Welcome to our exclusive C2E2 Day 1 recap for the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo 2012. There was a change in this year’s venue, although it was still held at McCormick Place, the particular building was different. I’m not sure if that had anything to do with the NATO summit that will be held there later this year or if had something to do with issues they had last year. There did seem to be a bit more room, but in general things seemed a bit scaled back. Check out our full coverage below, including Round 2, DC Direct, CS Moore, Cosplay and more!
With Mattel not in the picture this year, smaller toy manufacturers stepped up to fill in the void. The biggest display probably went to Diamond Select, who work the event in good fashion. They had a lot of MiniMates on hand, including some I believe that hadn’t been shown before. I was particularly drawn to the Herman Munster & Munster Koach.
MiniMates continues to expand and grow and even if you’re not a fan of the line, you have to be impressed with just how many licenses they’re able to tackle and how much depth each of those licenses ends up with. Oddly enough despite all they hype about Battle Beasts, they didn’t have a single Battle Beast on display. Yeah, that was odd. They did have some posters and junk and I’ll be doing a review of the giveaway figure soon. You can check out more MiniMates in our gallery, which will be updated tomorrow if they add anything new to the case: C2E2 MiniMates Gallery
My favorite stuff was probably the “Retro Cloth” assortment from Diamond. They continue to lead the way in these Mego-Style figures. Zach over at DST was very nice and I had a great chat with him about some of this product. Those in the know are aware that Diamond just purchased the awesome ZICA Toys body and their plan is to roll out a full line of 8 inch high end figures that aren’t the “Retro Cloth” style. Think more or less what ZICA was already doing, but in a more massive scale because of DST’s licenses. This will be under another moniker and not “Retro Cloth” but they hadn’t nailed down what the new line would be called.
They only had one prototype of this there which is the Barney Ross from Expendables, but Zach told me that they hope to do a lot more. He said they would probably be $40ish figures, but would sport a ton of detail, form fitting clothes, realistic head sculpts and the proto showed that off. I did ask if they would continue the previous Buck Rogers line that ZICA tried, but he was a bit iffy on it. They did buy the body rights and such, but he thought there would probably be more of their own in house licenses, than Buck. A few more photos in the main: C2E2 DST Gallery
DST also had a ton of Marvel stuff there as well. Some of those sculpts looked pretty sharp and there looked to be quite a bit of articulation in the figures. They also had a Expendables Barney in a “traditional” figure (non-Mego style) on display as well. I must have neglected to photograph it (I’ll try to snag a pic tomorrow) but Zach told me that the likeness hadn’t been approved yet anyway.
They also had an assortment of busts, statues and the like there. And a Knight Rider car that will be in scale with the previous BTTF DeLorean they did. More in the C2E2 DST Gallery
I went to the DC Direct panel. As you know DC Direct just relaunched as DC Collectibles. Honestly they seemed as confused about the change as fans were. Nobody could really get behind the new name (I mean the panel was freaking called DC Direct) but I guess that’s just a time issue. The main point they wanted to hammer home is their website, which will not allow you to directly buy figures/statues/busts from them.
Geoff Johns hosted and if you didn’t know, he more or less does the creative over there at DC
They seemed stoked about the new Superman movie and all the “cool” designs, but they must be seeing different stuff than I’ve been. Then again Geoff Johns told us that the Green Lantern movie was going to be amazing too, but I guess I don’t expect them to say it’ll suck either. They had some incredible Ame-Comi stuff on display and the big “con exclusive” news was that there’s a digital only Ame-Comi comic coming soon. I might actually check that out, if only cause the statues looked that cool, especially the wicked Brainiac chick.
That actually led to an interesting discussion at the panel about if DC was planning to make that comic a bit too cheesecake and whether they had concerns about portraying a negative female image. Of course they probably did themselves a huge disservice by more or less saying that they were fine because they didn’t show nudity. Their answers to this was a bit flippant, although I generally fall in DC’s favor in this area of thought, they could have done a better job explaining why they aren’t sexist.
The main thing I gleamed from the panel is that they claim they’re going to be doing stuff that’s not just “New 52″ but that basically just means Akrham City stuff. I asked if they planned to do a new Swamp Thing and after a snarky answer from Geoff Johns, there was some decent discussion of maybe doing the new version with the antlers. They really wanted to hammer home how they wanted “fan input” but all the fans wanted was obscure characters and they more or less said that’s not going to happen. They seem to be taking the Mattel mantra and only plan on doing stuff that’s a guaranteed sell. The old DC Direct is dead folks. Speaking of dead things, 1:6 is done there.
