In expected, yet sad news, San Diego Comic Con 2020 has been officially cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. SDCC is scheduled to return for next year with the announced July 22-25, 2021 dates. Pass holders will have the option to request a full refund or transfer their badges over to next year’s show—a nice gesture considering the difficulty of obtaining a pass through the lottery. Hotel reservations made through SDCC’s travel partner, onPeak, will be cancelled with deposits fully refunded. While WonderCon was initially postponed, it has since been cancelled and is slated to return to Anaheim on March 26-28, 2021.
Beyond SDCC, we’ve already seen cancellations/postponements of many art toy-centric shows including Creature Bazaar, Five Points Festival, Thailand Toy Expo—which is going online, and Shanghai Toy Show. As with WonderCon, postponements may end up as cancellations. Here’s hoping that the situation will improve enough to the point where DesignerCon can be held safely in November.
SDCC is exploring an online (virtual) convention experience, perhaps similar to the WonderCon@Home concept. Online convention offerings may become more common for the rest of the year. We’re excited and curious to see what form they take. Thailand Toy Expo is one to watch as it has announced a transition to an online experience for this year—date to-be-announced. Perhaps it will be possible to incorporate more of the convention experience beyond an online store approach.
While it was the prudent, safe, and really only viable option, we’ll certainly miss attending SDCC this year. It will be the first time in 15 years that we won’t make the mini-trip down from LA for the show. While it hasn’t been a major show art toy-wise in a while, there’s still nothing quite like SDCC in terms of scale, presentation, and frenzy (thrilling and tiring).