TNI Editiorial: SDCC Likely To Be Canceled This Year, And I Am Okay With That

by Jay Cochran
April 11, 2020
While many conventions and eventís have already been canceled or postponed this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we still await word of what will be happening with the largest pop culture related convention in the world, San Diego Comic Con. An announcement for SDCC is expected as early as next week, and itís not looking good.

Already the Anaheim, CA based WonderCon convention, put on by the same people as San Diego, was canceled. It originally was to take place this weekend. Honestly, if you have been following the pandemic and its effects on our society since early March, I think you could probably have figured San Diego wasnít going to happen this year, despite the convention organizers trying to put up a positive front until recently.

I am sure there will be plenty of negative impact on the various industries and local businesses that have come to use this convention for their various purposes, and certainly there will be many convention goers out there who will be disappointed that San Diego wonít be happening this year. First let me just say I do feel sympathy for all of them. However I will tell you, I am not one of those people who will be terribly upset if the convention doesnít happen this year. From the standpoint of my own small business that tries to cover the world of action figures, I will even be a bit relieved if it is canceled.

You see I have been covering San Diego Comic Con for almost 20 years for my small network of websites that mostly focus on the world of action figures and collectibles, long before the convention was the huge juggernaut it is today. After all, aside from the New York Toy Fair, SDCC is the biggest event of the year to showcase new product from the various action figure companies including Hasbro, Mattel and many, many others. So it shouldnít be a surprise that covering SDCC has been a must for a business like mine.

Covering San Diego Comic Con has never been a cheap endeavor. In the early days, I also worked another full time job. So that meant I had to take a week off from that job to fly out from the east coast to the west coast, which was expensive in its own right. Then of course you had to get a hotel fairly close to the convention center. Even in those days, that also was not cheap ó itís much worse now. Still it was worth the effort and expense to do it, because the news generated lots of traffic for the websites.

Each year however, especially in recent years, I can tell you that the benefits of covering this convention have gone down while the expenses and hassle have gone up. First, getting a decent hotel in remote proximity to the convention at any kind of affordable price for a small business like mine becomes more and more of a challenge. Even things like renewing your press badge each year seem to get more and more difficult.

Still if the benefits where there, the hassle and expense would be worth it. Unfortunately, thatís not really the case. In large part, itís the toy manufacturers themselves that have reduced the benefits of covering this convention. Each year they seem to take more and more steps to undercut sites like mine. Used to be the toy manufactures would release a few teasers of new product to the corporate media websites as exclusives, which was a little annoying, but understandable. There were still plenty of reveals to be had and opportunities for sites like mine to bring readers the detailed coverage those corporate sites werenít willing to bother with, simply because it wasnít worth their time.

Each year though that becomes less and less. If itís not the corporate media sites getting the exclusive reveals, then the manufacturers are putting it out on their own various social media platforms or websites well before we are given an opportunity to cover it ourselves. For the best example of this, just look at this past yearís Toy Fair where Hasbro exclusively live-streamed their panel product presentation on their Facebook page, not even allowing the stream to be embedded anywhere else. I honestly could have covered Hasbroís Toy Fair reveals better and faster sitting at home at no additional expense than I was able to do sitting in their showroom. Even things like interviews can generally be done much better over conference calls than in the overcrowded and loud showrooms these conventions provide.

I can tell you well before COVID-19 reared itís ugly head and the possibility of SDCC not happening this year remotely entered my mind, I was seriously contemplating not attending this convention for the first time in 20 years. From a business stand point, I am sad to say that the cost of covering this event is no longer justifiable to the benefit it provides.

I honestly canít tell you what the overall impact of the convention not happening will be. I am sure it will be devastating to the local businesses in San Diego that depend on the increased foot traffic SDCC brings in. As for the product reveals and exclusives, I am sure those will still come from most companies. It just will likely be exclusively online. For those who donít attend the convention, this probably will give them more opportunities to grab up those hard-to-get exclusives.

As I said before, I truly feel for those who will be negatively impacted if SDCC doesnít happen this year, but from the standpoint of my own personal business, I can tell you I am perfectly okay with not having to make the trip this year.
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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
JayC - 2020-04-18 @ 10:18 am

So just to clarify. The title wasnt changed. It was done as a editorial not as a news article,because it was my opinionbased on the ramifications of the convention being canceled, (which was a forgone conclusion and frankly really has been since early March)on my own business, not the industry as a whole.It wasnt meant to be a lecture piece about COVID-19 or why the convention should be canceled due to saftey reasons of the pandemic, and while I certainly feel sympathy for anyone negatively effected by the cons cancelation,which I expressed in the piece, that doesnt change the fact that I am perfectly ok with the con not happening this year from the standpoint of my own business. If expressing that opinion for somereason rubs you wrong, well thats your right, but it doesnt really change anything.I also get that probably most dont really care that much about the ramifications of these types of things on my business in the overall scheme of things, and if the site went away tomorrow,a few might say, oh thats to bad but then would move on to some other site or such,I get that,Nevertheless this is my site and when I want to express a personalopinion,Im not going to hesitate to do so, even if it goes against the grain or popular opinion.

