Comic-Con. We showed up early, and waited in line for an hour and a half to get into the exhibit floor. The plan was to get to the Hasbro booth to get tickets that let you get in line to buy stuff. Like convention exclusives.
That didn't happen, because they let the folks registering for one-day Thursday badges in before all of us that had already shelled out for four-day badges. That was poor, and it could have made for a frustrating day. That is, if I hadn't been willing to pay folks (and my buddy hadn't been willing to front me the cash) who did have tickets to buy exclusives they weren't going to buy for themselves. Like the super hero My Little Pony. (What? I'm a sensitive guy.)
The exhibit floor was better than on preview night, because people were split between attending the panels and the show floor. that was an improvement.
And I totally blended in with my fellow geeks, as airport security had confiscated my gel (I suspect they thought I would use it to make deadly hair spikes and gore fellow passengers), and I was breaking out like a teenager (probably from the stress of them blocking my goal of goring fellow passengers). Nice.
Thursday was ostensibly about toys and Halo.
There were a whole bunch of new things at the Hasbro booth that hadn't been out the night before, including three things for which I've been waiting.
First up was Marvel Heroscape. I like the craft and extensibility of the existing Heroscape, but it's this comic-book themed release for which I'm been waiting since it was announced in January -- of 2006. So, 1.5 years later, it was nice to see in person, and since it's finally going to retail, I didn't worry about purchasing it.
Next up was Marvel Legends. Hasbro took over the fan-favorite line from Toy Biz, and promptly unfan-favorited it. Seriously, the sculpts for series 1 and 2 were poor in quality, appropriate articulation, and likeness. But I've said before, series 3 looks to improve upon the formula, with a 1940s Captain America, and a Hydra soldier (and variant) that look like they'll nicely complement my Baron Von Strucker Face-Off variant. (Or compliment Von Strucker: "Ja, Herr Strucker, you look wery nice!"). And series 4, announced at the panel, look even better.
Then there were the additions to the Marvel Super Hero Squad, a semi-super-deformed offering that I dig. Made for kids, the series has found new life with collectors and fanboys. There are a ton of new offerings, and I'm interested in the upcoming new Mega Packs, which add the likes of to-scale(ish) Galactus and Sentinels, and (revealed at the show) Apocalypse and Ultimate Giant Man.
I wasn't so gung-ho on the Hasbro Comic-Con exclusives of Marvel Legends renditions of Stan Lee and She-Hulk (picts below). I'm glad Stan's getting an action figure, but the whole changing him out of actual clothes makes him a little too ... doll-like to me. I fight that battle enough as is. The good news is (as of right now) those two exclusives are still in stock on HasbroToyShop.com.
Halo Action Clix:
Yeah, this gets its own section, both because -- just by impact relative to their size and scope -- WizKids owned the show floor Thursday. And because they owned a big chunk of my afternoon as well.
I was there for big reveal of the Comic-Con exclusive version of the Halo ActionClix scarab (it was one of the big things to which I was looking forward at the con). This is a battle-damaged, limited edition (500 total) version of the largest, playable clix-type figure WizKids makes. It is stunning and brilliant, and that plus the fast-paced version of the Halo entry, over the already stellar HeroClix, has got be pretty stoked. And, since I won a ticket that allowed me to purchase one of the limited edition monsters ... I did. And I spent a ton of time in line, or checking the booth to see if I'd won, when I could buy, when I could give them my shipping info (thing's a freaking monster), and whether I won an on-the-spot version (didn't).
I'm still weighing the purchase, but for me, things are bought to be used and played with -- not resold at markup. Besides, I'm a community kind of guy, and if I have the scarab, that helps me draw and center Halo ActionClix tourneys.
And the WizKids folks? Top-notch, every one of them. Brand Manager Mark is a machine, and Rae and Jenny (both of whom I'd known earlier only via Email) are phenomenal, and super-community and super-business minded. I made sure to introduce myself to all of the WizKids folks, who were all kind and helpful.
And (without me asking) they hooked me up with a Target exclusive two-pack of the Master Chief and Arbiter. Normally you only get this by pre-ordering Halo 3 from Target. Look for that to show up on my toy blog soon.
And a guy in full Spartan armor was there throughout the day. Just for effect.
Just two panels for the day -- the "Hasbro Marvel" panel and the "DC Group Therapy" panel.
The Hasbro panel was a bit ugly. We missed the first few minutes of it, but there were some angry folks inside for some reason. It might be due to some folks being upset about the Hasbro take on Marvel Legends (kinda understandable), but there were some (2) vehement folks in the room. It felt more like they were mad because they're completests(ists?), and things like chase variant figures make it hard to be a completest. My thought is (a) don't be a completest, and / or (b) realize that if we didn't have at least the figures as chase, we wouldn't have them at all.
I think collectors need to realize that Toy Biz version of legends catered to the collector, but Hasbro is all about the mass market. There are trade-offs there. More on that when I talk about Friday's Mattel / DC panel.
