Home Conventions Events SDCC 12: Massive carnivals taking over everything around SD Convention Center

SDCC 12: Massive carnivals taking over everything around SD Convention Center


Holy crap, the Con offsites are getting more and more elaborate and entrancing! From a few brave souls setting up a statue or two in the sandy lot next to the Gaslamp Hilton 7 years ago to this year’s explosion of theme parks and exhibits, even without a con badge you’ll have a lot to see and do. The Wb, NBC and Yahoo are all planning major set-ups. Other offsites: at least five art exhibits, the Cryptozoic pop-up store, and many other things we’ve forgotten.

Here’s what’s going on:

• The WB is going ballsdeep with EXTRA, a huge “free outdoor entertainment festival” that will feature six Batmobiles, Lord of the Ring video games and a stage where stars of the Vampire Diaries can parade around for your approval. This 60,00 sq foot area will occupy what was previously a little used area between the Bayfront Hilton and the convention center. We’ve often wandered around here at con and marveled at how empty it seemed compared to the rest of the madhouse. No more. Features of EXTRA:


The centerpiece of this 60,000-square-foot outdoor entertainment event is the Extra stage. Featuring Q&As, live performances, screenings and talent interviews presented by the long-running hit TV entertainment magazine Extra, the stage will be a constant — and free — place for fans to go beyond the Con.

Stars from The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, The Vampire Diaries and more will appear live on the Extra stage to tape interviews with Extra’s on-camera hosts

Warner Bros. will also distribute the studio’s Comic-Con special edition of TV Guide Magazine — with four sets of collectible flip covers featuring the casts of The Big Bang Theory, Fringe, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries — at the Extra stage

A full live event schedule will be posted at the Extra stage and online at www.thewb.com/comiccon


On display in “The Batcave”: all six Batmobiles from television and film! For the first time ever, Comic-Con fans will have the opportunity to see all of Batman’s iconic onscreen vehicles live and in person, from Adam West’s 1955 Lincoln Futura to the Tumbler from The Dark Knight trilogy.

Adam West’s 1955 Lincoln Futura. Designed by George Barris, this original Batmobile was featured in the cult classic television series and 1966’s Batman, the Movie.

Michael Keaton’s Batmobile from 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns. Sleek and powerful with a central turbine, the vehicles’ slightly retro design followed Tim Burton’s art deco look of the films.

Revamped for Joel Schumacher’s 1995 Batman Forever, with bat-lighting and extended fins, Val Kilmer’s hot rod had the ability to drive up walls.

Schumacher updated the Batmobile once again for George Clooney in 1997’s Batman & Robin. At 33 feet long and a top speed of 350 mph with afterburner thrust, this was the largest and fastest Batmobile on the road.

The Tumbler designed for Christopher Nolan’s 2005 Batman Begins and 2008’s The Dark Knight is the prototype military vehicle designed by the character Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman).

The unveiling of the replacement Camouflage Tumbler, to be seen in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, in theaters and IMAX July 20.


With anticipation mounting for Warner Bros. Pictures’ December 14, 2012, release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey motion picture, directed by Peter Jackson and a production of New Line Cinema and MGM, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is showcasing two upcoming games set in Middle-earth.

Fans can play hands-on with new video game Guardians of Middle-earth as characters including Gandalf, Sauron, Gollum, Thrain, Galadriel, Legolas and many more. This new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game allows up to 10 players to engage in competitive matches. The game includes tie-ins with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey film. Tournaments will take place each evening, with prizes including custom-painted video game console systems and high-end gaming audio gear.

·       LEGO® The Lord of the Rings: 3D Street Art. From the creative minds at Planet Streetpainting comes a one-of-a-kind, LEGO The Lord of the Rings–inspired 3D street art design that will be created and on display for fans of all ages over the course of three days, July 13–15. Stop by each day and watch the artwork unfold!


• NBC is taking over Gaslamp Square Park, the Tin Fish and (if we read this right) that little sandy area by the GASLAMP Hilton fore their extravaganza. Entetrainment properties spotlighted include Grimm and Revolution, so Fables fans, this is where to stage your protest march.

Local restaurant Tin Fish (170 Sixth Avenue) will be transformed into the world of Grimm’s lush greenery encompasses the building and its surroundings. Guests can “‘Grimm’ their skin” and receive creepy Grimm skin carvings applied by professional theatrical makeup artists. Those who tweet photos of their skin carvings with the hashtag #GRIMM will be entered for a chance to win a Season 1 DVD collection signed by the cast.

