It’s hard to believe that the San Diego Comic Con was just a week ago. In some ways it seems like it was just yesterday. In other ways it seems like it was months ago. Comic Con is definitely an endurance test that messes with your mind as well as your time schedule. A new challenge for me this year was attending Comic Con with my dominant right hand in a cast. Not only was this a challenge for Comic Con but I’m sure it will prove itself an adversary in writing this blog. After some tutoring from Microsoft voice recognition I’m thinking I can give this a shot. This would be just like me sitting across from you telling the story to your face. Here goes nothing…
This year Brandy and I attended Thursday through Saturday. The past few years we’ve only attended Thursday and Friday due to the large crowds, insane lines, and ticket availability. This year we lucked out on a “last year attendee” presale that happened before the general public sale. We had decided last year that we wanted to go the extra day so when it was available during the ticket sale we did it. I’m glad we did.
Fast forward to last Wednesday afternoon. Our first stop was the Town and Country to pick up our passes. Because we’ve been doing this for a while I’ve learned a way to get there by avoiding the traffic-jammed off-ramp and parking issues. We parked, took a short stroll to the pass pickup area, then got into the smoothest-moving line of the entire Comic Con experience. We had our passes in no time plus got the Batman bags and I wanted. From there we went to our hotel that was less than 10 minutes from the Convention Center. We had a great view of the shipyards, Coronado, and downtown San Diego. Time to go to bed and prepare for the first day of craziness.
Thursday morning started at about 4:30. Today’s plan: First thing, try to get a ticket for shopping at Hasbro. Then once the doors open Brandy would go straight to Funko for a plethora of exclusives I wanted and I would go to Hallmark for the flocked Wampa ornament. We got there around 6:00. We got into line and waited for the doors to open. They usually start letting people in around 7:00 to start lining up inside the convention center. That is also the time to get in line for a Hasbro ticket. By the time I got to the Hasbro distribution line they said it was capped and the tickets are gone for the day. Oh well, better luck tomorrow. So we got in the packed cattle line and watched the clock. While waiting we were contacted by some friends we had made the previous year – our Con Family: Cynthia, Rachel, Dan, and new family member Joe. We reminisced about the past year, talked about what we wanted to do this year, then started teaming up for game plan to hit the exhibit floor. Each day Hallmark has a different button with one of the upcoming Star Wars ornaments releasing that year. Today it was the Cantina Band. Although Brandy had rushed to Funko the line have been capped off, so she went to another booth for another exclusive. She picked up a glow in the dark Mr. Stay Puft Funko Pop for me. On her way back to me she stopped by Gentle Giant and got me a Jek Porkins mini-bust. I wanted the McQuarrie Luke as well, but it had sold out for the day in less than 30 mintues. While I was in the Hallmark line I found out there was a secret code to get a special button. In your best Yoda voice you had to say something like, “Mmmmm, special button I am”. If you held a gun to my head I probably still couldn’t remember exactly what I had to say, but I said it and I got the button. It was a Santa Yoda. We attempted to Funko line once again, but it was capped and full of attitude. The attitudes of people that work in these booths can make or break your mindset for that day for even the rest of the convention. All we wanna do is spend our money and it gets harder every year. We pretty much stuck to the exhibit floor buying things on my list and things that were not. We were even able to sneak Brandy in the Funko line by having a pretend she was a girlfriend of Joe (a new friend for 2014) that we met earlier. They reluctantly they let her in the line. A few of the items I wanted were sold out for the day, but I did get quite a bit of other things that I did want. Later that day there was a Star Wars Rebels panel, but getting into panels is a level of dedication we do not have. We would rather explore and enjoy the convention then wait in a line for several hours for a chance to get in a room to maybe see the panel that you wanna see. The trailers were on Coffee with Kenobi in no time. That’s how I saw them for the first time. Thanks CWK! And with that Thursday was over.
