Cons always get all kinds of exclusive content and merchandise. They get first dibs on the best stuff, so if you don’t attend, there goes your best chance at getting the one of a kind items that get sold at the conventions. If you don’t go, you miss the opportunity, then the only way to get most of this stuff is to pray that someone sells it on ebay or something like that – and if that happens, you could be paying an insane price for them. If you’re looking to get some exclusive items, you’re going to need to attend the conventions to get them. Here are some of the best cons for exclusives:
New York Comic Con – October 6-9
From October 6th to October 9th, Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center is hosting the New York Comic Con! NYCC is among the biggest pop culture and media conventions on the planet, drawing in crowds from almost every kind of fandom you can think of for a weekend of awesome fun, celebrities and great entertainment. The con has brought in as many as 150,000 attendees in previous years.
NYCC’s guest list always has some of the biggest celebrities in the world on it. On Thursday you can see Adam West, Alex Kingston, and Thomas Howell, among others. Friday’s guests will include Chad Coleman, Brian Minchin, Anna Foerster, Andy Signore, Ali Larter, and Adam Savage. Saturday you’ll have the chance to see Alan Tudyk, David Yost and David Mazouz, and Sunday will have David Morse, Christopher Meloni, Christina Jackson, and Carrie Fisher.
According to the NYCC website, tickets are almost all completely sold out already, with only the $40 Thursday passes still available. Typically though, NYCC has one day passes for each day, a kids pass for Sunday, a 3-day pass for Friday-Sunday and a 4 day pass. Now, assuming you already have your pass, NYCC uses RFID technology for their passes to make things easier and to prevent scalping. Each badge is personalized with your NYCC-ID, and must be activated online before you attend the con. You just go, use your badge to tap into the con, and you’re in! Just remember to tap out when you leave.
This year over 40 exclusive collectable Funko POP figurines will be up for sale, including Super Saiyan Trunks from Dragon Ball Z. Others include the hooded variation of Jane from Twilight’s Volturi Guard, Scott Pilgrim vs. the world, bald Shane from The Walking Dead, Rainbow and White Lantern variants of Batman, Hawkgirl, Killing Joke variant of the Joker, and classic Batgirl.
They’re not the only ones – NECA Toys are offering a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles box set containing Shredder and some of his goons. The figures are based on the original comic style and are part of a set NECA has been putting together for over 8 years. This box completes the set, so if you’ve been collecting them, this is a must-have piece. Pre-orders have already opened up, so if you want to make sure you get one, you’d better pre-order fast.
The company Icon Heroes are releasing exclusive Star Trek themed paperweights, the two statues are modelled after Spock and Kirk’s alternate universe appearances in the classic episode “Mirror, Mirror.” The statues are 8” tall.
Mezco Toyz’s 2016 exclusives are also pretty kickass. They’ve got a dark blue variant Judge Dredd based on his original comic book appearance, with his Lawmaster, and a Shadowland variant Daredevil figure. They’ll also be offering Midnight rain, a 10” Living Dead Doll adorned with a crown of thorns, who comes with her own coffin and death certificate.
PAX Australia – November 4-6
Meanwhile on the other side of the world, PAX Australia will be rocking the Melbourne Convention Centre in Melbourne, Australia, from November the 4th to the 6th. PAX, or the Penny Arcade Expo was started by the Penny Arcade people to be a cool little niche convention for gaming, but it blew up into an international collection of some of the world’s best conventions.
PAX Australia is complete with awesome live music, console freeplay areas, all kinds of set ups to play video games and tabletop games, epic tournaments and great cosplay.
The con is holding an exclusive early screening of the anime Yo-Kai Watch English dub TV debut on Sunday, the last day of the con. The show will premier in December, so attendees will get to see it over a month in advance. Yo-Kai Watch is based on a series of JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Games) video games with the same name.
PAX is also the exclusive host of Omegathon – an epic 3 day gaming tournament that covers tabletop, console and PC games. The tournament is known for being a wild ride start to finish, and each year both the participants and the audience have a blast.