The figures they did have on display were pretty awesome, including a lot of the Arkham City stuff. Croc is gigantic and they confirmed at the panel that he will be just as big when he’s released. The MAD Magazine stuff is probably the neatest stuff they have, although the reception to the toys seemed sort of “whatever” by the fans in the panel. I thought the toys looked fantastic, though I doubt I’d ever buy one. The Spy vs. Spy vinyls I might would buy, but I almost felt like those should have been the figures with a bit more articulation and the Alfred E. Neuman designs should have been more like statues… But what do I know, I’m just a toy collector.
A lot more DC Collectibles in the main C2E2 DST Gallery
I spoke at length with Mike Murphy from Round 2 about the new Captain Action figures. He said they were working to try and make sure the masks were a bit better fit and they were very tempted to do swappable heads (which I questioned why they didn’t) but that they felt the fact that Captain Action “pulling the mask on” was a core element of the character. The protos looked fantastic. Unfortunately I was informed that the costume sets were outselling the Captain Action figure himself by a 2 to 1 (or maybe 4 to 1) margin. That basically meant that it was unlikely we’d see more Captain Action sets. I know I’m not alone in hoping for more wacky old school sci-fi Captain Action stuff.
To that end, he also told me that’s why Dr. Evil got the hypnotic eye in his first set, just in case they never get to do more with it. I asked about doing a Hulk, but he said it would be a challenge since the body would have to be modified. Oh well, at least I tried. The main thing I asked him about was if they had any plans to do the Johnny Quest and Speed Racer lines that never made it out in the last Captain Action revival. Unfortunately he said it was unlikely, even though he was a big Speed Racer fan.
Speaking of Speed Racer, they did have a cool Mach 5 that has an assortment of working contraptions (and a bonus Chim-Chim figure) there along with some other neat cars. Some were models, others weren’t. They have some cool retro statues and assorted other goodies. I asked about Peanuts and it looks like the smaller figures we saw last year is the new scale going forward. He said they were adding in some new wood elements and that there would be more figures in the line this year and some new sets, but they just didn’t have room to display them at C2E2. Overall Round 2′s booth was one of my favorites as I was able to discuss the lines and get some great, candid answers about the toy lines. You don’t always get that, but DST and Round 2 were great in that respect. Unfortunately I forgot to give the guy from Round 2 my contact info, whoops, but I hope to chat with him in the future.
More photos in the main C2E2 Round 2 Gallery
CS Moore had some interesting stuff, including their absolutely wicked Monster Hunter’s Survival Guide figures. I’m all over these guys with both Bigfoot and the Yeti looking awesome. Despite more or less being the same figure. Unfortunately their toys were hard to photograph because of the annoying little spinning display stands they were on.
A few more shots in the: C2E2 CS Moore Gallery
Although Friday tends to be a bit more calm, I was a bit surprised how few people there were in costume. Last year at C2E2 it seemed like everyone was doing cosplay, even on Friday. Hopefully that picks up as perhaps I’m crazy, but I find the costumes to be a big part of my enjoyment of these sorts of cons. I also felt as though the venue inside McCormick last year was a bit more intuitive to letting costumed fans be a spectacle. There were some awesome Adventure Time folks there.
I did enjoy myself and C2E2 is a great con because it’s for lack of a better term “clean and neat” in it’s orientation. There isn’t a ton of clutter and even when it’s packed, you feel like you can move around and see things. They did have the air conditioning on way too high, though. I met up with part of the Planned Banter crew, who had way more toys purchased than I did. Richard pointed out that going to C2E2 was the equivalent of going to about 90 Toys R Us locations and he’s right. This year in particular, there was a ton of stuff that I struggle to find at retail now. We also reminisced over the days when you could buy a toy for less than $10.
Tomorrow promises to be more fun, with plenty more to do and a few great panels I hope to attend. C2E2 is missing a big tent pole event this year. Last year they had Thor, but this year it seems a bit absent without something to tie it all in. They do have a neat Marvel movie prop auction though and had a ton of that stuff on display. My favorite thing may have been this crazy van I saw in the parking lot with internet memes painted on the side of it. If you’re thinking about heading out to C2E2 day two, I’d say you’ll probably enjoy yourself.
Tons more photos in the: C2E2 Day 1 Gallery
Be sure to come back tomorrow for more coverage, including live Tweet coverage!
*-Some Photos Credit Beth Tague.