Friday morning started at about 4:30. Today’s game plan: Try for a Hasbro ticket again, Brandy was going to rush Funko again, and I was going to attempt Mattel for the Darth Vader Hot Wheel in light saber case. I had a genius idea of how we could get an earlier spot in line. The second we parked the car (Brandy is laughing as I write this part) Brandy was going to rush out of the car and get in line while I got the backpack and car parked and everything situated and would only be couple minutes ahead of me. Keep in mind, this was all my idea. I told her to get into the same line we got into yesterday and I would find her. It sounded like a good idea to me at the time. I parked the car, told Brandy “Go Go Go”. She said, ” I don’t have my phone and I don’t have my pass.” I said, “You don’t need it”. This would turn out to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever done in our marriage. I got all my stuff out of the car and went to catch up with her. There are a lot of people walking towards the convention center at this time so I knew my idea was a good one. Once I get to the sidewalk at the convention center the security guards were screaming “This line for exhibit floor and this line for Hall H”. Oh crap. Of course the Hall H line was staged the same way the line was for us the previous day. Why didn’t I let her get her phone? The following hour was filled with panic, walking the lines asking people what time they got in the line to try and gauge where Brandy might be, then panic some more. I decided to get an exhibit hall line, make friends with the people behind me, hope that they would hold my spot after I explain the story of how I’ve lost my wife, and I have to find her now. They obliged and I continued my journey. After one more trek down the entire Hall H line I started towards the convention center. On my way there I saw my Brandy leaning up against a light pole. I felt like Clark Griswold crawling out of the desert in Vacation. I ran to her smiling face (thankful for that smile), kissed her madly, apologized profusely, then kissed her some more. We went to the spot I had secured in line and thanked the couple for holding it. Our friends Cynthia and Rachel got in line with us and we started the Friday strategy talks. After a few minutes they let the exhibit hall people in to start the giant cattle line. This time I was successful with a Hasbro ticket, if it was an “After 4:00 PM” shopping time. There’s always hope. Cynthia and Rachel got a great spot in the cattle line. We pitched camp and again watched the clock. Because of our spot there was a very good chance of Funko and Mattel happening today. Again, the doors open. I rushed straight to Mattel and Brandy went straight to Funko. I really thought I had a chance. As I got closer to Mattel I notice of large group of people coming from the opposite direction of the convention center. How could that be? I get to Mattel and the line is capped. A try to get to Lego, the line is capped. I get a text from Brandy and Funko was capped. This all happened within 3 minutes of the doors opening. We found out later (rumored, but wouldn’t be surprised) that the president of Comic Con decided to let the people with Professional badges in at the same time as those of us they get there early in the morning or even spend the night. Those were the people in the capped lines. Friday was already off to a great start. Brandy was very good of reminding me to just keep my cool. We really didn’t want things like this affect our fun anymore. So we went along with our day with that attitude. That afternoon we to grab a cup of coffee and went to a PrismaColor demo for a chance to sit down, get some free samples, and possibly win some nice giveaways. We didn’t win anything but the rest of the experience was nice. By now it was the afternoon and time to go to Hasbro. By this time the Jabba was sold out for the day. I was ready to lose it yet again then found out you can shop at Hasbro any time after your ticket time – Including first thing the next day. Saturday’s plan is starting to brew…and so ends Friday.
Saturday started…much later. We just wanted to take it easy, get there after all the craziness has been let in, and just enjoy the final day. I felt confident that what I wanted from a Hasbro would be there early in the morning and since I had a ticket they would have to let me in the line. We went straight to the Hasbro line and it was capped for what they said would be 20 minutes. For the first time in our Con history Brandy decided to participate in the Annual Comic Con Blood Drive. Seem like a good time to take her to her appointment. She protested a little bit saying that Hasbro was more important and her donation time could wait. I really wanted her to donate blood as well as did she. She just knows how important a Hasbro is to me. What a great wife. We walked to a neighboring hotel that was hosting the blood drive. They wouldn’t let me in much further than where I could drop her off, so I made sure she had her phone, and I decided to head back to Hasbro. Keep in mind this has been a pretty good trek so far this morning. I get back to the con, got right into the Hasbro line, and was able to get what I wanted. I asked them what time they sold out of the Jabbas the day before, to which they replied around 3:30. I felt confident that Brandy would be able to get in there later and get the extras for that I needed for my friends. The took that Hasbro loot out to the car, then walked back to pick up Brandy. By now I’m a sweaty mess, exhausted, and it’s not even noon. I picked her up with her fresh True Blood swag (donated by HBO for the blood drive), and we walked back to the Con yet again.
I went to get in line for a Lego mini figure giveaway and she went to Hasbro (with her phone). She texted me from inside and Hasbro was going to lunch. They already sold out of the few items and were going to go break open some pallets to see what they have left. She went and found a shady tree outside and waited for me to catch up from the Lego line which was about an hour. We both won Lego figures, so that was great. We went back to Hasbro and the Jabbas were sold out for the show. We decide to get a cup of coffee again and just relaxed under a stairway. It was there we were graced with the presence of none other than Adam West! That was very cool and happened before I could get a picture. We cut our losses and started our last day tradition. We started from one end of the con zigzagging in between booths seeing everything before we leave. After a couple of hours it was time for the Star Wars Pavilion. We looked at all the companies with the Star Wars licenses and all the new products that are coming, filmed my CWK video, then called it a Con. Saturday was done.
Overall it was another great experience, great times with friends, too much stuff came home, and we can wait to do it again next year. We must be crazy…
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