The first ever Wizard World Boston was held at the Bayside Expo Center, a much-abused convention just south of the city. It was good to see a major comic convention come back to the city after a long drought.
First off, let me say this - $12 to park is a bit extreme, don't you think? It seems like every time I go to the bayside expo center, the price rises a little bit. If you paid for the one-day admission, you would be out a total of $32.00. If you paid for the three-day pass, including parking, you would be out a whopping $76.00! Now, this was a decent show, but it wasn't a $76 dollar show.
DCThe area was divided pretty evenly between retailers and artists. There were a LOT of comics on display, but since we're a toy review site, I'm going to concentrate on that angle. If you were looking for comics, you were in the right place. If you were looking for vintage or rare Japanese toys, not so much.
Most vendors were stocked up on the basics - Star Wars, Superheroes, and Sci-Fi. Lots of really common toys marked up to ridiculous prices. I also saw a lot of Busts. These polystone representations of superheroes seem to have a huge fan base, but I just don't get it. But I digress...
What little Japanese toys were there were limited to Gundam kits, some vinyl and the very few vintage pieces. Basically, what you see for photos in this review is what was there. There were quite a few Transformers though, so if that's your cup of tea, then you would probably have done ok.
Our only saving grace in terms of Japanese toys was John of Cool Stuff Videos. He had a table full of old Japanese videos, Godzilla and other Kaiju Vinyl, and even some Chogokin. Sanjeev spotted a Glow Hedorah, but it was out of his price range. He settled on just fondling it for a while. I picked up a couple dvds full of Japanese toy commercials.
As for the rest of the con:
People were lined up deep to meet Eliza Dushku, but you could walk right up to Lou Ferigno. Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes were supposed to attend, but had to cancel due to a "Scheduling conflict". They did send out a bunch of autographed schwag in their absence, but I get the feeling that they were supposed to be the big draw of this con.
Sony had a nice setup demoing some PS2 stuff, and there was also a big Halo tournament, along with other figure-based games. Not my thing, but there were big lines at both.
I was kind of dismayed at the lack of big publisher presence here. DC had a booth, but Marvel, Image, and others were noticeably absent. Sure, Joe Quesada was signing, but there was no Marvel booth. Palisades, Lions Gate, Sony and Wizard were the big exhibitors. Where were the Major Toy companies?
I was also kind of disappointed with the cosplay. What I saw was really good, for the most part, but it was limited to Star Wars. There were maybe 10 people dressed in costume, and 2 of them were little kids. The rest seemed to be made up of the New England Garrison of the 501st Legion. These guys rocked.
We met up with the guys from Onell Design, who were showcasing some cool little figures they are working on. One thing they had was a prop gun, that had a neat action scene inside, and the scene would change based on which buttons they pressed. I'm not sure if this was for sale though.
We were really impressed with the hand made tin robots of Gamma Ray Bots. Each one is unique. We really loved the Mexican wrestler robot set. His buddy next to him (Forgot his name, sorry) had some uber-cool Gamera and Godzilla prints for sale as well.
Manga Entertainment was there with some sweet deals on Ghost in the Shell DVDs. They were also throwing in Dead Leaves Kubrick figures as a bonus. Keep an eye out for the Ghost in the Shell SAC: 2nd gig DVDs.
In all, it was a good con for comic fans, but not really for people looking to score on vintage toys. It's a good start, but lets hope next year they try broaden their scope and attract more major publishers. Wizard world could also benefit from marketing more to the anime / manga crowd, and bringing in more vintage toy dealers.