Well it had to happen eventually. As is evidenced by its long tradition of being the most amazing compendium of geeks, nerds, freaks, and others who will one day go on to rule your world, the San Diego Comic-Con International has all but grown up. While this annual event will always remain the darling of the well-intentioned anime, comic book, fantasy, sci-fi, video game, cutting edge film, graphic novel fan, Comic-Con may have outgrown its roots, outgrown its host city, and outgrown its primary product. Now it’s time to move on to the adult stuff.
Comic-Con 2010: What’s New: Unsurprisingly there is plenty of great stuff going on for the hardcore fan of comic books, action/adventure/role-playing video games, and cutting edge, foreign language graphic novels which may or may not be the next big thing. However, according to recent reports from Bloomberg, the next hot item coming out of San Diego’s Comic-Con event this year may be…Barbie and Strawberry Shortcake? Yup, that’s the word on the street from executives at Mattel and Hasbro. Vice President of boys action play marketing for Mattel, Doug Wadleigh told Bloomberg reporters “It’s turned from a fan boy event to a family event.” Really? As reported by Bloomberg some “40 percent of this year’s attendees will be female.”
Comic-Con 2010: My Little Pony Episode: Also from Bloomberg there is going to be a whole lot of noise from the “1 Billion dollar a year” adult collector market at Comic-Con 2010. To some this number may appear staggering; particularly given the current fiscal times we’re living in. But according to editor-in-chief of TimetoPlayMag.com Jim Silver, “Exclusive (toys and collectables) are really what bring people in. So for toymaker Hasbro, they’re pulling out all the stops, offering a limited edition exclusive “Strawberry Shortcake doll and a My Little Pony figure.” I guess if fans look at it more like an investment (buy low, sell high) then these figures are just further proof that Comic-Con is as much a fan event as it is a business proposition.
Comic-Con 2010: Too Big For its Britches: A reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle finally said what many have always thought about Comic-Con: that San Diego just isn’t the right space for this event anymore. Comic-Con 2010 is offering 125,000 ‘badges’ to get into the event but still the projections are for as many as 300,000 to be showing up. Could this level of overflow turn the San Diego Convention Center into a riot setting? I sure hope not but with the rowdy, can’t-take-no-for-an-answer ethos so many young people have grown up with in these modern days, it’s something worth considering.