After literal YEARS of anticipation, the 2022 San Diego Comic Con is now squarely in the rearview, but what a time it was. The show felt more laid back and maybe not *quite* as crowded, but that did not mean there was a lack really awesome things to see and do. As you can imagine, I have some favorites from the weekend.
Despite the world being what it is, I found SDCC to be a success. In fact, I think there were things about it that I preferred over previous years. Most of the time you could move around easily, the large exhibitor booths (that I frequented, anyway) were accessible, and there was no denying the overall air of positivity. I was worried about a cloud of anxiety over the show, but there was none of that – it was a great time!
I caught up with Robo on Sunday during our regular livestream time to process a lot of what we were able to see. It was good to talk to people about it, and it gave me a chance to really soak in what quickly washed over my eyeballs the past few days. From displays to panels and everything in between, I had forgotten how much I missed seeing these things in person, so with caution, I would absolutely advocate getting out there to a convention or two if you are comfortable, there is really nothing like it.
So anyway, here are some of the best things I saw at SDCC. There is no rhyme or reason to it, just a continuation of my brain dump as the taking it all in continues. I am positive I have left some things off this list, and I know I did not get to see everything (that is simply not possible at SDCC), but boy, this was some of the best.
MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
I have to hand it to Mattel – in terms of booth presentation and diorama displays, they were the clear cut winners of the SDCC. All of the brands shined, and MOTU was a big part of it. WOW! Masters made it to Hall H this year (the giant auditorium) for the 40th Anniversary panel, and the new toys were as fun as they were surprising. Masterverse keeps getting better and better, and now Pighead (from Sun Man) is a part of the the line. Mer-Man finally makes his debut in the Netflix animated series line, and I was able to grab the 40th Anniversary exclusive set. Nothing came close to MOTU Origins though, and holy moly, I still cannot believe it. From highly anticipated new figures like Mekaneck and the Snakemen, to a cool box set, it was all fun and exciting to see.
Then there was Eternia. If you said you full expected to see this at the show, you are a liar, but wow – it is AMAZING. I still cannot believe they are doing this. I am very interested to get the rest of the details about the crowd-funded Mattel Creations endeavor, but I am here for it, even if I need to find some space quickly. Unreal – and it shows that anything is now possible for Origins.
Our staple. Our standby. Our meat and potatoes. Even with a glaring lack of Dwight at the show this year, Dan and Ryan kept it real with a nice smattering of news and reveals from across the ML spectrum. Did you see the Wakanda Forever trailer? I think I still have something in my eye, and Attuma is making his live action and ML debut – that is a great thing and hopefully a comic version isn’t far behind. I was also glad to see the Retro Card series continue (it’s my favorite part of ML right now), and the tease for the Ghost Rider themed Haslab has EVERYONE speculating, so that is something to look forward to debuting.
The best part was definitely, and I am little biased here, was when the Marvel Legends Razorback figure was revealed, and Robo got to take part. Shy as he is, it was a fun moment, and we can finally have powered up pig man on the shelf. That’ll do pig, that’ll do.
ULTIMATES! LION-O (HOOK MOUNTAIN ICE)
There were several cool show exclusives this year, but most of them I ordered in advance for a later delivery so as to not have to brave the lines at the show. However, I did pick up a Lion-O at the show, and this is such a fun figure. The UV color change effect is really cool, and this version makes for a perfect show exclusive from Super7. If you are a ThunderCats fan, you don’t want to miss this, and if you are just a fan of fun toys, this is a unique execution that works remarkably well for the effect. A+ for sure.
G.I. JOE CLASSIFIED
I am starting to sound like a broken record, but the Joe team is simply crushing it in all aspects. Getting to know Lenny and Emily in person only further cements that fact, and there are few action figure lines that are in better hands than GIJCS. Seeing the HISS Tank in person was really something – pictures do NOT do it justice, especially in terms of scale. This is not a 1:1 increase from the vintage version in terms of size relation to the figures, it is bigger for sure. The panel was such a cool environment as well – I guarantee it will be in a larger room next year. Getting to see figures like Rock N Roll and Shipwreck in their greyscale sculpture renderings was a real treat, and I hope we get to see more of that in future. This line is so exciting, and SDCC was a wonderful confirmation of the feelings we were already having.
COBRA RECRUITMENT CENTER
Keeping with the Joe theme – the Super7 San Diego store pop-up has a fun history (Skeletor’s Lair, the Boo-dega, etc.), but I think that thematically, this was the best year yet. All of the S7 G.I. Joe exclusives were housed there, and the made the store up to look like a bunker, complete with Cobra logo crates, and that stunningly framed CoCo print. You have to venture outside of the convention hall and take a walk to get there, but it is always worth it.
I just cannot single out one line from them as it would be unfair to all the rest. Simply put: NECA BROUGHT IT. For action figures, their display was mostly in one side of their booth and it was the most dense bit of floor space at the entire convention in terms of soaking it all in. I really could not believe how much was there to show, and as always, Randy was kind enough to spend a full 30 minutes talking it through. We could have spent three hours, though. All of the TMNT stuff was mind-melting (the Mirage figures were my favorites of the new offerings) of course, but what a cool time it is to be a Dungeons & Dragons, and Gargoyles, and Universal Monsters and Gremlins fan. The nostalgia wave was riding high, too – I mean DINOSAURS? Holy moly. I wanted to walk off with entire display case, but I would have needed full shipping container to do so. Team NECA is crushing ALL of it, and we get to see them again in a couple of weeks at Power-Con.
I promise you, I am going to be talking about Mega Man a LOT. I just cannot help it – I am so excited. Jada Toys is bringing their Mega Man line to life, and they are saying and doing all of the right things. Leading off with two Robot Masters in the first assortment (Fireman and my personal MM1 favorite, Iceman), is so absolutely the right way to go, and figures themselves look amazing. The sculpting is great, the articulation is on-par with other super-posable lines, and the scaling makes them perfectly compatible with your other 1:12 scale lines. Jada is relatively new to the action figure space, but their Universal Monster offerings have been pretty great, and they are saying all the encouraging things right now. The early pattern of one Mega Man and two Robot Masters per series is music to my ears, and the focus on the first few games being the focus is also good for us. I simply cannot wait, and I am hoping with all my hope this line is a wild success.
SEEING NEW AND FAMILIAR FACES
As cool as it was seeing all of the new stuff that will (hopefully) be occupying my collection space soon, getting to see old friends and new for the first time in YEARS was the real highlight of the show for me. I am thankful to everyone who took time to say hello – it was great to see you. Being back with Randy and Trevor from NECA, Brian from Super7, Dan and Ryan from Legends, and many more was so wonderful. Plus, getting to meet Lenny and Emily from the Joe team, as well as Kyle and Yoko from Super7, Ricky from Lone Coconut/Plunderlings, Juhn from Jada and others was such a great time. Plus, pals like Pixel Dan, the AFI team, and the crews were out for it, and catching up was a great time. There really is nothing like getting to see friends at shows like SDCC, so being back just felt great, and hopefully things can hold together and it won’t be as long as has been before we get to meet again.
Cheers, SDCC 2022 – I had a great time, and I am looking forward to next year already. Power-Con, you are on tap next, and I already cannot wait.