Saturday, September 9, 2017

Amazon's "The Tick" tv promotional items

The first half of The Tick season one is now streaming on Amazon! I hope that you've all had a chance to watch it (maybe more than once?). It's been incredible for me to see it all take shape, as someone who's right on the periphery of this thing, so I can only imagine how unbelievable this has all been for those directly involved in the production.

What's surprised me more than anything is the sheer scope of Amazon's promotional push for this show. The Tick is being advertised on billboards, in subways, on television, online - seemingly everywhere. It's very interesting to see this project that I've been a small part of show up in a lot of mainstream places over the last few months. Let me put it this way - my mom has seen ads for the show, so you know it's a big deal.

For today, I wanted to take a little bit of time and talk about some of the promotional items that Amazon has released for the show. A lot of this comes from Comic-Con in San Diego, so thankfully I was able to get a little bit of a head start on getting all of the items you see above. But there have been other Tick items released in the last few weeks and I've managed to get my hands on some of them. I didn't realize how much was out there until I tossed it all together. Let's take a peek at what we've got!

One of the biggest items is the backpack/swag bag that was given out in San Diego. Maybe "Team Tick" members wore these around the city to hand out different items. It's pretty similar to a lot of the comic convention bags you'll see at any given show, except this one is 100% Tick branded.

Here's a view of the back and the arm straps.

I had to search online to find this guy - the t-shirt. When I went through the Tick activation site at SDCC, they were out of shirts and I had to go for the tote bag instead. This guy is a full XXL size, so I won't be wearing it any time soon. These were printed on site once you finished the scavenger hunt.

Here's the aforementioned tote bag, which does look pretty good compared to the shirt, I think. As with the shirt, there were a few different slogans you could choose to have printed on it. If you're wondering "does this mean you have to get every different iteration of every printed item?", the answer is, "I hope not". That way lies madness.

There were two slightly different phone cases handed out in San Diego: one for the iPhone 6 and 6s, and another for the larger iPhone 7. This is one of the coolest looking items, I think, and also one of the least functional.

The promo winner at Comic-Con was, not surprisingly, the antennae headband. I saw a lot of people wearing these throughout the show.

The hat is also something you can wear on your head, and I saw some people wearing it, but not as many as the headband.

I think I've managed to grab all of the little handouts from SDCC, either in person or online afterwards. Near the top are the, I guess, hygiene products, including moist towelettes, sunscreen, deodorant (really) and tissues. The rectangular shaped box in the middle contains something, but I have no idea what it is. I have no plans to open it, but it's nothing obvious. Perhaps it will remain one of life's mysteries.

At the bottom of the picture, you can see two handbills advertising the show and different promotions associated with it. I picked these two things off the ground and the one on the left shows some wear, probably from 10,000 people stepping on it before I got to it. Directly above is the RFID-chipped elastic wristband that everyone who went through the outdoor site had to wear. At the very top are two different business card-sized ads, one about costuming and the other about...punching.

I'm particularly happy that I managed to get this item. This temporary tattoo (I think) was part of the bathroom setup at the interactive zone outside of Petco Park. If you flushed the toilet, one of these plastic bubbles rolled down into a basket. I was lucky to get one with a blue cap (there were all different colors in the enclosure) to fit with the theme.

Soon after Comic-Con, Carl's Jr. ran a small promotion with their extra-large-sized drink cups. Carl's Jr. is run by the same company that owns Hardees, except one is on the western part of the country, and the other is on the east. As far as I can tell, Hardees strangely did not have the promotion (not in my general area, anyway), so I was lucky to have someone grab these and mail them to me.

This is the other side of the cup!

A few days ago, I saw a picture of X-Men actor Oliva Munn wearing a clearly-branded Tick jacket with antennae on the hood. Who wore it better?

Uh, okay, probably Munn. But I was able to grab this once I saw it pop up on eBay a little while ago. It took me a few days to figure out just where it came from. It turns out that Amazon sent these as part of a press packet to reviewers of the show. Is it a bribe? I don't know, but it sure is soft.

The second part of that packet was the actual show on DVD. It came in this neat-looking booklet.

The booklet has images from the series posters and a short writeup about all of the main characters.

Near the back of the booklet, there are short bios for the actors and producers of the show. Notice that Griffin Newman is, for some reason, referred to as "the Moth".

There are a few items that I'm still on the lookout for, some of which I'll probably never get. There was a drink koozie with a screen printed image given out at the activation site - I could have gotten that instead of the tote bag, but I think I picked the better of the two.

As you can see in the picture directly above, members of "Team Tick" - those hired to work the event - all got event-specific t-shirts to wear. I've yet to see any surface online since Comic-Con. I should have made an offer to one of the workers before the show ended, but I didn't realize they'd be so tough to find (and "sell me your shirt!" is a weird conversation starter). I have hopes that I'll be able to get one at some point - I know I'll be on the lookout for someone wearing it at the New York Comic Con in October, where the Tick will have a presence as well.

Embed from Getty Images

A week before the first handful of episodes were made available to stream online, Amazon had a premiere in New York City - where the show is filmed - and the setup was just incredible. I had some friends attend, and the pictures they posted looked really fantastic. Among some of the props outside of the theater, where they screened the first three episodes, were "Tick Tacs", blue-colored takeoffs of the popular breath mints. From what I gather, they were there for the taking (if you could get behind the velvet rope). I also saw branded popcorn bags and lots of props which were probably not removable. Needless to say, I'd do just about anything to be able to grab some of those, but I have to imagine that it'll be very difficult to do so.

