San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog The ultimate source of news and info for Comic-Con attendees. Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:52:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 GeekShot Exclusive Photo Series Vol. 2 (Week 28) Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:52:26 +0000 GeekShot Exclusive Series Vol 2 Week 28 - Wonder Woman statue sideshow collectibles 2015

Welcome to the GeekShot Photo Exclusive Series. This will be a weekly post featuring cool, interesting, or just plain awesome moments we have captured during San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon. Each week we’ll post a photo by Beth or James of GeekShot Photography. We may include a short story about the photo, but sometimes we’ll just let the photo speak for itself.

About This Photo

Wonder Woman statue at the Sideshow Collectibles booth at San Diego Comic-Con 2015

You had to know a statue photo was coming sooner rather than later. I actually spent some time on two different days shooting at Sideshow and other exhibitors that had nice displays of toys and statues. This one stood out as one of my favorites.

The main thing about this photo that makes it different than most I took at the booth is the convention center lights. Normally the lights are a distraction or hindrance to getting a decent photo. They reflect on the glass and you have to work around them or, more likely, accept that they’ll be there. Luckily I was able to use them this time to help give the photo a dynamic feel. If you look closely though, the reflection of other lights still caused a problem at the end of her hair. It is a small flaw in the photo overall, so I was willing to let it go.

Did you get a favorite capture of a statue this year? Let us know in the comments.

You can see all of the previous posts in this series here.

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Comic-Con International Reminds Attendees to Keep Your Badges! Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:37:22 +0000 Comic Con BadgesAlthough we just finished San Diego Comic-Con 2015, it’s never too early to start planning for next year. For general attendees who attended in 2015, that means thinking about Preregistration for Comic-Con 2016, to be held July 20-24. In their Toucan Blog post this morning, Comic-Con International reminded 2015 attendees to hang on to your 2015 Comic-Con badge as an important piece in Preregistration for next year’s convention.

As with last year, there is a number printed on all badges that is unique to the holder, and will be key in participating in Preregistration for Comic-Con 2016. You will need to physically enter that number to “validate” your badge during a set time frame to be eligible to participate in Preregistration for 2016, and CCI also notes that they will email 2015 attendees with more information soon. They told attendees before the con that we should keep an eye out for news in August, so the date for validation may be coming sooner rather than later. Check out our visual guide to badge validation and Preregistration, which was held in November last year.

Just remember: Keep it secret, keep it safe. If you lose your badge you will not be able to participate in Preregistration, and will need to wait for the open sale in early 2016.

Read about the Comic-Con badge sale in our 2015 Pre-Registration Recap, and learn more about SDCC badges in our article, “What Are The Odds Of Getting A San Diego Comic-Con Badge?

Discuss badges in the comments below!

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Hasbro San Diego Comic-Con Exclusives Now On Sale Online Tue, 28 Jul 2015 15:48:40 +0000 hasbro-logo-feat-imageJust like with yesterday’s Mattel After Party Sale, Hasbro is selling their leftover inventory of San Diego Comic-Con exclusives online at If you couldn’t swing by during the madness of the convention, or that day’s allotment was sold out, this is a great second chance at scoring that coveted item.

Although this doesn’t include every exclusive which Hasbro brought to SDCC this year, it does include the G.I. Joe Crimson Strike Pack, KREO Transformers Cybertron Class of ’85, Magic the Gathering Origins Pack, Marvel Ant Man Mini Action Figure, Marvl Ant-Man Global Event 5-Pack, Dr. Strange Book of Vishanti, My Little Pony Equestria Girls, My Little Pony Pinkie Pie, and yes, the Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper (currently sold out, but you might keep checking back), Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Devestator and Hunters Figure Set, and more.

You can order your Hasbro San Diego Comic-Con exclusives online now.

Will you be picking anything up in today’s Hasbro online sale? Let us know in the comments.

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Mattel After Party Online Sale Offers SDCC Exclusives Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:07:25 +0000 CFiuBNUUIAAwFJxMattel has brought back their popular After-Party Sale this year, where anyone who wants to purchase select San Diego Comic-Con exclusives can. The sale is now open through August 3 at 11:59PM PT.

The exclusives available include the Masters of the Universe Rotar vs. Twistoid ($55), Ghostbusters Courtroom Battle Egon Spengler ($30), Masters of the Universe Hover Robots 3-Pack ($35), Thomas & Friends Super Friends MINIS ($30), Monster High Villain 2-Pack ($40), Monster High Vinyl Nefera de Nile ($20), Mega Bloks Halo Icons Character Pack ($20), BOOMco HALO UNSC/Covenant Battle Pack ($30), and the Batman v Superman Figure Two-Pack ($30).

