SDCC San Diego Comic Con 2014 – Review
This was my first San Diego Comic Con. After living here for almost five years, I decided it was finally time that I check it out. I’m a comic enthusiast and a big fan of the Marvel Universe. I also happen to collect Hot Toys and other rare and expensive vinyl toys, so this would be the place to indulge.
I checked the schedule ahead of time and decided to go on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday would be my “check out everything” day, Saturday for the Divergent autograph session with Shailene Woodley and Theo James (if I was lucky) and panels, and Sunday would dedicated to buying everything I found during the previous two days.
I knew parking was going to be a disaster, so my group parked on the outskirts of Little Italy and used the special “Gotham” Uber coupon for a free ride up to $30. Luckily, our ride was only $6 + tip, no problem. Once we got to Harbor Drive, it was a disaster. We ended up leaving the cab / car early and just walked the rest of the way.
Getting inside the convention was relatively easy and painless. Security just wants you to flash your badge when you first walk in to the convention center, then again when you enter the exhibit hall.
No matter how much you prepare beforehand, nothing will prepare you for the sensory overload you will have when you first enter the exhibit hall. It is jam packed wall to wall with people moving in all directions. Even as a relatively small person who can quickly dash through any crowd, it was incredibly hard to get anywhere fast. I had a list of “must see” exhibitors that I wanted to get out of the way first, but it took much longer than I expected due to the dense, slow moving crowds. After several hours of maneuvering through the crowds, my back started hurting from my backpack. It was partially my own fault for bringing so much camera gear, but I decided to bring less the following days.
The main exhibitors I wanted to see were Sideshow Collectibles, Marvel, DC Comics, Funko, and TFAW (Things From Another World).
Sideshow’s booth was pretty impressive, probably one of the biggest in the hall other than Marvel and DC. They had a Comic Con exclusive display called “Court of the Dead.” Pretty nifty. They also debuted several new prototypes – Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man’s Wall of Armor, Peter Parker, James Gordon, John Blake…. and a DeLorean from Back to the Future! They also had Marty McFly on display for a couple of hours on Saturday, but I missed it. They had a lot of nice giveaways via social media and gave away $25 coupon cards. Aside from not being able to buy anything from them, it was a pretty awesome booth.
Marvel’s booth was pretty disappointing. They had a small Guardians of the Galaxy display and another rotating display (switched out every few hours) that featured Captain America’s motorcycle, a broken Captain America shield and a few other things that I can’t remember off hand. They were handing out exclusive posters for a big collage every few hours and it was almost impossible to snag one. I wasn’t able to get one, boo. They had a scheduled “Marvel Cast Signing” but it wouldn’t be announced until they actually came out to sign. In order to get an autograph, you had to get to their booth when doors opened to get a number to get in line to a lottery. If your number was pulled from the lottery, you were given a wristband to get in line for the signing later in the day. All of the wristbands were gone within minutes, if not seconds after the doors opened. I knew I didn’t stand a chance, so I didn’t even both. My group tried to get wristbands (and even got in a few minutes early) but they were already gone. The lucky wristband holders got to meet the entire main cast of The Avengers Age of Ultron. I don’t think Robert Downey Jr. was at the signing though. As if it wasn’t already crowded enough, the Avengers pretty much broke the Exhibit Hall.
DC Comics booth was celebrating the 75th anniversary of Batman, so it was almost all Batman related exclusives, toys, galleries and movie costumes. My favorite displays were The Dark Knight trilogy props, masks and costumes. They also debuted the new Superman vs. Batman Ben Affleck bat suit. It was pretty cool to be able to see the authentic props and masks.
I’ve heard horror stories about people waiting in line overnight to get in to Hall H for a seat at a panel. Personally, I didn’t want to waste my experience waiting in lines. I would have liked to see some of the panels in Hall H, but waiting that long just wasn’t an option. I opted for a smaller panel hall, Ballroom 20, for Once Upon a Time. We only waited for about 30-45 minutes and we were able to get a seat about 3/4 back. I could see the cast, but the overhead screens were much better. Everyone except Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) was there, but they ended up Skyping her in to the overhead projectors. We also got a sneak preview of the new season. Overall, it was an exciting experience especially being such a big fan of the show.
- Lots to look at
- Opportunity to meet artists, actors, directors, etc.
- People watching / cos players
- Bargain bin comics
- Too many people
- Impossible to buy exclusive toys
- Long lines for everything
- Mediocre food
- Overpriced items