San Diego Comic-Con – Frequently Asked Questions

convention center gaslampThere is no doubt, San Diego Comic-Con is only getting more popular. Almost daily, we get asked by a number of hopefuls new to the scene how they can get tickets to the annual geek pilgrimage, or what it is about SDCC which makes us love it so much.

As always, the official Comic-Con International website should be your first stop for the latest information on announcements, policies and important dates regarding the convention. But as a service to our new and regular readers, we decided to create a FAQ with answers to some of our most-asked questions.

If there are other questions you would like us to add to the FAQ, please let us know!

Last Updated: September 11, 2014

1. What is San Diego Comic-Con
2. When is San Diego Comic-Con?
3. What exactly is Preview Night?
4. How much does it cost to attend San Diego Comic-Con?
UPDATED 5. How do I get tickets to San Diego Comic-Con?
6. How many tickets are available?
UPDATED 7. How many tickets can I purchase?
8. What’s there to do at San Diego Comic-Con?
9. How do I know what the schedule at San Diego Comic-Con is?
10. Do I need tickets to experience everything at San Diego Comic-Con?
11. How do I pick up my tickets for San Diego Comic-Con?
UPDATED 12. What if I buy a ticket and decide I can’t/don’t want to go?
13. Where should I stay at San Diego Comic-Con?
14. How do I get to San Diego Comic-Con?
15. What is this about an expansion to the Convention Center?
16. Is San Diego Comic-Con All-Ages?
17. How can I get a free ticket to San Diego Comic-Con?
18. What are these “exclusives” I keep hearing about?

1. What is San Diego Comic-Con?

toucan_logos_cci_1San Diego Comic-Con, commonly abbreviated as “SDCC” (not to be confused with SDCCC, the San Diego Convention Center Corp. which hosts the event) is the biggest “comics” convention in North America. We use the term “comics” in quotes because despite the name, SDCC has always been about so much more. Even when it started way back in 1970, the convention was devoted to comics, movies, and fantasy literature — its first logo even had a comic book, a movie projector, and an icon to represent books (or fantasy literature). Since then, it has grown to be a pop culture juggernaut, spanning even further to also encompass television, video games, horror, anime, and much more. Since the beginning of the decade, it has regularly attracted over 130,000 attendees annually. It is organized by Comic Con International (CCI), a non-profit organization.

To see how SDCC compares with the other larger North American comics conventions in categories like ticket prices, types of panels and number of vendors, check out our handy infographic.

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2. When is San Diego Comic-Con?

SDCC is held annually in the summer, with its specific dates dictated by the San Diego Convention Center. Typically the convention begins in mid to late-July, but it can and has occurred anytime between late June and early August. The convention spans four days, Thursday through Sunday, plus a Preview Night on Wednesday. The convention center, which houses the exhibit hall and the majority of panel programming, is open on Wednesday’s Preview Night from 6PM-9PM, 9:30AM –  7PM Thursday through Saturday, and 9:30AM – 5PM on Sunday; however there are several events outside of the convention that spill out into the surrounding businesses and last until the early morning hours.

The dates for 2015′s San Diego Comic-Con are July 8-12.

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3. What exactly is Preview Night?

Although the official start of the convention for the general public is Thursday, the convention actually opens for a limited audience on Wednesday evening, referred to as Preview Night, and is meant to give a smaller crowd a “preview” of what to expect on the exhibit floor. Generally starting at 6PM on Wednesday, Preview Night has grown to also include annual Warner Bros. Television pilot screenings in the convention center’s Ballroom 20, and is the unofficial kickoff to the annual convention.

2015′s Preview Night is on July 8, 2015.

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4. How much does it cost to attend San Diego Comic-Con?

