This past week I had the awesome opportunity to represent Struck in helping install elaborate NYC 5th Avenue Holiday-style window displays that we designed for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Winx Club products to be showcased at Nickelodeon’s 2012 Comic-Con booth. Until last week, I’d never been exposed to the intense madness known as Comic-Con. I can easily admit I was fully unprepared for what the days would hold for me— from the transformation of a city down to my lack of an extravagant costume, let alone an 80’s cartoon t-shirt to try to blend in.
The first morning I was nervous and excited as I joined the team in the convention hall and started building and painting our windows. I had heard rumors that collectors will literally run across the massive convention center floor when the doors open Wednesday evening to queue up for products like Hasbro’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Super Helicarrier from The Avengers and Mattel’s quirky Dana Barrett as Zuul Ghostbusters figurine. I made sure to double-knot my shoes and was thankful that I had an Exhibitor badge to see behind the scenes before the madness.
I got my first taste about a quarter mile from the convention center; cranes putting up banners on skyscrapers, large inflatable characters towering over buildings, event stages and even restaurants like Tin Fish being completely transformed into the world of NBC’s Grimm with lush greenery encompassing the entire building. I wasn’t even inside the San Diego Convention Center and I had already ventured into another world. I double-checked my double-knots.
The energy was more magnetic the closer and closer I got. I swear I felt a tractor beam pulling into the line for the Twilight movie panel where hardcore fans had already been camping out for 3 days. Luckily, the words from Vanilla Ice came to me, “Go Ninja, Go Ninja, Go!” and I remembered what I had come to Comic-Con to accomplish.
Struck had been involved with the design of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Winx Club window displays. And it was here when my inner geek truly spilled out, seeing Mikey, Leo, Raph and Donnie in their full glory at Comic-Con both in the windows we created as well as there in real life! The windows turned out fantastic, the clients were happy and more so, they were a photographic hot-spot for die hard fans over the duration of the show.
Comic-Con reveals a level of fandom that I’d never seen before. The “running of the bulls” as I call it was everything I thought it would be and more. As the doors opened, I was caught in the line of fire of a mad dash for the Hasbro booth literally jumping out of the way as fans ran past me. Lines for other premiums and giveaways quickly formed around me. I found myself rubbing elbows with heroes, villains and creatures not of this world (check all the dressed up fans here).
In addition to the people watching, Comic-Con is a place to see some of the coolest booth displays, awesome products, some of which Struck had a hand in, and inspiring uber-fans interacting with both new brands and the brands they knew as a child. Seeing our work come full circle in the mecca of fans was surreal.
I didn’t need to be a super-geek to embrace what happens at Comic-Con. The atmosphere was inviting, and it was certainly an experience I will never forget. Seeing this first hand solidified what I love about the work I do with Struck. We bring excitement to brands and consumer touch-points– whether it is through the retail space, consumer products, websites or apps– we understand that the consumers want to interact with the brands they love. And when you offer them a way to do this, they will want to stay, they will want to embrace you. And chances are they will walk away with both memories and merchandise.
And that’s reason enough to get your geek on.