What isn’t available is the Hot Wheels Batmobile, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens First Order Stormtrooper character car, the Hot Wheels Marvel Secret Wars Character Car 3-Pack, and the Ever After High Raven Queen.

You can grab them online now, while supplies last.

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GeekShot Exclusive Photo Series Vol. 2 (Week 27) Thu, 23 Jul 2015 20:40:05 +0000 GeekShot Exclusive Series Vol 2 Week 27 - Victor Frankenstein Daniel Radcliffe James McAvoy 2015

Welcome to the GeekShot Photo Exclusive Series. This will be a weekly post featuring cool, interesting, or just plain awesome moments we have captured during San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon. Each week we’ll post a photo by Beth or James of GeekShot Photography. We may include a short story about the photo, but sometimes we’ll just let the photo speak for itself.

About This Photo

Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy at the Victor Frankenstein panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2015.

These are the moments you live for when you photograph panels at Comic-Con. This particular one is so much better without any context. But for those wondering, they are demonstrating how Victor Frankenstein straightened Igor’s back.

This particular panel was full of laughs and the two actors played off each other and moderator Chris Hardwick the entire time. It’s always a joy to see panels like this instead of the plain Q&A we usually get.

What were your favorite panel moments during 2015? Let us know in the comments.

You can see all of the previous posts in this series here.

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Experiencing the FX Fearless Arena at Comic-Con 2015 Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:55:21 +0000 You couldn’t miss the hotel wrap for FX’s The Strain looming over us from the Hilton Bayfront, promoting the summer episodes of the series, and creeping out more than a few con-goers. On the lawn next to the hotel, FX Networks set up their Fearless Arena with four main activations for The Strain, American Horror Story, Fargo, and the upcoming series The Bastard Executioner. The arena was open to all passerby and Hall H line-sitters, so hopefully you took advantage of their It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia sunscreen station, or the Archer water fountains with their Pam Poovey dolphin nozzles.

DSC02086 Always Sunny in Philadelphia sunscreen fargo waffle hut FX arena fearless archer bastard executioner american horror story

With the Fargo station, you were taken inside of a clear dome for a snowglobe photo op, posing with the Waffle Hut and a dead body, as it began to snow around you. Sadly, the dead body is not immediately visible in my photo…

IMG_8125 kim fargo fx

The American Horror Story activation promoted their upcoming series’ theme, Hotel, and the set-up was a lot of fun. Teams of four were taken to individual rooms, which became a cash-grabing wind tunnel. The person who grabbed the most AHS-branded money would get a gift card. All participants received a trading card and AHS room key.

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The Strain‘s activation sat attendees in a creepy room with a Samsung Gear VR headset for an immersive experience from the show. More about The Strain‘s VR experience can be found on VRScout. The set-up for The Bastard Executioner sent 2 people through a winding path where they faced off against each other in 3 challenges: Strength, archery skill, and puzzle solving. The winner of these challenges received an Executioner hooded T-shirt.

Another video, from Parks and Cons, of their walkthrough of the Arena as the experience was being set-up:

Did you attend the FX Arena and get some sunscreen? Let us know in the comments below!

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The ‘How It Should Have Ended’ Villain Pub at Comic-Con Thu, 23 Jul 2015 17:59:38 +0000 Partnering with Henry’s Pub on 5th Ave during San Diego Comic-Con was HISHE, otherwise known as How It Should Have Ended, the creators of the excellent animated parodies of all our favorite (and not-so-favorite) films.

Celebrating 10 years since HISHE was founded, the team brought their animated “Villain Pub” to life at Henry’s, where they held Q&A sessions with the founders, hosted happy hours, and held workshops with animators and voice artists that help bring the movie ending ideas ideas to life. Plus, Henry’s got an awesome makeover, that was even still in place Sunday night during the Agents Wrap Party.

Check out HISHE’s video recap of their week at SDCC:

On the Thursday of Comic-Con, the Villain Pub hosted a special premiere screening of HISHE: Jurassic World. If you couldn’t stop by for the premiere screening, you can still catch it now online:

Did you stop by the HISHE Villain Pub? Let us know in the comments.

