As usual, I'm getting tons of requests to pick stuff for others at the convention, and as usual I can't. (and mind you, people just want the Hasbro stuff which is the hardest crap to get) But is not cause I'm a selfish ogre, but cause of the many stupid ass rules that the big retailers have at the con and here is how its usually done there:
Getting most of the desirable exclusives in San Diego Comic con is not as simple as just walking to the booth and buying the stuff. Let's take Hasbro by example: They have the shittiest way of selling exclusives of the entire convention: You have to wake up at 6 Am to make a line at the sails pavilion to get a "ticket" that will allow you to form a line at the booth. Past 9 you are shit out of luck cause there are no more tickets being handed out for the day. I wouldn't even wake up at 6 AM for my own wedding, much less for this crap...
This ticket has a designated hour (which is selected at random) where you can form the line AT the booth on the first floor. But in general, by the time your ticket is up, most of the exclusives you want, are sold out for the day. And there are limits mind you, as to how much crap you can buy, so is not like you can ask for 10 Stormtroopers. And that is for the ENTIRE SHOW.
What does this mean?
Well Kimosabee, let's say you are attending the show for all four days of the convention. Well, the wizards at the registration booth will consolidate your passes into one single badge. That is not bad right? WRONG! and here is why: Once you buy your goodies at the Hasbro booth, they will STAMP your badge and you will not be allowed to buy any more exclusives for the entire show. Yes, that is how stupid things are. If you wanted something that is sold out, you are again, shit out of luck. "Try tomorrow fanboy" and do the whole dance all over. If you do NOT have a ticket, you are NOT allowed to even form a line, and the guys who handle the Hasbro line are the rudest persons ever. You feel like you are walking to an execution: They yell at you, treat you like cattle, etc.
Now, it's really not that bad when you think of it, but you forget that at SDCC there are thousands of re-sellers from all over the world who bring their families, spouses, grandpas, aunts, foster kids, bastards etc etc, they camp outside, they ALL form the line, and they ALL get 10 Devastators per household. Multply that by a thousand daily and there is your dance for the entire convention. And THEY are the people that usually get every single exclusive you see on Ebay.
I used to kill myself for the exclusives, But I admit it, I'm NOT a morning person, I detest to wake up early like a soldier to form a line and self punish me on a time where I should be enjoying the darn thing. The last last time I did that, I ended up with a headache, a HUGE blister on my foot and overall humilliated by the way they treat the consumer. So this time, I'm going there to ENJOY the darn convention, hang around with friends that I only get to see once or twice a year, keep you informed of the latest reveals, post the pics, drool at the sexy cosplayers, do some interviewing, and generally have a good time, like a normal person at such event SHOULD.
Now, I want exclusives, ARE YOU KIDDING, I'm a toy person, I fucking LOVE toys! But I'll get whatever I can, at frustration free booths like Bluefin, The four horsemen, Mattel, the good folks at Mezco and many others, or any other place where I don't have to form a 10 mile line. If I get lucky and get one or two exclusives this year, it will be cause the toy gods smiled at me.
I aim to get my Hasbro exclusives from Hasbro toy shop or paying the $200 price when they are available at amazon and save me the humilliation and frustration that Hasbro puts you through to get their crap. At least, the internet doesn't treat me like scum for wanting to buy some toys and the extra price is WELL WORTH it to keep my dignity intact. But let's take a look at some of their exclusives this year:
Stormtrooper? (PFF! I care two shits about the book, and the figure will be available worldwide once the movie hits)
Devastator? (The Takara one is MILES better than that crap, and it comes with individual weapons for each and a different head sculpt, and GOOD LUCK trying to fit that on the plane when you come back. Keep your chrome Hasbro)
G.I.JOE? (crappy repaints with little to no imagination attached)
Marvel Legends? (ok , I DO want that set. It's Awesome)
Marvel Universe? (well, that one is cool too)
Jem? (well not into dolls mind you, but that exclusive is the first to sell out immediately faster than anything on the booth. Good luck getting it)
Combiner Hunters? (Uninspiring repaints with big fucking swords. No thanks)
MLP? (well, that one I might say is always easy to get, easy to buy, IF you scored the darn ticket)
Is also fair to say that for ANY activity at the Hasbro booth, you are required a DIFFERENT ticket. You want an autograph from Ray Park? no can do without the ticket. Want a pic with Sergeant Slaughter? GET OUT OF HERE MAGGOT! You are missing the ticket! So imagine making a line to get a ticket for every fucking thing you want to do at the Hasbro booth... You will be stuck at the sails pavillion for HOURS behind thousands of people, all this, without breakfast and my morning coffee. Did I mention that this convention is attended by more than 150 thousand people?
Unfortunately, Hasbro has inspired a lot more companies to do this like DC, Lego, Fox, HBO, and others, and many more are expected to follow this year. The fun part is that you find out once you get there, not before. I'm not going to sacrifice my sleep to get any of that. San Diego should be about having fun, meeting people, and enjoying yourself. Not about humilliation and military style morning wakings. So I wish you all the best of luck to get what you want my Knights and Knightesses, I'm sure you deserve it , but this Knight is going there to have fun .
-Chris "Hunter" D.