SDCC offers a variety of tickets, or “badges”, depending on your preferred pricepoint and availability. Badge prices for 2015 increased slightly, with adult badges ranging from $50 for a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday badge (up from $45 in 2014) or $35 for a Sunday badge (previously $30). All four badges can be purchased for $185 and combined into a four-day badge during on-site pickup. This year, it was the only way to receive a combined four-day badge. Prices for junior attendees (13-17 years old) are roughly half the adult prices, and attendees 12 and under are free with a paying adult.

If you’re interested in attending Preview Night to get an early start on your shopping, it is available only by first purchasing all four of the main daily badges, Thursday through Sunday. If that requirement is met, a Preview Night badge may also be purchased for an additional $35. This means that in order to get a “Four-day with Preview Night” badge package, you’ll be spending $220 (up from $200 in 2014).

Here’s a handy graphic showing all the prices:

2015 prices

 

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5. How do I get tickets to San Diego Comic-Con? [UPDATED]

member idScoring badges to SDCC is one of the most challenging, and controversial, tasks in one’s quest to attend the convention. For first-timers, it can also be a little confusing.

First, the basics. If you want a shot at purchasing a badge, you first need to create a Member ID. Creating this ID will not only allow you to take part in the badge purchase process, but it will also put you on the official mailing list where announcements regarding purchase dates are made. Simply put, no Member ID, no badge.

Now, in regards to the purchase process itself, there are typically three sales that occur prior to every year’s SDCC: Preregistration, Open Online Registration, and Badge Resales.

Preregistration is for previous year’s badge holders who want to attend SDCC the following year. These used to be made available onsite during the convention, but high demand created a frenzy with those wanting to return and forced CCI to move these sales online. These sales typically occur after the close of the current year’s SDCC, although 2014′s preregistration sales were delayed due to improvements to the registration system, “in hopes of creating a smoother process for 2014 preregistration”.

The 2015 Preregistration date has been announced for Saturday, November 8. Attendees will be able to purchase up to three badges, including one for themselves.

Only single day badges are being offered during preregistration, albeit in limited quantities. For anyone who purchased four single day badges (or four single plus a preview night), last year you received a single combined badge during on-site registration. It is not yet known if that is 2015′s policy.

For 2015 badge sales, there is a change to the process of Preregistration. Attendees must now prove that they attended San Diego Comic-Con in 2014 by providing a unique “Badge ID” from their physical 2014 badge. Only general attendees – those who did not attend as volunteers, press, professional, staff, or any other type of special attendee – are eligible for Preregistration.

Open Online Registration is for everyone who has a Member ID. That is, for new attendees as well as returning attendees who were not able to purchase a ticket during preregistration. This is where the bulk of the tickets are made available to the public. For the past two years, badges during Open Online Registration have sold out in about 90 minutes. The 2015 Open Online Registration date has been tentatively announced for spring 2015.

CCI uses a third-party ticket vendor, EPIC Registration, for badge sale processing and fulfillment. In 2014, EPIC used a new registration system that randomized badge sales. Everyone who qualified for preregistration received a personal registration code, which could only be used on one device. Different from years past, individuals had a two-hour window to enter the system’s online waiting room, and then at 9AM PT, the system sorted everyone in a randomized order to purchase their badges. They then had 15 minutes to complete the purchase, or their session would expire. Also, everyone was allowed to purchase badges for two additional qualified individuals – meaning, they qualify for registration and have valid Member IDs – or three individuals total if someone in front of the line already purchased their badge for them. There has been no word yet on if 2015 will use the same system.

Badge Resales are not guaranteed to happen, and no badge resale occurred in 2014 due to a lack of returned and cancelled badges. However, in years past, they typically occur a month or two ahead of the convention, and is where all the badges that have been cancelled or returned are put back up for sale to the general public. It is also the last chance hopefuls have to attend SDCC for that year. Historically, these sales were held in the same manner as Open Online Registration, albeit in very reduced quantities. However in 2013, CCI changed the process to a random drawing, where those who opted in for Badge Resales were given a specific timeframe which they would be eligible to purchase tickets from what was available at that time. This staggered launch avoided the big rush of everyone hitting the system at once and cut back on the system outages which have typically become synonymous with SDCC badge sales.

