The San Diego Comic-Con floor can be both a sensory delight and an overload of color, light, and swirling brand names. To help you cut through the pop culture fog, we've collected the sights you won't want to miss this week inside the exhibition hall.
One thing we particularly noticed while walking the floor this year: books! If you're looking for something new to read, there are plenty of book and comic tables to peruse, so take your time. But there's so much to see even beyond the written word. Here are some of the stand-outs we saw at yesterday's preview night. If you're at Comic-Con, let us know about the best things you've seen so far.
Through it all, Smaug watches from his perch atop the Weta booth. He may look like he's sleeping, but every now and then, those glowing eyes creep open.
Smaug gif from Lord Akiyama's "Smaug Awakens" video on YouTube.
The Walking Dead's Terminus has a big presence on the floor this year. There are "live" caged zombies and photo ops at the cave-in:
And inside is the Terminus gymnasium in all its spooky glory:
Outlander has a Scottish castle on the floor:
With a sign posted looking for our time-traveling heroine:
And people walking about in period costume:
Marvel offers a close look at Rocket Raccoon's ride from Guardians of the Galaxy:
There's also a photo-op where you can join the Guardians in their police line-up. Plus, Marvel offers con-goers a closer look at Baymax and the Big Hero 6 team in toy form.
In honor of Mockingjay, you can have your picture taken in the Capitol Hall of Heroes with Panem's finest peacekeepers. Not creepy at all.
The Adult Swim castle comes with a spin-and-win game. Here's what happens when you land on "Bear Hug." What happens when you land on Mike Tyson?
Actually, castles are a big theme this year. Adult Swim, ABC, and Outlander all went for fake stone walls. Maybe check with each other next year?
Lego has its usual bounty of plastic brick pop culture sculptures. Who doesn't love a Lego Movie minifig made out of Legobricks?
There is a ton of Star Wars stuff on the floor, including life-size statues of the characters from Rebels:
But our favorites are the staged toys.
Though we're also digging the Darth Vader Hot Wheels car.
At the Batman 75th anniversary exhibit, there are some artistic takes on Batman's costume:
And props from the movies, including a collection of Dark Knight clown masks.
As well as some incredible movie props and promotional items on view thanks to Profiles in History. There is Jurassic Park T-Rex head cast by the Stan Winston Studio to promote the movie:
Teeth worn by Brad Pitt during the filming of Interview with the Vampire:
And, get this, a signed shooting script from the original Godzilla:
Plus, the Beast prosthetics from X-Men: The Last Stand, which look a little grim without Kelsey Grammer's face and hands in them:
Speaking of X-Men, you can also experience Cerebro from Professor X's point of view with the help of an Oculus Rift headset.
And, of course, there art plenty of great pieces of art, toys, and other things to buy on the floor.
Whether or not your in the market for artwork for your own wall, it's worth a trip to Robert Xavier Burden's table just to see his massive Batman and Optimus Prime oil paintings. He also has prints and pillows available.
These feathered Drabbit puppets from Imaginarium Galleries are half-dragon, half-rabbit, and all kinds of fun. They come in a variety of colors and styles.
Take a moment to admire this Nosferatu poster by William Stout—and maybe pick up one of his sketchbooks while you're at it.
We also very much dig this Batgirl spotted at one of the fine arts booths.
There are tons of Funko Pop! figurines, but the Sharknado one captured our hearts between its flying jaws.
As always, Kevin Tong has brought some of his stunning television and movie posters, but even if you don't want a full print, you can pick up a sketchbook or notebook made out of his posters.
Sigh Co. has more Lovecraft-ian goodies than you can shake a tentacle at.
And you can nab Welcome to Nightvale merchandise at the TopatoCo table.
And because the world could always use more Batman riding a unicorn, Paul Friedrich his this shirt available.
Our new favorite Orphan Black t-shirt and license plate frame are both available at the Dumbrella booth, as are other Diesel Sweeties products.
And nearby at the Benign Kingdom table, you can find art books by some of our favorite artists and webcartoonists.
Crayon Monsters has some lovely prints and monster trading cards.
Jefbot has t-shirts from a couple of "International Beastros."
Mondo has its fun Batman: The Animated Series album sleeve collection as well as a number of collectible toys.
Woolbuddy has some delightful fibrous creatures with bulging eyeballs.
Additional reporting and photographs by Perri Nemiroff and Meredith Woerner.