on hand and they always make every person that walks up to the booth like they are the only people at the show. And speaking of the booth, they have redesigned their booth to make it more modular and easy to build and it displays really look great. On out last spin through the booth we ran into actor Seth Green (Robot Chicken, Oz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer) whom CubanZod used to race against to get the latest Star Wars figures years ago in the now closed Beverly Center KayBee Toys.

Palisades was showing off their newly acquired license for Sesame Street, Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim and Die Hard PALZ.

Their exclusives for this show were: Super Grover (check out that Alex Ross painted box art!!!) and Gonzo and Rizzo from Muppet Treasure Island.

 

New Fan Club Exclusive Kits

 

Tower Records

Tower Records is scooping up some great exclusives this year. I’ll be hunting down one of those exclusive Majestic Studios gold Cylons this month! They also had a very impressive display of block figures and urban vinyl.

 

WizKids

Wizkids had some balls! I swear there was a raffle just to see who would be able to stand in a HUGE line just to get the opportunity to pick up some of their con exclusives. I have to say that Dark Phoenix looks REALLY nice, but there was no way I was trying to get in that line.

 

 

 

The Exclusives

The Celebs

Also on hand were Lt Boomer from the Classic Battlestar Galactica, Mark Singer and Erin Grey from Buck Rodgers.

 

The Customs

Looking around these cons there are always some cool customs if you look around. I really dig the unmasked Deathstroke (made from a ML Magneto head). Also the Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer from "24" was impressive.

 

 

The Cos-Play!

And of course, what comic convention would be complete without people in costume.

 

All-in-all a nice little show. We were able to see everything and everyone by about 2:00 and then get back on the road home. I’m anxious to see what changes will come next year with the larger venue.

 

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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