It remains to be seen whether CCI will hold badge resales in future years, and whether they will employ the 2013 random drawing process going forward — for Badge Resales, or for Open Online Registration for that matter.

There are other ways you can attend SDCC. You can get a complimentary (i.e., free) professional badge if you can qualify as a creative professional, though trade professionals still must apply and pay for a badge. From CCI’s website, a creative professional is someone who takes “an active role in the creation, design, writing, editing, or production of comics, animation, films, books, video games, or toys”, where trade professionals are “agents, publicists, managers, executives, marketing, sales, business development, advertising, legal representatives, and other industry professionals who need to attend the convention for business reasons.” Applications for professional badges for SDCC 2015 are due by October 31, 2014.

If you work for a website or media outlet, which can be anything from a blog all the way up to an anchor on television network news, you can try to be approved as press in order to get a complimentary press badge. To apply as press, check out the application on CCI’s website. Press applications for SDCC 2015 are due by December 12, 2014.

One of the more popular ways to get a free ticket is to become a San Diego Comic-Con volunteer. Volunteering has proven a very popular way for fans to attend the convention and help contribute to making it an awesome event for all of us. As a nonprofit organization, CCI depends on the contributions of its volunteer corps, over 3000 in 2013. Per CCI’s website, if you are chosen to be a volunteer, you can pick any day for your 3-hour assignment, and in return you get a complimentary badge for that day! The best part is that you are free enjoy the show when you’re not on assignment, and you get your own exclusive Comic-Con volunteer t-shirt. Volunteers are legacy, in that if you were one last year you get first dibs for the next year.

Volunteer registration for 2015 is not currently open.

 

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6. How many tickets are available?

This is hard to say, because CCI does not publish the number available for each badge type. But as we stated previously, the general attendance numbers state there are 130,000 attendees (badge holders) annually.

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7. How many tickets can I purchase? [UPDATED]

The 2015 Preregistration policy allows you to purchase up to three badges, as long as everyone you were purchasing for had a valid Member ID and was eligible for Preregistration on their own. The policy was flexible in that, if someone was ahead in the queue and was able to purchase a badge for you, you could use your spot in line to purchase three badges for people other than yourself. So, a couple of different combinations were allowed – either yourself and two others, or three people other than yourself. Either way, the buddy system is your friend.

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8. What’s there to do at San Diego Comic-Con?

Nickelodeon TMNT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles booth floor displayThe better question is, what’s there not to do at San Diego Comic-Con? If you enjoy anything entertainment-related – games, movies, television, even nightlife – you’ll find plenty of it in San Diego during SDCC.

Officially, San Diego Comic-Con offers thousands of hours of programming, otherwise known as “panels”. These panels take place in the many rooms inside, and now in venues surrounding, the San Diego Convention Center, and get the most media attention due to the many celebrity appearances and newsworthy surprise announcements that take place during them.

Also inside the Convention Center is the Exhibit Hall, hosting nearly a half million square feet of space housing booths from big Hollywood studios all the way down to mom-and pop comic vendors. For 2014, over 950 exhibitors are listed as being in attendance. Many of the big exhibitors sell exclusive merchandise you can’t find anywhere else but at SDCC, hand out free swag to attendees, host celebrity signings, and many other events which attract a crowd.

You can find a copy of the 2014 Exhibit Hall map by clicking here.

CCI also hosts other events at and around the Convention Center during SDCC, such as the annual Eisner awards, the Independent Film Festival, the San Diego International Children’s Film Festival, the annual Masquerade, and more.

In addition, many companies will host their own events in the areas surrounding the Convention Center, commonly referred to as “offsite events“, which take place during and after Convention Center hours, making SDCC an event that goes all-day and all-night.

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9. How do I know what the schedule at San Diego Comic-Con is?

