III. Merch, Swag and More
As with last year, we kept tabs on unusual, interesting or popular merchandise and displays at the convention. The properties that struck as being the most popular were about what you’d expect them to be. DC and Marvel were standbys, with Suicide Squad being the biggest showing for DC and Deadpool for Marvel. There was also plenty of stuff from Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Pokemon, Undertale, Fallout, Ghostbusters and Supernatural. Interestingly it seemed as if Doctor Who was much less represented that it was last year, in both merch and cosplay. Perhaps this can chalked to the show taking 2016 off, but it’s still a bit of a surprise. Additionally, it seemed as if properties such as Adventure Time, Rick & Morty and The X-Files were less popular with both vendors and fans this year.
Another trend that continued from last year was the near omnipresence of Funko Pop vinyl figurines. It seemed like every other vendor had at least a shelf of the things. Because of the sheer amount of them at this convention, if you wanted a specific figure, there were very high chances you’d be coming home with it.
There were only a few vendors who sold retro video games and consoles but the variety those folks had was rather solid and the prices were fair. There are alot of speculators that have gotten involved in retro gaming that have driven the prices of relatively common things up more than they’re worth, so it was good to see some vendors selling things at a good price.
There were also plenty of truly unique items for sale. For instance, Great American Gothic of Tyngsboro, Mass. sells stainless steel drinking flasks emblazoned with the logos of various media properties. They told us their best sellers were Fallout related.
Outside of the merch, celebrities and the panels, there was still quite a lot to do at the Rhode Island Comic Con. As with last year, there were a handful of replica vehicles from various television shows and films – Dean’s Impala from Supernatural, a Delorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future, a 1960s Batmobile and so on. There were also plenty of board game, video game and trading card events on the upper levels of the convention center, including a very popular Super Smash Brothers tournament.
Next page: Read our final thoughts on this year’s convention