It’s that time of year again. The sun is shining. The birds are singing. And flocks of kids wearing Punisher T-shirts while lugging stacks of comic-filled white boxes behind them are gathering en masse. Convention season is officially in full swing and the high point of it all is just around the corner. Yep, San Diego Comic-Con hits July 23-26.
If you were lucky enough to get tickets to the show (they sold out online weeks ago, and won’t be selling any additional tickets at the door), then you’re probably already mopping the drool off your chin in preparation for the insanity. But like the Boy Scouts, it’s best to “Be Prepared!” when hitting Comic-Con. If you don’t go in with a plan, it’s way too easy to be sidetracked by big, red, shiny things, as well as get lost (literally) in a sea of people.
Besides oodles of free goodies, awesome stuff for sale, behind-the-scenes panels to attend, and celebrity autographs to snag, Comic-Con is also known for its exclusives. Almost every major company that attends offers some sort of exclusive – a toy, comic or statue that’s only available in limited quantities and only available at SDCC itself. You can view a running list of Action Figure/Toys exclusives, but to help you plan ahead for the show, here’s a list of 10 of the coolest exclusives available only at Comic-Con 2009.
NOTE: Many of the items listed below have limited runs and may sell out quickly. In other words: Move it or lose it!
1. Ghosbusters Venkman & Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Minimates 2-Pack
Who can resist the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? Especially when he’s so cute and tiny? This SDCC exclusive set will be available from Diamond retailers throughout the floor. Check with the Diamond Previews Booth for more details.
2. HALO Grifball Spartan Action Figure
(Entertainment Earth/Toys R Us)
This Toys R Us Exclusive available from Entertainment Earth, is the first Halo action figure to be based on the Grifball game. Featuring the Recon armor, this McFarlane Toys figure also includes a bomb, gravity hammer and sword hilt.
3. Darth Vader Helmet – Pink Edition
I know what you’re thinking. A pink Darth Vader helmet?!? Well, besides being pretty unique, this exclusive Star Wars bust from Gentle Giant helps a very worthy cause. For every sale, Gentle Giant will donate $6 (up to $10,000) towards finding a cure for breast cancer, courtesy of the Susan G. Koman foundation. Plus, it’d make a great gift for the GeekMom in your life too!
4. Marvel Universe – Captain America
Hasbro’s Marvel Universe figures are pretty neat to begin with. Small, nicely sculpted and very articulated. The Comic-Con exclusive features all that, as well as a cool twist. Thanks to a special-edition grey scale deco, Hasbro’s Marvel Universe Captain America figure has that total 1940s look to him.
5. Transformers: 25th Anniversary Soundwave Special Edition
Apparently Transformers are kind of big these days. Might have to do with some movie or something. But if you already have every figure from every possible Transformers toy line currently out, here’s your chance for something old but new. Hasbro’s re-releasing its original 1984 edition of Soundwave, which includes four cassettes: Buzzsaw, Laserbeak, Ratbat and Ravage. Just don’t be surprised if your kids ask you, “What’s a cassette?”
6. Wonder Twins with Gleek
Go ahead. I dare you. Say the phrase “Wonder Twin Powers…” and see how long it takes before someone responds with “Activate!” Mattel’s Zan and Jayna two-pack is a long-time coming and sports some great sculpting by the Four Horsemen. Besides cool accessories (a bucket of water with Zan’s face!), this set includes space monkey Gleek as part of the Comic-Con exclusive set.
7. Ghostbusters Classics Dr. Egon Spengler with Slimer
Kicking off this ghostbusting new line of highly detailed, articulated figures from Mattel is Dr. Egon and his Proton Pack and gun, along with the only-at-Comic-Con pack-in figure of Slimer.
8. Silver Astronaut Snoopy Figurine
Did you know Snoopy’s been with the U.S. Space Program for 40 years? Well, now you can help celebrate this milestone with one of 400 limited-edition Silver Snoopy figures, featuring the space-faring beagle. Visit the Peanuts booth for details.
9. Marvel 70th Anniversary Captain America Toon Tumblers Glass
Okay, this isn’t a toy. Or a statue. It’s a glass. You got me. But these retro-style glasses are too cool not to pick up normally. And this year’s Comic-Con exclusive tumbler celebrates Marvel’s 70th Anniversary (and Comic-Con’s 40th) with 1940s Cap and the classic 1970s Jack Kirby style Sentinel of Liberty.
10. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo in Stormtrooper Disguise 12-inch Figure Set
While a bit pricey ($169.99), this 12-inch Figure Set of Luke and Han in Stormtrooper Disguise is way cooler than paying your mortgage. For availability and more information, visit sideshowcollectibles.com.
Be sure to keep an eye on Comic-Con’s Exclusives! page for up-to-the-minute info on the latest limited-edition items.