Welp, I guess the San Diego Comic-con is coming! Panels should be rolling out later today and we’ll catchup with some of the exclusives that have been coming at us for weeks. So here’s some news:

★ First off as you can see, this year’s coverage of Comic-Con at the Beat is sponsored by our friends at Lion Forge, and would not be possible without their generous support. We’ll have some (sponsored post) coverage of all the stuff they have planned as they roll along. Thank them often and early!

★ Tickets for the Conan O’Brien shows that will be filmed at SDCC just became available. They are free but you need to sign up in advance. First come first served!

★ For the first time, there will be FREE WIFI THROUGHOUT DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO. Hallelujah! The days of blagging my way in to secret lounges for a little bandwidth are OVER. Cox Communications is sponsoring over 100 hotspots with speeds of up to 15mps. Wi-fi will also be available IN THE CONVENTION CENTER. The 200,000 people who wander around downtown SDCC may soak that up, but it should be easier than ever to live stream the arrival of particularly fetching pedicabs. The service starts on July 8th and ends when Comic-Con does on July 24th. What a sad day that will be.

★ Speaking of things to take pictures of, the trolley wraps this year are going to be off the hook.

Workers have been laboring during the late-night and early-morning hours to wrap about a dozen three-car trolley trains with colorful images promoting such shows as the Son of Zorn and The Exorcist on Fox and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Dead of Summer on ABC.

“At a major event like Comic-Con, you need to do everything possible to help your shows pop and set themselves apart from the many other properties being marketed both in the convention center and throughout San Diego,” said Angela Courtin, chief marketing officer of FOX. “The trolley train wraps are very effective because they allow you to have fun with your marketing and also are constantly in motion, giving your campaign strong circulation to reach a wide range of fans.”

In case you war wondering about the kind of money we’re talking about here, the San Diego transit systems makes $300,000 in sponsorship money. And that’s just the trolleys.

★ Badge pick up has been streamlined a bit this year, since most badges will be mailed out. Ou can pick up international badges THE DAY BEFORE. Attendee badges will be available at the Marriott Marquis; press, pro and other badges will be in Hall D as usual.

★ JAKKS is releasing a 20: Captain Phasma exclusive.

Captain Phasma features seven points of articulation, deluxe metallic armor, a premium fabric cape, and authentic collector-level deco. Captain Phasma will also come equipped with an arsenal of First Order blasters. Recreate the adventures of The Force Awakens, with Jakks’ BIG-FIGS 20” Premium Edition Captain Phasma.

Captain Phasma will be sold for $60 at the JAKKS booth in the Lucas Pavilion – Booth #2913-M. 

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