Eff You, Hot Dog

[GameSetWatch columnist Mister Raroo and his family are representing GameSetWatch at San Diego Comic-Con International once again. We plan to run daily updates from the Raroos, beginning with this account of their adventures on Preview Night.]

We love San Diego Comic-Con! Sure, it's ridiculously crowded and your feet will be throbbing at the end of the day from all the walking you'll do. And yes, the convention center is packed to the rafters with people, many of whom don't necessarily put personal hygiene at the top of their to-do lists. But it's an amazing spectacle no matter how you look at it, and whatever your interests may be, you'll most likely find something that suits your fancy amidst the endless rows of booths or in the countless meetings and panels. Comic-Con has something for everyone.

The San Diego Comic-Con staff really seem to have their act together this year. We made it through the extraordinarily long Press and Professional Registration line in but minutes, giving us a couple hours to spare before the show floor opened. We decided to kill time by filling our bellies with an early dinner.

So, here we have our son enjoying a not-so-healthy feast of French fries and a hot dog. Notice the middle finger. We're pretty sure Kaz doesn't understand what that means yet, but you never know. He was acting all tough the whole time he ate his meal, for some reason. All that was missing was for him to say something like, "Eff you, hot dog, get in my stomach."

Weird Cars

Kaz has been looking forward to Comic-Con for quite some time, and his excitement for the event has centered on one subject: TOYS! Luckily for him, there are nifty toys just waiting to be purchased at almost every turn. Kaz scored some incredibly bizarre and intriguing Hot Wheels, whose designs included a shopping cart, a dinosaur, a robot, and (our personal favorite) a toilet! Yes, a toilet car. We definitely bought that.

Kaz was so excited with his new Hot Wheels that he immediately sat down and started playing with them on the show floor. Luckily most of the convention-goers were clustered around the more elaborate and big-budget booths on the other end of the hall, so no four-year-olds were trampled on Preview Night. Well, ours wasn't, anyway!

Cool Pumpkin

Some of the best toys available at Comic-Con are those that don't come from factories. There are too many booths to count where you can purchase crafty, homemade toys. One such booth is Toshwerks, where we found our friend Asia Bur-Min offering a variety of neat playthings for sale, including an adorable pumpkin which Kaz quickly became attached to.

That's a lot of LEGO bricks

The fun, clever LEGO series of games by Traveller's Tale's gets a lot of play in the Raroo home, so we knew we had to stop in at the LEGO booth when it came into sight. Taking up a high percentage of floor space in the booth was a massive pile of LEGO bricks. Kids and adults alike were eagerly assembling whatever their imaginations whipped up. (Bonus points if you can spot our kid in the photo)

It was really cute to see people ignoring everything else at Comic-Con and getting lost in the moment of being creative and building something. But I also began to wonder if those blocks will become rather disgusting after sweaty hands touched them all day long throughout Comic-Con's duration. Thus, it's probably a good idea to stay away from that block pile! Who knows what kids (or adults) will touch them with poo-poo hands.

Defender of the Universe

When I was a kid I thought Voltron was the coolest thing ever. Lion mechs that combine to form a giant robot wielding a huge sword? For a young Mister Raroo in elementary school, there could be nothing more mind-blowing. Now as an adult I realize that the US iteration of Voltron was essentially a watered-down version of the original Japanese version, but it doesn't matter. Voltron still looks pretty bad ass.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

I suppose you could say Kaz and I have something of a soft spot for Pokémon, so there was no doubt that we'd check in at the Pokémon booth. The staff was giving out adorable Tepig hats that Kaz and his sister Yoshie proudly wore for the rest of the evening.

Seeing those giant inflatable critters makes me wish that Pokémon are real. I want a Snorlax to live in my home! We'd go to bed early, sleep until noon, briefly ponder getting out of bed, then finally decide to go back to sleep. That would be the life.

Tired Daddy and Yoshie

Preview Night lasts but three hours, yet it didn't take long for me to start feeling utterly exhausted. As the end of the third hour drew near, Yoshie had the same glazed over look on her face I did, which signaled to Missus Raroo that it was time to start making our way to the exit.

Attending Comic-Con is a grueling experience, and if you don't pace yourself, you'll burn out before you reach the end.

Sleeping Already

On the walk back to our car, Yoshie fell asleep in my arms. How nice life must be for little kids sometimes! They can just zonk out whenever they're tired and someone will carry them while they snooze. Lucky!

The start of Comic-Con is always full of wonder and surprise. Though much of the experience seems familiar, each year brings something fresh and exciting with it, and we can't wait to see what adventures we'll get into next. We'll just need to get a good night's sleep first!

[Mister Raroo is a happy husband, proud father, full-time public library employee, and active gamer. He currently lives in El Cajon, CA with his family and pets. He had a great time at E3 this year. You may reach Mister Raroo at [email protected]. For all your Game Time With Mister Raroo needs, visit Club Raroo!]