Hasbro did reveal some really cool stuff, like the Marvel Legends Wave 4, which seem to even more improve on the line, and includes first-appearance Daredevil (and red-suited variant), Black Bolt (and blue-suited variant, but I wish he was yelling), Punisher (with Crossbones variant). Wal-Mart will be getting two-pack exclusives of Cannonball & Domino and Cable & Marvel Girl, and on the Icons side we'll be seeing red suited Daredevil (with a first-appearance variant), Phoenix (with Dark Phoenix variant), Colossus, and Nightcrawler. In the case I also saw what looked like an Astonishing X-Men Cyclops Marvel Icon.
There are also going to Marvel Legends of Tigra, Nova, and Astonishing X-Men Beast, probably before December.
I also met writer / columnist Troy from Newsarama.com, who was knowledgeable and very pleasant.
DC Group Therapy:
This was a fun panel, and while I'm not a huge DC fan, per se, I really like Dan Didio, and all of the panelists -- Geoff Johns, Sean McKeever, Gail Simone, Tony Bedard, Eddie Berganza, Mike Marts, Mike Siglain, and (especially) Dwayne McDuffie.
Other Cool Stuff:
I missed the Marvel / MAXUM Games "Demons of Mercy" panel, which I really wanted to attend to check out the comic book / video game interaction. But I was in the room a couple of panels after that, and found that someone had left their Comic-Con Demons of Mercy comic. So, score!
And I got to meet a ton of cool people, and connect with folks I hadn't seen for a while. The Cartoon Network MMO folks in particular, are a great group of folks, and were very helpful in letting me try out the "alpha" version of the game answer questions, hook me up with a prelude comic, and just generally have fun. I also talked to several game and animation companies on the voice acting front, and they were much more helpful and responsive than I've experienced (sadly) in Austin.
We had big plans to see the Superman Doomsday premiere that night, and the panel following that would include Bruce Timm, Gregory Noveck, Brandon Vietti, Lauren Mongomery, and Duane Capizzi.
But remember the lines I complained about? This night, we were victims. After waiting in line for an hour, we were the first people not allowed into the ballroom. We're talking they literally stopped us at the door, we could see in, and they wouldn't let the two of us inside. And then things got ugly. People who allegedly had been inside couldn't get back inside. People who had friends inside that were saving seats couldn't get inside. Then the fire marshal was doing a sweep, said there were too many people, and they were going to eject more. After about a half an hour of this ugliness, we left, bummed to have missed the premiere and the panel with one of our mutual idols.
The silver lining? The fine folks at Microsoft made the panel available for download over Xbox Live. Score again!
- "Linear Men are time, Monitors are MultiVerse. Two different things." 08:57 PM July 26, 2007 from web
(This is the END of the "DC Group Thereapy" panel coverage.)
(Didio said this like it was common knowledge. Funny.)
- Not having characters get together in DCU likened to avoiding "last season of 'Moonlighting'." 08:53 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- While I'm not a 08:48 PM July 26, 2007 from web
(Noticed m.twitter started truncating posts. Should have read, "While I'm not DC fan, per se, I'm a fan of these creatives, and the process is cool.")
- Wow, some fans are incredibly brave asking questions. They look almost out-of-there skin nervous in public ... 08:46 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Didio on the spot for leaking "52" ending ... 08:42 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Creators share there 2 favorite character / interactions to write (Hal Jordan & Batman for McDuffie, etc..). 08:33 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Brief derailment on classic ("Lightning Lad") versus modernizing ("LiveWire") debate ... 08:29 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Perception is everyone's killing everyone on the DC team books ... 08:23 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Wolfman / Perez Outsiders may be making a return. More on Sat.... 08:16 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Dwayne McDuffie joining the DC panel ... 08:12 PM July 26, 2007 from web
Interesting to hear DC's Didio cop to Marvel's market dominance ... 08:10 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Live Blogging the DC group therapy panel at Comic-Con ... 08:07 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Listening to DC's Geoff Johns, Sean McKeever, Gail Simone, Tony Bedard, Dan Didio, Eddie Berganza, Mike Marts, Mike Siglain ... 08:05 PM July 26, 2007 from web
(This is the START of the "DC Group Thereapy" panel coverage.)
- Seeing Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) ... 06:06 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Watching someone really pull off a Black Cat costume ... 04:35 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Spider-man 6" _and_ build a figure coming from Hasbro this fall! 03:17 PM July 26, 2007 from web
(This is the END of the Hasbro Comic-Con panel coverage.)
- Attending the Hasbro Comic-Con panel ... 03:16 PM July 26, 2007 from web
(This is the START of the Hasbro Comic-Con panel coverage.)
- In line to purchase a Halo Action Clix. Feeling a little insane ... 02:22 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Getting ready for Wizkids Comic-Con reveal. See my video gaming blog ... 01:29 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Taking a bath on Comic-Con exclusives ... 12:40 PM July 26, 2007 from web
- Breaking out like a teenager. must be Comic-Con sympathies ... 10:29 AM July 26, 2007 from web