We are getting closer and closer by the day. My Comic Con badge just arrived yesterday, so the fact that SDCC is almost here is getting to be a more constant topic in my daily train of thought. There is so much to do to get prepared, and there will be so much to see, and even thoughI have been attending for a long time now, I am always fully taken in by what Comic Con has to offer.
Exclusives have been part of the game for years, and like most people, I have a love/hate relationship with them. I love that the show provides an avenue for things that might not see release anywhere else, but getting all of the things that you want can cause lots of anxiety and cost a lot of your money. Some companies are getting better and better each year with expanded access at the show, as well as availability of many items outside the show as well, so more people get a change. No system is really truly perfect, but NECA, Mattel, Hasbro and others are making strides in some way or another, so that is appreciated in comparison with stops like Funko, which remains the most ridiculously notorious exclusive spot on the entire convention floor.
Many exclusives have already been announced and I know a lot more are coming, but I was thinking about where my priorities will be when I get to San Diego, and I started thinking about the exclusives I hope to add to my collection. This is just my personal list, and it will likely change as more items are added, but here we go…
FUNKO: Pops! Otter Pops Louie Bloo
Haha, just kidding! I am starting this list off with a non-entry and a current source nerd rage for me. See, I LOVE Otter Pops – everything about them. From the nostalgia of the actual pops themselves to my love of the character designs and overall aesthetic, I think Otter Pops has has a well done and classic feel. So, of course, when the other five characters went up for pre-order i was all over it, and I don’t even collect Pops. Then Funko, for some UNGODLY reason decided to make the member of the group, Louie Bloo Raspberry a non-shared SDCC exclusive limited to 1000 pieces. This is some early 2000s convention piece logic that needs to die. Completely ridiculous to the point that I will probably just cancel my order for the other five and be done with it. Ugh.
MATTEL: DC Comics The Strange Lives of Batman Action Figure Multipack
Okay, now we are talking. After a few years of drawing little to no attention from me in the convention exclusive department, Mattel is back in full force and makes this list not once (spoiler) but twice. I have to say, their entire exclusive line-up is really on point this year. This Batman set is so much fun, and I love that it highlights some of the Dark Knight’s most zany moments. The figures themselves are crazy cool, but the fact that alternate heads like Bruce Wayne and Rip VanBatman (HOLY CRAP!!!) are included pushes this one over the top.
HASBRO: Marvel Legends The Collector and Grandmaster 2-Pack
Boy, do I love me some Jeff Goldblum. And boy do I love his turn as the Grandmasters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plus, Benicio Del Toro’s amazingly odd Collector finally gets his day in plastic, too. These two are most certainly meant to be captured together for all time, and this instantly increases my love for MCU figures in Marvel Legends. Plus, MELT STICK!
MATTEL: WWE “Snap Into a Slim Jim” Macho Man
This one was so damned close to being number one on my list. So, so close. Regardless, THIS is how you do a Comic Con exclusive. Sure, as a Golden Age wrestling fan, I love the Macho Man, but capturing him as the Slim Jim spokesman is the perfect gimmick for Comic Con. Something like this would NEVER be released in the mass market, but those old commercials are so memorable, and this is such a fun release from figure to presentation. He has little Slim Jims for Grodd’s sake, and the packaging looks like a bodega Slim Jim carton. This one deserves some awards for just being perfectly thought out and wonderfully executed. OOOOOOOOOOOH YEAH!
NECA: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles “The Capture of Splinter” Set
This wins because NECA is just playing with house money at this point, and can pretty much print more of it. I will admit, I love everything TMNT related that NECA has done to this point, but their movie stuff is on a COMPLETELY different level. The four movie Turtles were my figures of the year for 2018 (Donatello accepted the prize on their behalf), and now getting Shredder and the Foot, plus a Splinter so screen accurate it is scary. This is the perfect compliment to the last year’s set and while it might have been slightly telegraphed that we would see Shredder and the Foot like this, Splinter looks to be the best of the set, and completely unexpected. Makes dudes and dudettes wanna shout, “COWABUNGA!”
So this is what I am looking forward to (not you, Funko), but there is likely still a lot more to be revealed.