Once again, downtown San Diego has been overtaken by superheroes, vampires and even time lords. But while the gaslamp quarter is overloaded with larger-than-life billboards and eye-popping activations, some of the best eye candy can still be found on the exhibition floor of the San Diego Convention Center. The Los Angeles Times was there when the floor opened to the public at 6 p.m. Wednesday to peruse this year’s offerings and find the must-see booths.
A 12-foot Reptar — Nickelodeon
Go big or go home. The Viacom cable network clearly chose the former. On the heels of its announced “Rugrats” revival, Nickelodeon brought a 12-foot replica of the iconic show-within-a-show character to the exhibition floor, along with a “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Live” virtual reality experience and, in a nod to another revival, a “Double Dare”-inspired hamster wheel obstacle course.
More than meets the eye — Hasbro
There’s a photo opp with a life-sized Bumblebee at the Hasbro/Transformers booth.
‘Spider-Man’ game … and fake news — PS4
The PS4 booth allows fans to play the new “Spider-Man” game ahead of its September release. The bonus? Free issues of the Daily Bugle.
‘Steven Universe’ larger than life — Cartoon Network
Just look for the giant Crystal Gems to guide you to the Cartoon Network booth. The entire space has turned into a “Steven Universe” experience where fans can take photos to magically appear in one of two Gem-related backdrops.
Deadpool and Dolly, together again
The Deadpool Super Duper Dance Party sees the Ryan Reynolds character break out into song — Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” to be exact — along with a lot of backup from two furry friends reminiscent of Chuck-E-Cheese characters.
Handsy zombies — ‘The Walking Dead’
Stand in line next to Walkers that swipe at you at “The Walking Dead: Our World” -- then head in to check out the game.
A new Doctor, in pieces — BBC America
Celebrate everything “Doctor Who” at the BBC America booth where the first female Doctor even gets the life-sized construction block treatment.
‘Tea Dragon Society’ — Oni Press
For your dose of cute, head to the Oni booth for a Chamomile plush straight out of the pages of Katie O’Neill’s all-ages fantasy comic “The Tea Dragon Society.” Plus check out the card game!
‘Disenchanted’ wares — Netflix
Netflix’s new animated series “Disenchanted” is hawking poisons, i.e free t-shirts and other swag, for those brave enough (or patient enough) to wait to spin the wheel.
‘Dragonball’ remnants — Tamashii Nations
“Dragonball” fans won’t miss the giant Shenron hanging out above the Tamashii Nations booth. Unfortunately this one probably won’t grant any wishes.
Jurassic jungle fun — ‘Jurassic World’
Attendees can escape to Jurassic Park with a full recreation of one of the most iconic moments from the latest film, as well as other photo opps inside those picturesque gates.
It made the Kessel Run in … — ‘Star Wars’
The “Star Wars” booth promoting the upcoming “Solo” blu-ray release gives attendees a chance to sit in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon (if you manage to get a golden ticket).
‘South Park’ trivia … bring an extra shirt
It’s a fan showdown at the “South Park” booth where participants are paired off in order to test just how much they remember about the show. The fan who knows his or her trivia walks away with a ‘member berry, while the one left stumped will get “vomited” on by a life-sized Randy Marsh.
The Falcon’s smaller recreation — Hasbro
For those who can’t score a ticket for LucasFilm’s elaborate Millenium Falcon cockpit recreation, Hasbro has you covered.
Discover something or someone new
Don’t forget to hit up artists’ alley.