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Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Funko Booth Mon, 20 Jul 2015 18:29:00 +0000 funko

Funko Ticket. Photo by Ricky Cassvan

Something funny happened on the way to the Funko booth this year.

Or rather, something funny happened at the Funko booth, as well as behind the scenes.

Funko — the creators of Funko Pop! vinyl toys and other product lines like Hikari, Wacky Wobblers, and more — are easily one of the most popular booths on the show floor, right up there with the giants of Hasbro, LEGO, and Mattel. However, unlike those three, they don’t implement any sort of pre-sale (like the latter) or Sails Pavilion ticketing system (like the former two). As their popularity continues to boom, their lack of a well-defined system led to mixed results at San Diego Comic-Con this year.

Funko is aware that the demand greatly outweighs their supply during the convention, which is in part why they announced before the con that, “in an effort to streamline the process and keep the line moving quickly,” they were moving to an order sheet system this year. The idea was that once people were in line, they would hand them an order sheet to fill out with each collectible that they wanted, so there would be no delay once they reached the register. They also announced that they would not be selling to exhibitors on either Preview Night or during the first hour of the show on Thursday-Sunday, presumably in an effort to sell directly to fans instead.

However, as is common practice at Comic-Con (or any event), people try to find loopholes.

According to Funko’s Marketing Coodinator Cameron Deuel, once the convention kicked off, Funko was “noticing a disturbing amount of people lingering around [their] booth before the floor was even open,” which likely meant that exhibitors were swapping badges with regular attendees and hanging around the booth, an unfortunately common occurrence at Comic-Con. This led to frustrating situations for fans who had been lined up for hours, as that combined with the already mad-dash to the booth made it one of the most frustrating lines of the convention.

“My friend and I got into line for Preview Night at 9:15AM on Wednesday,” Stephanie Kariott said. “We were one of the first 10-15 people near the escalators at the G Hall entrance. When we were let in, I booked it to the Funko booth, and as I’m sure you know, by then it was already a madhouse. I jumped in line and spent about 45 minutes not moving at all and not even knowing if I was really in line or if they were going to cap it off in front of me.”

Hours later, it was determined Kariott was in line, but that they wouldn’t be able to take her order on Wednesday. Instead, she and several other attendees were given VIP passes to return the next day to head to the front of the line.

This general situation carried on until Saturday, when Funko decided to make a change. For the last two days of the show, Funko devised a last minute plan and began distributing tickets on the show floor that attendees would require in order to visit the booth, instead of simply allowing the line to form and then capping it.

“The ticketed system was implemented on Saturday and Sunday only in an attempt to relieve the crowd congestion around our booth,” Deuel said. “The ticketing system was implemented after the first two days of SDCC. The crowd around our line was out of control and the idea was hatched during the second day of the show. By the third day, our team had created tickets for 3 separate phases to take place throughout the day.”

However, they didn’t actually inform attendees about the change — on purpose.

“The ticketed system was not communicated on social media and that was an intentional choice. We had a lot of issues with exhibitors switching their badges and camping out at the entrance to our line. The goal was to make sure Con-goers were given a better opportunity,” Deuel said.

The tickets were distributed at various locations, including at the booth itself, a situation which worked out well for at least some attendees.

“As I approached [the booth], I could already see the mass hysteria forming around the booth and accepted my attempt would be futile yet again. When I finally made it, I saw that they were handing out colored tickets and I managed to snatch one,” Ricky Cassvan, co-host of It Came From a Podcast, said. “I was told to come back at 1 PM since I was part of group 2. I got to the Funko booth at around 12:50 PM and was turned back until 1 PM, so I just hung around the area. Once we got in line, they handed us a sheet with everything they were selling. We were instructed to mark an ‘X’ next to each item we wanted to purchase, with a limit of one of each item per person. One and half hours elapsed by the time I got in the line to when I was finally let in the booth. They grabbed all the items I had marked and rang me up. After three years and several multi-day attempts, I had finally officially gotten into and purchased exclusives at the Funko booth.”

However, tickets were also distributed elsewhere on the show floor, to mixed results.

“Tickets were purposefully distributed away from the where our line began in order to give other SDCC-goers a chance to have access to our booth,” Deuel said, explaining that they were hoping this process would put an end to exhibitors in their line.

Because they didn’t communicate any of this to attendees, it’s unclear how many actual fans knew about the process, versus how many attendees simply lucked into it by chance.

