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Wizard World LA Report and Pics
Cap’n William ‘WildWill’ Noetling

It used to be that convention season began in June and ended with the San Diego Comic Con in August. Well, that paradigm has changed. Now the convention season is pretty much year round, and Marvel and DC spend the entire season one-upping each other. But Pojo is a gaming site, so what does this have to do with Gaming? TONS!

Two years ago, at the first Wizard World Los Angeles (held in Long Beach actually) WizKids premiered the HUMONGOUS Galactus piece. Among many other limited edition pieces, this single game piece caused an uproar in dissatisfaction, and many Heroclix gamers decided to drop the game because of it (myself included). Two years later WizKids has figured out how to distribute the convention specials with a decided lack of problems. They give everyone the shot at a Giant Piece (this year's is the DC piece Spectre, and even if you don't play, it's a BEAUTIFUL statue), by giving out raffle tickets. Only certain numbers are called, and they get to buy one.

The great thing is that if you're NOT after the big convention piece, you can STILL get exclusives. This year's Pirates exclusive is the 10 masted Baochuan, a thing of beauty that comes on three double-sized styrene cards. The Baochuan was free with $50 worth of ANY WizKids products (coincidentally packs of Pirates were $5 each), with $100 you get a free Parallax LE for Heroclix. Any purchase gets you a free Battlestar Galactica card, and $25 gets you a NIFTY BSG tin. Despite a decided lack of funds on my part, and also a lack of time (I have finals this week), I managed to the the two BSG promos and the Baochuan. They also were demoing the BSG game, and I for one am excited about this new product coming in May, 2006.

While not being quite as large as San Diego Comic Con (nothing is really), WWLA has grown from it's first year. This year WizKids had a huge presence, and a couple of other gaming companies had minor presences. For whatever reason Upper Deck decided to eschew this particular convention. Wrestling appeared to be the big draw this year as well, with appearances by no less than Jeff Jarrett, Jacquie, Kane, former WWE Star Virgil, and quite a few others.

The dealer's room, which pretty much IS the convention, was packed to the rafters with Anime, Games, Comics, and mostly Toys. Lots and lots of toys. Full sets of Marvel Legends with Apocalypse, Galactus and the Sentinel were plentiful, as were Star Wars figures. I counted no less than three bootleg DVD booths too, you know, the ones that sell DVDs of shows and movies that aren't out on DVD already. I eyed a collection of the Real Ghostbusters, one of my all-time favorite shows, but then I discovered that an official release is coming shortly, so I stayed away.

I took a few pics, there are some really nice costumers out there, and the Ghost Rider costume was the best one I saw (also the first too). As I stated earlier, I didn't have a lot of time available, so I didn't get a real chance to explored every nook and cranny of the show, but I was happy with what I saw. Reminded me of all the things I like about conventions.

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