SDCC: Tallying Your Costs, Time and Frustration

January 4, 2015 – Today’s article is a reprint from The observations about the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) can apply similarly to other high-priced events, though SDCC seems to receive the largest share of criticisms every year:

“SDCC is an overblown mess. We know it and so do you. Why do we speak about it in hushed tones? The event has not jumped only the shark but the fucking Fonz that jumped over said shark. Last year we thought we’d get an early start and go a day earlier than usual, and while it was kind of cool it didn’t get us any closer to Hall H or give us a chance to purchase one of the lackluster exclusives made available to people at the event. So, with the convention just over seven months away, we thought we’d hit the ground running even earlier this time. That’s right, we got to the San Diego Convention Center last night. Pretty clever, right?

Well, as it turned out there was already 4,235 people waiting in line to get into Hall H. Half of them were wearing Supernatural T-shirts and three of them were in full Avengers: Age Of Ultron Vision cosplay. Oddly enough we found one girl from Abragão, Portugal dressed up Kylo Ren. We asked her why she wasn’t in the Celebration line in Anaheim, to which she said “O que? Este isn’t Anaheim? Droga!”. She ran off screaming. We’re not sure what she said, but perhaps we’ll see her next April…

Realizing that Hall H was already going to be a challenge we headed over to the area where attendees waste their evenings in hopes to get a good ticket that will allow them a sliver of a chance to get a Hasbro exclusive. Seeing that there were already 186 people in that line, two of them in similar Vision costumes (will this be the Slave Leia of 2015?) and one in a sexy Too Much Coffee Man costume (only the fourth we’ve seen in fifteen years of attending SDCC), we sat down and did the rough math.

What does it cost you to wait in lines for stuff at SDCC? Well, in all honesty, we’re always there representing media outlets so we don’t really know how much it costs to attend the show, or how difficult Totally Ridiculous it is to obtain attendee passes to the event, but if what we hear is true it is a lottery system that has no sense of loyalty. That means you aren’t even guaranteed you’ll get tickets, and if you do, two tickets for the full event will run you $440 to go from Wednesday to Sunday.

Getting a hotel is virtually impossible as well and the sense of loyalty is even more lost here, but let us assume that by some miracle you get one in the Gaslamp district you are looking at about $300+ a night, and you and your partner in crime will require at least four nights of sheltered sleep and exclusive holding storage. That’s another $1200 right there, bringing our running total to $1500.

You still need to get there right? Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, you live 1000 miles away from San Diego. Your round trip tickets could cost you $500 per person. Our evaluation so far is based on you and a companion, so you’re looking at another $1000 in airfare. $2500 spent before you even consider spending a penny at SDCC.

But what about the value of your time? Sure you could use your vacation time to keep your monthly earnings equal to any other month, but if you have attended SDCC in the past, you know you aren’t going there to relax. It’s more of an endurance challenge than it is a vacation (insert whatever Iron Man joke you fancy). So lets look at the money you are either not earning or will otherwise not have for a real vacation because you used it to supplement your budget for SDCC. For simple math (the only type we can fumble through without giving away how dumb we are), we’ll say the average attendee earns $1000 a week at their job, and keeping with the two person equation, that’s a lose of $2000. Our total cost of attending SDCC is now up to $4500 and you don’t have a single repainted Transformer, repackaged Superman, or soon to be slightly repackaged but other wise identical Star Wars action figure in your grasp.

$4500. That could get two people set up for a pretty nice Hawaiian vacation with actual relaxation and time spent sleeping in your hotel room. But wait! This train of thinking isn’t getting you any closer to your exclusives. How can you obtain the exclusives if you don’t waste a lot of your hard earned money and sleep on the grass or concrete instead of your warm and very expensive bed at the Hard Rock Hotel?

We’ll let you in on a little secret. There’s a little online purchasing option available to you called eBay. Seriously, you may want to argue that the prices on eBay are too expensive, but we’ll counter that you’re planning on spending $4500 just to have a chance of possibly being able to purchase your exclusives. What’s more rational? Spending that much money with the only guarantees being discomfort, tired feet, and too much anxiety over something that you don’t really need. Follow the link above and scroll through the items listed and you may see that staying home and buying this crap off of eBay is the way to go.

After thinking this through we left the Hasbro line (which got five people deeper while our wheels were turning) and headed to Sea World. Oddly enough, what we saw there was a bunch of people who paid $90 to sit outside on a cold metal bench watching large sea mammals splash around in large tanks of salt water, proving that you don’t have to go to SDCC and spend $4500 to get soaked… You can go to Sea World and get soaked for much less.”

Reprinted from


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