The official San Diego Comic-Con programming schedule is announced exactly two weeks before SDCC by CCI (with Wednesday and Thursday events being announced two Thursdays prior, Friday events announced two Fridays prior, etc.). Closer to the event, CCI will also post an Autograph schedule, for various signings held by CCI. This means that when you purchase a ticket, you won’t know exactly what the schedule is going to be, or who is going to attend.

In addition to the official schedule, many of the exhibitor booths in the convention center may have their own autograph or giveaway schedules. That information is released by each individual company, and the best way to keep track of those announcements is by following us, the SDCC Blog.

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10. Do I need tickets to experience everything at San Diego Comic-Con?

In the past, folks generally did not require a badge to participate in an offsite event. But in 2014, it seems even SDCC outgrew the convention center and its normal surrounding venues and started occupying other hotels and spaces in the area, such as the Xbox Lounge at the Manchester Hyatt, or the nearby Lyceum Theater, both of which required a SDCC badge for entry.

Although there were still plenty of awesome events in the neighboring businesses and venues that were open to the public last year, the trend, at least until the expansion to the Convention Center is completed, seems like events where SDCC badges are required will continue for the foreseeable future.

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11. How do I pick up my tickets for San Diego Comic-Con?

Let’s say you are one of the lucky ones, and you were able to score a badge for San Diego Comic-Con (congratulations, by the way). What next? You’ll need to know where to pick up that golden geek ticket. After you’ve successfully completed checkout during registration and your payment is processed, you’ll receive an email from EPIC Registration with your barcode confirmation. This is not your badge, but rather information you’ll need to provide when you pick up your badge. Badges must be picked up on site during the convention (more about that later). Nonetheless, you will need to keep this email and provide a printout when you pick up your badge on-site.

One important note: We get tons of questions every year, mere days away from the start of the convention, from panicked people saying, “I lost my barcode email! How can I request it to be resent!” CCI and EPIC have accommodated these folks on a per-request basis, but better to avoid any last-minute snafus and keep your confirmation email safe until you pick up your badge.

We mentioned earlier, physical badges are not mailed out to attendees, but rather picked up on site. CCI has fine-tuned the badge pickup process over the past few years so that it can accommodate thousands of individuals without major wait times or inconveniences. Badges can be picked up starting the Wednesday (Preview Night) of the week of SDCC at two locations, depending on the badge type. Here’s what 2014′s badge pickup looks like:

2014 badge pickup

“T&C” above refers to the Town and Country Hotel, located at 500 Hotel Circle North in Mission Valley, about five miles away from the Convention Center. Anyone with a four-day (without Preview Night) or Thursday single-day badge can pick up their badges at the T&C starting Wednesday afternoon, to keep separate from the crowds at the Convention Center for Preview Night. CCI also provides buses to and from the T&C as an added convenience (and more on that later).

CCI allows those who purchased multiple single-day badges to pick up all badges at once, rather than having to wait in line for badge pickup each day. Here’s the badge pick-up policy for 2014 from CCI’s website:

Single Day Badges

  • Single day badges may be picked up only on the day for which you have purchased. For example, you may not pick up your Friday badge on Thursday. However you may pick up your Thursday badge at the Town & Country Hotel on Wednesday if desired.
  • A single day badge is only valid for the day indicated on the badge. Single day badges cannot be exchanged for a different day.
  • If you have purchased four single day badges (Thursday-Sunday), your badges will automatically be consolidated into one 4-Day badge when you arrive. If you opted out of consolidation during online registration, you will receive all four of your single day badges when you arrive, however, you must visit the Attendee Help Desk (a separate line) to pick up the associated badge holders.
  • If you have purchased two or three single day badges, you may pick up all of your badges on the first day they are available for pick-up.  For example, if you have purchased a Saturday and Sunday badge, you may pick them both up on Saturday.

Preview Night

  • Single day badges for Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday will not be honored on Preview Night, Wednesday July 23. You may not attend Preview Night unless you purchase the Preview Night option during online registration, no exceptions.

