The San Diego Comic Con can be completely overwhelming. With panels, “experiences” (as they tend to call the activities set up outside of the Convention Center), pilot screenings, performances, and parties, it’s hard to know what to see first. And one of the craziest places to start is the floor of the Exhibit Hall. With wall-to-wall exclusives, freebies, announcements, signings, trailers, comics creators, scavenger hunts, merchandise, and maybe even a celebrity or two in disguise, it’s pretty much impossible to see everything, unless maybe that’s all you do for the entire con. And without fail, it’s also always a seething, writhing mass of other people who want to see or buy all of the same things you do.
I still love it, though. From accidentally walking through the same booth so many times you start to feel like it’s your second home until you realize you’ve actually never seen the part of it you’re standing in right now, to winding up in the completely wrong aisle from where you meant to be and discovering an awesome bit of merch, to running into a friend you totally never expected to see in the middle of the crowd, to seeing an amazingly clever cosplay, to taking silly pictures with booth displays (one of my favorite things to do), it’s just fun. And while I certainly didn’t see everything, here are some of the coolest things I experienced this year.
- The trailer and announcement for the Disney Infinity Games Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy play set. I just happened to be wandering by the Marvel booth on preview night in time to catch this, and it really does look awesome. From the trailer, the one I’m most looking forward to playing is Groot, but Rocket Raccoon and the others look fun too. (You can watch the trailer here.) I also was on the spot at the right moment to get a free Star-Lord design poster and Groot mask signed by artist Jon Diesta, which was pretty sweet (I guess I was the first person to ask him to sign the foam mask. We discovered it wasn’t easy). I’m glad I happened on that when I did, because every other time I walked by the Marvel booth over the weekend it was such a madhouse that I couldn’t even step into the booth area! Oh, except that I did see the most epic Marvel battle scene that has ever been, in toy format. Whoever set this up is clearly a well-versed Marvel nerd who thought of every detail, from Professor X’s chair hanging in the air to Deadpool just chillin’ while chaos ensued around him. I luff you, Marvel nerd. Also I want to play with this.
- The Hasbro booth, including the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic photo op, simply because I love taking silly pictures and this may be my favorite silly picture of the weekend. They had several scenes and speech bubbles to choose from, for maximum silliness. Well played, Hasbro. I also got a cute free MLP poster and coveted their Spider-Man toys. (That mask is cool.)
- Sideshow Collectibles!! I barely even know where to start with this booth. Every single thing was awesome, from the Back to the Future set to the gigantic Doctor Doom that so needs to be the first thing to greet people in my foyer if I ever have one, to the Captain America movie figures and the life-sized Han Solo in Carbonite that you could win. But the most important thing to me was the Deadpool (!!!!!). Because you guys, they are making a Sixth Scale Deadpool, and he looks amazing. :D :D :D :D :D (Seriously, I can’t express my level of joy at this without emoticons. I’m that speechlessly happy. Also I need this immediately. When does it come out??)
- The excellent cosplays. There were many, many cool costumes on the floor. A few of my favorites were this cute classic Harley Quinn (with smiley purse!); this Skipper from Penguins of Madagascar (he actually looks like he could be an official one? I don’t know. Either way, nice!); this picture-perfect New 52 Wonder Woman (she looked adorable with the Tonner Doll Company Wonder Woman, and made the entire thing, from leather to metalwork!); this clever Hamburglar (Hee!); this pair of Jay Garrick Flashes; this Discworldian Moist von Lipwig (someone said, “Is that a Snitch?” but I recognized him immediately. Yay, Discworld fans!); and this cute Little Mermaid family (that Ursula is boss).
- The DC Comics booth, celebrating 75 years of Batman with neat displays and a variety of custom-designed cowls like this Harley Quinn one. They also had several of the DC Bombshells statuettes on display. Even though I totally recognize the cheesecake-y sexism of pin-up girls and part of me wants to be peeved about these, I can’t help but think they are a really well-done homage to a time gone by, and kind of adorable (and hey, compared to all of the blatant and tasteless attempts to sell comics through sex and female exploitation or dehumanization these days, these feel positively classy). They also had a great depressed Batman statue in the middle, àla the new Ben Affleck Batman, which allowed for some more statue pose picture silliness. You can’t keep me down, emo Batman!
- The Darth Vader Hot Wheels car. Who thought of this? Who did?? You get a prize. Also? I want one. To drive. And I will park it right next to the life-sized Funko Pop! Rocket Raccoon I plan to install on my lawn.
- This thing. No, I don’t know what it is or what it is from or why there is a little floating demon joystick-driving its brain. It is just adorable and creepy and I love it. It can hang out with my Rocket Raccoon. They can be life-sized lawn gnome best buddies, and maybe have cute but disturbing adventures at night when no one is looking.
- Life-sized Star Wars Rebels! I like Hera. She looks sassy. Like she will pwn you and not put up with your nonsense. I hope this is the case. Also she is voiced by Vanessa Marshall. Sweet!
- Con exclusive merch! Like this Deadpool Mr. Potato Head, this glow-in-the-dark White Lantern Flash, this Harley Quinn purse (with bells!), this Firefly Leaf on the Wind keychain/necklace, this too-adorable-for-words Catbug plush, this ghost Yoda bank, and this fiercely adorable Final Battle Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon 2.
Aaaaaand, that’s all, folks! Well, all of the stuff I can remember from the con floor. (Full photo set here) But I have plenty more to report on from SDCC, including fun panels, parties, and press interviews. So stay tuned for more, and until next time, Servo Lectio!
Part Two of Emily’s Grand Adventure will appear right here at ComicMix.com this Thursday!