Thursday – 7/22
The first full day of the con rolled out comfortably and stayed great all day long!
The one panel I was looking forward to most this year was the Tron: Legacy panel. However, it was the first panel of the day, of the Con, in Hall H which meant two things – one would have to get in line pretty early to ensure a seat and two it would steal the entire morning from Con/Exclusive purchasing. After long debating the last several days I erred on the side of Exclusives – the film will be out in a couple months anyway, but these toys will not. So rather than lust over film, I hauled ass to a booth I saw last night and bought me some MOTUC figures for just over retail, helping to fill in some major gaps.
From there on the day was a relative blur. While some booths retained a long, painful line for as long as product lasted (Disney/Spin Master) Gentle Giant was dead before noon making that an easy stop. By the mid-afternoon Mattel, Hasbro and Entertainment Earth were all at 20 minutes or less making those stops FAR more reasonable than anticipated (and of those, only Hasbro was sold out of anything – variant Sgt Slaughter and Galactus [the latter is apparently THE figure for the convention, every body seems to be carrying one or two of him]).
I had a nice long chat with Joe Warden, the lead designer of GI Joe figures which was pretty cool. He does lots of research into ‘real world’ tech but also pulls inspiration from dreams and the like (the amazing Jungle Viper came from a dream). More over, he/they are very aware of the need to constantly one-up themselves so by paying attention to what the whole industry is doing to innovate he’s been able to bring in additional kinds of accessories and articulation. The best of which is new wrist articulation that will allow figures to hold weapons far more realistically. The best example was Snakeyes, posed on militaristic gun-close-to-chest pose. And with this articulation this will also be the first the Snakeeyes to be able to point his sword straight out. All around great stuff.
And this is really why Hasbro is the best company out there. One goes to Mattel and has to avoid the ridiculous short-term-hired Booth Bimbos trying to handout postcards with information on the Matty subscriptions. Conversely, 100 feet away I can be looking at Joe figures and the lead designer comes up to me and engages ME in a conversation. Same thing happened last year – Hasbro is just awesome.
So, by 6 o’clock I had purchased 90% of my desired convention exclusives. I went to drop everything off at the hotel marveling that in one day I accomplished what generally took 3 every previous year. Then it was on to Penn & Teller’s 35th anniversary panel, which was equally awesome. Very funny, and very intelligent – I really want to look into Teller’s writing. The night was filled with decscriptions of the best/worst video game ever (Desert Bus), an Asparagus Song and Penn’s skinless scrotum. I had more fun yesterday that I did in the last three SDCC’s combined.