Artist Agnes Garbowska posted a video on Instagram of Funko tickets being distributed at the entrance to the G Hall. You can see how easy it was for Funko collectors and other attendees to walk straight past the ticket distributors, without knowing what the tickets were for or that they should be looking out for them.

“The painful part is I probably walked right past the guy handing them out if there were any left by the time I set foot in exhibit hall,” Louie Rob, who tried to join the Funko booth one morning, said. “I didn’t know about tickets until I was physically at Funko’s booth. I assumed at this point I might as well try for the next wave, and started asking how to do that.”

Asking Funko how to join the line the next day though proved difficult, at least for some.

“They were just more focused on explaining why I missed out, and that the line was capped.  They couldn’t seem to answer when the next opportunity would be, which I assume is because they had no clue, but didn’t want to put it so bluntly,” Rob said.

For as difficult as Funko’s regular Comic-Con exclusives were to obtain, there was one that was even harder: the Bryan Fuller exclusive. The piece was limited to only 144, and was only sold during a special autograph signing by Fuller on Friday. Michael Richert reported that he and several other attendees circled the booth like “musical chairs” as they hoped to land in the right spot at the right time.

“At 12:51 I noticed a bunch of peoples hands shoot up and people start filling the line. The line that wasn’t supposed to begin until 1PM was capped at 12:53. I was so frustrated with how poorly that was run that I never returned to their booth,” Richert said.

However, a few lucky ones did manage to make it in, but even the attendees who scored reported mass chaos.

“The line process was a madhouse. Funko’s booth is in a very bad space for such an event. The security guards and the Funko people did their best to keep people moving, but all that happened was the creation of a constantly circling mass of people among the normal mass of people,” M, a female attendee who wished to remain anonymous, said. “When it was time for Funko to open the line, which they should have done well before they actually did, it was a nightmare. There were some people who were quite literally shoved out of the way by people who could physically overpower them. There was a crush of people frantically pressing forward and the Funko people did their best to manage to get people into a line.”

One of the most consistent comments from attendees was confusion over why Funko devised their own ticketing system, rather than utilizing the common ticket drawing system up in Sails Pavilion that’s used for several autogragh sessions and some exclusives.

“Having a hoard of people mill around your booth while your booth was closed for three hours is unsafe, when it could have (and should have) been a very simple ticketed signing,” Richert said.

When we asked if the company had considered using a Sails ticketing system, the company declined to answer — but if the ultimate concern was to keep exhibitors away, then that system has had good results for both Hasbro and LEGO. Because the line forms upstairs in the Sails Pavilion, and sometimes happens later in the day (like with LEGO’s minifig drawings), it’s harder for exhibitors to make it upstairs from the show floor. Plus, it cuts down on the chaos, as there’s no question of whether or not someone is in line, or what’s happening. In fact, the one night the Hasbro line did get pretty out of control was Wednesday’s Preview Night, the one night that Hasbro didn’t utilize the Sails ticketing system and instead simply had a queue form at their booth. Bleeding Cool’s Joe Glass reported being punched in that line while trying to score a Star Wars Stormtrooper exclusive and the ensuing chaos.

Perhaps Funko wasn’t expecting the chaos that happened this year at their booth, which is why their own ticketing system was devised so late — maybe even too late to get a spot up in Sails. But why weren’t they expecting huge crowds of people, especially after similar situations took place last year?

While it’s obvious that Funko wasn’t quite up to the challenge this year, we’ve got hope that next year is the year they’ll finally get their process right.

Did you stop by Funko’s booth? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments.

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San Diego Comic-Con: Looking Ahead to 2016 Mon, 20 Jul 2015 13:54:59 +0000 Comic Con Sign Convention CenterEven though we aren’t even done with our 2015 coverage, we’re already starting to look forward to 2016. And when we say “look forward to”, we actually mean “start planning” because in the world of San Diego Comic-Con, there’s no such thing as “too early”. So we found some tidbits of information relating to next year’s SDCC that our readers might find interesting.

First off, everyone start marking your calendars and booking your arrangements now. San Diego Comic-Con 2016 will be on Wednesday July 20 through Sunday July 24, which is what we’ve long speculated, but finally had confirmed.

Shortly before the convention, Comic-Con International signed a new contract to stay in San Diego through at least 2018 – meaning that we’ve got probably a year before we have to start the whole process all over again. The expansion project is currently on hold, following several major setbacks, including a court rejection of the planned tax to fund the expansion project, and the fact that the city has defaulted on its existing agreement to secure the parcel of land planned for the expansion. The project has been stalled for several months – so it’s unlikely to break ground any time soon, but with the convention center scheduled to stay for at least another three years, it’s not the major setback many attendees believe it to be.