Child Badge Pick-Up

  • Children age 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Children do not need to register for a Member ID to receive a badge. You may register a child (12 and under) onsite for free at the Attendee Badge Pick-Up Desk if accompanied by a paying adult. You will be required to provide emergency contact information for any child registrant age 12 and under

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12. What if I buy a ticket and decide I can’t/don’t want to go? [UPDATED]

You might be asking, why would anyone want to go through all this trouble to score one of the toughest tickets in town, only to decide not to go? We’d joke, but sometimes circumstances are no laughing matter — a change in financial status, an illness or death in the family, and other more personal situations take precedence. If you find yourself in a circumstance where you need to return your badge, CCI offers a Cancellation/Return policy where you can submit your refund request online. There is, however, a deadline when refund requests need to be submitted by – this year set for June 15, 2015. There is also a 10% handling fee that will be applied to all refunds made by the deadline (which was deferred for 2014, but will be in effect in 2015).

It is important to note that SDCC badges are non-transferrable, meaning you can’t give yours to a friend if you can’t use it; or worse, if you try to sell your badge to someone else. If you get caught, you may be banned from the convention for life.

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13. Where should I stay at San Diego Comic-Con?

Omni Hotel Gaslamp DowntownThe hardest part of Comic-Con may be getting a ticket to attend at all, but securing a hotel is a very close second. CCI books a large block of rooms at hotels not only in the Gaslamp (the downtown area that’s closest to the convention center), but also as far out as Mission Valley and other areas around San Diego, at a reduced con rate – both with pros and cons depending on your needs. They then offer these hotels to attendees in two different hotel sales – the first of which is called the Early Bird Hotel Sale and typically happens in January. In the past, this hasn’t included any hotels in the Gaslamp, only hotels located further out.

In 2014, the Early Bird Hotel Sale started on February 25 and was available through April 8.

This is followed a few weeks later by the General Comic-Con Hotel Reservations (or what we (un)affectionally dub, Hotelpocalypse). CCI uses a third-party vendor, Travel Planners, to run the reservations — and on the morning of the sale, you’ll be directed to their site to fill out a list of your preferences and requirements (and we recommend checking out our guide to familiarize yourself with the process). The questionnaire ranges from number of guests in the room, nights you’ll be staying, to hotel preference. Last year, you ranked exactly six hotels in the order you wanted them. In the event that none of your hotel preferences wound up being available, you could choose if you wanted Travel Planners to slot you in the closest available hotel, or if you were only willing to accept hotels on your list. Last year, you needed to finish filling out your form and submit it within about two minutes. Forms submitted after that two minute mark were unlikely to get a hotel in the nearby area.

Hotel prices and on-sale dates for 2015 have not yet been announced. You can find the 2014 hotel list with prices here.

If you aren’t lucky enough to secure the hotel you want through Travel Planners, all hope is not lost. Almost every hotel still has rooms available at non-convention rates, though they’re significantly higher. You can also try other routes, like renting a condo or apartment through sites such as Airbnb or VRBO,  searching for roommates through social media, or there’s always camping out on the sidewalk (really, some people do this). A few of the hotel rooms also open up a few weeks later, as people release rooms.

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14. How do I get to San Diego Comic-Con?

Once you’re in San Diego, there are several different ways to make it to the actual convention. The city offers great public transportation, which includes the MTS Trolley. There’s a stop on the Green Line located directly across from the convention center (Stop: Convention Center Station), so if you’re staying at a hotel near a trolley stop, this is a great option for getting around. However, if you’re trying to get to the convention center from the airport, there is no trolley station there — instead, you’ll have to use the bus, or, our recommendation, book a Super Shuttle, of which you can find annual discount codes online (like our exclusive code from 2014).

