Sunday, April 2, 2017

WonderCon '17: The Floor

After that tremendous Thursday of Extreme Studios anniversary, Irish pub happy hour and a quick trip to Disneyland's California Adventure Park, it was time to start the WonderCon! With badges being mailed out early, we breezed past a giant line waiting to pick up their badges outside. Inside, I had the immediate sense that the show was bigger than years prior and I think I'm right. For 2017, WonderCon was utilizing all four Halls A-D for registration, Arena queue and the actual exhibit floor. Compared to the first or second year where we shared with a large volleyball tournament which lead to some amusing co-mingling of athletes and cosplayers outside. While there weren't any huge installations or Hollywood showpieces, DC, Boom, Gold & Silver Age Comics, a pink unicorn looking thing, a sizable Artist Alley, Disney and Capcom were are all out in force.

Walking around for several hours, I realized we'd barely covered half the floor! There was a solid mix of comic books, action figures, Funko Pops, art pieces, mystery boxes, prints, movie posters and film soundtracks. For the older goer you had 50's and 60's Disney pieces or a frigging oil paint by numbers set featuring James frigging Garner as Maverick! With a Wild Storm 25th anniversary panel scheduled and Jim Lee being a guest of honor, I was hoping there would be some sweet 90's Image stuff and for the most part I was not disappointed. One booth had WildCats figures for $15-20 a pop while another had a beat up in package Zealot for $4, sold! On the hunt for a McFarlane Toys Shaft or Dutch figure from Youngblood but only saw the likes of Troll or Badrock, hello Amazon! Big Red Comics and another vendor had some sweet $1 bins, bagged, boarded and in alphabetical order.

Capcom had an awesome four sided installation with multiple Street Fighter games to play as it's the 30th anniversary but on one side was a real highlight, a faux bedroom decked out in 90's glory i.e. Michael Jordan and Home Alone posters along with tube TV's to play Ducktales or Chip N' Dale Rescue Rangers! To top it off, you got a snap bracelet on the way out, 90's forever! On the new trinkets front, I grabbed some custom Cyclops and Captain America zipper pulls along with a bottle opener with Ron Lim Cap art. Cosplay wise you had Game of Thrones in groups, much Star Wars, stilted Transformers and Voltron and one Jack Frost.

While there were huge walkways in some of the hall, over in A things got narrow and crowded, cheaper real estate? Hand crafted hats, belts, phone cases and the like were on display along with prop weapons and real knives. Flash Gordon's Sam Jones was the most recognizable actor selling autographs. While there were a dozen food trucks outside, concession stands inside had surprisingly decent sustenance with usual offerings like pizza, deli sammiches, burgers and soft serve ice cream but no bars on the floor. All in, the best WonderCon floor I can think of in recent memory.

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