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On the Floor at SDCC 2018: Exclusives, Merch, & Freebies

Exclusive merchandise is always a draw at SDCC (as are fun freebies), and this year, along with checking out great cosplay in the exhibit hall, I engaged in The Hunt for Exclusives, an annual adventure I know I share with many other congoers.

This was the first time the con tried out a lottery system for some of the most popular exhibitor booths, including Hasbro, Funko, LEGO, and UCC. Unfortunately I didn't get to participate, given I didn't learn about the lottery until after it closed (they could do a lot better at spreading the word!), but I did observe it in action. It seemed to range from maybe not completely necessary to possibly effective - UCC was allowing walk-ups by Saturday, and although Hasbro was sold out of the Chewie & Porg Family exclusive I wanted by Saturday afternoon, it was able to open the line to regular congoers seeking other merchandise still on hand. LEGO, by contrast, still had a long line of lottery ticket-holders waiting for their Ant-Man & Wasp exclusive as late as 4pm on Sunday afternoon, and everyone seemed a bit frazzled as they tried to keep the line moving. I'm not a huge fan of the lottery concept overall, since it means if the one exclusive I want above all is in the lottery, I stand little chance of getting it even if I'm willing to wait in a long line, and even the lottery winners still seemed to wait in long lines; but I understand why the con is experimenting with new systems - SDCC is overcrowded as it is.

Despite missing the lottery, I managed to score a number of excellent exclusives, as well as sweet merchandise and freebies, and without much waiting in line. (What can I say, I've learned some good tricks over the years.) Here are my favorites!

The Deadpool Collection:

Anyone who knows me or reads my work knows I'm a huge Deadpool fan, so it's no shock that I made a beeline for Deadpool exclusives, merchandise, and freebies. Here's what I got (clockwise from top left):

  • Deadpool 2 "Family is not an F-word" shirt: they were giving these out at the Deadpool Dance Party booth, which was advertising the digital and DVD release of Deadpool 2 with an excellent animatronic Deadpool band (stay tuned for the video in my next column!). Apparently there was a near-riot over these shirt giveaways by Sunday. Well too bad, rioters - I got there first!

  • Deadpool "selfie" figure: I couldn't resist this adorable QFig of Deadpool taking selfies with unicorns that was for sale over at Quantum Mechanix. Love it!

  • Deadpool "Maximum Effort" figure: this funky QFig statue of Deadpool stabbing and vaulting over a burrito was a con exclusive at QMx, and it's pretty darned cool.

  • Deadpool X-Force Skottie Young "Finders Keypers" figure: this exclusive came from the ThinkGeek booth, and features a pull-out cellphone stand and detachable Deadpool symbol keychain. I love the Skottie Young Deadpool art, and this is useful, too. Nice!

  • Deadpool Pinmate: This little wooden figure came from the Entertainment Earth booth. They had the Deadpool with no mask too, but I confess I passed on it. Ain't no one wants to look at that! Hah.

  • Bathtime Deadpool: I can't actually remember where I got this one. It was at one of the booths that had walls and walls of Funko, and I already have upwards of six different Deadpool Funkos, but this little guy was unique and adorbs, so I couldn't resist.

  • Deadpool with baby Cable wooden push puppet: this con exclusive was on sale at Entertainment Earth, and is totally ridiculous. I had to have it!

  • Deadpool X-Force bundle: This adorable exclusive set came from the Beast Kingdom booth, and features two figures - Deadpool riding a purple unicorn, and Deadpool getting all heart eyes over a cute little kitty. Squee!

  • Deadpool 2 toilet seat cover: Yep, that's right. A toilet seat cover. With appropriately inappropriate wordplay. You gotta love the Deadpool movie ad folks, who keep on coming up with ever-wackier advertising campaigns (which are perfect for Deadpool). These were in the convention center bathrooms on the first day-ish. They quickly ran out, but of course I had to snag one for keeps when I saw them.

  • Deadpool unicorn pin: I scored this exclusive over at the Toynk booth. Chibi Deadpool is one of my favorite Deadpools! D'aw.

Disney and Marvel Fun!

I also landed some other great Marvel and Disney items (clockwise from top left):

  • Infinity Gauntlet Tsum Tsum set: This adorable exclusive set with a light-up Infinity Gauntlet came from Thinkgeek and includes Thanos, the Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange. Too precious!