For those driving to SDCC, CCI offers paid parking at various lots around the convention center. They pre-sell parking passes through a third party vendor called Ace Parking, with prices ranging from $15-$30 depending on how close the lot is to the convention. This is much cheaper than what rates at non-Ace lots will be during the con, and you won’t have to worry about your lot being full.

Parking passes for 2014 went on sale Tuesday May 20 at 9AM PT.

Perhaps the easiest way to get around during Comic-Con, though, is by using the Comic-Con Shuttle Service. Starting on Wednesday afternoon, the shuttle buses offer over 60 stops all over the city including downtown, Mission Valley, and hotels near the airport on Shelter Island and Harbor Island. They run 24 hours a day all the way through Sunday evening, though service is a little slower after midnight. Lines for the bus can get long, though, so you may have to wait — but no experience at SDCC is complete without a line.

You can find a copy of the 2014 Shuttle Service schedule by clicking here.

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15. What is this about an expansion to the Convention Center?

A planned expansion project of the Convention Center has been announced and is making progress as of late, having just cleared a major hurdle with approval from the California Coastal Committee. There have been a few setbacks of late, with the project tentatively planned to be completed by 2018.

The expansion will add over 200,000 square feet of exhibit space, an 80,000 ballroom, and 500 new hotel rooms as part of a second Hilton Bayfront tower.

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16. Is San Diego Comic-Con All-Ages?

Eric Jacobson brings Bert out.

Eric Jacobson brings Bert out.

Yes it is. As stated above, attendees 12 and under are free with a paying adult, and don’t require a member ID. Accompanying adults just need to register their child at the badge pick-up desk onsite.

Comic-Con International prides itself with booking family programming on the schedules, as well as family-friendly booths on the exhibit floor like Hasbro, LEGO and Nintendo. And Sundays are generally regarded as Family Day, with several panels and events tailored for the kids. For example, 2014′s Sunday family panels included panels with some of the cast of Sesame Street (both the puppets and their puppeteers), The LEGO Movie, and the world premiere of the animated Tom and Jerry: The Lost Dragon.

Granted, some of the programming, booths and cosplay can be a little, well, mature, so for the times when you want to go see the cast of The Walking Dead but don’t want to take Junior, Comic-Con International also offers on-site day care for children six months through 12 years of age. For a fee, the day care staff keeps kids entertained with snacks and activities while the parents are free to attend the more “adult” festivities.

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17. How can I get a free ticket to San Diego Comic-Con?

Buying a ticket to SDCC might be a near-impossible task, but there are also a few ways you can attend for free. You can get a complimentary (i.e., free) professional badge if you can qualify as a creative professional. From CCI’s website, a creative professional is someone who takes “an active role in the creation, design, writing, editing, or production of comics, animation, films, books, video games, or toys”. Applications for professional badges for SDCC 2014 were due by October 31, 2013.  Registration for creative professionals occurred on Wednesday January 29 for 2014, and no date has been announced yet for 2015. The application period is currently open.

If you work for a website or media outlet, which can be anything from a blog all the way up to an anchor on television network news, you can qualify for a complimentary press badge, but only if your application is accepted by CCI. To apply as press, check out the application on CCI’s website. Press applications for SDCC 2015 are not yet open.

One of the more popular ways to get a free ticket is to become a San Diego Comic-Con volunteer. Volunteering has proven a very popular way for fans to attend the convention and help contribute to making it an awesome event for all of us. As a nonprofit organization, CCI depends on the contributions of its volunteer corps, over 3000 in 2013. Per CCI’s website, if you are chosen to be a volunteer, you can pick any day for your 3-hour assignment, and in return you get a complimentary badge for that day! The best part is that you are free enjoy the show when you’re not on assignment, and you get your own exclusive Comic-Con volunteer t-shirt. Volunteers are legacy, in that if you were one last year you get first dibs for the next year.

Volunteer applications for 2015 are not yet open.

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18. What are these “exclusives” I keep hearing about?

