The fourth annual C2E2 event has come and gone, and I think I'm going to remember this one a long, long time. Mostly because this is all I see when I close my eyes anymore:
The event has gained momentum every year, and this year's event was bigger and better in nearly every way: the inflatable mascots were taller; the open air tattoo/infectious disease area was larger than ever before; and the t-shirt vendors reached dangerous heights with the latest in t-shirt scaffolding technology.
One has to wonder if the grandiose nature of the merch floor interfered with other areas of the con. For example, I found Artist Alley to be a little underwhelming this year:
Prosperity, though, cannot stem the swelling tide of what we lovingly call around here: The Single Worst Thing For Sale™: C2E2 2013 Edition!
Before we begin, there's just one thing I need to check on my phone real quick.
Friday afternoon can be a rough stretch at any con; most of the casual con-goers won't show up until Saturday and the more serious attendees are in some line, eight hundred people deep, all with dollies (or in rare instances, a sherpa), waiting to have three minutes of awkward chitchat with a person I've probably never heard of. While this is great for the line-standing business, it creates a bit of a person vacuum on the show floor that leads some to search for distractions. These distractions are totally justifiable for the exhibitors, though less so for those attendees that actually paid to get in.
As with all things in life, some people are just better at particular things than others.
The benefit of said vacuum is tangible: it gives yours truly the opportunity to run around the show floor unabated (spiral pattern, naturally), in hopes to find The Single Worst Thing For Sale™.
Up first: how do you make the most glamours woman of the late 70s even more glamorous? Simple, let pre-teens style her hair and makeup.
This is a very meta item. The sticker on the bottom left corner says 'as seen on "toy hunters"', which means that they've marked up a toy based on a television star, because the toy itself was on television. A strong play to try to obtain the coveted TSWTFS™ crown, but it came up a little short.
I'm still trying to figure out the next item up:
Is this a belt that lets you be more like the Hulk? Or is it an exact replica of the utility belt that Hulk was known to wear? Either way, we're still not quite there yet.
The one thing that caught my eye over the course of the three days was the number of bootleg figures that had reared their, slightly smaller/bigger, often discolored, malformed heads; baseborn merchandise, unable to hold the land or titles of the officially licensed noble figures. Always a sucker for cheap Chinese knockoffs, I investigated them all very thoroughly.
Fans of the Power Ranger series might recognize these 'Power Heroes'. I like to imagine that the Power Heroes were an alternate reality version of the Power Rangers that took their jobs a little too seriously, with hair-trigger tempers and an insatiable lust to kill…for justice. The Power Heroes come with a single-sided cardboard backing (the traditional sign of a bootleg) and are packing some serious heat.
Not all bootlegs come with bright orange AK-47s (unfortunately). Some are actually pretty impressive in their attention to detail and quality.
The right side of this box, obscured by some other crap, is a picture of what could only be described as 'exactly like fucking Voltron'.
There are even some bootlegs that try to make it look like they are from some fictitious big budget hollywood movie:
Wait. That was a real movie?
When you capitalize on one fad, that merely gets you in range of TSWTFS™, but when you hit two of them at once and in the process create your own bootleg, well, then you walk away with the gold:
I love this toy. They didn't bother with a custom paint job or modified accoutrements. They just found a LEGO® that looked somewhat like a character from a popular show and slapped a twelve dollar (US) price tag on it and called it a day. I would have shook this bold entrepreneur's hand if it wasn't filled to the brim with stacks of twelve dollars and reeked of shame.
LEGO® Walking Dead-ish figures, you are The Single Worst Thing For Sale™: C2E2 2013 Edition!