Aunt Marie’s vintage Airstream trailer (replica) is coming to Gaslamp Square Park and fans will be treated to a personalized introduction from Nick and Monroe as they take a tour inside and see authentic props from the series including weapons cabinets, maps, the book of Grimm and more. Upon exit fans will receive a limited edition Grimm comic poster.

From the trailer take a trip through the Grimm forest and visit the Wesen Monuments for a description of which Wesen to look out for in the forest. Receive a Grimm/ Revolutionbag if you make it out of the forest.

Revolution takes over the peninsula tip of Gaslamp Square Park with the actual Ferris wheel from the Revolution pilot, and an abandoned car transformed into a garden. Get aRevolution power button pin and a re-usable water bottle on your trip throughRevolution Village.

Additionally, a wallscape featuring the Revolution power button will be showcased along the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel’s (1 Park Blvd.) entire facade facing the convention center.

• Finally (or so far) Yahoo!’s Movie site is occupying someplace right across the street with a tribute to ParaNorman, Total Recall and The Expendables. Not exactly sure where this is going to be. Maybe the little area where they set up South Park last year? There’s an artists rendition above.

Yahoo! Movies, which reaches more than 26 million users a month, will be in full force at Comic-Con this year as it brings to life MOVIELAND, a visually rich, interactive game on Yahoo! created in partnership with several major film studios, including Universal Pictures, Sony, Lionsgate, and Paramount Pictures. 
Taking a page from the success they have seen to date online, Yahoo! will transform a 2000 square foot Comic-Con space into MOVIELAND, so attendees can experience a life-size interactive game board with movie-related content (trivia, quizzes, etc.) customized to some of the summer’s biggest movies, including ParaNorman, Total Recall and The Expendables 2.  Highlights from the experience will include: actual movie props, augmented reality photo booths, special visits from actors throughout the week including Christopher Mintz-Plasse (ParaNorman, How to Train Your Dragon, Superbad), and chances to win exclusive on-site prizes, including movie tickets. Sean Phillips, head of movies at Yahoo!, will also be onsite to discuss the latest and greatest from the conference and the summer movie phenomenon.
Throughout the weekend, Yahoo! Movies will also be providing premium and exclusive content daily from on-the-ground at Comic-Con with two new original video programs, “Hello From Comic-Con” and “Comic Connoisseurs.” “Hello From Comic-Con” is hosted by Diane Mizota and Marc Istook and will include five episodes of daily news reports, including interviews with celebrities and talent to breaking news on everything Comic-Con-related. “Comic Connoisseurs” is a long-form interview series featuring A-list fan-favorite movie stars shot at the MOVIELAND location. Yahoo! Movies will also highlight the latest news with photo galleries, exclusive first looks and unique coverage of both the top talent and the wildest fans.
The MOVIELAND space is across the street from Comic-Con (located at 520 5th Avenue) and will be completely open to the public; festival passes are not required. Talent will make appearances there on Friday the 13th, and there will be a photo opportunity with characters from the film.


  1. And Disneyland morphs into Disney World…

    I predicted this a few years ago, when Disney opened Flynn’s Arcade offsite. A company can spend a lot of money and time and effort to place a booth on the convention floor, subject to the hours and rules of the house (and unions), and only seen by those with a ticket who can brave the crowds, or they can rent a warehouse elsewhere, control everything, and garner more press as people gush over the experience.

    Since it’s all about eyeballs, guess which is more lucrative?

    I’m still waiting for companies to rent the ballrooms at the Hyatt, and hold parallel mini-cons to all the stuff on the show floor. Tr!ckster started that, but how soon before dealers take over the Douglas Pavilion? (Bring in the Antiques Roadshow, and watch it escalate!)

  2. It’s turning into something like SXSW, which I actually kind of love. It’s a way of expanding the convention without expanding the convention center. I doubt CCI is too happy with all the off-site events, but they’re still sold out so it’s not as though it’s taking business away from them.

  3. Torsten is right on this. My fear though, is that things are moving so fast offsite that Tr!ckster will be buried before it even begins to grab a foothold.

    I’m not going this year, but I admit… I’m kinda missing it already. Yes, even the mad crush of crowds (both on and offsite) are calling to me. Hahah!

    Hopefully, by next year they’ll greenlight an official Comic-Con parade ala DragonCon.

  4. I went to SDCC last year for my very first time and it might be a few years before I make it back. However, I think all of this is great. I hope by the time I get a chance to go again the whole city will be taken over with geek culture. The only problem is deciding what exactly to see.

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