We visited the Planet Vought pop-up in June not knowing what to expect. We knew there would be food and we would be in our cars during the entire experience. The entire experience was set up in the parking lot of the Hollywood Palladium.
Upon check-in we were given a card to view the menu items, and our orders were taken by Planet Vought staff prior to entering Planet Vought. Once inside, we saw the chaos as The Boys had destroyed Planet Vought.
The first stop was a photo op from our vehicles then we drove to the merchandise area where I was given and balloon Homelander figure and a balloon headband. At each stop we could watch the actors reacting to the destruction The Boys caused, and it was really entertaining. We were directed to a parking space where our food would be delivered car hop style. Included with our meals were vials of Compound V to enjoy.
The experience was part of The Boys’ Emmy campaign, and though it was fairly brief it was very well done and entertaining. Be sure to watch The Boys on Amazon Prime as it’s a crazy, violent, and extremely entertaining series.
SiliConSJ (formerly Silicon Valley Comic Con) is the first convention we’ve attended since Vegas ToyCon in March 2020. Although at its heart SiliConSJ is the same as Silicon Valley Comic Con there is a distinct emphasis on creators and makers. We were very excited and a bit apprehensive of attending a large event, but everyone was very good at wearing their masks appropriately with the exception of the panelists. All in all it was great to attend our first convention in seventeen months.
As Adam Savage is now the “Creative Director” of SiliConSJ, and he was everywhere. He hosted the traditional Opening Keynote panel along on Saturday morning, opened the costume contest Saturday afternoon/evening, and he had his own panel on Sunday morning.
A few of the panels we attended included Bruce Boxleitner, Mark Sheppard, Jim Cummings, and Denise Crosby. The Costume Contest showcased some amazing costumes. Unfortunately it was very difficult to take photos of all of the costumes, because many of the cosplayers zoomed across the stage with hardly a one or two second pause at center stage. I don’t know if it was a lack of instruction to the competitors to stop and pose to show off their costumes or if was due to the nervousness of the competitors participating. After all of the competitors crossed the stage, the judges had to take several minutes to go and talk to the competitors and take a good look at the costumes before they could make their decisions. I had seen a few of these costumes up close around the convention center and these deservedly won prizes in various categories.
You can check out a video slideshow of most of the costume contest participants on my YouTube channel here.
There was a feeling of excitement in the air at SiliConSJ. We were all happy to be back at a convention, and I feel that there was a sense of hope that we are getting back to “normal” after a long hibernation. Adam Savage was certainly contributing to the feeling of happiness around the convention, and he was quite exhilarated to be back at conventions and being able to meet and talk to people in person again. I’m looking forward to attending a few more conventions this year, including San Diego Comic-Con: Special Edition this November and LA Comic Con in December.
There was a truck parked near the doors to the stadium complete with a little smoke and periodic sound effects which startled me as I waited in line for the security screening. Once inside the stadium we picked up our complimentary concessions and proceeded back outside to our seats.
Chris McKay, director of The Tomorrow War, and star Chris Pratt said a few words of thanks to the studio, producers, and the crew prior to the screening starting. Being outdoors in June required the screening to start later than most screenings after 8:30pm. The movie is a bit long so I was quite grateful for the cushioned seats at the Banc of California Stadium. These seats were unexpected for an outdoor sports complex, and they were very comfortable. My only complaint about the seats is the way they are designed/installed caused your seat to move whenever a person in your row within 3 or 4 seats of you leaned back, forward, or even shifted around.
Overall, we found The Tomorrow War to be an entertaining alien movie, and we had a great time attending our first post-COVID premiere. It also gave us a chance to see inside the new Banc of California Stadium.
Note: Photos of the actors on the red carpet taken from 150-ish yards away on a Samsung Galaxy S21+
I’ve been looking for a system to store my pin collection which would also make it easier to find specific pins for wearing. I found two tutorials on YouTube and made tweaks of my own to fit my needs. In the process of organizing my pins I found that a minor modification was useful for storing my buttons. I don’t actively collect buttons, but I receive so many from Comic-Cons and various events. I also have a collection of buttons from my time working at Disneyland.
As always, feel free to customize this system as you wish.
1 large 3-ring binder
Self-adhesive felt sheets
Cutting mat and rotary cutter or scissors
Option 1 Directions:
Remove the adhesive from the back of the foam, and lay the foam on your clean work surface with the adhesive side facing up.
Peel back the top one inch of the backing from the felt. (Working from on the short side is easiest.)