Tickets cost $65 (AUD) for 1 day and $165 for three. A “Bring Your Own Computer” pass (which allows you to bring your desktop gaming rig and set it up at the con) is an additional $45.
MegaCon Tampa Bay – October 28-30
Bringing it back to America, Tampa Bay, Florida will be holding its MegaCon at the Tampa Bay Convention Center from October 28th to the 30th. It’s definitely not the biggest con on the list but it’s brought to you by the same team that does Fan Expo Canada, so you can expect a great weekend.
Attendees can expect to see David Tennant, William Shatner, Karl Urban, Henry Winkler, Rob Liefeld, and Matthew Lewis there, among the other celebrity guests.
MegaCon is also going to be welcoming some of the coolest cosplay groups in the country, such as the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion, and the Southern R2 Builders who construct Starwars Droid replicas.
The tickets cost $25 for Friday, $40 for Saturday, and $30 for Sunday, or $60 for a 3 day pass. You can also purchase a child pass with your adult pass for $10. MegaCon Tampa offers a premium pass, which gets you in for all 3 days, plus it gives you priority entrance to the show floor, an exclusive MegaCon Bag, an exclusive comic and an exclusive Lithograph.
More exclusives will be announced soon as the con’s date draws closer.
Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo – October 28-30
Stan Lee’s own convention, Comikaze, will be setting up shot at the LA Convention center from October 28-30 in Los Angeles, California. The convention was originally started in 2011, but Stan Lee partnered with the original owner Regina Carpinelli in 2012, attaching his name to it and making it his personal con. He appears there every year, so it’s usually your best chance to see the man himself (of course, if you want to meet Stan Lee, you’d better do it soon, he’s in his 90’s, he won’t be around forever).
This year you’ll see Adam West and Burt Ward (AKA the 1960’s Batman and Robin duo), and the original Power Rangers, Austin St. John, Karan Ashley, Walter Jones and David Yost, and Mike Tyson, among others.
Tickets are $25 for Friday, $35 for Saturday, $30 for Sunday, $70 for the 3 day pass, and $670 for the VIP Lounge Pass ($150 for a Kids’ VIP Lounge pass). There are also autograph/photo op add-ons you can get with your passes. Kids under 12 get in to the con free.
The VIP passes give you access to the VIP lounge, the VIP room at the Halloween Cosplay Ball and the afterparty at Club Novo, extra photo opportunities, reserved seating, and it allows you to get exclusive autograph sessions from Stan Lee and other guests. This pass is the only way to pre-purchase a Stan Lee autograph so without it, you might not be able to get one.
Comikaze is also offering the VIP Extreme Liefeld Package, which includes two signed exclusive comics from the Deadpool creator’s collection, a signed Deadpool print, an autograph ticket, a photo op, and you get to be at the front of the line for Rob Liefeld’s autograph session on Sunday. The cost of the package is $160 (and does not include admission to Comikaze).
Portland Retro Gaming Expo – October 21-23
If retro gaming is your thing then you might want to take a trip down to Portland Oregon for the Retro Gaming Expo, being held at the Oregon Convention Center, from October 21st to the 23rd. The con celebrates video gaming history in all its glory.
If you attend, you’ll be able to see the long history of video gaming, from its humble origins to the wacky products that never really took off. You’ll get to play some old-school classics and meet some well-known gaming enthusiasts, like YouTuber James Rolfe, more commonly known as the Angry Video-Game Nerd.
Passes are 10$ for Friday, $22 for Saturday, and $16 for Sunday. You can get a $30 weekend pass that gets you in for all 3 days, or a Family package for $120 that allows admission for 5 people for all 3 days. Each adult pass comes with up to two free child passes (for kids under 10). You just have to ask for them when you pick up your badges.
The con will be having an exclusive screening of the documentary film The New 8-Bit heroes by Joe Granato, about the development of a modern game made for the NES. Other exclusive content and merch will be announced later.