Variants of Deadpool, Luigi, Sailor Moon and a Goku filled the alleys of Toronto Comicon 2023 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 16 to 19.
This year, the venues felt a bit more jam-packed as the pop culture convention kept itself on one floor. But the limited space didn’t stop vendors from assembling into a marketplace across the ever-changing showroom.
Visitors across three days are also hit as hard as their wallets with merchandise. In true Comiccon fashion, novelties, literature and prop weapons are also up for grabs from local Ontario businesses showing their handiwork.
It’s also the more unique items that made CGM bat an eye at household items like Funko Pops, posters and keychains lining kiosks. But here are a number of must-get items raising our eyebrows.
What’s in the box?
Toronto Comicon’s overwhelming amount of merchandise is a sight to behold. So much so that guests could be stuck in paralysis with analysis over where money goes. The premium Lootcrate-esque mystery boxes scattered around the conventions might surprise.
CGM wasn’t able to confirm just what’s inside every box. True to the name, the mystery boxes pack in random pop culture novelties and useful goods. Keychains, patches, plushies, beanies, mugs and mini statues are some of the items included (or not). They also match the value guests could put in from $50 to beyond for higher quality boxes.
With luck, guests looking for one kind of franchise from Nintendo to Star Wars and Demon Slayer can find it. While guests feeling luckier can try the con’s own version of the Mystery Box, which taps into the multiverse with an assortment of IP merch.
“If it’s all the same to you, I’ll have that drink now”.
Guests who recently broke a cup now have an excuse to visit Toronto Comicon for a new one.
A few vendors in the showroom took up their lasers and sandblasters to craft special souvenir glasses. Practical and still geeky, guests can find a new personalised glass to drink almost everything with. These range from pint-sized beer mugs to shot glasses and even an Avengers decanter for whiskey. Like the mystery boxes, CGM saw an assortment of franchises etched on every glass.
The glasses are also dishwasher friendly, meaning iconic logos from Game of Thrones, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Trek and the TARDIS from Doctor Who are here to stay after intense scrubbing.
Of course, there’s always Fan Expo 2023 if the latest mug breaks too.
Glass you can’t look through.
A variety of glass posters can be found in two different locations across the showroom floor and Artist Alley.
These fragile forms of art pack vibrant hues on a glossy finish. Splashes of retro-hues add some new perspectives for Master Chief, The Joker, Iron Man, Pikachu and Obi-Wan Kenobi, all staring back at curious guests.
For demonstration, the glass posters were also shown behind a dark backdrop and under different RGB lights for an eye-popping concept. The posters are also frameless, while vendors also offer some optional accessories to help owners hang them. Though CGM doesn’t recommend leaning them from wall to floor.
The LEGO minifigure you waited long enough for.
Anime fans craving merch for Attack on Titan, Naruto, My Hero Academia and Dragon Ball could turn their heads to a few vendors offering custom LEGO minifigures. Of course, these versions aren’t licensed by the company. But deliver on a number of characters that never made the official cut for a LEGO set.
Minifigures like Eren Yeager, Kankuro, Perfect Cell and the not-so-Colossal Titan also pack a few extra details that stand out from existing LEGO products. While the custom work includes special weapons, fabrics and adorable balls of Kamekameha energy.
The minifigures each come with a stand to make each character stand out in PC battlestations, cars or an actual LEGO set. Vendors also sell them in tiny bags for a simple and quick souvenir at Toronto Comiccon. Yes, they also come unassembled to give buyers the satisfaction of bringing their favourite characters to life.
The “Comic” part of the convention
CGM’s favourite souvenir recommendation doesn’t come as a surprise for guests coming to get what they came for at Toronto Comicon.
An assortment of comic books—from the Golden Age series to modern miniseries—are catalogued for guests to flip through. A bulk of the showroom floor is dedicated to rows of sealed comics. Unsurprisingly, countless franchises are up for grabs in the spirit of celebrating comics and larger-than-life stories.
Prices also range from single, double and triple digits for all kinds of collectors. We also found this timeless IP-driven merchandise to be the best for value and in giving casual comic collectors a starting point. While it comes as an on-brand recommendation that caters to popular publishers like Marvel, DC, BOOM, Action Lab, IDW and Vertigo Comics. Readers can also indulge in self-contained graphic novels and find a few miniseries in bulk from vendors.