Jul 2012 24

by Bob Suicide

I’ve seen people rail against the consumerist, corporate culture of the current incarnation of Comic Con and I don’t really understand it. Though, to be fair, I live in Oakland; I’ve seen people rail against the consumerist, corporate culture of a trash can.

Look at the cartoons of our youth, created for the singular purpose of marketing toys to children. And here we are sitting at a panel waving a foam Sword of Omens excitedly hoping for more Chetaras’s in the next wave of toys. Look at comics: variant covers, special editions, various colored “ages” – I can’t think of a time when everything comic conventions stood for didn’t have to do with acquiring, buying, and selling stuff. Mind you, it’s all completely awesome and totally necessary stuff, but stuff nonetheless.

So, needless to say, I had a list of things I HAD to get at this year’s Comic Con. Luckily (or unluckily depending on how you look at it) everything I needed was at one booth: the Hasbro booth. Instead of the mad dash from booth to booth and line to line from years before, I only had to make it into one line. It all seemed so simple…

I was SO wrong.

On Preview Night I made a mad dash to the Hasbro booth, hyperventilating the whole way while the loudspeaker announced that there was “no running in the hall.” But for all my efforts and really awkward running, I still didn’t make it in time. The line was already wrapped several times around the booth. Security was yelling at us to come back in 30 minutes, while the Hasbro staff was yelling at us to come back at 8.30 the next morning. I decided to try to hold out at the end of the line in the hopes that some people would give up and leave or get kicked out of line. You see, they weren’t allowing exhibitors to stand in the preview line (Hasbro’s way of ensuring attendees had a fair chance of getting the toys they wanted), though I don’t think their plan worked the way they expected. I saw a lot of exhibitors go into stealth mode as they slipped into the line wearing pro badges. In fact, the guy standing in front of me did exactly that – and then some.

I know a lot of people hate scalpers, people whose sole purpose at Comic Con is to snag a large amount of toys and sell them on eBay for high prices at the exclusion of “true fans” who could’ve procured them for the retail price. The truth is, I don’t have a deep-seated hatred for scalpers. It’s times like this that I think they serve a pretty awesome purpose. Thanks to scalpers, people who are unable to travel to Comic Con have the opportunity to buy the toys they want for less than the cost of the flight, hotel, food, plus the hours (or possibly days) spent in line waiting, etc. needed if they were actually able to go.

But, this guy didn’t fall into that category. When approached by Hasbro TV and asked what he was getting and he responded with, basically, the maximum for each toy. The interviewer said, “Oh, are these all for you or are you in line for friends?” And without any shame or compunction at all the dude responded, “No, I’ve got a booth over there. I’m gonna sell them.” Facepalm. It’s one thing to get toys to sell to those who can’t make it to the con at a comparable price for the trouble it takes to get them, but to take a spot in line to sell to attendees at an inflated price when those attendees could have easily taken that spot is in ridiculously poor taste AND to say it on camera is even worse. SHAME!!!

The Interviewer tried to ignore that and kept on going, asking the guy what he thought of the new G.I. Joe movie. To add insult to injury, the dude said he had no idea there was one and that he hadn’t seen any of the trailers. REALLY? You’re in line to buy a massive haul of G.I. Joe toys and you have nothing to say about the new movie? He could have said it’s going to suck and I would have had more respect for him.

After that, the interviewer turned to me and asked me about the movie, the toys I wanted, and why I wanted them – and I gave him GOLD. The soundbites are GLORIOUS, let me tell you. If anyone knows me, getting me to shut up is the trick. But how did they thank me for all my geektastic word vomit? They waited until I signed the release, then announced the line was closed and they were out of tickets for the day.

No toys for me.

Undeterred, I decided to try again the next day. However, this level was going to be more difficult than the last. Instead of lining up at the Hasbro booth, attendees had to line up in the Sails Pavilion on the 2nd floor in the hopes of getting a ticket with a time on it indicating when they could line up at the Hasbro booth. Like a Disney fastpass, I was getting in line for a ticket for ANOTHER LONG LINE, and the Sails Pavilion line was wrapped around the hall, out the door, and down the stairs. I had lost the boss battle. All I could do was tweet to the world my plight in the hope that I could depend on the kindness of strangers for a level up…

It was then that my new best friend, lord, and savior – Robert Lewis, the owner of – came to my rescue. He saw my tweet, and got me the Holy Hasbro Grail. And SG member xHIGHONLIFEx, who is always amazing every year, surprised me with even more Hasbro goodies!

So it’s still possible to get the con exclusives that you want. It takes a lot of hard work, very few bathroom breaks, and even less sleep. Average attendees can walk away with bags full of limited edition swag without the need for a special pass or early admission. Hasbro even reserves a few toys for sale online the Monday following the con. But, even then it’s hard to fly into San Diego with any level of confidence that you’ll get everything you need. Every year is different and seemingly more crowded and more desperate. It could be said that’s all part of the “con experience” and saying that might make you feel better when you miss out on a toy or two – but that really sucks.

Yes, I know not everyone has the added benefit of being an SG, but maybe we can all follow Robert Lewis and XHIGHONLIFEx’s example and make it easier on each other. Just be aware of what line you’re in and the swag being passed around, and pass on the good luck or “Con Karma” when you can so everyone can have an awesome time and no one gets shanked in the eye for a panel seat.

Now the countdown for the sequel begins: SDCC 2013: Bob Suicide And The Booth of Swag. I’m not gonna nuke a fridge, but I may choke a bitch if I can’t get my G.I. Joe/Transformers Crossover.

Related Posts:
Ur W33K 1N G33K: SD Comic Con 2012 Edition Part 1
Ur W33K 1N G33K: SD Comic Con 2012 Edition Part 2
The SuicideGirls Guide To Prepping For ComicCon
SuicideGirls Comic Con 2012 Highlights
Party At Comic Con With SuicideGirls, Spin, and iHeartComix
The SuicideGirls Guide To Prepping For ComicCon
How To Cosplay Battle Royale
How To Be A Stormtrooper
Cosplay With SuicideGirls At A Pre-Comic Con Party At Meltdown
SuicideGirls Team With Bubble Punch And Meltdown To Transform American Apparel Basics Into Sexy Cosplay Outfits For SG’s Comic-Con Crew
Dirty Laundry: Cosplay 4 Comic Con


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