Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

2017 San Diego Comic-Con Wrap Up - the Good and the Bad!

Date Published: 2017-07-26
Written By: Michael Crawford

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SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Cosplay

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Before we get started - if you haven't checked out my complete photo coverage of the con, head over here for the main listing...

San Diego Comic-Con 2017 has come and gone, another year in the books. I had the good fortune of having my son and daughter attend again with me this year, and it was - as always - a blast. But as with every con, every vacation, every day, there were highs and lows. Lets' talk a bit about my favorite things from the convention, my least favorite, and just some general observations on the industry and show.

The Bad -

Missing in Action part 2: I mentioned this last year, hence the 'part 2'. But once again the amount of product we're seeing from the big boys like Hasbro and Mattel is sorely lacking. Other, smaller companies are stepping things up, but it's surprising to see how little new product - or any product - we really are getting from the major players. Mattel was particularly disappointing, at least for me.

Hall H..ell: Nope, they still haven't quite cracked the code on the extreme lines. We didn't even try to get into Hall H this year, but did see some panels in other areas, and the lines there weren't quite as bad...or so it seemed to me. We managed to get into the Indigo Ballroom for the animation panels on Friday with about a 2 hour wait, and other off site activities weren't bad. We did spend way too much time in line for the Stranger Things off site, but that was offset by the quick 75 minute wait we had for the beast of the convention, the Blade Runner 2049 extravaganza. More on at in the good...

Exclusives? What exclusives?: In past years I've shipped boxes - yes, BOXES - of purchased goodies home from every con. This year? I packed the two collectibles I bought in my suit case for the trip home. A big part of this was the lack of anything that interested me, particularly from Mattel.  See above. The one area that had something I really wanted was Hasbro, with their Star Wars Black exclusives, but the line is simply impossible. I'm not interested in wasting half my trip trying to give them money, so I'll give a little more on the after market to those willing to do so. The big plus to this is a much more stress free experience.

Hotels, hotels, where's the hotels: I ended up the farthest away I've ever been from the convention center, out on hotel circle. The shuttle wasn't awful, but I Ubered it every morning. And yes, the Uber service worked great, but it was $15 a day I could have saved with a closer hotel. The lottery system wasn't my friend this year, and I hope that next year is an improvement. I hear they are building more hotels, but they can't come soon enough.

The Good -

Scan Me, I'm yours! The RFID badges were great once again, making the entrance and exit smooth and silky. Crowds were down slightly too - slightly - making the overall floor experience a bit better than last year. That's not to say they didn't still do some stupid stuff, like forcing large crowds away from certain hallways and onto the floor and a much narrower passage, but overall the floor situation has improved over what it was two or three years ago.

The Ride of the Century: I saw a lot of cool stuff at the show, and I'll discuss several items that really made my day. But the one true stand out was the sixth scale Ecto-1 from Blitzway. You can find my complete coverage here, but the photo below gives you some idea of its beauty. Lights blinking and flashing, sounds blaring, everything opening, even space for the four packs that slide out of the back of the vehicle. It's a true beauty, but I expect the price point to be close to $1500. Ouch.
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Ghostbusters Ecto-1

Statues are back, baby!
Sideshow was leading the charge with their own releases along with many from other companies on display in their booth, and old stand-bys like Pop Culture Shock and Hollywood Collectibles Group had some great stuff as well. There's also Chronicle, who's Indominus Rex was great, as well as ECC who had some very cool large scale items. Even Blitzway and Storm were getting in on the act with their 1/4 scale Sharon Stone and 1/4 scale Hulk Hogan, respectfully. Statues - very large statues - were the collectible of the show this year.

I have to have one of those! Let's look at a few more items - other than the Ecto-1 - that were very high on my want list. Let's start with Chronicle and the huge T-Rex, pictured below. First, this thing is HUGE. It covered the entire top of their double wide display cases. I'd guess 4 feet from nose to tail, but I'm just guessing. Second, it was beautiful. I didn't get a chance to find out much about release date or price, but I want it nonetheless.
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con chronicle T-Rex

Next up, let's talk DC Collectibles. And another vehicle! But this time it's a much smaller scale - 1/12th. They showed off the animated Jokermobile, and I love it.  It went up for pre-order last week, and yes, I jumped on it. 
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con DC Jokermobile

On to the Four Horsemen. There are lines that you regret collecting, and then there are lines you regret NOT collecting. Their Mythic Legions falls in the latter category for me. It really is an amazing series, with some of the best sculpts and paint work on the market today. Their showing at SDCC was pretty massive too, implying a long and happy life for the line.
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Four horsemen Mythic Legions

Mezco continues to impress with their One:12 Collective series in general, but the Thor movie figures were outstanding. The likeness on Thor was fantastic, but it's the huge Hulk that really impressed me.  I'm also thrilled to see them doing everything from a main stream movie to a character like Popeye. Talk about variety!
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con One:12 Collective Hulk

Sideshow and Hot Toys had lots of amazing figures and statues to show off of course, but it was another company in the booth that impressed the most - Big Chief Studios. Their work on the Bond license is looking really, really good, and I may have to order more than just the Connery figure. The work on sculpts, paints and even tailoring seems to be improving, and they are stepping up to the plate to hit a home run, if they can get the production versions to mimic the prototypes.
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Big Cheif Studios Solitaire

Last, I need to mention Tweeterhead's new Wonder Woman. They didn't yet have the 66 Penguin to show off, but he's coming soon...but they did have their Lynda Carter Wonder Woman ready to go.  She really is a beauty too, and they continue to impress with the quality of their work.
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Wonder Woman Tweeterhead

Best Panel I Saw: Hey, I laughed at Rick and Morty, no doubt about it. But the funniest panel of the show, for me, was The Jellies. Tyler the Creator and his buddies were outright hilarious.

Show that I'm most interested in seeing: Channel Zero: No-End House. They showed the first episode and had a brief discussion with the writer of the story, as well as the producer of the show.  I enjoyed the first season of Channel Zero, and this one looks like more of the same emotional, mental horror.

Best CosPlay of the Show: This one is a toughie, because there are so many great, creative, imaginative ideas. But the Robin costume below simply stole my heart...he was such a good boy!
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Robin Cosplay

Creepiest Cosplay Ever: For the movie IT, they hired people to walk around town in the yellow rain slickers carrying red balloons, acting all dazed and creepy. And yes, it was VERY creepy.
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con IT characters

And some General Observations:

Off Sites: The off site set ups continue to be a big deal, but they seem to be getting as bad as Hall H. Westworld had one so complex and time consuming, people were camping out over night to get in and HBO could only handle a handful each day.  Why not do a ticketing system in advance?

The Blade Runner 2049 VR experience was immersive and very cool. We also got lucky, showing up just shortly before they closed the line on Sunday afternoon, and having only about a 75 minute wait. With actors playing out the roles, lots of neon and rain, and even noodles and Johnny Walker Black, Red, and Blue to taste, it was well worth it!
SDCC 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Blade Runner 2049 
And yes, that's my oh so adorable son and daughter in the photo above.

Wonder Woman is the new Harley is the new Slave Leia: Every year, there's some character that takes over the cosplay world. For many years, Slave Leia reigned supreme, but Harley took over that spot last year. There was nary a Leia this year, but there were still a fair number of Harleys...but of course, it was Wonder Woman that dominated. All ages and types, she was everywhere!

While it's always a lot of work, and a lot of people, and long lines, and about as tiring as it can be, it's still a great time, and I'm glad we went once again this year. I hope you've enjoyed the coverage - til next year, let your geek flag fly!

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Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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