140,000 people, 4.5 days, 1 convention – it all comes down to this.
The morning was spent re-orchestrating all of the previous buys into a somewhat manageable series of bags, you see typically we bring down large boxes to fill up but all of box army fell in battle against Recycle-Or several months hence. Once in order we checked out of the hotel, loaded up the car, then headed back down to the Hall for the final hurrah.
A first round dash of the dealer tables resulted in some more good buys, including Eric Idle from DST’s old Monty Python & the Holy Grail line (and only for $5). In fact, let me take pause here for a moment to comment on this years convention – the dealer selection was really good. In general the past few years left goers with very limited options in terms of toys. It was really your choice of last year DC Direct, Halo or NECA figures. Gone were the old figures and wider variety items leaving the dealer end of the hall very unsatisfying. Fortunately this year brought back a wider and older variety of figures allowing for the purchase of things like Batman Beyond Blight, Bug Busters Vulture and Sir Robin from Holy Grail amongst many others.
Around noon we tried for the Glee panel but gave up because the line clearly wasn’t going to get us close enough. We got out and then discovered that the preceding American Dad panel was running long and still going, so had we stayed in line we probably would have made it in. Oh well, it worked out for the best because in its stead we went to “Spotlight on Matt Fraction” which was in reality a performance of his monologue / PowerPoint “The Batman Dreams of Hieronymus Machines.” I had heard good things about Fraction (still haven’t read him, but now want to read his Iron Man work) and the piece so we headed over. There was a short line queuing up for his panel and what was very neat was about 15 minutes before it Fraction came over and walked the line thanking everybody for coming and also for waiting for his panel, as well as stopping and joking with several people. Really cool.
The performance is effectively about him discovering what it unique about comics and why they are such a distinctive artform. The conclusions are nothing new if you’re into “theory” at all, but his presentation was BY FAR the most enjoyable and clearest analysis and description. The guy is really funny and incredibly entertaining. The performance ended after about half an hour, he then brought out friend Bill Hader to “moderate” which led to 15 minutes of basically tag team stand up leading into 15 minutes of Q & A (i.e. directed stand up). Simply put it was an amazingly great time and if you ever get the chance check this out, especially if Bill Hader (of whom previously I wasn’t much a fan of [they were talking then suddenly Hader stops and says “whoa – major Jedi exodus” and he heckles some people in Jedi costumes leaving before Fraction exclaimed “Sith Emergency.” A little later some front row people left which got them accused of being anti-Semitic.) is there.
After that, it was back down to the Floor for the final hour mark downs. I didn’t really see much of the “old days” deep discounting going on, but I’m also not much of a haggler so maybe its just me. Some things to note:
– As of 4pm on Sunday Mattel was sold out of only four things: Orko, something else (I think Starro), Hot Wheels Ecto-1 and Hot Wheels Invisible Jet
– When possible DST will have the figures be different between the UMM Select and TRU UMM figures beyond just the bases. Specifically the Select Mummy has folded arms while the TRU Mummy has regular, articulated arms. I believe also that Select Frankenstein is from Frankenstein while TRU Frank has the forearms/battle damage from Bride of Frankenstein.
– The last three Star Trek Two-Packs will be released (Kirk & Gorn, WNMHGB Kirk & Spock, and Romulan Kirk & Arched-Eyebrow Spock) but only in 1701 pieces per style. Each will be hand numbered “X out of 1701.”
– Though the morning was Cap’s Movie Shield (looks good, I like the stainless steel instead of white) the afternoon had the incredibly shocking Infinity Gauntlet. It looks very comic accurate and is the one thing that has me the most interested for Thor (from which it’s gotta be)
All in all this was a great show and I had a far better time this year than the previous 3, at least, combined. 13th SDCC for me down, time to start saving up for the 14th!
Oh, and somebody got stabbed in the eye over a free t-shirt, I hear. [I read it was a seat, but either way, a fail for humanity. –PG]