When we first said we were going to Emerald City Comic Con, we joked a lot that we just wanted Funko to see our Hopper box. Oh, they saw the box. They loved the box. They want more of our box. Basically, ECCC went nuts over our Hopper cosplay! We are so grateful and thankful to everyone who stopped to take a picture or say something kind. As new people to the cosplay arena, it means the world to both of us that you love the boxes so much. Enough with the love though, let me break down our crazy trip!
We arrived in Seattle on Wednesday after a long drive from San Jose. We stopped in Roseville to see our favorite nephews and niece on our way and stayed in Medford, Oregon for the night before finishing the rest of our trip! We met Mom at the Airbnb in Seattle which was absolutely gorgeous! I wish I could live there every day! In terms of food, I ate way more than I normally do only because there were so many good options. Some of the highlights from my trip include New Cascadia Traditional, Razzi's Pizza, and Corbett's Fish House. I had safe onion rings for the first time in 5 years at Corbett's in Portland. They were so good but I paid the price with my gallbladder-less body the following day. (Totally freaking worth it, if you ask me!) I will post a huge gluten-free travel post on these places soon because they were phenomenal!
Our first day of the convention, we didn't bring the Hopper box out. We actually got a late start there because we went to visit Andy's Aunt and Uncle who live just 45 minutes out of Seattle. The reason why we didn't do Hopper 3 days in a row? Well, we just wanted to get a good lay of the land the first day and figure out what the best ways to get around were. In previous conventions, we've gotten cornered and stuck with the box and that's no fun. This was our first time at ECCC and we really didn't want to look like noobs! Soon enough though, we learned that the event was really broken down into two different venues that were multiple blocks from each other! Getting into the Convention was one thing with security, but to find out you had to go all the way back out the building three floors, down two blocks, and into another hotel to pick up tickets was frankly ridiculous! I honestly wish they had everything at one venue! Thankfully we only had to be down at the Grand Hyatt Seattle for one day so we didn't venture there much we stayed to the convention floor. We brought Mom out for her first convention ever! She had so much fun meeting vendors like Plastic Empire we've known for a while and running into Funko friends who were stoked to see us. She was there when we found out I had won the lottery for Fugitive Toy's Tiny Ghost. I'm now the proud owner of an Ectoplasm ghost who is chilling with Slimer. It's always fun to show family members our side of things! Most people assume that conventions are just where a bunch of nerds show up dressed as their favorite character. The reality is it's a meeting point for everyone to come together, show off what they've been working hard on, and literally gasp and awe over other people's creations. It's the most friendly and amazing environment to be in especially if you are new to the cosplay game.
Day Two was the first day we unleashed Hopper. Andy was ready to go at 9 am even though the convention didn't start till 10 am. We were lucky enough to by-pass most of the security insanity since we got to go through the press entrance. Security got a good chuckle out of Andy as they attempted to figure out how they were going to check him out without him having to take the entire box off. For those who haven't seen him try and get the box on, it's a whole song and dance and involves him laying in the trunk of our SUV. It's not easy and once it's on, it doesn't come off till your done for the day. Thankfully Andy can sit down in the box quite easily so he can rest. Once we entered the convention floor, Andy beelined it over to the Funko booth. I don't think Andy was expecting the reaction he got. The entire Funko booth burst into cheers and laughter. Every Funko photographer was on him and within a minute Andy was meeting all his Funko idols. Case and point: the picture of Andy with Sully the head Social Media guy for Funko.
After an exciting conversation with Sully and getting yelled at by Security to keep moving. Dima and Ashley pulled us aside to ask if we would want to do an interview for Funko. Andy looked at me shocked but gave him two huge thumbs up. At this point, I played a proud wife. I trained him for his moment, prepped him the best I could, and prayed that he nailed it. He blew me out of the water with his interview with Funko! Check it out:
After a fun adventure with the Funko booth, we stopped and chatted with friends as we waited for our friend Natalie to get through the booth. Since we attended the convention as press for The Game of Nerds, we didn't have the opportunity to get a lottery ticket at the Funko booth. Natalie had gotten into the lottery but didn't need anything. Luckily for Andy, she loves him and she did help us out with the pops we needed. There were chances to get into the Funko booth at 3 pm each day after the lottery winners had gone through. BUT that line usually was started at 10 am by the Funko booth and eventually was capped by 11 am. Thus why all the people were running like madmen trying to get to the Funko booth each morning. Once you were in line though, you were stuck there all day. So from 11 am - 3/4PM you couldn't leave unless you knew a friend who could hold your spot so you could pee. Frankly, if we weren't able to get the lottery, we still wouldn't have waited in that line. There were so many things to see at ECCC then to waste your time waiting for a plastic toy. If that's what you wanna do, cool with us! After we got done with Funko, we headed home for a short break and to box up all our pops in protectors. We returned again to ECCC to attend the Funko Funkast Live! What most people don't know is that Sully gave the Hopper box a huge shout out before the event started which gave Andy a huge smile! They had asked him to show up for fun earlier that morning and they were thrilled he was there. At this Funkast Live event, they gave away prizes, showed off the latest Funko shop exclusive, and even answered fan's burning questions. You can check out the entire podcast here, and if you fast forward to the hour mark, you can hear Andy win the second ever Presto rabbit in the world! Then the Funko team goes on to describe how giant pops coming towards them is kind of a nightmare for them! After a glorious second day at ECCC, we headed home from the Funkast and prepared for another super long day on Saturday.
