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Con Flashback: Who Doesn’t Love Exclusives?

With all of the San Diego Comic-Con exclusives news as of late, it is only fitting that we choose to do the Con Flashback centered around that topic. The suggestion for this week came from Chris Brezic, thanks Chris!

Shawn Marshall

Being often referred to at SDCC as “the exclusive guy,” it’s no surprise that I’d have something to add here. As a toy and comic collector for as long as I can remember, a big attraction to Comic-Con has always been it’s wonderful toys. With bombastic packaging, limited quantities and inside jokes, there hasn’t been an SDCC where we haven’t hunted many items. That said, of all the Star Wars and Marvel that is normally at the top of our want list, it’s a 2010 Tron toy from Spin Master that tops our list as favorite exclusive.

If you’ve listened to our podcast before, you know that Carmelle (my wife) and I collect experiences above all else and that is precisely how this less popular Disney franchise has creeped past its brothers and sisters to the top of the list. 2010 was really a tipping point in many ways for San Diego Comic-Con. Although big properties, and exclusives, had made their way into the con for many years, this was the year we noticed everyone seemed to want to go to Comic-Con. Buying tickets at the con was becoming a thing of the past and exclusives were garnering international interest and the Tron toy was at the top of many shopping lists. This was before I was an exclusive hunter and I remember being beyond intimidated by the claustrophobic crowds hovering around the constantly capped line. Not only was I certain I wouldn’t get the item, I thought that I’d never get these types of exclusives again. Fortunately, Carmelle is more optimistic, and patient, with this sort of thing than I am. We went our separate ways so that I could cover the floor for our brand new Twitter account with about 300 followers as she tried for the exclusive. To this day, I’m not entirely certain how she managed to get that toy…but she did…and it was a contributing factor to changing everything in regards to our pursuits of pop culture adventures.

Since that time, we’ve been to a lot of con, and picked up a lot of exclusive, but none are more memorable than this one that I refused to wait in line for. I learned that the most sought after exclusives were obtainable, but they took strategy, patience and much more work than I’d previously been willing to put in. For all those nostalgic reasons, it’s my favorite.

Evic Oropilla

When Robert asked me to contribute to this week’s Con Flashback, I was happy regardless of the topic to contribute — but then he told me the subject and I just gasped. Let me preface this by saying that I have been attending Comic-Con for a loooooong time. This will be my 30th year, and man just saying that hurts. In fact that is probably older than some of you reading this. So asking me, “What is your favorite swag/exclusive?” is really, really hard. Just trying to remember is difficult as I have seen and acquired some amazing stuff over all those years with most of the swag/exclusives being neatly packed away in boxes, poster tubes and drawers each year to be stored away and never to see the light of day. Just thinking about all the boxes and poster tubes I have makes me anxious, as I feel like the Collector from Guardians of the Galaxy, but with no more room to store anything.

So what is my favorite swag/exclusive? Maybe breaking it down into categories will help me choose. Let’s start with what got me to attend Comic-Con my love for comic books. My favorite comic that I got from SDCC so far was in 1993, San Diego Comic Con Comics #2 by Dark Horse. It is not because it is considered Hellboy’s first appearance but what it has become to me over the years. I could have easily had all the creators sign that comic back in the 90’s but I didn’t. I decided after rediscovering it in 2000 that I wanted to complete it and now it has become one of the most difficult goals I have made for myself with 3 creators left to get.

Another thing I like to do at SDCC is collect autographs. I have always loved getting autographs from comic creators while attending Comic-Con and when Hollywood was added to the programming it was a natural fit for me to want to get autographs from celebrities promoting their TV show or movie. I have attended some amazing signings but one that stood out to me the most was the 2004 Serenity cast signing. The whole cast and Joss were awesome, so happy to be there and interacting with the fans. This was definitely one of my favorite moments at Comic-Con.

One of my favorite things to do at Comic-Con is walk the exhibit hall and collect all the swag I can get. This is where the magic happens! So many cool things to see and get. I truly love the promotion that goes on the floor. One of my favorite campaigns was for TV show called Heroes. I remember attending multiple booths to collect their swag from buttons, comic books, cards and even a lunch box!

Another thing I liked doing in the early 2000’s was collect exclusive bust/figures and toys from companies like Bowen, Sideshow, Hasbro, Gentle Giant, Mattel, NECA and of course LEGO! One of my favorite figures was the start of the mini Lego craze that promoted the LEGO Batman game, the Batman and Joker set. I love LEGO’s and it was fun looking for all the pieces I needed to form the set and get the box for it plus it was free!

There were also a lot of cool offsite promotions that I attended also that gave swag like the Tron scavenger hunt, Bourne Legacy poster drops, Alice in Wonderland tea party, etc.

So what is my favorite swag/exclusive? When I really sat down and thought about it, my favorite swag/exclusive that I received from SDCC is a one-of-a-kind 1 of 1 limited edition LEGO mini-figure that hangs in front of me every day in my home office. I put it there and not in a box for a reason. It has real sentimental value to me and it embodies what I love most about Comic-Con which is making friends and memories with awesome people with similar values! So thank you so much to the dynamic duo of Parks and Cons, Shawn and Carmelle the creators of this awesome figure:

It is so nice having con-friends! What is your favorite exclusive/swag? Please let us know!

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