It was like Black Friday, but without Walmart brawls and the deeply discounted entertainment systems. Throngs of attendees with the Preview Nighttime badge that is coveted, a day early enabling access to the place, were ready to shop. Security ushered the bunch into the building with reminders of "do not push!" A line wrapped around the convention center's second floor, starting near the top and ending at the base of another one. On the final escalator ride, supporters cheered. San Diego Comic-Con had began. They had gotten through the line. Inside the exhibit hall, they'd probably need to stand in a few more.
San Diego Comic-Con is famous for its lines as it's for celebrity sightings and an hour delay is nothing when it comes to scoring the latest, and most collectible, merchandise. Virtually every booth in here, from corporate toy companies to independent comic book artists, will offer something that's exclusive to Comic Con. Those include comics with limited edition toys, form covers and little -run t shirts. "That's among the appeals of the show," says Chris Callahan, writer and artist of the comic book series RoboChuck. Years before, Callahan would come to Comic-Con to shop for exclusives. This year, he has his own, a version of the first issue of his comic with a variant cover and bonus content.
Sellers may bring items that are exclusive to other conventions, but not to this extent. The weeks leading up to Comic-Con are full of huge announcements about one wild exclusive after the next. For the companies, this convention is the perfect crowd for unusual merchandise. "They're those who have that fervor to come to a show in this way, come to the booth as soon as it opens and get that exclusive because they wish to be the first man to own that."
As as the exclusive merchandise is varied, you'll still see some trends that are different. Franchises that are now experiencing peak popularity dominate the want lists. This season's hot ticket exclusive was Funko's vinyl figure according to Ghost, Jon Snow's direwolf in Game of Thrones. (If your looking for some Game of Thrones T-shirts, not much will be Comic Con 2014 but dopeandfamous.com has a cool Game of Thrones T-shirt.) You'll see lots of exclusives for franchises that are celebrating a milestone anniversary, like Alien or Ghostbusters or Hello Kitty. In addition, there are the staples. You can never have enough shortly-to-be- scarce Star Wars toys. Beyond that, there are the independent artists who furnish exclusive merchandise. In the event you 're going to set up store inside the exhibit hall of San Diego Comic-Con, you should have something that may only be available here.
Vancouver-based artist Camilla d'Errico goes all out for ComicCon. At any other convention, she might bring one item that is exclusive with her. For San Diego, she create between 12 and 15 new products specially for the big event. It takes months to plan. In 2013, amongst the t-shirts, accessories and prints, d'Errico created a fresh chain of miniature paintings called "Sweets and Treats." The 5"x7" oil-on-wood originals are the smallest she's ever made. It's an opportunity for her to offer paintings several hundred dollars versus the several thousand that her larger, gallery works would cost. On Wednesday night, fans were ready to snatch up the works. Three were sold by her within the first half-hour of the show.
Scoring for the shoppers, an exclusive requires a certain amount of planning as well. No matter how organized you are, there's no promise that the quest will achieve success.
On Thursday morning, Simone Seto and Ken made their journey to the exhibit hall. The Newport Beach couple spend their first day at the convention purchasing exclusives and attends Comic Con each year. It's an ordeal. Days ahead of time, they will go through the exclusive announcements, check the prices, and decide what they want. They make a plan detailing which booths they'll visit.
When a couple hours opened later, Simone headed to Funko, the toy company that's creating a lot of buzz for far-out figures predicated on TV and film characters. "It turned out to be a total failure," she says of that first effort. The line was cut minutes off after the hall opened. She checked back throughout the day at the booth. They were thinking about heading back Friday morning for a few more things.
Firms with the in-demand things exclusively sell a specific sum daily, to accommodate fans who will not be attending the whole convention. Still, they go quickly. They sold out of the allotment of Wednesday in about 45 minutes.
The bunch is constantly thickest in the middle of the exhibit hall, where Lucasfilm, Hasbro and other household names set up store. Lately, the booth of Hasbro is one that fills con- goers as much as dread. Ken handle exceptionally popular franchises, like My Little Pony and Transformers, along with Star Wars. This season, the mega-toy business released the Star Wars villain's miniature buddy and a sweet Jabba the Hutt figure that comes with a hookah Salacious Crumb. So that you can get among these, buffs have to queue up in the morning to fix a time when they can return, stand in line again and eventually purchase something.
Oftentimes, firms will limit per individual purchases. Purchasing for resale is a thing that happens a lot at San Diego Comic-Con. Simone says that she is really seen individuals exclusives on eBay while still. For Simone, who works in the video game industry, an attorney and Ken,, heavy-duty Comic-Con shopping isn't for resale opportunities. "We are just fans," says Ken.
And for enthusiasts, spending all day long in the exhibit hall is not so awful. "We meet genuinely fine people. Many people are super friendly," says Simone. "Ken like the community feeling."