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Sunday, July 21, 2013

San Diego Comic Con 2013: Through the eyes of an honest fangirl

I've been going to comic con for over 10 years. I think the first time I went was when I was about...16 maybe? I can't really remember, but I do remember it being very cool. There use to hardly be a crowd and you could buy your ticket at the door and go right in and get a bunch of free stuff like free comics, pins, and cards. Lots of vendors would be selling old toys from 70s and 80s pop-culture movies and TV shows. You could go up to a booth and have a comic artist draw your portrait for free without standing in a line and even get a moment to chat with them. Presently you can find remnants of these things, but they are dwindling. Free goodies and portraits are available, but only if you fight the crowds for them in the early mornings or stand in a line for 10 hours.

I wanted to get my brother the new Magic the Gathering box set that premiered at the Hasbro booth. I got to the convention center on Thursday morning when it opened only to discover that people had been apparently waiting in a line since 3 am, to get a ticket, to wait in another line, to buy the Magic cards and all those tickets were gone. That's madness! I would never do that. It's seriously, JUST A GAME and my brother actually plays the game. He wasn't going to resell the cards on eBay for $300. Yes, that is correct. Game Scalpers are buying the sets for $65 and reselling them on eBay for around $300.

This news disturbed me. No magic cards for me so, I decided to stand in a line for passes to something called, The Godzilla Experience. I had no idea what this was, but the word "experience" sounded like I might get to actually see Godzilla like how you can see King King in 3D at Universal Studios. So I waited in the line and after about 30 min, I followed the people in front of me through the crowd on the main showroom floor and then suddenly someone handed me a pass. It was so secretive I wasn't even sure if that was it, but it was. The pass giver-outer told me my pass was for 6:00pm. Omg, that means I had another 9 hours before I could go see Godzilla!

I walked around looking for RPG dice. RPG stands for roll playing game. The die is used for games like Dungeons and Dragons which is what I was going to be using the die for, but I couldn't find any! I remember one year there was a big table filled with all kinds of RPG dice. They had them in all different colors and some with glitter and rainbow designs.

This year I would have been lucky if I found anything with the essence of old school sci-fi and Fantasy, but I didn't. The big hits this year seemed to be The Walking Dead, Adventure Time, My little Pony Friendship Is Magic and Plants Vs. Zombies. Hasbro had a special JEM Glitter n' Gold exclusive doll they were selling ($140!), but she looks better in pictures. The doll was honestly not as pretty in person. I looked through a few comics, but they were old dusty worthless ones for a $1. Not even as good as the obscure ones you might find at a garage sale for 50 cents.

I got excited for a second when I saw a Predator alien booth with a sign that said "Predator 3D." I thought that there might be a new Predator movie coming out in 3D, but when I got closer to read the fine print, it explained; if you buy the limited edition Predator Blu-ray set coming out in December, you can have a picture of your head taken with a 3D printing technology. They then will put your severed head in the hands of your very own Predator figurine.  Ummm, I don't want to look like Predator killed me!

I was starting to feel the lack luster of this event. I know that times are always changing and comics and collectibles won't always stay the same or be the way they use to be, but the new products that were being advertised seemed to be missing something. It's not like they aren't of quality in their own right, but nothing was different about them. It was nothing that I hadn't already seen before and seen it done better.

Another thing I noticed about the ever developing Comic Con, is that there were lots of kids there this year. It was almost like a Disneyland crowd with children wearing costumes of their favorite cartoon and super hero characters. At one point the slow moving crowd had me stuck behind these two little boys wearing cardboard boxes on their heads, decked out like the Minecraft characters. Where were their parents? I even saw a few babies in costumes, too. With the convention being so family oriented now, I think the "booth babes" and "wanna-be booth babes" are slowly dying out. That, I have no problem with because I am terribly embarrassed for these girls. They would look more in place at a different type of convention.  I was looking out for cool cosplay costumes, but instead I saw these two young ladies walk by wearing super hero themed lingerie. I over heard a mother and her little daughter who were near me say, "Look at their costumes...they look like hookers." >__<

Panels are crazy to get into now-a-days. Unless you are spending one of your four days at Comic Con waiting in line to get into one, the next best thing is the experience tents outside of the convention. I went inside the Ender's Game Fan Experience tent. The inside was a portable, decorated, set designed to look like a spaceship with costumes and props on display from the movie.






After this I was just trying to find things to do to pass the time until my Godzilla Experience. So, I took my picture with a giant, plush, cow, and a guy in a really impressive V costume. I also took pictures of what I think was a Transformers' toy display and a picture of some kawaii alpacas.






Finally it was time for my Godzilla Experience. It was indeed an experience. This was my favorite part of the whole convention. My 6:00 group lined up outside a building a few blocks from the convention center. Before we were let inside, we were informed to download an app that went along with the experience. They wanted us to look for posters inside the building with a certain symbol on them and take a picture of them with the app. If we collected all the pictures, we would get some special something or something.
As the doors opened, a room completely decorated like the streets of Tokyo was revealed. The group rushed around trying to collect all the symbols with their app. I tried collecting them, but after the first symbol I collected, to no surprise, my app suddenly stopped working. So, I thought screw this I'm just going to take pictures of the set with my good camera. Then all of a sudden a red-light alarm goes off! The tour guide tells everyone to hurry and get into the elevator because Godzilla is attacking! Omg, so we hurry into the elevator. The guide tells us not to worry that we will be safe soon, we just need to get to the roof. The elevator starts shaking and the lights go dim! The elevator doors open to reveal a scientist's control room like the ones in the Godzilla movies. There are scientists inside scurrying around and pressing buttons and telling some of the guests to press buttons. "Hurry, hurry!" they say, "he's coming!"
Omg, Godzilla is coming and I think I might be right. I get to see him! We are then guided into one more room. The room is a disheveled scientist's office with papers scattered all over the floor. The light goes out and we are staring out the window of a skyscraper building (the window is a movie screen). "BOOM, BOOM" we hear the foot steps and there he is! Godzilla himself or herself, I don't know if Godzilla is male or female, comes walking past the window as gigantic as ever!
And that was the end of the experience. As we left the building we got a free Godzilla 2014 poster. Thank you Legendary pictures for helping me enjoy my time at Comic Con. Your elaborate advertising experience was a success and I now want to see the new Godzilla movie and possibly live inside the Godzilla Experience set. I think there was even a ramen bar inside...no joke.


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