  • Black Panther dress: This great high-low hem dress with cuffed sleeves and a Black Panther necklace cutout was an exclusive from the Hero Within booth, and it's very elegant. I can't wait to wear it out somewhere!

  • Ant-Man, Groot, and Wasp shoulder-friends: These came from Rubie's Costumes and are pretty darned cute. The Ant-Man and Wasp were exclusives for this year. They attach via a reasonably comfortable elastic harness, and I couldn't resist them. Now, I just need to figure out what to cosplay them with...

  • Disney character tote: Okay, I can't actually remember where I got this, but it was free with a particular exclusive purchase, and it's adorable and has shiny edges, and I'm sure I'll use it for something.

  • Star Wars Adventures: This was a freebie over at IDW, and I'm looking forward to reading it!

Check out that light-up gauntlet! So cool!

(Check out that light-up Gauntlet! So cool!)

Harry Potter, Coraline, and fun freebies!

  • Harry Potter bundle: Entertainment Earth had this magical exclusive set of three Harry Potter collectibles - a Snitch that "flies" on its own, a feather that "follows" your wand, and a Riddle diary with invisible ink. I've tried them all out, and while I'm not quite as good with the Snitch trick as the guy who was demonstrating it over at the booth, I'm getting the hang of it, and planning to dazzle my nephews and nieces with it soon!

  • The Good Place activation freebies: Thank goodness for the "Welcome! Everything is fine." fans, because man, it was pretty hot out there in the activation line. When we got inside, I managed to snag a rare "stress shrimp" that fell out of the sky, which delighted me, since I love shrimp and have definitely quoted Eleanor Shellstrop's line, "Let me get more of them shrampies," before. And as we left, along with a coupon for free yogurt, we got a themed spoon. I for sure asked for a green one to go with the iconic color of the show.

  • Disenchantment buttons: I landed these freebies at the walkthrough for the new Matt Groening show, Disenchantment - more on that next column!

  • Harley Quinn Fansets pin: this exclusive came with my SDCC bag, and I couldn't be happier, since classic animated Harley Quinn is my favorite Harley Quinn. Hooray!

  • Star Wars Millennium Falcon with Porg: I have no idea why this Mattel Hot Wheels exclusive Porg is so giant in comparison with the Millennium Falcon, but I don't care. Look at that shrieking Porg face. It's ridiculous and I love it.

  • Laika collectibles: I had a great time over at the Laika activation and while there, I picked up a cool holographic Coraline postcard and a super-nifty Coraline flip book (with Coraline in the spider-web on one side and the mouse circus on the other) for Laika CEO Travis Knight and Coraline author Neil Gaiman to sign. They also gave us themed fans (it was pretty darned hot out there!) and two flavors of free delicious themed Coraline ice cream with a chocolate button buried in the bottom of each! Yum!

Books 'n' Things:

Along with a cool free shirt that I landed at the NatGeo Mars party (I mean, I already knew I was 100% Martian, but it's good to have confirmation), and some goofy-fun party booth pics I took with awesome friends at the Tor / Den of Geek party, I also made off with a couple of my Kickstarter rewards from Thom Zahler's Warning Label Kickstarter; and an exclusive golden Bob Ross figure he designed for Toynk (which will fit in very nicely with my Deadpool movie collectibles, thank you very much!). I also landed a preview book for the new Comixology Originals, Reilly Brown's new sketchbook, and this year's Comic-Con Mad Libs (I collect them every year). Yay!

Exclusive SDCC 2018 Pressed Penny!!

I am weirdly fond of collecting pressed pennies, so I was delighted to accidentally discover while walking around that the Comic-Con International booth on the con floor had a free exclusive with almost no line (at least when I happened by) and that the exclusive was a pressed penny! They even supplied the quarters and the penny for us to crank through the machine. How cool is that? It might not be my most expensive SDCC exclusive - but it's definitely one of my favorites! Thanks, Comic-Con!

There were many more exclusives I had my eye on, but it's probably a good thing for my wallet that some of them sold out and that for some, the lines were just too long for my impatient, I-can't-wait-in-long-lines self. And hey! Not waiting in lines gave me time to see more of the exhibit hall. So check back tomorrow for a recap of the rest of my con floor adventures!

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