The San Diego Comic-Con 2015 dealers room opens its doors on Wednesday evening, launching an extended weekend filled with standing in line to get limited edition stuff. Here's what's worth waiting for.
For the second year in a row I'll be missing San Diego Comic-Con, which is a sadness for the geek in me but a mercy to the father, who is supposed to be putting away money in case his kids decide to stab a guy or something; it's not really clear. All I know is I am not supposed to be buying things like these.
Limited Black Edition Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Legacy Saba Saber
Location: Bandai America Incorporated, booth # 3535 Price: $US175 Availability: Limited quantities each show day
Crafted of black, gold and die-cast materials, the Talking Tiger Saber looks as cool on a shelf as it does when its eyes light up and mouth starts spouting phrases recorded by original Saba voice actor Tony Oliver. Plus it comes in a nice box; there's nothing like coming home from Comic-Con with a nice box.
World of Warcraft: Funko POP! Murloc Vinyl Figures (3 pack)
Location: Blizzard Entertainment, booth #115 Price: $US29.99 Availability: A bunch?
My wife and I are huge fans of Funko's Pop! Vinyl series of figures, having collected upwards of 100 across various properties over the past couple of years. That 100 includes just about every World of Warcraft release, so there's no way we'd let these three swim past without giving them a good bonking.
Dragon Age Inquisition Playing Cards Series Two
Location: Dark Horse Comics, booth #2615 Price: $US8.00 Availability: A bunch.
As much fun as it is to part with large sums of money for premium collectibles, there's something to be said for adding to the pile for under $US10. The second series of Dragon Age Inquisition playing cards from Dark Horse look gorgeous while filling that all-important haul-padding role.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Link Variant 20-Inch Premium Action Figure
Location: Entertainment Earth, booth #2343 Price: $US60 Availability: Some
I guarantee you will not find more Link for the dollar at comic-Con. Packed in a lovely gold box, this Skyward Sword variant of the World of Nintendo figure is enough toy to justify attending Comic-Con even though you hate just about everything else there.
G.I. JOE Rock N' Roll and Snake Eyes Micro Figures
Location: Gentle Giant, booth #3513 Price: $US8.00 Availability: Sure
While Gentle Giant is rocking a $US130 12-inch upscaled version of G.I. Joe's Grunt this year, I'm more interested in these tiny micro versions of Snake Eyes and Rock 'N Roll. How small are they? I have no idea, but I'm more than willing to pay $US8.00 for both in order to find out.
Kingdom Hearts Key Ring Set
Location: Monogram International, booth #3645 Price: $US40 Availability: Enough, most likely
What better way to say "You love Kingdom Hearts, I know. Shut up already!" than a fine set of keyblade key rings specially produced for Comic-Con 2015? Either you know someone who would love these, or you're very angry with me right now.
Warframe Excalibur Figure
Location: Symbiote Studios, booth #5636 Price: $US29.99 Availability: Yeah
Specifically included in this list for that one just who always emails us why we don't do more Warframe coverage. It's actually quite lovely, and were I there this year I would likely pick one up, if only to remind me that Warframe is a game that exists.
Voltron Altimite DX Transforming SD Voltron
Location: Toynami, booth #3229 Price: $US150 Availability: Why did I even bother with this field?
I've been looking for an excuse to pick up one of these super deformed Voltron sets, and isn't an exclusive edition a good one? Look at the little lions. Look at them. Now look at the big lion. He's like their dad. Put them all together, and you've got the most adorable defender of the universe ever.
G.I. Joe Desert Duel Set
Location: Entertainment Earth, booth #2343 Price: ??? Availability: At show and on Toys R Us' Comic-Con exclusives page
Companies love buddying up for Comic-Con exclusives to keep fans on their toes. Take the G.I. Joe Desert Duel set here. It's a Toys R Us exclusive made by Hasbro and sold at the show by Entertainment Earth. Confusing, but not so confusing that I don't want it. It comes packed with a Cobra Basilisk tank facing off against a G.I. Joe F.O.E. Striker, with Elite Horseman, Cobra Air Trooper, Chuckles and Night Fox figures.
Match Book Ant-Man
Location: Hasbro, booth #3213 Price: $US9.99 Availability: Good luck
My favourite place to shop at Comic-Con is Hasbro, where my entire childhood and several other unfamiliar childhoods are for sale. The coolest figure that's caught my eye this year (aside from the obvious, see below) is the matchbook-sized Ant-Man figure. He's so ridiculously tiny, and comes in a match box labelled ages four and up, which makes me happy. There's a $US64.99 set featuring four different sizes of Ant-Man, but it only takes a little Ant-Man to make me happy.
Transformers Combiner Hunters Box Set
Location: Hasbro, booth #3213 Price: $US74.99 Availability: Not many
Transformers' trio of lady combiner killers gets recolored and repackaged in the Cominer Hunters box set. While I have the original figure release of Windblade, the female fan-built Transformer from 2013, I've never seen the original colours of Chromia and Arcee on store shelves, so procuring them would be of great interest to me. Almost as great an interest as...
2015 Special Edition Devastator Box Set
Location: Hasbro, booth #3213 Price: $US179.99 Availability: By volume? Lots.
The crown jewel of Hasbro's Combiner Wars line, Devastator is comprised of six Contructicons and stands around 18 inches tall when fully erect. I mean assembled. Fully-assembled. This special convention edition features tons of G1 decorations and vac-metal parts that will wear off in a few years but who cares, it's Devastator, dammit.
LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes Action Comics #1 Superman
Location: LEGO, booth #2829 Price: $US39.99 Availability: Daily drawing for a chance to purchase
All my connections in the LEGO world aren't strong enough for me to snag this year's exclusive Action Comics #1 Superman set without being at the show and standing in line for hours. This stunning recreation of Superman's big comic book debut will instead fall into the hands of other, less worth collectors, which makes me cry. A lot.
6″ Krypto Plush Action Figure. Yes, Plush Action Figure. Shut Up.
Location: DC Collectibles, booth #Something Price: $US9.95 Availability: One for me, surely.
Designed by the wonderful Art Baltazar, this adorable rendition of Superman's canine pal deserves a spot within my loving arms.
So that's what I'd be shopping for this year had I made the sweaty, exhausting trek down to San Diego for the annual festival of geekery. Instead I shall use the money I would have spent on travel to troll eBay for bargains afterwards.
Check out the official Comic-Con exclusives list for more ridiculous stuff that mostly cannot be bought unless you're packing right now. See anything you like? Share it with the class.