A_Spidey_Fan - 2020-04-18 @ 5:24 am

So, I know I'm late in the game, even more so with SDCC 2020 just announced that it was cancelled this year. ButI did read this article afew days ago, and was wondering if maybe if the title was renamed, that JayC wouldn't have rubbed some people who took what he typed the wrong way.

Like instead ofthe title "TNI Editiorial: SDCC Likely To Be Canceled This Year, And I Am Okay With That", maybe it would been much better if it was more direct and say something like "TNI Editiorial: I'm Not Going To SDCC This Year". In the article, you've stated that the last few years, going to SDCC hasn't been as enjoyable as in the past, even more so with the cost going up. And of course, like you said, Convid-19 further helped with the issue this year as well. I think the "I Am Okay With That" probably caused some people to have a knee jerk reaction before reading the article or something.

I don't know really. Just guessing and basing on what I'm seeing is all. Hopefully JayC, I didn't come across as critical to you or anything like that. I like many do appreciate what you do, and the time you take to do what you do. And if SDCC is something you can no longer do for whatever reason, many of us I'm sure do understand.

memocromatico - 2020-04-13 @ 5:33 pm
On 4/11/2020 at 1:06 PM, IronWill72 said:

Well aware he said it. I can read. Kind of like starting a slam with "With all due regard."

It's not really a slam as an opinion. It's his experience, his thoughts. He was never slanderous, or offensive towards anyone. He's even being sympathetic to the people who will be affected. Don't really catch any "slam" vibe throughout the post.

80sboy4 - 2020-04-12 @ 8:17 pm

Interesting read Jay. This is a weird time we're living in and of course the number one priority is people's well being though this. I think not only should the SDCC be cancelled but all other summer events, festivals as well, I know it's going to be rough but when we finally get rid of this then it will be worth it.

Roadpigmaster - 2020-04-12 @ 1:04 pm

I think the situation on the world today and here in the states is so chaotic because of the Covid-19 that we should not take it very lightly...

Now on the point of view of the toy maker companies, they have the ability to make themselves be known to the masses at home, by promoting toy update presentations on social media... If they don't do it know, they will be missing a huge opportunity to get more attention and customers for their upcoming products...

Neovorticism2 - 2020-04-12 @ 4:02 am
2 hours ago, sonic360 said:

Wow. People seem to be unnecessarily negative to Jay's personal opinion.

Ah, nope, I'd rather say it's just a single individual.

sonic360 - 2020-04-12 @ 1:48 am

Wow. People seem to be unnecessarily negative to Jay's personal opinion. I understand his point, but I hope there is some form of SDCC announcements/presentations being done.This could be a good opportunity for the toy/comic/movie/gaming communities to give us a new form of presentation and what their plans are for the future.

I hope things improve enough for us to have a cool NYCC.

Take care Jay and thanks for all the great content throughout the years.

stcardinal - 2020-04-11 @ 11:38 pm
5 hours ago, mako said:

Way to make it about YOU dude. Never mind the global pandemic, the fear, the paranoia, the entire industries and God knows how many companies that are gonna take a big hit; at least YOU won't be inconvenienced this year.

Honestly, if the trips arethat much trouble, don't worry about 'em. Lord knows your coverage isn't that great anyway.

This is just uncalled for.He's talking about his experience on his site. What were you expecting? With how personal your attacks are it almost seems as if you've got personal beef with him. I for one appreciate the work that goes into maintaining this site, TNI is a source where I go to get my SDCC and other toy updates. It has served me well for well over 15+ years since Toybiz ML days.

JHS1988 - 2020-04-11 @ 6:50 pm

I was guessing this was a conversation starter, not a piss on hisopinion piece.Seems a little unnecessary to put outthat much negatively where Im guessing most of us go to enjoy our hobby and get away from the craziness of the world

mako - 2020-04-11 @ 6:14 pm
3 hours ago, JayC said:

As I said before, I truly feel for those who will be negatively impacted if SDCC doesnt happen this year, but from the standpoint of my own personal business, I can tell you I am perfectly okay with not having to make the trip this year.

Way to make it about YOU dude. Never mind the global pandemic, the fear, the paranoia, the entire industries and God knows how many companies that are gonna take a big hit; at least YOU won't be inconvenienced this year.

Honestly, if the trips arethat much trouble, don't worry about 'em. Lord knows your coverage isn't that great anyway.

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