While its no secret that we have outgrown convention center space, our ability to expand into what I like to call the Comic-Con campus it is a direct result of these entities working together,” David Glanzer, Director of Marketing and Public Relations of Comic-Con International, said during a press conference about the 2018 contract renewal.

That Comic-Con campus was in full effect for 2015, with dozens of offsites helping to spread out the large crowds. Many attendees this year commented that the exhibit floor and lines felt lighter (save for Friday’s Hall H line), but Comic-Con International insisted during this year’s Talk Back panel that they sold the same number of badges as last year. That means that instead, crowds were simply more evenly dispersed between a packed programming schedule, offsite events, and the exhibit floor. If 2016 offers as much as 2015 did, that’s a trend that could potentially continue.

And there’s a lot of potential to be had for 2016. There are a ton of movies coming out just in time for next year’s San Diego Comic-con, including Doctor Strange, Star Wars: Rogue One, Bourne 5, Suicide Squad, Gambit, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Moana, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Trolls, and more.

Are you excited for San Diego Comic-Con 2016? Let us know in the comments.

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Why I’m Never Going to Hall H Again. Until Next Year. Maybe. Fri, 17 Jul 2015 20:10:07 +0000 Last year I was telling everyone that I was done with Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con. Overnight wait? Long lines? Mad rush (not running though) for a prime seat? Sitting for 10 hours or more? Missing everything else? Nope. I didn’t want to do that any more.

And then came Star Wars.

GeekShot Exclusive Series Vol 2 Week 26 - Star Wars The Force Awakens 2015 Hall H Ford Fisher Hamill

There was no way I was going to miss the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel at Comic-Con this year. I don’t care how long I had to wait or how long the line was going to be, I would be there. And I was. And it was glorious.

But in the end it just reinforced my desire to quit Hall H.

I missed all but two hours of the con on Thursday to be in line for Friday. Despite having a good time in all the other panels leading up to Star Wars, I would have rather gone to see other panels or walked the floor. There is so much to see and do at and outside the convention, it feels like too much is given up to take two complete days out of the running just to see one panel.

So what makes getting into Hall H such a huge ordeal? Let’s look at the timeline and some general information about those who waited it out for Star Wars, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and everything else happening on Friday:

  • The line for Friday Hall H started between 8 and 9 PM on Wednesday.
  • Wristbands didn’t start getting handed out until 24 hours later, about 8:45 PM Thursday (15 minutes later than the posted time).
  • Wristbands didn’t finish getting handed out until almost 1 AM, four hours later.
  • Line saving before wristbands was abused (CCI posted 5 person limit the next day).
  • Getting in line after the floor closed meant no chance to get in Friday Hall H.
  • Sleeping outside for those who hold places.

But let’s back up here. Didn’t I say that Star Wars was glorious? If so, then why would I quit Hall H going forward?

The answer is simple. There is nothing that will get me back into Hall H on the “big day” except a similar event panel. WB and Marvel are bringing their latest movies? I’ve seen that before. Legendary, Universal, Paramount, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and so on? Done with them when it’s just the latest crop of movies/seasons.

I’ve been feeling run down by doing Hall H the last six years and this is why. While the movies change, the feeling that I’m spending too much time for essentially the same panel keeps growing. After 22 years of going to Comic-Con, it feels like I need to shake things up. It seems I do this about every five years, so it’s time to make a change.

While I won’t be waiting in long lines/overnight, I will pay attention to social media (the blog’s Twitter is the best place to start). This year if you played it smart you could do Hall H on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday with almost no wait in most cases – and social media was a great way to keep track of the wristband distribution and how full Hall H and the tents were at any given moment. Only Saturday was also busy enough to cause long lines, but many still got in with a two hour wait or less. Some even got in by getting in line at 8AM Saturday morning. You may not be near the front, but you still get to experience the panels in person. This sounds like a lot better use of time for me going forward.

However, there’s still always going to be one “big day” in Hall H. Next year it will probably be back on Saturday if Marvel returns and WB continues as usual. That means there’s going to be a seat opening up in Hall H next year. Because my butt won’t be in it.

Unless Star Wars comes back. Or a new Indiana Jones is announced. Or…


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