Monthly Archives: September, 2010

Comic-Con staying in San Diego

By Lori Weisberg
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 3:52 p.m.

Comic-Con, that whimsical show that for decades has been delivering costumed superheroes and Hollywood celebs to town, will be here five more years, ending months of speculation that San Diego’s largest convention might head north to Anaheim or Los Angeles where hotel rates are cheaper and exhibit space more plentiful.

Ultimately, Comic-Con International’s decision to stay, which will be announced Friday morning, hinged on detailed contracts negotiated with the 64 convention block hotels committing them to prescribed, discounted rates through 2015. Concerns had arisen in recent years that some local hotels took undue advantage of the enormously popular event by charging excessively high rates, especially in downtown where rooms sell out quickly during the four-day July confab.

Comic-Con’s current contract with San Diego’s convention center expires in 2012, which led organizers to begin looking elsewhere for the years 2013 to 2015.

In the end, San Diego proved to be a sentimental favorite for organizers of the convention, which debuted in 1970 as a relatively small gathering of devoted comic book fans.

“We’ve always had a desire to stay in San Diego, and we had three amazing proposals,” said Comic-Con spokesman David Glanzer. “It was obviously a very difficult decision, one born out by the amount of time it’s taken to make that decision. But in the end San Diego was able to address a lot of our concerns.

“It’s never been a secret we’d hoped to stay here, but the real challenge was that those who want to attend the event can afford to attend, in terms of size and space and cost.”

Estimated to deliver an annual economic bonanza of $163 million to the San Diego region, the pop culture phenomenon was wooed aggressively by rival convention cities who offered lucrative deals capitalizing on convention organizers’ long-held concerns that they had outgrown San Diego’s smaller center.

While the bids were confidential, it was rumored that Los Angeles offered convention space at no cost.

At one point, competition for the convention grew so fierce that Los Angeles and Anaheim tourism officials launched dueling Facebook fan pages designed to demonstrate the depth of their commitment to nabbing Comic-Con. San Diego fans, however, had already debuted a month earlier their own “Keep Comic-Con in San Diego” Facebook page, which has roughly seven times the number of fans.

Despite being disappointed by the decision, Anaheim tourism officials remain optimistic that Comic-Con could eventually come their way in the future. “We certainly recognize how difficult a decision this was by virtue of how long it took,” said Charles Ahlers, president of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau. “We understand it was not a unanimous decision by Comic-Con so clearly there is interest in alternative locations so that gives us hope for the future.”

Although the city has plans to significantly expand the center and is in the midst of selecting an architect, funding must still be identified for the $750 million project.

Recognizing Comic-Con’s more immediate need for added space for exhibitors and the more than 130,000 attendees that flood the city, San Diego’s three waterfront hotels — the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego Marriott and Hilton San Diego Bayfront — committed to providing roughly 300,000 square feet of their meeting space free of charge in 2013 through 2015. In addition, the Convention Center Corp., working with local hotels, was able to double the number of dedicated convention hotel rooms to roughly 14,000.

As much as holding onto the convention had become a matter of civic pride, more important are the huge revenues that come San Diego’s way each year the event is held. A 2008 survey of conventioneers found that direct spending alone on hotels, meals, transportation and related costs totals nearly $68 million a year.

Add to that the worldwide publicity the convention commands because of its Hollywood star power, and it’s no surprise that city leaders and hoteliers often liken Comic-Con to having a Super Bowl in town ever year.

Product Update for 09/30/2010

New Breakdown & Restock!

Loading Toys Primo Head & Propane Tanks

Hot Toys TrueType Caucasian Advanced

Product Update for 09/29/2010

New Breakdowns!

DID Hayden Christ *cough*not Anakin*cough*

21st Century Toys:
Mad Bomber
Auz & Tazz Mantrackers
Navy Seal Pointman
Firemen (Both Yellow and Black Suit Versions)

‘Star Wars’ saga set for 3D release starting 2012

Films will roll out in order, starting with ‘Phantom Menace’

By Jay A. Fernandez and Kim Masters
The Hollywood Reporter (THR)
   

Sept 28, 2010, 08:49 PM ET

Updated: Sept 28, 2010, 11:18 PM ET

Big news on the 3D front.

Sources indicate that George Lucas is set on rereleasing the “Star Wars” franchise in new 3D conversions beginning in 2012. Although 3D versions have been rumored for some time, Lucas purportedly was waiting until there were enough screens available to make the release a sizable event.

Fox, which released all six original “Star Wars” films, also would release the 3D versions.

