by Chris Holoka
The 2006 San Diego Comic-Con International is history! While we didn't have the spectacular Star Wars Pavilion we've enjoyed for the past couple years, Star Wars fans and licensees were still pretty easy to track down. Most of the major licensees were on hand with new products to display and exclusive items to purchase. The big event draws larger crowds every year, and 2006 was no exception. The word is that Saturday the convention center had to close off registration shortly after 12 noon, so if you weren't pre-registered, you weren't getting in. Not too surprising, as the show floor was simply packed with people that day (always a good day to check out the panels, rather than shop the main floor). Thursday, Friday, and Sunday weren't quite so bad, but still plenty crowded. Even Preview Night on Wednesday, which usually allows for a leisurely browsing of the aisles, was heavily attended.
Throughout the show you couldn't swing a lightsaber without hitting a costumed fan, no matter where you were in the convention center. I'd estimate 1 in 6 was a Star Wars character - armies of Clone/Stormtroopers, wookiees, a plethora of Leias, and no shortage of Jedi Knights in all shapes and sizes. It all adds to the festive atmoshpere that permeates throughout the whole show (except Sunday, where the atmosphere is more of an "exhausted" vibe).
Taking a stroll through artist's alley (hey - comic book creators are what got the whole ball rolling, right?) was terrific opportunity to meet a variety of Star Wars artists (Tom Hodges, Matt Busch, etc), take a look at some original and often unpublished artwork, and maybe pickup a sketch or two. These guys usually have inexpensive sketchbooks for sale, are almost always willing to dash off a quick character sketch for you upon request, and, if you can swing it, even sell original pages of published work.
This year the "Star Wars Spectacular" panel, hosted once again by Mr. Steve Sansweet, was another must-see event for attendees who are fans of a galaxy far, far away. There aren't too many venues where they make announcements to shut off cell phones, pagers, and lightsabers before the show starts. Steve talked about the original trilogy DVDs (Lucasfilm has heard the non-anamorphic complaints, and are hoping it will be a non-issue once fans have seen the finished product), announced a European Celebration, showed some excellent clips and technology demos of a couple upcoming LucasArts projects, and showed the 30th Anniversary logo for the first time.
We've got a pretty all-encompassing list of galleries and reports below - covering all the Star Wars aspects of the show, along with a healthy look at some of the other more popular toy lines that were on display.
DAY 4 - Sunday
Report: SDCC 2006: Final Floor Report
DAY 3 - Saturday
Wizards of the Coast
Dark Horse Collectibles
Hasbro - Star Wars Attactix
Hasbro - Star Wars Role Play
Hasbro - Even More Star Wars
Diamond Select Toys
Star Wars Celebrities
LEGO - Exoforce, Bionicle, & Batman
Gentle Giant Bust-Ups Competition Report: here
Ray Park at Master Replicas Video #1 (15.9Mb) Video #2 (42.3Mb)
Report: No Yarna? No Willrow Hood? Really?
Report: Death Star II Luke Skywalker
Report: Gentle Giant's 100th Bust-Up
Report: What's The 2007 Toy Line Called?
Report: News on the Battle of Yavin Wave
DAY 2 - Friday
Report: Dark Horse Twenty Years Panel
Report: Hasbro Star Wars Presentation Highlights
Hasbro - New Star Wars
Report: Steve Sansweet Star Wars Spectacular
DAY 1 - Thursday
Sideshow Collectibles Gallery 2
Hasbro - Star Wars
Hasbro - G.I. Joe
Hasbro - Marvel Comics
Kotobukiya - Star Wars
Kotobukiya - Everything Else
Hasbro - G.I. Joe - part 2
Gentle Giant Studios - Other Lines
Hasbro - Star Wars - part 2
Master Replicas - Boba Fett Blaster
Hasbro - Marvel Legends Wave 2
Gentle Giant preview
Hasbro preview - part 1
Master Replicas preview
Sideshow Collectibles preview
Hasbro preview - part 2
Report: Hasbro's Preview Night Showcase