What an experience it is to go to one of the biggest conventions in the US! So first off, I want to say thank you to Reed Pop and New York Comic Con for the experience. As part of Geeks WorldWide, I got a special exception and I took full advantage of it.
Trying to cover any of the panels and events was a mission that I couldn’t partake in. They would have been covered by all the outlets in better details then I could handle. With that, I’m taking it from a fan/guest’s point of view. Let’s begin.
Get there early. That’s the best advice I can give anyone. There is so much to do that to even get 1/4th of it done you need to be there before it opens. I tried to do as much as I could in two days and it still wasn’t enough. From the Harry Potter audible experience and the Good Omen that took up almost all my Saturday. Luckily the American Gods one was quick and fun (the free shirt is also nice). In other words, treat it like a theme park and whatever panel, signatures, exclusives, or experience you wanna do, prioritize them.
The showroom floor was massive and immersive. They had everything and anything you can imagine. There was anime, comic books, TV, movies, and so many more groups that it ticked off boxes for everyone. I ended up talking to the folks at Renegade Game Studios about some of the games they had for demo. They went over the style, the experience and some history of it. They were more excited to talk about the games themselves than about selling them. This style made me want to buy the Scott Pilgrim deck builder game but my wallet overruled it.
One thing to note is the amount of swag or giveaways you can get by just being there. In the little time, I got primal age Mr. Freeze, American Gods t-shirt, lanyards, buttons, donuts, and posters. Not to mention that they had marquee signings for free at the DC booth. I took advantage of a no line for Marv Wolfman and if this was any small Con, he would have one of the longest lines there.
On a personal note, I wish more cons would have a beer partnership. This was the biggest highlight for me as I got to drink a beer without sneaking it into a con. The Defender IPA by Brooklyn Brewery is specifically brewed for NYCC and was sold out by Saturday night. Being from Florida we have a lot of great breweries, so having one work with either Fan Expo or Super Con would help expand them to maybe reach levels like NYCC and SDCC.
Aside from the good, there were a few things I saw that made me pause. One was the amount of power Funko had. Being a Funko Pop collector, I know how much the hype they can get. So seeing someone finish paying for a pop, and already starting to flip it before hitting the sales floor was cringe-worthy. Right at the exit, a group of flippers were trying to sell the Children of the Forest NYCC exclusive and were checking to see how their eBay sales were going. Security or staff didn’t even bother to stop them. Just seeing this would make anyone who didn’t win the lottery envious and resentful. As a reminder of the Funko power was a big banner showing the Toy Tokyo exclusive Orange Chrome Batman and Biggie Smalls.
Funko as a whole wasn’t the only exclusive. Many other booths had different things. Sideshow had the preorder code of the Neon Iron Man statue, Renegade Game Studio had links to get the Power Rangers board game on Kick Starter, and so on. Once again as stated beforehand, you need to prioritize what you want to purchase since most of the items are Con exclusive.
As a note, I didn’t use my press pass to gain any special benefits or exceptions from any panel, vendor, organization or NYCC. I decided that the best way to cover it was from a fans perspective. Reading press releases are fun and exciting but Press are given a lot of that beforehand. So if you were looking for announcements, just follow some of the pop culture news sites for those videos and pictures.
Overall seeing NYCC from a fan POV is an overwhelming experience. With all that is to see and do, your fandom was covered. You could go in and spend no money yet still walk out with a ton of freebies. The experience was immersive from the moment you got to Manhattan to when you leave. If you are a convention purist I highly recommend making this one of the go-to for each year. When you walk in, you are instantly greeted by exhibits and experiences; it is welcoming compared to Orlando’s biggest convention MegaCon.
Fan Experience 10 out of 10.