I think my whole point in posting this is to say "wow, look at all of the neat promo items Amazon is putting out for The Tick!" Hopefully my astonishment is made clear enough, because I'm really quite taken back by it all. Now I'm off to do another futile search for a Team Tick shirt!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Pictures from the 2017 Comic-Con International, part 3: Thursday, 7/20

It's time for more Comic-Con pictures! Thursday is the day that I said to myself, "I need to start taking more pictures". It turned out to be a pretty busy day. Let's get to it.

The Walking Dead always has a big display in the television area of the convention floor. It's always too crowded for me to do anything but walk by. But they sure do a nice job at adding zombies to the area, and keeping them from getting mobbed.

That's the Walking Dead, folks, in case you needed to know. They might as well keep setting up at this point.

This year seemed extraordinarily busy in the convention hall. Wednesday and Thursday seemed especially crowded compared to years prior.

I saw a number of brain slugs this year.

This is an unlikely pairing, but I like it.

The Sideshow booth is always filled with gawkers, such as myself, staring at the ultra-expensive, ultra-awesome statues on display. This Spider-Man 2099 statue is just incredible. After the show, I learned that there was a Beast Wars Megatron statue somewhere nearby. I wish I could have seen that, because I'll almost certainly never be able to afford it.

I spent some time at the New England Comics booth signing issues of the new exclusive comic with artist Ian Nichols, who drew sketches all throughout the show. When someone didn't have a preference on what was drawn, he drew Caped Cod, which we both got a kick out of.

There were some big changes at the Rotten Tomatoes panel this year. They moved to an offsite location, they had a whopping three shows, the shows took place during Comic-Con instead of at night, and they had a new co-host for the convention - Comedy Bang! Bang!'s Scott Aukerman! I got temporarily lost on my way to this particular show, but thankfully I made it in time to see the whole thing.

Grae Drake was there once again and her costume, as always, did not disappoint. I got up and lambasted Jurassic World this time around (it deserved it), and snapped this picture while the critics were discussing my (very correct) claims. Grae is such a wonderful person - it's always great to see her at these panels.

Incredibly enough, I got on "the list" and was able to get into the VIP section, where free swag abounded. I grabbed a lot.

After the panel, because I wasn't too far away, I made my way to Skeletor's Lair. I didn't get to go there last year, so I was happy to see it again. There were no Skeletokens this time around, which was disappointing, but everyone working for Super7 seemed thrilled.

That Skeletor piƱata looks pretty cool.

And they always have room for a toy display, too.

If you weren't convinced that The Tick was just everywhere at Comic-Con, let me present to you: the Tick bathroom. This was located in the interactive zone across from Petco Park.

Far be it from me to be too good to take pictures in a bathroom. The pilot was streaming alongside one wall, blue lights gave the area an azure ambiance, and a little toy fell into a basket when you flushed the toilet. It was the full experience.

I don't want to stay inside all the time at Comic-Con, but the outside events are often almost hopelessly crowded. The interactive zone is almost shoulder to shoulder, and you're standing on a concrete parking lot in 80-degree, sunny heat. You have to be a real diehard (or someone without a pass) to brave those conditions in most cases.

I complain about Fox's mishandling of the Fantastic Four (and rightfully so), but I wonder what it's like to be an X-Men fan, hoping to see those characters meet up with the rest of the MCU. At least some of those movies and tv shows are good.

How the convention center stays climate controlled during the show is beyond me. They must have the air conditioning cranked up all the way, 24 hours a day to keep things relatively cool.

Gone are the days when people would wait until Saturday to show off their best costume work. There were some great ones on display on Thursday.

Red Sonja was apparently filming a tv spot.

I thought that this Teen Wolf costume was great, especially the mask. I wonder if this is the Michael J. Fox or Jason Bateman version.

The Dog Knight Returns.

I guess I spent a lot of time outside on Thursday. Near the end of the day, I made the trek to the Tick offsite location. Luckily for me, the line, which was hours long at the beginning of the day, had shrunk enough that I only had to wait about half an hour to get in. It gave me enough time to try and take everything in. Look at all of that blue.

As a way to steal your personal information, Amazon had information and trivia stations set up throughout the line. The trivia consisted of nine questions, and they weren't all about the show. There was at least one about New England Comics, which was a nice surprise. I got all nine questions right (thankfully), which apparently made the computer malfunction or something, given my final score.

Here's the Tick antennae from the back. They really moved!

And these controls were actually functional. With a nice aesthetic, too!

Lying Cat walked by as I got to the front of the line.

On this day, I went through the Tick scavenger hunt, which took place in a number of set recreations. It was all very detailed. On the screen, you can see Griffin Newman, who filmed some content just for  this exhibit.

There were a number of props throughout the event with show-specific references. I didn't steal any of them, but it was tempting.

At the end, everyone got a picture in front of a green screen. Here I am being blown up, I guess, next to an ad reminding you to watch The Tick on August 25th (only on Amazon Prime)!

After the convention ended, I went to the Music Box, a mile or so from the convention center, to see Comedy Bang! Bang! Live! Scott Aukerman was there again.

And he brought some friends.

The night still wasn't over, though. NerdHQ did not have a big presence at this year's show, unfortunately, but they did team up with SyFy to sponsor two big dance parties. I missed the NerdHQ panels, which are a highlight of the show, but I'm happy that this was still around. Hopefully it's a one time thing, and 2018 will see NerdHQ back at full power.

The party was a lot of fun. There was dancing, a photo booth, some free food (which is right up my alley)...

...and some classic arcade games on the bottom floor. It was very cool to see all of the old arcade cabinets lined up next to each other. I think I see Missile Command to the right of center.

Thursday was a really huge day! I'm not sure that I even realized it at the time. And the show was just getting started. More to come!