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The top 10 best toy booths at SDCC 2019
San Diego Comic-Con 2019 is here, and we here at SYFY WIRE have been in the thick of it. As a convention veteran myself, I’m always saying that it’s so amazing how each and every person’s individual convention experience differs. For some people, the entire purpose of going to SDCC is to check out the programming and panels. For others, it’s getting to meet celebrities, get their autographs, and take photos. There’s an entire cosplay community set on creating costumes of their favorite characters and bringing them to life. And then, of course, there’s the expo hall packed full of toys, exclusive items, and a billion ways to drain your wallet.
From Diamond Select Toys and Icon Heroes to Gentle Giant and DC Collectibles, there’s seriously no end to the amazing booths and goodies I saw. That’s where my personal “live your best life” convention experience comes in. So kick it with me, your favorite internet toy journalist while I take you through San Diego Comic-Con’s expo hall and count down (in no particular order) my Top Ten favorite toy booths of SDCC 2019.
Naturally, the Hasbro booth was no joke. Sprawling and expansive, it was home to some of the most anticipated exclusive toys at the show. From Star Wars toys to Transformers, Power Rangers, Marvel Legends, My Little Pony, and more, the Hasbro booth didn’t just cater to fans toy wants and desires, but walking through its space was a truly immersive experience.
While Hasbro went all out to announce a new line of Marvel Legends, Star Wars toys, and a new Power Rangers Lightning Collection two-pack featuring the original Green Ranger and a Putty, the highlight of the booth was without a doubt the new Transformers Unicron piece from HasLab.
This 27-inch, 19-pound beauty is currently being crowdfunded, and if it hits 8,000 orders, fans all over will be able to own one of the most magnificent toy creations in the world.
02. Sideshow Collectibles
Talk about a museum. The set up at Sideshow Collectibles was just absolutely breathtaking.
For readers unaware, Sideshow Collectibles is an amazing toy company that creates and distributes a plethora of (premium) pop culture statues and action figures. With dozens and dozens of licenses under its belt, there is no limit to what fans will see at its extensive booth.
And seriously — the quality in every single Sideshow piece is stunningly beautiful.
My only piece of criticism there is that while the booth was perfectly set up for fans to walk around and admire these art piece toys, they really weren’t lit for stellar pictures. Therefore, this was a booth better experienced in person.
As the bringer of toys and the brand of a thousand faces, Mattel really had a ton of fun toys and exclusives on display at its booth.
I mean, sure, they were toys you had to win a lottery in order to have the opportunity to wait in line to be considered to have the potential ability to purchase them (much like Hasbro), but that still doesn’t stop the fact that Mattel had the Randy Savage Slim Jim figure, the She-Ra 2-pack, the vintage style He-Man 2-pack (now officially named Masters of the Universe Origins), the Batman 80th Anniversary 4-pack, and more Hot Wheels and WWE figures than we know what to do with.
It’s no wonder the Mattel booth enthusiastically made this list.
Revivor of the MOTU line, creators of the ReAction figure, and license holder for Peanuts, Transformers, TNMT, and everything in the world that is beautiful and good, Super7 was one of my favorite booths at San Diego Comic-Con.
In fact, I did something very special at the Super7 booth that I was unable to accomplish at many other stands — I walked up to the booth and I bought the exact toy I wanted. Without even waiting in line. It was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ReAction figure 4-pack, with each of the turtles sealed onto a cardback of pizza.
And I haven't even mentioned Super7's Charlie Brown and the gang ReAction figures, which are simply gorgeous and available at Super7's San Diego store, which is only 10 minutes or so from the convention center proper.
05. NECA Toys
NECA Toys was one of the first brands to start announcing its SDCC toy exclusives, announcing one per day for six days.
In that collection were some amazing things, such as ‘The Capture of Splinter’ set from the 1990 TMNT movie, two different DC vs. Dark Horse action figure packs, John Kreese from The Karate Kid (bought it), the black and white etched Pennywise the Clown from It (got mine!) and John Connor from Terminator 2 (snagged it for a friend!).
As far as the booth went, the set up was beautiful. On display were all of NECA's Toony Terrors (with the second wave containing Michael Myers, Leatherface, Pinhead, and Chucky/Tiffany freshly announced!), every Godzilla in the room, tons of games from its WizKids line, its Aliens figures, and even Chia Pets!
06. Jada Toys
Small but by no means an underdog, Jada Toys at San Diego Comic-Con was like a fun little secret surprise. Known best for its Hollywood Rides die-cast car line, Jada Toys showed off that it is by no means a one-trick pony.
On display at its booth were my favorites: robots, specifically some adorable stylized toys from the Transformers franchise. Coming between Fall 2019 and Spring 2020, Jada Toys will have some new DC and Hasbro items that exit the realm of die-cast cars and move into other die-cast collectibles.
And the best part is that in a world filed with overpriced collectibles, Jada Toys are cheap. You can purchase an Ecto-1 or Optimus Prime in truck mode for well under $10
Making waves with its Robotech toys, the Toynami booth had such a gorgeous presentation. The brand definitely brought its A-game to San Diego Comic-Con 2019.
Not only did its list of SDCC exclusives go on and on (including a Robotech “Farewell Big Brother” VF-1S Fighter aircraft from Calibre Wings), but Toynami also had its VF-1S Battle Armor figure, a Robotech jacket, a Macross shirt, a Robotech shirt, and amazing box artist Jamie Sullivan available to sign the exclusives.
And you know what — toward the middle of the day, I was able to walk right up to the register and get my items. No line! Not only that, the display at the booth was just gorgeous and so conducive for photographing these beautiful pieces, as well as upcoming and past Toynami product.
Kidrobot is a toy brand that’s seriously grown on me and it was so exciting to see its products and set up in person, as well as get a chance to chat with its staff a little.
This brand has a seriously cool business model, which consists of half designer art toys (like their Dunny line) and half licensed toys. For San Diego Comic-Con, it was so cool seeing some of those exclusives we reported on in the flesh, like the Rainbow SpongeBob, Mecha Godzilla, and those adorable vinyl blind box Godzillas that we were freaking out about.
But mostly, its clean layout and welcoming presentation are what made this beautiful (and very busy) booth make my top 10 list.
09. Bandai/Bluefin Brands
There were a few different Bandai/Bluefin booths scattered across San Diego Comic-Con, but today, we’re going to talk about the best one.
It was the Bandai booth that was featuring Flame Toys Transformers model kits and Storm Collectibles’ video game figure series. From Street Fighter II to Mortal Kombat and leading up to Fatal Fury figures all beautifully displayed, I was honestly just so incredibly excited to get to snap pictures of these toys and see them all together.
And as an SDCC surprise, Bandai/Bluefin announced the arrival of Storm Collectibles’ Terry Bogard figure, which SNK fans have long been waiting for!
Along with Hasbro, Mattel, Funko, and a few select other booths, Mondo was another one that drove the fans wild (with very, very long lines).
However, it wasn’t just the products Mondo was selling exclusively at SDCC that were amazing, but the fact that I had to take 3 or 4 trips back to the booth to get the all the pictures I wanted because the booth was so busy! What stood out to me at the Mondo booth were its new Masters of the Universe figures, from which the Mer-Man figure was very recently announced (much to the delight of the toy lovers).
San Diego Comic-Con's Expo hall is like treasure hunting Christmas for all of the toy obsessed boys and girls. And then at the end of the show, we get to sit in circles and discuss whether or not we got all of our grail items and if our SDCC toy dreams came true. Did yours? I know mine did!
See, that's enthusiastic optimistic speak for "My money is gone." Neat, right!? Happy toy collecting, everyone!