Episode I, “The Phantom Menace,” would be first out of star-dock during early 2012. After that, each film would be released in order at the same time in consecutive years, depending on how well the first rerelease does.

Each conversion takes at least a year to complete, with Lucas overseeing the process to make sure each is as perfect as possible. He has said that the “Avatar” experience convinced him that “Star Wars” is ready for the state-of-the-art 3D treatment.

Starting with “Phantom Menace,” Lucasfilm would use several higher-end conversion houses to work on the project. By late winter or early spring in 2012, the exhibition industry should have all the 3D screens anyone could want for such a release.

At present, pics are limited to 2,000-2,500 3D locations owing to an insufficient installed base of projectors and screens. Movie theaters are adding 3D screens at a clip of 500 a month in the U.S. Foreign exhibitors also are pushing into 3D as quickly as possible now that financing for the installations is flowing.

Also pushing the timetable is a potential breakthrough in 3D TV technology. With Samsung penetrating the market with 50,000-plus 3D-equipped sets and Sony recently sending its version to market, the home-viewing experience could be primed for 3D DVD versions of the films by the time the new 3D theatrical releases have run their course.

Lucas purportedly is lining up the theatrical rereleases as a lead-in to the ultimate home-viewing experience. Beyond that, the property would launch to other 3D media.

In the meantime, Lucas plans a comprehensive Blu-ray Disc set of the six films next year, which would include upgraded picture and sound quality, new deleted scenes and special features.

Alex Ben Block, Carl DiOrio and Borys Kit contributed to this report.

Product Update for 09/27/2010

New Breakdowns & Restock!

3R Karl Donitz

Hot Toys Terminator Salvation John Connor (last breakdown)

Sideshow Star Wars Endor Infantryman and Sergeant
Sideshow Shaun of the Dead – Ed
Sideshow The Dead Containment
Sideshow The Dead Mall Santa
Sideshow ROTLA Indiana Jones

Ignite Julius Caesar

Toys City WWII German Sniper

Dragon Modern Mel
Dragon Modern Winona

DISTRICT 9: CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON AND SON – PRAWNS (Weta Pre-Order)

Exiled by fate to an alien and hostile planet where he is placed in a ghetto and forced to survive on black market pet food, Christopher Johnson is on a relentless quest to escape.

With the help of his son and a few close confidants, he has managed to scrape together enough alien fuel to attempt a get-away. Beneath his ramshackle shelter hides a secret waiting to be unearthed. It’s now or never.

From Neill Blomkamp’s District 9, Weta brings you a sculpture of the two hero “prawns” as they are condescendingly referred to by the humans of Johannesburg.

They stand amid the rubble that is both their immediate source of nourishment and also offers a faint glimmer of hope to a people marooned.

Sculpted in 1/6 scale by Weta Workshop sculptor David Meng, who designed and sculpted the prawns for the film, movie collectibles don’t get much more authentic than this.

Produced in a strictly limited edition of 600 world wide, the prawns are sure to become a very collectible item and we recommend pre-ordering to avoid disappointment.

$249.00 USD  <!–Released: Mar 2011 –>

Availability:
Pre-order Now though Weta Collectibles Web Site!
Edition Size:
600
Dimensions:
14.2″ x 7.9″ x 7.9″ (H x W x D)
36 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm
Weight:
3.3lbs (1.5 Kg)

Product Update for 09/24/2010

New Breakdown & Restock!

Dragon EOD William

Night of the Living Dead Cemetery Zombie

Product Update for 09/22/2010

New Breakdowns & Restock!

Hot Toys SWAT 3.0
Hot Toys Navy Seal Team 4

ExperToys Hand Tool Sets (Parted Out)

Sideshow Star Wars (1 each)
Lando Calrissian
Rebel Fleet Trooper
Captain Antilles
Mace Windu
Han Solo Smuggler
Admiral Piett

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Holiday 2010 Video – Watch This!

The annual holiday overlay has returned this year with a few new upgrades including new digital projections on the moon in the large load area display and Madame Leota now floats during the holiday overlay, along with some festive lights and other floating goodies. 2DieFR from MiceChat captured the new features on video below.

Product Update for 09/20/2010

New Pre-Order, New Breakdown, & Restock!

Hot Toys DX04 Bruce Lee from Enter The Dragon

Sideshow Star Wars 501st Clone Trooper

Sideshow Monty Python Bridgekeeper
Sideshow Monty Python Prince Herbert
Sideshow Planet of the Apes Mutant Leader