July 21, 2006
Story by SoCal Dom

 

COMIC-CON 2006: ANY BETTER THAN LAST YEAR?
So, many of you sitting at home reading this have contemplated making the trip out this year to Comic-Con. You thought about the cost of plane tickets, hotel rooms, rent-a-cars, restaurant bills, registration fees, collectible receipts, and even some of you – bail amounts. After every show, every year, many ponder the question, “Did I miss anything?” Was this show better than any other before this one?

Being one of largest gatherings of freaks and geeks, fans and collectors in the entire World, I am always most surprised by the sheer number of crazies dressed up in their Matrix, Marvel, DC, and of course Star Wars costumes, just to name a few. Not crazy in a bad way (nutty maybe) but crazy by the weight, obvious discomfort, and claustrophobia these costumes have been known to torture these people to the brink of dehydration and delirium. The temperatures can sometimes get into the 80’s inside, with humidity levels not helping much either, especially to help dissipate the occasional mixture of vinyl, rubber, and bodily ripeness that walk down each aisle. However, after stopping to take a look around, one comes to the realization that this is what the show is all about (though some do need to carry around and use that personal size of Speed Stick).

Every Con tries to do better than the one before, offering new and better exclusives, presenting more popular celebrities, bringing the most popular ones back, and ensuring that there is everything for everyone who attends. For me, this show was a little different than years past. Being my first time covering this event, I have viewed this from a completely different perspective.

Bottom line is, I love the Con. This year’s exclusives I feel are some of the best that have ever been done. The Gentle Giant Shocktrooper mini bust, the 501st trooper from Hasbro, the Anakin Sideshow, even the Darth Sidious character key from Acme; all items that many would argue were some of the best ever to be presented as Con exclusives. The introductions of many new items apart from those we have only seen in pictures were all impressive. Sideshow collectors will be mind-blown by the size and detail of the Jabba the Hutt and the corresponding accessories. We can post pictures and describe it as best we can, but it is one of those things you have to see in person, or better yet, add to your collections. Gentle Giant premiered many new busts and statues such as the Jango Fett, the long-awaited Jedi Luke and the racy Leia in Slave attire.

As most of us on this site have been waiting for, Hasbro has decided to step it up a bit themselves, introducing a plethora of new items, including a 3.75" Republic Commando set, and more than 10 of the 25 Toyfare figures from which voting just took place. We will still see the ever so often repaint/rehash, but I believe Hasbro has listened to all you collectors out there to get you what you want, maybe not all at once, but they are making strides.

So should you have packed up the SUV and made the trip out here, to brave the heat, the lines, and the fans? You bet. It has been a perfect blend of all the aforementioned reasons, but none more than the fans. You learn to deal with the lines, the cattle-like crowding, and that ever-so-often security guard that knows less about where you need to go than where you have just been. As the next few days offer more and more, I can only anticipate that this year’s Con will be the best to date.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Click on the links below to see the different photo galleries.

OTHER REPORTS
There were a couple other reports that you can check out below.