Line up the edge sof the exposed section of the adhesive side of the felt to the adhesive side of the foam. Once they are attached, slide the rest of the backing paper off of the felt as you slide your other hand along the felt pressing it onto the foam.
Once the felt is completely attached to the foam, use a cutting mat and rotary cutter to trim the sheet to the size you need. I needed my sheets to be approximately 8 inches by 10 and a half inches. Hint: Trim a small amount on each side rather than the entire amount at once. The sheets of felt are 9-inches by 11 inches and the foam was 9 inches by 12 inches. I cut the length to 11 inches, then the other edge to 10 and half inches. I cut one side of the short length from 9 inches to 8 and one half inches, then the other short side was cut down to 8 and one quarter inches.
Nostalgia Con reunited Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada for a CHiPs reunion panel. I watched CHiPs religiously as a kid, and I was really excited to see this panel.
Erik spoke at length about what inspired him to become a police officer in real life, and it has nothing to do with CHiPs. I won’t go into details, but he was visiting an office were officers were part of a team targeting child exploitation.
Larry and Erik touched briefly on their past conflicts. Erik Estrada told the story of his on-set accident during film a scene of CHiPs. Larry’s former military training kicked in and Erik credits Larry with saving his life. Their relationship improved after that, and Erik proclaimed his love for his brother.
It feels like they are just two very different people, and there were other issues onset which created an environment ripe for arguments, but it was quite enjoyable to see these two men laugh together thirty (30) years later.
Nostalgia Con is a fan convention celebrating the 1970s to 1980s. Nostalgia Con was held September 28 to 29, 2019 at the Anaheim Convention Center. It was a very small convention, but I enjoyed the panels and seeing all of the great fan cars on display.
Toyota 4×4 truck (Back to the Future)
Sports Almanac from Back to the Future II
The Flux Capacitors performed on the convention floor during the convention. There was a Boombox Museum with so many boomboxes of various sizes. Remember when bigger was better for portable radios?!
There was a panel featuring three of the original MTV VJs telling stories of how MTV began, doing cocaine with rock stars, and hosting a 24 hour worldwide concert while simultaneously partying with rock stars. Other panels included Dawn Wells from Gilligan’s Island, Sean Astin and Corey Feldman talking about The Goonies, Christopher Lloyd, and CHiPs to name a few.
I wish there had been more attendees at the convention, but I hope they return in future years.
After the screening we were sent across the street to after party at Highland Park Bowl. Highland Park Bowl is basically a bag with several bowling lanes. I loved the historic and vintage vibe. There was a small selection of pizza flavors to choose from for our free slice, and it was pretty good pizza. They also had themed cocktails the bars and our punch cards gave us two cocktails. The entire place was themed and decorated for the Hunters show including photographs on the staircase. I apologize for the blurry photos of the staircase photos. I was trying not to block the stairs as they led to the busy restrooms.
There was also a sword swallower performer in a side room where another bar was located and a cotton candy maker. Across the hallway there was a photo booth area where we were given mustache disguises. The photo booth took a photo and a gif, which were emailed separately. I received the emails within 10 minutes of taking the photos. We stopped by the “merchandise” booth located near the entrance/exit of the bowling alley and collected our free “bowling” sock, which was part of our punch card. The lady working the booth asked us if would like a t-shirt, too, and gave us each one. It’s the same shirt all of the bar/bowling alley staff was wearing and wasn’t part of the punch card freebies.
Amazon Prime held a bunch of free screenings with after parties in historic Highland Park Thursday, February 20 – Saturday, February 22, 2020. Due to other plans I wasn’t able to secure a ticket until they extended the events to Sunday, February 23rd. Our tickets were for the first screening and after party (no bowling) of the day. The screening was held at the Highland Theatre.
We arrived much earlier than we expected and found parking right away. There were vintage New York taxis and other cars parked directly in front of both the theater and bowling alley. We got in line an hour before show time and there had lots of people/staff dressed in 1970s attire. These people were super fun and got the fans ready for a great time.
Tickets were scanned and we were given yellow wristbands. Then canvas tote bags were handed out with a circular punch card, which would give us free swag such as popcorn, drink and candy for the movie. Security came by to check IDs to give plain white wristbands to everyone 21 year sold and over. Once inside the theater we used our punch card to get a Hunters comic book, popcorn, soda and candy. They had a small selection of candy, even candy cigarettes!! The on screen advertisements before the movie started were themed to the show, and you will recognize a few of the businesses in the very first episode.