Many companies – whether it be comics, toys or collectibles – manufacture and sell merchandise you can buy only at San Diego Comic-Con. These are commonly referred to as “exclusives”. They are generally limited in nature, meaning only a small quantity are produced, and can range from comic variants (issues with different covers from what was available in retail), to figures with variant coloring, to molds and statues which aren’t available anywhere else. The packaging of these items – the boxes these exclusives come in – can be an “exclusive” of their own, with new artwork or special display and window packaging than what is available at retail.

There’s a bit of a debate as to what constitutes an “exclusive” nowadays, as many are available online as a pre-order before Comic-Con, but also available to those who aren’t even attending SDCC at all. These are commonly referred to as “convention exclusives”, a general term used for product available in conjunction with Comic-Con but also available to the general public. This product still retains its limited nature and special packaging, however. Some companies also put up remaining quantities online, but only after Comic-Con. This depends on the manufacturer and their policies, which are usually stated when the product is announced.

Exclusives can be purchased at the manufacturer’s booth on the exhibit floor. For example, a Hasbro exclusive can be purchased only at the HasbroToyShop booth on the exhibit floor, with remaining quantities available online after the convention. Product is sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, although some companies do reserve stock to allocate across all days of the convention, for people who only have a specific day pass.

Exclusives are also one of the most popular aspects of the convention, with professional collectors and fans alike scrambling to pick up a limited-issue comic or statue, to display that one-of-a-kind keepsake from their Comic-Con experience.

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For anything else, and to receive continual updates about San Diego Comic-Con 2015, we recommend you follow the San Diego Comic-Con Unofficial Blog via social media. You can find us on Twitter,Facebook, Google+, Youtube, and on tumblr.

Do you have any other questions? Let us know in the comments!

  • Pingback: San Diego Comic-Con – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) [UPDATED Jan 10] | Gamerz N Geekz()

  • Nascarnbroncosfans

    Also note: Car pool to the Con with someone. The traffic after 530 am on any given day is a huge hassle, After 6 am then your wait from the 5 freeway could be up to 90 minutes finding a parking spot. I get to the con somewhere between 4:30 and 5:10 am to be assured of choice parking.

  • Jermaine C

    Anyone here have preregistration eligibility that will help a poor ol
    fan and his darling girlfriend get passes? I was invited last year and
    am not eligible for PreRegistration

  • Jeff Forehand

    When should I get to the convention center to get in line? (Both for the convention center main floor and Hall H)

  • apple2apple

    Hi Jeff! When you’re wanting in line for Hall H for a certain panel, the main thing to think about his how popular will this be. If its in Hall H, its popular. If its in the morning, or the first half of the day, you will probably be camping over night outside. (It can be chilly, be prepared) Later in the day you may be able to line up later but still early considering the time for the panel. (1-2 hours MINIMUM) (< someone correct me if I'm somehow wrong!) They do not clean rooms in between panels, so its literally first come first serve all day. They do have bathroom passes, so people often get in and then leave for a bit, and come back.

    Going inside the convention center: This depends. What do you plan on doing? Buying exclusives or just seeing the floor? Buying exclusives get there pretty early. I've never waited for the Hasbro or Mattel line (these are seperate lines to get tickets for the ability to purchase items), but we did go around 7am to get inline inside-upstairs to get inside and got these DBZ scouters that my husband wanted. Also that same line is good for just checking things out. Honestly we got about a good 30 minutes once inside to just walk the floor before they opened the front doors (the flood gates).
    Hope that helped!!!

  • Lupe

    When you say I can purchase 3 badges for 3 people does that mean I can purchase a Friday and Saturday badge per person or can only purchase let’s say 3 Friday badges?

  • Ultron

    This may be a dumb question, but I’m new to comic con and I am trying to go this year but I’m confused on how the whole panels work. So I’m really interested in going to the marvel panel because I’m a big fan but do panels only occur once and on one of the four days only? Or do they happen everyday? I understand they don’t publish the schedule until 2 weeks before comic con but how am I supposed to know which days to buy badges for if I don’t know what will be occurring on which days?