Day Three of ECCC was by far our longest and most tiring. It was also our last day at the convention. We had planned on starting our trip back home on Sunday so that we didn't have to do the whole trip in one day. On the agenda for that day was autographs and the Fugitive ECCC party that evening. We spent most of our day at the Grand Hyatt waiting for the various signatures we needed. The entire area was a no photograph or videography area for guest security. I'm glad the security guard's got a good laugh and understood that we weren't the ones asking for pictures because a lot of people got yelled at for taking pictures of the Hopper Box while in the autograph room. At one point, we just send Andy out in the lobby to take pictures just to give the security guards a break from yelling. Our first stop was to the Stranger Things guests, they were absolutely the most generous and kindest people out there. We had been on a mission to get just our pop's signed but every one of the kids wanted to sign Andy's Hopper Box too which was a cherry on the ECCC cake. After a short trip to the Cheesecake Factory to meet up with our Proto Facebook friends, we ventured back to the Grand Hyatt to get Ron Weasley's autograph. By this point, his line had been capped to pre-paid only because he was in such high demand. Since this was Rupert's first US convention, we can understand why so many people wanted to see him. As we got closer to the front of the line, Andy realized he was offering selfies as well so he recommended I get one too.
After spending most of the day on our feet and Andy in the box, we said goodbye to ECCC and its various vendors making sure we hadn't missed anything during the last walk through. We decided to take a break and eat some dinner back at the Airbnb with Mom. It wasn't long though before we were back in the car with the box at the Grand Hyatt Seattle, this time for Fugutive's Exclusive ECCC party. Tickets went on sale the week before and sold out in minutes. Nelson, the owner of Fugitive Toys, is always known for throwing one hell of a party. It was a great night of friends, eating, drinking, and playing games. A lot of people may have already seen the "Tell Me When To Go" video, but that's from one of the games we played at the party! Can you tell our side definitely won? We ended up not leaving the party till close to midnight. We were absolutely exhausted but had the biggest smiles on our faces and met so many new friends.
The next morning we packed up our AirBNB early, said goodbye to Mom as she hopped back on a flight to LA, and drove the hour to Everett. At first, Andy was pretty sure we wouldn't be able to squeeze an HQ stop in. Between all our various events and ECCC coverage, we barely had any time during the night to do anything but sleep. I, on the other hand, did not drive fourteen plus hours to watch my husband pout about not going to the Funko HQ store. So I forced him to go and it was well worth it. I could easily spend hours at HQ looking at the various details, giant pops, and things to buy. We had the dogs in the car so we had 20 minutes tops before we figured Coco would find the box of Lucky Charms in the front seat and go to town. We managed to get a lot of common pops we were missing from our Harry Potter and Disney collection. We also finally got our official Funko letterman jackets and HQ shirts that we've been dying to have for months now. If you ever have time in Everett, please stop by Funko HQ, you will not be disappointed. It's a great place for all ages to really enjoy! Plus there are so many photo opportunities there to take. You might even get lucky and run into "I love my Job" Liz! ;)
I won't lie. When we came home from ECCC, I was so exhausted I thought to myself, "OMG why did we even do that?" Then all the videos, pictures, comments, and messages came in. Some were about how much they loved the Funko box and how excited people were to meet us in person. Other people were just in absolute awe and wanted to know what box was coming next. Honestly, that's what made it all worth it. I may still be catching up on lost sleep weeks later but the smile has been definitely permanent. Andy's already got box 3-6 pre-planned and more conventions booked, so we aren't going anywhere. He even went so far as to purchase a trailer for our new traveling adventures. So who knows, we may be stopping in your town soon! If you managed to get a photo or video of us while at ECCC, please email us. We would love to share it with our fans!