I enjoyed the first episode screened at the event, but I’m not as thrilled with the next two episodes I viewed at home. The “visions” Jonah has are a little too much and unnecessary. Hunters is available on Amazon Prime video.
I attended Las Vegas ToyCon in 2019 which was being held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. I had previously attended ToyCon in 2016, but it was called Super ToyCon at that time and was held at the New Orleans Hotel and Casino. You can read my 2016 recaps here. The name changed to Las Vegas ToyCon with the 2018 show, which I didn’t attend.
I had purchased a 3 day ticket from Groupon, but we only attended on Saturday. I hadn’t noticed much in the way of panel programming so I just went to get some autographs on two of my Geeky Jerseys. I added two more signatures to my Darkside jersey. The first signature on this jersey was from David Prowse at Super ToyCon in 2016.
I also have a limited edition Bumblee jersey from Geeky Jerseys which I brought to have the voice of Bumblee in the Michael Bay films, Mark Ryan, autograph for me. He was very kind and spent some time chatting with us and threw in free selfies if we wanted it.
This show is very small and it’s focus is on vending and celebrity autographs/photo-ops. Each show usually has a special ToyCon edition Hot Wheels toy so I made sure to purchase one and a couple of ToyCon t-shirts as well.
Las Vegas ToyCon 2020 is March 13-15, 2020 and will be held at Eastside Cannery Casino-Hotel, which I had never heard of until this convention was announced. Groupon has great deals on tickets for Las Vegas ToyCon (search Las Vegas Toy and Comic Convention) if you’re interested in attending.
The small size of the convention will allow us plenty of time to do other things while we’re in Las Vegas such as seeing the Tim Burton Exhibit at the Neon Museum.
The last Star Wars Line Up to date was for Solo: A Star Wars Story. We returned to our Line home at the TCL Chinese Theatres Imax forecourt for a two day line which began at 7pm on May 22 and ended with the screening at 7pm on May 24, 2018. LiningUp.Net organizes shorter lines for the off-shoot films of the Star Wars franchise. Rogue One and Solo were both 2 day long Line Ups, and longer Line Ups being reserved for the core Star Wars films.
The shorter Line Ups work differently than the longer Lines. Instead of accumulating hours in Line to pick your seats, we were given a raffle ticket when we checked-in for the Line. The raffle takes place on the first night, and that’s when we get to select our seats. We also paid for our tickets and badges, and t-shirts (if we ordered one) in advance of the Line starting.
Here are the logistics for how the Line Up is run for the longer Line Ups in the time of internet pre-purchased tickets. You sign in with the organizer manning the check-in table. A release is completed and signed when you first sign up/check-in at the table. You can leave the line for a short time (to smoke, go to the bathroom, get food) as long as it’s a short-time, I think about 20-30 minutes. If you leave for a longer time, you need to check-out with the check-in/out table. So it’s easy to run home to take a shower, get more clean clothes, etc. The organizers tabulate the amount of time each person spends in line. The person who has the most hours gets to select their seats/tickets first, the person with second highest time selects their seats/tickets second, etc. I believe it was the Star Wars: The Last Jedi line they added a QR code to our name badges to use an app to tabulate the hours. It was easier for the organizers and for the rest of us, because there was more than one person who could check us in/out.
Before the opening night screening the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax hosted a plaque dedication ceremony for Carrie Fisher. The idea of the plaque was revealed on opening night for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and you can read more about that event here. The plaque was installed into the concrete in the forecourt during night of May 23, 2018. There’s nothing like the sound of a saw cutting into concrete at 2am. At least I remembered to bring my earplugs. Todd Fisher and his wife, actress Catherine Hickland, were present for the ceremony.
A couple of us mentioned an error in the plaque to theater management who was not happy. See the photo of the installed plaque. Do you see what it is? I believe it has been corrected from a recent photo I saw, but I haven’t been to the theater in a long time to see it.
After the ceremony, we milled about and did any press interviews requested for a few hours before having to clear the area. About an hour before show time, the forecourt is cleared of people and the barricades are placed between the forecourt and public sidewalks. All ticket holders get into a literal line along the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard. After the screening the Lining Up group heads up to the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres on the third level of the Hollywood and Highland Center for our after party.
Information on the amazing work the Starlight Children’s Foundation does can be found here, and you can donate to our cause here.
You can join us for the next Line Up at the TCL Chinese Theatre Imax in Hollywood from December 10-19, 2019. Help us raise money for a wonderful charity, the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and have fun meeting fellow Star Wars fans! Check out the Facebook event page for the next Line for more information.