If this is your first time to San Diego Comic-Con or you are new to con culture in general, one term you’ll be seeing a lot of is the word ‘Exclusives’. Typically only offered at larger cons, Exclusives are toys, prints and collectibles first offered at the show. Typically available in limited amounts, Exclusives are the ‘brass ring’ for toy hobbiest and con enthusiasts. For some, it’s the spoils of going to war at SDCC. Over the years, the amount and the quality of San Diego Comic-Con Exclusives has blown up and each year brings something that appeals to almost all fandom. Most are sanctioned through Comic-Con International, while others are just created independently and offered at the show. Either way, all fans need to see is ‘Exclusive’ and they go crazy for them. Warning: Because the eBay ‘black market’ is also fueled by these gems, there is a limit to how much an attendee can buy, so don’t expect to walk out with an armful of any one item.
So how do I get one you ask? There are two ways of obtaining a prized San Diego Comic-Con Exclusive. Some sites offer ‘pre-orders’ (like Entertainment Earth, Matty Collectibles) where you can buy it in late June and then pick it up at the show. The other way is by fighting the hordes early morning when the showroom floor opens. Preview Night is the best opportunity for this (In a later post, I will explain the process in more detail). Over the next few weeks, different Exclusives will be revealed online from different companies like Hasbro, Mezco, Entertainment Earth, Funko and Factory Entertainment to name a few. There will be over a hundred Exclusives offered at SDCC! Twitter is a great place to get breaking news about them- and I will definitely let you know on this site. Once you target the object of your affection, you will need to make that the highest priority upon arrival at the show. Usually, a vender will have a limited amount of Exclusives for each day of the show (usually a couple of hundred to a thousand). If you don’t pre-order, your best bet is to line up early on Preview Night and race to the booth listed (on their website or program). Afterwards, you can always try to get one off eBay at an inflated price.
Exclusives are a lot of fun. They are creative, unique, and a fantastic memorabilia of your 4 days in San Diego. They make for the perfect gift too! A great selection has already been released (pictured)! You can find my list on the Exclusive section (Main Menu above) for some of my favorite for this year. Happy hunting and I hope your toy collecting dreams come true this year at SDCC. Con vets, if you have a favorite Exclusive from the past, let us know about it by leaving a comment below- especially if it involves a great story!