  • dwaede

    You have to buy badges for all 4 days the day they go on sale or you have zero chance of getting them later. They sold out this year in like 10 minutes or so.

    Sorry but if you don’t have them already you might as well try and buy someones pass on craigslist or ebay.

  • dwaede

    If you want to go to a Hall H show and there is anything popular on that day, get in line around 6-7pm the night before.

    If there is nothing super popular on the Hall H day like Game of thrones or walking dead, then you might be safe getting in line around 10 or 11pm the night before. I remember last year talking to someone around 9pm the night before the walking dead panel about the guy at the front of the line. He had been there since around 3pm the day before. Basically he had been in line for 36 hours.

    It is INSANE.

  • Maya Franklin

    Hi! I was wondering if I had the ticket for friday and not thursday, if it will be possible to wait in line starting thursday night like everyone else for a friday event. Will it be possible to pick up your ticket the day before on thursday or do you have to have the thursday and friday ticket?

  • apple2apple

    I believe you can! Its not like hanging outside the center requires a badge. However, just make sure you have that badge when you go to enter the building. I’m not sure the process of getting your badge when its only one day.

  • jai c

    I’m a registered volunteer for 2014 and the confirmation info I received said that I was able to volunteer for all days so I could get a badge for all days, and also got entry into Preview Night. This will be my first time volunteering. Any advice on how to sign up for hour blocks for each day and how to get set up so I can attend Preview Night? Do you know if there will be more emails for volunteers as we get closer to the Con? And…will I post more inane questions? Yes, most probably. Thanks!!!
    -jai

  • Kerry

    You’ll need to pick up your badge before you enter the building – but sometimes people in line are nice enough to hold your spot while you run to get it. You can also sometimes swing by late in the day the day before and go ahead and pick up the next day’s badge, if the volunteers are feeling nice.

  • Gloop

    Last time I volunteered we lined up outside Hall-A & as they let us in to register they gave us the option if we wanted to work on Thurs & told us the areas that were open. So upon completing your hours you head back to the volunteer booth,you can check for work openings for the next day. As for preview night upon finishing registration if you wish to attend it they would give a patch to wear so that you look around the exhibit hall.

  • jai c

    Thank you so much for replying! From what ive heard it sounds like a mostly straightforward process; I’m just super excited and easily confused.

  • Fred Lee

    Hi all. It’s my first time to Comic Con, and I’m a bit confused about the badge pick-up. I was able to get Thursday, Friday, and Saturday badges. When Comic Con says,

    “If you have purchased two or three single day badges, you may pick up all of your badges on the first day they are available for pick-up. For example, if you have purchased a Saturday and Sunday badge, you may pick them both up on Saturday.”
    Does this mean that I can pick up the Friday and Saturday badges on Wednesday along with my Thursday at the T&C hotel? Thanks!

  • Shell

    I have a 4-day pass and want to register a child. Would I have to register her every day or is it possible to register her all 4-days with my 4-day? Hope that made sense!

  • ylleks

    Hey Guys,

    This is my first time at SDCC. So I have a Thursday badge and was wanting to pick it up Wed night but am arriving late. Does anyone know how late the distribute badges? Or if a friend has a picture of my id and my barcode could she pick up my badge or do I have to be present? If I have to be present, how early to they start doing badges on Thursday?? Any help would be great!!

  • Danielle Smeltzer

    I purchased 4-day passes for myself and two adult children. Can I pick up theirs when I pick up mine? They are arriving later than me at T&C. Thank you.

  • UovoVerde

    What is NerdHq?

  • melvin

    I lived in another country what I need to do to buy un less trees tickets fot the comic con of 2015 and where I can buy a pack of hotel and tickets ?

  • Jessica Mora Chavez

    Can I participate in pre registration and also later in the epic registration?